1. Scott Walker 2014
Before Walker can (or should) think about running for the presidency, he needs to win re-election to his seat in Wisconsin. Although Wisconsin often votes Democratic, Walker became the first governor to win a recall in 2012, beating his opponent by 7 percent. He has faced a series of investigations the past few months but his approval ratings are at 53 percent and he has a reliable set of donors acquired during his fight with unions and the recall. Going to CPAC puts every Republican politician in danger of saying something damaging, and Walker doesn’t have wiggle room to flub. If he does win in November, he’ll get to show off a trend of winning in a state that has voted Democratic in the past six presidential cycles, a potential expansion of the electoral map his party badly needs.
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