(Reuters) – The elections that will decide who controls the U.S. Congress and most state governorships are 10 months away, but they already are becoming an early test of the political muscle of several potential contenders for the White House in 2016.
No one has officially announced that they are seeking election in 2016 to be Democratic President Barack Obama’s successor. But the race for the White House effectively will begin right after the 2014 election ballots are counted on November 4, so this year’s elections could help build momentum – and a team of allies – for anyone considering a run for president.
With that scenario as a backdrop, potential contenders for the Republican presidential nomination such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have begun getting involved in 2014 congressional and governor’s races.
Democrats continue to wait for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite among the party’s potential presidential contenders, to announce whether she will enter the 2016 race. But Ready for Hillary, an independent group that supports Clinton, is signaling that it will be a prominent player in 2014 campaign……