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 Republicans, History, New Hampshire, Requiem for a Candidate, Uncategorized

Requiem for a Candidate: Chris Christie

February 11, 2016

Christie is out.  Nobody is that surprised.  Ever since Bridgegate it’s been an uphill battle.  He found himself on the cut line for many of the debates.  Even after turning himself into a New Hampshire-centric candidate, he never got close to Donald Trump in the Granite State polls.

Pick your reason.  Trump overshadowed him, he was too moderate for the modern GOP, his record in New Jersey has a number of things (credit rating downgrades, etc.) that make for a good attack ad.  He didn’t run in 2012 when he was at his most popular. Continue reading

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

New Hampshire Recap (GOP): Trump Towers

February 10, 2016

After Iowa we weren’t 100% sure.  Now we know.  Trump voters are for real and the result was spectacular.  He got approximately 100,000 votes, more than Mitt Romney in 2012 against a far inferior field.  He beat the governors.  Combined.

In Iowa he trailed his final poll average by around 4 points.  This time he exceeded it by about the same amount.  Until proven otherwise, we can’t assume he’s any more likely to underperform than overperform.

That makes those national poll leads real and his ability to compete in all 50 states real.  The voting has begun and betting markets have Donald Trump as the favorite to win the GOP nomination. Continue reading

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

New Hampshire Recap (D): Berning The House of Clinton

February 9, 2016

So rough night for Hillary.  Make no mistake, it was a blowout, landslide, beatdown.  With 87% of precincts reporting, she has 39% of the vote.  In 2008, Hillary won 39% of the vote against Barack Obama, John Edwards and a couple rounding error candidates.  Bernie equaled them all.

Aside from the quick jaunt to Michigan on Sunday, Hillary spent the entire week between Iowa and the vote pushing as hard as possible to narrow the margin.  Bernie outperformed the final Real Clear Politics average by at least seven points.  He did better than the FiveThirtyEight estimate. Continue reading

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

Spinning New Hampshire (GOP)

February 8, 2016

Post-vote spin always matters.  It’s part of the game and an important task for candidates, their strategists, communications team, and surrogates.  Depending on how things shake out tomorrow, this might be the most consequential post-primary spin in modern history.

Consider what the following GOP candidates are likely to claim tomorrow: Continue reading

2016 Democrats, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Spinning New Hampshire (Democrats)

February 8, 2016

It’s never too early to start thinking about how the campaigns might attempt to put the best possible bow on tomorrow’s results.  This absolutely matters.  Marco Rubio’s 3rd place Iowa “victory” resonated and put him in position to make his debate performance such a big deal.

Good spin takes more than a few minutes to create.  It’s a combination of setting expectations low enough to make a respectable finish a win, while still sounding confident enough to make your voters want to turn out.  At the same time, you’re looking ahead, trying to make the next key state look forward to your arrival.

Expect the following from the main contestants: Continue reading

2016 Republicans, New Hampshire, Poll Watch, Uncategorized

Ignore Monday’s GOP NH Polls

February 8, 2016

Ignore the polls.  This may seem like an odd request from someone who constantly writes about polls and believes almost any survey has at least some nugget of value.  Not on Monday, at least on the GOP side.  Feel free to look at any Democratic poll of your choosing to see if Hillary is making any progress closing the gap.

Here’s why you should discount any poll released Monday as well as any news story focusing on a poll from the GOP side: Continue reading