CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

September 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.


SEPTEMBER 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Scott Walker Drops out of GOP Presidential Nomination Race

September 21, 2015 - In a dramatic face-plant, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has dropped out of the GOP nomination race.

Walker had lead in Iowa most of the year and had also lead in some national polls as recently as a couple of months ago.

But the debates were Walker's downfall. He has fought hard for conservative public policy, but that is not what conservatives seem to be seeking. They seem to want a street brawler like Donald Trump who simply overwhelmed the uncharismatic Walker on the debate stage.

And so the narcissistic self-aggrandizement circus that is the Trump campaign claims its second victim, both of them serious conservative governors with solid records of policy accomplishment. America is the loser for this.

What are the chances that Trump is elected President in 2016, and then conservatives become so appalled by what we have wrought that Trump loses the nomination to Walker in 2020?

Rick Perry Withdraws Presidential Bid

September 11, 2015 - Rick Perry announced today that he will discontinue his run for President.

Noting the strength of this year's field, what he referred to as "the strongest in a generation", Perry's campaign was unable to find a footing. His stumbles in his previous bid may have played a part, but his biggest problem was immigration.

As governor he had been soft on illegal immigration and especially on its derivative impacts. After his failed 2012 bid he attempted to toughen up his stance but it came nowhere close to capturing the zeitgeist and Donald Trump stole the issue from him with a much more direct, clear-cut approach.

There was no room left in the field for the man who would have defeated Barrack Obama if he had only been able to shove Mitt Romney out of the way. Oops.

Darin Lahood Easily Holds IL18 for GOP in Special Election

September 10, 2015 - State Senator Darin LaHood (R) easily defeated Rob Mellon (D) in a special election to replace Aaron Schock, who had resigned his central Illinois seat, setting the current standing at 247 (R) to 188 (D).

LaHood is the son of longtime Republican Congressman Ray LaHood who was also Obama's Transportation Secretary. The elder LaHood had a disappointing record in elected office and was on the wrong side of most transportation issues during his time as Secretary.

LaHood distanced himself from his father's record, claiming to be a true conservative. We'll keep an eye on his voting record and see how he stacks up.



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS - AS AT SEPTEMBER 01, 2015
Democrat Status Republican
Lincoln Chaffee, Hillary Clinton, Lawrence Lessig, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb Running 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
- Exited -
Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Andrew Cuomo, Al Gore, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, Brian Schweitzer, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren Non-Starters -
Julian Castro, Deval Patrick Irrevocable No Rob Portman, John Thune, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan


2016 Election Archives

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

THE REPUBLICANS

1. SCOTT WALKER - We love Scott Walker because he is a fighter - that's what Chalprem wants, that's what America wants. Then Walker allowed Trump to steal his "Fighter" title. Unfortunately, words is not the way Walker fights, and that may be a problem.

2. JEB BUSH - A bad month for Bush - it's still not clear that he can convince the base that he really is conservative. And it is beginning to become clear that he cannot distance himself from his family name. And he continues to lose ground on immigration.

3. BEN CARSON - If you want an authentically evangelical Christian anti-Trump, then Carson is worth a look. And he seems to be getting more than a look.

4. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio is a great candidate, and every time Trump owns Bush, the winner is Rubio. Florida's a big state but no state is big enough for two contenders. See Cruz/Perry.

5. DONALD TRUMP - He says outrageous stuff. He's factually incorrect a lot of the time. He's not all that conservative most of the time. So why does his popularity grow? People want a fighter, in fact, they want a fighter who picks fights and wins.

6. JOHN KASICH - We don't much like Kasich, but it seems New Hampshire does. So we upgrade Kasich's chances based upon the growing possibility that he may be a legitimate also-ran in this competition.

7. CARLY FIORINA - Fiorina performed well in Triple-A and has been recalled to the Majors. Her performance in the Bigs on CNN could push her to the front of the pack. But could she stop playing the gender card? It is not sexist to think of her as VP material, any more than when we consider Rubio for the VP slot, or Lindsay Graham for the SecDef post. Imagined identity-based slights is the domain of the liberal grievance industry.

8. TED CRUZ - Cruz has tried to pick the crumbs from The Donald's table as an authentically Christian alternative to Trump, but the problem is that all that's left is crumbs.

9. RAND PAUL - If the finest moment of his campaign has already come and gone, no one noticed. Maybe the best is yet to come.

10. MIKE HUCKABEE - Yesterday hero it seems. Unless you're a Huckabee operative you probably can't name one thing he said or did during August, other than probably "lost a fight to Donald Trump".

11. RICK PERRY - It seems like Rick Perry has given up going head-to-head against The Donald. He shouldn't, that's his only hope of staying relevant. Otherwise Texas is all about Ted Cruz. Texas is a big state but no state is big enough for two contenders. See Bush/Rubio.

12. LINDSEY GRAHAM - Not only does Graham not have a chance of winning, he doesn't even have a chance of winning his home state of South Carolina. We can only assume he's playing for the Secretary of Defense post. Now if that's not a sexist comment, what is?


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - Clinton keeps going down, down, down. Sure, she has a ten point or whatever lead in the Democrat primary somewhere, but that same-poll/same-place lead was fifty points just a few months ago. It is looking less and less likely that she could beat any Republican.

2. BERNIE SANDERS - As Sanders inches closer to Clinton in the Democrat primary, bear in mind that this full-blown Socialist has no chance of winning election as President. Sanders is another contender unlikely to defeat any Republican.

3. JOE BIDEN - Joe Biden recently had a meeting with Elizabeth Warren. It's anyone's guess what they discussed, but if it didn't have something to do with running for President, what could it possibly have been about? We suspect Biden is pre-positioning himself in case of a full-blown Clinton collapse.

4. MARTIN O’MALLEY - It's surprising that this former Mayor and Governor can't get any traction - that could change when Democrats begin to realize just how weak a candidate Clinton is.

5. ANDREW CUOMO - Will Hillary stand aside, and hand the reigns of her machine to Andrew Cuomo? Or will she allow the embarrassment that is her campaign continue to fester and grow?

6. ELIZABETH WARREN - We speculate - speculate - that the meeting with Joe Biden followed by rumblings from Biden world that he may be preparing a run, indicate that Warren neither is running, nor will she run.

7. JIM WEBB - The continued erosion of support for Clinton among Independents is not mirrored among Democrats. Dems continue to ignore her flaws, faults and felonies, and they continue to ignore Jim Webb.

8. LINCOLN CHAFFEE - Maybe Chaffee will get a look when Clinton finally implodes. That event will open many doors, but probably not one for Chaffee.

9. JOE MANCHIN - Joe Manchin is a Democrat who probably could beat some of the Republican contenders. But the Democrats will not understand their predicament until Clinton withdraws, or loses.

10. AL GORE - Since leaving politics this False Profit of Global Warming has made a bazillion dollars peddling his nonsense. And he's even won a Nobel Prize doing it. He would seem to have little use for the White House.

11. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - On the Republican side we struggle with who to leave out of the top-12. On the Democrat side we struggle to find any twelve, let alone a top twelve.

12. MARK WARNER - What if Democrats convince themselves that Clinton's problems are made up, but they suddenly have to face the fact they have been engaged in self-deception? What if the DOJ/FBI investigations reveal that she really has committed crimes? Then what?



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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