Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The biggest battle in Kentucky

According to Public Policy Polling, Kentucky voters favor Jim Beam over Jack Daniels 20-18. This is what I have to say.

Team No Excuses: Mitch McConnell

According to Public Policy Polling, Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the country.  McConnell is the minority leader in the Senate.  The Republican Party champions individual responsibility for Americans.  So, how did McConnell react to this news from Public Policy Polling?  Well, Team Mitch on Twitter linked to this article showing how polls like Public Policy Polling overstate the unapproval rate.  Public Policy Polling came back and linked to this article the author of the article claimed that there is no chance that Rand Paul was up by 19.  Paul won by 23.  Public Policy Polling continued tweeting "And of course we use the same methodology on all of our Senator approval polls, and on that level playing field McConnell is most unpopular."  As long as the methodology remains the same in all of the polls and McConnell is the most unpopular according to these polls, it honestly doesn't matter if the "robo-polls" overstate the unapproval ratings. McConnell should follow the advice given to so many Americans, which is if it's your fault, don't look towards someone else to bail you out.  Don't try to blame someone else for your own mistakes. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoughts on the Hall of Fame part 2

Now we start getting closer to the Hall ofFame territory where they might receive votes and might deserve some of the votes.  There'll be pros and cons and/or some thoughts on each person.

Reggie Sanders- 24.51
Pros: Went to three separate teams and was a playoff outfielder for them in three straight years.  I remember this being a big deal as it was happening.  He had an all-star caliber season in 1995.  He was slightly above average and average for all but four years.
Cons: Only 1 all-star season.  Basically, a slightly above average player for all of his career.  Not quite Hall of Fame worthy.

Jeff Cirillo- 25.16
Cirillo has a fairly good score in my rankings because his five best seasons all came in right in a row.  So, his score ends up higher than it probably should be.  He had about 5 All-Star caliber seasons. 4 out of those 5 were in a row.  His 6th best season was the fifth season in his five consecutive seasons.  Cirillo had a number of seasons at or below replacement level but his career was more or less halfway divided between almost All-Star caliber seasons and replacement level seasons.

Steve Finley- 26.45
I always thought Finley had a much better career than he actually did.  He had four All-Star caliber seasons but the majority of his career was replacement level or below which lowered his total score.  There is value for a Finley player on your team but for the Hall of Fame?  No.

Shawn Green- 26.68
Green had three great seasons (6+ rWAR).  Green on one of his rookie cards looked like he was 13.  So, there's that.  But when your career only has three great seasons and a few seasons at the starter level, you're not going to make it to the Hall of Fame. 

Jack Morris- 27.73
Morris will probably get elected this year, even though he probably doesn't deserve it.  There's been more words written on Morris's candidacy for the Hall of Fame than any other player.  There are arguments back and forth.  His candidacy reminds me of politics.  Those who believe in advanced metrics and don't buy into popular bullshit dumps of clutch or pitching to the score tend to think Morris doesn't belong.  But a lot of the positives for Morris are that you decided to vote for Morris and later you come up with the reasons why you voted for him later.  A lot of the supporters for Morris, I think, are choosing to vote for Morris because the "stat-head" community doesn't like him. But anyways.
Pros: Leader in wins for a pitcher for the 1980s (1980-1990). Won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Durable starter who wasn't hurt.  Pitched a lot of innings.
Cons: More or less, a compiler.  This was the supposed argument against voting for Bert Blyleven.  Good but not great pitcher. 
I've always been a fan of Player X.  Player X is a comparison tool to compare between baseball players by omitting their names and looking just at their stats. 
Player X: 254 Wins, 105 ERA+, 1.296 WHIP, 0.9 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 1.78 K/BB, 39.3 rWAR. 7-4 in post-season with 3.80 ERA. Two 3rd Place finishes in Cy Young Award Vote. Led league in wins twice. Led league in Innings pitched once and strikeouts once. Highest finish in ERA was 5th which happened twice.  Highest finish in ERA+ was 4th which happened once.
Player Y: 204 Wins, 112 ERA+, 1.261 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 2.00 K/BB, 48 rWAR.  8-3 in post-season with 2.59 ERA.  1 Cy Young Award. One 3rd place finish in Cy Young voting.  Finished 2nd in ERA once, 3rd place finish four times. Led league in wins once. Led league in Innings pitched three times and highest finish in strikeouts was 4th which happened once. Led league in ERA+ once. Third place once and fourth place twice.
Player Z: 239 wins, 108 ERA+, 1.266 WHIP, 1.1 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 3.06 K/BB, 49.4 rWAR.  10-5 in post-seasons with 3.17 ERA.  Two third place finishes in Cy Young Award vote.  Led league in wins once.  Led league in Innings pitched once.  His highest finish for strikeouts was an 8th place finish.  His highest finish in ERA was a 5th place finish.  Never finished in top 10 for ERA+.

So, who would you vote for? Well, if you're basing it solely on pitcher wins than you would vote for Player X, Jack Morris.  But then you might remember that pitcher wins aren't that valuable or that descriptive.  Or you might vote based on rWAR which would be Player Z who is David Wells.  Player Y isyour choice, look at that ERA+ or his post-season numbers.  That's Orel Hershiser.  But instead of doing player X comparisons, there's a whole bunch of sportswriters out there who concoct stories about how a pitcher was seen during his time.  Morris, during his time, wasn't seen as a Hall of Famer, otherwise he would've finished higher than 3rd in the Cy Young vote, right?  Or if he was a great post-season pitcher he would have better numbers than David Wells or Orel Hershiser.  Or if he was the ace of three World Champion teams, he would finish ahead of his teammates in the Cy Young Award voting, right?  The Jack Morris Hall of Fame vote isn't about baseball.  It's about using evidence to support your conclusion without having one in mind at first instead of having a conclusion in mind and finding evidence that supports your conclusion.   

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Favorability Mania

We obviously don't want to rely too much on one poll but we'll look at it and see if there's anything of interest to note.  We're looking at this poll.

The choices for the Democratic party are Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O'Malley, Deval Patrick, Brian Schweitzer, Mark Warner, and Elizabeth Warren.

The choices for the Republican party are Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Rick Santorum.

The poll attempted to find the favorability ratings of the listed candidates.

The average favorability rating for the candidates was 30.88 favorable and 31.82 unfavorable, so we use the slash to differentiate them.  We'll round to 31/32 as the average.  This is with 37 being not sure.  For Democratic candidates, the average was 22/26 with 52 being not sure.  For Republican candidates, the average was 38/37 with 24 being unsure.  So, we'll have some fun.  We'll list the top three in each category. 

1. Hillary Clinton 57
2. Condoleezza Rice 51
3. Chris Christie 48

1. Sarah Palin 56
2. Joe Biden 44
3. Paul Ryan 42

People who voted for Barack Obama (Average:26/38 and 37 unsure):
1. Hillary Clinton 85
2. Joe Biden 81
3. Chris Christie 43

1. Sarah Palin 86
2. Paul Ryan 73
3. Jeb Bush 60
3(t). Mike Huckabee 60

Not sure:
1. Brian Schweitzer 74
2. Martin O'Malley 73
3. Mark Warner 69

People who voted for Mitt Romney (Average: 38/24 and 38 unsure)
1. Paul Ryan 77
2. Mike Huckabee 73
3. Condoleezza Rice 71

1. Joe Biden 81
2. Hillary Clinton 69
3. Andrew Cuomo 46

Not sure:
1. Brian Schweitzer 88
2. Martin O'Malley 82
3. Deval Patrick 81
3(t.). Mark Warner 81

Not sure or someone else who they voted for (29/32 and 39 unsure):
1. Condoleezza Rice 63
2. Hillary Clinton 55
3. Paul Ryan 53

1. Sarah Palin 53
2. Joe Biden 50
3. Andrew Cuomo 43

Not sure:
1. Mark Warner 86
2. Martin O'Malley 83
3. Brian Schweitzer 80

Very liberal (28/45 and 21 unsure)
1. Hillary Clinton 98
2. Joe Biden 89
3. Elizabeth Warren 47

1. Sarah Palin 94
2. Jeb Bush 76
3. Paul Ryan 74

Not sure:
1. Brian Schweitzer 60
1(t.). Martin O'Malley 60
3. Mark Warner 54

Somewhat liberal (24/33 and 43 unsure):
1. Hillary Clinton 71
2. Joe Biden 67
3. Chris Christie 50

1. Sarah Palin 71
2. Paul Ryan 62
3. Rand Paul 55

Not sure is basically just Schweitzer, O'Malley, and Warner in various orders with different numbers.

Moderate (28/34 and 38 unsure):
1. Hillary Clinton 76
2. Joe Biden 60
3. Chris Christie 48

1. Sarah Palin 74
2. Paul Ryan 59
3. Rick Santorum 58

See above for not sure

Somewhat Conservative (35/25 and 40 unsure)
1. Condoleezza Rice 74
2. Paul Ryan 65
3. Jeb Bush 61

1. Joe Biden 74
2. Hillary Clinton 57
3. Andrew Cuomo 39

Not sure = samesies

Very Conservative (41/27 and 32 unsure):
1. Paul Ryan 86
2. Sarah Palin 79
3. Mike Huckabee 77

1. Joe Biden 87
2. Hillary Clinton 84
3. Andrew Cuomo

Not sure is the same.

Female (30/30 and 40 unsure)
1. Hillary Clinton 64
2. Condoleezza Rice 51
3. Joe Biden 50

1. Sarah Palin 59
2. Paul Ryan 43
3. Jeb Bush 41

Not sure remains about the same.

Male (32/34 with 34 unsure)
1. Chris Christie 52
2. Condoleezza Rice 51
3. Hillary Clinton 50

1. Sarah Palin 53
2. Joe Biden 47
3. Hillary Clinton 43

Party ID with Democratic Party (25/36 and 39 unsure)
1. Hillary Clinton 81
2. Joe Biden 77
3. Chris Christie: 42

1. Sarah Palin 80
2. Paul Ryan 68
3. Jeb Bush 62

Party ID with Republican Party (39/24 and 37 unsure)
1. Condoleezza Rice 75
2. Paul Ryan 74
3. Mike Huckabee 71

1. Joe Biden 76
2. Hillary Clinton 66
3. Andrew Cuomo 47

Party ID as Independent (31/33 with 36 unsure)
1. Condoleezza Rice 55
2. Hillary Clinton 52
3. Paul Ryan 50

1. Joe Biden 56
2. Sarah Palin 51
3. Hillary Clinton 42

My Obligatory Thoughts on the Baseball Hall of Fame part 1

After election season for politics, there's a void in my life, it can only be filled with people making crazy/irrational arguments.  I like baseball awards season because so many people have opinions about who should win what award.  My void is partially filled. My favorite part of the year (every year) is the baseball Hall of Fame time of year.  I get to see crazy irrational arguments for which player should make it over which player.  I love it. But, anyways.  A few years ago, I started my own ranking system for baseball players influenced primarily by WAR (Wins above Replacement (player)) both the Fangraphs version and Baseball Reference.  While there are inherent flaws in WAR it allows me to see the total value of a baseball player in a single statistic.  I created position sheets that used Bill James's list of top 100 players and added players who are active after his publication.  I used career WAR, best 5 consecutive years WAR, average WAR, highest three seasons WAR, highest 10 seasons WAR, and gave added points for each season above 5 WAR.  I lowered the numbers for career, 5 consecutive, 3 season, and 10 season so that the numbers wouldn't dwarf the seasonal averages.  The highest weight is given to career WAR but the other factors help water it down a bit.  Usually, a Hall of Famer would get around 39 in my system, as that it is the total for 10, 5 WAR seasons in my system.  5 WAR generally means that the player had an all-star caliber year and 8 WAR generally means they had a MVP caliber season. I used this ranking system to help me draft in a historical fantasy sim league. I'm a giant dork. I understand.  Catcher scores are multiplied by 1.2 because WAR doesn't fully capture catcher defense and WAR is lower for catchers than other positions because of games played.  I'm not saying my system is perfect but it gives a fairly accurate representation of how the player performed.  Babe Ruth has the highest score in my system with a score of 130.44 as a hitter and 17.34 as a pitcher, his total score is 137.78.  The rules for voting in the Hall of Fame is that you have 10 spots on the ballot.  This is a much stronger than usual ballot.  I'll give a short case for/against each candidate or just some thoughts on the candidate.  If a player does not get more than 5% of the vote than they fall off the ballot, so I'll run through the players I think should fall off the ballot first.

Sandy Alomar: N/A (unranked)
I didn't rank Alomar for whatever reason.  Honestly, there's not an easy case for people who are this far down on the ballot.
Pro: Former Rookie of the Year.  Played catcher for the Cleveland Indians when they were really good. 6 time All-Star (although, that doesn't mean that much).  Was called a beast multiple times by my brother and friends in MVP Baseball 2003.
Con: One above-average season according to Baseball Reference WAR.  Only four seasons at the starter level according to WAR.  Didn't have any large counting stats.  Only two seasons with above-average OPS+.  I could go on for awhile.

Jeff Conine: N/A (didn't rank)
Pro: Mr. Marlin. I have an irrational love for Conine.  He was on the two World Champions Florida Marlins.  Had a few seasons above-average stats.  Played for the Marlins and the Royals so he should get some love for playing for terrible franchises.
Con: Doesn't have large counting stats.  0 All-Star seasons according to WAR.  Basically an average player according to WAR and OPS+.

Mike Stanton-N/A
For whatever reason, I just remember Stanton pitching for the Braves and Yankees in the 1990s which means, in my mind he was just going to World Series every year.  But it turns out, he was traded to the Red Sox in 1995 and didn't join the Yankees until 1997.  I guess I forgot.  Stanton was a good left-handed relief pitcher.  Despite WAR not being that high for almost any relief pitcher, Stanton managed to have four seasons above 2 WAR according to Baseball-Reference.  His career ERA+ was slightly higher than average at 112 (100 is average).

Rondell White-N/A
White played for some of my favorite teams, by suiting up for the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins.  White had three good seasons where he was almost at an All-Star level.  He's actually one of the few players who is better than I remember.  I honestly thought White was closer to replacement level than he ended up being.  I guess that's why there's a waiting period for the Hall of Fame.

Todd Walker- N/A
Walker was the best position player on the Twins when I first started rooting for them.  Walker was not very good at all.  It's a miracle that I survived and kept rooting for the Twins despite trotting out Walker as if he was a star.  Walker is one of my favorite Twins of all-time just behind Ron Coomer.

Jose Mesa- 9.95
Mesa is probably most famous for giving up the game-winning hit to Edgar Renteria in the 1997 World Series when Cleveland lost the World Series.  Mesa has always struck me as this type of pitcher who lucked into the closer role despite not being that great.  But looking back, Mesa wasn't terrible.  His 1995 season was very good and he came in 2nd in the Cy Young vote that year.  His ERA+ was 418. 

Royce Clayton- 12.57
This is ranked just on his baseball career, not his acting career.  Clayton was the classic no-hit good-glove shortstop.  His value was almost all tied up with his glove.  As he approached closer to hitting league average, his value increased, too.  His best season was 1999 when he hit .288/.346/.445 which put him at an OPS+ of 98 (average is 100) and his rWAR (Baseball Reference WAR) was 3.3.  Just to let you know, 0 WAR is replacement and 2+ is starter.

Woody Williams- 13.62
Williams was probably the best August 31 waiver deadline pickup in the history of the August 31 trade deadline.  Williams was more or less an average pitcher from 1997-2004.  People tend to underrate how valuable league average pitching is.  League average pitching is quite valuable because it allows the bullpen to rest while it keeps you in the game.  He was providing his team with about 2-3 wins each of those years which is fairly valuable.

Lee Smith- 16.91
I have Smith a lot lower than the actual Hall of Fame voters.  So, we'll look at pros and cons.
Pros: Was all-time leader in saves.  All-time ERA+ is 132.
Cons: Basically a one inning pitcher his entire career.  There's not a lot of value with closers in baseball.  Basically got to his career totals by being healthy and managers using him as a one inning pitcher.  I don't think the value that the closer adds is anywhere near worthy of the Hall of Fame outside of Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman. 

Aaron Sele- 17.34
Sele had 6 seasons of being an average to above average starter.  Sele is an exact average pitcher according to ERA+ (his career total is 100).  Sele provided all of his value by being a slightly above average pitcher for a couple of years.

Ryan Klesko- 19.23
Like all players from the Braves from the mid-1990s, I love them irrationally.  From the eye test, Klesko was terrible on defense and it shows up in his WAR.  Multiple seasons Klesko was worth negative wins in terms of defense.  Klesko had two seasons where he played close to an All-Star level in 2001 and 2002.  In 2001, he hit .286/.384/.539 with 30 homeruns and, surprisingly, 23 stolen bases.  In 2000 he stole 24.  Does anyone know why he was able to steal 20 bases in those two seasons?  Most people who ever saw Klesko, I'm sure, are surprised Klesko could steal bases.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just a few thoughts

I have a few thoughts that are not quite long enough to generate posts but are just a few things that I've been thinking about the last few weeks.

1. I still think that the Republican party is headed for a major transformation.  Based on the polls before and after the election, it shows how people are leaning towards the left on social issues, such as gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, etc.  A lot of the people who are further on the right than the majority of the Republican party would never go for leaning towards the middle.  Instead, they are separating.  A lot of people who are Tea Partiers are calling long-standing Republicans RiNOs, for letting some Bush tax cuts to expire or raising the debt ceiling, etc.

1a. So, the Republican Party can move to the middle and leave the Tea Party behind.
1b. The Republican Party can stay on the fringes of the Right.
1c. The Republican Party can do nothing and effectively leave the Tea Party behind.

That's pretty much it.  They haven't done very well in articulating what they want to accomplish.  Right now, the focus is still on Obama.  This type of focus which was evident in 2012 was that whoever they run, it'll be better than Obama.  Romney constantly found himself opposing Obama on every issue, possible.  That's been the focus of the Party itself, too.  The Republican Party needs to, at some point, focus on the future.  Barack Obama will only be President for four more years.  The loyalty from the Right is basically only there because they're unified to beat Obama or oppose him.  What's going to happen when Obama steps down in 2016? 

2. Paul Ryan is done with national elections.  He may show up in the Republican presidential primaries but his favorability numbers are almost filled at this point.  It's almost impossible to change someone's opinion of you in a large scale.  Barack Obama's favorability fluctuates a bit but it doesn't even fluctuate that much and he's at near 100% on the favorability numbers.

3. The more I think about the 2012 election the more I think Romney didn't have the right strategist leading his campaign.  In a state/local election, you win by energizing your base and making inroads into demographic groups that you typically lose or into areas you typically lose.  For example, if you're running for governor and you're a Democrat.  The state is 40/40 on terms of party id.  So, then you look at where you can make the biggest catch-up.  Say you're down 75-25 in a particular city.  If you can make that a little bit closer, then you stand a better chance of winning the election.  That's what Romney essentially did.  I noted earlier that Romney's strategy was somewhat smart because it might make a big impact in swing states.  But he made the inroads with the black vote but it didn't help because in states that had larger minority populations, he lost.  He made the popular vote closer but we still have an electoral college.

4. We're becoming more partisan than ever.  It's not a good thing.  It's a dumb thing.

5. At the same time, we're getting closer to a point where parties might be able to split into smaller groups.  I think the social issues might be the driving force behind these splits.

6. I really want to launch the Up, Simba Project.  Which is the next step for me.

A fun podcast

There's a fun podcast out there with Nate Silver and Bill Simmons.

Republican Presidential Power Rankings

Alright, took too long of a break from posting my power rankings.  There's been a bunch of polls out there and we're looking at them to determine the rankings.  We're primarily using Public Policy Polling's polls.  Say what you will about them, they also had a perfect election day in terms of their predictions of what would happen on election day with the swing states.  They were one of the few polls that I saw that had Obama winning Florida.  Anyways, the're welcome to look at one of the polls, I'll be quoting from here.

1. Marco Rubio: Here are the numbers behind my ranking.  Among all voters, Rubio's favorability ratings are 35/27.  38% are not sure.  That number is large.  That's a good thing for Rubio.  If we look at someone else, such as Joe Biden, his favorability numbers are 46/44 with only 10% not sure.  It's much easier to convince someone with no opinion of someone to have a favorable opinion than changing someone's opinion from unfavorable to favorable.  Among those polled who voted for Romney, Rubio's favorability numbers are 65/7 with 28% not sure.  Those numbers are fantastic for Rubio.  Among those who don't remember who they voted for or voted for someone other than Obama or Romney, his numbers are 30/23 with 46% not sure.  Ideally, you'd want that number to be higher on favorable opinions, closer to 35 or so, but that 46% not sure is something that potentially could be great for Rubio.  Broken down, ideologically, Rubio's favorability for those who identify as somewhat conservative are 51/10 and very conservative are 75/11.  Rubio's numbers among moderates are not very good, he has 24/33 with 43% saying not sure.  You'd want the numbers for favorability to be higher but not sure isn't terribly bad.  But, if you're thinking that Rubio is going to win the Hispanic vote, you might want to note that his favorability among Hispanics are 24/42.  At that point, it's getting harder to assume that he would do well with Hispanic voters.  Interesting to note that Rubio has high marks among seniors 43/24.  Among Republicans, Rubio's numbers are 62/11.  Also, among Republicans polled he was the highest vote getter for who they would want to see as the GOP candidate for President at 18%.

2. Bobby Jindal: Surprisingly, Jindal was not listed in the Public Policy Polling's poll.  Because of this, it's hard to find numbers on Jindal at the national level.  In PPP's poll, Republicans listed someone else or not sure when asked the question about who they would like to see as the GOP candidate (the question had Rubio, Christie, Huckabee, Palin (!), Rand Paul, Ryan, Santorum, and Rice) at 7%.  So, even if he received 100% of those votes he would only be at 7%, total.  But, since he's not listed in the question, it's possible that people forgot about him or were unaware that they could say someone else or not sure.  Only the ardent supporters of a candidate would list him, if he wasn't in the original list.  I think if Jindal was listed his numbers would be higher.  When there are more polls with him listed on there, he will finish much higher and we can gauge how he might compare to the other candidates.

3. Chris Christie:There's actually a very strong argument for Christie being the number one choice for this power rankings.  Christie's overall favorability ratings are 48/26 with 26% unsure.  His scores with those voting Romney in 2008 are not as good as Rubio but his scores among those who voted for Obama are much higher.  He has a 43/27 with Obama supporters.  No other Republican candidate has in the 40% favorable ratings.  Condi Rice is the only one in the 30s.  Christie has higher favorability numbers with those who voted for Obama in 2012 than many of the Democratic choices.  Christie is the moderate choice for the Republican presidential nomination. If the Republican party moves to be a more moderate party than Christie is the choice.  Unfortunately, a lot of Republicans look at Christie and call him a RiNO (Republican in name only) and blame him for the failure of Romney in 2012, well they also blame ACORN.  Among those, from both parties who define themselves as somewhat liberal 50/18 with 32% unsure, among those who are moderate 48/23.  Among Republicans who define themselves as very liberal his favorability is 85/0.  Christie was the 2nd choice among Republicans for the presidential nod in 2016 with 14%.  If the Republican party decides that they don't want to move to the middle, Christie is going to tumble.  If the party splits, like I think it does, Christie could be the crossover candidate to try to win.  For those Republicans who define themselves as moderate, he's 51/28, somewhat conservative 54/24, and very conservative 42/31. 

4. Mike Huckabee: Huckabee basically the opposite choice compared to Christie.  Huckabee's overall favorability is 38/39 with 23% unsure.  Huckabee's ratings among Obama supporters is 12/60.  With Romney supporters, he's slightly lower than Rubio with 73/13.  Huckabee also has low ratings with people who voted for another candidate or can't remember at 24/42.  With those who identify themselves as very liberal, 7/70, somewhat liberal 14/52, moderate 27/47, somewhat conservative 60/21, and very conservative 77/12.  Putting Huckabee on the ticket would essentially be punting those in the center and the left, again.  I don't think Huckabee is electable in the current environment. Because party identifiers are trending towards Democratic right now.  If the Republican party wants to win in 2016 and beyond they either have to move closer to the center as a party or run a more moderate candidate in 2016.  Oh well. Anyways, Huckabee doesn't too poorly with those who identify themselves as independents 41/36.  What that means to me is that a number of people who identify themselves as moderates are actually involved in the Democratic party and that a number of conservatives are actually independents.  The question for the Republican party, since they are losing people from the party, itself, is how do they get the people who identify themselves as conservative independents to joining the party, itself?  A related question is what makes these conservatives vote Democrat over Republican. Anyways, Huckabee has the highest favorabilit (tied with Condeleezza Rice) at 73/15 among Republicans.  But curiously, that does not translate to him being picked as the GOP choice for Presidential candidate at 11%.  I think people are making a conscious decision to make a pragmatic choice when they say who they want to be named as the GOP presidential nominee.

5. Jeb Bush: Jeb is tied with Paul Ryan with the 3rd highest amount of votes from those polled on who they would like to see be the nominee for the GOP in 2016 with 12%.  His overall favorability is 38/38.  He does very well with the Republican base, those who identify as somewhat conservative or very conservative.  His marks among those who are more liberal are not very good at all.  Among Democrats, his favorability is 16/62 and those who are Republicans, his favorability is 66/12.  For those who identify as Independents, his favorability is 42/28 whic is comparable to Christie.  There was some speculation from some, including me, who thought Bush would do well with the Hispanic vote but his favorability is 32/49.  Surprising to me, is that Jeb seems to do much better with the more conservative part of his party.  This might be helpful to him if he chooses to run.  I actually think Jeb has a chance to move up this list if he continues to do well with the further right of his party.  There are issues where Bush is more moderate than the rest of his party and I am surprised that he's not doing better with the moderate sections of his party.

6. Scott Walker: Walker was not included in the poll, so I have no idea what his favorability numbers are nationally.  But Walker is clearly thinking about national politics compared to state/local politics.  Walker has made several speeches in California about his legislative agenda for Wisconsin.  This has raised several questions from people in Wisconsin, questioning why he would state his legislative agenda in California, as compared to talking to Wisconsinites about it.  There has been talk in pundit-land about Walker being a national political figure.

7. Paul Ryan: Ryan is going to linger around here for awhile.  Ryan's running out of room for his favorability ratings.  While many of the other candidates have more than 20% saying they're not sure if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a candidate.  Ryan's favorability rating is 41/42, nationally.  Ryan's favorability comes almost completely from conservatives.  Among those who classify themselves as very liberal, 12/74.  Among somewhat liberals, 11/62.  Among moderates 27/59.  Then, for somewhat conservatives are 65/15.  For those who consider themselves as very conservative 86/5.  That's just impressive right there.  Ryan is among the most polarizing politicians in the country.  Ryan can be chosen to run as the Republican nominee, but I don't see it as very likely.

8. Bob McDonnell: McDonnell has mainly been out of the news for a little bit now.  That might be helpful for him as no news is good news in politics, for the most part.  Being in the news allows for criticisms from pundits and analysts.

9. Allen West: West has made comparisons between himself and a great president.  This has fueled some speculation that West might try to make a run either for Senate or for the presidency.But as passionate as his supporters are, he's just not that electable as a candidate in his own district much less a national election.  On the plus side for him, West seems to be a more than capable fundraiser, which is a giant asset in trying to run a national election. 

10. Rand Paul:  Is Paul going to follow in his father's footsteps and run continually for the Presidency?  It seems possible.  It might depend on when he wants to do.  His favorability is 32/38, overall.  This is the lowest mark among serious candidates, Sarah Palin ranks lower, but I think her time is past, now.  I don't want to parse the numbers but Paul is a longshot at this point.  But Paul has 7% of Republicans who were polled about who they would like to be the GOP nomination.