POLITICS

2016 Race Has Changed In Every Way But One: Hillary's Still On Top

First to Last re-ranks the presidential candidates at halftime.

Who can remember January? Not us. So we did a deep dive and discovered two amazing facts about the 2016 presidential race, which has reached the halfway point in the nominating season. 

One: Hillary Clinton is the queen of conventional wisdom. She led our first ranking; she leads now. Two: There was a point in human history when we didn't have to listen to Donald Trump.

Hillary aside, changes in the ranking are amusingly vast. Remember Wisconsin's Scott Walker, shrewd GOP insider bet? Pfft. Formerly high-ranking libertarian ankle-biter Rand Paul? On life support. The Donald? Not on that first list. Ditto Carly Fiorina. Dr. Ben Carson? An anemic 18th back in January. Bernie "Saturday Night Fever" Sanders? An obscure 15th. But FTL was ALL OVER the powerful, looming candidacies of Elizabeth Warren, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.

 (Here is where we remind you that FTL does not encapsulate The Huffington Post’s own extensive reporting. Rather, it is our sense of the view of the political/media pundit/industrial matrix, from which we lamely attempt to distance ourselves by deploying snark.)  

RANK CANDIDATE RISING OR FALLING
1
HILLARY CLINTON
The ultimate insider in an outsiders' race still maintains her top perch. As the Talking Heads would say -- same as it ever was.
No Change
2
DONALD TRUMP
He went from 0 to HUUUUUGE.
N/A
3
BERNIE SANDERS
Emerges from DeLorean to take No. 3 spot.
▴12
4
BEN CARSON
Doctor shows that gaffes are good for you.
▴14
5
JOE BIDEN
Confusing himself and the world since 1973.
▴5
6
MARCO RUBIO
Sweaty, true, but this fresh face is showing some stamina.
▴3
7
JEB BUSH
No shock, no awe, none of Dad's big mo'.
▾5
8
TED CRUZ
If the "real outsiders" collapse, he might do.
▴6
9
CARLY FIORINA
We still don't believe it.
N/A
10
MARTIN O'MALLEY
Buzzfeed declares him a hunk. We bump him up ten slots, as who are we to argue?
▴10
11
JOHN KASICH
We were geniuses for having him in this slot to begin with.
No Change
12
MIKE HUCKABEE
No guns, no grits = no gravy.
▴1
13
RAND PAUL
He's the biggest loser on this chart.
▾10
14
CHRIS CHRISTIE
When we originally drew up this list, we forgot him.
▾6
15
LINDSEY GRAHAM
You threatened to punch Trump, better do it now.
N/A
16
BOBBY JINDAL
Only fell two spots, but he was below sea level to begin with.
▾2
17
RICK SANTORUM
We can't believe we're still talking about him.
▴5
18
JIM WEBB
Growth of Chinese Navy not top of mind in the campaign, but you're right, Jim Webb.
19
GEORGE PATAKI
Ranking this far down is difficult.
N/A
20 (TIE)
LINCOLN CHAFEE
No scandal, no interest.
N/A
20 (TIE)
JIM GILMORE
Not happy.
N/A

(As a note, N/A means these folks didn't make it the first time around. Oh how the race has changed!)  

RANK CANDIDATE RISING OR FALLING
1
HILLARY CLINTON
Hillary machine idles with nothing to do, but somehow minor foes are getting leaked on
2
JEB BUSH
Today's Mr. Sensible ran as wingnut in '94. Oops. And annoying Mitt won't quit.
3
RAND PAUL
Media can’t help but hang on his every word because he could easily hang himself.
4
SCOTT WALKER
Union-busting governor in birthplace of progressivism: a perfect theme for the '50s.
5
PAUL RYAN
Might have won in 2012 if they used “dynamic scoring” to count votes.
6
ELIZABETH WARREN
It’s been weeks since she denied she was running. ... What is she hiding?
7
MITT ROMNEY
He 100 percent wants to be president, but only 47 percent wants to run.
8
CHRIS CHRISTIE
Mitt claimed kinship with NASCAR owners; bro-hugging N.J. governor does him one better.
9
MARCO RUBIO
Holding first fundraiser at Manhattan restaurant; Yelp says oysters are subpar.
10
JOE BIDEN
Grandfathered into the top 10. Joe knew his way around a selfie long before the smart phone.
11
JOHN KASICH
Speaks blue collar, raised Catholic and from Ohio. Pre-tea party, that was enough.
12
BOBBY JINDAL
Enough with the Ivy League position papers, give us some “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.”
13
MIKE HUCKABEE
Enough with the “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” give us some position papers.
14
TED CRUZ
We know you’re trolling us, but we can monetize that.
15
BERNIE SANDERS
Unlikely to get Democratic nomination, but shoo-in for a Ben and Jerry’s flavor.
16
JIM WEBB
Hard-to-pigeonhole longshot, but reportedly got the attention of the Hillary machine.
17
RICK PERRY
New glasses don’t make him look studious, more like Warby Parker spokesmodel.
18
BEN CARSON
Wasted no time meeting at least one campaign requirement: a plagiarism apology.
19
ANDREW CUOMO
Can count on one softball CNN interview.
20 (TIE)
RICK SANTORUM
We still have our ‘12 sweater vest, but has he lost the ‘16 evangelical play-in game to Huck?
20 (TIE)
MARTIN O'MALLEY
Relentless dinner-circuit travel and self-promotion save him from list below.
EVEN MORE OBSCURE CANDIDATES: Cory Booker, Jerry Brown, Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, Mitch Daniels, Rahm Emanuel, Russ Feingold, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham, Luis Gutiérrez, Nikki Haley, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, Jack Markell, Susana Martinez, Jay Nixon, George Pataki, Deval Patrick, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Ed Rendell, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Joe Scarborough, Brian Schweitzer, Donald Trump and Mark Warner Photos: Getty, Associated Press