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The 2016 U.S. presidential election resulted in former Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. (R-UT) winning in a three-way race against Democratic nominee Kathleen Sebelius and Conservative Party candidate Michele Bachmann. This election saw the formation of the Conservative Party, a brief major party that died out within a decade. Although many political pundits predicted that the Conservative Party would split the Republican vote, Huntsman managed to use his moderate views and opposition to partisanship to win over centrists and independents, as well as many Democrats and Republicans. Sebelius was defeated due to her support of the Obama administration, which was criticized for its inability to compromise with the Republicans. Bachmann represented the dying Tea Party movement, which was steadily becoming dominated by the more centrist and establishment factions of the Republican Party.
The Republican candidates were divided into three groups: Moderates, conservatives, and libertarians. Jon Huntsman was the leader of the moderate faction, and by the time the primaries began, all others had dropped out and endorsed him instead. With the new moderate movement behind him, Huntsman had enormous amounts of support. The conservatives, however, were divided due to having many candidates: Bachmann, Rubio, Paul, Roemer, Barbour, and Santorum. The conservative vote was so divided that Huntsman won many states by plurality, which really helped him in winner-take-all states. By this point, the libertarian faction was very small, with many members voting for either moderates or conservatives, so Gary Johnson got very few votes.
Hillary Clinton declined to run. Sebelius did not want to run originally, however, at Obama's urging, she decided to throw her hat in the ring. Schweitzer was banking on Huntsman losing the nomination, and that he would be able to win the moderate vote. When it became clear that Huntsman would be the Republican nominee, Schweitzer dropped out. Alan Grayson served primarily to draw progressive voters away from Kucinich. Sewell was not in the race to win it; she ran to be noticed as a potential cabinet pick or as a future presidential nominee. Rice ran on a campaign for D.C. Statehood, while Greene ran to earn votes from Black Nationalists. Due to Obama's support, Sebelius was victorious in the nomination.
|Jon Huntsman||Republican||63,128,916||45.16||278||Scott Brown|
|Kathleen Sebelius||Democratic||41,866,940||29.95||215||Gary Locke|
|Michele Bachmann||Conservative||30,865,510||22.08||45||Sarah Palin|
|Lou Dobbs||Independent||1,509,726||1.08||0||Peter Jones|
|Ben Meiklejohn||Green||1,328,000||0.95||0||Sarah Lee|
|Tamara Millay||Libertarian||629,053||0.45||0||Penn Jilette|
Other candidates received 461,305 votes, .33%.