The S.C. Republican presidential primary could have a record 15 candidates on Feb. 20.
By Wednesday’s deadline to file, 16 hopefuls had paid the state party’s $40,000 fee to enter the South’s first presidential primary.
One who paid already has dropped out – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. More are expected to follow.
Democrats have until Dec. 4 to file for their party’s Feb. 27 S.C. primary.
The Republicans who filed for the primary — listed by their current average in national polls, and where their campaigns stand — are:
▪ Donald Trump: Brash New York business mogul has been the front-runner since late July though his lead has shrunk since the last debate.
▪ Ben Carson: Retired Maryland neurosurgeon has risen as the anti-Trump, a quiet campaigner winning over conservatives.
▪ Carly Fiorina: Former chief executive completes the trio of non-politicians riding voter anger at D.C. to lead the pack.
▪ Marco Rubio: U.S. senator from Florida has emerged as the leading establishment candidate after a strong second debate.
▪ Jeb Bush: Former Florida governor is trying to remain in the top tier after being the front-runner for much of the year.
▪ Ted Cruz: U.S. senator from Texas is benefiting from anti-Washington sentiment despite his Capitol Hill credentials.
▪ John Kasich: Ohio governor is trying to find footing from the center while hoping for good New Hampshire showing.
▪ Mike Huckabee: Former Arkansas governor hopes for strong Iowa and S.C. results, like in 2008.
▪ Chris Christie: New Jersey governor was the front-runner a year ago but might miss main stage in next debate.
▪ Rand Paul: U.S. senator from Kentucky has the same storyline as Christie.
▪ Bobby Jindal: Louisiana governor has struggled to gain traction.
▪ Rick Santorum: Former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania does not have the support he enjoyed in 2012.
▪ George Pataki: Former New York governor’s campaign has not received much attention.
▪ Lindsey Graham: U.S. senator from South Carolina’s good showing in the last “undercard” debate is not translating in polls.
▪ Jim Gilmore: Former Virginia governor is running a lean, almost-anonymous campaign.