More evidence surfaced on Friday which proves conclusively that the 2016 presidential race is not upon us. At the very least, the “invisible primary” remains perfectly invisible for now.
On Friday, a CNN/ORC poll was released which misled its readers into thinking that the presidential race is on in the Hawkeye State. That survey revealed that the campaign is a rather predictable one on the Democratic side. The state which rejected Clinton in 2008 is now prepared to embrace her. At least, 53 percent of Iowa Democrats are prepared to make that leap. Another 15 percent of Democrats back Vice President Joe Biden for the nomination, while 7 percent and 5 percent support Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) respectively.
The political landscape is a little more fluid on the Republican side. But while the slate of prospective Republicans is wider and more competitive, one man bestrides the field like a colossus.
“Mike Huckabee nearly laps the field with 21% of all registered Republicans contacted in the poll saying they would support the former Arkansas governor if the 2016 Iowa caucuses were held today,” CNN reported.
Paul Ryan is second with 12%, and there is a cadre of politicians — including Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — with support in the single digits.
Huckabee and Ryan are getting similar support with men — 15% and 16%, respectively — but it is with women that the former Arkansas governor jumps ahead of the congressman.
Interestingly, Huckabee performs far better than does Ryan at this stage of the race among Republican women. 27 percent of GOP-leaning women back Huckabee’s imaginary presidential bid while only 8 percent support Ryan’s equally nonexistent campaign.
Huckabee fans shouldn’t start packing for his inauguration just yet, though. Huckabee was a prohibitive favorite to win the Iowa Caucuses at this stage of the 2012 election cycle, too. His closest competitor eventually won the nomination and chose Ryan to serve as his running mate.
Let’s let Guy Benson close with the most salient analysis of this and other polling of the nascent 2016 race:
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 12, 2014
At this stage of the 2016 cycle, the polling is generally understood to gauge familiarity with prospective candidates (or even those with no interest in being a candidate). While Huckabee leads the hypothetical 2016 field today in Iowa, a state which has become notorious for failing to reflect the views of Republican primary voters nationally, Romney leads the field when GOP voters are surveyed nationwide. That condition leads to analysis like this.
Don’t be fooled. The GOP field is unsettled, and the party’s bench is too strong for retreads to be elevated by GOP voters over the newcomers.