CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

August 2015 Edition

CONGRESS

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


Republicans


DONALD TRUMP??

Donald Trump has come out
of nowhere and stolen the
show. He seems to have
captured the zeitgeist, the
spirit of the times. Can it last?



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

COMPETITORS
With the inept Obama
Administration in its final
days, one would have
expected that experienced
governors with a record
of accomplishment would
dominate the Race 2 Replace
but outsiders and novices
Trump, Carson and Fiorina
are in the hunt! Seasoned
executives for sure, but
not the ones the beltway
had in mind!


Democrats


BERNIE SANDERS??

The creaky, rusty Clinton
machine grinds slowly
onward, wayward, relying
solely on muscle memory
for movement. Will
Democrats suddenly rise
from their slumber to the
realization she cannot win a
General Election?



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


COMPETITORS
Folks on the right can barely
contain their joy at the
prospect of a Clinton
candidacy. Shouldn't that
give pause to the Democrats?
Biden and Warren are both
better candidates and better
Democrats than Clinton, but
aren't even in the race. And
then there are O'Malley and
Sanders, again, both better
Democrats and better
candidates. Yet the Dems
seem intent on following
Clinton in a lemming-like
charge over the cliff.

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.


AUGUST 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Republicans hold Debate & Discussion on Fox

August 06, 2015 - The GOP held a 10-candidate Debate on Fox tonight, preceded by what we'll call a "Discussion" among seven second-tier candidates.

In the main event, Donald Trump went Todd Aiken on Megyn Kelly, and probably came out ahead. No political consultant would ever recommend going Todd Aiken, or brawling with Megyn Kelly, never mind trying to do both at the same time. That The Donald would do both says a lot, though "what" it says a lot of, is unclear.

In the warm-up event, Carly Fiorina stood out with her performance and can be exected to gain a bump from it.



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




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


2016 Election Archives

July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
Januay 2015

THE REPUBLICANS

1. SCOTT WALKER - A new Quinnipiac poll shows Walker leading Hillary Clinton in three key swing states that went for Obama both times. Walker needs to avoid Trump like the plague that Trump is.

2. JEB BUSH - A good month for Bush - not only does a new Quinnipiac poll show Bush leading Hillary Clinton in three key swing states that went for Obama both times, a separate poll shows him with a large lead in Florida over key Sunshine State rival Rubio.

3. MARCO RUBIO - Can Rubio win the nomination without winning Florida? A new Quinnipiac poll shows Rubio leading Hillary Clinton in three key swing states that went for Obama both times, but a separate poll shows him lagging behind fellow Floridian Bush in the Sunshine State.

4. TED CRUZ - Cruz has been a supporter of Donald Trump's antics. Though his support has been tepid it is still not likely to endear him with people looking for a serious candidate.

5. BEN CARSON - Carson continues to hang around. Just hanging around. We don't see a path to victory for him. People like him, but his support will leak to the top three candidates when the battle heats up.

6. RAND PAUL - Recent filings indicate that Paul's fundraising has been lackluster at best. We expected his youngish tech-savvy appeal to overwhelm us with a surge of grassroots support. Nope.

7. MIKE HUCKABEE - We can only guess that Huckabee is getting desperate. One wonders how and where he managed to come up with his cringe-worthy criticisms of Obama's dreadful Iran deal, and, having done so, why he didn't choose to say something else.

8. RICK PERRY - Rick Perry has decided to confront Donald Trump head-on. Good for Rick Perry, because he needs the media attention; and good for the GOP, because Trump is in serious need of a beat-down. Way to go, Rick!

10. LINDSEY GRAHAM - Graham called Trump a "jackass" which is the high point of Graham's campaign so far. No point in stopping there.

9. DONALD TRUMP - The Todd Aiken of 2016. For a moment it seemed like he might be an interesting candidate, but he has turned out to be Chernobyl. It's one thing to insult someone, but if you insult everyone, who is left to support you?

11. JOHN KASICH - Kasich has made his announcement but it was smothered by The Donald. In a few months when The Donald has moved on, no one will remember Kasich's announcement.

12. CHRIS CHRISTIE - We haven't heard that he has canceled his campaign. In fact we haven't heard anything at all from Christie.


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - A Quinnipiac poll shows Clinton trailing all three Republicans (Walker, Bush and Rubio) in all three states (IA, CO and VA) that they surveyed - 0/9, a Golden Sombrero + the Olympic Rings. Other than that, and two Inspectors General referring her shenanigans as SecState to the DOJ, it was a pretty bad month for her.

2. BERNIE SANDERS - Sanders would be in good shape if he hadn't flunked out at Netroots Nation. Apparently his left wing throwback 1960's rhetoric wasn't radical enough for the completely insane base of the Democratic Party.

5. MARTIN O’MALLEY - Black lives matter. They really do. And so do white lives... uhhh, check that, Martin, apparently they don't. The Democrat Left has become unhinged. If O'Malley is to rise from the ashes, it won't be Phoenix-like.

3. ANDREW CUOMO - If Hillary takes on much more water she may begin to capsize - look for Cuomo to jump in if it gets any worse for her. One of the two will be in the fight to the finish - not zero, not two. The only question is which one.

4. JOE BIDEN - After the death of his son, will Biden rise Phoenix-like from the ashes? Can he? Does he want to?

6. ELIZABETH WARREN - As the prospect of Clinton's coronation slowly fades, maybe Warren will surprise us, just when we least expect it. It's just so hard to imagine her sitting on the sidelines and letting Hillary, a far inferior candidate, be the nominee.

7. JIM WEBB - If these were normal times, and the Democrats were a normal party, a normal guy like Jim Webb should be doing quite well. He isn't, and that should tell you a lot about The Democrats & The Zeitgeist.

8. LINCOLN CHAFFEE - His candidacy is going nowhere, at least not yet. But as the Clinton implosion becomes apparent and Democrats begin to panic, who knows?

9. JOE MANCHIN - Joe Manchin could change his mind, but the disaster at the Netroots convention probably precludes that from happening anymore. Why would a normal person want to deal with the Democrat base?

10. AL GORE - That "whack whack whack" sound you hear is not the AFLAC duck, it's Democrats hitting the panic button as the Great Clinton Implosion begins. The ultra-liberal magazine Salon responded by publishing an article calling for Al Gore to enter the fray.

11. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - Going, going...

12. MARK WARNER - We continue to believe that the serious, successful Mark Warner would be a good candidate for the Democrats, and that he would think "President" would be an appropriate position to attain.



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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