<National Report>A poll conducted over the weekend of likely Republican voters asked respondents whom they’d vote for to be America’s next president if the election were held this year, and the result might just surprise you: Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy landed in second place, very nearly topping out frontrunner Mike Huckabee.
The poll sampled 12,031 likely voters who identified themselves as Republicans and/ or conservatives. It contained several names of individuals who might actually run, including Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio. But pollsters decided to also include names of people who have not expressed an interest in running, some of whom have no experience in politics at all. Some of these candidates included Bundy, Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity.
Of that latter set of “candidates,” Bundy was the only name to garner serious support, landing in second place with 14.2%, only barely losing out to Huckabee, with 15.1%. This means the rancher is well within the margin of error when competing against the experienced, famous conservative politician. Rand Paul managed third place, with 13.4%, while fourth place went to Jeb Bush, with 9.3%. No other candidate polled over 4%, meaning Huckabee, Bundy, Paul, and Bush are tightly packed into what would appear to be a heated primary race.
Bundy rose to fame nationally after a heated, armed standoff with government officials in April, who came to his ranch to impound his cattle, which Bundy had been grazing on public property for more than twenty years while also refusing to pay Federal grazing fees. Bundy quickly became a folk hero of sorts, and an iconic figure amongst conservative Americans.
Support for Bundy took a series of hard hits recently, after it was revealed that he made racially-insensitive remarks regarding African-Americans, claiming “the negro” would be better off as slaves. But while conservative pundits and politicians have backed away slowly from Bundy after his comments, this poll seems to show that conservatives in general still overwhelmingly support his cause.
In an optional comment box at the end of the poll, one respondent remarked on why they would support Bundy for President. “Nothing [Bundy] said was even half as racist as the shit Obama says and does towards whites. At least he don’t hate America like King Obama does, and he was born in this country too. [Bundy] knows what freedom is all about. The left can spin his words but [Bundy] is a patriot and a lover of freedom.”
When asked by a reporter on Sunday if she might consider a 2016 presidential run, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin mentioned Bundy by name. “If I were to run, I would want someone on my ticket with me who understands what it means to be an American. I might just go rogue and ask Mr. Bundy to stand up for the American people with me, because he’s a true patriot, and America has a dire need for more patriots.”