The 2014 fall midterm election is important to 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls because it helps them begin to "set their message," said GOP strategist Karl Rove.
A recent Fox News poll among self-identified Republicans showed no clear GOP frontrunner, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie garnering the support of 15 percent of respondents and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul each tallying in at 14 percent.
Rove explained the fall midterms would enable those with an eye on the White House to begin to let party leaders know what they would offer as a presidential contender. He said it was a time for potential candidates to better identify themselves to the party's "activists, donors, and party leaders."
"This is when they begin to sort of set their message," Rove told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" Thursday. "This is when they begin to develop a bigger frame that allows us to understand who they are in the context of being a president, and not simply just running for president."
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Whoever wins the GOP nod, Rove suggested the candidate carve out his own positions, rather than focus on "attacking" presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
"Build who you are. Describe who you are. Put yourself in a better position, so that when and if the moment comes to begin to contrast yourself with (Clinton), that you've got a lot of information that's out there in people's minds about who you are, where you came from, what you do, what makes you tick, things about you that make you attractive and that give you a better chance," he said.
Rove warned that "polls means very little" this far in advance of the 2016 presidential contest. He pointed out that a 2006 poll of Democratic presidential candidates showed Clinton in the lead in a lineup that did not even include President Barack Obama.
Rove diagnosed Fox News host Bill Hemmer as suffering from PPSI, which he explained was "Premature Presidential Survey-Itis."
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