The 2016 Republican Dark Horses

As the 2016 White House race begins to form, more than a few dark horse GOP candidates could end up breaking away from the pack.

With the Republican presidential field wide open, the campaign could be a repeat 2012, when even candidates thought to be longshots briefly stole the spotlight and spiked in the polls. 

“We don't even have anywhere near a front-runner and it doesn't look like one is going to break free,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “There's a potential opening for a lot of these wild-card candidates.”

Republican National Committee rules have changed since then, shrinking the debate schedule that gave underdog candidates a chance to leap out front. Still, the lack of any clear front-runners, the rise of single-candidate super-PACs and the ease of reaching voters online with less money and free media makes it easier than ever for anyone to gain traction with a catchy message.

Here are four potential aspirants whose names aren’t on the regular presidential watch list – but could make some noise if they do decide to run.  

Read more from Cameron Joseph at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy