The first primaries in the 2016 Presidential election are less than three months away. The window is swiftly closing for the second-tier candidates to become contenders in their party's nomination process.
In the view of "you can't keep them straight without a scorecard," Business Insider has calculated the latest power rankings for all Presidential candidates. Here's the quick rundown of who's gaining and who's falling.
Rick Santorum #15 Rising from the cellar simply because Bobby Jindal has dropped out of the race, Rick Santorum remains at the bottom of the barrel. He has been unable to reprise his great showing in the last Presidential election in this crowded field of GOP candidates.
Martin O'Malley #13 In 13th place, this Democratic candidate is a man that most people have forgotten is even running. It's simply been too hard to gain any press or support, with the grassroots flocking to Bernie Sanders, and HIllary's control of the Democratic machine.
Mike Huckabee #12 This evangelical minister has seen most of his traditional flock of supporters desert him for Ben Carson, dropping him from 11th to 12th place. Carson's blitz of personal appearances at many churches has taken away Huckabee's base.
Rand Paul #11 The son of libertarian icon Ron Paul, the junior Paul hasn't seen his father's supporters keep their allegiance in the family. Once expected to be a major force in the GOP primary, it seems that Paul has alienated potential libertarian supporters with some mainstream actions, while his attempts to appeal to that base is putting off mainstream voters. Paul drops from 10th to 11th place.
John Kasich #10 Kasich's record makes him seem a strong candidate in the general Presidential election, but his support among the party's right wing is non-existent. Like many second tier candidates, there's only so much establishment support to go around, and it's spread too thin. Kasich drops one place to 10th.
Chris Cristie #9 New Jersey governor Chris Christie is the big winner this week, jumping from 12th to 9th place. Once thought to be a front-runner for the GOP nomination, Christie saw his campaign come off the tracks due to scandals at home. Suffering the indignity of being relegated to the "undercard" at the last GOP debate (because he failed to poll above 2.5%,) Christie took control at the kid's table with a forceful performance. Showing just how close the second tier candidates are, Christie is still just a half-percent ahead of Paul and Huckabee.
Carly Fiorina #8 One of the "undercard" candidates at the start of this Presidential election season, Fiorina rode a great performance in the first "minor candidate" debate into a strong showing. However, scrutiny of her performance as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as repeating provably false statements in an attempt to pander to the right wing knocked her out of the top tier.
Bernie Sanders #7 The darling of the Democratic grassroots, Bernie Sanders rose from joke to serious contender as various scandals surrounded Hillary Clinton. However, Clinton's polished performance in the debates put the ineloquent Sanders on the back foot, costing him support.
Jeb Bush #6 Speaking of darlings, Jeb Bush was The #1 GOP Establishment choice this presidential election. However, a right wing disenchanted with the idea of a "Bush Dynasty" and an inability to distinguish himself in a crowded field meant the Jeb's campaign really never got off the ground. His centrist stance on immigration is also costing him votes.
Ben Carson #5 Carson, until recently, was seen as the one candidate that could beat Trump for the GOP nomination. However, some missteps and shading of the truth in his autobiography has cost him support. He drops from #3 to #5 in the overall power rankings.
Ted Cruz #4 Ted Cruz has long been a Tea Party darling, sort of the "anti-Jeb." Cruz has been able to scoop up some of the Carson supporters turned off by some of the retired surgeons more outlandish remarks. Cruz is strengthening his status as a top-tier candidate, moving from #5 to #4.
Marco Rubio #3 Rising one space to take Ben Carson's old slot is Marco Rubio. Rubio may be the candidate that has taken most of Jeb Bush's supporters. He and Cruz have been locked in a battle for the number three spot in the GOP primary, as Trump continues to reign supreme, and the #2 spot changes hands.
Donald Trump #2 "The Donald" continues to entertain crowds and garner support, keeping his spot as the GOP frontrunner. The consummate showman, he is the likely Republican candidate and the #2 person in this Presidential election power rankings.
Hillary Clinton #1 Queen of the Democratic Machine, Clinton commands the power to make or break many Democratic politicians. The money has flowed into her campaign coffers at an unrivaled rate, giving her plenty of ammo. She once believed that she was the anointed choice for the Democratic nomination, but Bernie Sanders' unexpected grassroots support has been an unwelcome surprise. She believes that people will vote for her despite being the ultimate insider. Her campaign may be anticipating some crossover support from moderate Republicans if Trump wins the GOP nomination.
Where The Presidential Race Stands
Here is a chart by Business Insider, using Real Clear Politics composite data from the latest polls: