Thursday, April 04, 2013

2016 Begins - Rand Paul Headed for New Hampshire – PPP Poll Show Paul Gaining Ground on Christie While Clinton Leads Overall – for Now

The 2016 Field Suggested by PP

Senator Rand Paul will be in New Hampshire in Mayto attend the New Hampshire GOP Liberty Dinner. Rand Paul will be the first potential 2016 candidate to step foot in the Granite State, according to CNN. Paul is also schedule to attend Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in May(USA Today). This puts the Kentucky Senator in the two “first” states for 2016 – the first primary being held in New Hampshire and the first caucus being held in Iowa. To those watching the 2016 field begin to unfold, it is a clear sign that Paul has intentions of running for the Oval Office.

If one questions how well Rand Paul would fare, Public Policy Polling has begun their 2016 survey’s – the Miami Herald offers an overview of the poll which shows Paul gaining significant ground on Marc Rubio (R-FL), now coming in second place, pushing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to 3rd. On the Democrat side, it is clear, at this point, that Hillary Clinton has the majority of support, followed by V.P. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren (the new Democrat Senator from Massachusetts) and rounding out the field, Andrew Cuomo of New York. This poll shows Clinton besting all rivals, on both sides, but in match-ups against Republican’s the margin is at 7% approximately – Christie fares the best (Clinton 46, Christie 42), with Rand Paul in second (Clinton 49, Paul 43)(Miami Herald)

In reality it is still far too early to poll seriously, given the fact that there are potential candidates on both sides of the usual aisles that have not either been included in the polling, or have not come to the forefront. There are two key points that can be taken from PPP’s early polling. The first is that Rand Paul is a potential candidate that requires watching. His brand of Libertarian Republicanism appeals across a broad spectrum, which includes individuals from both parties. He is young, and fresh, compared with the balance of those forecasted (with the obvious exception of Marc Rubio). Hillary Clinton commands serious speculation; however, one must be wary of the powers that be in the Democrat machine when it comes to Clinton. She is more than qualified, as she was in 2008 (compared to the field which included John McCain and Barack Obama). However, despite winning the popular vote in the primary, she was shut down at the Democrat Convention as the party leaders used Super-Delegates to oust Clinton and hand Barack Obama the nomination. Those operatives in the same Progressive segment of the Democrat Party have decided to push one Elizabeth Warren in 2016 – should Clinton decide to throw her hat in the ring, Warren if she runs as she told to do – and one could very well see a repeat of the Super Delegates voting the half term Senator from Massachustts to the top of the ticket. Warren, a former Harvard Professor, sailed to a win in Massachusetts against the popular Scott Brown, basically due to Massachusetts Democrat Leanings, during a general election, on a ticket with Barack Obama, who has one of his highest approval ratings in the nation in Massachustts. In other words, Democrats swept Massachusetts on Barack Obama’s coattails. This does not bode well for a general election candidate on their own, regardless of, or perhaps especially if that candidate is a woman.

From the perspective of a feminist, Clinton was the no-brainer candidate in 2008, the one chance the Democrats had of being the first major political party to put a woman in the White House. Statistically, the odds are not good that there would be a woman nominated in such a short period of time (given the 3 decades between the first woman to be nominated to the bottom of a ticket, (Ferraro) and the last to e nominated to the bottom of a ticket (Palin), and in both cases, that ticket lost. Have hearts and minds towards women in leadership positions changed in the last eight years? That is the question, which, political correctness aside, anyone with any sense understands it has not. The only woman that would stand a chance and only a chance of besting an opponent would be Clinton, and that would strongly depend upon who the opponent might be.

Clinton comes across are formidable, out of all the candidates named in the PPP poll. However, a mere 7 points separates her, even this early in the game from the GOP names tossed into the poll. Pretending all things are equal and Clinton would be viewed on a par with male counterparts, and would be treated the same by media and the populace in general, she would have a dickens of a time against the Doctor turned Senator from Kentucky. Paul would have no problem with the youth vote, his fiscal conservative credentials would bode well with the Republican base, with the exception of some social conservatives that may have a problem with his stance certain positions – however, that said, his stance on those positions from a Libertarian standpoint, coincide with the Constitution – giving States the power to decide social issues - that’s a plus and could easily be used as a persuadable. He’s already shown he can cross partisan line (See the variety of supporters of his now-infamous drone filibuster.), and to boot, he’s younger. The later attribute should not be a factor, however, it was used successfully in the last two elections, the first with John McCain, no need to explain that one, and the second, with Romney as being “out-of-touch”, parodies as being more from the 50’s - not quite as “hip” as the President. It was pitting Thurston Howell the Third, against James Dean. Therefore, if one were looking through a crystal ball (which does not exist), at the current crop mentioned in the PPO poll, one would see Paul taking the GOP primary field, and, based on recent history, Elizabeth Warren as the opponent. No need to speculate on the outcome there. To be fair, it would be difficult for any Democrat to contrast themselves to Paul’s brand of Republicanism, unless the Democrat nominee were to come out of the closet as a Socialist and all that implies. The only powers capable of mucking up the waters on both sides of the spectrum are the party players not mentioned those in the National GOP and DNC, especially if one is running as a Republican.

All said and done, it is still wildly early to speculate, as again, there are the unknowns at this point, and far too many variables that exist, given the year before one starts to see those who would begin to challenge. That should logically occur after the mid-terms in 2014.

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