Politico is out with its inaugural Presidential Playbook in which it predicts the most likely to win the Republican nomination if the nation’s primaries and caucuses began today.
As one might expect, topping the list is Jeb Bush with his push to breach the $100 million mark early this year. With multiple $100,000 per-head events already scheduled, that may become reality sooner than many expect.
Close at Bush’s heels is Gov. Scott Walker who catapulted to the top tier after his Iowa Freedom Summit speech which opened party insiders’ eyes to his ability to woo voters. Walker’s campaign apparatus is moving quickly in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to put infrastructure and support in place.
At third is Sen. Marco Rubio, who last week bristled at the suggestion that Bush is a mentor against whom he is revolting. Rubio has spent more time on the trail in early primary states and at fundraising than in the Senate chamber.
Fourth is Sen. Rand Paul who made clear his presidential aspirations before anyone else. His campaign is poised to build a coalition of the conventional and the unconventional voter blocs, and he knows how to raise big money.
Last on the list is Sen. Ted Cruz who’s firebrand rhetoric energizes the Tea Party base and its sympathizers. In an era where the animus against big government is as high as ever, his appeal to the every-man voter could pose a serious threat to the other four, especially in the early primaries.