Skip to comments.2016 President: Republican Outsiders Rising (From Sabato's Crystal Ball)
Posted on 08/15/2013 8:54:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Our most recent rating of Republican presidential contenders features a top tier of three notably different candidates: A Midwestern governor (Scott Walker) who is known best by the activists who will help decide the nomination; a leading national figure (Chris Christie) who has irked conservatives; and a firebrand senator (Rand Paul) with devoted supporters who would shake up the partys platform and, perhaps, identity.
|Candidate||Key Advantages||Key Disadvantages||Since Last Update|
|Midwest GOP gov. in Obama state
Heroic conservative credentials
Shown political durability
Too bland? Next Pawlenty?
|Chris Christie Governor, NJ||Dynamic speaker
Shown ability to pursue conservative agenda in Blue state
Less is more — the future slogan of a svelte Chris Christie?
|Superstorm Sandy fallout
Not conservative enough for base?
|Tea Party favorite
Strong support from libertarian GOP wing
National ID and fundraising network
Association with out-of-mainstream father
Too dovish/eclectic for GOP tastes?
Dynamic speaker and politician
From most electorally valuable swing state
|Future tough votes in Senate; has and will have federal record
Vetting issues regarding family
Could he really deliver more Hispanic votes?
|Tea Party favorite
Conservative voting record
Disliked on both sides of the Senate aisle
Fmr. Senator, PA
|Strong support from social conservatives
2nd place finisher in ‘12 – next in line?
Bring around primary track
|Too conservative for general election?
Lost last Senate race by 17%
Southerner in Southern party
Extensive state/fed. experience
Not nationally vetted
Not a dynamic speaker
|2012 VP candidate – next in line?
General election experience
Strong conservative record
|May not want to run
Couldn’t help Romney carry WI
Not a dynamic campaigner
|Strong conservative credentials
Extensive executive experience
|Ran very poor 2012 race
”Oops,” we forgot the rest
Long conservative record
Ohio’s unemployment below national average
|Supports Medicaid expansion
Legislative resistance to budget
Christie and Paul — both of whom have moved up our list — were engaged in a very public spat recently over the size of government and the national security state. Christie adopted a more traditional Republican view, warning against the dangers of libertarian positions on national defense. In so doing, he squarely placed himself within what has been, at least recently, the Republican mainstream: The defense policies of President George W. Bush and recent GOP presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney were certainly more hawkish than dovish.
Paul, meanwhile, has made a national name for himself by questioning national security policies, and his biggest moment this year was his filibuster against the use of drones.
Needless to say, a Republican presidential nomination battle headlined by Paul and Christie would present Republicans with a real time for choosing, to borrow the title of the famous speech Ronald Reagan gave in support of Barry Goldwater near the close of the 1964 presidential campaign, with Christie offering a traditional Republican platform and Paul pulling the party in a more libertarian direction, both in foreign and domestic policy.
Meanwhile, Scott Walker continues to hold the top spot on our list because we believe that if he decided to run, he could potentially appeal to both the partys defense hawks and its fiscal conservatives. In the event of a Paul-Christie duel (or a battle among others) for the soul of the Republican Party, Walker could present himself as a consensus choice whose nomination would avert a GOP identity crisis. Yes, we realize that Walker might end up being a disappointing national candidate — he very well might not have the swagger, fundraising chops, rhetorical ability and national base of support to make much of a bid — but in our view he continues to lead a wide-open field.
Weve moved Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) down the list. His prominent role in the Senates immigration debate has done him some damage in early polling: Theres evidence that he has recently slipped in Iowa and New Hampshire, and that his national star has faded at least slightly amongst Republicans. This all could be some early, meaningless noise, but if one has to rank the GOP presidential contenders, he just doesnt belong above Walker, Christie or Paul at this point. Bob Vander Plaats, an evangelical leader in Iowa, said that some Iowans hes talked to believe 2020 might be a better opportunity for Rubio than 2016. Easy now — theres many months to go before even 2016 comes into focus.
Nipping on Rubios heels is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is steadily moving up our chart after we added his name in May. Cruz is championing a government shutdown over defunding Obamacare. Republican leaders — smartly, we believe — think that such a maneuver would end up doing them political damage. Assuming a shutdown is averted, Cruz can essentially have his cake and eat it too — he can maintain his hardline position on a shutdown without having to deal with any potential blowback if the shutdown had actually happened. Cruz and Paul are thought of as ideological kindred spirits, and they are on some issues (like defunding Obamacare). But Cruz isnt the defense libertarian that Paul is, it seems (on defense, Cruz says hes between John McCain and Paul).
The people who might be most drawn to a Cruz candidacy are the kinds of voters who supported Rick Santorum in the 2012 primary. That might actually be a problem for Santorum, who could seem like yesterdays news in a presidential field that is probably going to be more star-studded than 2012. But lets not count out Santorum, who as the runner-up last time is historically in a decent position in the Republican presidential pecking order.
Rounding out our list is Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), whose national star could be fading; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who remains popular amongst Republicans but who seems likelier to pass on a run; and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who will have plenty of time to barnstorm the early primary states after he leaves office in 2015 but who may have irreversibly damaged himself in the 2012 primaries.
Wasnt Hillary Clinton supposed to disappear for awhile after leaving her Cabinet post? Yet not a day goes by without Hillary Clinton giving a paid or policy speech, getting an award, lunching with the president, or having another television mini-series about her announced.
Whatever happened to the concept of peaking too early, and didnt she peak too soon in the 2008?
It is worth considering, especially as we consider a seemingly impossible thought experiment: Could Clinton run, but lose the primary?
That appears very unlikely, but remember that a Clinton nomination appeared inevitable in the early going of the 2008 race (although Clinton did not have the towering poll numbers among Democrats that she does now).
To us, theres one remote but clear possibility who could credibly challenge Clinton in a primary: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
We continue to hear faint whispers of opposition to Clinton among some Democrats, particularly among the partys young, Obama-supporting activists. Warren, who has a notably liberal background and who could have the same glass-ceiling shattering effect as Clinton if nominated, is the obvious person to challenge Clinton, if she wanted to. The grassroots on the left would find her an attractive alternative if Clinton is once again viewed as too establishment, or if Bill becomes controversial again — always a possibility. So were moving Warren up a notch on our Democratic presidential list, shown as Chart 2.
|Candidate||Key Advantages||Key Disadvantages||Since Last Update|
Fmr. Sec. of State
|High national popularity
Woman: chance to make history
Likely to unify party forces if she runs (unlike ‘08)
|Age (69 by Election Day ‘16)
Did not run strong ‘08 campaign
Keeping Bill in check and on the porch
Next in line? Will Obama back him?
VP bully pulpit
Age (already 70)
|Elizabeth Warren Senator, MA||Adored by Dem activists
National ID and fundraising network
|Little crossover appeal
’12 campaign baggage
Another Bay Stater?
|Very popular at home
Impressive policy record already
Some liberals unhappy
|Strong executive record
Key swing state
Crossover appeal/ bipartisanship theme
No national constituency
Not a dynamic speaker
Strong liberal record
NY fundraising base
Past NRA support?
|Willing and very available
Strong liberal record and policy achievements
Little crossover appeal
Fmr. Governor, MT
Unique populist personality
Very popular Dem in
Gun control backer
Not a dynamic pol
Interest in running?
Many of the possible candidates on this list probably wouldnt run if and when Clinton announces her candidacy; they could be scared off by her imposing polling advantages and the power of the Clinton brand, which has only strengthened in the Obama years.
What would an anti-Clinton insurgency by Warren or another Democrat look like? Other than Clinton fatigue — generated as much by Bill as Hillary — it would depend on the Democratic primary electorate having a long memory of Clintons support of the Iraq War. While its hard to imagine any Democrat running an explicitly anti-Obama campaign, it is possible that a Clinton primary challenger would run to the left of both her and Obama, perhaps by supporting the public option that was left out of the Affordable Care Act or advocating a major curtailing of the NSA, CIA and the national security state.
Anyway, its August 2013 — which is a great time to speculate on such things. The truth is, the Democratic field is static, and will mainly remain so if Clinton runs. The atoms come apart and the Democratic universe disintegrates if Hillary says no dice, at which point anything goes.
“Needless to say, a Republican presidential nomination battle headlined by Paul and Christie would present Republicans with a real time for choosing,
A Hobson’s choice. Which turd in the punch bowl would you like?
I agree that Elizabeth Warren is a formidable contender. The nation is just all kinds of primed and ready for some banker lynchings IMO.
Her biggest obstacle will be that nominating a black candidate will prove a one-way valve for the Dems. They’re gonna have a tough time getting their black voter base to go along with nominating a white candidate again. Ever!
Ted Cruz is a formidable candidate, but I once again expect the RINOS to rig the primaries to produce a RINO nominee.
If Ted Cruz can beat the beltway RNC, he’s got the mettle to win the general election. The former is ruthless when it comes to taking out conservatives, just as much as the Dems.
I am absolutely not voting for any Republican who does not actively advance the Tea Party agenda on all key issues including immigration.
If this country is going down the tubes (and it is), then the GOPe can go down with it.
The base needs to make it absolutely clear to the RINOs that they will not be getting our support under ANY circumstances.
My bet is on Warner. I don’t think Hillary will run—she will run out of gas quick once the Bengazi thing gets out—Too much bagage. Obama might well be forced out of office, like Nixon was—if more scandals crop up—and Biden will be President. He will select Hillary as his VP to fill out the term. My eye is on Rand Paul, he has his fathers base and a good firm tea party backing, if he should pick Lee or Cruz as his VP it will be a hard ticket to beat—especially if the Democrats are tarnished by more scandal and lose the MSM.
I count a dozen US Presidents who were former Generals. Are there any 21st Century Generals who know how to keep their pants on? At least in front of the cameras?
Notice how the table includes “eligibility questions” for Ted Cruz but not for Marco Rubio... I wonder why..
And neither did the table include “eligibility questions” as a key disadvantage for Governor Jindal.
Sabato consults crystal ball for 2016 Presidential candidates — Scott Walker and Paul Ryan mentioned.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
FWIW, Ryan won the popular vote from participants in the recent Ozaukee County Fair straw poll. Walker cme in 2nd. Ran Paul was 3rd, following n a distant tie for 4th between Rubio and Jeb Bush.
It wasn't the scandals that forced Nixon from office (which by Clinton and Obama scandal standards weren't even all that bad), it was that there votes were there for impeachment. They aren't there now. Sorry, but I'm afraid that the only way Obama is leaving before January 2017 is an Act of God.
Cruz: “Disliked on both sides of the Senate aisle”
There’s your winner. You know you’re doing something right when both Reid/Boxer/Schumer and McConnell/Alexander/McCain dislike you.
Rand is an outsider compared to Christie and I would go with Paul.
I agree more with Paul than Christie any day of the week.
If Christie wins the GOP nomination regardless of the running mate I will not vote for him.
NO MORE VOTES FOR RINO’S.....
Runt Paul = Open borders, dope, queer marriage, dope, Amnesty, dope.
Once he had the nomination he would adopt the rest of the Liberaltarian platform.
RE: queer marriage
Actually he wants GOVERNMENT out of the marriage business. He personally is against it.
Runt Paul and Christy Creame are both turds in the punch bowl.
I won’t vote for either liberal.
Why doesn’t Mike Pence make these lists?
“Actually he wants GOVERNMENT out of the marriage business. He personally is against it.”
Funny, that’s the exact same line the liberals use.
RE: Ozaukee County Fair straw poll. Walker cme in 2nd. Ran Paul was 3rd, following n a distant tie for 4th between Rubio and Jeb Bush.
The table states that one of the key disadvantages of Scott Walker is : “Might not deliver home state”
My question is WHY? He won TWO consecutive elections IN HIS HOME STATE.
I’m not a Libertarian, but I could live with certain aspects of it if the alternatives were more Dem Socialists or the two-timing Christie.
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