In August, I wrote that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were leading the presidential race among Republicans, and Hillary Clinton was leading among Democrats. Who is leading now?
The real leaders in the race are not necessarily those leading in the "who would you vote for if the election were held tomorrow?" question. (Because the election will not be held tomorrow.)
Rather, the candidates with the best chance to run a successful campaign are those with a broad base of support in their party, money and a large base of devoted supporters. For this reason, my analysis of who is really leading the race is based upon three measures: favorability, fundraising and number of donors.
Here are those measures updated.
Using Monmouth University polls (Republicans here and Democrats here), I gave the candidates a score between -100 to 100 based upon their favorability versus unfavorability among the voters who had an opinion. For the Republicans, Monmouth only had scores for the top six candidates. (Here is the formula: (favorability – unfavorability)/(100 – "no opinion")*100.)
In order from best to worst, here are the scores:
2. Cash on Hand
While the August analysis looked at overall fundraising, this time let's look at the combined cash on hand for the campaign and outside groups. That will show how much money they have left to mount a successful campaign. (Data available at Opensecrets.org.)
Here are those numbers:
3. Number of Donors
And last, to measure whether the candidates have a base of strong supporters they can rely upon, here are the total number of donors along with the percentage of campaign funds that came from small donations (data not available for Christie, Kasich and Gilmore).