It?s hard to say when the race for the White House actually begins, but the process for selecting a U.S. presidential candidate is a long one.
President Barack Obama will be the unopposed, incumbent candidate for the Democratic Party, while the Republican Party is currently engaged in the process to determine their candidate to challenge him in the general election.
The Republican field of candidates started out with at least nine candidates who have each seen their popularity rise and fall. There are currently four candidates vying for the party?s nomination.
The official nominating process kicked off with the Iowa caucuses January 3, closely followed by the nation?s first primary race in New Hampshire, January 10.
More primary and caucus races will follow until one candidate receives enough delegates to be named the Republican Party?s nominee or until the party?s convention in late summer.
U.S. voters will go to the polls in the general election on November 6, 2012.