October 13, 2006
Just one day after former Governor Mark Warner decided to drop out of the race for President, talks of the nomination are heating up. Right now, the front runner on the Democratic side appears to be Hillary Clinton.
"She's still running for the Senate of course which she is going to win. As soon as that is over, then she can potentially talk about running for President," said Sean O'Brien from the Sorensen Institute.
However, others are positioning themselves for the nomination as well. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Evan Bayh of Indiana are in the mix along with old names like John Kerry and John Edwards, both of whom lost the election just two years ago.
"It says that the Democratic Party has a lot of people that have been eying the top prize for a long time and will run multiple times to get there," said David Wasserman from the UVa Center for Politics.
The Republicans have the same look as the Dems, with John McCain leading the charge and others including Bill Frist following behind. McCain has a different look from six years ago when he contended for the Presidency.
"Where he was the anti-Bush in 2000, he is Bush's biggest cheerleader currently on the nation's biggest issues. He differs modestly from the Republican main stream on some social issues," Wasserman said.
With still two years until Election Day, both O'Brien and Wasserman say a lot can happen.
"Politics is an unpredictable business. With as much as we can try and make sense of it, there are likely to be a few curve balls before we arrive at the 2008 nomination process," Wasserman said.
According to O'Brien, historically, this is the most open race since 1928. That is the last time that neither party had an incumbent or a former Vice President running for office.