The GOP Wants to Know: Do You Want Herman Cain in 2016?

A Republican National Committee straw poll reveals possible presidential candidates you surely aren’t even thinking about.

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks during an American For Prosperity rally on July 23, 2012 in Reno, Nevada.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Jan. 14, 2014, 1:03 p.m.

The GOP has cre­ated a di­git­al menu of 2016 pres­id­en­tial op­tions. And it’s full of people you prob­ably nev­er even thought of.

The list in­cludes plenty of ob­vi­ous con­tenders: New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ry­an, Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and so on. But it also digs deep­er in polit­ic­al his­tory, stretch­ing back to Her­man Cain and Newt Gin­grich, and floats names like Sen. Kelly Ayotte and the al­ways-rumored former Sec­ret­ary of State Con­doleezza Rice.

There are some not­able names not on the list, like celebrity mil­lion­aire Don­ald Trump and one-time can­did­ate Mitt Rom­ney. But right now, the GOP is cast­ing an al­most com­ic­ally large net in its hunt for a 2016 can­did­ate.

At the same time, Demo­crats would prob­ably love to be able to put out a list like this. Once you toss out those who don’t stand a chance (sorry, John Bolton), the massive shop­ping list still shows how deep the GOP bench is right now. And once Re­pub­lic­ans set their mind on a can­did­ate, they will have to con­vince every­one with­in their splintered party to sup­port him or her.

Maybe this ex­tremely early, free-flow­ing straw poll isn’t the worst idea.

Of course, to fill out the poll, you have to give the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee your info — there is a broad­er point in this for the party, after all. Here’s the full list:

  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hamp­shire
  • Former Gov. Haley Bar­bour, Mis­sis­sippi
  • John Bolton, former U.S. am­bas­sad­or to the United Na­tions, mus­ta­chioed
  • Former Gov. Jeb Bush, Flor­ida
  • Her­man Cain, pizza
  • Ben Car­son, neurosur­geon
  • Gov. Chris Christie, New Jer­sey
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas
  • Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, In­di­ana
  • Newt Gin­grich, former Newt Gin­grich
  • Gov. Nikki Haley, South Car­o­lina
  • Mike Hucka­bee, tele­vi­sion host
  • Gov. Bobby Jin­dal, Louisi­ana
  • Gov. John Kasich, Ohio
  • Rep. Peter King, New York
  • Gov. Susana Mar­tinez, New Mex­ico
  • Former Gov. Sarah Pal­in, Sarah Pal­in’s Alaska
  • Sen. Rand Paul, Ken­tucky
  • Former Rep. Ron Paul, Google Ron Paul
  • Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Min­nesota
  • Gov. Mike Pence, In­di­ana
  • Gov. Rick Perry, Texas (lis­ted on the poll as former gov­ernor, which he will be by then)
  • Sen. Rob Port­man, Ohio
  • Former Sec­ret­ary of State Con­doleezza Rice
  • Sen. Marco Ru­bio, Flor­ida
  • Rep. Paul Ry­an, Wis­con­sin
  • Gov. Bri­an San­dov­al, Nevada
  • Former Sen. Rick San­tor­um, Pennsylvania
  • Sen. Tim Scott, South Car­o­lina
  • Sen. John Thune, South Dakota
  • Gov. Scott Walk­er, Wis­con­sin
  • Al­len West, Al­len West Inc.

And, if that’s not enough for you, there’s al­ways a write-in.

What We're Following See More »
LOTS OF STRINGERS
Inside the AP’s Election Operation
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
THE QUESTION
What’s the Average Household Income of a Trump Voter?
2 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Seventy-two thousand dollars, according to FiveThirtyEight. That's higher than the national average, as well as the average Clinton or Sanders voter, but lower than the average Kasich voter.

Source:
VERY FEW DEMS NOW REPRESENT MINING COMMUNITIES
How Coal Country Went from Blue to Red
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
STAFF PICKS
History Already Being Less Kind to Hastert’s Leadership
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In light of his recent confessions, the speakership of Dennis Hastert is being judged far more harshly. The New York Times' Carl Hulse notes that in hindsight, Hastert now "fares poorly" on a number of fronts, from his handling of the Mark Foley page scandal to "an explosion" of earmarks to the weakening of committee chairmen. "Even his namesake Hastert rule—the informal standard that no legislation should be brought to a vote without the support of a majority of the majority — has come to be seen as a structural barrier to compromise."

Source:
‘STARTING FROM ZERO’
Trump Ill Prepared for General Election
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Even if "[t]he Republican presidential nomination may be in his sights ... Trump has so far ignored vital preparations needed for a quick and effective transition to the general election. The New York businessman has collected little information about tens of millions of voters he needs to turn out in the fall. He's sent few people to battleground states compared with likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, accumulated little if any research on her, and taken no steps to build a network capable of raising the roughly $1 billion needed to run a modern-day general election campaign."

Source:
×