Meet the Political Junkie March Madness Elite 8

We’ve completed our first two rounds of competition during this year’s Political Junkie March Madness tournament! The votes and the predictions are in, and now we’re headed to the Quarterfinals!

We received 133 votes during the three days of our Round of 16, and we had a few more interesting upsets. But now we’re getting down to the wire with some really close match-ups among our Elite 8, so your vote could make or break your favorite candidate. So take a look at our new Quarterfinals bracket below, and then go cast your votes! We are accepting votes in the Quarterfinals round through Wednesday, April 2 at 11:00 pm EDT.

PJ March Madness - Quarterfinals Bracket

Round of 16 Voting Results & Quarterfinal Match-Ups


#1 Rand Paul vs. #10 John Thune
Rand Paul – 87 (65.9%)
Jeb Bush – 45 (34.1%)

Rick Santorum – 63 (47.4%)
John Thune – 70 (52.6%)

#3 Ted Cruz vs. #2 Chris Christie
Jon Huntsman – 58 (43.6%)
Ted Cruz – 75 (56.4%)

Mike Huckabee – 46 (34.6%)
Chris Christie – 87 (65.4%)


#1 Scott Walker vs. #7 Rob Portman
Scott Walker – 88 (66.7%)
Bobby Jindal – 44 (33.3%)

Rick Perry – 52 (39.1%)
Rob Portman – 81 (60.9%)

#3 Paul Ryan vs. #2 Marco Rubio
Scott Brown – 41 (31.1%)
Paul Ryan – 91 (68.9%)

John Kasich – 51 (38.3%)
Marco Rubio – 82 (61.9%)

Round of 16 Brief Analysis

Compared to our initial Round of 32, there was a lot of consistency in the voting for each of our Round of 16 face-offs. There were no especially tight races, but every competitor received at least 30% of the votes in their race. Therefore it’s clear that every one of our Sweet 16 competitors enjoyed their share of fans among our audience, which could make our remaining rounds all the more interesting to witness.

We saw quite a few upsets in the Round of 16. As such, we must say farewell to a number of competitors who as recently as a few years ago considered potential future stars in the Republican Party: Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry all got the boot this go-around.

From both sides of our bracket, the top 3 seeds have made it into the Quarterfinals, as have one of the lower-seeded candidates that have outperformed themselves in the first two rounds. The #2- and #3-seeds are going up against each other this time, while our low-seeds each attempt to overthrow our #1-seeded competitors. It’s sure to be an exciting round of competition.

–Douglas Bell, Political Junkie Web Producer
(Ken will offer his overall analysis of our contest after our championship is named in mid-April.)

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