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Welcome to the Sweet 2016!

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With the Fix’s beloved Georgetown Hoyas bounced out of the NCAA tournament over the weekend, we went looking for a new way to scratch our bracket itch. As always, politics came to our rescue. Presidential politics, to be specific.

The NCAA has the Sweet 16. The Fix has the Sweet 2016. (It’s kind of like in “Coming to America”: “They’re McDonald’s... I’m McDowell’s. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs.”.)

In our bracket we have seeded the top eight Democrats and top eight Republicans considered — by us — to be their party’s leading presidential candidates in 2016.

(Disclaimer: Yes, we know that if President Obama loses in November the Republican nomination race for president won’t be competitive in 2016. But for the purposes of this exercise — and because “Sweet 2016” sounds better than “Sweet 2020” — we are going with the idea that 2016 will be an open fight for both parties’ nominations. This contest is in no way a indication of how we think the 2012 presidential race will turn out.)

Here’s how the Sweet 2016 will work. Check out our bracket. Then vote in our first round matchups. Voting is open through Wednesday at 7 pm. We’ll tabulate the winners and then move on to the Elite Eight on Thursday. After narrowing the field to a Final Four on Monday, we’ll pick a winner on April 2, the day of the national championship game.

Get voting!

Update: Voting has ended. Here are the first round results:

Democrats:
Cuomo (84 percent) def. Schweitzer (16 percent)
Warner (72 percent) def. Warren (28 percent)
Gillibrand (55 percent) def. Patrick (45 percent)
Clinton (55 percent) def. O’Malley (45 percent)

Republicans:
Rubio (68 percent) def. Paul (32 percent)
Bush (60 percent) def. Jindal (40 percent)
McDonnell (70 percent) def. Portman (30 percent)
Christie (84 percent) def. Martinez (16 percent)

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