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The Five Leaders of the GOP

marco buio

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Currently the top four choices by Republicans to carry the party banner in 2016 are Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Chris Christie, and Former Gov. Jeb Bush. The following are findings from a new national Quinnipiac poll:

There is no front-runner now for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, leaving a five- way horse race with no candidate above 19 percent among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie, who ran better than other Republicans against top Democrats in a March 7 survey of all American voters by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, gets only 14 percent of Republican voters today.

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio gets 19 percent of Republican voters, with 17 percent for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 15 percent for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and 10 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Other contenders are at 3 percent or less.

The exact order of politicians in the poll has less significance than the politicians who simply made the list.

While this poll has basically no predictive power so far out from the election, it provides very important insight into who Republican voters currently see as their party’s leaders, top thinkers and best spokespersons. These are the people conservatives want as the head of the party and who they will look to for defining debate on pressing issues.

Since the top three all currently serve in Congress, trying to maintain this perceived status can have a huge impact on immediate policy decisions. For example, one of the biggest obstacles in immigration reform right now is Rubio trying to maintain a delicate balance of supporting reform without alienating conservatives.

Photo by Gage Skidmore released under Creative Commons License

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at