Presidential Candidate Survivor 2016


By Steve Deace

Recently the RNC unveiled an exhaustive list of 32 potential presidential candidates for 2016. So for today’s daily briefing, we’ve got a chance for both you and I to have our say on this list.

First, in honor of the era of Twitter, I will provide my analysis of each name’s 2016 chances in 140 characters or less.

– Sen. Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire


– Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor

Only if a cholera outbreak dismantles all other potentials.

– John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations

Respected, but his positions on anything other than foreign policy are not well known.

– Jeb Bush, former Florida governor


– Herman Cain, a radio host

Has shown no interest in running again.

– Ben Carson, author and neurosurgeon

The sort of substantive, non-traditional candidate legions of voters angry with the status quo in Washington could rally behind.

– Chris Christie, New Jersey governor

He’s got to survive his second term as governor first.

– Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas

Has correctly figured out the best politics is the best policy, and has become a favorite if he runs as a result.

– Mitch Daniels, former Indiana governor

Is this for real? Am I being punked?

– Newt Gingrich, former House speaker

Has graduated to professor emeritus status.

– Nikki Haley, South Carolina governor

She could make someone a very attractive running mate in 2016.

– Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor

He’s popular and likeable, which matters, but can you be neutral in a civil war?

– Bobby Jindal, Louisiana governor

One of America’s best governors in recent memory, but the memory of his lackluster state of the union response lingers.

– John Kasich, Ohio governor

Has betrayed conservatives far too often.

– Rep. Peter King, of New York

Has a better chance at a Viking funeral than the GOP nomination.

– Susana Martinez, New Mexico governor

If her name were Bob Smith this wouldn’t even be a consideration.

– Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor

I don’t think she’ll ever be a candidate for public office again.

– Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky

Great senator, but it has become more difficult obtaining the coalition he needs to win the nomination.

– Former Rep. Ron Paul, of Texas

Ironically, the RNC seems only willing to consider him worth mentioning after he retires.

– Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor

Only if the goal is to make people hungry for the return of Mitt Romney.

– Mike Pence, Indiana governor

Just got elected governor, otherwise he almost perfectly matches the profile of what conservatives are looking for.

– Rick Perry, Texas governor

If he runs as a real Texan, and not as the timid one we saw before, he’s capable of coming up with a second act.

– Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio

You’ll have to check with his son, since he seems to make his father’s decisions for him nowadays.

– Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state

I don’t think she’ll ever be a candidate for public office.

– Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida

His only blight is being the face of scamnesty, but that’s a pretty big one.

– Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin

A great pro-life Democrat.

– Brian Sandoval, Nevada governor

Who? What? When? Where? How?

– Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator

I don’t see an opening if Huckabee runs, but Santorum has defied the odds before.

– Sen. Tim Scott, of South Carolina

Would need to seriously raise his national profile first.

– Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota

He’ll have to check with Mitt Romney for permission first.

— Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor

His record and profile makes him someone that could get some support from both grassroots and the establishment.

– Former Rep. Allen West, of Florida

This would be so much fun you could charge admission. MSNBC would have to change its name to the “Conniption Fit Channel.”

Now that I’ve had my say, it’s your turn. In accordance with our partners at The Family Leader, we are conducting a “Candidate Survivor” for 2016 each week for the next few months. Each week you can visit their website and vote one potential 2016 candidate off the island in a process of elimination. We’ve even added a few names we thought should also be on the list. Each week we’ll release the name of the potential candidate that got the most votes for elimination, cross them off the list, and allow you to do it all over again with the remaining candidates the following week.

In the end, you get a voice in determining the “soul survivor” (pun intended) for the 2016 GOP nomination. And every few weeks one lucky listener that votes could win the outstanding Founder’s Bible, which uniquely and beautifully shows how the Bible influenced the ideas and people that founded the freest and most prosperous country in human history.

So vote now and vote often (once a week). And yes, we will have voter ID <wink>.

(You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow)