As seen in The Washington Times and The Conservative Review, here’s how Steve Deace, http://stevedeace.com/, sees the candidates stack up after the Iowa Caucuses:
This is my (Steve Deace’s) big-picture analysis based on sources and observations.
Dr. Ben Carson’s support is underrated. He attracts people who have given up on the political process, but are inspired by his life story and accomplishments. He already has a credible organizational presence on the ground in Iowa. He may be the best chance to create a new coalition.
Senator Rand Paul’s support is overrated and nowhere near what his dad had. In fact, the lack of clarity Rand has provided on numerous issues has his base in a bit of disarray at the moment. Several 2012 Ron Paul supporters I know are either disillusioned and/or openly contemplating signing up with Ted Cruz.
Several governing conservatives (those in elected office or aspiring to) seem to be leaning towards Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as someone who has “done something”.
Speaking of Senator Cruz, if the Caucuses were today, I believe he would win. On Saturday, he gave one of the best political speeches I’ve ever seen in person. He was already the top choice of most of the activists going in as it is, and right now is probably the best chance to recreate the Reagan coalition. However, the caucuses are not today. They’re more than a year from now, and Cruz still needs to build the organization it takes to translate energy into votes when it counts.
Several governing conservatives (those in elected office or aspiring to) seem to be leaning towards Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as someone who has “done something”; specifically, his impressive victory over the government sector unionistas. If Cruz is the favorite of the activists, Walker seems to be this group’s favorite.
My Take as a Conservative Voter
Setting aside the objective analysis I get paid to do, here’s my one-sentence first impressions of the 2016 GOP presidential field in alphabetical order:
- Jeb Bush: If your goal is to see just how low voter turnout can go in 2016, particularly among millennials, this is your man.
- Ben Carson: Back when we were kids before we became cynical, this is the type of guy you always envisioned should grow up to become president.
- Chris Christie: Might have better luck trying out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.
- Ted Cruz: He’s “the Natural,” the Roy Hobbs of the conservative movement, but he now must prove he’s ready to lead.
- Carly Fiorina: I was impressed with her ability to articulate where she stands when I spoke with her.
- Jim Gilmore: Has a presidential resume, but needs more of a presidential presence to stand out in this field.
- Mike Huckabee: No one communicates more effectively, which is vitally important, but he has serious inroads to make with folks who believe in limited government.
- Bobby Jindal: He’s starting to come into his own and showing the moral clarity of a president.
- John Kasich: Conservatives rightfully have reservations, but when a guy gets over 60% of the vote statewide in Ohio, he deserves a chance to make his case.
- Sarah Palin: I’ll believe she’s a serious candidate when I see it.
- Rand Paul: Great senator, but as a presidential candidate, he gives us everything we didn’t like about his dad and none of the stuff we did.
- Mike Pence: If Richard Viguerie thinks your presidential material, I’m at least willing to listen.
- Rick Perry: Has a tremendous success story to sell, but doesn’t come across as the right salesman to sell it.
- Mitt Romney: I might cut myself for even having to include him in this list.
- Marco Rubio: Too good to write off permanently, but 2016 is too soon for many of us to forget his egregious unforced error with the “gang of 8.”
- Rick Santorum: One of my favorite “dudes” but I don’t know where he fits in against much stiffer competition this time.
- Donald Trump: I want him to run, if for no other reason than he has the cojones to say what needs to be said to the country.
- Scott Walker: Impresses when he discusses his resume, but resorts to clichés when discussing a broader base of issues.
Steve Deace “is a rising star” that represents “the next generation” in conservative media.
Steve Deace was influential in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses and has been prominently featured on national media outlets.
His nationally-syndicated “Steve Deace Show” is heard in five of the top 10 markets in the country. Deace’s newly released book is titled: Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.
Steve Deace has been a contributor for USA Today, Politico, Business Insider, Breitbart, WND, Townhall, and The Washington Times. He’s been a guest pundit on all three major cable news networks as well.
Steve Deace lives in Iowa which provides him with a grassroots conservative perspective often lacking in a beltway media culture.