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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Marco Rubio is now at the top of the Republican presidential field

    Marco Rubio is now at the top of the Republican presidential field

    By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake June 12 at 8:22 AM

    Look at any national poll on the 2016 Republican presidential race and you will see somewhere between three and five candidates clumped at the "top" of the field — all winning somewhere between 9 and 14 percent. It's fair, given that clumping, to conclude that the race lacks a front-runner.

    But there's a difference between a race without a clear front-runner and a race in which there's no discernible momentum among the top tier of candidates. And what we currently have is the latter, not the former.

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the candidate trending upward in that top pack. It's a trajectory he's been on since he announced his candidacy almost two months ago. Rubio's charisma, personal story and youth have combined to make him the "it" candidate for the GOP at the moment.

    Rubio has also been helped by the slippage of his two main rivals for the nomination: Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Bush weathered a very difficult last week — shaking up a campaign that he hasn't even announced yet amid faltering poll numbers and whispers that his fundraising might fall short of its goals for the first six months of the year. Walker has largely stayed out of the glare of the national media over the past six weeks or so, but his brief foray on the big stage earlier this year — think "I don't know" if President Obama is a Christian — weren't exactly confidence-inspiring for Republicans looking to see if he is ready to take the helm.

    Beyond that top three, most unaligned Republican strategists we talk to — and there aren't many since roughly 200 people are running for the GOP nomination — see a significant drop-off in the likelihood of any of the remaining candidates winning the nomination. The most common name we hear as an alternative to the Big Three is Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And it's possible, but he remains in the very early stages of a candidacy (he's not announced yet) so we'll play a bit of wait-and-see for him.

    Add it all up and you get Rubio, the youngest member of this massive GOP field, as a first among equals. For now.

    Below are the 10 candidates seen as having the best chance of winding up as the nominee. The rankings are determined by polling, conversations with various Republican strategists and a pinch of our own sense of things.

    To the line!

    10. Bobby
    Jindal: The governor of Louisiana is running: That we (almost) know for sure. The formal announcement is set for June 24 in downtown New Orleans. But Jindal's standing is his home state is dismal, and there's very little excitement about him in national GOP circles. His best hope is to hang around the race long enough that voters tire of a lot of their other options. (Previous ranking: 9)

    9. Rick Perry:
    The former Texas governor seems genuinely excited about his second run for president. He even ran onstage at an event in Iowa last weekend. It's somewhat surprising for a guy who once didn't really seem that interested in running for president and then, when he did run in 2012, ran a disastrous campaign. But Perry is the longtime governor of a huge state. And American politics loves a reclamation project, right? (Previous ranking: 10)

    8. Chris Christie
    : Christie and his team insist they are taking the long view on 2016. No, he isn't where they want him to be today, but regular people still aren't paying any attention and won't be for some time. Christie got some good news this week when the New Jersey state Supreme Court affirmed the legality of his cuts to the state's public employee pension fund. He's alsostaffing up. (Previous ranking: 8)

    7. Mike Huckabee
    : The former Arkansas governor and 2008 Iowa caucus winner keeps litigating the culture wars — something the larger GOP probably doesn't want but still speaks to a key audience in the party, particularly in Iowa and South Carolina. Huckabee is the top claimant to the social conservative mantle in the field, and he's broadly popular in the larger GOP, but we're still waiting for him to show he's running the caliber of campaign that can actually win the nomination — in large part the fundraising aspect. (Previous ranking: 4)

    6. Rand Paul
    : The conventional wisdom among the GOP smart set about the Kentucky senator has changed completely since the start of 2015. At that time, there was a sense that Paul had a real chance at being the nominee based on his strong base among libertarian-leaning Republicans and his appeal to other, less-vocal GOP constituencies. But the heightened concern within the Republican rank and file about national security and terrorism badly complicates Paul's noninterventionist views. Even if Paul wins every libertarian vote in the primary, if he can't expand beyond that bloc, it won't be nearly enough. (Previous ranking: 5)

    5. John Kasich
    : Nobody benefits from Bush's stumbles as much as the Ohio governor. Both are pretty clearly running for GOP establishment support, and Kasich recently suggested his window is larger if Bush doesn't run strong. That's totally accurate. But we also have yet to see Kasich really debut on the national scene. And his 2000 presidential campaign was hardly a tour de force, ending shortly after it began. He moves up because it looks like he's going to run and Bush looks weakened. (Previous ranking: 7)

    4. Ted Cruz
    : Here's what the Texas senator has going for him: (1) unquestioned dominance in the tea party lane of the primary, (2) deeply committed supporters and (3) a group of well-funded super PACs backing him. In a very crowded field, that likely means Cruz will be able to stick around for a very long time. But if he ever makes it into a one-on-one fight with any of the people rated higher than him here (Nos. 1-3), it's still very hard to see him winning that battle. (Previous ranking: 6)

    3. Scott Walker
    : Walker, as we mentioned above, has kept a low profile these last few months. What Walker does have is momentum in Iowa where he and his team are — smartly — lavishing time and money. Iowa is a state that Walker probably has to win given that neither New Hampshire nor South Carolina seems like a place where he is a natural fit. At the moment, he's probably the favorite to do just that. (Previous ranking: 3)

    2. Jeb Bush
    : Bush's struggles mask the fact that he's still very likely to be the best-funded candidate in the field, and he's broadly liked within the GOP establishment. Put plainly: Republican power brokers aren't going to desert him until it's clear that his goose is cooked (or close to it). And there is so, so much time left in the primary. At this time in 2008, after all, we were talking about whether John McCain was done for. (Previous ranking: 1)

    1. Marco Rubio:
    See above. (Previous ranking: 2)


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  2. #2
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    This crap just isn't going to fly! There isn't but one person on that list that I can support at this time. Oh, and it's not Rubio or Bush.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator imblest's Avatar
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    Rubio or Bush winning the nomination will spell the end of the GOP.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    I don't think you can trust the polls of the Washington Post on Republican primary candidates or even one of their blog writers interpretation of them. I wouldn't put too much stock in this article, especially now that we know illegal aliens are registered to vote which means they're in the poll calls of registered voters in high immigration areas.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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  5. #5
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    I watched one of the Sunday news shows this morning for about 10 minutes. All they could talk about was Hillary and Jeb. They made it sound like both had already won the nomination. I turned the channel pronto!

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio still lead GOP racing form

    By Charles Krauthammer

    Jeb Bush still top-tier among Republican presidential candidates

    The Republican nominating race is a mess: a strong field, but with 10 declared candidates and a half-dozen more to come, we need a bouncer to keep order.

    I’ve given myself the job. Rope lines separate the four categories.

    (A) Top tier.

    Quiz: How well do you know Jeb Bush?

    1. Jeb Bush. Solid, no sizzle. Sizzle may be in less demand than eight years ago, but his inability to separate from the pack, hisrecent campaign shake-upand his four-day stumbleover Megyn Kelly’s “knowing what we know now” Iraq question have given even his supporters pause. Nonetheless, a bulging war chest, a fine gubernatorial record and a wide knowledge of domestic issues guarantee top-tier staying power.
    Chances: 25 percent.

    2. Scott Walker. Maintains a significant lead in Iowa and it’s more than just a Wisconsinite’s favorite-son advantage. He’s got a solid governing record, has raised respectable money and has gone almost errorless for more than a month. One caveat: His major wobble on immigration threatens his straight-shooter persona.

    Chances: 25 percent.

    3. Marco Rubio. Good launch, steady follow-up. With his fluency in foreign affairs, he’s benefited the most from President Obama’s imploding foreign policy. Polls well, but with seven or so within the margin of error, the important question is less “Who do you support?” than “Who could you support?” (measuring general acceptability). Rubio leads all with 74 percent. The New York Times’ comical attempts to nail him on driving (four citations in 18 years — “Arrest that man!”) and financial profligacy (a small family fishing boat — a “dream dinghy,” says a friend of mine — characterized as a “luxury speedboat”) only confirm how much the Democrats fear his prospects.

    Interactive: Florida 2016 presidential primary poll tracker

    Chances: 35 percent.
    (B) Polls well, but can’t win.

    4. Rand Paul. Fought a principled, if hyperbolic,fight on metadata collectionand privacy rights, but his ambivalent national-security posture alienates many in the GOP base. Consistently ranks among the leaders in the polls and is the most successful libertarian ever, but libertarianism is still far from becoming a governing or majority persuasion. High floor, low ceiling.

    5. Ben Carson. Ditto. Broadly popular, but major rookie problems. His national finance chairman, deputy campaign manager and general counsel have all resignedwithin the past month. And while Obama showed that rookies can win, we haven’t elected a nonpolitician since 1952 — and that guy won World War II.

    (C) Second tier, with a chance to jump.

    6. Ted Cruz. Candidate on the cusp. Has the best chance to join the leaders. Only 16 percent “would never vote for.” His claimed $40 million raised (campaign plus super PACs) suggests a serious presence throughout the early contests at least.

    Chances: 5 percent.

    7. John Kasich. My personal long-shot wild card. Jack Kemp on steroids, a bleeding-heart conservative, articulate and voluble, but somewhat less disciplined than Kemp. Which can be a problem. It’s entertaining when he says, “I’m not going to have Bush money; Wells Fargo doesn’t have Bush money,” but not when implying that if your policies don’t match his on the Kasich compassion index, you have no heart.

    Chances: 3 percent.

    8. Carly Fiorina. Has proved strong and steady on the campaign trail. The question is: Can you reach enough of Iowa and New Hampshire with just a car and a clipboard? To jump, she needs to get into the debates. But to get into the debates, she needs to jump (to the top 10 in the polls). Catch-22.

    Chances: 2 percent.
    (D) Second tier, in need of a miracle.

    9. Rick Perry. Energetic launch. Spoke well, looked good. He’s learned that you don’t run for president right after back surgery and that you need an answer to “Why are you running?” His 2011 statement that his wife said to him “get out of your comfort zone” (as governor) was the worst since Teddy Kennedy had none at all in 1979. After four years of studying and prepping, Perry looks ready. Achilles’ heel: After his 2011 “oops” moment, he is on 24-hour gaffe watch.

    10. Chris Christie. Damaged by Bridgegate, boxed out (ideologically) by Bush. Shows guts in openly advocating entitlement reform. It’s a gamble because that’s what voters say they want, but rarely vote for.

    11. Mike Huckabee. A dead-set-against-entitlement-reform populist. Major social conservative appeal, but given the leftward ratcheting of the nation’s cultural center, it may be less of an asset, even in the GOP primaries, than in 2008.

    I’ve done no justice to Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum, all eminently likable and highly qualified, but yet to make their move. If they do, The Racing Form will be there.

    Charles Krauthammer writes a weekly political column that runs on Fridays.

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