U.S. presidential election

A handy guide for when to launch your presidential campaign

Hillary

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Now that the first 2016er has semiofficially launched his bid — we’re looking at you, Jim Webb — the rest of the primary field will likely solidify in the next seven months, likely starting very, very soon.

The timing of a presidential announcement is a complex calculus, no matter which party you belong to. So National Journal put together a cheat sheet for prospective candidates wondering when they should tell the world they want to be president. To those undecided, we say: Choose your own adventure!

If you’re a relative unknown…

Little-known candidates need to prove from the outset of their campaigns that they can raise money. And in presidential elections, showcasing your financial viability as a candidate revolves around the glamorous world of the Federal Election Commission. When a candidate announces and starts fundraising often hinges on the FEC’s quarterly filing deadlines: Jan. 31, April 15, July 15 and Oct. 15. That April 2015 quarterly report will likely be the first big indication of early primary candidates’ fundraising potential. Read more…

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