POWER RANKINGS: As the primaries come to an end, here’s where we ranked all the candidates at the start

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Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee.
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Thomson Reuters

The 2016 presidential primaries are coming to their conclusion Tuesday night – save for next week’s Washington, D.C., Democratic primary – with two presumptive nominees: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Last July, with 18 major candidates entering the race between both parties, Business Insider decided to rank each candidate’s chances at becoming president.

Our rankings were based on the Real Clear Politics averages of national polls and those in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two voting states. We also factored in candidates’ fund-raising numbers and their momentum (or lack thereof).

How did we do? Not bad!

Amid fervent talk about whether Trump was for real as a candidate, we put him fourth. We definitely gave too high a ranking to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin (third), whose campaign ended after 71 days, and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida (second), who dropped out after South Carolina’s primary.

And Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (eighth), who ended up as the runner-up to Trump, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (ninth) were ranked a bit too low.

What follows is our original assessment of the 2016 presidential field and the end result for each candidate.


18. Bobby Jindal, Republican, Louisiana governor. He dropped out in November.


17. Lindsey Graham, Republican, senator from South Carolina. He dropped out in December.


16. Martin O’Malley, Democrat, former Maryland governor. He dropped out in February after a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucuses.

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REUTERS/Jim Bourg

15. Rick Santorum, Republican, former senator from Pennsylvania. He too dropped out after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

14. Carly Fiorina, Republican, former Hewlett-Packard CEO. She dropped out after New Hampshire’s primary, though she later became Ted Cruz’s theoretical choice to be his running mate.


13. Rick Perry, Republican, former Texas governor. He was the first casualty in a deep Republican field, suspending his campaign in September.

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REUTERS/Jaime R. Carrero

12. Chris Christie, Republican, New Jersey governor. He dropped out after New Hampshire and has become one of Donald Trump’s most prominent surrogates.

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11. John Kasich, Republican, Ohio governor. Kasich was the last man standing with Trump, though he was far behind in the delegate count. He dropped out in May.

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

10. Mike Huckabee, Republican, former Arkansas governor. He dropped out after the Iowa caucuses.


9. Bernie Sanders, Democrat, senator from Vermont. He remains in the race and has pledged to take his fight to the floor of the Democratic convention.


8. Ted Cruz, Republican, senator from Texas. He was the runner-up to Trump in the GOP delegate count, suspending his campaign in May after the Indiana primary.

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

7. Ben Carson, Republican, retired neurosurgeon. He dropped out in early March after a disappointing string of showings on Super Tuesday.

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Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call/Getty

6. Rand Paul, Republican, senator from Kentucky. He ended his campaign surprisingly early, after a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses.

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REUTERS/Joel Page

5. Marco Rubio, Republican, senator from Florida. He dropped out in mid-March after losing his home state’s primary to Trump.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

4. Donald Trump, Republican, businessman. And now, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

3. Scott Walker, Republican, Wisconsin governor. He dropped out in October after just 71 days as a candidate.

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2. Jeb Bush, Republican, former Florida governor. He ended his run after South Carolina’s primary.


1. Hillary Clinton, Democrat, former secretary of state. And now, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.


Here was our original chart ranking all the candidates.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider