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GOP Presidential Status Check: Wide Open Race




|| By FITSNEWS || A new national poll shows a wide open race for the “Republican” presidential nomination – but only two GOP candidates are currently within striking distance of presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Obviously it’s still early.  The GOP field is far from set, the contenders have only begun to stake themselves out on the issues … and Clinton’s scandals will eventually have to pick up some traction, right?  Right?

Or are hard questions reserved only for certain campaigns?

Anyway … while we wait for that, Quinnipiac University has released its latest snapshot on the national race.  According to that poll, five GOP contenders – former Florida governor Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker – are currently tied for first place.

Each of those five candidates received the support of 10 percent of the “Republican” electorate – followed by U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky (7 percent), U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (6 percent) billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump (5 percent) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie (4 percent).

Ohio governor John Kasich and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina were  tied with 2 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, former Texas governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina each received the support of one percent of respondents – while former New York governor George Pataki and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania registered less than a percentage point’s worth of support.

While the lay of the land is interesting, the hypothetical match-ups between GOP contenders and Clinton is more revealing.

On that score, only two GOP candidates – Paul and Rubio – come within five percentage points of Clinton in a hypothetical general election matchup (both trailing her by four percentage points).  By contrast, Bush (viewed as a more centrist “Republican” candidate) trails Clinton by a whopping 10 percentage points, while Walker (another “centrist” alternative) trails Clinton by eight percentage points.

This website has long-maintained that “electability” in a general election is no reason to support a candidate in a primary … unless of course that candidate happens to fit with your preferred ideology.  Also previous electability arguments made by status quo “Republicans” didn’t pan out …

Still, expect to hear Paul and Rubio bombard voters with messages about their “ability to beat Hillary Clinton” in 2016 – while no doubt taking a few pot shots at rivals (like Bush and Walker) who don’t stack up as well against the likely Democratic standard-bearer.