The 41st Republican National Convention in Cleveland is almost a year away, so it is far too early to predict who the Republican Presidential candidate will be in the 2016 election.
At this time four years ago, Michele Bachmann was the runaway leader in the opinion polls. At this time eight years ago, Rudy Giuliani was the runaway leader in the opinion polls. Neither of them got the Republican nomination for President.
Bachmann formally announced her candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on June 27, 2011, during an appearance in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa.
On July 28, 2011 a national poll of Republican primary voters by publicpolicypolling.com showed Bachmann in the lead with Mitt Romney coming in second.
On August 13, 2011 Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll hosted by Iowa’s Republican Party. She was the first woman ever to win the Iowa Straw Poll, winning with 4,823 votes of the 16,892 votes cast She took 28.6% of the vote, one point more than her nearest competitor, Ron Paul.
Then the wheels fell off. Michele Bachmann kept sticking her foot in her mouth and Republican voters finally got fed up with it.
During a speech in New Hampshire, Bachmann said that New Hampshire was “the state where the shot heard round the world in Lexington and Concord.” Oops! Lexington and Concord are both in Massachusetts.
On August 31, 2011, during an interview, Bachmann said that the last swine flu outbreak had occurred under President Carter, and she went on to suggest that there was a relation between Democratic presidents and swine flu outbreaks. But the last two swine flu outbreaks had occurred when two Republicans were President – Ford and Reagan.
Bachmann led in the polls early. However, when the actual caucuses were held in Iowa on January 3, 2012, Bachmann finished sixth with only 4.98% of the vote.
On January 4, 2012, Michele Bachmann announced that she was suspending her campaign for President
Four years earlier a similar thing happened to another Republican front runner.
Rudi Giuliani formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination on February 5, 2007, by filing a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.
Even before his formal announcement, Giuliani held a significant lead over Senator John McCain in the nationwide polls.
But when Fred Thompson joined the field of Republican candidates, Giuliani’s poll numbers began to drop. But he was still the Republican frontrunner. A CBS News Poll taken in late June 2007, showed Giuliani with the lead over Thompson 34% to 21%.
In July, the Associated Press reported that Giuliani’s campaign strategy was to focus on the more populated states with more delegates, such as California and Florida, rather than campaigning in the early primary battleground states; Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
In September 2007 most polls still showed Giuliani with more support than any of the other declared Republican candidates. Fred Thompson and George Romney, however, did have greater support in some state polls.
Rudi Giuliani campaigned in Florida throughout the primary season, hoping a victory in the state’s primary in January 2008, would give him enough momentum to win the February 5, 2008 primaries on Super Tuesday. Giuliani had also campaigned heavily in the Super Tuesday states.
Despite the effort he put into his Florida campaign, Giuliani finishing third in the Florida primary. His campaign had been undone by a series of allegations about Giuliani’s appointees and Giuliani’s mistress. On January 29, 2008, Giuliani announced that he was suspending his campaign for President.
So Donald Trump supporters shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch. Trump may lead in the polls now, but like Bachmann and Giuliani, Trump has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. So don’t be surprised if his poll numbers start to drop as the campaign goes on.