Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders take photographs on their phones at a rally in Iowa City, Ia., Jan. 30, 2016. 
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

How we got to Iowa: A 2016 timeline

The 2016 presidential race has already been a wild ride, and no one has even voted yet.

Remember when…

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Midwestern roots and record of conservative reform in a blue state made him an early front-runner to win the Iowa caucuses. Well, he was out of the race before Ben Carson catapulted to the front of the GOP pack, at least for a moment.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign had taken the shape of a White House incumbent focused on the general election — unless Vice President Joe Biden entered the race.

But Biden bowed out, Bernie Sanders surged, and Jeb Bush’s name and impressive fundraising prowess may not be enough to keep his candidacy viable — let alone secure the nomination.

And we haven’t even mentioned Donald Trump.

So, as Iowans prepare to choose the winners of the opening contest of the White House race, here’s a look back at how we got here:

2015

  • January 26Scott Walker gives a breakthrough speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, making him a serious contender for the presidency.
  • January 30: Mitt Romney, the presidential nominee for the Republican Party in 2012, announces he will not run for president in 2016.
  • March 2: The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton exclusively used her family’s private server for official email communications while serving as Secretary of State, rather than using her official State Department account.
  • March 23: Ted Cruz, senator of Texas, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • April 7: Rand Paul, senator of Kentucky, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • April 12: Hillary Clinton formally announces her candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • April 13: Marco Rubio, senator of Florida, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • April 30: Bernie Sanders, independent senator of Vermont, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • May 4: Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon from Detroit, formally announce their candidacies for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • May 5: Mike Huckabee enters the race.
  • May 27: Rick Santorum launches his second presidential bid.
  • May 30: Martin O’Malley formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • May 31: Elizabeth Warren, senator of Massachusetts, confirms she will not run for president in 2016.
  • June 4: Rick Perry announces his second presidential run.
  • June 15: Jeb Bush formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • June 16: Donald Trump, real estate mogul from New York, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party. In his announcement speech, Trump makes a controversial comment about Mexican immigrants: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
  • June 24: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal enters the race.
  • June 30: Chris Christie announces 2016 bid.
  • July 13: Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • July 18: Trump makes controversial comments about John McCain’s war record at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. He said of the former Arizona senator and prisoner of war: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
  • July 20: A Washington Post/ABC poll shows Trump with an 11 point lead over the GOP field, the first double-digit lead of his presidential run.
  • July 21: John Kasich, governor of Ohio, formally announces his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.
  • August 6: The first Republican presidential debate is held in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • August 11: The FBI takes custody of Clinton’s server and thumb drives.
  • September 11: Perry suspends his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
  • September 16: The second Republican presidential debate, hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, is held in Simi Valley, California. Carly Fiorina makes the primetime debate.
  • September 21Walker suspends his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
  • October 13The first Democratic presidential debate is held in Las Vegas at the Wynn Casino.
  • October 21: Vice President Joe Biden announces that he will not run for president in 2016.
  • October 22: Clinton testifies before the House Benghazi Committee in marathon 11-hour hearing.
  • November 17: Jindal suspends his presidential bid.
  • December 7: Trump proposes a ban on all travel to the United States by Muslims.
  • December 18: The Democratic National Committee temporarily revokes the Sanders campaign’s access to its voter data files after members of his team were found to have improperly accessed proprietary information from Clinton’s campaign.
  • December 21: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham suspends his presidential campaign.

2016

  • January 26: Sanders meets with President Obama in the Oval Office. Earlier in the week Obama gave an interview in which he seemed to signal support for Clinton’s candidacy.
  • January 28: Trump skips the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses because of a dispute with host Fox News.
  • January 30: The final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll is released showing Trump with a five-point lead among Republicans and Clinton slightly edging out Sanders.

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Iowa

How we got to Iowa: A 2016 timeline