2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Poll Watch, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Measuring the Conventions

July 19, 2016

The first day/night of the Republican National Convention was charitably shaky. The average voter may not have noticed or heard about the delegate scrum during the day when #NeverTrump forces unsuccessfully fought to have a full roll call vote. Whatever.

Commentators spent plenty of time talking about rising star Joni Ernst getting stuck speaking to an empty hall after the networks cut away, while actor Scott Baio, last seen playing Chachi back in the 1980s, had a better audience. General Flynn sounded like the Republic was ending next Tuesday. Donald Trump called in to Bill O’Reilly’s show, forcing him to cut away from the mom of one of the Benghazi four, who was emotionally excoriating Hillary Clinton from the podium. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

GOP Convention Preview: Can Trump Keep the Public Awake?

July 18, 2016

The convention is finally here. The last vestiges of the #NeverTrump movement were stomped out last week, so there won’t be the brokered/contested convention political junkies have dreamed of for decades. Even Bill Kristol is about ready to concede Donald Trump will actually become the nominee.

The choosing of Mike Pence takes any VP drama off the table. There were thoughts some delegates would attempt to throw their weight around on that pick, but the goal was to force Trump into picking a Pence-like person. Mission already accomplished. While it’s very possible he’ll give a solid and effective speech on Wednesday, it won’t have 2008 Sarah Palin levels of anticipation. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Poll Watch, Senate, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Vulnerable GOP Senators Looking Safer

July 17, 2016

We haven’t heard very much about Senate races lately. Several weeks ago, there was plenty of speculation Donald Trump could get wiped out by enough in key states to take vulnerable incumbent GOP senators with him. At the time, Trump was staring at a bit of a deficit in the polls, and it’s reasonable to wonder how many voters would still opt for a GOP senator while voting for Hillary Clinton at the same time.

Stats show ticket splitting is more rare than a generation ago. So, bad run for Trump, bad result for senators like Rob Portman in Ohio and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. So the two things to watch for are how big a gap the senators might need to overcome and how far (if at all) they’re running ahead of Trump. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

The Agony of #NeverTrump

July 14, 2016

Until he actually becomes the official nominee a week from now, there’s still technically a chance the GOP nominee could, ever so possibly, be someone other than Donald Trump. You shouldn’t bet on it unless you get insanely good odds though. And only bet money you’re very prepared to lose.

More Republican insiders, delegates, and other elected officials are opposed to the nominee than any time since 1964. There are delegates pledged to Trump who strongly prefer Ted Cruz. Trump has record low favorability ratings. He’s somehow still trailing Hillary Clinton in more polls than not, even after FBI Director James Comey explained in great detail where she went terribly wrong with her email server. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Who Should Trump Pick?

July 13, 2016

The decision is imminent. Sometime in the next 48 hours Donald Trump will end our suspense and choose a running mate. CBS is taping a 60 Minutes interview with Trump and his Veep-to-be on Friday. He’ll leak the choice ahead of the interview, which airs on Sunday evening.

If he hasn’t already decided, he’s making the choice now. So we’re looking at a similar chessboard, though likely with different vision. This is not an attempt to guess what Trump will do. We’re asking ourselves what a candidate in Trump’s position, with his proclivities should do. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Iowa, Poll Watch, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Poll Watch: Iowa Signals Trouble for Hillary

July 12, 2016

Let’s begin with my normal warning not to read too much in to any one survey. Let’s remember the election is still four months away, that neither major party nominee has chosen their VP, nor held their convention. The electorate saw their summer slumber interrupted by the killings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas last week.

Between those brutal events, the FBI decision to pass on pushing for indictment of Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump being himself, there’s plenty for a voter to process. ¬†However, we have very limited polling over the past week, with the most recent national surveys being pre-Dallas, and before the full impact of James Comey’s takedown sans indictment of Clinton. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, Strategy, Uncategorized

Ted’s Talk

July 8, 2016

Ted Cruz is now set to speak in Cleveland. Yesterday, he met with Donald Trump and Reince Preibus and a deal of sorts was reached. Cruz did not commit to endorse Trump. He did accept a speaking slot (at an undetermined/unreleased time.) What’s in it for these guys?

Why would Trump let him speak without first securing an endorsement? Why would Cruz link himself to Trump at this point? What might his speech sound like? Does this even matter? Continue reading