It's still a year and a half before the first presidential primaries of 2016, but Gallup has a new survey out asking Republicans and Democrats about the potential GOP candidates. Analyzing those candidates' familiarity and favorability among Republicans, Gallup has discovered the best known and best liked are former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin congressman and 2012 vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and Texas governor Rick Perry. All four were found to have familiarity with at least 60 percent of Republicans and at least 40 percent net favorability rating. Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008, had the highest favorability and familiarity.
In the brand-new issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Fred Barnes writes about the new and improved Rick Perry, who seems to be recovering in the minds of Republicans from his failed 2012 presidential run. Here's an excerpt:
Rick Perry is no longer dead. He is alive, well, and hyperactive as a national political figure. He’s now a leading candidate to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2016, assuming he runs. He has admirers in the media. Jennifer Rubin, the hard-to-please blogger for the Washington Post, wrote recently: “The media and voters are seeing a Rick Perry largely absent in the 2012 race—shrewd, self-possessed, competent and calm.”
He has fostered ties to the community of conservative experts and intellectuals. For seven hours this spring, four prominent foreign policy experts met with Perry at the governor’s mansion in Austin. As they walked to their hotel afterwards, one of them said, “Is that really the same guy we saw in 2012?”
Elsewhere in the Gallup survey, those with high familiarity but lower favorability among Republicans are Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, governors Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, and former senator and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum, are all less familiar to Republicans, with Rubio and Cruz having the highest favorability of that group.
Take a look at Gallup's chart below:
Gallup also asked Democrats about these potential Republican candidates. The least favored was Jeb Bush, with 34 percent net unfavorability, while Chris Christie was the "most" favored, with only 12 percent net unfavorability.