2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, Strategy, Uncategorized

Ted’s Talk

July 8, 2016

Ted Cruz is now set to speak in Cleveland. Yesterday, he met with Donald Trump and Reince Preibus and a deal of sorts was reached. Cruz did not commit to endorse Trump. He did accept a speaking slot (at an undetermined/unreleased time.) What’s in it for these guys?

Why would Trump let him speak without first securing an endorsement? Why would Cruz link himself to Trump at this point? What might his speech sound like? Does this even matter? Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, State of the Race, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized

How Easily Could the GOP Dump Trump?

June 18, 2016

You’re starting to hear some loud whispers about an attempt to overthrow Donald Trump at the Republican convention. Like many dreams of the #NeverTrump faction, it’s technically possible and highly unlikely. The mechanism to toss out the primary/caucus results exists. Delegate commitments based on results, even on a first ballot, are only binding if the convention says they are.

Whether this is fair or just is a matter of opinion, but RNC bylaws and historical precedent allow the convention rules committee to do whatever they damn well please. Though Trump has the majority of currently pledged delegates, as we regularly heard back when Ted Cruz mattered, it doesn’t mean all of the “Trump” delegates would pick him on a first ballot if given the opportunity to choose otherwise. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, History, Strategy, Uncategorized

Rubio’s Choice

June 16, 2016

A week from now we’ll know for sure. That’s the deadline for filing in the Republican Senate Primary for Florida. Apparently, Marco Rubio will give us his answer by the end of the weekend. Will he or won’t he? After pledging he was going home or to the White House, the senator is debating running for re-election after all.

Politicians change their mind. He wouldn’t be the first or the last. With Senate control hanging in the balance and none of his GOP successor possibilities leading the Democratic competition in polls, or easily raising large sums of money, even a wounded Rubio is probably a better bet. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, History, Iowa, New Hampshire, State of the States, Uncategorized

Making the California Primary Great Again

June 6, 2016

This year’s California primary was a bit of a tease. Bernie Sanders has contested it in full, spending virtually all of the last two weeks in the Golden State. He attended a Warriors game, ordered from In-N-Out Burger, even gave a quick stump speech to an outdoor spin class in Santa Monica. It was the Pacific version of going to the Iowa State Fair, or hitting up a bunch of diners in New Hampshire.

It’s fun having a presidential candidate in your state. Bernie has benefitted. If he wins tomorrow, this two week press will have greatly contributed. If he falls short, the tour will have closed the margin of defeat. He made enough progress to force the Clintons back to California, for reasons beyond raising money. Over the past several days, Hillary and Bill have held several events, though they’ve confined themselves to the couple/few largest media markets. Bernie was everywhere. Continue reading

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

The First National Election in Decades

May 26, 2016

We think of presidential elections as a national event, but they’re not. The Electoral College means each state separately chooses whom to support. Once upon a time, many states were competitive. In 1976, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford were within 5 points of each other in 20 states. Another 11 were closer than 8 points. That gave them plenty of campaigning options.

It’s normal to have blue states and red states. The extent to which we can assume many states are not up for grabs in a competitive election is not. Barack Obama’s margin over Mitt Romney in 2012 was only a couple points more than Carter-Ford. But only 4 states were decided by less than 5 points, another 8 by less than 8.

We’ve become used to thinking about a few key states. If Democrats can take Florida or Ohio from the Republicans, they’ll probably win. If Republicans can hold those and take Pennsylvania, they’re likely celebrating on election night. Places like Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire are considered competitive. That’s about the list. Maybe add Nevada. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, Counting Delegates, History, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Berners Have a June 7 Fork in the Road

May 25, 2016

The primary season ends on June 7. Democrats in D.C.┬ástill need to vote on June 14, but we’re basically done after the 7th. That’s when California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and the Dakotas come out to play. Having a schedule of elections gives Berners something to rally around.

It’s like a team almost mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the postseason. The odds are bad, but there are remaining games left on the schedule. You can keep trying to win the next game and hope your rivals fail. Once we’re past the 7th, there aren’t more games to look forward to (Hillary should win the heavily African-American D.C. electorate easily.)

The other event scheduled for the 7th is Hillary becoming the official presumptive nominee (ok, clumsy terminology. Deal with it.) She will not win enough earned delegates ahead of the convention to clinch the nomination that way. She will clear the barrier with earned delegates plus super delegate endorsements. While he could technically flip these delegates in Philadelphia, previous candidates from Walter Mondale to Barack Obama declared victory at the same point. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, Counting Delegates, History, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Why Berners Won’t Surrender

May 20, 2016

It’s getting loud out there. More and more Democrats are calling for Bernie to back down. And now. Several Liberal/Progressive commentators and pundits are saying he’s out of line. When Hillary was ahead of Trump in the polls, it was fine to let the Sandersistas tilt at their windmills.

Enjoy, Young Democrats of Tomorrow, for in the fall your choice is the Hill or The Donald. But then the polls started moving. Sure, there’s supposedly a semi-permanent Democratic advantage in the Electoral College. Sure, demographics are moving in their direction.

Sure, Trump has managed to offend a majority of the country and has terrible favorability numbers. Sure, the GOP isn’t united just yet, even if they are making some progress. But national polls are consistently showing a close race. The Quinnipiac polls from last week in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania put a good scare into many. All of a sudden, this isn’t cute anymore. Continue reading