Exactly one year from today, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. Let's not mince words here; it's going to be a circus. As of right now, on the Democrat side, there are three candidates, and that's mostly just a technicality. The only reason Martin O'Malley is still in the race is because it's been rumored that he's the inspiration for a character on The Wire. But once people remember that Tommy Carcetti is kind of a monster on Game Of Thrones, that will be the end of the O'Malley campaign ...
Almost none of this is correct.
... leaving just Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the race on the blue side of the aisle.
The Republican side, on the other hand, is a goddamn clown car. There are still a dozen or so candidates pretending they have a shot at becoming their party's nominee. It really is anyone's guess as to who they'll pick, especially since Donald Trump has been the frontrunner for about as long as we've been discussing candidates, and everyone knows he'll never get the nomination.
With so many names in the news, it's hard to keep track of all the important information that goes into helping you, the American voter, make an informed decision on election day. Even if that wasn't the case, none of it matters because you probably have your mind made up already anyway.
Nevertheless, it's our civic duty to at least try to keep you abreast (ha!) of what's happening in the world, especially when it comes to something as important as who we decide to let run our country for the next four years.
Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
It's kind of like how broadcast TV channels are forced to set aside a certain amount of programming for educational purposes, except this is a requirement we're imposing upon ourselves, because we're better, more responsible citizens than most. You're welcome.
We'll be taking a "two birds with one stone" approach to covering the upcoming election in that, by doing so, we'll also introduce a healthy and long overdue sense of competitiveness to the Cracked office that bare-knuckle boxing in the parking lot alone never adequately could.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Cracked 2016 Presidential Election Fantasy League.
It's pretty simple: We'll track every news story, important or otherwise, about every candidate who stills harbors delusions of presidency at the moment and stands at least a theoretical chance of winning. We'll use the details from those stories to judge each candidate using a complex scoring system, which you'll undoubtedly marvel at below.
An array of Cracked-related personalities will each be assigned two candidates, one of their choosing, the other picked at random.
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Spoiler: They're all Jim Webb.
Every two weeks, the team with the first and second highest point totals will write a few paragraphs each about the stories and events that went into making their candidate and, by extension, themselves, such a winner.
Also, the person with the lowest score has to do the same thing, with the difference being that they'll need to explain why they hitched their wagon to such an obvious and worthless loser.
As mentioned earlier, the scoring is based on a complex set of parameters that are the result of long hours spent poring over countless news stories about elections past, looking for situations and scenarios that most commonly arise. When that failed, we just made some shit up instead. Here goes:
Elected president: +500
Becomes vice president: +250
Candidate wins party nomination: +100
Candidate takes the lead in the polls: +50
Candidate lands the cover of Time Magazine: +25
Dammit, this happened already?
Endorsement from major publication: +20
Endorsement from rapper: +30
Declared winner of a debate: +20
Is the party frontrunner: +15
Loses nomination, goes independent: -100
Loses lead in polls: -50
Candidate lands the cover of US Weekly: -25
Endorsement from hate group or otherwise reviled source: -20
Major donor revealed to be tied to something awful: -20
Endorsement from country singer: -30
Distances self from rapper endorsement after "finding out" about lyrics: -30
Paras Griffin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"No thanks!" -Obama
Gets embarrassed during debate: -20
Secretly recorded saying some crazy shit/racist gaffe: -20
Sex scandal: -20
Has to make a public apology: -15
Gives a legitimate or otherwise not-dismissive answer to a question from a clearly crazy person: -15
Candidate's embarrassing relative makes them look bad: -10
Misquotes a historical figure or botches a famous saying during a public appearance: -10
Pandering (negative or positive points)
Shoots a gun to appeal to gun owners:
At a shooting range: +5
While hunting: -5
While thwarting a crime in progress: +1,000
Is photographed/filmed playing a sport to show they're just regular folk:
Pictured drinking in a bar:
Hard liquor: +10
Any of these, but while also smoking: +250
He got it.
Seen eating at a restaurant:
Waffle House: +50
Random diner full of old people: +10
Fast food: +5
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton -- the kind of candidate you want to share a Blizzard with.
Dave & Buster's: +500
Talk show/late-night TV appearance:
Daily Show: +40