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

Damning Kasich With Praise?

January 31, 2016

The New York Times has endorsed John Kasich for president.  Well at least until he’d actually face a Democrat.  They endorsed Hillary Clinton too.  Want to take any bets on who would get the nod in November?

Reflex is to think nothing could harm a 2016 Republican presidential candidate more than a nod from the Times.  This isn’t the New Hampshire Union Leader choosing Chris Christie, something that gave him temporary momentum, but probably winds up not mattering. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, Iowa, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Forecasting Iowa: What Counts as a Win for Bernie?

January 31, 2016

It looks like Bernie is trailing.  Not by much, but Hillary has the edge.  The benchmark Iowa poll has her up by 3.  Like Trump, Bernie’s results are at least somewhat dependent on turning out voters who haven’t caucused before.  Unlike Trump, he isn’t indisputably ahead in the Iowa polls.

Hillary is ahead slightly more frequently and by a slightly larger margin.  Estimates are indicating turnout looks robust, but well short of 2008.   The actual 2008 number surprised everyone, but it that means Bernie would need a surprise too.

The Des Moines Register endorsed Clinton.  So did the New York Times.  Not a huge thing, but it can’t hurt.  Important Iowa Democrats have endorsed her too.  Again, this doesn’t mean what it used to in the days of machine politics, and the endorsements aren’t new, but at the margins it helps on caucus day. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Iowa, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Forecasting Iowa: What if Ted Loses?

January 30, 2016

Two days to go.  There’s still no firm consensus on who is going to win the Republican caucus.  Donald Trump led seven straight polls.  However, only those with more lenient registered/likely voter criteria have him leading by more than the margin of error.

Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, the last two candidates to dominate the evangelical lane, both outperformed their recent polls on caucus day.  If Cruz does slightly better than indicated, or Trump’s first-time caucusers don’t show up, he can win.  People on the ground are estimating strong turnout, but aren’t willing to commit to the levels that would almost guarantee a Trump win. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, History, Uncategorized

70 is the New 50

January 29, 2016

Michael Bloomberg is kicking around an independent run at the presidency.  This isn’t surprising.  He thinks about this every four years, and the possibility of a Trump-Sanders contest gives him more ideological room than normal.  A mere generation ago, another billionaire gave the major party candidates a good scare.

H. Ross Perot was/is very wealthy.  Michael Bloomberg is worth $41 billion.  He could fund a presidential campaign with the change behind his sofa cushions.  Donald Trump’s wealth is a rounding error for him.  According to Forbes, he’s the 13th wealthiest human on the planet.  Never mind the 1%, he’s literally one in five hundred million. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Debates, Iowa, Uncategorized

Debate Recap: Missed Opportunity

January 29, 2016

Ted Cruz got his moment at center stage.  He wasn’t awful, but wasn’t good either.  There were moments.  When asked about his opposition to ethanol subsidies, he gave an organized, complete and persuasive answer.  He generally defended himself well from various attacks and fended off some sharp moderator questions.

As the front runner among those present and accounted for, he got the full treatment, some from his opponents, even more from the moderators.  The problem was when he was given more open-ended opportunities.  An over-scripted Cruz just isn’t as effective.

He overdid the pandering to Iowans, overdid the Reagan references, and overdid the cleverness when he made his Trump comment.  Given the choice between trying to lock down his base, and acting like a nominee, he opted for the former. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Debates, Iowa, Uncategorized

Debate Prep: Pregame Status

January 28, 2016

We’re only a couple/few hours away from debate time, depending on whether you count the undercard as an event.  These contests aren’t always the game-changers they’re promoted as, but it seems like a good time to see where the candidates are now, so we can look back on Caucus day and see if anybody parlayed a debate performance into a strong finishing kick.


Marco Rubio: The three most recent Iowa polls have him at 16, 14 and 18 percent.  He’s balanced expectations enough that finishing third with 16% is going to seem like a victory.  This is his first major Hawkeye State push.  Prior to this week, Rubio was only in the state a couple days at a time here and there. Continue reading

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

Debate Preview: Advice for Ted

January 28, 2016

NOTE: If Trump winds up changing his mind and decides to participate in the debate, please kindly disregard the following advice.  I’m assuming the Cruz Team already has a plan for what happens if The Donald makes an appearance after all.

Dear Ted,

Today is the biggest day of your presidential campaign.  After decades of hoping and planning for the White House, a victory in the Iowa caucuses would give you a leg up.  Though Donald is ahead in the polls, you’re still in good position.

Everybody says great things about your ground game.  A victory will now count as a comeback instead of something we should have all expected.  Who knows, if ducking the debate blows up enough on him, you might even make it uncomfortably close in New Hampshire. Continue reading