After reading Daniel Halper’s article, it’s clear that there isn’t a clear Republican frontrunner. Still, the unscientific poll is helpful. Here’s the results of TWS’ unscientific poll:

Scott Walker–mentioned on 44% of the ballots as either first, second or third choice; first choice on 18%. Thus, 44/18.

Ted Cruz–35/16.
Ben Carson–26/10.
Mitt Romney–24/12.
Bobby Jindal–20/3.
Jeb Bush–18/8.
Marco Rubio–18/4.
Rand Paul–16/6.
John Kasich–15/4.
Rick Perry–15/3.
Mike Huckabee–12/3.
John Bolton–10/3.
Mike Pence–9/2.
Chris Christie–8/2.
Rick Santorum–7/2.

I don’t agree with Bill Kristol’s statement:

So the most important take-away from the poll is this, I think: not only isn’t there a clear front-runner, there’s not even a clear handful of front-runners.

I strongly disagree with that statement, though I agree that there isn’t “a clear front-runner.” I’d disagree that there isn’t a “handful of front-runners.” Clearly, there’s a handful of front-runners. That group is made up of Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, with Gov. Bush coming in with a lackluster finish.

At this point, it’s difficult to take Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum seriously. I’ll give Pence, Perry and Kasich a shot, though it’s clear they’re in a lower tier at this moment, because they can raise money and they have a compelling record to run on.

It’s impossible to picture a path to the nomination for Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie or Rick Santorum. Huckabee and Santorum won the 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses but their base of Christian conservatives isn’t their’s anymore. Scott Walker’s message will play well with Christian conservatives. Rand Paul’s libertarian message will appeal to voters in New Hampshire but it won’t play well in Iowa and Florida. Sen. Paul’s message definitely won’t play in South Carolina, with its military bases and its Bible Belt roots.

In 2012, Mitt Romney got trounced in South Carolina. It isn’t a stretch to think that he won’t do well this time.

It’s a million political lifetimes away but there’s already some voter sorting happening already. It’ll be interesting to see whether that stratification continues.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply