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THE CANDIDATES
The Candidates:
• George W. Bush
• John Kerry
• Ralph Nader
• Third Parties
Showdown States:
The Conventions:
• Democratic
• Republican
The Primaries
• The Candidates
• The Delegates
View Results by:
• The Money
• The Issues
• Primary Explainer


Now that Sen. John Kerry is the presumptive Democratic nominee to face President Bush, check out who Kerry beat in the Democratic primaries, who dropped out and who decided not to run.
WHO'S IN: THE CANDIDATES
DEMOCRATS
John Kerry
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was the second Democrat to enter the race, announcing on December 1, 2002. Going into 2004, he was not considered a front-runner but came roaring back to win the Iowa caucuses and nearly every primary or caucus afterward, amassing enough delegates to be the Democratic nominee. First elected to the Senate in 1984, the 60-year-old Kerry is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He considered a presidential run in 2000.


Dennis Kucinich
Rep. Dennis Kucinich entered the race February 18, 2003, by filing papers to form a presidential exploratory committee. Kucinich, a four-term congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, is running on an unabashedly liberal platform. He remains in the race even though he has not won any state contests and Sen. John Kerry has amassed enough delegates for the Democratic nomination.

REPUBLICANS
George W. Bush
President Bush took the first formal step in his re-election bid May 16, 2003, by filing his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, a move that allowed him to start building his campaign structure and raise funds. Bush is expected to try to remain above the political fray, enjoy the benefits of an incumbent with no primary opponent and wait to formally declare his candidacy.

INDEPENDENT
Ralph Nader
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced on February 22, 2004, that he will run for president as an independent candidate to "challenge the two-party duopoly" he says is damaging American democracy. Nader has run three times for president, the last time in 2000, when he won 2.7 percent of the vote nationally. Many Democrats blame Nader's performance in Florida for costing then-Vice President Al Gore the election and fear his 2004 campaign will help re-elect Bush.

WHO'S OUT
Joe Biden
Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware announced on August 12, 2003, that he would not run for president. Biden said at this late date, it's "now too much of a long shot." Biden ran for president in 1988 but dropped out of the race after rival candidate Michael Dukakis distributed a videotape that showed Biden lifting key parts of his speeches from speeches delivered by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.


Carol Moseley Braun
Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun filed papers February 20, 2003, to create a presidential exploratory committee, but dropped out of the race on January 15, 2004. Moseley Braun was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 -- the only African-American woman to ever serve in the chamber -- but was defeated in a bid for a second term in 1998. Between 1999 and 2001, she was U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. Upon ending her bid at the Democratic presidential nomination, Moseley Braun endorsed Howard Dean.


Wesley Clark
A retired four-star general and former supreme commander of NATO, Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic nomination on September 17, 2003. He won the Oklahoma primary but didn't fare as well in other races and dropped out on February 11, 2004, after third-place finishes in Tennessee and Virginia. The West Point graduate, Rhodes Scholar and former CNN military analyst led U.S. and allied forces in the 1999 air war in Kosovo. The race marked Clark's first attempt at elected office.


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has ruled out a run for the White House in 2004. The former first lady was elected to her New York Senate seat in 2000, but her political ambitions are the subject of much commentary. Although she has said she has no intention of launching a presidential campaign for 2008, many believe she is interested in running.


Tom Daschle
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle announced January 4, 2003, that he wouldn't seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Daschle said he wanted to stay in the Senate to help Democrats enact alternatives to what he called President Bush's "failed economic policy."


Howard Dean
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was the first Democrat in the race, filing papers with the Federal Election Commission on May 31, 2002. He gained momentum when he led the Democrats in fund raising through most of 2003. He was the front-runner going into the Iowa caucuses but the race tightened days before the January 19, 2004, contest. Dean's campaign never recovered from his third-place finish in Iowa. A day after finishing third in the February 17 Wisconsin primary, Dean ended his campaign, saying he was "no longer actively pursuing the presidency."


Christopher Dodd
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd announced March 3, 2003, that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president. Dodd, 58, said he would stay in the Senate, where he is serving his fourth term.


John Edwards
Freshman North Carolina Sen. John Edwards entered the race January 2, 2003. A millionaire who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, Edwards was one of two Southerners in the original crop of Democratic candidates. His campaign received a boost from his second-place finish in Iowa and his win in South Carolina. But he was never able to catch up to front-runner Sen. John Kerry and withdrew from the race on March 3, 2004, a day after failing to win a single race on Super Tuesday.


Dick Gephardt
Former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt launched his presidential campaign on February 19, 2003, only to end it 11 months later after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. A 14-term congressman from Missouri, Gephardt won the caucuses in 1988 during his first unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. In his second campaign, Gephardt stressed worker's rights and health care, but his campaign suffered from a lack of money. His poor showing in Iowa caused him to pull out of the race a day after the January 19, 2004, caucuses.


Al Gore
Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic nominee for president in 2000, announced December 15, 2002, that he would not seek the party's nomination in 2004. He said on CBS' "60 Minutes" that a "rematch between myself and President Bush would inevitably involve a focus on the past that would in some measure distract from the focus on the future that I think all campaigns have to be about." Gore endorsed former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination on December 9, 2003.


Bob Graham
The Florida senator created an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission on February 27, 2003, and made an official announcement May 6. On October 6, 2003, Graham became the first Democratic hopeful to drop his presidential bid. Citing fund-raising difficulties, Graham told Larry King, "I'm leaving because I cannot be elected president of the United States." A moderate Democrat, Graham was on the short list for vice president in 2000. He was critical of the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq, saying the administration was ignoring other critical national security threats.


Joe Lieberman
Sen. Joe Lieberman, the vice presidential nominee on the 2000 Democratic ticket, announced January 13, 2003, that he is running for the White House in 2004. But after poor showings in the February 3 primaries, Lieberman dropped out of the race. Lieberman, a moderate Democrat, was the first Jewish candidate to be nominated for vice president and would have been the first elected president.


Al Sharpton
The Rev. Al Sharpton entered the presidential race on January 22, 2003, by filing papers to form an exploratory committee. The head of the National Action Network, a civil rights group, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1994 and New York City mayor in 1997. He conceded the presidential nomination to Sen. John Kerry on March 15, 2004, but said he would continue to campaign for his "urban agenda."

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