Texas Senator Ted Cruz has become the first Republican to eschew the phony “exploratory” phase and announce an actual presidential campaign. Rand Paul is apparently next. But as every political pooh-bah knows, the 2016 presidential contest has been underway for months, maybe even years. As this is written, in fact, several hotly contested GOP primaries already have commenced—primaries that will go a long way toward determining the Republican nominee, despite the painfully quaint notion that the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire will get the “first” say.
Here, then, in no particular order, is a voter’s guide to some of the real 2016 contests—and who is currently leading them.