Tuesday, June 14, 2005

2008 Frontrunners

This is really OLD news, but a few weeks ago National Journal published the results of a poll of party insiders on the presidential frontrunners for 2008. The insiders were asked to name and rank the top five contenders for their party's nomination. Here are the top 10 for both parties (with total votes in parentheses; a first-place vote was worth 5 pts, second-place 4 pts, etc.):

REPUBLICANS

1. George Allen (229)
2. John McCain (217)
3. Bill Frist (184)
4. Rudy Guiliani (129)
5. Mitt Romney (109)
6. Haley Barbour (93)
7. Jeb Bush (61)
8. Condoleezza Rice (56)
9. Chuck Hagel (36)
10. George Pataki (34)

DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton (407)
2. John Edwards (205)
3. Mark Warner (179)
4. Evan Bayh (131)
5. John Kerry (90)
6. Bill Richardson (85)
7. Tom Vilsack (73)
8. Joseph Biden (49)
9. Wesley Clark (35)
10. Al Gore (21)

On the GOP side, I can't believe that Republican insiders really think that John McCain has a shot at winning the party's nomination. Of course, this poll was conducted before McCain helped broker the filibuster cease-fire. Still, he doesn't exactly toe the party line and he doesn't emphasize the social issues nearly enough to be taken seriously by the base.

Second, what does it mean that Jeb Bush was 7th? I had always thought that he would be a near shoe-in if he threw his hat in the ring (and, until recently, I thought he'd be nearly unbeatable in the general). Is this an acknowledgement that the name "Bush" might be a liability after this term?

On the Democratic side, notice that HRC is the front-runner by a significant margin. Is this wishful thinking on the part of Dem insiders, or just an objective assessment of what they think is likely to happen? (I suspect the latter. She's way ahead in polls of the public as well; see this recent Marist College poll. Of course, that's based on little more than name recognition at this point.)

The most interesting thing about this list, however, is the remarkably high placement of VA Gov. Mark Warner. I've not been the only one saying that Dems (and the GOP, for that matter) would be smart to pick a governor next time around. That Warner is from the south doesn't particularly mean much to me (I doubt he could even win Virginia, though it depends on who the Republicans nominate). But he has been a successful governor and I think that's the key. Watch Warner closely.

2 Comments:

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous JLB said...

SKM,
Thanks for posting this "old" news. I did not see the original article.

I see some interesting results here but also have a couple questions: 1) Who is considered to be a "party insider"? and 2) Did each party insider vote for his/her own party only or both parties?

I think Jeb's low rating may be due to his stating repeatedly that he is not interested in the job. However, we should keep an eye on Jeb's son (George P. Bush) for a future in politics.

Like you, I am surprised to see McCain as high as he is and also think Guiliani is too high on the list. I am also surprised that Mitt Romney is not higher on the GOP side and Richardson is not higher for the dems.

You stated that you doubt Warner could win Virginia but I respectfully disagree with you on that point. Virginians are proud of the fact that their state has had so many presidents and I think would rally around Warner.

Besides, Warner isn't exactly a liberal democrat (like Edwards & Kerry) and has not stirred up a lot of hatred for his name (like HRC). Warner would be the perfect POTUS candidate by the dems - offset by the GOP's nomination of either Romney or Allen.

 
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