There are three months until Election Day, and anti-Trump Republicans finally have their man—even if they’ve never heard of him.

On August 8, Evan McMullin announced he is running as an independent for president. If you’re not familiar, don’t feel bad: McMullin is an almost entirely unknown quantity. A Mormon from Utah, he went to Brigham Young University and later got an MBA from the Wharton School of Business—an alma mater he shares with Donald Trump. He joined the CIA and after serving a stint in intelligence went to work for Goldman Sachs. More recently, he served as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference. McMullin, 40, may not be well known, but it’s hard to imagine a more establishment resume.

He says he’s running out of disgust with the two major-party candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Like millions of Americans, I had hoped this year would bring us better nominees who, despite party differences, could offer compelling visions of a better future,” he writes in an announcement letter. “Instead, we have been left with two candidates who are fundamentally unfit for the profound responsibilities they seek.”

McMullin will have the backing of some anti-Trump Republicans, including the wily veteran strategist Rick Wilson. But he doesn’t have a prayer. Even if McMullin succeeds in getting on the ballot in a large number of states, his public profile is nil, and he’s unlikely to have the time or money to do much to change that. Some reporters and pundits guffawed at the prospect of National Review writer David French, a previous anti-Trump hope, running for president, but next to McMullin, French looks like … um, who’s a widely known celebrity running for president?

There’s a bitter irony to McMullin as the last hope. Anti-Trump Republicans have rejected Trump for many reasons—including his policy views, his temperament, and his personal life—but many have cited his lack of qualifications. In McMullin and before that French, however, the anti-Trumpers have set their sights on two men who, whatever their moral or intellectual qualifications, have never run for office or won a single vote from Americans. (Trump is fond of pointing out that he won more votes than any Republican candidate ever.)

McMullin’s late entry might represent conservatives backing away from Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee. He’s tried to court Republicans who can’t stand to vote for Trump, even bringing on former Massachusetts GOP Governor Bill Weld as a running mate, to the consternation of some Libertarians. But Johnson’s freewheeling style and peculiar comments about religious freedom seem to have dampened any movement toward him on the right.

This cheat sheet has nearly reached the end of its useful life, but we’ll keep updating it with the last few touches. Meanwhile, check out our guides to the Trump veepstakes and the Republicans and conservatives who are—or are not—backing him. Here’s how things look right now.

* * *

The Republicans


Gage Skidmore

DONALD TRUMP

Who is he?
A brash real-estate heir turned real-estate failure turned recovered mogul turned reality-TV star turned politician.

Is he running?
And how.

Who wants him to run?
A plurality of the Republican primary electorate, but especially a large Caucasian bloc, from white supremacists to aging white people who feel their clout is being lost and the country they know is being taken over by minorities. Even now, many of the Republican Party’s leaders and luminaries remain appalled.

Can he win the nomination?

What else do we know?
He cheats at golf—probably.

* * *

The Democrats


Wikimedia

HILLARY CLINTON

Who is she?
As if we have to tell you, but: She’s a trained attorney, former secretary of state in the Obama administration, former senator from New York, and former first lady.

Is she running?
Yes.

Who wants her to run?
A majority of the Democratic Party.

Can she win the nomination?
She has won it, surviving a far more serious challenge from Bernie Sanders than expected.

What else do we know?
The real puzzler, after so many years with Clinton on the national scene, is what we don’t know.

Does her website have a good 404 page?
Updated April 12: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you bad swipes in the subway, make a new 404. (h/t David and Adam)

* * *

Third Party and Independent


Wikimedia

JILL STEIN

Who is she?
A Massachusetts resident and physician, she is a candidate of nearly Stassen-like frequency, having run for president  in 2012 and a slew of other offices before that.

Is she running?
Yes. Stein announced in June 2015 that she would again seek the nomination of the Green Party, which she won in 2012. The Green Party will formally select its candidate in Houston, this year at their Presidential Nominating Convention on August 6.

Who wants her to run?
Stein seems to have strong support with the Green Party. She managed to collect nearly 500,000 votes in 2012—the party’s strongest showing since Ralph Nader’s disastrous 2000 run but well short of the 2.9 million votes he got.

What are her prospects?
Stein hopes to capitalize on the presence of Sanders backers who won’t back Clinton. So far, her attempts have been rocky. Most Sanders backers say they’ll vote for Clinton, and she’s hit turbulence over her flirtation with vaxers.

Who is her running mate? Ajamu Baraka, who doesn’t like Bernie, Barack, or Beyonce.

Does her website have a good 404 page?
Possibly not original, but kind of soothing and on-message.


Wikimedia

GARY JOHNSON

Who is he?
Oh come on, you remember Gary! He ran for the GOP nomination in 2012 and then got the Libertarian Party   nod after that didn’t work out. He was previously a two-term governor of New Mexico. More recently he ran a company that sells THC lozenges.

Is he running?  
Sure is. On May 29, Johnson won the 2016 nomination at the Libertarian convention, edging candidates from the highly touted newcomer Austin Petersen to outlandish oddball former tech titan John McAfee.

Who wants him to run?
As his company’s site notes, “Now that he’s associated with what is being hailed the best legal cannabis product on the market, Gary may be drafted for President of the United States by a grateful nation one day.” Johnson is also an unusually talented and successful politician to vie for the Libertarian line. The 1.3 million votes he collected in 2012 were the party’s all-time high—so to speak.

What are his prospects?
Earlier this year, he told my colleague Nora Kelly, “I have no delusions of grandeur here. I know what happened last time.” But with a sizable chunk of Republicans rejecting Donald Trump, many analysts believe the LP will turn in its strongest performance ever.

Who is his running mate? William Weld, the former moderate Republican governor of Massachusetts.

Does his website have a good 404 page?
No.


EVAN MCMULLIN

Who is he?
Great question. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and former CIA operative and Goldman Sachs banker, McMullin was until recently chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.

Is he running?
Yes. McMullin announced his independent candidacy on August 8, 2016.

Who wants him to run?
McMullin is backed by some leading anti-Trump Republicans, including the colorful-quote-dispensing strategist Rick Wilson. McMullin says he offers a choice to voters who reject Clinton and Trump.

What are his prospects?
Non-existent. McMullin is the latest in a string of hopes for anti-Trump Republicans. Skeptics pointed out that David French, the last such prospect, who declined to run, had nearly no profile outside of conservative media. But McMullin is an even lesser-known quantity; McKay Coppins reports he had just 135 Twitter followers before he announced his run. Being a CIA and Goldman alum may not be an asset either. The good news is that he is, at 40 years old, old enough to be president.

* * *

Out of the Running

Republicans


John Kasich
Wikimedia

JOHN KASICH

Who is he?
The current Ohio governor ran once before, in 2000, after a stint as Republican budget guru in the House. Between then and his election in 2010, he worked at Lehman Brothers. Molly Ball wrote a definitive profile in April 2015.

Is he running?
No. Kasich announced his departure on May 4 in Columbus. That’s the same place where he jumped in, on July 21, 2015, at the Ohio State University in Columbus.

Who wanted him to run?
At the outset, some white-collar and moderate Republicans. By the end, maybe a few #NeverTrump dead-enders. Kasich’s pitch was that he had fiscal-conservative bona fides, could win blue-collar voters, and he has won twice in a crucial swing state. That just never caught on outside of Ohio, though.

Could he have won the nomination?
No.

What else do we know?
John Kasich bought a Roots CD and hated it so much he threw it out of his car window. John Kasich hated the Coen brothers’ classic Fargo so much, he tried to get his local Blockbuster to quit renting it. George Will laughed at him. John Kasich is the Bill Brasky of philistinism. John Kasich probably hated that skit, too.

Does his website have a good 404 page?
Nope.


Wikimedia

TED CRUZ

Who is he?
Cruz served as deputy assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and was appointed Texas solicitor general in 2003. In 2012, he ran an insurgent campaign to beat a heavily favored establishment Republican for Senate.

Is he running?
No. Cruz launched his campaign March 23, 2015, at Liberty University in Virginia but dropped out on May 3, 2016, after losing Indiana and concluding that he had no path to the nomination.

Who wanted him to run?
Hard-core conservatives; social conservatives; and, as the field winnowed, a growing group of Republicans who detested Cruz but still liked him better than Trump, perhaps best personified by Lindsey Graham.

Could he have won the nomination?
In retrospect it’s easy to explain why he didn’t. For one thing, Cruz would have been the most conservative candidate his party had nominated—probably ever, and certainly since Barry Goldwater. For another, it’s very hard to win when many members of your party detest you and voters don’t like you much either. But because he was the last man really standing against Trump, it seemed like he might be able to marshal a motley coalition to win. He was not.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Wikimedia

PAUL RYAN

Who is he?
The U.S. representative from Wisconsin is speaker of the House, an intellectual leader of the Republican Party, and the GOP’s 2012 vice-presidential nominee.

Is he running?
No. Or yes. It depends who you ask. After a surge of draft-Ryan pleas and accusations that he was running a shadow campaign, Ryan held a press conference April 12 to shut the door definitively. Or try to. Can anyone really rule Ryan out until someone else is formally named the nominee?

Who wants him to run?
Desperate Republican insiders. They fear and loathe Donald Trump, who is a loose cannon with barely any tether to conservative principles, much less the Republican Party; but they also personally despise Ted Cruz, who they also think would lose a general election. Ryan’s the most obvious figure left on the board.

Can he win the nomination?
Since he’s not running, it would require a very different kind of campaign. First, Trump would have to fail to win the nomination outright with delegates. Then, he and Cruz (and John Kasich) would all have to fail to win on subsequent ballots at the Republican National Convention. Then someone would have to put him forth, he’d have to agree, and the fractious party would have to align around him. It’s not impossible to imagine, but it’s not an easy path in any way.

What else do we know?
Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook, a favorite inside-the-Beltway tipsheet, has been on the frontlines of pumping up a Ryan bid. For a more skeptical view, read Liam Donovan at National Review.

Does his website have a good 404 page?
He doesn’t have one. Yet.


Wikimedia

MARCO RUBIO

Who is he?
A second-generation Cuban American and former speaker of the Florida House, Rubio was catapulted to national fame in the 2010 Senate election, after he unexpectedly upset Governor Charlie Crist to win the GOP nomination.

Is he running?
No. He announced on April 13, 2015, but dropped out on March 15, 2016, after losing his home stage of Florida.

Who wanted him to run?
In the end, not nearly enough people. Rubio was seen as a candidate who could bridge solid conservative orthodoxy with a young, charismatic demeanor. As Donald Trump rose, the party establishment coalesced around Rubio, but as it became clear he couldn’t win, his support collapsed.

Could he have won the nomination?
Until Super Tuesday, Rubio seemed to hold the second-choice slot, right behind Trump. But his stumble that day is causing many observers to reassess whether he can actually win. In withdrawing, Rubio suggested he was simply not well-suited to the negative tone of this year’s primary.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
It’s decent.


Gage Skidmore

BEN CARSON

Who is he?
A celebrated former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, Carson became a conservative folk hero after a broadside against Obamacare at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.

Is he running?
No. He skipped the March 3 GOP debate and suspended his campaign on March 4.

Who wanted him to run?
Grassroots conservatives. Carson has an incredibly appealing personal story—a voyage from poverty to pathbreaking neurosurgery—and none of the taint of politics.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Carson was undone by his own lack of knowledge and interest in policy and his failure to hire the right people to get him up to speed. If it’s any consolation, history weighed heavily against Carson’s chances all along: Not since Dwight Eisenhower has either party nominated anyone without prior elected experience for the presidency.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Gage Skidmore

JEB BUSH

Who is he?
The brother and son of presidents, Bush served two terms as governor of Florida, from 1999 to 2007.

Is he running?
No. Bush suspended his campaign on February 20 after coming in fourth in South Carolina.

Who wanted him to run?
Establishment Republicans; George W. Bush; major Wall Street donors.

Could he have won the nomination?
When he entered the race, Bush became an instant front-runner, but when Donald Trump jumped in, he displaced Bush, and Bush never recovered. Could he have done things differently and ended up with a win? It’s possible. But Bush had great connections, the staff he wanted, and stupendous fundraising, and he still botched it—which strongly suggests he just wasn’t a candidate who ever had a chance.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Yesy en español también.


Gage Skidmore

JIM GILMORE

Who is he?
Right? Gilmore was governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. Before that, he chaired the Republican National Committee for a year. In 2008, he ran for Senate in Virginia and lost to Mark Warner by 31 points.

Is he running?
No. He announced on February 12 that he would end his campaign.

Who wanted him to run?
Who knows?

Could he have won the nomination?
Nah.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Holy Freudian slip, Batman!


Gage Skidmore

CARLY FIORINA

Who is she?
Fiorina rose through the ranks to become CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005, before being ousted in an acrimonious struggle. She advised John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and unsuccessfully challenged Senator Barbara Boxer of California in 2010.

Is she running?
No longer. Fiorina dropped out on February 10, following a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. Fiorina also spent seven days in late April and early May as Ted Cruz’s running mate—by some measures, the shortest such stint ever.

Who wanted her to run?
She was a business-friendly candidate with a talent for a sharp turn of phrase or jab. But it was never exactly clear what Fiorina’s constituency was going to be, and a strong following never materialized.

Could she have won the nomination?
No. Fiorina couldn’t crack 5 percent in New Hampshire and was already off the debate stage when she dropped out.

What else do we know?
Fiorina’s unsuccessful 2010 Senate race against Barbara Boxer produced two of the most entertaining and wacky political ads ever, “Demon Sheep” and the nearly eight-minute epic commonly known as “The Boxer Blimp.”

Did her website have a good 404 page?
No.


David Shankbone

CHRIS CHRISTIE

Who is he?
What’s it to you, buddy? The combative New Jerseyan             is in his second term as governor and previously served       as a U.S. attorney.

Is he running?
No longer. He suspended his campaign on February 10.

Who wanted him to run?
Moderate and establishment Republicans who don’t like Jeb Bush or John Kasich; top businessmen, led by Home Depot founder Ken Langone.

Could he have won the nomination?
Maybe in 2012. This year, Christie staked his chances on New Hampshire, and he ended up a distant eighth. On the evening of February 9, he suggested he might drop out soon. But Christie was already probably toast. The tide of opinion had turned against Christie even before the “Bridgegate” indictments. Citing his horrific favorability numbers, FiveThirtyEight bluntly punned that “Christie's access lanes to the GOP nomination are closed.”

Did his website have a good 404 page?
We would have gone with the GIF, but sure.


Gage Skidmore

RICK SANTORUM

Who is he?
Santorum represented Pennsylvania in the Senate from 1995 until his defeat in 2006. He was the runner-up for  the GOP nomination in 2012.

Is he running?
No. He dropped out on February 3.

Who wanted him to run?
Social conservatives. The former Pennsylvania senator didn't have an obvious constituency in 2012, yet he still went a long way, and Foster Friess, who bankrolled much of Santorum’s campaign then, was ready for another round.

Could he have won the nomination?
Never. As much as Santorum felt he deserved more respect for his 2012 showing, neither voters nor the press seemed inclined to give it to him, and he remained trapped in the basement. Even in Iowa, which he narrowly won in 2012, he came in almost last, ahead of only Jim Gilmore.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Wikimedia

RAND PAUL

Who is he?
An ophthalmologist and the son of libertarian icon Ron Paul, he rode the 2010 Republican wave into the Senate, representing Kentucky.

Is he running?
No. He suspended his campaign on February 3.

Who wanted him to run?
Some Ron Paul fans; Tea Partiers; libertarians; civil libertarians; noninterventionist Republicans.

Could he have won the nomination?
Once tabbed by Time as the most interesting man in politics, he failed to elicit much interest from voters. The deathwatch stories in December (and September and October) were clearly premature, but they weren’t wrong.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Gage Skidmore

MIKE HUCKABEE

Who is he?
An ordained preacher, a former governor of Arkansas,     and a Fox News host, he ran a strong campaign in 2008, finishing third but sat out in 2012.

Is he running?
No. Huckabee dropped out on February 1 after pulling less than 2 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses.

Who wanted him to run?
Social conservatives; evangelical Christians.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Evangelicals, his old base, flocked to Ted Cruz instead. Huckabee’s answer was to play a populist, but that never really took.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
It’s pretty good.


Wikimedia

LINDSEY GRAHAM

Who is he?
A senator from South Carolina, he’s John McCain’s closest ally in the small caucus of Republicans who are moderate on many issues but very hawkish on foreign policy.

Is he running?
No sir. Graham kicked off the campaign June 1, 2015, but suspended it on December 21.

Who wanted him to run?
John McCain, naturally; Senator Kelly Ayotte, possibly; Joe Lieberman, maybe?

Could he have won the nomination?
No. But he had some fun in losing it.

What else do we know?
Graham promised to have a rotating first lady if he won. We were rooting for Lana del Rey.


Gage Skidmore

BOBBY JINDAL

Who is he?
A Rhodes Scholar, he’s the former governor of Louisiana. He previously served in the U.S. House.

Is he running?
No. He kicked off his campaign on June 24, 2015, but suspended it on November 17.

Who wanted him to run?
It was hard to say. Jindal assiduously courted conservative Christians, both with a powerful conversion story (he was raised Hindu but converted to Catholicism in high school) and policies (after other governors reversed course, he charged forward with a religious-freedom law). But he still trailed other social conservatives like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Jindal never gained traction at the national level, faced an overcrowded field of social conservatives, and his stewardship of Louisiana came in for harsh criticism even from staunch fiscal conservatives.

What else do we know?
In 1994, he wrote an article called “Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare,” in which he described a friend’s apparent exorcism.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Meh. Good joke, but past its expiration date.


Gage Skidmore

RICK PERRY

Who is he?
George W. Bush’s successor as governor of Texas, he entered the 2012 race with high expectations but   sputtered out quickly. He left office in 2014 as the Lone Star State’s longest-serving governor.

Is he running?
No. He announced on June 4, 2015, but dropped out of the race on September 11, 2015.

Who wanted him to run?
Bueller?

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Perry promoters insisted that Rick 2016 was a polished, smart campaigner, totally different from the meandering, spacey Perry of 2012. It didn’t seem to matter. Perry had to quit paying his staff in South Carolina and New Hampshire, and was down to a single staffer in Iowa when he dropped out.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
That depends. Is this an “oops” joke? If so, yes.


Gage Skidmore

SARAH PALIN

Who is she?
If you have to ask now, you must not have been around in 2008. That’s when John McCain selected the then-unknown Alaska governor as his running mate. After the ticket lost, she resigned her term early and became a television personality.

Is she running?
No. Despite a bizarre speech in January 2015 that made a compelling case both ways.

Who wanted her to run?
Palin still has diehard grassroots fans, but there are fewer than ever.

Could she have won the nomination?
No.


Gage Skidmore

MITT ROMNEY

Who is he?
The Republican nominee in 2012 was also governor of Massachusetts and a successful businessman.

Is he running?
Probably not, but who knows! He announced in late January 2015 that he would step aside, but now New York claims that the Trump boom has him reconsidering.

Who wanted him to run?
Former staffers; prominent Mormons; Hillary Clinton’s team. Romney polled well, but it’s hard to tell what his base would have been. Republican voters weren’t exactly ecstatic about him in 2012, and that was before he ran a listless, unsuccessful campaign. Party leaders and past donors were skeptical at best of a third try.

Could he have won the nomination?
He proved the answer was yes, but it didn't seem likely to happen again.


Gage Skidmore

JOHN BOLTON

Who is he?
A strident critic of the United Nations and a leading   hawk, he was George W. Bush’s ambassador to the   United Nations for 17 months.

Is he running?
Nope. After announcing his announcement, in the style of the big-time candidates, he posted on Facebook that he wasn’t running.

Who wanted him to run?
Even among super-hawks, he didn’t seem to be a popular pick, likely because he had no political experience.

Could he have won the nomination?
They say anything is possible in politics, but this would test the rule. A likelier outcome could be a plum foreign-policy role in a hawkish GOP presidency.


Gage Skidmore

SCOTT WALKER

Who is he?
Elected governor of Wisconsin in 2010, Walker earned conservative love and liberal hate for his anti-union policies. In 2013, he defeated a recall effort, and he won reelection the following year.

Is he running?
No. Walker dropped out of the race on September 21, 2015.

Who wanted him to run?
Walker was a favorite of conservatives who detest the labor movement because of his union-busting in Wisconsin. He attracted interest from the Koch brothers, and some establishment Republicans saw him as the perfect marriage of executive know-how, business-friendly credentials, and social conservatism without culture-warrior baggage.

Could he have won the nomination?
For months, Walker was considered—along with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio—a top-tier contender for the nomination. Hurricane Trump hurt all three, but none more than Walker. After largely fading from view during the second presidential debate, he polled below 1 percent in a national CNN poll. Perhaps a radically different campaign would have produced a different result, but Walker didn’t seem ready for national prime time.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Aye, matey.


Michael Vadon

GEORGE PATAKI

Who is he?
Pataki ousted incumbent Governor Mario Cuomo in     1994 and served three terms as governor of New York.

Is he running?
No. He announced his entry on May 28, 2015, but dropped out on December 29—using the free TV time he’d won to compensate for Donald Trump’s Saturday Night Live appearance.

Who wanted him to run?
Apparently no one: His RealClearPolitics average by the time he dropped out was a neat 0.0. Establishment Northeastern Republicans once held significant sway over the party, but those days have long since passed.

Could have have won the nomination?
Nope.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.

* * *

Democrats


Wikimedia

MARTIN O'MALLEY

Who is he?
He’s a former governor of Maryland and former mayor         of Baltimore.

Is he running?
No. O’Malley announced he was suspending his campaign after getting less than 1 percent in the February 1 Iowa caucuses.

Who wanted him to run?
Not clear. He has some of the leftism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren but without the same grassroots excitement.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Why O’Malley—who says all the right progressive things—couldn’t gain any momentum among progressives who seem eager for Sanders, for Warren, really for anyone but Clinton, is a fascinating conundrum.

What else do we know?
Have you heard that he plays in a Celtic rock band? You have? Oh.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Wikimedia

LAWRENCE LESSIG

Who is he?
Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School, a political activist, and an occasional Atlantic contributor.

Is he running?
No. Having announced a run in early September, he dropped out on November 2, 2015.

Who wanted him to run?
Lessig’s campaign was designed to cater almost exclusively to the many Americans who are upset about the influence of money in politics. He pitched himself as a “referendum president” who would pass his proposed Citizens Equality Act of 2017, which would enact universal voting registration, campaign-finance limits, and anti-gerrymandering provisions.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. In dropping out, he cited his inability to break into the Democratic debates, but given his lack of electoral experience, his idiosyncratic platform, and the track record of his Mayday PAC in the 2014 election, he never really had a shot.

What else do we know?
In a season six episode of The West Wing, a fictional Lessig (played by Christopher Lloyd) worked with the White House to write a new constitution for Belarus.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Sorry, we’re too busy fixing democracy to design a clever 404 page!” You have time now!


Steven Senne / AP

LINCOLN CHAFEE

Who is he?
The son of beloved Rhode Island politician John Chafee, Linc took his late father’s seat in the U.S. Senate, serving   as a Republican. He was governor, first as an Independent and then as a Democrat.

Is he running?
No. Chafee announced his run on June 3, 2015, but ended it October 23.

Who wanted him to run?
You can meet all 10 of them in this great NPR piece.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Chafee’s showing in the first debate was so bad that even Wolf Blitzer begged him to get out for his own reputation’s sake.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.


Wikimedia

JOE BIDEN

Who is he?
Biden is the vice president and the foremost American advocate for aviator sunglasses and passenger rail.

Is he running?
No. After lengthy deliberation, Biden ruled out a run on October 21, 2015.

Who wanted him to run?
The original driving force for the run seems to have been the late Beau Biden, along with his brother, Hunter. An outside group called Draft Biden (slogan: “I’m Ridin’ With Biden”) tried to coax him in.

Could he have won the nomination?
It’s highly doubtful. Even when Hillary Clinton was at her weakest, she had huge organizational advantages. And past presidential campaigns showed that Biden, while compelling, could be an undisciplined, self-defeating candidate.


Wikimedia

ELIZABETH WARREN

Who is she?
Warren has taken an improbable path from Oklahoma, to Harvard Law School, to progressive heartthrob, to Massachusetts senator.

Is she running?
Are you still scrolling down here to check? Not a chance, amigo.

Who wanted her to run?
Progressive Democrats; economic populists; disaffected Obamans; disaffected Bushites.

Could she have won the nomination?
No, because she’s not running.


Wikimedia

BERNIE SANDERS

Who is he?
A self-professed socialist, Sanders represented Vermont     in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007, when he won a seat in the Senate.

Is he running?
No. He endorsed Clinton July 12 and his campaign formally ended at the Democratic National Convention later that month.

Who wanted him to run?
Far-left Democrats; Brooklyn-accent aficionados; progressives who worry that a second Clinton administration would be too friendly to the wealthy.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination on either June 6 or June 7, depending on who you believe. Even so, he’s one of the most successful insurgent Democratic candidates ever.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Yes, and it is quintessentially Sanders.

* * *

Independents


Gage Skidmore

DAVID FRENCH

Who is he?
A lawyer and longtime conservative activist, French is a staff writer at National Review and served in Iraq.

Is he running?
No. He responded to a Draft French campaign on June 5, saying he would not jump in.

Who wanted him to run?
Bill Kristol, mostly. #NeverTrump conservatives have been desperately casting about for a protest candidate, and Kristol’s attention alighted on French, who remains largely unknown out of movement-conservative circles.

Could he have won the nomination?
Of what party? French was never likely to win many votes. The question was whether he could get on the ballot in enough states to really offer much of an alternative. Kristol and French say he could have; most people disagree.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
N/A, alas.


Jim Mone / AP

JESSE VENTURA

Who is he?
A Navy veteran, former professional wrestler, and author, “The Body” was elected as governor of Minnesota on the Reform Party ticket in 1999 and served one term.

Is he running?
No. He announced on May 26 that he would not run. Ventura previously told CNN on March 3 that he was considering a third-party presidential bid.

Who wanted him to run?
Just Jesse, it seems. He argued that people are fed up with Democrats and Republicans and want a middle path. “I want to see the revolution continue,” he said.

Could he have won?
No. Ventura’s politics are eclectic—his 2012 book praised Occupy Wall Street and blasted the Citizens United decision, but he tends toward conservative-libertarian views on other matters. His biggest problem might be his Trutherism: He believes the 9/11 attacks were a hoax. Then again, no one thought he’d ever win his gubernatorial election in Minnesota, either.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Did he have a website?


Wikimedia

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

Who is he?
The billionaire finance-and-technology entrepreneur was benevolent dictator mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013.

Is he running?
No. After months of trial balloons, he announced on March 7 that he would not run. Don’t say we didn’t tell you.

Who wanted him to run?
If the past is any indication, it was mostly Bloomberg aides.

Could he have won the nomination?
Bloomberg himself repeatedly belittled his own electability for years, either as an individual or, in the abstract, as a third-party candidate. “When I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win,” he wrote when he decided not to run. And he was almost certainly right. It’s hard to imagine who would vote for him, especially if Clinton wins the Democratic nod: He’s slightly to the right of her, but Republicans hate him, and he makes her seem like Miss Congeniality.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
Please. This is a guy who doesn’t even think websites are necessary.


Wikimedia

JIM WEBB

Who is he?
Webb is a Vietnam War hero, author, and former secretary of the Navy. He served as a senator from Virginia from 2007 to 2013.

Is he running?
No. Webb launched a Democratic bid July 2, 2015, but dropped it October 20, 2015. He has since made noises about mounting an Independent campaign, but on February 11 said he would not run. He now says he won’t vote for Clinton but might support Trump.

Who wanted him to run?
As a Democrat, doves; the Anybody-But-Hillary camp; my colleague James Fallows. As an Independent? Maybe some of the same socially conservative, economically populist Democrats who backed him before. But he barely registered in the race the first time around.

Could he have won the nomination?
No. Every Independent candidate is at best a very long shot, and Webb’s weaknesses—dislike for campaigning, weak fundraising, heterodox views—were on clear display during his Democratic bid.

Did his website have a good 404 page?
No.