In the most recent polls conducted by Gallup there were few surprises, but one portion of data in particular stuck out like a sore thumb.
Gallup tells us that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) remains the most popular Republican politician among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents. Representative Ryan has a few things working for him. He was the Vice Presidential candidate in the last election, which offers him great name recognition. He has been the architect of some of the most fiscally conservative and responsible plans to gain any kind of hearing from the Republican Party. He also acquitted himself quite well in the 2012 election season, going toe-to-toe with a maniacal and inflammatory Crazy Uncle Joe…um, I mean Vice President Biden.
He also happens to be socially conservative, good looking and a seemingly nice, sincere family man.
On the other end of the spectrum is the esteemed Governor from New Jersey, Chris Christie. I would (and did) argue that the Governor is not far enough to the left to really be considered a RINO, but many of you disagree with that assessment and it seems like lots of other Republicans do as well. Governor Christie is actually more popular among Democrats than he is among Republicans! This does not bode well or his chances in the 2016 primary season…
Governor Christie has a lot of work to do if he wants to repair the damage he’s done with his chumminess to President Obama, and he missed a great opportunity this past weekend when he skipped the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, DC. I personally am a fan of the work that the Governor is doing in New Jersey, a deep blue state, but I’m not sure he’s going to be able to rehabilitate his image to the mass of Republicans who now see him as a RINO.
Though Christie may have this all planned out, as the Gallup poll points out, he may be the least liked Republican among Republicans. Taken as a whole, however, he is the most popular candidate among the five polled.
Gallup also finds high marks for Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul among Republicans. Their numbers are not quite as high as Rep. Ryan, but their unfavorable numbers among Democrats are better than Rep. Ryan’s.
Gallup finds some things to read into about these numbers:
“Ryan’s high favorability among Republicans but lower favorability among the general public would position him to do well in the Republican primaries, but perhaps make him a less formidable general election candidate. Christie, on the other hand, would appear to be a stronger general election than Republican primary candidate, given his lower favorability among Republicans but higher favorability among Democrats and Americans more generally.”
Gallup’s observations ring true. While popularity is important in an election, it is generally less important in the primaries.
However, the numbers Gallup uncovers here do offer some interesting insights into the 2016 election season, and show that each of these candidates has a lot of work to do if they wish to challenge for the Presidency.
Fortunately for them, there is still a lot of time to get things right.Notes:
- Republican in name only [↩]
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