2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Trump, Uncategorized

The Art of the Reinvention

November 30, 2015

Patient and controlled are not two words generally associated with Donald J. Trump, Republican polling front runner and general nightmare to the GOP governing class.  Neither his many admirers, nor his numerous detractors would focus on The Donald’s reserve.

Some love his seeming boldness, others are repulsed.  As difficult a task as it is to characterize the candidate who has spent more than a week talking about New Jersey being a mass of celebrating Muslims on 9/11/01 as a careful moderate-risk person, I’m going to give it a shot.
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2016 Republicans, Uncategorized

Dr. Carson Goes to Jordan

November 29, 2015

When in doubt, take a field trip.  Facing increased scrutiny about his foreign policy/national security chops, losing ground in Iowa and elsewhere to Ted Cruz, Ben Carson jumped on a plane and went to visit Syrian refugees encamped in Jordan.

It’s hard to criticize the decision.  Especially in the post-9/11 era, candidates have frequently travelled to the Middle East and Europe to do some learning and credentials burnishing.  Carson was able to accomplish both, first spending some time on the ground, then appearing on multiple Sunday shows from the Jordanian capital. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, New Hampshire, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Follow the (Union) Leader?

November 29, 2015

The New Hampshire Union Leader has endorsed Chris Christie for president.  Do we care?  Will New Hampshire voters follow?

Once upon a time, newspaper endorsements really mattered.  In the days where voters got the majority of their information from the local paper, they had an outsized influence.  Beyond a formal nod, their editorial coverage often provided a prism to view a campaign through. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Poll Watch, Uncategorized

Poll Watch: Episode 16 (Commonwealth Clues)

November 24, 2015

Massachusetts isn’t the first state you think of when looking for indicators in a national Republican primary race.  The last time a GOP candidate ran better in the Commonwealth than nationwide was 1956.  Apparently they liked Ike.  Then JFK ran and ever since, Republicans only win there when they win everywhere.

Exactly two Massachusetts GOP presidential primary polls are in the public domain (i.e. listed at Real Clear Politics).  The first, from Emerson College, was taken mid-October.  The second, from Boston Globe/Suffolk is very recent (taken 11/19-11/22).

As always, keep in mind drawing firm conclusions from limited data points is dangerous.  Since the pollsters are different, we can’t be 100% sure that changes in response are only due to changes in conditions/candidate performance.  As you’ll see below, Massachusetts is particularly susceptible to a faulty reading. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 Republicans, Iowa, Uncategorized

Forecasting Iowa: Update Three (Acceptable Outcomes)

November 22, 2015

Courtesy of CBS/YouGov, we have fresh polling from Iowa, just the excuse necessary for taking another look at what to expect when the caucus actually happens.  Only GOP results are released so far, but the numbers on the Dem side are looking pretty consistent in other states, so I’m comfortable rushing forward without it.  No sense in being a patient speculator.

The focus today is on what results each candidate requires to move forward to New Hampshire with some degree of hope.  They may do worse and choose to stay in the race, but will effectively function as dead candidates walking, doing more to prevent others from getting nominated than forwarding themselves.  We’ll also guess what the odds of getting the desired result are. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Uncategorized

State of the Race: Housekeeping (Part Two)

November 22, 2015

Continuing where we left off Friday in part one….

Breadcrumbs for Bernie

Let’s begin by stipulating Hillary is still the overwhelming nomination favorite and Bernie hasn’t taken any visible steps to solve his structural disadvantages in catching up.

Whether viewing polls (which outside of New Hampshire show him down 20+ points) or audiences (apparently even in South Carolina he’s speaking to mostly white crowds), he hasn’t made any strides in rounding out his appeal so that he can get enough minority votes to win a majority of delegates. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, New Hampshire, Poll Watch, State of the Race, Uncategorized

State of the Race: Housekeeping (Part One)

November 20, 2015

Within 5 days last week, both parties had debates and Paris happened.  Candidates spent this week reacting to and moving forward from last week.  Here are several things to pay attention to:

Start the Kasich Countdown  

It’s now officially time to start the clock on John Kasich, more likely to exit the race prior to New Hampshire than launch his campaign forward there.  Key indicator?  Not his stalled Granite State numbers, not his declining national scores.  No, not even his whiny off-key debate performances.

His affiliated super PAC is now planning a targeted campaign against Donald Trump.  That’s all folks. Continue reading