This combo made from photos shows the 2016 Republican presidential candidates who have officially declared their candidacy as of Sunday, July 12, 2015.(AP Photo)
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WASHINGTON: With the Republican presidential field soon to expand to 17, one question remains in this summer before the election year: Why are so many Republicans running for president? Surely, all of those candidates don't really think they will win the White House.Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker adds his name to the list Monday, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore to follow in coming weeks, bringing the total by summer's end to at least 17 .The should-I-run equation is different on the Democratic side, where Clinton is dominant, but even there, four other notable candidates have joined the against-the-odds race.Here's a look at some of the reasons so many candidates are running this year:The election of a junior Illinois senator with a funny name as president in 2008 has heartened candidates who might not otherwise have thought of themselves as ready to run.Candidates may not have enough money to go the distance, but a supportive billionaire or super Political Action Committee can bankroll a candidacy that otherwise might not go far.Online fundraising and social media have made it cheaper and easier for candidates to haul in lots of small contributions.Businessman-showman Donald Trump has to know he's not going to be president.
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