CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

March 2015 Edition

CONGRESS

Who will be the
2016 candidates
for President of
the United States?


Republicans


SCOTT WALKER!

Walker has broad appeal to
GOP constituencies and is a
proven winner. Look for him
to select New Mexico
Governor Susanna Marinez
as his running mate.



Who, from among this
strong, diverse field , will
emerge victorious to return
the GOP to the White
House?

COMPETITORS
The road to the White House
leads past the Governor's
mansion. Marco Rubio, Rand
Paul and Ted Cruz need to
go back to their state capitals
and fill out their resumes.
Among governors, Jeb Bush
and Rick Perry are stale, and
worse, remind people of
GWB 43. John Kasich is
unappealing to the base.
Mike Pence is an intriguing
alternative to Walker; the
other Mike (Huckabee) is
NOT!

Democrats


ANDREW CUOMO!????

Look for Hillary to drop out
and open the way for Bill
Clinton's HUD Secretary.
Cuomo, also Cinton's
neighbor in Westchester
County, finished his 2014
re-election with $8.8 million
in the bank, and would have
no problem raising much,
much more. Look for him to
pick MA Senator Elizabeth
Warren - or even Hillary
Clinton! - as his running
mate.



Is Hillary a foregone
conclusion, or will
someone else swoop in and
steal the show?


COMPETITORS
A Clinton run is a 50/50
proposition at best, given
her failures as First Lady
(HIllaryCare) and SecState
(Reset). In the meantime the
prospect keeps her speaking
fees in the stratosphere, and
keeps a path open for the
Clinton's hand-picked
designee: Cuomo. Warren is
an instant contender if she
jumps in. Everyone else is an
also-ran at this point. Webb
is an interesting Presidential
candidate, but a non-starter
in the Primaries: this is the
extreme left Democratic
Party of Sanders and
Warren.

LATEST ELECTION NEWS


Cruz Announces Suspension of Campaign

May 3, 2016 - Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced tonight that he will discontinue his presidential campaign after being defeated in Indiana.

Cruz had expected to do well in Indiana, and indeed needed a good night to stay alive. That was not to be as early returns show Cruz losing all nine of the state's Congressional Districts, and losing in all but a half dozen of its 92 counties.

The last win for Cruz was a month ago in Wisconsin. Lopsided defeats since then in six Northeast states created a self-fulfilling negative feedback loop of doom.

Cruz asserted that even though the campaign is suspended, the movement will continue.

Expect Cruz stay in the Senate, lying in wait for another opportunity in 2020 to reclaim rightful place as the leader of the Anti-DC movement, that he must feel was heisted by Trump.


MARCH 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Senate Minority Leader Announces Retirement

March 27, 2015 - "Dirty Harry" Reid (D-NV) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.

The long-past-expiration 76-year-old Capitol Hill fossil insisted it had nothing to do with his fear of getting crushed in next year's election.

Republicans already hold ten of the twelve major offices in Nevada, and Reid's departure will make it even harder for Democrats to hold his Senate seat.

Dan Coats Announces Retirement

March 24, 2015 - Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.

The 71-year-old mentioned it is time "to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders". Hopefully more conservative leaders, his meh 59% rating from Heritage in the 113th Congress is nothing to be enamored with.

Ted Cruz makes bid for Presidency Official

March 23, 2015 - Ted Cruz formally announced his run for President at a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

Cruz is the first major candidate - either a current or former Senator or Governor from either party - to take the plunge.

Walker Aide self-dismisses for Insulting Voters

March 17, 2015 - The Scott Walker campaign has fired its social media consultant Liz Mair for sending out tweets taking shots at Iowa and calling Americans "morons".

To normal people, the firing (or whatever it was) was the only logical outcome - how can a campaign's social media "expert", of all people, do something so foolish?

Nonetheless, her friends in the media have tried to turn the separation, rather than the tweet, into some kind of scandal for which Walker is somehow to blame.

DC insiders have gotten in a twist over this; to ordinary voters, who cares?

Disastrous Press Conference for Clinton

March 10, 2015 - If you want our next President to be a likeable, honest, transparent public servant who demonstrates genuine concern for the interests of the American people, you would not have enjoyed Hillary Clinton's performance.

She came across as cold, pedagogic, a disciplinarian. She collects all emails public and private, she decides what she'll release, and the public can go to hell. What she doesn't want us to know, is none of our business.

As she said, “the server will remain private”. Yes, that server illegally holding public information.

Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself. Democrats don't want to accept that, and they may not get to that place on time to save 2016.

Senator Mikulski announces retirement

March 02, 2015 - Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has announced her retirement. Ever heard of this illustrious 78-year-old 5-term Senator? Ever? Neither has anyone else. She will not be missed - her performance in the 114th Congress (2013-2014) was rated as 0 by Heritage.

Don't be surprised if Martin O'Malley cancels his struggling Presidential bid to take a shot at this seat. He says he's not interested, but that's to be expected. He can always jump in if his Prez bid flops, but there is no way to make it work the other way.



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS - AS AT MARCH 1, 2015
Democrat Status Republican
no contenders yet Declared no contenders yet
Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley Strong Signals Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham
Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Bernie Sanders, Brian Schweitzer Positioning Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker
Joe Manchin, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo Mixed Signals Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Rand Paul
Mark Warner, Tim Kaine Weak Signals
Julian Castro, Deval Patrick Hard No Rob Portman, John Thune, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan


2016 Election Archives

Januay 2015

Februay 2015


THE REPUBLICANS

1. SCOTT WALKER - Great month for Scott Walker - he now leads the pack in most polls, with balanced support throughout the factions, demos and crosstabs. Still, we leave Walker's chances at 30% - that's about as well as it is possible to do in a crowded, strong field.

2. JEB BUSH - The anti-Scott Walker. Underneath his "happy warrior" veneer he has conducted a draconian campaign that is making enemies, a very Clintonesque carrot-or-stick campaign, of servility or retribution.

3. MIKE HUCKABEE - Cut out of the same mold as Walker and Perry, in our view he should be third in that line. But people seem to like him more than Perry, he has a floor.

4. CHRIS CHRISTIE - Chris Christie has not found his niche yet.

5. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio is a great candidate, but Jeb Bush is stealing all the Florida oxygen. He will have his day, but in the meantime he better keep his eye on his Senate seat - the wolves are at the door. Better keep the home fries burning.

6. RAND PAUL - Paul has his niche, but nothing else. There is a ceiling he cannot rise above.

7. LINDSEY GRAHAM - Graham has money and an early-state constituency in his favor. Against him is an out-of-fashion hawkish foreign policy perspective, and support for immigration amnesty. His tent is in the establishment camp like Jeb Bush, but he's more like Jeb's brother George.

8. JOHN KASICH - On a recent Fox Business interview he treated the reasonable and mild-mannered Neil Cavuto like an enemy. It was a strangely belligerent performance. Think of him as Christie-Lite.

9. RICK PERRY - If Scott Walker stumbles while trying to run a state and run for President at the same time, look for Rick Perry to find some traction.

10. BEN CARSON - Neurosurgeon Carson is a DC outsider. In fact, he seems to be a genuinely wonderful, brilliant, and accomplished person, but he has no political experience, no relevant job experience whatsoever. Good choice for Surgeon-General, or Health and Human Services Secretary.

11. TED CRUZ - Scott Walker tied Ted Cruz for the lead in a recent poll in Texas. He won't be around at the end.

12. MITT ROMNEY - We'll keep his seat warm in case he changes his mind. Again. It's pretty obvious he really does want to run:


THE DEMOCRATS

1. ANDREW CUOMO - We continue to believe that Hillary Clinton is a problem candidate, and is merely a placeholder for someone else, a Clintonian like... Andrew Cuomo? We can’t believe that someone as corrupt as Clinton is actually going to run, and that Democrats will actually allow that to happen.

2. HILLARY CLINTON - Another bad month for Clinton (when was the last good month?). New revelations surrounding conflicts of interest at their financial laundromat, Clinton Global Initiative. Even Dems have been outspoken in their criticism. She’s begging for a challenge.

3. ELIZABETH WARREN - How can this self-styled person-of-the-people remain on the sidelines and allow Clinton to waltz to the nomination? Maybe because Fauxcahontas / Liawatha isn’t who she claims to be?

4. BERNIE SANDERS - We’re moving Sanders up because the extreme left is going to want an alternative to Hillary. If not Warren, Sanders becomes the placeholder for that slot. They are not going to allow Hillary to waltz in by acclamation. Just like we will see Cuomo or Clinton, but not both, ditto Warren and Sanders.

5. JIM WEBB - Webb’s problem is that he comes from a similar policy perspective as Clinton – he’s a cleaned-up male version of Hillary. Not the kind of alternative that the far-left is looking for.

6. MARTIN O’MALLEY - If Democrats wake up and decide not to hand the nomination to Hillary, O'Malley might wake up as well, and he will be among the front runners.

7. JOE BIDEN - Joe Biden has a chance if there is a spectacular Hillary collapse. But seriously, can anyone countenance a “President” Joe Biden? Of course not, and that applies to pretty well everyone in this weak Democrat field.

8. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - Schweitzer seems to be fading into the rearview mirror. Yet he is still #6 on our list. Did we mention that the Democrats are a talent wasteland?

9. JOE MANCHIN - Manchin does not like Washington. Look for him to quit the Senate and return to the Governor’s mansion. It just has a ring to it. Still, he would be an intriguing candidate if a path were to open up.

10. MARK WARNER - Warner would be a decent candidate if Democrats suddenly gave their collective head a shake and realized how awful Hillary is.

11. TIM KAINE - He’s on the list because we can’t identify twelve Democrats who might make good candidates. That’s how weak the Democrat bench is.

12. BARBARA BOXER - Another “Is that all you got?” example of the weak Democrat bench.



The 114th Congress will see Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Boehner repair the damage done to the institution by deposed Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid.


SENATE PREVIEW

Long Term Outlook:


DEMOCRATS NET +2

A net gain for the Democrats is widely expected. They have only 10 seats to defend against 24 for the Republicans. Also favoring Democrats is the demographic makeup of the turnout in an "on" Presidential year such as 2016.

Republicans would do well to limit losses to low single digits and retain control of the Senate, where they presently hold a 54-46 advantage. Still, none of the Republican seats are seen as lay-ups for the Democrats yet, with the possible exception of Illinois.

Democrat Pick-ups:
1. Mark Kirk, R-IL

Republican Pick-ups:
1. Harry Reid, D-NV

Even:
1. Ron Johnson, R-WI

Close:
1. Pat Toomey, R-PA
2. Michael Bennett, D-CO
3. Richard Burr, R-NC

Marginal:
1. Marco Rubio, R-FL
2. Rob Portman, R-OH
3. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH

Fluke:
1. Barbara Boxer, D-CA (Retiring, jungle primary dilution)
2. Joe Manchin, D-WV (Might retire to run for governor)



HOUSE PREVIEW

Long Term Outlook:


DEMOCRATS NET +10

A Republican tide swept the Democrats from control of the House in 2010. The wave receded a bit in 2012, then a swell pushed the GOP waterline even further into Democrat territory in 2014. We expect the wave to recede again - just a bit - in 2016.

We expect Republicans to remain in control of the House over the next few cycles, with some fluctuation in the absolute seat count. With GOP totals at a 90-year high-water mark, expect some fall back.

Of great help to the GOP is there success in finally dislodging four Democrats who had stubbornly hung on in conservative districts: UT04, NC07, WV03 and GA12. Don't expect Democrats win back any of these four in your life time.

Here's a starter list of some of 2016's most vulnerable Representatives:

Democrat Pick-ups:
1. Martha McSally, R-AZ02
2. John Katko, R-NY24
3. Frank Guida, R-NH01
4. Bruce Poliquin, R-ME02
5. Bob Dold, R-IL10
6. Rod Blum, R-Ia01

Republican Pick-ups:
1. Brad Ashford, D-NE02

Even:
1. Lee Zeldin, R-NY01
2. Carlos Curbelo, R-FL26
3. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-AZ01

Close:
1. Gwen Graham, D-FL02
2. Cresent Hardy, R-NV04
3. Collin Peterson, D-MN07


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