Winner: Donald Trump
Love him or hate him (most people fall within those two categories), billionaire businessman Donald Trump is the most consequential candidate in the 2016 presidential race. He has defied the conventional wisdom about running a campaign (has barely spent a dime and never misses a chance to insult his opponents) and underscored key issues important to the GOP base, like immigration control, that have been largely ignored by the establishment. Trump may yet flame out, but even his allegedly most noxious comments, while reviled by the media and the left of this country, contain enough kernels of truth (and lack of political correctness) on important issues that he has continued to poll at the top of the GOP field. Not bad for a guy who just 20 years ago was broke and considered a tabloid punch line for his high profile divorce and underwater real estate business.