2016 GOP Field Gets New Blood

The Republican presidential field will get an infusion of new blood this week as three new candidates enter the race for the GOP nomination.

On Monday morning, Dr. Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have near-simultaneous announcements planned -- the black neurosurgeon will launch from his hometown of Detroit, while Fiorina plans a lower-key start with a press call and an online townhall later that afternoon. 

The next day, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is expected to launch his second bid for president from his storied hometown of Hope, Ark. 

Republican observers are especially enthused by the entrance of Carson, the only African-American in the field, and Fiorina, who’s likely to be the only female GOP candidate, to bring added diversity to a field that already includes two Cuban Americans in Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas).

But Carson and Fiorina have almost no political experience between them, leading many Republicans to view Huckabee as the most formidable of the new trio. 

ndeed, one of Huckabee’s strengths is his appeal to the blue collar and working class voters that have become a key constituency for Republicans in recent elections.

“In terms of style and rhetoric, he’s at his best talking to white working class voters who feel left behind by Washington and shut out of the economy,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

 The former Hewlett-Packard CEO barely registers in national polls, taking just 1 percent support, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

“The other candidates will be watching and learning from her tone and rhetoric as she goes after Hillary,” said O’Connell. “The media won’t be able to immediately pull the woman card on her.”

Read more from Jonathan Easley at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy