2016 New Year Preview, 2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Uncategorized

2016 New Year Preview: Knockout

December 31, 2015

As we head into the New Year, time to look at how quickly each candidate actually needs to win.  Conventional wisdom says you need to win Iowa or New Hampshire.  Is this true?

Depends on the candidate.  If you’re an underdog, yes, you need to win fairly early, otherwise you aren’t viable enough to continue.

For more established contestants, those with a national reputation and/or a strong base, it’s a game of knockout.

If one of your competitors bests you in a location where you were at an advantage, lights out. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, History, Requiem for a Candidate, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Requiem for a Candidate: George Pataki

December 30, 2015

Another one bites the dust.  George Pataki, a candidate many never realized was in, is now out.  You won’t read many campaign obituaries for a candidate who never cleared 1% in polls, nor raised any money to speak of.

This isn’t one either.  Instead it’s a memorial to the office of Governor of New York, once an almost guaranteed ticket to top tier status in any presidential race.  As Pataki has proven, no more. Continue reading

2016 General Election, Poll Watch, Trump, Uncategorized

Poll Watch: Episode 20 (None of the Above)

December 29, 2015

Rasmussen Reports recently released a pre-Xmas survey measuring a potential Trump-Clinton matchup.  So?  This is a common poll topic, and we know better than to take this too seriously 300+ days before anyone would actually choose for real.

There’s one wrinkle to Rasmussen’s approach that makes this a more useful than normal snapshot.  They aren’t strongly pushing respondents to pick a favorite.  More important than the margin between Hillary and Donald (+1 for her), is their combined total of 73%.

A full 22% preferred another (unnamed) option, while 5% said they were unsure.  The normal Trump-Clinton survey has 88-95% of voters picking one or the other.  They are not given a third option, only the opportunity to say they’re unsure.  The 5% dunno number from Rasmussen is in line with those results. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 New Year Preview, 2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Uncategorized

2016 New Year Preview: The Ryan Effect

December 28, 2015

Speaker Paul Ryan is the GOP’s canary in a coal mine for 2016.  For those who believe mainstream conservatism works and sells, he will provide the best evidence.  For those in and around the party who believe neither, likewise.

Most Americans do not pay close attention to Congress.  Many voters can’t name their own representative.  However, this doesn’t prevent them from knowing they aren’t happy.  The Real Clear Politics average shows 13% approval, 76% disapproval of the denizens of Capitol Hill.

Democratic candidates will campaign against Congress.  Both houses are currently Republican majority, so they have no incentive to do anything but claim removing GOP control is essential to fixing the dismal legislature.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz regularly run against the same individuals.  Don’t expect Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Chris Christie or Mike Huckabee to say anything nice as long as they are still around.  Even Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio aren’t exactly cheerleaders. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 Republicans, Iowa, State of the Race, Trump, Uncategorized

Bernie Jumps on Trump Bandwagon

December 28, 2015

He’s in!  Bernie has joined TrumpWorld.  In case you took a couple day break from anxiously tracking every campaign tremor, Bernie Sanders is now actively contrasting himself with Donald Trump.  This makes sense on all sorts of levels.  Might not work, but absolutely the right play.

Bernie needed press stat.

For weeks, Berners have complained their guy is getting ignored by various mainstream media outlets.  Data shows they’re right.  He’s especially overlooked by the network nightly news shows, which skew much older in their viewing demographic. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 New Year Preview, 2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Trump, Uncategorized

2016 New Year Preview: The Overton Window is Wide Open

December 27, 2015

In an attempt to prepare for the New Year, over the next few days, we’ll roll out a few concepts that seem important to consider.  All are items others are talking about, sometimes to excess, but there may be a different way to approach them.

First up is the Overton window.  It’s a theory developed by a man named Joseph Overton back in the 1990s, and it postulates that any person has a window of acceptable political policies and positions.  A candidate doesn’t need to hit a voter directly, just land within bounds. Continue reading


Why Trump Needs Cruz

December 26, 2015

For months, Ted Cruz has followed in Donald Trump’s wake.  At first he was often mocked, now he’s begrudgingly given credit for strategic wisdom.  Either way it’s a little unseemly.

A presumptive leader of the Free World doesn’t normally put his future in the hands of an opposing candidate.  There isn’t a whole lot of precedent for this, at least since the current primary system took hold in 1972. Continue reading