Saturday, December 8, 2012

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.

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