- Gov. Scott Walker won't say when he'll decide if he'll run for president in the upcoming 2016 election, but some political observers say former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's announcement to "actively explore" a presidential run adds some urgency to declare for possible contenders.
Gov. Walker said this week that Bush's comments, "don't affect me one way or another."
However, UW-Madison Professor of Political Science Kenneth Mayer says Walker and other possible candidates may have time into January or February to make a decision.
"Once you get into the late winter and spring, March-April, it gets a little too late," Mayer said.
That's because candidates need time getting their national campaign together before caucuses and primaries in 2016. Bush may be the first to announce an interest in running, but Mayer points to a handful of legislators who have taken the same kind of step.
He says Sen. Rand Paul(R-Kentucky), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) have each put together Leadership Political Action Committees (PACs).
The PACs are designed to help prospectus candidates to raise money and fund travel around the country. That allows them to do all of the things that are like campaigning, while not technically campaigning under federal rules, according to Mayer.
However, a new Washington Post/ ABC poll shows more than a dozen Republican candidates, including Walker, have some kind of support. Those include Cruz, Paul, Bush, Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie (R- New Jersey) and former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. (A link to the poll is at the bottom of the article)
Romney received the highest percentage in the poll with 20%. Mayer says the field should become much clearer once candidates finally declare.
"And with so many candidates, there are too many permutations to allow to figure out if (New Jersey Gov.) Chris Christie drops out or once people start dropping out or making a decision not to run, then those voters have someplace to go," Mayer said.
Walker said his ultimate decision would be based upon him, his family, and his state, and what he may or may not be able to do for the country. In the meantime, Mayer says Walker may let the Republican-led Wisconsin State Legislature take the lead on state issues as he weighs his options.
"Once you begin to think about running for a higher office, you necessarily view all of the decisions that you are making through that lens," Mayer said.
Governor Walker hasn't said when he'll make a decision. He says he wants to focus on Wisconsin and push for government consolidation, tax cuts and education reform.
Washington Post /ABC Poll