From Republicans

#GAGOP Foundation Chairman Jack Kingston: What We’ve Been Working On

Former Congressman, and now GAGOP Foundation Chairman, Jack Kingston laid out the accomplishments that the Georgia Republican Foundation has made over this past year in an email sent out today. Specifically, he highlights what has been accomplished in the last four months since his appointment:

  • We’ve grown from 8 members to 78 members, which includes more than 30 who have given far more than the requested amount.
  • Secretary of State Brian Kemp became the first statewide Constitutional officer to join us and Tom Price became the first Member of Congress to join.
  • Eight state legislators have joined, including Senators Burt Jones, Jack Hill, Bill Cowsert, Tyler Harper and Josh McKoon and State Reps. Regina Quick, Terry England, and John Meadows.
  • Three local Republican parties – Jackson and Fulton Counties and the 9th Congressional District have joined the Foundation.
  • We’ve hosted receptions for Foundation members with Rep. Buddy Carter, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Sen. David Perdue, and State House Speaker David Ralston where our members hear from elected officials in a relaxed setting that allows for conversation, and question and answer not usually possible at other GOP events.

The Georgia Republican Party has had some financial challenges, but, in spite of what detractors of the current GAGOP administration, efforts are ongoing to boost Party coffers through the various Georgia Republican Foundation events, encouraging Republicans in Georgia to become Foundation members, and asking for contributions from the grassroots.

Jack has been a tremendous asset to the Georgia Republican Party.  The work that he has done for the Georgia Republican Foundation is much appreciated.  Thank you, Jack!

Walker County Republicans To Place County Governance Structure Question On 2016 Ballot

Last night, the Walker County Republican Party adopted a resolution to place on the 2016 Republican primary ballot a non-binding referendum question on what form of county government Walker County should have: a sole commission as it is currently, or a multi-member commission board.  I was not in attendance due to personal reasons, but I saw the news on Facebook and a blurb from WDEF (the local CBS affiliate).  It seems the anti-incumbent crowd is hailing it as a major victory.

The sole commission vs. multi-member board came to a head in 2011 when a challenger to incumbent Commissioner Bebe Heiskell drew an opponent in the 2012 Republican primary.  She won by a 200-vote margin, but drew a write-in candidate challenger in the general election.

The anti-incumbent crowd actually had a prime opportunity during the 2013-2015 term of the Republican Party as one of their own won the county chairmanship in 2013, resigned early in 2014, and the Walker County TEA Party leader was elected GOP chairman in early 2014.  No questions were put on the ballot in 2014, so I’m not sure if there was a lack of awareness or focus during the changing of chairmen.  For the record, we received no proposals for ballot questions in 2012 after soliciting the membership while I was chairman of our county GOP.

Those in opposition have made the issue into a personal vendetta against the incumbent and have preached over the past 4 years on how changing our form of government will cure all of our county’s ills.  Call me skeptical, but I will be listening to the arguments for and against and will keep an open mind before I cast my ballot.

As a former co-worker and good friend of mine said to me: “Be careful for what you wish for, you may just get it.”

GOP Exceeds Fundraising Goal At Last Night’s Dinner

GOP Logo courtesy of Wikipedia.Jon told you about last night’s Georgia Republican Party dinner featuring Frank Luntz. This morning the GAGOP released a statement saying they had exceeded the fundraising goal for the event. From a press release:

Last night, Georgia Republicans from throughout the state gathered at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta for the 2015 Chairman’s Dinner, which featured Republican pollster and “public opinion guru” Frank Luntz as the keynote speaker and many of Georgia’s top Republican elected officials and grassroots leaders. While contributions are still being collected, the event exceeded the Party’s fundraising goal of $150,000.

“The Georgia Republican Party is fortunate to have strong supporters who are committed to growing the base and earning victory for our nominees at the ballot box,” said Georgia Republican Party Foundation Chairman Jack Kingston. “I am confident that we will have the funds in place to launch an aggressive, comprehensive, data-driven victory program that protects our U.S. Senate seat and helps Republicans win back the White House in 2016!”

“Thanks to the outpouring of support from hardworking Republicans throughout the state, the Georgia Republican Party is equipped for battle,” said Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett. “With our pro-growth, pro-freedom message, we can keep Georgia red and ensure that America’s best and brightest days are still to come.”

You too can donate to the Georgia Republican Party and help build a warchest for the 2016 elections.

Kellie Austin To Run For Something Statewide–Details At 5:30

CS2_9617_ppKellie Austin’s campaign manager issued a press release announcing a campaign announcement for some statewide office at 5:30 this afternoon somewhere on the Square in downtown Lawrenceville.  Apparently she is responding, as the sub-headline of the presser says, “to the request of many to oppose a statewide incumbent in 2016.”  Here’s the presser (formatting is as it was in the original email):

(Gwinnett) — Kellie Austin will announce on Wednesday at 5:30 pm on the Square in downtown Lawrenceville, GA her plans to seek elected office.

Kellie Austin has never run for public office and is fed up with watching politicians become disconnected from the people they were elected to represent. Having the support of grassroots organizations and concerned Georgians, she has made the decision to challenge the incumbent for statewide office in 2016.

Kellie will stand for the rights of Georgians and has no personal agenda and no industry prejudice. She says, “We must get back to solid, common sense, economically viable solutions.”

Kellie is a true Georgia Girl. She was born in Hall County and has lived in Decatur, Fayette, Fulton, Habersham, and Stephens counties while growing up. She has lived for the past decade in Gwinnett. She has been a respected political consultant and has helped many businesses to reach their greater potential through her business marketing development. She understands economic development in the private sector, having worked closely with several Community Improvement Districts.

To find about more about Kellie and her campaign, visit her website: VoteKellie.Com

Her website, as of 1:30p EDT, had a parking page from GoDaddy, so no information available yet.

Most statewide elected offices were decided last year, but there are a couple of statewide offices that are on the ballot: US Senator and Public Service Commissioner – District 2.  Maybe she’s running for US Senate against Johnny Isakson since she’s running against an nondescript incumbent.  The rumors that are currently floating about is that she will be running for Public Service Commissioner currently held by Commissioner Tim Echols who was elected in 2010 and is up for re-election next year.  Of course, her presser doesn’t say if she will be running as a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent.  If she runs as a Republican, she would be joining Michelle Miller who announced earlier this year that she would be running for the Republican nomination against Echols.

We’ll have to wait until 5:30p to get the full details on if she’s running for Senate, PSC, or something else.

The Elephant In The Room

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) spoke to the Floyd County Republican Women yesterday.  The Rome News Tribune covered the Congressman’s remarks and subsequent questions from the audience.  The elephant in the room is the motion to vacate the chair filed by Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) last week.

Congressman Graves said removal of Speaker John Boehner is an “open conversation” that Republicans will be having before traveling back to Washington after their summer break.  The Congressman has not said if he supports or opposes the motion.

It’s not secret that conservatives are upset with the Speaker, but it’s been mostly smoke with no fire.  Not one Republican congressman challenged Boehner in the Republican Conference Committee election of leadership that took place soon after the 2014 General Election in November.  The chest-pounding and grandstanding big challenge took place on the floor of the House in January when two or three decided to challenge the Speaker then.  They lost, and really I’m not surprised nor do I sympathize with their last minute revolt.

They took to the floor and made a show to pump up their image as being anti-establishment leaders raging against the Washington machine.  It looks good on TV and to the folks back home, but I’m willing to bet that they knew what they did in January was a lost cause that had no chance of gaining traction.

Now we have a motion filed.  The Speaker didn’t act upon the motion before the summer break.  Now, conservative media outlets are trumpeting that the Speaker doesn’t have enough votes to get re-elected.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but what I’m more concerned with is who steps in to fill the vacuum.  It’s a big deal when there is a possibility of replacing someone who is the head Republican of the House and a man who is second in line to the presidency.  I’d venture to say that it would make the shock of Eric Cantor losing his primary pale in comparison.

If you’re rabidly advocating the toppling of Speaker Boehner and revolting against the current Republican leadership, then perhaps you should also be talking about who is going to be the new leadership rather than ousting someone and saying “gee, who do we elect now?”

It’s going to be talked about at the various townhalls that congressmen will be hosting across our great nation, and I believe it’s something that should be discussed openly and honestly.  I hope that more light is shown on the plan to see if it’s a well thought out plan to govern or just another half-baked plan to pump up conservative cred of a few congressmen among the conservative websites and talk show host outlets.

Cries Of #RINO Never Seem To Cease

The idea of “if you’re a Republican leader or elected official who doesn’t follow us, you’re a #RINO” seems to be the sentiment of a lot of the TEA Party/Liberty/”Anti-Establishment”/whatever faction. The thought of identifying the few remaining conservative Democrats, showing them the error of their ways, and encouraging them to switch parties is a cardinal sin among these people. Of course, I’m sure if we welcomed a Libertarian into the Republican Party, I’m sure there’s no problem. The arguments I’ve seen, as of late, is that it’s the responsibility the Republican leadership (which, I would say, is the Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party, the Executive Committee of a District Republican Party, and/or the Executive Committee of a county’s Republican Party) to determine who is a “true Republican” and who is a “Republican in Name Only”. Of course, I’m sure this is the same group of people who complain of back-room deals and strong arm tactics to destroy decent. Yeah…..right…..

I’ve maintained that as long as I am a chairman, I will welcome people who say they generally agree with Republican principles. If they’re former Democrats, Libertarians, or just didn’t care, we should be welcoming if they’re wanting to help us work to elect Republicans. If they’re seeking office, it’s not up to me or my executive committee to determine if they are a “true Republican”…it’s up to the voters who pull a Republican ballot. You would think that the people who exclaim that they aren’t being heard or that leadership is trying to limit participation would be more than happy to have Republican voters choosing our candidates. In fact, here are two examples:
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It’s Augusta!

The news is out that the 2016 Georgia Republican Convention will be held in Augusta on June 3-4. Based on what I’m seeing on this Facebook page, the event will be at the two year old Augusta Convention Center.

Why the June date, instead of the second week of May, as it the usual custom? Probably because the new primary schedule will put the Peach State’s primary on May 17th, 24th, three days* after the convention would have gaveled to a close if it had been held on its normal weekend. There was no convention in 2014, when the primary was May 20th.

Excited about Augusta in June? Let us know in the comments.

* I’ve been alerted by the ever-astute Senator Josh McKoon that according to 2014’s HB 310, the primary is supposed to be the 24th week prior to the general election. Because Election Day 2016 will be on November 8th (The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November,) that makes Election Day take place during the second week of November, and moves the primary and runoff dates a week later than in 2014.

The good news is that because May 2016 has five Mondays, Memorial Day will still be the Monday after the primary. The runoff, if required, will be July 26th.

New Fox poll: Trump No. 1, trouble for Hillary?

Donald Trump comes in first in a just-released Fox News poll, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker a close second.

But the poll’s real story may be a sign of trouble for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton easily leads all Democratic contenders for the nomination, 59 percent compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 19 percent. But 70 percent of voters overall said a candidate who is sometimes less than honest is a “deal breaker” for them; plus, 58 percent said Clinton’s natural instincts lean more toward “hiding the truth” and “telling the truth” (33 percent).

Democratic voters say her natural instincts lean toward “telling the truth” at 61 percent, but even among those voters, 29 say Clinton is more prone to “hiding the truth.”

You can download the entire poll here.

Here’s a look at how GOP candidates fared:

  • Donald Trump — 18 percent
  • Scott Walker — 15 percent
  • Jeb Bush — 14 percent

None of the other candidates reached double digits.

Here’s the exact question that was asked about Hillary Clinton in the poll. Tell us what you think.

It’s UGA vs. Tech in Brookhaven

Former Tech QB Taylor Bennett will meet Republican J. Max Davis — a former offensive lineman at UGA — in a runoff for House District 80.

The Brookhaven Post is reporting that the two will meet in an August 11th runoff for the seat vacated by Republican Mike Jacobs, now a DeKalb state court judge.

Republicans Catherine Bernard and Loren Collins came in third and fourth, respectively, in Tuesday’s special election. 

Analysis

Bennett — whose campaign visibility throughout the district was dwarfed by Davis and Bernard — was surprisingly the top vote-getter on Tuesday, with 36 percent. Davis came in second, with 33 percent.

Bennett’s campaign seemingly came on strong in the final days before the election, as the Democrat received endorsements from such organizations as the Sierra Club, Georgia Association of Educators, Planned Parenthood and even former state senator Jason Carter.

Davis, Brookhaven’s first-ever mayor and arguably the highest profile candidate in the election, also had a hefty list of endorsements, most notably from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and local political heavyweights such as state Sen. Fran Millar, Rep. Tom Taylor and three of the four members of the Brookhaven City Council.

Any contest fielding four candidates is most likely bound for a runoff, but Bennett’s first-place showing has to be considered somewhat of a political shock, given the district’s strong GOP leanings, along with some of its neighboring communities.

Another factor contributing to Davis’ second-place showing could be residual damage resulting from some unflattering charges made against him during the campaign, dating back to his tenure while mayor of Brookhaven.

In any event, if Bennett defeats Davis on August 11, it could signal a dramatic, political changing of the guard in an important metro Atlanta house district.

More Fun In HD-80 Race

Tomorrow is the special election in HD-80, and it sounds like the tried-and-true GOP operative tactics of Attack, Rebuttal, Counterattack, Rebuttal, Wash, Rinse, Repeat, and then finally call for unity against Democrats is in full operational mode.

For those keeping score, there are three Republicans and one Democrat who is running to fill the seat being vacated by Mike Jacobs.

An anonymous mailer was sent out attacking J.Max Davis, one of the Republicans running for the open seat.  The AJC’s Political Insider has pictures of the mailer, but the gist of the mailer is a sexual harassment complaint that was made against Davis during his term as Brookhaven’s mayor and compared him to former Democratic President Bill Clinton.  From the Political Insider:

Records show Davis was accused of spraying an aerosol product on a woman’s buttocks while she was working at city hall, and the mayor told the flustered woman he was joking. The woman and a witness reported the incident to the city mayor the next day, who has said he never aimed at the woman’s backside. Davis is now facing allegations that he bullied the woman into retracting the allegations against him, and that he sought to cover-up the complaint. He’s denied any wrongdoing.

We’ll see how this affects J.Max’s chances of making it to a run-off with someone who we’re still curious about if she voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, the libertarian/conservative/classical liberal/Bull Moose YouTube candidate (is he afraid of the Republican label even though he qualified as a Republican?), or the Democrat….or win the thing out-right.

Prognosticate in the comments.

Stumping Against Gay Marriage May Win You The Primary But Probably Not The General

Jon mentioned earlier this week that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) were in south Georgia stumping for their respective candidacies.  The Supreme Court’s ruling on the recognition of gay marriages was a hot topic.  I believe “tragic” and “radical” were used in their campaign rhetoric according to the Political Insider article.

From a personal belief, I don’t agree with gay marriage, but in terms of the “up and coming” new generation (yes, Millennials) in politics, gay marriage is becoming acceptable from a societal standpoint.  Pew Research, in fact, conducted a poll last March saying that 61% of young Republicans (aged 18 to 29) are accepting of gay marriage.  That’s a big percentage.

I know, I’ll have folks commenting about how the Millennial generation is the most unreliable voting bloc….which may be true, but if we are trying to “reach out to young people”, then perhaps we should tone down the rhetoric of how America will fall apart because two men or two women can get married in the eyes of the government and society.  I’ve seen a mixture of posts on my own Facebook feed concerning this SCOTUS ruling.  Surprisingly, or maybe not, there was a large mixture of my Republican friends applauding the SCOTUS ruling and those who were against it.

I believe the best way to navigate these waters is to advocate the freedom of congregations and pastors to not perform wedding ceremonies.  After all, I’m willing to bet that there will be a number of people who get their Internet ordination to perform weddings.  I don’t believe that First Baptist, First Presbyterian, or any other church should be forced or coerced by government to violate their own beliefs.  Of course, those same congregations should see this as a great time for harvest.  A time to be loving and share the Gospel.

Governor Huckabee and Senator Cruz are looking for a fast path to the nomination, and there are a lot of votes that still remain within Evangelical voting bloc.  They, as well as other GOP Presidential hopefuls, look to be the moral standard bearer, but there are other ways to uphold their beliefs without alienating those who may not see eye-to-eye…especially when those votes will matter come November 2016.  But haven’t we said this again and again?

I can only hope that our eventual nominee has the ability to tell it like it is as well as the optimism for our future.  “Everything is awful” with no substance on how to make things better will only cause us to strike out for a third time.

Deconstructing the #GAGOP Convention

The Georgia Republican State Convention gaveled to an end Saturday afternoon with all its business completed (thank goodness). There were some tense moments during voting, but all in all, it was an enjoyable convention. I’ll take some time to share some of my observations were of what happened on the convention floor.

  • There was concern over the secret ballot vs. stand, rise, and be counted method of voting. Personally, I don’t care to show who I support. We represent Republicans from our respective counties, so I believe we should be public. I know there are those who disagree, and that’s fine. You can look at it this way, a number of people supporting a secret ballot and concerned about intimidation and retribution were wearing lapel stickers of officer candidates. I’d say around 60 to 70% of convention goers had lapel stickers on, so an overwhelming majority must not have been all that concerned about ramifications of their support.
  • There was a lot of talk of “fear of retribution” if one candidate won over another. I don’t believe I was ever “intimidated” or anything while i was Chairman in Walker County, and I don’t believe (since I’m on the state executive committee) I would have been if Alex had won for supporting John over him. We have to remember we’re on the same team working toward a similar goal: electing Republicans.
  • The AJC made a seemingly big ordeal to point out that one of our new state officers is gay. I talked to a few other fellow delegates and we had the same thought: big deal. I believe that’s a thought that is becoming more prominent among Republicans. What you do behind closed doors is your business. I don’t believe race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever will be or should be a deciding factor on whether someone can serve the public as an elected official or a party official.
  • On RFRA, there were a few Republicans that didn’t agree with passing a resolution in supporting it without an anti-discrimination clause in it. Well, if you think about it, if there is a business owner who wants to decrease his customer base by not serving people who are gay, a different religion, or whatever, then free market forces will probably ensure that he or she isn’t in business for very long. Just a thought though.
  • It disturbs me that there are delegates who are willing to publicly accuse us of using “Stalin-like” tactics, being like the Mafia, and other ridiculous charges. I believe Randy Evans did a fantastic job of granting ample time of people being heard while maintaining order to let those opinions and questions be heard. If we were being totalitarian as some people I know accuse us of being, then the vote would have been a lot closer secret ballot or not. These charges are baseless, but I’m sure they will continue to try to shout them in order for their faction to be relevant (in their own mind…or something).
  • I voted for the minority report from the credentials committee to not seat Newton County. I don’t know the specifics, but it seems to me that precincts who elect delegates to the county convention should not be put to a litmus test by the existing county committee. I believe it goes against the convention call of the Georgia Republican Party, and, in my opinion, I believe the Newton County GOP rules should be changed to allow folks who agree with our Republican Party principles to freely participate as delegates in county conventions without regard to service.

I know there were some friends who didn’t support the same people that I did, and that’s ok. I still like them and call them friends. Sometimes our emotions run high, and I know they were high yesterday as we conducted business on the floor. For those who didn’t win, rest for a bit, keep your chin up, and let’s work to continue to lay the groundwork to elect Republicans next year and for years to come.

Senator Ted Cruz To Address Georgia Republicans

Senator Ted Cruz will make the second official candidate seeking the Republican nomination for president who will be addressing Georgia Republicans at our convention in Athens next weekend. So, really, three if you count Governor Chris Christie, but he hasn’t announced….yet. It makes Friday a busy day for convention goers with Governor Christie speaking at a breakfast in the morning, Senator Marco Rubio speaking in the afternoon, and now Senator Cruz headlining the Victory Dinner that evening at 7p.

Tickets are $65 for the dinner and are still available through the Georgia Republican Party’s website.

On Leadership Of The GAGOP, I Choose Proof Over Talk

This time last year, pundits in Georgia and nationwide were authoring pieces on why the Georgia Republican Party would face defeat in November. They said that both former State Senator Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn would take the governor’s mansion and/or the open US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Saxby Chambliss. Georgia was turning purple because of changing demographics that Georgia Republicans couldn’t appeal to. The writing was on the wall, and I believe Republicans across the state were cautiously optimistic about winning, but we were concerned…and we weren’t going down without a fight at least.

We expected a run-off in December and, God-forbid, in January had the Libertarian candidate siphoned off enough votes to propel either race into a run-off. A solid win in November was the seemingly unattainable prize, but we got it and, thankfully, we didn’t have to hear attack ads over both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. We won, and we even got another prize: a Republican in the elusive GA-12 district. Representative John Barrow seemed unbeatable even though the district was drawn to the GOP’s advantage.

I believe a lot of credit for these big wins in November 2014 goes to the leadership team of the Georgia Republican Party. The GAGOP did a lot to encourage outreach and voter mobilization this past election cycle. The Minority Outreach arm was created when John Padgett was elected and even continues although the Republican National Committee decided to halt its Minority Outreach program this year. That, on top of creating field offices (Victory Centers) and identifying committed folks in inactive counties in the 12th congressional district, went a long way in mobilizing the vote for our Republican ticket.

The GAGOP’s executive committee also took a risk by buying late-game ad time and other media to reach out to voters. It looks like it worked since we won. It was a gamble, but it did pay off. Now the GAGOP’s treasury is light, but we don’t have a negative balance (from my understanding, at least). It’s time to raise funds and build up our treasury, and I believe 2015 is a prime opportunity to do that since Georgia looks to have a bigger role to play in presidential politics.

Our editor-emeritus, Erick Erickson, endorsed Alex Johnson over John Padgett for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party last week. Erick’s endorsement focused more on policy differences between him and elected Republicans in state government versus what leadership in the Republican Party Alex brings to the table. I, as a delegate, would be more inclined to listen to an endorsement that outlined what Alex has done to advance the Party and what he would do better as chairman than John. Erick has every right to express his opinion on who should lead our Party to delegates who actually elect the leadership. That being said, he also has a combined 90 kilowatt flamethrower plus a large online following that most Republican non-delegates (or delegates for that matter) do not have.

Personally, I believe that John Padgett has shown he can do the job very effectively and will be voting for him in Athens on the 16th. Had we lost either the governor’s mansion or the open US Senate seat, then we should be talking on if he should stay on for a second term. We didn’t, and I believe he should stay on for a second term. Some of my Republican friends will probably disagree with me, and that’s fine. I’m just expressing my opinion as a delegate to the state convention.

I promise to work with the chairman and the Party as a whole to elect Republicans in 2016. I hope those supporting either John or Alex will commit to do the same.

Rubio To Speak At Georgia Republican Convention

Received via press release:

(Atlanta, GA) – Florida senator and 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio will speak at the 2015 Georgia Republican Party Convention in Athens.

Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio was elected to the United States Senate in 2010. He serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Committee on Foreign Relations, Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Rubio announced his candidacy for president on April 13, 2015 at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida.

Senator Rubio is scheduled to speak on Friday, May 15, at approximately 3PM in the Athena Ballroom.

You can obtain a ticket to the GOP convention here. Purchasing a “guest” ticket will allow you access to the venue to hear speeches from folks like Rubio. Other 2016 GOP contenders are scheduled to appear as well.

Rubio surged to the top of the early GOP Presidential heap in a Fox News poll released last week:

Announcing your candidacy helps your poll numbers. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio receives a five percentage-point bump after his April 13 announcement and has the backing of 13 percent in the race for the Republican nomination — just a touch over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who gets 12 percent among self-identified GOP primary voters. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul comes in at 10 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee earn 9 percent each and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gets 8 percent.

And some observers think Rubio might actually win:

Marco Rubio stands alone as the candidate best prepared to articulate a conservative message in a way that will inspire and actually teach people who aren’t already conservative that conservatism is the best philosophy to help them achieve the American Dream—that there is, as Arthur Brooks has famously argued, a moral case for capitalism.

As a cosmopolitan conservative, Rubio also has the potential to appeal to people—urbanites, Millennials, etc.—who might not even know they have deep-seated conservative instincts. These people reflexively reject conservatism because they don’t think of it as a philosophy, but rather as a manifestation of cultural signaling. They can’t imagine belonging to a Southern party that looks and sounds like, say, George W. Bush.

I said on Facebook recently that my first choice right now is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, but I’m impressed with Rubio. In fact, a Jindal/Rubio ticket would be pretty strong and would get me fired up. What do y’all think?