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WaPo Dumps Mike Pence From Top 10 GOP Candidates for 2016

Image: WaPo Dumps Mike Pence From Top 10 GOP Candidates for 2016
(Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Monday, 06 Apr 2015 02:06 PM

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been removed by The Washington Post from its list of the top 10 potential Republican candidates for the presidency because of his botched handling of the state's religious freedom law.

The newspaper's political expert Chris Cillizza says that instead of spending the next few months wasting his time touting his national credentials, Pence should devote all his time and energy to "rehabbing" his image and winning re-election in 2016.

Pence was a long shot at best for the White House before he signed off on his state's controversial religious freedom law last month, which allowed businesses to discriminate against homosexuals.

After he came under intense criticism, Pence quickly reversed himself and said he would "clarify" the legislation. Now Cillizza appears to think that Pence's chances at the GOP nod are less than zero, declaring, "Goodbye, Mike Pence!"

The governor has been replaced in the Post rankings for the 10th spot by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who the paper says has a "puncher's chance" at winning the nomination.

The current leader in the top 10 is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. However, although he's leading in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Cillizza says, "There's something about Bush that is rubbing people the wrong way."

In second place is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who came in third in the Post-ABC News poll but first in a new Fox News poll.

"His standing in the polls is pretty darn good for a guy who isn't that well known," writes Cillizza.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who will announce whether he's running later this month, is third in the Post rankings.

"Rubio seems to have concluded that he can raise the money he needs to mount a serious candidacy even with Bush in the running," says a dubious Cillizza.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is expected to announce his candidacy on Tuesday, comes in fourth, and, according to the Post, the libertarian-leaning politician will be vying with tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for conservative voters.

"What remains to be seen: can [Cruz] expand beyond the 12-ish percent of the vote he's likely to have right now in each of the early voting states," writes Cillizza, who placed Cruz in the fifth position.

In sixth place is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who leads the race in his home state, according to a Quinnipiac survey, which won't get it done in the rest of the country.

"For now, his candidacy is very much in the abstract," says the Post, "and with Bush in the race, is there really room for Kasich?"

Seventh position goes to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"No candidate's fortunes have fallen as much as Christie's have," writes Cillizza, "and it's not just in New Jersey." In the Post-ABC News poll, his unfavorable rating, 41 percent, was slightly higher than his favorable rating, 38 percent.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee comes in eighth, and the Post notes that he would likely have won some support among conservatives with his outspoken support of Indiana's embattled religious freedom law.

Taking ninth place is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, though Cillizza appears to dismiss his chances, saying, "Jindal is trying to find an issue on which he can break through and get more people to pay attention to him."

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been removed by The Washington Post from its list of the top 10 potential Republican candidates for the presidency because of his botched handling of the state's religious freedom law.
Mike Pence, candidates, presidential, Post
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2015-06-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 02:06 PM
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