Iowa caucus voters start voting for president next year on Feb 1 with New Hampshire primary voters following eight days later on Feb. 9.
For the 13 Republicans jockeying for pole position in the demolition derby called the GOP primary season, only five of them—Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, real estate billionaire Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—have any shot of taking on the Democratic nominee next year, according to an interactive match-up offered by The New York Times that takes the measure of each candidate in several key categories.
Democrats only have three candidates running, and Hillary Clinton is widely expected to be the pick over her chief competitors, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
According to the Times, “Prediction Markets,” where traders bet on event outcomes, only have positive news for five of the bakers’ dozen of GOP White House hopefuls. Mr. Rubio leads the pack at 35 percent, with the other four Republican candidates following in descending order: Mr. Cruz [26%], Mr. Trump [23%], Mr. Bush [10%] and Mr. Christie [5%].
All the other candidates, including Ohio’s crusty and cranky governor John Kasich, who’s been falling by the wayside in national and state-specific races, have zero chance at winning their party’s nomination.
For Democrats, there maybe no suspense left even though voting is still more than a month away. Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State whose husband Bill won back to back elections for president, takes top honors with 93 percent compared with just six percent for Mr. Sanders and one percent for Mr. O’Malley.
According to political scientist Lynn Vavreck, “Since 1980, the single best predictor of a party’s nominee is the number of endorsements from party elites — elected officials and prominent past party leaders — in the months before primaries begin,” the Times reported.
In the category of national endorsements, Jeb Bush leads the pack with 8.8 percent of all endorsements of all candidates with endorsements from 29 members of congress so far. In second place with 19 endorsements [all congressmen] is Marco Rubio followed by 11 congressional endorsements each for Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Gov. Kasich comes in seventh with five endorsements [one governor and four congressmen]. In contrast to the Republicans, where few top GOP officials have endorsed any candidate so far, Hillary Clinton looks very good as 76 percent of Democratic officials have signed-on to supporting her.
Iowa votes first, meaning a candidate can go to New Hampshire with a tailwind or face headwinds that can crash their campaigns. Being first doesn’t mean being best, and that’s confirmed by Iowa voters only having backed the eventual GOP nominee in only two of the last six Republican nomination battles. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are the only three in double-digs, 30.2, 28.8 and 12.4 percent, respectively. For Gov. Kasich, he’s 10th at 1.4 percent.
New Hampshire voters vote second in the nation and have a better recent record [4 for 6] of picking the nominee than do Iowans. The Times reminds that over that span, “no candidate has won the nomination without winning at least some delegates in either New Hampshire or Iowa.”
Mr Trump [25%], Rubio [13.8%], Ted Cruz [11.4%] and Chris Christie [10.8%] are leaders in descending order in the Granite State. John Kasich has his best showing in any category with 8.4 percent.
Money talks and you know what walks. Jeb Bush leads the fund-raising competition by a large amount, the Times wrote. The calculations it offers include both the money raised directly by a campaign and the money raised by the super PACs and other outside groups allied with the campaign.
Jeb Bush runs away with first place with a combined $133.3 million raised. Second is Ted Cruz with $64.9, then Marco Rubio at 48.6. Gov. Kasich lands in seventh place with $16.1 million.
108 Events For Kasich In NH
Camp Kasich has now logged 108 events in New Hampshire, according to the LA Times, placing him third in line behind Chris Christie with 131 and Carly Fiorina with 119. His campaign touts his 45 town hall gatherings, the opening of four new campaign offices with two more opening soon, and alleges it has the “strongest organization in the state!” Gov. Kasich has spent millions already with promises to spend millions more in New Hampshire, but back home in Ohio, he refuses to disclose how much Ohio taxpayer money is being spent to cover his costs of campaigning for president, which presents a thorn of contention for the term-limited state CEO.
Camp Kasich is pointing to a new New Hampshire poll showing the often times off-putting Buckeye State governor in third place. Released last Wednesday, a small poll of 600 people with a large margin of error of four percent was conducted by The American Research Group [ARG]. Mr. Kasich is at 13 percent behind Donald Trump at 21 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 15 percent.
The ARG poll may be an outlier if more polling doesn’t confirm its finding. Meanwhile, RealClearPolitics.com, a go-to site for presidential polling shows John Kasich far lower, in sixth place in New Hampshire, with 7.7 percent. Trump continues to lead the website’s aggregate poll with 28.3 percent.
The 63-year old, hard-right chief executive can only hope the Lord’s hands get on him pronto, because by nearly every other election performance measure , his days as a viable candidate could be numbered come February if he doesn’t place at least third in New Hampshire.