Are Congressional Endorsements Hurting 2016 Candidates?

By Takala, Rudy | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, October 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

Are Congressional Endorsements Hurting 2016 Candidates?


Takala, Rudy, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Members of Congress are having an impact on this year's Republican presidential primary election. Specifically, they seem to be dragging down the candidates they've endorsed.

Analysis suggests that the GOP candidates who have managed to squeeze the most endorsements out of the officials who roam the ivory halls of Washington are also incredibly unpopular with voters. That may not come as a complete surprise: RealClearPolitics polling averages taken from July 9 to Oct. 4 suggest that only 14.3 percent of voters approve of the job Congress is doing, and outsiders with no elected experience are dominating in the polls.

Nonetheless, it is still remarkable to see how that has translated into support -- or a lack thereof -- for presidential candidates who seek congressional endorsements.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is easily leading the race for congressional endorsements, with support from nine current or former U.S. senators and 28 members of the House. The most recent came from moderate Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., just days ago.

Bush also has the support of two former presidents, his father and his brother. Yet Bush currently places 6th in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings and fifth in RealClearPolitics polling averages taken from Sept. 17 to Oct. 4. According to that data, an average of 8.4 percent of Republicans have supported Bush's candidacy for the presidency.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich comes in second in congressional support, with five current or former senators and 12 current or former members of the House supporting him. Despite the support from lawmakers, Kasich is at a mere 3.2 percent in RCP polling, and places eighth in the Examiner's power rankings.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., meanwhile, has the next most impressive haul in terms of congressional endorsements, with twelve current or former House members and one impressive endorsement in the Senate, fellow Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the chamber's majority leader.

Yet Paul is in the worst shape so far, placing tenth in the Examiner's power rankings and tenth in the RealClearPolitics polling average, with 2. …

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