Key supporters: Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Hazaras
Background: The current Afghan president was the darling of the Bush administration, which played well at first with his constituency, who felt that U.S. support would soon translate into U.S. dollars.
Now, eight years later, most Afghans have not seen the benefit of the foreign presence. Karzai is blamed for a multitude of problems: the failure of aid programs, deteriorating security situation, booming corruption, and an inability to rein in foreign troops, whose heavy-handed actions have precipitated a backlash and curried support for the insurgency, especially in the south. Karzai is still the front-runner, most likely due to the Afghan penchant for picking the winning side. He has used and, many say, abused the liberal advantages of incumbency and has outspent his rivals by a wide margin. But Karzai's support is broad, not deep, and could evaporate quickly if he begins to look vulnerable.
Odds of winning: High