While it’s still very early in the 2016 presidential race debate, we are starting to get closer to that point where individuals start declaring their candidacy for president and the early stages of their campaigns begin taking shape. But this is also a time where polls start to mean a little more as the first GOP primary debate is only a few short months away.
Now, while most people have gone ahead and anointed Jeb Bush as the candidate who’ll emerge from what’s sure to be a very crowded field of contenders (and I do think he’ll eventually be the guy chosen), he still has a long way to go before he actually gets there.
And if a recent poll is any indication of what the future might hold, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is in the driver’s seat right now for the GOP. A poll done by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune showed Walker leads all potential candidates in Texas with 20 percent of those surveyed stating they would support him as the candidate.
Notice it’s Walker who leads in Texas, not Sen. Ted Cruz, Rick Perry or Jeb Bush. That’s pretty bad. For someone from Wisconsin to lead three very well-known Texas politicians (Bush was born here) is pretty embarrassing. Though Cruz did at least come in second in this survey with 19 percent, so he saves some dignity if that’s at all possible.
The same can’t be said for Bush or Perry. The former Florida governor, who was born in Midland, TX, tied Ben Carson with 9 percent, while the former Texas governor only managed to received 8 percent among Republican primary voters surveyed.
So, not only did Cruz, Perry and Bush all come in behind Walker in Texas, which is humiliating in and of itself, but Bush and Perry did just about as well as “doesn’t have a chance in hell because he’s insane” former Fox News contributor Ben Carson.
I usually don’t like to read too much into these kinds of early polls, but this one is really bad; especially coming so close to the start of primary season.
Sure, Ted Cruz polled within the margin of error for this survey, but it’s still telling that Walker gained that much ground since October when Cruz led all candidates at 26 percent. And it’s absolutely embarrassing that Bush and Perry not only came in well behind the two leaders, but polled almost on par with Carson who’s someone almost no one is taking seriously (and rightfully so) heading into 2016.
Though, to be fair, nobody is really taking Perry seriously either.
But what fascinates me about these numbers is how off I would have been if I had to guess the candidates based on who I think has the best chance to take Texas. It’s really starting to make me believe that the 2016 GOP primaries might be one of the most hotly contested we’ve ever seen. If Walker is able to come in and take Southern states like Texas, he might very well be the person who takes the GOP’s nomination.