This week saw the entrance of three new, unproven, and underdog GOP presidential candidates. The new faces include Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon with a compelling personal story who first gained popularity for comparing ObamaCare to slavery, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who finished second in the 2008 GOP presidential nomination fight, and Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive. All three candidates share core characteristics that set them on a trajectory to stumble their way through the nomination process. First, all of their campaigns will face serious funding issues. Second, they will need to make their names known to the wider American public. Third, each will need to demonstrate to the broader GOP party that they can pose a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton. Individually, Carson will need to prove that he and his team can handle the intensity of a national campaign, Huckabee will need to move beyond his core base of evangelical Christians because the general public will not exactly connect with comments like the Supreme Court “cannot overturn the laws of nature or of nature’s God,” and Fiorina needs to show that she is not merely a pawn in a larger GOP strategy to get women voters and challenge Hilary Clinton on a gender basis. If Sheldon Adelson is not willing to go all-in on these candidates then that may be a reliable litmus test of how serious we should take their campaigns.

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