The next presidential election might be more than two years away, but the potential candidates already are jockeying for position, and polls are picking early front-runners.
Several potential GOP White House hopefuls will be visiting Las Vegas this month to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership conference.
Much of the four-day meeting from March 27 to March 30 is closed at The Venetian. But on March 29, it will be open for several speeches, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., including from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Christie has had trouble lately because of a scandal involving some of his top aides, who created a traffic jam for a mayor who didn’t endorse his re-election bid. The aides had closed busy access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Christie has said he didn’t know anything about it, but he apologized for his aides’ actions.
A national survey released Friday by Public Policy Polling took a look at the potential GOP field for 2016 found Christie in the middle of the pack.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee led at 18 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 15 percent, and Christie and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tied at 14 percent each. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas came in at 11 percent, followed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 6 percent, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Walker tied at 5 percent, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal showing up last with 4 percent support.
On the Democratic side, it’s no contest. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the pack with 66 percent to 11 percent for Vice President Joe Biden, 5 percent for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 3 percent each for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 2 percent for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 1 percent each for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and finally less than 1 percent for U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.
Clinton also leads all potential GOP contenders more than two years before the contest.
She leads Huckabee 49-42 in a hypothetical race, whereas both Biden and Warren would lose to him, 46-41 and 44-33 respectively, the poll results show.
“This is one of the most massive electability gaps we’ve ever seen,” the pollster said.
Clinton also leads other GOP comers, 47-44 over Bush, 46-42 over Christie, 47-42 over Paul, 48-43 over Ryan, 48-40 over Rubio and 51-40 over Cruz.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,152 registered voters from March 6 to March 9, including 542 Republican primary voters and 429 Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the overall survey is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, for Republicans, 4.2 percentage points, and for Democrats, 4.7 percentage points.
The survey was conducted over the phone (80 percent) and Internet (20 percent).
— Laura Myers
SHERIFF, SISOLAK AGREE ON SOMETHING
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie and County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak found some common ground last week. That’s after months of public disagreements over funding for the Metropolitan Police Department, among other issues.
This cause is different: Helping 16-year-old Katlyn Oaks’ efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. Oaks, the daughter of a Las Vegas police sergeant, has a rare mitochondrial disease with no cure.
She has taken trips to Los Angeles for treatment, assisted by the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, which provides a place for families of children receiving medical care for serious conditions.
Oaks, who has long raised money for the charity, has a goal this year to be the single largest fundraiser for the program. She raised almost $75,000 in the past three years.
Because she is no longer able to do so because her condition has worsened, a website has been set up in her name for donations.
Gillespie and Sisolak announced the website Thursday with Las Vegas Police Protective Association Executive Director Chris Collins.
“Katlyn Oaks has faced personal adversity that very few of us will ever know, and yet she is always thinking about what she can do for others,” Sisolak said in a statement. “When you know her story, you can’t help but want to be a part of her life and her cause.”
This time around, no one’s disagreeing.
— Ben Botkin
Contact reporter Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj. Contact reporter Ben Botkin at bbotkin @reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Follow him on Twitter @BenBotkin1.