Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of U.S. presidents, is set to officially announce his candidacy for the presidency Monday in Miami, becoming the 11th Republican in the race.
Bush has raised vast sums of cash for his campaign and was initially thought to be the leading Republican contender. But recent national political surveys show him virtually deadlocked with two other candidates - Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has joined the contest, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has yet to officially announce.
Meanwhile, the leading U.S. Democratic Party presidential contender, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is campaigning in Iowa, looking to enlist political volunteers in a state that snubbed her when she first ran for the presidency in 2008.
Early next year, Iowa Democrats and Republicans will cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential race at party caucuses in the long, state-by-state list of contests to select nominees to face each other in the national presidential election. The eventual winner will succeed President Barack Obama in January 2017. Obama is limited by the country's constitution to two terms in office.
Clinton fared poorly in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, with Obama's victory in the rural, farm belt state giving him an early springboard to the Democratic nomination. Other candidates have joined the contest against Clinton this year, but national public opinion surveys show her the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and she is ahead in possible matchups against a wide array of Republicans seeking their party's nomination.
At her New York rally on Saturday, Clinton promised to promote equal opportunity and to fight for a hard-pressed middle class. She told thousands of supporters she is running for president for all Americans, including those left behind after the recession.
"America can't succeed unless you succeed; that is why I am running for president of the United States," she said to chants of "Hillary, Hillary."
She castigated the Republican presidential contenders as out of touch with the needs of American voters and their evolving views on several issues.