Donald Trump is NOT on top….
…..On one hand, Trump is way ahead in most national polls on the primary race and even leads (or comes close to leading) in surveys conducted in early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
On the other, he is Donald Trump.
(The last time I ranked the 2016 GOP field — June 12 — Trump was barely a blip on the radar and didn’t crack the top 10.)
I also put the Trump question to the five senior Republican strategists who aren’t working for one of the 17 GOPers running for the nomination currently. (I kid; there are at least 10 unaligned GOP operatives.) What I got back from that group surprised me: They were much more bullish on Trump’s chances than I expected — with several arguing that Trump absolutely belonged in the top tier.
I won’t spoil the surprise as to where The Donald wound up. You have to scroll down for that. Remember that the candidates are ranked by their likelihood of winding up as the Republican nominee next year. And, remember too that there are a lot of months between now and then. So, these ratings can and will change….