It’s 2016 (finally)! Iowa voters will head to their caucuses in four weeks. The country will pick a new president in about 10 months. It’s all happening, people.
Given all of that, it’s time to revisit my rankings of the candidates who could be the Republican presidential nominee. It’s a shrinking list but still far longer than that of the Democrats’ side, where it’s Hillary Clinton’s race to lose (still).
The candidate ranked No. 1 below is the most likely, as of now, to be the GOP nominee. And, for the record, I think it’s possible (if not probable) that we go into Cleveland for the Republican National Convention in July with no candidate with enough delegates to be the nominee.
1. Ted Cruz: The senator from Texas has been underestimated and underrated at every step of the primary process. No longer. Cruz is solidly in first place in Iowa and, barring some sort of unforeseen collapse, will win the first-in-the-nation caucuses. He also should run well in South Carolina on Feb. 20 and in the “SEC primary” on March 1. Cruz, thanks to Donald Trump, is now being seen in some GOP circles as a conservative, non-disastrous alternative to the real estate mogul. And, unlike other conservative insurgents of the past, Cruz has the money — in his campaign committee and in a constellation of super PACs backing him — to last for the duration of the race. More