CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

May 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.


MAY 2015 ELECTION NEWS



And then there were three: Former Governor O'Malley announces Democrat candidacy

May 30, 2015 - Former Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD, served 1995 to 2006) has announced he will seek the presidency.

O'Malley is only the third major candidate on the Democrat side, joining Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

As a former Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland O'Malley, this architect of current policy will have a lot to answer for in the event of lingering unrest.

Former New York Governor Pataki announces candidacy

May 28, 2015 - Former Governor George Pataki (R-NY, served 1995 to 2006) has announced he will seek the presidency.

It is quite an accomplishment for a Republican to win statewide office in New York, never mind three straight times. Name a few others besides Pataki...

George is a nice guy and a great retail politician, but he's someone from yesterday. His track record of big government conservatism is unlikely to find many followers.

Former Pennsylvania senator Santorum slides into the sardine can

May 27, 2015 - Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA, 1995 to 2007) has announced he will seek the presidency.

Santorum espouses a curious mix of solid social conservatism and big government interventionist economics, much like we got from George Bush.

Santorum has that Clintonesque "old car smell", and is only half a conservative. Hopefully he won't find a footing.

Special Election for NY11 Congressional District

UPDATE: Dan Donovan (R) defeats Vincent Gentile (D) 59-39 to bump GOP control of the House to 245-188.

May 05, 2015 - Richmond County DA Dan Donovan (R) faces Kings County city councilor Vincente Gentile (D) today in a special election to replace Mike Grimm (R).

Both the left-leaning Daily News and the right-leaning Post have endorsed Donovan. Donovan is highly favored and Democrats threw Gentile under the bus long ago.

The district is almost entirely in Richmond County (Staten Island), leaving no footing for the Brooklynite Gentile.

Former Governor Huckabee announces candidacy

May 05, 2015 - Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR, served 1996 to 2007) has jumped into the race.

Huckabee's rhetoric has some appeal to social conservatives, but his record of anti-conservative governance includes tax-and-spend policies, opposition to school choice, and clemency to violent offenders who went on to commit even more violence.

Huckabee, like Clinton and Bush, has that old car smell. He also ran in 2008, and though he had some success, this time there are better choices for principled conservatives.

Dr. Ben Carson announces campaign for the White House

May 04, 2015 - Distinguished surgeon Ben Carson has announced that he is running for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.

Carson's is a true rags-to-riches story, having pulled himself up from the bootstraps from the Detroit inner city to become a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon.

Carson lit up the political radar in 2011 at a prayer breakfast attended by the President when his speech eviscerated various Obama policies including Obamacare.

Tech CEO Carly Fiorina announces bid for GOP Presidential nomination

May 04, 2015 - Former Lucent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has announced she is running for President.

Fiorina has a nice story, having worked her way up from the typing pool to the C-Suite. It's not quite a rags-to-riches (R2R) story as her father was a federal judge, but it is nonetheless a narrative of objective, legitimate accomplishment in a competitive environment.

Though she has not held elected office, Fiorina should not be underestimated - she has executive experience, and put in an excellent effort in her 2010 Senate campaign before losing 52-42 to Barbara Boxer (D-CA).



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




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


2016 Election Archives

April 2015

March 2015

Februay 2015

Januay 2015


THE REPUBLICANS

1. SCOTT WALKER - A quiet month for a front-runner as other candidates burn their powder with their announcements. Walker continues to be well-positioned as he makes advances in organization and fund-raising.

2. JEB BUSH - Bush has his Establishment niche. His best hope is to be the biggest slice in a pie sliced too many ways.

3. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio is a great candidate, and should hang around very late into the tournament. Elite Eight? Definitely. Final Four? Probably.

4. MIKE HUCKABEE - Huckabee is the most vocal social conservative in the group. But as Arkansas Governor, he compiled at best a mediocre record of fiscal conservatism.

5. BEN CARSON - Carson is a good man, an accomplished individual with a great r2r story. But he's a complete neophyte, an unknown, a rookie, in political campaigning.

6. RAND PAUL - Paul announced his campaign this month and got off to a somewhat checkered start. Some of his media encounters were a bit prickly.

7. TED CRUZ - Biggest up-mover this month is Ted Cruz. Ted's campaign got off to a good start, and, briefly having the field to himself, made the most of it with an eye-popping fund-raising haul.

8. RICK PERRY - Just hang around, play the long game. This time Perry just has to wait for the moment to come to him, he can't force it this time.

9. LINDSEY GRAHAM - Classic case of the vain Senator who looks in the mirror and sees a President.

10. JOHN KASICH - Kasich, by default, sneaks ahead of the other especially rude person in the contest.

11. CHRIS CHRISTIE - Christie just sinks and sinks. As if BridgeGate wasn't enough of a problem, Christie is an economic malefactor who has announced that he wants to deform Social Security from a "flat" plan into a "progressive" plan; from one where people contribute and receive equally, to one with perverse incentives where the productive are penalized and the slothful are subsidized. What a great conservative - NOT!

12. BOBBY JINDAL - There just isn't space for Bobby Jindal in this crowded field. He's young, though - maybe next time.


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - Yet another bad month for Clinton (when was the last good month?). Scandal after scandal. But since she has declared her candidacy, we move her up to top spot in the rankings, but down in the ratings because things are going so poorly.

2. ANDREW CUOMO - We still think Clinton will be forced to drop out, and will then hand over her campaign to Andrew Cuomo. It would be the Clinton way, but it's not as likely now that Hillary has formally announced.

3. ELIZABETH WARREN - With Clinton/Cuomo looking so bad, this contest is begging for other people to jump in.

4. JIM WEBB - Webb is the big winner in Hillary's House of Horror. He's most of what people like about this Clintons, and little of what people loathe about the Clintons.

5. BERNIE SANDERS - Sanders has jumped into the fracas. If this were a symmetrical world, the national media would be lampooning the Democrat Party as an oasis of Socialism. But it's not symmetrical, and they're not lampooning.

6. MARTIN O’MALLEY - The Baltimore Riots could be the doom of the city's former Mayor and state's former Governor. As Hardy would have said, "Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into".

7. JOE BIDEN - All quiet on the Joe Biden front. In many respects his position is much like that of Rick Perry on the GOP side, there's little either can do but wait and hope that circumstances outside of their control will break their way.

8. JOE MANCHIN - Manchin has stated he will seek re-election as Senator in 2016, which could be code for rejecting a run for governor, but leaving open a shot at the Presidential nomination. He doesn't like being Senator.

9. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - The former Montana governor is going the way of Chris Christie. Slip sliding away.

10. MARK WARNER - Warner has a lot of money, so there are other things he could do with his life. You would think he would get bored of being a Senator in the minority forever.

11. TIM KAINE - Who else? Amy Klobuchar?

12. BARBARA BOXER - Or Jerry Brown. Or Daniel Malloy. Or Steve Beshear. Or… George Clowney?



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


Election Archives
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