Eye on 2016

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


130626_hillary_clinton_rand_paul_martin_omalley_ap_328The early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign are already underway. Hillary Clinton has held a steady, arguably insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination, while the Republican nomination is much more fluid. Senator Rand Paul is the frontrunner, thanks to a drop in support for Senator Marco Rubio in Iowa over immigration reform.

At this point, Clinton can essentially walk in and take the Democratic nomination. In Iowa, wins an incredible 71% of the vote. Of course, pundits will argue that Clinton seemed inevitable in 2008, but that was only because it was assumed that then-Senator Obama would not run. Today, there is no one with the super-stardom of Obama on the Democratic Party stage at all.

If Clinton decides not to run, the race (and the general election) becomes more interesting.

Biden is the clear favorite, taking 51% of the vote in Iowa, compared to 13% for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, 9% for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and 6% for Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The latter three have not received the attention that Biden has, so their numbers are more likely to reflect a floor, while his tend to reflect a ceiling.

The most important polls to look at are in Iowa and New Hampshire, as their results dramatically shift the national polls. By this measure, Paul is the frontrunner as he leads in both states. His position poll-wise is the one most comparable to Romney’s during his successful 2012 bid for the nomination.

In February, PPP had Rubio tied with Huckabee for the lead in Iowa (each at 16%). Paul was right on their heels (15%), closely followed by Jeb Bush (14%), Chris Christie (12%) and Paul Ryan (10%). The bottom tier was New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (4%), Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (3%) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (3%).

PPP noted at that time that Rubio’s strength came from “very conservative”  voters; the primary voters most in disagreement with him on immigration reform. He has fallen 5% in Iowa and is now in fifth place; quite a dramatic shakeup.

The beneficiaries from Rubio’s slip and the replacement of Huckabee with Senator Ted Cruz in the poll options are Paul (18%), Christie (16%) and Ryan (15%). Interestingly, Ryan’s support increased by five points even though he also supports the immigration reform plan. Fortunately for him, Rubio has more closely associated with it, but that would change after the first primary debate.

Bush’s support in Iowa is holding steady at 14%, while Rubio has fallen to 11% and Cruz debuts with 10%. Last year’s winner of the Iowa Caucus, former Senator Rick Santorum, only has 6%. The bottom tier is Jindal (2%) and Martinez (1%), the latter of which seems unlikely to run.

There hasn’t been a poll in New Hampshire for a month, but the most recent one also shows Clinton and Paul ahead.

For the Democrats, Clinton has the support of 61%. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick comes in third, making him the biggest threat to Biden in New Hampshire if she declines to run.

Paul led in New Hampshire by four points with 22%, ahead of Ryan with 18%. Christie and Rubio were tied for third with 17% and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had 2%. It can be assumed that Rubio has also slipped here as well, bringing him down to fourth place.

There are some other polls that give us a glimpse of the makeup of the future campaign.

Christie wins the electability argument. He still loses to Clinton by 6%, but he has a wide lead of 11% over Biden. Paul, on the other hand, loses to Clinton by 12% and ties Biden. In the critical battleground state of Ohio, Christie ties Clinton but crushes Biden by 18%. Paul loses to Clinton by 3% and defeats Biden by 9%.

Rubio’s electability argument rests upon his ability to win over Latino voters. However, Clinton defeats him among Latinos by 38% and Biden wins by 32%. Rubio is the most popular GOP candidate among Latinos, leading Christie by 15% but the general election match-ups show his selection would not trigger a decisive shift. However, 40% of Latinos did not know Rubio or had no opinion, leaving a lot of room for upward movement.

Polls actually show that Bush is more electable than Rubio and he may be able to argue that he’d be more popular among Latinos. In Florida, Clinton defeats Bush by 7% and Rubio by 12%. Biden loses to Bush by 4% and Rubio wins by 2%.

Another significant development is Perry’s decision not to run for re-election; a move that is widely interpreted as interest in a presidential bid.

Perry improved in the debates following his infamous gaffe, but he’s having a hard time convincing voters that he will not make that mistake again. A poll in his own state found him in sixth place, 20% behind Cruz. PPP finds that Clinton beats him by 8% in Texas, a must-win state for the GOP.

The takeaway from this analysis of the polls is that there’s a high price to pay among GOP primary voters for supporting anything seen as amnesty. National polls aside, Paul is now the frontrunner and Rubio isn’t.

You can’t be considered one of the frontrunners if you are in fifth place in Iowa and fourth place in New Hampshire. Team Rubio should be worried.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    The power of the media is clear in the Hillary Clinton numbers – for every minute the msm spend on Benghazi or on State Department corruption, they spend an hour on Hillary Clinton in various costumes, or Hillary Clinton’s first “tweet”. The former number two to Saul Alinsky is now repackaged as “Hillary” (the media are on first name terms with Mrs Clinton) the typical American….

  • davarino

    Cant vote for Rubio since he is one of the Gang of Ocho. Have fun advocating for illegals Marco

  • Ambriorix_Le_Belge

    Paul is the obvious candidate. I think the GOP establishment wants a Rubio-Christie ticket.

    • sashamanda

      A Rubio-Christie ticket, and I will stay home.

      • Moto

        If they run any of these turds I will refuse to vote. All of them have betrayed true American conservatives and Patriots in one way or another this year and last year.

        I have no reason to believe they won’t do so again the first opportunity they get.

        The only one out of the bunch that I would pull the handle for is Cruz, and if I remember correctly, he’s foreign-born like Obama.

        • sashamanda

          His mother is American even though he was born in Canada. His father is naturalized. (Hope you saw the youtube speech by Cruz’s dad, Rafael Cruz.)

        • ziggy zoggy

          Thanks for the Obama reign, $hit for brains.

          • Moto

            And voting for a traitor on the elephant ticket is better than voting for one on the donkey ticket?

            I didn’t vote for Obama. I’m not responsible for his reign. Mitt Romney was an acceptable but not ideal candidate for me,but I’ll be damned if I vote for Chris “White Privilege Christie”, Marco “Amnesty Surge” Rubio, or any of the others who think either drone strikes without a trial are cool or replacing the historic population of this country with mestizos for cheap labor is the best idea going forward.

            Why would I vote for those who want to kill or displace my people and think I should have no say in the matter?

          • defcon 4

            Christie nominated a muslime to a superior court judgeship. He’s a traitor just like Perry.

      • ziggy zoggy

        Thank you for allowing Obama to ascend, you stupid @$$hole. Hillary would be another great default President.

        • sashamanda

          Cause backing down works with bullies? Just how do you think we got in this mess?

        • defcon 4

          I don’t think I could vote for Christie either. His collaboration w/islam0nazi organizations is beyond disgusting.

    • WhiteHunter

      For years we’ve heard complaints that “there’s no difference between the two parties.” If the RINO saboteurs get their way, that will be more true than ever.
      If we copy-and-paste the Damnocrat platform and policy into our own (as they insist we must, “to survive”), we will infuriate our own loyal base by the slap-in-the-face betrayal without picking up a single Damnocrat or “independent” voter.
      And pandering to the “Latino” faction will NOT change the undeniable fact–proved over and over again–that they vote 2 to 1 for the Damnocrats, no matter what. Gabriel Gomez, here in Taxachusetts, was not endorsed by a single Spanish-language newspaper (even though he went out of his way to “reach out to” the “Hispanic community”), and the execrable Markey won 70% of the “Hispanic” vote (of course, we have no idea how many of those “votes” were fraudulent; but what difference would it make, with a margin like that?).
      The Republican “establishment” needs to understand something the Damnocrats have known, and practiced, for years: You reward your FRIENDS, and slander and punish your ENEMIES, not the other way around.

      • bigjulie

        Amen!! The Dems are past masters at manipulating “races” against each other, all under the guise of “bringing America together”…if only all these “races” would stop getting in the way!
        Cruz and Paul are establishing a record of speaking truth to powerful LIARS, and doing it with directness and force. But if Republicans continue to follow people like Karl Rove and “Rinse your” Prebus, they will have more of the soft, pussyfooting, “don’t upset the Independents” bovine exhaust that got them such glorious wins in 2008 and 2012.
        Obama has so much excrement on his record now that pointing it out with force and vigor would kill the Dems for several years. Trouble is, the Repubs keep listening to their “establishment” and worrying about not offending the Independents and they come off as a bunch of panty-waists and sissies…definitely NOT strong leaders!

  • Profit

    Yes to Rand Paul! Yes to Ted Cruz. But i have a feeling the GOP will screw it up once again and turn it into the 2016 Donkey Election (Christie vs Clinton).

    • bigjulie

      Yes!! It’s time to get their Democratic “Ass” out of Washington!

    • ziggy zoggy

      Paul is a fanatic who cant win. Cruz will never be nominated. Christie can and will win, no matter how many conservative babies boycott the election.

      • Moto

        I’m not voting for anyone who hates me because of my race. Christie is a flip-flopping traitor and saboteur who will sell out our country and our people the first chance he gets.

  • bigjulie

    Rubio is now viewed by many (if not most) Tea Party Conservatives as a backstabber who cannot be trusted to keep his word. My “Dream Team” would be a Cruz/Paul ticket, but Cruz with any “good” conservative (read Perry, Lee, or Ryan) would suit me.
    The Democrats are chock-a-block full of confirmed Socialist/Communist politicians who want power at any cost but are otherwise woefully short on governing abilities, particularly Mrs. Clinton. You just KNOW that her husband would end up running the country from some closet position, trying to see to it that America ends up in the “closet”…the WATER closet!

    • Moto

      “You just KNOW that her husband would end up running the country from some closet position…”

      I’ve heard this myth from a bunch of people. What in God’s name makes anyone think this bull dyke would allow her husband-of-convenience any say whatsoever in the decision-making process?

      Why her husband and not her “wife”, Huma Abedin, the carpet-munching Muslim Brotherhood arm candy that’s always drooling all over her?

  • Erudite Mavin

    11/13/2012 -

    · Rand Paul

    Politico: Rand Paul calls for ‘path to citizenship’ for illegals: Call it the Rand Paul Evolution. He’ll push to loosen marijuana penalties, legalize undocumented immigrants and pursue a less aggressive American foreign policy.

    In an interview with POLITICO, Paul said he’ll return to Congress this week
    pushing measures long avoided by his party. He wants to work with liberal
    Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Republicans to eliminate mandatory minimum
    sentences for pot possession.

    He wants to carve a compromise immigration plan
    with an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

    Rand Paul’s aide, Jack Hunter’s hero is John Wilkes Booth among other
    Neo Nazi and Paleo views and statements is typical of this crowd.

    No adult would ever vote for Rand Paul in 2016

  • jordanariel

    I dont know enough about Cruz to make a sound Judgement on him at this point. Paul went in my book from previously being a solid NO to a quite possible yes. Hopefully he differs from his scary father a bit. Rubio “could” work as a VP, but really so could Cruz.

    For Clinton the GOP should just attach her to the failure of Benghazi and avoid being too “nice.” In a lot of cases Team Romney should have pounded on Team Obama and they just didnt take the shot.

    Nothing scares me more (okay, Obama being dictator for life comes close) than having our own Gaffy Duck (otherwise known as Joe “Gonna have ya’ll in Chains” Biden) as President. With him in control of our nuclear passwords, i fear we’d nuke ourselves out of sheer incompetence.

    • WhiteHunter

      A letter-perfect analysis of the terrifying danger our country is in. Thank you.

  • gatekeeper96740

    If the GOP give us Rubio or Christi I will stay home.

    • ziggy zoggy

      Thank you for President Obama, you petulant little t^rd.

      • defcon 4

        Christie is an islamonazi collaborator. He’s a traitor.

      • gatekeeper96740

        I voted this time but …. not the next. Romney/Mclaim was hideous as well.

  • ziggy zoggy

    Chris Christie will be the next Prrsident. You heard it here first.

    • defcon 4

      Maybe Christie will get the chance to enact provisions of sharia law then, because he’s no different than the zero in that respect.

  • phillyfanatic

    If Paul wins the nomination , he could go West to seek a VP choice.Or he could go MW. Say John Kasich. Or a woman like Susan Martinez from NM. There is a good bench that the GOP can feature. Still, America is brainwashed over Hil , whose policies have all been disasters but Americans do not understand that. What a nation when a failure like Obama and Clinton can still be the most powerful person in the world.