2016 New Year Preview, 2016 Republicans, History, Uncategorized

2016 New Year Preview: Why the GOP’s Soul is Deep in the Heart of Texas

January 8, 2016

Ted Cruz is now a serious prospect (or threat, depending on your leanings) to win the GOP nomination.  Some of us started taking him seriously a few months ago, but few except his biggest fans saw this coming 12-18 months ago.

We should have known better.  Cruz represents Texas in the Senate and Texas represents the GOP nationally.  This isn’t a particularly new development.  The Lone Star State was one of the first of the Old Confederacy to begin electing Republicans.

John Tower won election to the Senate back in 1960, a time when Republicans just weren’t elected statewide below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush won election from a district in Houston in 1966. Continue reading

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

2016 New Year Preview: Could Obama Win a Third Term?

January 5, 2016

The 22nd Amendment makes this a thought experiment rather than a forecast, but it remains the most important question of the 2016 election cycle.

How easily could Barack Obama (if eligible) win a third term in November 2016?

He thinks he could win.  It’s easy for him to say this, after all, nobody will ever be able to prove otherwise, but from the present view, it doesn’t seem crazy.  After all, he’s at least as popular as Hillary Clinton, and many observers think she can win. Continue reading

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

2016 New Year Preview: Who’s Team Can Go the Distance?

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!  We are now only a month away from actual voting.  Once the primaries and caucuses begin, the pace picks up tremendously for all surviving campaigns.

Underdogs who exceed expectations will need to quickly leverage the results.  Others will need to recover instantly from setbacks.  Most importantly, campaigns will need to function in several places at once and figure out where to allocate their funds and candidate time.

As the recent shake-up in the Ben Carson campaign shows, not all of the contenders have the foundation necessary to go the distance.  Most successful presidential candidates have a core group of advisors/campaign staff from previous campaigns. Continue reading

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 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 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