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Who's #1 (Part II)? The Media's 2016 Democratic Field

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Hillary and Joe are ranked 1-2 in eight of 11 outlets under analysis with Andrew Cuomo solidly in third

hillaryclinton11.jpgOn Monday, Smart Politics released a report that showed of the nearly two-dozen names that have been floated as potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates, only two were cited in each of the dozen media outlet rankings under analysis - Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.

Today's report examines how media coverage over the last four-plus months have seeded the Democratic field and finds that there is even more agreement as to who is the early frontrunner.

On Sunday, Bloomberg's Al Hunt wrote a column entitled, "Clinton Is Strongest-Ever Frontrunner. If She Runs."

Whether or not that is the case, the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, 2008 White House hopeful, and Secretary of State remains far and away the early leader in the clubhouse according to media speculation on the party's 2016 potential candidates.

Smart Politics examined the rankings of the 2016 Democratic presidential field across 11 media outlets in reports published over the four-plus months since the 2012 election and finds that 3 of the 20 candidates appear on every list: Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Andrew Cuomo.

The outlets under analysis include a mix of traditional media, digital media, and partisan media organizations: CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, Cox Media Group, Daily Caller, International Business Times, National Journal, Policy Mic, Prez16, The Run 2016, US News & World Report, and Washington Post (The Fix).

(Note: Most of the outlets listed above also ranked the potential 2016 contenders. For those that did not provide a numerical ranking, rankings were assigned based on the order in which the potential nominees were listed, provided they were not ordered alphabetically).

Clinton, Vice-President Joe Biden, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo were each named in all 11 of the media outlets' listings of the 2016 Democratic presidential field.

Clinton was ranked first in nine of these outlets: CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, Daily Caller, International Business Times, National Journal, Policy Mic, Prez16, The Run 2016, and Washington Post's The Fix.

As a result, Clinton's weighted media ranking score was a near perfect 1.2.

By comparison, Rubio's GOP field leading score was double that at 2.4 across the dozen outlets analyzing his party's 2016 potential candidates.

Biden received top billing in the other two outlets under analysis (Cox Media and US News & World Report), was second in eight others, and fourth in Prez16's Democratic 'power rankings.'

Cuomo was listed third in six outlets, fourth in four, and fifth in one for a solid wrap on third place in the media's early estimation of the 2016 political landscape.

After Clinton, Biden, and Cuomo, the next most mentioned Democratic candidate in the 2016 field is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who was listed in 10 reports (only omitted by US News & World Report, which featured only three candidates).

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was fifth after being named in nine outlets, followed by Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner at eight, and another four possible candidates tied at seven each: New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

An additional 10 Democratic officeholders were listed across the 11 media reports: Newark Mayor Cory Booker (5), Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (5), Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (4), San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (2), Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (1), Iowa U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (1), Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (1), Virginia U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (1), Delaware Governor Jack Markell (1), and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (1).

According to these early media power rankings, the prospects of a female Democratic nominee in 2016 appears to be significantly greater than one from the Republican Party even though five women were named in each party's 2016 field (and even if Clinton was excluded).

On the Republican side, its five potential female candidates were listed in a total of just 13 reports collectively: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (5), New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (3), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (3), former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (1), and New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (1).

Governor Haley is the only GOPer to rank in her party's Top 10 across the dozen outlets under analysis (coming in at #10).

Meanwhile, the five women named on the Democratic side were listed in 31 reports collectively, with three in the Top 10 and a fourth at #11 (Amy Klobuchar): Hillary Clinton (11 outlets), Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand (7), Amy Klobuchar (5), and Janet Napolitano (1).

Among the 10 candidates named in at least half of these reports on the state of the Democratic 2016 field, Hillary Clinton is first with a 1.2 weighted rank average, followed by Joe Biden at 2.0, Andrew Cuomo at 3.5, Martin O'Malley at 5.4, Mark Warner at 6.4, Deval Patrick at 7.2, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren at 7.3, Brian Schweitzer at 7.7, and Antonio Villaraigosa at 11.0.

Media Rankings of Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Candidate
# Outlets
Rank Ave.
Hillary Clinton
11
1.2
Joe Biden
11
2.0
Andrew Cuomo
11
3.5
Martin O'Malley
10
5.4
Deval Patrick
9
7.2
Mark Warner
8
6.4
Kirsten Gillibrand
7
7.3
Elizabeth Warren
7
7.3
Brian Schweitzer
7
7.7
Antonio Villaraigosa
7
11.0
Cory Booker
5
7.8
Amy Klobuchar
5
9.2
John Hickenlooper
4
9.0
Julian Castro
2
9.0
Beau Biden
1
4.0
Tom Harkin
1
7.0
Janet Napolitano
1
8.0
Tim Kaine
1
8.0
Jack Markell
1
14.0
Rahm Emanuel
1
16.0
Sources: CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, Cox Media Group, Daily Caller, International Business Times, National Journal, Policy Mic, Prez16, The Run 2016, U.S. News & World Report, and The Washington Post (The Fix). "Dark horse" candidates listed outside the Top 8 by Prez16 all received a ranking of '9.' Data compiled by Smart Politics.

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