The Buzz

The 2016 GOP presidential front runner is ... Rand Paul

Let’s begin by acknowledging the 2016 race for the GOP presidential nomination is ridiculously wide open. After all, the leading candidate in early polls has just 21 percent.

But The Washington Post just weighed into this weighy matter and handicapped the field. The newspaper did not pick Mitt Romney. In fact, it didn’t even list Romney maybe because the 2012 nominee keeps saying that he’s not running.

He’s not acting that way, though.

Here’s the rundown from #10 to #1 with the numero uno being the most likely winner, as of now.

10. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

9. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

8. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

7. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

6. Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

5. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

4. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

3. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

And....(drumroll, please).

1. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Here’s what The Post said about Paul:

People used to roll their eyes when we said Paul had a real chance to be the Republican nominee in 2016. Not anymore.

Paul has a unique activist and fundraising base, thanks to his father’s two runs for president, and has shown considerable savvy in his outreach to the establishment end of the party over the past few years.

Paul still says odd things — his blaming of high cigarette taxes for Eric Garner’s chokehold death at the hands of New York City police being the latest — that would get him in trouble in the heat of a presidential race.

But he is the candidate furthest along in the planning process for president and the one with the most strength in early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.