Hot Air Pre-CNN Debate Reader Survey Results

Ted Cruz takes it all, placing first in the first choice, second choice and consensus choice votes. Other top performers include Donald Trump (2nd first choice, 5th second choice,) Carly Fiorina (3rd first, 2nd second, 2nd consensus,) Scott Walker (4th across the board,) Marco Rubio (5th first,) Ben Carson (3rd second and consensus) and Bobby Jindal (5th consensus.)


During the last survey I noted that Fiorina and Jindal needed to be included in the varsity Fox debate, and earlier this week we found out that Fiorina would in fact be included in the top CNN debate. This is the right call. But Jindal should also be included in the top debates going forward. The Louisiana governor has placed high in Hot Air’s consensus rankings over the last year, and that consistency in appeal may be translating in state polls; this week Jindal was called a “hidden winner” in Iowa polling, thanks to his high favorability ratings. Is he the one to beat right now? No. But with his big upside potential, Jindal should definitely be part of the first tier debates.

On the other side of the spectrum is John Kasich, who’s likely to remain in the top debate but who gets only 17% of the consensus vote at Hot Air. Kasich’s ceiling in the primary is lower than many establishment folk might realize, and it has a lot to do with the Ohio governor’s decision to expand Obamacare in his state. The result:

Kasich benefits from being the governor of a state that Republicans want to win in 2016, but that is not a good enough reason to favor his inclusion in these events over candidates like Jindal. The second and consensus choice vote comparison between the candidates bear that out very clearly. Kasich’s an establishment favorite but little else.

Last but not least, the Palin question. Sarah Palin, if she was running, would capture almost 11% of the vote of Hot Air respondents. Because she is not running, however, the following candidates got her votes instead.


Although other candidates received a handful of Palin supporter votes, Cruz and Trump by far benefited the most from her absence.

And that’s it! Thanks again for participating.

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