According to the New York Times, Jeb Bush is the GOP candidate most likely to win the nomination. And if not Jeb, then Rubio who’s 2nd most likely, or Scott Walker who’s 3rd most likely. It’s still about the money primaries – or the invisible primaries – according to the NYT. Polls matter, but fundraising and endorsements are what separates the likely winners from the rest of the field. If history is any guide. If 2016 eventually pans out to be a contest similar to past presidential contests.

In the NYT’s analysis of the GOP field, there are five candidates who rank 12th – that’s bad – in National Endorsements, while varying greatly in polls, and money raised: Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki. In terms of money raised, Carson is at 9, Jindal at 10, Fiorina at 13, Trump at 14, and Pataki at 15. Trump leads in the two polls, Iowa nad New Hampshire, while the rest are all over the map as far as poll numbers go. That means the GOP establishment is not about to start supporting any of them seriously until they are convinced they can win. Or the GOP establishment in fact does not always do that good a job of picking winners and they just don’t like outsiders who they haven’t rubbed shoulders with. With GOP voters still largely waiting to decide, perhaps the national endorsing crowd should broaden their perspective a bit.

While Jeb Bush leads the NYT’s overall ranking of the 4 variables: National Endorsements, Iowa Poll numbers, New Hampshire poll numbers, and Money Raised, it seems a little early to declare Jeb Bush as the inevitable winner, to put it mildly. The fact that Rubio is sitting cute, cuddly, and pretty at number two reflects his very strong fund-raising efforts and his comfortable mid-level rankings in the other 3 variables. How Scott Walker comes in 3rd behind Rubio is a bit of a mystery, seeing he is well ahead of the Florida senator in every category except fund-raising where he is just one point behind Rubio. And just behind Walker is Carly Fiorina, whose numbers are worse than or are even with Donald Trump’s but leads him anyway. Maybe this is all about the NYT guessing who the GOP wants to win the nomination. Maybe the GOP wants a nominee who the NYT would, if not endorse, at least not attack mercilessly. And maybe, the money and endorsements will wash over the wave of conservative anger and the GOP will resume doing business as usual in D.C. Any outcome at this point, is pure speculation.

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