If 2016 is an upcoming battle, there’s been significant troop movement across multiple fronts over the past few weeks. Iowa and New Hampshire are important hills to overtake, and both Hillary Clinton and Scott Walker have been pushing their battalions forward, flanking opponents in major election states.
A heavy focus is always placed on those states, where primaries are first held, and because both New Hampshire and Iowa have historically often been indicators of future success for candidates. They test to see which waters are warmest, and it looks like both Clinton and Walker will be pleased with the results.
Scott Walker and Jeb Bush
So far, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and Jeb Bush have had a good show of it financially, and Walker’s visit to Iowa pits him against the former Florida governor. Bush has had incredible success with his fundraising efforts, speaking at 47 fundraisers for Right to Rise, his PAC started earlier this year; he’s attended 63 total since the beginning of 2015, according to The New York Times. Walker, on the other hand, has only headlined 19, but he has something else going for him.
The Koch brothers, well-known oil billionaires who are major money providers to Republican campaigns, have indicated that Walker has their confidence. “When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination,” David Koch said to a crowd during a New York fundraiser, he and his brother planned to give him their support, the Times reported.
Later, he added, “Let me be clear, I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point in time,” but hints point to a strong chance of support if Walker earns a spot in the race.
Based on his recent trip to Iowa, Walker has every possibility of doing so. According to FiveThirtyEight, Walker is polling beyond where Mitt Romney was polling during his time on the campaign trail in 2012 at this juncture.
Walker has reached an average of 18.4% compared to Romney’s 18%. Looking nationally at his ranking, Bush leads in polling averages given by RealClearPolitics, with 16.8% compared to Walker’s 15%. But focusing specifically on Iowa, Walker takes the lead with 20%, compared to Bush’s 11.3%. In New Hampshire, Walker has Bush beat as well, with 20.3% compared to Bush’s 15%.
Bush has greater name recognition than Walker, likely explaining the national numbers, and ultimately, Bush isn’t out of the running. He hasn’t even announced his intentions as of yet, nor have the many other competitors in the GOP’s crowded playing field, but early indicators in Iowa and New Hampshire are promising for Walker.
Clinton is looking at a far less crowded playing field, unlike Walker. She arrived in New Hampshire on Monday, coming off a trip to Iowa that came just after her announcement that she intended to run for the presidency. So far, the trips appear to be having the intended effect — namely, of making her more relatable and in dealing with scandals leading up to her announcement.
“She seems warmer, more human,” said David Stabler of New Hampshire to CNN. Stabler voted for Obama over Clinton in 2008, but said that compared to then, he feels she is more relatable. “Not that she was robotic in 2008, she just seemed like she was listening more to what was being said and really hearing what folks were saying,” he said.
Another issue that has come up for Clinton as the frontrunner for her party — thus far, she is the only individual to announce her candidacy for certain — are the attacks she’s been getting from opponents. From her book to her aid organization and its donations, to her email address during her time as secretary of state, she’s been seeing a lot of negative press, and it’s clear she hopes to put that behind her, or shuffle it aside as politically motivated.
“I think it’s worth noting that Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race,” said Clinton to Politico. “[I’ll be] subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks. And I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory.” Still, she says she hopes that more focus will be put on the issues as time progresses.