Who's ready for the first Iowa caucus ad of 2016?

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell did not do himself any favors with conservatives when he signed his big transportation bill into law last month — it certainly looks like it will be a tax increase in practice (one of his economic advisers just resigned in protest because of it), and the agreement to allow a bicameral commission to decide on whether Virginia will expand Medicaid was definitely not okay.

Just in case McDonnell has any ideas about a presidential bid in 2016, a conservative super PAC is looking to nip those ambitions in the bud… with an ad in Iowa?

Nearly three years ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, the Patriot Super PAC, a Fairfax-based group with tea party leanings, has taken out a tiny TV ad buy of less than $5,000 urging Iowans to beware.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin made light of the ad, saying, “A $5,000 dollar TV ‘buy’ isn’t an attempt to run the first real ad of 2016. It’s an attempt to get articles about running the first TV ad of 2016. In any case, if the Patriot Super PAC is indeed a group of “super patriots” they will immediately apologize to the good people of Iowa for bothering them with an inane political ad in March of 2013- no matter how minuscule the buy. Iowans deserve at least a year off from presidential campaigns.”

Er, McDonnell 2016? I’m sure he’s thought about it in the past, but mounting the effort to try and compete with the more charismatic Rubio, Paul, Jindal, Christie, etcetera ready and rarin’ on the Republican bench? I’m having trouble seeing it.

But heck, while we’re on the 2016 topic, Quinnipiac‘s latest poses a a few of the next presidential cycle’s hypothetical match-ups. Not-at-all surprisingly, Hillary Clinton’s name recognition sweeps the field, and she’s the Democrats’ most formidable contender of the proffered three — with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie giving her the biggest run for her money:

Hillary Clinton would defeat three potential Republican presidential candidates if the 2016 presidential election were held today, with New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie second in a field of three Democrats and three Republicans selected by Quinnipiac University for a national poll released today. …

Former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Clinton wins easily against any of the Republicans, topping Christie 45 – 37 percent; leading Rubio 50 – 34 percent and besting Ryan 50 – 38 percent. …

Christie gets 43 percent to Vice President Biden’s 40 percent and tops Cuomo 45 – 28 percent.

Ryan tops Cuomo 42 – 37 percent while Cuomo and Rubio are tied 37 – 37 percent.