2016 GOP POWER INDEX:
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1) Jeb Bush;
2) Scott Walker
3) Marco Rubio
4) Carly Fiorina [+1]
5) Ted Cruz [-1]
6) Rand Paul [+1]; John Kasich [-1];
8) Ben Carson
9) Mike Huckabee
10) Rick Perry [previously unranked]
FOX News reported:
Scott Walker is right: Jeb Bush is still the frontrunner despite Walker’s increasing strength in national and early state polls. Bush’s expected financial advantages and name identification are enough to keep him in the top slot, but as he prepares to make his official announcement his grasp is getting more tenuous. The big weekend in Iowa reinforced the trend: Bush in his family clique and Walker the leader of the rest of the pack. And despite some dim polling news, Marco Rubio is still pretty clearly ahead of the rest of the pack in terms of his ability to make a broad appeal across party divisions
But Rubio ought to keep his eye on Carly Fiorina, who is building up some momentum. Despite starting from flat-line name identification, Fiorina has consistently impressed on the stump and recently returned from what is said to have been a successful West Coast fundraising swing. Fiorina still lags in the horse race, but if she keeps doing what she has done in early states, Rubio will have to start thinking about her as a threat. While she still struggles to be seen as a top-of-the-ticket choice rather than a running mate, she is gaining an influential following.
Rand Paul is the other gainer this week, snapping back after his domestic surveillance brinksmanship. The very best news for Paul after his Senate high-wire act last week was that nothing happened – no attacks, no lengthy interruptions of surveillance capacity, etc. Having proved to his base that he’s still their man, Paul can get back to an effort to broaden his appeal.