2 Names Rising on 2016 List: John Kerry, Marco Rubio
But Larry Sabato's 'Crystal Ball' still thinks it's Hillary vs. Jeb, for now
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2015 12:26 PM CDT
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 24.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Political prognosticator Larry Sabato is out with an update of his Crystal Ball rankings of 2016 presidential candidates, and the top names remain Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush. But perhaps the most notable change is Sabato's addition of John Kerry to the Democratic mix. The secretary of state is placed in the third tier, by himself, below Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in the second. Kerry's "foreign policy gravitas" is a big part of what's elevating him, writes Sabato, and if Clinton exited the race, Democrats couldn't ignore him—even if he is a "retread who lost over a decade ago."

On the Republican side, the big change is the elevation of Marco Rubio into the first tier of candidates—behind Bush and then Scott Walker—and the slide of Chris Christie out of the top echelon into the third tier. Rubio is emerging as the "ideas candidate," writes Sabato. Although he's "earned the wrath of the Tea Party for his foray into immigration reform, he had strong support from the grassroots in his 2010 Senate win, and like Walker may be capable of winning backing from both establishment and anti-establishment forces in the GOP." Click for the full post.