Why polls alone don't show the true leaders of the GOP race
Who are the leaders in this crowded race for the GOP nomination? If you look at national polls, the top three are Trump, Bush, and Carson. If you look at New Hampshire, it's Trump, Kasich, and Bush. If you look at Iowa, it's Trump, Carson, and Walker, though I don't know how proud Scott Walker can be to be third in a state that should almost be giving him a home-state advantage.
But these polls by themselves don't show who the leaders are in the race. To know the answer to that question, you have to look at all the fundamentals, not just polling but also money raised, organizational strength, and strengths of the candidate. Let's look at the major candidates one by one and you'll see what I mean.
Those who aren't:
John Kasich is number two in New Hamphire, but is just a blip on the rest of the polls. He hasn't raised much money yet, although he is very new to the race. Personality wise, he doesn't have much charisma; Jeb Bush has none either, but compared to Kasich, Jeb Bush is Tom Cruise. After Chris Christie fell through as the backup candidate for the Chamber of Commerce, Kasich has appeared to take his place. But until Kasich shows strength outside of New Hampshire, until he raises a lot of money and builds an organization, he simply isn't a major candidate.
Ben Carson is strong in many polls, but he hasn't raised much money. $11 million dollars sounds like a lot, but is a pittance compared to Jeb Bush's $100 million. Carson also has no national, fifty state organization structure. He has charisma; if he didn't he wouldn't have gotten this far. But until he raises a lot more money and builds a national organization he cannot be considered a major candidate.
Marco Rubio has a $42 million base of support, but he's been nowhere in the polls. If he can't be better than third in his home state of Florida, where he is right now, he's done.
Scott Walker used to be a major candidate but the way things are going, he's falling out of that status. Remember when he was number one in Iowa? Because it is a neighboring state, Walker has to win Iowa. Right now he is number three, behind Ben Carson, who has no organization or financing to speak of. Walker has made an incredible number of stumbles, most recently on the issue of immigration, which have cost him a lot of support. He has $26 milion dollars in the bank, which isn't nothing, but unless he does something soon to turn it around, he will not make it back to the ranks of the major players.
Those who are:
Like him or not, Jeb Bush is obviously a major candidate. Even though he is no longer ahead in any poll, the $120 million dollar man cannot be discounted, as he has the backing of the Chamber of Commerce, the establishment Republicans, and probably all the hosts of Mordor. He's charisma challenged, but has a national organization, and strong establishment backing, and with that much money he is still a major player.
Donald Trump, of course is a major player, simply by virtue of being number one in all the polls. I honestly don't know if he has a national organization in place or not but I do know, given the nature of his personal wealth, that money will not be a problem for him. He is extremely charismatic and a great communicator.
And then there is Ted Cruz. Nowhere does Ted Cruz show up in the top three of any poll, but that is deceptive. Cruz has raised the most "hard cash" money of any candidate, and has tremendous support among the grass roots and conservative base. In total he has 52 million dollars and he is running a national, 50 state campaign and has the organization to back it up. While he is not riding high in the polls now, by virtue of his financing and charisma and base of support, he is most likely to be the one to jump into the mix when one of the top three in the polls stumble.
So right now it seems to me that Trump, Bush, and Cruz are the leading candidates. The rest haven't, at least for now, demonstrated the fundamental strength to be serious candidates.
This article was produced by NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.