In a fluid race where there’s no consensus frontrunner and even the eventual size of the presidential field is up in the air, there’s one thing that most Republicans can agree on: In Iowa at least, Scott Walker is the man to beat.
If there were any remaining doubts, they were erased Saturday at the “Roast and Ride,” a motorcycle-and-barbecue themed cattle call hosted by the state’s freshman senator, Republican Joni Ernst. At an event that drew seven of the party’s presidential hopefuls, it was the Wisconsin governor who ended up playing the starring role.
With his Iowa roots, plainspoken style, and familiarity as the governor of the next state over, Walker is generating grassroots buzz, lofty expectations and a lead in the polls that has Iowa power-brokers and political operatives pointing to him as the early favorite in the first-in-the-nation caucuses next February.
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