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GOP Insiders: Rubio for President in 2016?

Who would be the strongest Republican presidential nominee in 2016?


Jeb Bush: 47%
Chris Christie: 28%
Bobby Jindal: 1%
Susana Martinez: 2%
Rand Paul: 0%
Marco Rubio: 13%
Paul Ryan: 1%
Rick Santorum: 2%


Jeb Bush

“He is their best bet to bridge the difference between the activist wing of their party and general-election voters.”

“Last name may scare some, but he is experienced, moderate, and not just a white boy.”


“If his name was Jeb Anything-Else, he would have been elected president last night.”

“By then, the taint would be gone.”

“He understands the changing demographics in the country and is moderate in his thinking.”

“He is smart enough to navigate the crazy factions of the GOP and keep them united.”


Chris Christie

“The more the GOP base fumes over his performance, the better he looks to the independents who could actually elect him.”

“Christie is everything Romney wasn’t: sloppy and blunt and authentic. He also actively started the ’16 campaign a week before this Election Day.”

“As a Democrat, he’s the one that worries me the most.”

Marco Rubio

“Thank goodness they’ll never nominate him. Please God, give us Paul Ryan—the gift that keeps giving.”

“Republicans lost Hispanics by 40 [points]. Another white guy campaigning on conservative issues isn’t the answer—it’s the problem.”


Who would be the strongest Republican presidential nominee in 2016?


Jeb Bush: 27%
Chris Christie: 8%
Bobby Jindal: 3%
Susana Martinez: 2%
Rand Paul: 0%
Marco Rubio: 40%
Paul Ryan: 9%
Rick Santorum: 9%

Jeb Bush

“We need someone who can expand our coalition while remaining true to strong conservative Republican principles. Gov. Bush is that man.”

“In spite of his last name, Jeb Bush is our best chance of halting the Latino stampede to the Democrats.”

Chris Christie

“We need to close gender gap. Like it or not, choice is the only way.”

Marco Rubio

“Time for something other than a two-white-guy ticket.”

“Without Hispanics, we don’t win Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia. Enough said?”

“The Latino Republican version of Obama/Kennedy—he inspires, he’s handsome, and what’s not to like?”

“It’s not just that our party has to reach beyond old white males. More fundamentally, we talk in terms of policies and numbers instead of addressing people’s real-life concerns. Rubio is the only one on the list who does that persuasively and relatably.”

Paul Ryan

“Youth, energy, ideas, and the ability to communicate.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

This article appeared in print as "Political Insiders Poll."

This article appears in the November 10, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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