Mike Huckabee "Leading" in Early 2014 Early 2016 GOP Polling, Ought to Be Familiar: Everything Old is New Again

who's who?The eruption of Chris Christie’s very Jersey
scandal (traffic, bullying, cronyism) earlier this year as a
national news story may have had more to do with his perceived 2016
aspirations than its wider newsworthiness.
New early 2016 polling
from CNN suggests the scandal’s taken
away the very early “lead” in the Republican presidential
nominating contest even earlier CNN polling found, to the benefit
of Hillary Clinton, the very early Democrat frontrunner, who’s
hoping to leave her national scandals in the past, and who earlier
polling found polling within the margin of error in a hypothetical
matchup with Christie.

The CNN poll found Mike Huckabee (a “new name” it called him)
rising a point above the rest of the GOP field, at 14 percent.
(Rand Paul had 13, followed by Christie and Jeb Bush at 10) The
murmurs about the former Arkansas governor mulling a 2016 run may
be new, but Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008, was considered
by some Republican operatives as a presumptive frontrunner in 2012,
and has hosted an eponymous weekend show on Fox News for more than
five years, is hardly a new name. Less than a year out from the
first GOP primaries, Gallup
started tracking candidates
’ name recognition and “positive
intensity” to get a clearer sense of what it actually meant when
more familiar names appeared at the top of “trial heat”

We’re still twice as far from a 2016 election as Gallup was when
it started doing that, but there is some limited polling from them
on the name recognition of some of the names thrown around as the
primordial 2016 GOP pool. In June of last year, a Gallup poll
found 20 percent of respondents had never heard of Chris Christie,
and 26 percent had never heard of Rand Paul. Mike Huckbaee’s Name
ID, and Jeb Bush’s for that matter, weren’t measured. But consider
that Paul Ryan, who got 9 percent in CNN’s poll, was “never heard
of” by only 19 percent of Gallup responded. Marco Rubio, tied at 9
with Ryan, had 29 percent never hear of him in the Gallup polling.
Presumably, Huckabee, a cable news figure and former Republican
contender, and Jeb Bush, the brother of a former president and the
son of another one, would have far higher name recognition. Without
that information, it’s hard to tell what the number means, except
that Republicans aren’t sure who they want running for president
yet. The more important decision might be in what ideological
direction the party should go, something that’s being litigated in
Congress and on the state level, not just in the 2014 elections,
but in the debates about the party’s agenda that are already
preceding them, as Peter Suderman noted when he declared Obama, not
in this round of polling questions, was over.

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