Is Scott Walker Peaking to Early?

On the heels of a vault to first place in Iowa after a stunning performance in the state’s conservative political rally, Scott Walker is now also tops in the most recent New Hampshire poll with a command of 21 points to Jeb Bush’s 14.

But Real Clear Politics’ Caitlin Huey-Burns wonders whether Scott Walker is peaking too early. She speculates he may be putting a target on his back among the largest field of GOP contenders in more than a generation:

“The challenge for candidates at this stage of the game is to catch on without being perceived as the frontrunner. There is still a year to go before voters in Iowa, the first caucus state, officially weigh in on the choices. And there are drawbacks to getting out ahead of the pack this early in the process.”

If the 2016 cycle follows a path even remotely similar to that of 2012, Walker could ultimately become the first among many candidates who enjoy a leap-frog to the front of the line only to be shot down quickly.

In 2012, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all enjoyed time in the limelight as the ‘not-Romney’ candidate du jour. But with enough time and attack-ad money, Romney was able ultimately to outpace them all. If Team Bush learns anything from the last cycle, it may be that their best strategy is in allowing the proverbial crabs-in-a-bucket effect to play out.