It’s never too early to start speculating about the next Iowa caucuses.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton would start the campaign as the overwhelming favorite, according to Public Policy Polling’s survey of 391 Iowa Democrats on November 3 and 4.
The PPP poll, which was shared exclusively with POLITICO, shows Clinton taking 58 percent of the Iowa vote in a hypothetical presidential run. Vice President Joe Biden trails far behind at 17 percent, followed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 6 percent and Massachusetts Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren at 3 percent.
None of the other Democrats tested – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner – cracked 1 percent in the poll.
If Clinton doesn’t run, Biden would jump into the lead with a less-commanding 40 percent of the vote, with Cuomo rising to 14 percent and Warren up to 9 percent. In the event that neither Clinton nor Biden runs, Cuomo draws 30 percent to Warren’s 13 percent, with 46 percent of voters unsure who they’d support.
If Clinton runs, she will clear the field, but if she doesn’t run, I think O’Malley has more potential here than Cuomo. The crowd at this year’s Harkin Steak Fry loved O’Malley. He even has an “Iowa connection” from his work for Gary Hart’s 1984 caucus campaign.
Of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, I think Amy Klobuchar is a more likely 2016 candidate than Elizabeth Warren.
The Republican side is truly wide open. Senator Marco Rubio is coming to central Iowa to headline Governor Terry Branstad’s birthday fundraiser on November 17.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Senator Rick Santorum did their part for the “No Wiggins” bus tour, and I’d be shocked if they don’t run for president next cycle.
Talk radio host Steve Deace is planning to lead the charge against anyone trying to push the GOP toward the center.
“He [Romney] killed us all over the country. Look at [same-sex] marriage. We’ve never lost the issue before, until it shared a ballot with Romney then we lost it four times on one day. Heck, we even won marriage in California on Election Day 2008 for goodness sake.
There will never be another establishment candidate like that. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie…those people will never happen. Heck, I think Christie will be driven out of the GOP and be the next Charlie Crist. Mitt just killed Republicans in my home state. People are angry, especially because Matt Drudge and Karl Rove told us it was all in the bag all along, after they got done smearing conservatives in the primary and dumping on Todd Akin.
It’s on like Donkey Kong.”
Deace sincerely believes Republicans need to “embrace the base” to start winning presidential elections.
The past two primary cycles have seen scores of Republican incumbents around the country lose to conservative upstarts. Social conservatives and an emerging generation of young libertarians are rebelling against the milquetoast party establishment. In no state is that more prevalent than my home state of Iowa, where social conservatives went with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum the past two caucuses over the strenuous objections of the party establishment. Ron Paul’s supporters now run the state Republican Party.
With yet another “Mitt McDole” establishment candidate losing a presidential election, the resolve of this new generation of upstarts to not give the GOP establishment the chance to blow another election will grow even stronger.
You only have to look at the exit polls for about 30 seconds to realize Obama would have won by an even greater margin had someone like Rick Santorum or Deace’s preferred candidate, Newt Gingrich, been the GOP nominee.
Iowa Republicans loved New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as recently as September, but he’s persona non grata after praising President Barack Obama so highly during the final week of the presidential campaign. I’m interested to see whether any of the major Iowa Republican donors who courted Christie to run for president will try to help him mend fences here. If Christie wants to rebuild relationships with Iowa GOP, Representative Steve King may be able to help. Christie headlined two fundraisers for King’s Congressional campaign–King helped him out years ago during a difficult Congressional hearing.
Spin your own 2016 Iowa caucus scenarios in this thread.