University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato is out with his updated "crystal ball" on the 2016 presidential elections, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sits atop it on the GOP side. (Note that this is a reflection of his strength in the Republican primary and not necessarily a general election.) "We believe that if he decided to run, he could potentially appeal to both the party’s defense hawks and its fiscal conservatives," write Sabato and Kyle Kondik at the university's Center for Politics. Walker is in the "top tier" with Chris Christie and Rand Paul and could emerge on top if the other two continue beating each other up, and thus canceling each other out, over the direction of the party.
The second tier consists of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rick Santorum, while the third tier has Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, and Rick Perry. Bringing up the rear is Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a wild card. As for the Democrats, it's clearly all about Hillary Clinton, write the political forecasters. If she runs, she's all but a shoo-in. Here's the "all but" part: "To us, there’s one remote but clear possibility who could credibly challenge Clinton in a primary: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren." For their breakdown of particular candidates' strengths and weaknesses, click on the full story. (Read more Election 2016 stories.)