The Number of Republican Presidential Candidates May not be as Unusual as you Think

Number of Candidates by Party

There has been much talk about the ever-increasing size of the Republican Presidential Candidate field for 2016. While it may be unusual to have 10 candidates this early in the election cycle, it is not unusual for one party to have a substantial number of candidates.

During the past 15 presidential election cycles, there were 12 elections in which at least one of the parties had 7 or more candidates, and the crowded debate stage hasn’t been limited to just the GOP. In fact, the Democrats lead with 10 elections with 7 or more candidates, to the Republicans’ 7. Also, the Democrat party had more candidates than the Republicans in 7 of the years, while the Republicans had more candidates in 6 of the years (2 years resulted in a tie).

Number of Presidential Candidates by Party 1956-2014

Data source: Republican Party Presidential Primaries on Wikipedia and Democratic Party Presidential Primaries.

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