Some people live and breathe politics and have watched all of the debates to date. Others begin paying attention when the situation gets real. Now, campaign 2016 is now heading into the caucus and primary phase. So, if you're just tuning in now, it's time to get acquainted with the candidates. Here are some fast facts to get you caught up quickly ...
Job: Real estate mogul, television personality
Best known for: "The Apprentice" TV franchise. Real estate holdings and Trump brand. Upending the presidential race, often with controversial statements.
Key positions: Run as outsider. Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Repeal Obamacare. Build a wall at the southern border to keep Mexicans and Central Americans from illegally crossing and deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Allow a path to legal status for foreign students completing degree at U.S. university. Global warming is not real. End corporate taxes, lower individual taxes. Uphold Second Amendment rights. "Pro-life," but used to be "pro-choice." Engage in tougher negotiations with China and Russia.
Donald Trump - notable quote
Trump: "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall."
Job: Former secretary of state, former U.S. senator (New York)
Best known for: Secretary of state for Obama, married to Bill Clinton. Running for president. Her private email server. Facing criticism over 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Key positions: Middle-class champion. Expand Obamacare and repeal the Cadillac tax. Immigration reform with path to citizenship. Debt-free college. Reduce gun violence by increasing background checks, closing loopholes and holding dealers and manufacturers accountable. Close the pay gap. Increase the minimum wage. Support the Iran deal. No U.S. combat troops in Iraq. Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Hillary Clinton - notable quote
Clinton: "I'm the granddaughter of a factory worker and the grandmother of the most beautiful little girl in the world. And Bill and I will do everything we can to ensure she has every opportunity to succeed in life. But I don't think you should have to be the granddaughter of a former president to share in the promise of America."
Job: U.S. senator (Texas), former Texas solicitor general
Best known for: Face of the tea party. Closest competitor to Trump. Champion of the tea party. Disliked by mainstream Republicans. Being born in Canada.
Key positions: Religious conservative who opposes same-sex marriage. Postcard-sized tax form for Americans. Abolish the IRS. Secure the border, green cards for skilled workers. No path to legal status. Abolish Common Core. Advocate for school vouchers. Defend Second Amendment rights. Repeal Obamacare. Stop accepting Syrian refugees, except Christians. Arm and support Kurds to help fight ISIS, increase air strikes.
Ted Cruz - notable quote
Cruz: "We will utterly destroy ISIS....We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don't know if sand can glow in the dark, but we're going to find out."
Job: U.S. senator (Vermont), former congressman
Best known for: Outspoken democratic Socialism. Fighting to end income inequality.
Key positions: Single-payer national health care. Break up any banks that are "too big to fail," and reinstitute Glass-Steagall. Campaign finance reform: Overturn Citizens United, Buckley v. Valeo and require big money donors to disclose donations. Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Raise taxes on the wealthy. Expand Social Security, lift income caps. Free college tuition for all. Ban assault weapons, expand background checks. Voted for gun manufacturer legal protections but now wants a repeal. Combat climate change.
Bernie Sanders - notable quote
Sanders: "You've got the top 400 Americans owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. Most folks do not think that is right."
Job: Ohio governor, former congressman. Hosted show on Fox News. Managing director at Lehman Brothers in years leading up to and until Lehman's bankruptcy, the largest U.S. bankruptcy to date.
Best known for: Conservative as a congressman, but as governor, able to compromise. Expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, unlike many GOP governors.
Key positions: Balanced budget amendment. Support Common Core, school vouchers. Repeal Obamacare. Reduce the corporate tax rate. Criminal justice reform: Less prison time for nonviolent offenders. Put troops on the ground to fight ISIS. Immigration: Open to path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Acknowledges climate change, but does not have plan to address it. Register mentally ill to keep them from buying guns.
John Kasich - notable quote
Kasich: "My elections are really not about campaigns. I tell my people that these are about a movement. And a movement to do what? To restore common sense. A movement to do things like provide economic growth. And a movement not to let anybody be behind."
Marco Rubio- Out
Job: U.S. senator (Florida), former speaker of Florida state legislature
Best known for: Cuban-American pitching himself as candidate for a new generation. Supporting bipartisan "Gang of 8" immigration reform, which he now rejects.
Key positions: Repeal Obamacare. Defense hawk. Permanent troop presence in Iraq. Cut spending for everything except military. Oppose Common Core. Support school vouchers. Cut corporate taxes and simplify individual tax brackets. Doesn't think humans affect climate change. Protect Second Amendment rights. Border security is the top immigration priority. Oppose a pathway to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally.
Marco Rubio - notable quote
Rubio: "The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer; it's by making poor people richer."
**Marco Rubio suspended his campaign on March 15, 2016, after losing to Donald Trump by a landslide in the Florida primary.**
Job: Retired neurosurgeon
Best known for: Criticizing President Obama on healthcare in person. Political neophyte. First physician to successfully separate conjoined twins who also developed a new technique for treating brain seizures. Saying the unexpected. Scrutiny over his memoir.
Key positions: Running as outsider, religious conservative. Flat tax based on tithing system. Cut the federal budget: Cut every agency budget by 10 percent annually. Immigration: Seal the border; punish employers hiring undocumented immigrants; national guest worker plan. Climate change is cyclical, not a problem. Oppose Common Core, support school vouchers. Oppose most gun control, but has said mentally ill, violent offenders shouldn't have guns.
Ben Carson - notable quote
Carson: "If I'm successful in this endeavor to become president of the United States, it's very likely I would be a one-term president, because there are some tough things we have to attack."
**Ben Carson essentially suspended his campaign on March 2, 2016, saying in a statement, "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results."**
Jeb Bush - Out
Job: Former Florida governor, then Lehman Brothers adviser until Lehman declared the largest U.S. bankruptcy to date. Barclays adviser.
Best known for: Being George W. Bush's brother and George H.W. Bush's son. His ties to the Hispanic community. Answering constituent email while governor. Intervening in the Terri Schiavo case. Fluent Spanish speaker.
Key positions: Make Common Core standards the "new minimum" in student achievement. Tighten border security, create path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Expand Second Amendment rights: signed "Stand your ground" law in Florida.Create 4 percent growth in the U.S. economy. Make GOP more appealing to minorities. Leave same-sex marriage to the states. Cut corporate and individual taxes. Unsure climate change is human-caused, but carbon emissions should be cut. Arm the Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni tribes to fight ISIS. Remove some restrictions on the military rules of engagement. Terminate the Iran nuclear deal.
Jeb Bush - notable quote
Bush: "I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family. But we need to control our border."
**Jeb Bush suspended his campaign on February 20, 2016, the night of the South Carolina Republican primary.**
Carly Fiorina - Out
Job: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Key positions: Support school choice. Allow immigrants in the U.S. illegally a pathway to legal status, but not citizenship. Rewriting the federal budget from scratch each year (zero-base budgeting) and a three-page tax code with lower rates and no loopholes. Ban abortions after 20 weeks except for rape, incest, and the instances where the mother's health is in danger. Global effort to fight human trafficking. Help regional allies "push back against new Chinese aggression." Enlist high-tech private sector to help fight terrorism. Repeal Obamacare. Oppose federal mandates on paid leave.
Carly Fiorina - notable quote
Fiorina: "The government no longer works for those who pay for it. The professional political class says and does whatever they need to do to win, and then does whatever they please. We need to return to a citizen government."
**Carly Fiorina suspended her campaign on February 10, 2016, the day after she finished seventh in the New Hampshire primary.**
Chris Christie - Out
Job: New Jersey governor
Best known for: Skillful retail politics with "tell it like it is" slogan. Bridgegate. Struggling with weight.
Key positions: Flatter, simpler individual tax code and a 25 percent corporate tax rate. Repeal Obamacare, but accepted Medicaid expansion for New Jersey. Immigration: No path to citizenship, but has enacted in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. Criminal justice reform: Drug courts for first-time offenders, re-entry and retraining for inmates, bail reform. College affordability: supports a private financing plan. Climate change partially caused by humans. Would end Common Core (used to support). Entitlement reform: Gradually raise retirement age, means testing, make wealthier pay more for Medicare. Enact federal legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks. Guns: Wants mental health used as factor in background checks, opposes assault weapons ban. get rid of gun-free zones on military bases.
Chris Christie - notable quote
Christie: "The job of a leader, the job of a governor, the job of a president, is to get the people in the room and bang enough heads together and rub enough arms and cajole enough to have them put the country and the state's greater interest ahead of their own personal partisan interest. That's what we did in New Jersey and that's the model for America."
**Chris Christie suspended his campaign on February 10, 2016, one day after he finished sixth in the New Hampshire primary.**
Job: Former Virginia governor, former Virginia attorney general, former RNC chairman
Best known for: being a Virginia politician, ending car personal property tax while Virginia governor. Being the least known presidential candidate.
Gilmore: "Time for a reasonable and commonsense conservative to emerge from the current crop of inexperienced candidates to lead the free world."
Possible candidate: Michael Bloomberg
Job: Former mayor of New York, founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P.
Best known for: Considering independent presidential run. Forming gun control group to take on NRA. Banning big sodas, requiring food labeling with nutrition information, enacting smoking ban in public places while he was mayor.
Key positions: Reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change. Improve gun safety measures. Permanent status for undocumented immigrants. Reduce the deficit and reform entitlements. Support abortion rights. Back free-trade deals. Has supported tax breaks for large corporations.
Bloomberg: "Mayors, businesses, and citizens are acting on climate change. World leaders need to do the same."
Martin O'Malley - Out
Job: Former Maryland governor, former Baltimore mayor
Best known for: Zero-tolerance policing when he was mayor. Focusing on data-driven governance at city and state level. Being the inspiration for a character on the HBO drama "The Wire." Fronts his own band.
Key positions: Expand deportation relief for at least nine million immigrants in the country illegally. Debt-free college. Reinstate Glass-Steagall to force banks to separate commercial and investment banking. By 2050, 100 percent renewable energy grid. End solitary confinement for minors in jail. Tighten gun ownership laws and mandate universal background checks. Admit 65,000 Syrian refugees.
O'Malley: "I think people are actually far more interested in a functioning government and effective governance and people with executive experience than we might give them credit for."
**O'Malley dropped out of the race for president, the night of the Iowa caucuses, after receiving less than one percent of the vote.**
Rick Santorum - Out
Job: Former U.S. senator and congressman (Pennsylvania)
Best known for: Winning 2012 Iowa caucuses by 34 votes (declared winner two weeks after caucuses). Long-time culture warrior. Running as champion of working class.
Key positions: End birthright citizenship. Economic populist. One of the only Republicans pushing to raise minimum wage. Advocates 20 percent flat tax on income, capital gains for all Americans. Reject Syrian refugees.
Santorum: "You have a lot of folks out there who have very sharp elbows and tell you how everything is wrong and tell you why everything is broken...In fact most of the record of the people who are running, who are United States Senators, are abject failures."
Rand Paul - Out
Job: U.S. senator (Kentucky), practicing ophthalmologist
Best known for: Libertian background. Filibustering to end NSA phone data collection. Being the son of former Texas Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Key positions: Repeal Obamacare. Reform criminal justice system. Flat tax. Audit the Fed. Balance federal budget within five years. Cut government spending, especially foreign aid. Abolish Common Core and shut down Department of Education. Climate change is real but not affected by humans. Fight ISIS by conducting airstrikes and arming Kurds. Pass an authorization to use military force.
Rand: "I want a government really really small, so small you can barely see it."
**Rand Paul dropped out of the race for President on February 2, 2016.**
Mike Huckabee - Out
Job: Former Arkansas governor, minister and Fox News host
Best known for: Outspoken defender of religious liberty. Winning Iowa caucuses in 2008. Losing weight in 2008 and gaining it back.
Key positions: End abortion. Allow states to decide whether to allow gay marriage. Reject Syrian refugees. Abolish the IRS. Replace all federal taxes with a national sales tax. Oppose any cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Stop the Asia-Pacific free trade deal. Undo the nuclear deal with Iran.
Huckabee: "I'll fight for life, marriage, and moral issues as president. States do not have the 'final say' ....God does."
**Like Martin O'Malley, Huckabee suspended his campaign the night of the Iowa caucuses.**