The 2016 Presidential Name Game

PHOTO: Senator Ted Cruz speaks to the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on Jan. 18, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.Richard Ellis/Getty Images
Senator Ted Cruz speaks to the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on Jan. 18, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The 2008 presidential election was all about the last names – from campaign names to headlines.

Fast forward seven years later and Republican and Democratic hopefuls are sticking to their first names. So, who actually goes by their birth name?

Spoiler alert -– not as many candidates as you think.

CARLY FIORINA

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, waves as she and supporters march in the Labor Day parade in Milford, N.H., Sept. 7, 2015.Jim Cole/AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, waves as she and supporters march in the Labor Day parade in Milford, N.H., Sept. 7, 2015.

The Republican hopeful, Carly Fiorina, got the name Carly from her middle name Carleton. The Texas native was born Cara Carleton Sneed.

TED CRUZ

The former Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born Rafael Edward Cruz. Cruz adopted the nickname Ted at the age of 13 after being teased by his classmates about his original nickname, Felito.

BOBBY JINDAL

The first Indian-American governor elected in U.S. history, Piyush Jindal, adopted the name Bobby at the age of four after the youngest character in the 1970’s sit-com, “The Brady Brunch.”

RAND PAUL

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., poses for photos with supporters during a reception before addressing the 2016 Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Sept. 19, 2015, in Mackinac Island, Mich. Carlos Osorio/AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., poses for photos with supporters during a reception before addressing the 2016 Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Sept. 19, 2015, in Mackinac Island, Mich.

Sen. Rand Paul didn’t always go by Rand. He was born Randal Howard Paul and growing up he went by Randy. However, after getting married, his wife shortened his original nickname to Rand.

LARRY LESSIG

Despite his low poll numbers, Larry Lessig is in the running for the Democratic nomination for president using the shortened version of his middle name Lawrence. The South Dakota native is a third generation Lester Lawrence Lessig.

JEB BUSH

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to local South Carolina republicans during the East Cooper Republican Womens Club Annual Shrimp Dinner at Alhambra Hall in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Sept. 24, 2015.Mic Smith/AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to local South Carolina republicans during the East Cooper Republican Women's Club Annual Shrimp Dinner at Alhambra Hall in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Sept. 24, 2015.

For some candidates campaigning with their first name has more to do with avoiding the weight of their last names.

Jeb Bush, son of former President George H.W. Bush, was born John Ellis Bush. His nickname Jeb comes from his initials and is the face of his campaign.

HILLARY CLINTON

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland on Aug. 27, 2015, during a Commit to Vote grassroots organizing meeting.David Richard/AP Photo
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland on Aug. 27, 2015, during a 'Commit to Vote' grassroots organizing meeting.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has worked hard to separate herself from her husband and former President Bill Clinton. Acknowledging the weight carried by her last name, Hillary’s campaign took off without including “Clinton.”