Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quinnipiac: Rubio holds small lead in 2016 race

Marco Rubio, a barely in front, front-runner


Via Quinnipiac University, another poll shows Marco Rubio at the top of a very closely bunched heap in the 2016 race.

1. Marco Rubio 19%

2. Paul Ryan 17%

3. Rand Paul 15%

4. Chris Christie 14%

5. Jeb Bush 10%

6. Bobby Jindal 3%

7. Scott Walker 2%

8. Bob McDonnell 1%

A couple things about the horse race numbers.

a. Rand Paul's 15% showing is strong and suggests that he's got a shot at the top tier, which usually includes Rubio, Christie, and Jeb Bush.

b. Jeb Bush continues to underwhelm and remains the most overrated candidate in the field. If your last name is the universally-known "Bush" and you're continually heralded as both a front-runner and leader of the party, you better be scoring more than 10%.

But Jeb is mired in fifth place and looking up at four names that are, undeniably, far fresher and consistent with the GOP's push to get younger.

c. This is a pretty good showing for Paul Ryan. Sure, he's got high name recognition, but so do Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.

What's particularly noteworthy is how much better Ryan does than Walker, who's become a Republican icon and, by most accounts, is more likely to run for president.

Let's move, now, to gender preferences.

Women:

1. Marco Rubio 19%

2. Paul Ryan 17%

3. Jeb Bush 12%

4. Chris Christie and Rand Paul 11%

6. Bobby Jindal 3%

7. Scott Walker 2%

8. Bob McDonnell 1%

Men:

1. Marco Rubio 19%

2. Rand Paul 18%

3. Chris Christie 17%

4. Paul Ryan 16%

5. Jeb Bush 9%

6. Bobby Jindal 3%

7. Scott Walker 2%

8. Bob McDonnell 1%

A couple points on this:

a. Rubio's support is spread evenly among men and women (19% and 19%) -- a pattern we've seen quite a bit in early polling  that bodes well for both the primary and, particularly, the general election.

b. Rand Paul, as usual, does far better with men (18%) than with women (11%). That same dynamic popped up perpetually with his pops and is a common phenomenon among tea party candidates who tend to be more austere and individualistic.

c. Jeb Bush does slightly better among women than among men. Why? Possibly, because there's a gender gap within the GOP itself; wherein, Republican women are more liberal than Republican men, and polling shows Jeb gets nearly all his support from self-described moderate and liberal Republicans.

Finally, on whether super early polling like this is relevant -- yes, it is. First impressions matter, and these are good snapshots of first impressions.