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

Independent’s Day

July 4, 2016

Happy 4th! Today we commemorate the 240th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson and friends officially breaking free of the British. Sure, it took several years of war, one that very much resembled a civil war, as plenty of colonials were in favor of remaining part of the British Empire, but ultimately Leave won out.

This wasn’t something that happened overnight. More than 150 years passed between the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and their descendants deciding to form a Union. In the 1750s, a Declaration of Independence would have seemed like lunacy. Twenty years later, it happened, even if the public was hardly unified behind the concept.

Similarly, until very recently, the idea of challenging the established two major parties was out of the question. Sure, every few generations (Ross Perot-1992, Teddy Roosevelt-1912) a third-party presidential candidate makes a dent, but they’ve proven completely unable to turn personal appeal into an ongoing alternative. Continue reading

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

Pick Your Narrative

June 27, 2016

These are dangerous times. For the campaigns. The stretch between the end of voting and the gavels calling the respective party conventions to order often leads to illusion. While we can’t assume the next three weeks will stay quiet, voters are usually looking for a bit of a summer respite from their presumptive choices.

Bernie Sanders hasn’t officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, but he says he’s planning on voting for her. His campaign isn’t doing anything beyond hoping to influence the party platform and campaigning for selected Berner-friendly candidates in down-ballot primaries. We won’t hear much from him until the Democrats reach Philadelphia at the end of July. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, In the World, Uncategorized

Brexit is a Variable More Than an Indicator

June 24, 2016

A bit of an earthquake from the other side of the pond. Britain is out. At least that’s what they voted for. Voters in the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union after 40 plus years of becoming increasingly enmeshed in the pseudo-United States of Europe.

The actual mechanism for leaving will take some time. Once the U.K. triggers Article 50, they have two years to negotiate their exit. They’ll need new trade agreements with the EU. They’ll be able to negotiate new ones on their own with other countries and trading blocks. That sort of thing takes time and often doesn’t go well. So far, the world markets aren’t excited. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Libertarians, State of the Race, Uncategorized

How Far Can Johnson & Stein Get?

June 21, 2016

We’ve spent the past few weeks watching Donald Trump either implode or merely confirm the suspicions of his detractors. Either way, it’s not pretty. I’ll spare you the recap. Yesterday’s firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, followed by the resignation of communications director Michael Caputo after he sent a “ding dong, the witch is dead” tweet in reference to Lewandowski, along with the release of numbers showing the campaign is effectively broke, was a 5 of 10 on the Bad Day Index.

It’s enough to remind me it’s probably time to do a piece on the worst primary to general election transitions in presidential history. Does Trump belong ahead or behind George McGovern picking a guy with electroshock therapy history (this was especially frowned upon in the early 1970s) on the list? He’s reached his highest disapproval ratings. The media is savaging him at every turn.  Continue reading