CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

June 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.


JUNE 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Chris Christie Announces that he will run for President

June 30, 2015 - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced he will seek the GOP nomination for President.

The Governor terms out in 2017, so it is time for Christie to look for a new job, but it is unclear what Christie offers America, besides yelling at people. Of course, some people (like Putin) could use a good yelling-at.

We believe the Christie brand has suffered and is no longer viable. His near-support of President Obama during the 2012 election is a wound that for many will never heal.

Bobby Jindal Joins the Growing GOP Presidential Field

June 24, 2015 - Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has announced he too is running for President.

The 44-year-old former Congressman is being termed out after eight years as the state's chief executive, so he need to find a new job.

We think highly of Jindal and would like to see him as President down the road, but for now we believe he should trade places with retiring US Senator Mark Vitter (R-LA) who is running to be Jindal's successor.

Donald Trump Announces Vanity White House bid

June 16, 2015 - Billionaire celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump has announced he will vie for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

A name in the news for decades, there's not a lot to say about Trump that most people don't already know. The only question is whether his candidacy will get beyond a few creepy consultants separating Trump from some of his money.

We kind of like The Donald, but not necessarily for president; but wow, don't Obama and Clinton make Trump seem like he'd be a great President?

Jeb Bush Makes Shocking White House Announcement

June 15, 2015 - Actually, it was only shocking because everyone already thought he was the running, so he caught us all by surprise by insinuating that he had not in fact been running for President prior to today.

People don't usually go about raising $100 million for something they are not going to do; and people don't usually contribute $100 million to a project that isn't going to happen.

We don't particularly like Jeb Bush and do not want to have to bother defending someone named "Bush"; but wow, don't Obama and Clinton make Bush seem like he'd be a great President?

Rick Perry reloads White House bid

June 04, 2015 - Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) has joined the fracas gunning for the White House.

Upon announcing his 2012 candidacy - I was on my way to the Reagan Library that morning - he immediately shot to the top of the charts. And then he collapsed even faster.

Perry's "oops" moment is forgivable. His "have a heart" comment was not, and may not yet be. He's probably yesterday's news.

Republican Independent Democrat Chafee announces run for White House

June 03, 2015 - Former Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee (RI) has announced he will compete against - directly and adversarially against - Hillary Clinton for the Democrat presidential nomination. Finally, at least one opponent who will call her out!

Chafee changed his affiliation to Independent after his 2006 senatorial defeat to Sheldon Whitehouse. A staunch, vocal supporter of Obama, he was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 2010 and then switched to Democrat. He did not seek re-election in 2014.

The lone Republican Senator to vote against the Iraq invasion, he has made Hillary Clinton's vote in favor of the war the centerpiece of his campaign. That, and switching to the metric system, yessiree.

Brawl vs. Paul: Graham announces run for Presidency

June 01, 2015 - Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has announced his candidacy for United States President.

Graham is probably the most pro-war member of the US Senate, arguably even more so than John McCain (R-AZ) or Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

While we are not fans of Graham's aggressive foreign policy stance, his entry into the race makes him the most obvious target of the slanders of Rand Paul. When you hear the bell come out fighting.



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




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


2016 Election Archives

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

Januay 2015


THE REPUBLICANS

1. SCOTT WALKER - No other candidate needs Iowa as much as Walker. A Des Moines Register poll has Walker up by 7 in the state. A win in Iowa puts Walker on the path to victory. So far, so good.

2. JEB BUSH - Bush and Rubio could mortally wound each other in Florida. A Pyrrhic victory for whoever "wins".

3. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio and Bush could mortally wound each other in Florida. A Pyrrhic victory for whoever "wins".

4. MIKE HUCKABEE - Huck needs Iowa as much as Walker, but trails Walker by 8 in that pesky Des Moines Register poll. Sorry Huck, old car smell.

5. BEN CARSON - Carson continues to poll strong, and was second - albeit a distant second - to Walker in the most recent Iowa poll.

6. RAND PAUL - Paul needs New Hampshire like Walker needs Iowa. A recent Bloomberg poll had him tied with Walker in the Granite State. That's a problem.

7. TED CRUZ - Cruz continues to do well in fundraising and decently in national polls but his path to victory is not at all clear.

8. RICK PERRY - Continuing to wait for his moment come again, that was perhaps, ominously, a singular moment that came and went years ago.

9. LINDSEY GRAHAM - The modern personification of the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about.

10. JOHN KASICH - On a personal level, we like him the least of all declared or potential candidates. Makes Chris Christie seem like... well, less acerbic.

11. CHRIS CHRISTIE - His act has kind of worn thin. He's tolerable only as a blue state Governor that verbally assaults Democrats. Not looking forward to seeing him in a debate, unless he and Kasich go at each other.

12. CARLY FIORINA - Fiorina is a very interesting candidate, except when she does her anti-male humor schtick. Does she mean to imply that anti-female humor is suddenly cool? Nah, we didn't think so. There's nothing funny about double standards...


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - Scandals. At some point the futility of defending the indefensible will dawn on the Democrat base and the house of cards will just collapse.

2. ANDREW CUOMO - When Clinton's house of cards collapses and she drops out, Cuomo will see seize on the opportunity to pick up the pieces.

3. ELIZABETH WARREN - Maybe she really, really isn't going to run. Will the far left really support Clinton?

4. JIM WEBB - Webb is like Clinton without the smarm, but Dems just aren't interested in what he offers. Which makes the Hillary obsession even more puzzling - if not him, why her. But we never got the Obama thing either.

5. BERNIE SANDERS - Sanders is doing OK in the polls. Less worse than he was. Maybe he will replicate George McGovern's 1972 victory as the far left hippies realize that they can't stand Clinton, and that Warren really isn't running.

6. MARTIN O’MALLEY - O'Malley has announced his candidacy. And Democrats are so... sort of excited!!! Sort of.

7. JOE BIDEN - Hard to know how the death of Beau Biden (RIP) will impact his dad - will it overwhelm him, or invigorate him? Joe Biden is a fighter, and it may well be the latter.

8. JOE MANCHIN - Manchin would be a pretty good candidate if he has the inclination to run. If Hillary drops out, who knows? Like Webb, he is a Jacksonian Democrat without the Clinton Crap Carnival.

9. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - The former Montana governor is going nowhere slowly.

10. MARK WARNER - C'mon, Mark, why not? What the heck?

11. TIM KAINE - If not, who? Any suggestions?

12. BARBARA BOXER - On the GOP side we struggle to confine our list to 12 good candidates; on the Dem side we struggle to find 12 mediocre candidates.



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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