Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Wesley Lowery takes a look today at who all of Mitt Romney's donors are supporting these days. As Lowery says, this shouldn't really be taken as a look at "Romney money." It's more a look at who's getting some love from wealthy mainstream Republicans. The answer, it turns out, is unsurprising:
- Jeb Bush
- Scott Walker
- Paul Ryan
This makes sense to me. If I had to pick a top three, this would be it, with the order depending a lot on who decides to get serious about running. I think Paul Ryan would be very formidable, with strong appeal to both tea party types and mainstream types, but it's unclear if he has any interest in 2016. Jeb Bush is a classic candidate who, again, has some appeal in both camps, but has to decide if he thinks he can overcome the obvious baggage of being a Bush. Scott Walker has to win reelection this year—and show that he can do it handily—before he takes any further steps.
As for the rest of the field, I continue to think that (a) Chris Christie is toast, (b) Rand Paul is a vanity candidate, and (c) the rest of them are going to tear each other limb from limb fighting for the title of king of the wingnuts. Naturally I reserve the right to change my mind later and pretend that I never wrote this.
STANDARD CAVEAT: Yes, it's ridiculous to be talking about this so far ahead of the election. I apologize. But my excuse is that this is invisible primary stuff, and that really does matter this far out. Besides, talking about the "invisible primary" marks you as a sophisticate, and I wanted an opportunity to do that.