(CNN) – The 2016 election is still more than 600 days away, but the presidential field is already taking shape.
Big moves have been made by possible Republican candidates, some of whom will gather at the party’s winter meetings in San Diego this week. On the Democratic side, all eyes are focused squarely on Hillary Clinton.
The campaign hasn’t officially kicked off, but a subtle scramble is on, and Republicans are sprinting fast for pre-race positioning.
After repeatedly ruling it out, Mitt Romney is now telling donors he is considering a run. He’s working the phones within the party, and says he’ll decide in weeks, not months.
This comes after others, in a potentially crowded field, have taken their own strategic steps:
Jeb bush announced on Facebook that he’s “actively exploring the possibility”. Mike Huckabee ended his Fox News show. Scott Walker and Chris Christie are both set to launch their own political organizations. Marco Rubio says he’ll decide in the next few weeks.
CNN Political Contributor Ryan Lizza says, “There’s no dominant figure. Everyone feels that they’re going to have at least small shot so it’s going to be a very ugly race.”
Meanwhile, the other side of the field remains almost frozen, waiting for presumed front runner Hillary Clinton to declare her intentions. She hasn’t made a public appearance in almost a month, and was coy when asked in December what her first move as president would be, responding, “I have long learned not to answer hypothetical, theoretical questions.”
Ready to pounce if her answer is no, other Democratic candidates are in waiting. Some have expressed at least some interest, and there are others who haven’t, like Elizabeth Warren.
Lizza says, “If Hillary Clinton doesn’t run, I think Elizabeth Warren will very seriously consider this, so Clinton almost has a responsibility to the other Democrats and members of her party to give a clear signal that she is in this thing.”
Signals that have already emerged from other White House hopefuls.