Deace: My Latest Odds to Win the 2016 GOP Nomination Click to Tweet


We’re still 119 days away from the first official votes being cast in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, and this campaign has already turned the conventional wisdom upside-down.

For example, if 119 days ago I had predicted the following in a column at the beginning of the summer, my editors here at Conservative Review would’ve spiked the piece and had me drug-tested:

  • Donald Trump would be the clear national polling frontrunner, and regularly clearing the 30 percent threshold.
  • Jeb Bush would not be leading in any poll or any early state.
  • Accomplished GOP governors with good records, Rick Perry and Scott Walker, would be the first two candidates to drop.
  • 2012 runner-up Rick Santorum wouldn’t poll high enough to qualify for any of the debates.
  • Rand Paul would be behind Chris Christie in the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Yet each of those things is true now in early October. Therefore, laying odds on a process that has already stubbornly proven to play against type isn’t for the faint of heart. But that’s never stopped me before!

Here are my current odds to win the 2016 GOP nomination and why:

Brokered Convention (3-1 odds)

To win the nomination, a candidate must win a majority of the delegates in at least eight states. That is going to be a tall order given how splintered the field is, how weak the establishment frontrunners are, and the fact an all-out civil war has erupted within the Republican Party making the formation of winning coalitions more difficult. Another consideration is that states are not allowed to have “winner-take-all” contests until after March 15th, which means they will award their delegates proportionally. Currently, more than half the contests are scheduled during the proportional window. 

Donald Trump (7-2 odds)

I’m much more impressed by Trump’s campaign model of emphasizing local activists on the ground in place of the incestuous horde of national consultants that infest the party, as well as the fact he’s got almost unlimited wealth he hasn’t really even begun to spend yet, than I am by any of his media-contrived polling numbers.

Although the establishment in Iowa has passed on him, I still believe he’ll be the national establishment’s man when it’s all said and done.


Sorry. No data so far.

Marco Rubio (5-1 odds)

Although the establishment in Iowa has passed on him, I still believe he’ll be the national establishment’s man when it’s all said and done. He could also be a strong compromise option if the nomination goes to a brokered convention.

Ted Cruz (11-2 odds)

Given his emphasis on building a national organization beyond the early states, it’s clear his team has learned from the mistakes grassroots candidates have made in the past. He is the conservative best positioned for the long haul. In fact, he’s the only one. But as always, coalescing conservatives is a bit like herding cats.

Ben Carson (9-1 odds)

He could do well on both coasts if several of the states there decide to hold later, winner-take-all contests. Republican voters in those areas are less ideologically and more personality driven. But if he goes winless in the early states can his campaign survive that long?

Jeb Bush (20-1 odds)….

Read More: Conservative Review – Update: My Latest Odds to Win the 2016 GOP Nomination