Heading into the 2016 election cycle, nearly 20 different candidates from both the Democratic party and Republican party filled the debate stages. Though only a few have been seen as legit candidates, it appears theshort list has a chance to get even shorter.

Throughout his time in the White House, President Obama has had to deal with conspiracies from the far right that he wasn't born in the United States, and, in turn, shouldn't be eligible to be the President of the United States. Despite overwhelming evidence, a large group of conservatives still believe that Obama is an illegitimate president.

One of Obama's critics has been Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who as Mediaite detailed on Jan. 7, has a major issue of his own in regard to his own eligibility.

Natural born citizenship

The three main requirements to become U.S. president include being at least 35-years-old, being a resident for a minimum of 14 years, and to be a "natural born citizen." The term natural born citizen is not defined by the Constitution, but was designed to protect the country from a negative foreign influence.Different legal options have been offered in an attempt to define the term, but the general consensus has been that a natural born citizen is an individual born within the jurisdiction of the United States. The opposition (including Cruz) believes otherwise.

Cruz's citizenship a major debate

Cruz argues that while he was born in Canada, he is the son of a parent who is a U.S. citizen, which, in turn, would make him eligible to become president. The Texas senator's definition of a natural born citizen does have merit, with the Supreme Court having recognized British common law and the First Congress, that elaborated the definition of a natural born citizen to include "persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent."

Others, however, disagree, and define a natural born citizen as someone who is born within the borders or jurisdiction of the United States.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has attacked Cruz on this issue, calling it"very precarious." Republican Sen. John McCain has also raised concerns about Cruz's citizenship, as conservatives scramble to come to a consistent narrative.

Conclusion is inconclusive

If Cruz took his case to federal court, there's not a clear definition in the U.S.

Constitution that defines the term natural born citizen. If the court ruled that it excluded being born outside the U.S., Cruz would be forced to drop out of the race and add another blow to the GOP in 2016.