The presidential race is now down to just a few hundred candidates now that Newt Gingrich has staged his finale and left the campaign trail. Yes, it’s true. There are still 380 hopefuls on the list of those who pine to be president, according to the Federal Election Commission, which maintains the official tally of those who have filed a Statement of Candidacy — aka “FEC Form 2” — to register as a 2012 presidential candidate.
The doting, meticulous federal agency keeps all the names on file, whether they have received enough contributions to qualify then as an actual candidate; the magic number is $5,000. Though allegiances shift from time to time and candidates come and go, the main roster currently boasts 135 Republican hopefuls, 71 independents, 35 Democrats and four Green Party candidates, one of which is comedian Roseanne Barr, who dutifully filed her FEC Form 2 for better or worse on Jan. 27.
Also, there are four Constitution Party members, three from the American Independent Party, two Libertarians and a pair of hopefuls from the Citizen Party. Then there are those who don’t favor any of the above. That would be 29 in “unknown” parties, 28 with no political affiliation whatsoever and 24 in “other” parties. And just for the record, Mr. Gingrich lasted almost a year in the White House derby before money and support dwindled: He filed his papers on May 13, 2011.