Even in a summer dominated by Donald Trump, former Florida governor Jeb Bush reigns as the most likely winner of the New Hampshire primary — for now.
The Boston Globe has revised its rankings of the top 10 Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire, noting where they would place in the first-in-the-nation primary if it were held today. The order is based on the three things that demonstrate a strong presidential campaign: polling, fund-raising, and organization.
Nearly all of the 17 GOP presidential candidates have made a pilgrimage to New Hampshire this summer to campaign for a primary that’s more than six months away. At least seven are relying on the Granite State to propel them to victory contests next year.
Most of the field will return again Monday for an evening forum in Manchester before reuniting later in the week for the first official GOP debate in Cleveland. (For coverage of both, visit www.BostonGlobe.com.)
Note: The candidates’ previous rankings from our April list are noted below their current slots.
1. Jeb Bush
Former Florida governor
Bush has said the GOP nominee should be willing to “lose the primary to win the general.” So he’s not backing off some of his more moderate positions that remain unpopular with the GOP’s base. It’s working for now: Bush held a tenuous front-runner position in most Granite State polling this summer, and if he gets in trouble, he’s raised more campaign cash than anyone else in the field to help him.
2. Donald Trump
New York businessman
He leads the GOP field in a number of recent national polls and a couple recent New Hampshire surveys, but he still lags behind Bush in New Hampshire in terms of the necessary political organization to get voters to the polls.
3. Scott Walker
Governor OF Wisconsin
He continues to focus on Iowa, where he leads in polls. But Walker remains the default choice for conservatives in New Hampshire, as evidenced by the large crowds who come to see him.
4. Rand Paul
Senator from Kentucky
His father placed second in the 2012 New Hampshire GOP primary, and last year he led Granite State polls. Today, Paul’s chances aren’t as strong, and he hopes a large GOP field will make his niche of voters a relatively bigger piece of the pie
5. Carly Fiorina
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO
When state primary voters list their top three choices for president, they name Fiorina as one of them almost every time. She is getting attention by working the state frequently and hard.
6. Marco Rubio
Senator from Florida
Rubio appears primed for a New Hampshire upset moment if Bush or Walker falters, but that has not happened yet.
7. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey
No one is spending more time in New Hampshire this summer than Christie. But Trump is really stealing his shtick as the “Tell It Like It Is” candidate.
8. John Kasich
Was a long shot
Governor of Ohio
His super PAC dumped serious cash on television ads that helped him place fourth in the most recent New Hampshire poll. But Kasich, who recently announced his campaign, has a lot of catching up to do in the money chase and building a campaign.
9. Ted Cruz
Senator from Texas
Cruz surprised with his fund-raising, bringing in the second-largest haul in the GOP field. But he has failed to build on his early momentum from campaign launch.
10. Dr. Ben Carson
Was not on the last list
Carson has many more fans in New Hampshire than Christie, Rubio, or Cruz, but he also has almost zero infrastructure to organize this support in the state.
THE LONG SHOTS
Former Governor of New York
What he lacks in campaign cash, Pataki makes up in hustle and personal approach. Unfortunately, his momentum as the New Hampshire candidate seems to be sputtering.
Former Governor of Texas
Like Pataki, he has a big resume leading a big state, but Perry has struggled to convince activists and donors that his moment didn’t pass in 2012.
Senator from South Carolina
He has the endorsement of his friend, Senator John McCain, the two-time New Hampshire primary winner. But Graham has inherited nothing of McCain’s organization.
Governor of Louisiana
Jindal has gone through the paces in New Hampshire, visiting the state in prior years. Despite this, his campaign doesn’t have much to show for it in the state.
Former Governor of Arkansas
The social conservative has paid so little attention to the Granite state it is as though he is not even trying to win the state’s primary.
Former Senator from Pennsylvania
His New Hampshire campaign is nonexistent as he devotes most of his time and resources to the Iowa caucuses he won in 2012. More proof: His former national campaign manager, who lives in New Hampshire, works for Rand Paul.
Former governor of Virginia
He is the Admiral James Stockdale of the race. Stockdale famously said in the 1992 vice-presidential debate: “Who am I? Why am I here?”