GOP frontrunners for 2016. Thoughts?

I'm currently working on a way of predicting the outcome of the GOP primaries, with the full knowledge that it is still way too early to early to handicap this race and it isn't a highly important topic just yet.  But it's Friday and it's a light-hearted topic (for now).  So I took a look at British oddsmaker Ladbrooks' current odds on the race to get a sense of how things are currently looking for the potential candidates.  There were a couple of surprises in there for me.

I've listed the odds below as they stand today.  I'm very curious as to how people see this.  Are there any surprises in the list for you?  Do you have any thoughts on the candidates themselves? How do you see the race shaping up?

Candidate - Odds on winning the nomination

Marco Rubio -  5/1
Chris Christie - 5/1
Jeb Bush - 6/1
Paul Ryan - 8/1
Rand Paul - 8/1
Scott Walker - 14/1
Mike Huckabee - 14/1
Bobby Jindal - 16/1
Ted Cruz - 16/1
Susana Martinez - 20/1
Condoleeza Rice - 25/1
Rick Santorum - 25/1
Eric Cantor - 25/1
Bob McDonnell - 25/1
Rob Portman - 25/1
Sarah Palin - 33/1
Nikki Haley - 33/1
Jon Huntsman - 33/1
Rick Perry - 33/1
Mike Pence - 40/1
John Kasich - 40/1
Ron Paul - 50/1
Donald Trump - 50/1
Mitt Romney - 50/1
John Bolton - 50/1
John McCain - 50/1
David Petraeus - 66/1
Ben Carson - 100/1


  1. At least half of the people on this list would be non-starters for me. That will probably make the Dem haters crazy, but oh well.

    1. There's a lot of fluff in that list. But also a lot of noise. Most of those listed won't run (thankfully, in most cases).

      At this point I think the top 6 are handicapped reasonably well - at least in the notion that they are the top 6. However, the Top 3 are a bit surprising in that they are 1-2-3. There's enough overlap between Christie and Bush that they may effectively cancel each other out.

      There may be enough similarity between Paul and Walker to have a clearly lesser, but similar effect . Between that and the recent post on Hot Air about Rubio possibly angling to be everyone's number two choice, maybe it makes sense that Rubio is the oddsmaker's favorite right now.

      I know that conflicts with my response to Libertarian Advocate's comment below, but I'm not sure about it at all. If I were a better handicapper, I'd be working in Las Vegas.

  2. I've got 1 in the top 5 and 5 in the top 10.

    Miss Sarah, Nikki, Bolton, and Perry are about all afterwards.

    1. That's an interesting ratio. I'm speculating that your picks would be Paul, Walker, Jindal, Cruz and Martinez. Is that close? If not, maybe I should give up on handicapping.

      Having the bottom half of the top 10 might seem discouraging but Bush and Christie may end up dueling over the same group of voters. Rubio will also have a foot in that space as will Huckabee, if he runs. The net effect might be that they cancel out each other's ability to take a commanding lead and thereby moving the next tier of candidates up in the odds.

      Of course the group I speculated were your choices could suffer from the same problem. The good news is that it's still way too early to tell. The bad news is I don't see libertarians and fiscal conservatives coalescing around a single candidate by the primaries, which could effectively leave those sorts of candidates on the second tier.

  3. Rubio was either snookered by Satan's footman (Schmuck Schumer) into betraying his base or he's an active coven member. Either way I don't trust him anymore. Christie is an anti 2A RINO so not for me. Jeb is a Bush AND a RINO, but being a Bush is the more serious offense, so not for me. Paul Ryan, smart but enigmatic. Not sure I trust him. Rand Paul, I like him but he's very quirky and the MSM will shred him to pieces. Scott Walker, I'll have to read more. Huckabee. Doesn't do it for me. I like Cruz and Jindal alot.

    1. I read an interesting post on Hot Air yesterday that postulated that Rubio was gambling on financial support from the establishment as a result of his positioning on immigration. It may have been a tactical move. But if that's the case it was a tactical mistake.

  4. It's always easier to pick who won't be the next President. Of the list above almost none will have any chance whatsoever. It will have to be someone with a different vision who can attract rational Democrats and young people in some reasonable numbers. Rand Paul fits even though he will make establishment GOP types go bonkers. They will vote for him anyway if they have to to avoid the dreaded Dem candidate. Rubio, Jindal, or an unknown could have an outside chance, but it's unlikely. This is probably the GOP's last at bat. It's definitely so if they go establishment. One word of solace for the old school guys..I'm almost always wrong about politics because I'm not very interested in it. I'm interested in getting the ship turned toward smaller govt and liberty. I personally won't vote for anyone who doesn't convince me that they really mean to do that and not just talk about it. Republicans hate me even though people like me are their only chance. They would rather scream in my face than change their big govt ways.

    1. I agree that if the GOP goes with a Jeb Bush type and loses it spells disaster for the party. However, there are two other scenarios which I'd be interested on your take Grant.

      (1) The GOP goes with Bush (or Christie) and wins. What does that mean for the party and for the libertarian movement?

      (2) The GOP goes for Rand Paul (or an equally viable, and similar candidate should one exist) and loses the general election. What does that mean for the GOP and for libertarians?

      In the latter scenario there is probably a different answer if the loss is a close call versus a blowout electoral loss.

  5. I like Scott Walker as the most battle hardened against the Leftist spin and lie machine. Dr. Ben Carson is the only one I see on the list who is of the type of barely noticed, but just beginning to rise, dark horse with star appeal that might catch fire and eclipse everybody else.

    1. I don't think that Dr. Carson would garner enough financial support soon enough to get any momentum in time for 2016. He has to do more to raise his profile and he might have a chance in 2020 or 2024.

  6. Christie, Bush, and Huckabee belong down in the Trump, McCain and Ron Paul numbers, but they have excellent allies in (and free publicity from) the mainstream media.

    OTOH, doesn't "Get Christie Bush" sound like a cheesy movie from the 60's?

    1. If it's not a cheesy 60's movie it should have been. Along with the 80's buddy cop movie Bush & Trump.

  7. 2016 is going to be a tough one for the GOP. If the candidate is either an establishment old guard type or a Tea Party type the party loses. To win the GOP will need independents. IOW's the party needs a clear, consistent, and positive message, something lacking in 2012. New idea combined with the truth is what will put a republican back in the Oval office on 2016.

    1. A clear, consistent and positive message isn't really all that new of an idea for the GOP. Reagan did it in 1980 and 1984. The Contract with America achieved the same result in the 1994. Granted, it seems to be a novel notion for the GOP of today.

    2. I think that IS the point Dean L. We live in the present, we can prepare for a better, or a worse tomorrow. We have a choice and as near as I can tell we'll likely make the wrong one.

  8. As a 20-something white male that's probably 85% "Libertarian", all I'll say in regards to my demographic is that if the Republican Party has learned anything from the last two elections, they won't nominate another old and/or rich, white guy. Personally, I'd vote for Ron Paul, but a lot of the kids my age that have been reared strictly republican would just sit at home in protest of a guy like him. Also, please don't take offense to my usage of the word "old" as discriminatory. I also can't quantify it; it's really more of a look. Quite a bit of the electorate that is my age wouldn't vote for a candidate based solely on looks; no reason really, other than the look I've mentioned earlier. Make no mistake, I really feel that we're seeing a real emergence of agism with the younger crowd when it comes to politicians. Don't think for a minute that simply because my generation is more accepting of certain groups, that the ire hasn't been focused somewhere else. It's human nature.

    1. Human Nature plays an important part in politics. National Geographic Channel had a show called Brain Games (I think that's the correct name). In one episode they showed people face images of two competing political candidates whom they did not know. The people were asked who would win the election. Without knowing party affiliation, or any of the candidates positions, people picked the winner of the election more than 70% of the time, based entirely on their perception of who looked like a more trustworthy or capable.

      I may not be exact on the details but the underlying point is still valid - people (of any age) are predisposed to certain surface level predispositions. It isn't particularly healthy for politics but it is reality.

      I would add that excluding an old rich white guy, simply because he's old, rich and white may mean excluding the most qualified and capable leader just because of those considerations. I'm not in any way suggesting that the old, rich white guy is always the best candidate, but it should no more a reason to eliminate him as a possibility than it would be a reason to vote for him. Either way, using those selection criteria would be as facile as voting for Obama simply because he's an African American.

  9. I agree with your sentiments completely. It should be noted, however, that that is EXACTLY the reason Obama won both times and carried the 18-25 demographic by a large margin. The less experienced voter, i.e. not a tax payer yet, will more times than not simply vote for whoever is "coolest"... Scares the hell out of me.

    1. I was trying to avoid pointing out that this was the very reason that Obama won because, you know, that would make me a racist. Or at the very least, uncool....

      I remember in 2008 debating with a couple of my African-Canadian friends that Obama would do more harm than good as far as future African American chances of winning the White House because he would do such a lousy job in office because of his inexperience. A successful African American presidency would require someone else with more experience, and values aligned with American ideals as opposed to a progressive liberal agenda. To date, 1 of those 2 individuals has switched opinion on Obama.

      The other has become even more entrenched in support of Obama. He's in his 40's. So I don't think it's about age so much as it is about engagement. The casually engaged voter, is more susceptible to those superficialities, and that scares the hell out of me.


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