Well, numbers and a little guessing. At this point, with the Republican field so wide open, any guess is as good as the next. The Washington Post put together a top ten list ranking candidates in their likelyhood of becoming the nominee.

Here’s the order the Post calculates from 10 (least likely) to 1 (most likely):

10. Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.)
9. Former governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
8. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.)
7. Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
6. Gov. John Kasich (Ohio)
5. Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.)
4. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)
3. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush
2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
1. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

A little of the reasoning behind the top three:

3. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Bush offered some interesting comments last week, saying Republicans need candidates who are willing to “lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles.” That’s a nice sentiment, and few embody that approach better than Bush. But there’s a reason politicians pander: because they don’t like to alienate people whose votes (and money) they need. If Bush does run in the primary as an unapologetic supporter of comprehensive immigration reform and Common Core, we’ll see whether GOP voters reward his electability argument. Count us skeptical.

2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Few people emerged from November’s election happier than Christie. As the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, it was looking like a tough year — even up to Election Day. But the RGA beat expectations, holding 31 of the nation’s 50 governorships. And, on Friday, Christie got even more good news when a Democratic-led investigation into Bridgegate showed no evidence that he knew about the apparently politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

1. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.). People used to roll their eyes when we said Paul had a real chance to be the Republican nominee in 2016. Not anymore. Paul has a unique activist and fundraising base, thanks to his father’s two runs for president, and has shown considerable savvy in his outreach to the establishment end of the party over the past few years. Paul still says odd things — his blaming of high cigarette taxes for Eric Garner’s chokehold death at the hands of New York City police being the latest — that would get him in trouble in the heat of a presidential race. But he is the candidate furthest along in the planning process for president and the one with the most strength in early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

I would bump Scott Walker up to number 2 or 3 versus Bush or Christie. I also think Rubio is a bit too high, especially depending on whether he’s able to elbow out some space around Jeb Bush.

6 COMMENTS

  1. With all the blather about the polls, I’m surprised that they see that Rand Paul is still the most formidable candidate. If not Rand, I’d say a newbie will slide in, such as Walker or Kasich.

    But I am glad to see that they’re not including the idiots from last time, such as Perry and Santorum.

  2. I know we don’t much care about Democrats in these parts, but there should be some discussion of their side, too.

    The reason we don’t hear much in the media about them is that all the media care about is a horse race. So we’ll keep hearing about Republicans on a daily basis unless some Dem dark horses become less dark.

    The Real Clear Politics poll computation gives Dems this lineup:

    Clinton 62.7%
    Warren 11.3
    Biden 10.8
    Sanders 3.5
    Cuomo 2.3
    Webb 1.4
    O’Malley 1.2

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_democratic_presidential_nomination-3824.html

    ALSO, an equivalent article to the intro at top is in the Christian Science Monitor.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2012/0410/Beyond-Hillary-Clinton-Eight-Democrats-who-might-run-if-she-doesn-t/Hillary-Rodham-Clinton

    It lists the field as–

    1. Clinton
    2. Biden
    3. Cuomo
    4.O’Malley
    5. Warner
    6. Warren
    7. Gillibrand
    8. Klobuchar

    Note that CSM doesn’t even mention Sanders or Webb. And Warren is far down the line.

    Also realize that this is a snapshot that has little meaning. Hillary is the only person considered a “candidate” at this point.

    CSM says Biden could be the nominee if Obama is able to turn things around, and the public starts to like the ACA, the economy, our actions in the world, and more. I think that’s a tall order. Also, Biden will be 74 by election day (Reagan was considered too old at 69)–and, of course, he’s not called “Crazy Uncle Joe” for nothin’.

    • You just wrote an article!

      Yes, there is next to ZERO discussion because media would like to see Hillary running, in my opinion. She’s far more sensational to cover for 2 years than Joe Biden or Warren.

  3. The GOP has a few good candidates here. They really need to focus on a candidate who is from a state they need to win. This is Bush in Florida, walker or Ryan Wisconsin and Kasich Ohio. I would just ignore/eliminate the others.

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