For the next presidential election, Republicans boast a deep bench of prospective candidates across the country. But one of the party's biggest challenges is that too many of them hail from the same states—and could each knock out their in-state rival.
In Florida, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio each occupy the same establishment-friendly space with the GOP electorate. In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman, both potential presidential candidates, are two of the party's most prominent moderates. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker's ambitions haven't been curtailed by Paul Ryan's spot on the last presidential ticket. And in Texas, tea-party acolytes could be fighting between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Meanwhile, the Democrats' front-running nominee from New York, Hillary Clinton, has already blocked the presidential pathway to numerous ambitious Empire State Democratic pols, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
"There's just no way you can have two candidates from the same state and not have it get quite tense, if not downright ugly," said former GOP Rep. Vin Weber, a senior Republican strategist. "In every zone, you end up competing."
He would know: Weber served as the chairman of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's PAC in 2011. That year, Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann both launched presidential runs and almost immediately attacked each other in an effort to draw attention in the crowded GOP primary. Pawlenty and Bachmann don't occupy the same ideological space within the GOP, but both campaigns had the feeling that neither could prosper while the other survived.