The chances of a Democratic candidate succeeding US President Barack Obama in the White House are slim, according to a fresh study. Analysis done by Reuters suggests the winner of the 2016 election is likely to be a Republican, as "successor" candidates – candidates from the same party as the incumbent – have historically fared worse in elections the world over.

Obama's current below-average approval rating further diminishes the chances of a Democratic candidate coming out on top in next year's election, Reuters stated after analysing more than 450 elections in 35 democratic countries. It belies recent opinion polls, which suggest Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holds the edge over most of her Republican rivals.

The study found that the lack of an incumbent candidate in an election makes successor candidates from the same party three times less likely to win. The chances of a successor candidate winning are also influenced by the sitting president's approval rating, which needs to be above 55% for him or her to have better than even chances of coming out on top.

Obama's current approval rating of 45% falls short of that mark and is likely to go down over the final year of his administration as presidential approval typically dwindles over time. "Because of [these factors], we can say, with reasonable confidence, that a Republican will be moving into the White House in 2017," Reuters said. Billionaire businessman and former reality television star Donald Trump continues to lead Republican polls despite having no political experience.

The full list of Republican presidential candidates:

  • Jeb Bush - Former Florida governor
  • Marco Rubio - Florida senator
  • Donald Trump - Real estate tycoon
  • Ben Carson - Retired neurosurgeon
  • Chris Christie - New Jersey governor
  • Ted Cruz - Texas senator
  • Carly Fiorina - Former CEO of Hewlett Packard
  • Lindsey Graham - South Carolina senator
  • Mike Huckabee - Former Arkansas governor
  • Bobby Jindal - Louisiana governor
  • Rand Paul - Kentucky senator
  • Rick Santorum - Former Pennsylvania senator
  • John Kasich - Ohio governor
  • Mark Everson - Former IRS commissioner
  • Jim Gilmore - Former Virginia governor
  • George Pataki - Former New York governor