Why Walker is the GOP Frontrunner

Steve Kornacki: “Going strictly by the poll numbers, no one is off to a better start than Scott Walker. And yes, it’s easy to dismiss this — it’s so early. There were polls that showed Herman Cain ahead last time! The establishment candidate always wins in the end! But there’s also a good case to be made that it’s much more than a fleeting blip and that Walker is a genuine contender for the GOP nomination — maybe even (gulp) the favorite.”

“This is a testament both to Walker’s strengths and to the vulnerabilities of Bush, who is generally regarded as the front-runner and who is quickly establishing himself as the favorite of the party’s donor class.”

  • Hagar32Grady

    Walker is ahead as of now because of the caliber of his competition……

  • OBforObama

    Walker is the front-runner because the rest of the pack is stale or crazy. Or both.

    God may very well tell him to run. But she has a twisted sense of humor, and a great fondness for banana peels.

    • RobSolf

      Yep, I love it when these idiots say “God told me to run”.

      So, God told you to run so you could be humiliatingly crushed by the guy who got humiliatingly crushed by the prez?

      Sir, your God is a dick.

      Or Lucy. Try kicking that ball one more time, Charlie Brown.

      • Unsphexish

        That’s God’s way of teaching humility. Whether or not you’re willing to learn humility… well, that’s a different matter.

      • ChuckUnderscore

        I’m pretty sure you’re the dick.

      • JavaMan

        I would love to see a series of follow up interviews with candidates contrasting “God told me to run” with election results, and then asking how the candidates heard the voice of God telling them to run, what the experience was like, whether they were lying about it when making the statement initially, etc.

        Don’t post just one video that goes viral and hips people to the idea. Just try to get dozens of people to speak at some length about what they meant when they said it. Splice it all together.

  • RobSolf

    Walker is up front because nobody knows him. Also why all the has-ran’s are running poorly; people DO know them. Once they get to know the guy, he’ll move to the back and the next unknown will move to the front. Sound familiar?

  • Chris Leatherman

    The recent polling data forces to take Walker seriously for now. However, untill he starts winning primaries, I still would place a small amount on Bush being the nominee based on the past track record of the establishment. Walker looks relatively good at the moment because the rest (save maybe Bush) look so terribly bad.

  • growe

    Walker is the front runner for now, because no one has asked any hard questions yet.

    Your state’s economy blows, Dayton in MN does so much better – why is that?
    Your breath smells like Kochs – are you proud that your donors control you like a puppet?
    You are crippling your state’s future with education cuts – is your goal to make WI less competitive?

    Yes, it helps that his ‘competition’ is perceived as so defective and worthless. Yes, the headlines as Hero of the Recall helps boost his name and draw supporters as the Not-Bush. But I see little about this clumsy ignorant little man that makes me think his closet is not packed tight with skeletons.

    • 66kicks

      Can’t wait for Walker’s answers to the hard questions. He won’t even answer most softball questions these days.

  • pisher

    Great analysis from Kornacki, as always. I think he’s understating Walker’s problems a bit–he did not handle the “Does Obama love America” question well at all. He lacks charisma. He doesn’t look the least bit Presidential. His economic policies won’t play well outside the right.

    But I’d give him at least a 50/50 shot at beating Jeb. We can’t really handicap this until they’re actually campaigning, and debating, and airing lots of attack ads aimed at each other.

    I’d give Jeb much more of an edge if he hadn’t handled himself so badly at that foreign policy thing. Walker has one big advantage over Jeb–he’s not coming off a long lay-off. Not like Jeb has any experience outside state politics either. We talk about all the advantages of being a governor when running for POTUS, but that’s the big disadvantage–you only know one patch of territory. Your own.

    • RobSolf

      I think Schiavo is going to haunt Jeb’s campaign from beginning to end. The fact that it makes him the poster boy for Gov’t intrusion; that to this day, after finding out Terry’s brain was all but liquified nothingness, that he thinks he made the right decision and would do it all over again…

      …that not only reeks of stupidity, but also of his brother, “the decider”; the guy who led us into the biggest foreign policy blunder in decades if not centuries, and still claims he’d do it all again.

      • growe

        The question is whether any Republiclown in the primaries will embrace reality and say the Schiavo-as-propoganda tack was disgusting. I’m betting not – Jeb will have to be the nominee to have his fat arrogant snout rubbed in that horrific little episode.

        Walker, Christie, Rand have no balls to risk right-to-life zealots’ wrath by saying it is cruel to keep a corpse alive as a political prop.

  • Buford2k11

    Walker will probably take the Joni Ernst Model of not talking to any media, or just to the most crazy of the media…He will not be the fount of information about himself, or his issues…He has a record, a history that shows just what kind of person, politician, and humanitarian he really is…this should, I say Should, help his sorry ass to the back of the clown car…

    • tigerakabj

      Of course he’ll try to take the Joni Ernst path of keeping his mouth shut. But that won’t work when you’ve got 20 others on stage with you demanding that you answer questions. Not to mention other billionaires other than the Koch brothers launching attacks against him. He’s going to have to pipe up sooner or later.

      I think this scenario of being the frontrunner this early in the GOP race is akin to the cocky kid everybody is trying to get out first in dodgeball.

      • nanotab

        I’m skeptical that the JonI Ernst strategy (i.e., keeping mouth shut) will work for anyone running to be President. But it can work for a state-level, low turnout election.

  • EbeSnoozer

    Time for a poll in WI of Walker vs Clinton…

  • jjbrainstorm

    It will be interesting to see how Walker holds up under the pressure of being the GOP frontrunner. The target is now on his back.

    • tigerakabj

      I personally think Walker will flame out big time. He’s going to find that his opponents in the GOP primary will be more ruthless and cutthroat than any of the competition he’s seen in Wisconsin. The old Reagan rule about Republicans not attacking other Republicans has been dead and buried for some time now. If anything the more points you put on the scoreboard against not just Democrats, but your fellow party the more tea party money you can rake in on the speaker circuit and Fox News. It will be a feeding frenzy worse than 2012 and Scott will be the first mangled.

      • jjbrainstorm

        You are likely right, but I hope he doesn’t stubble too soon. I would love to see Jeb and Walker going at it till the bitter end.

  • richo123

    The Walker Bush show will be as uninspiring as it was last time.

  • daddyoyo

    Sarah Palin and other anti-intellectuals in the GOP saw a temporary bounce in their poll numbers after the media focused on their ignorance. A large part of the base loves not knowing stuff and resents those who do.

  • APV

    The analysis is on the spot. If Walker can demonstrate that he is ready for prime time and does not self-destruct, he will be a tier1 contender.

    Walker straddles establishment, tea party, and social conservative factions better than most other candidates. Perry and Pence fit that profile, but they have other weaknesses and have not been able to get any traction so far.

    Walker will have the least unacceptability rating (2nd and 3rd preference), which is a big plus in a crowded field. In comparison, 25% of Iowa Republicans in a recent poll said they would definitely not vote for Jeb Bush, which means Jeb will only have a smaller pool of voters to make gains from.

    No candidate has been able to make the electability argument so far. So, a candidate who is closer to primary voters’ positions has an advantage.

    In addition to Jeb, he is the only GOP candidate in double digits in recent state polls (IA, NH, SC, VA, NC, IL, CA). That shows he is getting attention.

  • tigerakabj

    Walker gave one speech in Iowa and that’s why he is ahead…for now. Other than that speech, he hasn’t said much of anything. If anything when asked softball questions he’s dodged them. Nobody is formally announced yet and once they do announce he will face attacks from the other competitors as his record from Wisconsin is brought up.

    Please believe the rest of the GOP field (what is it, like 20 now?) will gang up on him in short order.

  • Robbins

    Not surprised by this at all.

    Walker’s problems now is he is target for bush crime family.

    It’s general election where he would have to deal with economic problems In Wis.In primarys he will be loved for his anti-union and right to work policys.

  • Jonas Grumby

    lol. Because he is a moron among morons and no one outside of the TeaBillies have heard him speak. Give it time.

  • growe

    Wonder how many blue-haired Republican primary voters think they would be voting for Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger?

    • Jean Anne Lewis

      LMAO! A LOT! 🙂

      • growe

        Thank you, glad you liked it. I thought of that from many years ago, when Bryant Gumbel was on the TODAY show, and some cotton-top old woman asked him “Are you Al Roker?” Keep in mind, this is before Roker had fat surgery on TV, and though Bryant Gumbel was, well, rather egotistical, he was never round like a beach ball.

        It wouldn’t take much for the name to confuse some eldery Republicans.

      • growe

        Thank you, glad you liked it. I thought of that from many years ago, when Bryant Gumbel was on the TODAY show, and some cotton-top old woman asked him “Are you Al Roker?” Keep in mind, this is before Roker had fat surgery on TV, and though Bryant Gumbel was, well, rather egotistical, he was never round like a beach ball.

        It wouldn’t take much for the name to confuse some eldery Republicans.

  • jjbrainstorm

    Walker’s CPAC session starts at 5:00 PM ET today. I think I might watch it if I can find a decent live feed. Curious to see how red meat he plans to run.

  • rssrai

    Walker is a real candidate who is both liked by the establishment and the tea party. He is a real conservative and is not a nut job. He has a real following and doesn’t haven’t the Bush name which is a big plus for him.

    • rssrai

      Also, if Walker does good at CPAC this should cement him as a top candidate.

      • montag

        It may sound far-fetched, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Bush-Walker or Walker-Bush ticket next year. And it doesn’t really matter which one of them is at the top of the ticket. The GOP will get out and vote regardless because the thought of HRC in the White House is anathema to them.

  • ryp

    Walker is a contender inasmuch as he’s not the complete joke previous 25% “frontrunners” like Trump and Cain were, but the republican voters are a fickle lot. It didn’t take much to knock the great white trash hope, Rick Perry, down from 38% in August of 2011 to barely 10% a few months later, and for a a brief moment it seemed the less serious Gingrich was as a candidate, the stronger he did in the polls.

    We have several months before we know who will actually be running and who is just pretending, and who starts shooting at who, then the debates, as well as months of general opportunities for gaffs and mini-scandals, and finally actually getting the vote out in Iowa and NH, because any candidate who seriously underperforms to expectations in both those contests isn’t going to get much further.

  • Lynda Groom

    He’s the current front runner because he does not represent our ‘better angles.’ That has a magic appeal to the rubes that represent the majority of the base voters.

  • wymurph

    Walker is the odds on favorite because his commitment to avoiding good government has been so pure. Kasich and Pence have both contaminated themselves to some extent with obamacare. Perry was once nice to immigrant children. Bush is a special case, ultimately his name dooms him. Christie seems at last to be fading from the discussion. The senators are nonstarters. Cruz voters will figure Walker is more electable. And we can stop pretending about Paul, right?

    Gosh, hope I am wrong, but walker probably gets the nomination. Then his extremism, poor record, and unpleasantness will cost him a few percentage points in the general. Good lord, even the thought of this slime anywhwere near the Oval Office is appalling. Would make W look like a statesman in comparison.

  • duncan king

    Walker, Christie, Bush and Trump, none of these clowns would win their states in Presidential election.

    It was always a death blow to winning Presidency if not able to win your own state.

  • duncan king

    Walker, Christie, Bush and Trump, none of these clowns would win their states in Presidential election.

    It was always a death blow to winning Presidency if not able to win your own state.