CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

October 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.


OCTOBER 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Lincoln Chafee Pulls the Plug on Democrat Presidential Bid

October 23, 2015 - Former Rhode Island Republican Senator and Democrat Governor Lincoln Chafee has ended his bid for the Democrat's POTUS nomination.

Chafee was never expected to assemble a threatening campaign against The Clinton, nor does the Democrat National Committee even want anyone challenging her.

Linc got the message, did what he is supposed to, and the Democrat's light, limited field gets even more limited.

Joe Biden says "No" to a White House run

October 21, 2015 - Today at the White House Joe Biden announced he will not seek the Democrat's presidential nomination for 2016.

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.

Jim Webb Calls it Quits... Sort of

October 20, 2015 - After the Jim Webb has announced

Complaining

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?



2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES




PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS - AS AT OCTOBER 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, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump
- Exited Rick Perry, Scott Walker
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

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

THE REPUBLICANS

1. BEN CARSON - The three non-politicians lead the politicians by combined scores of 52-48. If the GOP is going to choose someone from the non-politicians, it might just be Carson.

2. MARCO RUBIO - If the GOP candidate comes from the political side, who is the most likely candidate? At the moment it looks like Marco Rubio.

3. DONALD TRUMP - Hard to believe Trump is still in the mix. He's not a conservative, and just barely a Republican. In fact he has donated to Hillary Clinton in the past. But nothing seems to matter, he keeps pushing through those supposed ceilings of support.

4. JEB BUSH - It seems hard to imagine Bush not being in the thick of it in March, even as his polling dwindles into the single digits. Can he survive his donors' winter of discontent?

5. CARLY FIORINA - Fiorina keeps moving up. She's actually an impressive candidate, held back mostly by HP's less then stellar performance during (as well as before and after) her tenure as CEO.

6. TED CRUZ - The delegate math for Ted Cruz could be interesting. Texas has a lot of delegates, and if he can stay in the game until the Texas primary on March 1, we could awake the next morning to find Cruz in the lead.

7. JOHN KASICH - Kasich is the politician version of Trump, obnoxious non-conservative who happens to be a governor. He would be a non-entity except for the state that he is governor of, which happens to be a four-letter word.

8. RAND PAUL - Peacenik Paul had an intriguing anti-war message eight years ago, but parroting Obama's calamitous foreign policy has led his campaign deeper and deeper into a box canyon. There is no escape.

9. MIKE HUCKABEE - Huckabee is still hanging around, waiting for a chance that hopefully never come. A stalwart on social policy, his stances on economic policy are spotty at best. Maybe he'll catch on if The Someone flames out.

10. LINDSEY GRAHAM - By default Graham moves up a notch as Walker and Perry drop out. Graham has the potential to be a very good Secretary of Defense, and we would love to see him resign his South Carolina senate seat so he can be replaced by a real conservative.

11. SCOTT WALKER - Walker has withdrawn from the race. Unfortunately charisma counts for more than it should, and Walker doesn't have a lot of it. As he did in his failed run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2006, it seems he has decided to cut his losses, learn the lessons, and see ya next time.

11. RICK PERRY - Perry has withdrawn from the race. He should have been the 2012 candidate - he would have defeated Obama. 2016 was not meant to be.


THE DEMOCRATS

1. JOE BIDEN - Undeclared non-candidate Joe Biden is narrowing the gap on Clinton in the polls. That should keep Team Clinton and her heavily invested Democrat National Committee awake at night.

2. HILLARY CLINTON - Democrats are realizing that Hillary Clinton is a flawed, damaged candidate. More and more are seeing here as phony, unauthentic. And the trend is negative. So Democrats just make it worse for themselves the longer they take to pull the plug.

3. BERNIE SANDERS - There is a limit to how far the aged Socialist Sanders can go, even among Democrats. He may have reached that point, as more and more Clinton defectors and escapees seek refuge in a non-existent Biden camp.

4. MARTIN O’MALLEY - In a tough year for governors, O'Malley just can't get it going. He is lead by Senators Biden, Clinton and Sanders; and on the GOP side, both drop-outs have been governors.

5. ANDREW CUOMO - Our combined Clinton/Cuomo score stands at 30, it's lowest rating so far. It's becoming less and less unlikely - though we still put the probablility at only 37% - that Clinton will stand down install Cuomo as figurehead leader of Clinton Inc.

6. ELIZABETH WARREN - Still just saying "No". But at this point it seems like the Democrats will need some kind of savior by the spring, so don't write off Warren just yet.

7. JIM WEBB - The Democrat Party left Jim Webb some years ago, maybe around the time of Al Gore. Webb is the candidate Republicans should fear, but fortunately, won't have to.

8. LINCOLN CHAFFEE - The more you pick through the Democratic field, the more you realize how likely the Republicans are to win the White House in 2016.

9. JOE MANCHIN - Like Elizabeth Warren, Manchin could emerge at the last moment as a potential savior of the Democrats. Unlike Warren, he would actually stand a decent chance of winning a general election.

10. AL GORE - Al Gore's name keeps popping up from time to time, not because of his virtues but because of the dreariness of the Democratic field. (Hey! Maybe Al Gore!?!?)

11. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - Schweitzer has zero chance. But we still need twelve names to fill out our Top-12. And no formidable candidates even seem to exist to take on the dysfunctional Clinton campaign.

12. MARK WARNER - Not that Warner would be a bad candidate, but that he isn't a candidate at all and we still have to mention him shows how weak and small the Democrat field is.



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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