The 3rd republican debates are tonight. There are still so many candidates that there are 2 debates. There are 10 candidates in the main debate, 4 in the debate that precedes it and 1 candidate, Jim Gilmore who has not been in a debate since August.
I have been following these debates and the events leading up to them for some time now. Last week the DesMoines register/Bloomberg poll came out for Iowa. I reviewed the data from the poll and am using that data to reflect if any of the 15 candidates currently running might appeal as possible VP contenders in 2016 if they do not get the nomination for the top spot. Here's what I think.
There were several questions on the poll regarding favor-ability issues such as who would you never support or name up to 3 candidates who you want to drop out of the race. I have decided that anyone who was in the top 5 in any of those lists would probably not make an attractive VP option because if prospective voters want him or her out of the race now they won't want that person to be just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
The 7 candidates with top marks at being unfavorable or unwanted are Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Donald Trump. That list may be a little surprising since Trump came in 2nd in the poll for who people would choose as President with 19% and Bush and Paul picked up 5% of support each tying them for 5th. The problem is that more people wanted those 7 to drop out than those picking them first. Heres a quick snap shot
Candidate (% picked 1st/% wants to drop out)
The second thing I tried to do was to look at who people were willing to support as President even if they were not currently choosing them first or second. This poll made it easy for me, as respondents were asked to mark if they could ever vote for candidate and were told not to choose anyone they had previously picked as their first or second choice. The people who are doing best in this category are also the ones not getting a lot of support for the top spot. I think this is a great indicator of who people might be comfortable with on the bottom of a presidential ticket. The top 5 candidates ever % are Mike Huckabee (60%), Marco Rubio & Bobby Jindal (55%) and Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina 53 %
If you take The Ever % and the subtract the never % and then add the undecided % to it the top 7 candidates are
Cruz (27 %)
So I believe the polling data can speak to who of the 15 candidates might be perceived as possible vp contenders next summer. Of course it's only October and the poll was only based on potential Iowa caucus voters. I hope I hope to delve into future polls to see if my vp hunches are accurate.
Oh and if you added 7 and 7 and got 14 and could not figure out the one candidateof the 15 remaining that I did not mention, it was Ohio Governor John Kasich. 4% chose Kasicj 1st or 2nd in the poll, 36 % stated they would possibly (ever) vote for him and 45 % of respondents said they would never vote for Kasich.