Those wild and crazy pollsters have been at it again. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has arrived, at least partially, on the internet. The full results will become public later today.
At the top of the republican leader board is former Florida governor, John Ellis Bush. Better known to most of us as, Jeb, he raked in 22% of potential GOP primary voters. His closest competitor was Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker who was sitting at 17%.
The poll itself carries more significance than your normal run of the mill early survey.That's because in a little over a month, on August, 6th, Fox News will sponsor the first republican presidential debate of the election cycle. Fox--to avoid mass confusion and the increasing possibility its moderator might not even know the names of a couple of the participants--has limited the number of people on stage to 10.
According to The Washington Times, the list will be determined by an average of five of the most recent polls, using standard methodology, before an August 4th deadline. It is a format Times writer, Arnold Steinberg is already complaining about. He points out some of the candidates will stop focusing on early primary states, which should be their real concern and spend precious money and time trying to raise their national numbers in order to be invited. He also notes some of the candidates who haven't officially announced will now delay doing so until the last viable moment so they can enjoy the traditional bump in the polls such announcements provide.
Despite Steinberg's angst ridden jitters, the upshot of it all is this survey could well be giving us a glimpse of who will get to bash Obama and Clinton on the night of the 6th and who won't.
Right now it appears, Lindsey Graham, Don Trump, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki will be watching the proceedings on TV along with the rest of us.
If the numbers at the bottom don't change, the night's line up will include, Bush, Walker, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina.
South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham, Brother Trump, and Ohio governor, John Kasich could be considered on the bubble. They all managed 1% in the poll, while Fiorina is hanging on for dear life at 2%. Ted Cruz and Chris Christie sit tied at an unimpressive 4%. However, despite his weak numbers, it's unlikely Cruz will be denied a lectern. The rabid little Canadian's whole candidacy is rather like a cult movie. His following might be small, but they are fanatical. Christie, on the other hand, could well tank even further between now and then.
Part of the survey asked GOP voters who they could support and who they wouldn't when it came to the party's nominee. 55% of those responding said they would not support Governor Christie if he was at the top of the ticket. The only person with a worse number is Donald Trump, who is arguably a complete buffoon. A lot of republicans know it too. When asked, 66% of them said they'd never vote for the guy.
Other aspects of the poll dealt with the concerns of voters, both democrat and republican when it comes to the 2016 election. The biggest worry is the undue influence of fabulously wealthy individuals and corporations on candidates and their campaigns. 33% of those asked thought big money funneled into Super Pacs by people like the Kochs and others are a real problem. 25% felt the candidates spend too much energy savaging their opponents and not enough time making their own concrete proposals. It goes down hill from there, although there was good news for both Bush and Mrs. Clinton. Only 4% polled were worried about that whole White House family dynasty issue.
And then finally, if the past weekend proved anything politically, it's that almost the entire crew of republican candidates still haven't figured out why Mitt Romney lost in 2012. Well guys, here is part of it. That autumn Barack H. Obama pulled in 71% of the Hispanic vote while Mr. Mitt got only 27% of it.
So where were the all the GOP hopefuls when nearly 1,500 Hispanic movers and shakers gathered at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials confab? Thirteen of them were at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference pandering to Christian evangelicals. That's right--in their mad dash to suck up to protestant fundamentalists, the vast majority of whom are white, all but one, Ben Carson, totally ignored the leadership of the largest minority demographic in the United States of America.
It would seem some lessons are never learned.