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

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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, Poll Watch, Senate, State of the Race, Uncategorized

Vulnerable GOP Senators Looking Safer

July 17, 2016

We haven’t heard very much about Senate races lately. Several weeks ago, there was plenty of speculation Donald Trump could get wiped out by enough in key states to take vulnerable incumbent GOP senators with him. At the time, Trump was staring at a bit of a deficit in the polls, and it’s reasonable to wonder how many voters would still opt for a GOP senator while voting for Hillary Clinton at the same time.

Stats show ticket splitting is more rare than a generation ago. So, bad run for Trump, bad result for senators like Rob Portman in Ohio and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. So the two things to watch for are how big a gap the senators might need to overcome and how far (if at all) they’re running ahead of Trump. Continue reading

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

Poll Watch: Iowa Signals Trouble for Hillary

July 12, 2016

Let’s begin with my normal warning not to read too much in to any one survey. Let’s remember the election is still four months away, that neither major party nominee has chosen their VP, nor held their convention. The electorate saw their summer slumber interrupted by the killings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas last week.

Between those brutal events, the FBI decision to pass on pushing for indictment of Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump being himself, there’s plenty for a voter to process. ¬†However, we have very limited polling over the past week, with the most recent national surveys being pre-Dallas, and before the full impact of James Comey’s takedown sans indictment of Clinton. 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, State of the Race, Trump, Uncategorized

The He Said, She Said Campaign

June 22, 2016

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech devoted to slamming her opponent on the economy. Today Donald Trump responded. Each address was a recitation of the flaws of the other candidate. We heard about all the countries Trump-branded products are made in. Hint: the United States wasn’t one of them. Hillary uncorked a line about Trump books ending in Chapter 11. The speechwriter was proud of himself for that one.

Trump reminded us of the millions of dollars the Clinton Foundation collected from Saudi Arabia. We heard about foreign governments hacking Hillary’s home server, how the FBI is missing 33,000 deleted emails, but the Russians and/or Chinese likely have them and are prepared to blackmail her while in office. The combined charges are too numerous to list.¬† Continue reading