CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

December 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.


DECEMBER 2015 ELECTION NEWS



Pataki Becomes Fifth to Exit GOP Nomination Race

December 29, 2015 - Former three-term New York Governor George Pataki has announced the demise of his nomination run.

Pataki, like any other contender whose national electoral prominence predate the Obama Administration, struggled to gain or retain traction.

This leaves only eleven major candidates in the hunt - three outsiders (Trump, Carson, Fiorina), three senators (Cruz, Rubio, Paul) and five governors (Bush, Christie, Kasich, Huckabee, Gilmore).

Lindsey Graham drops out of GOP Presidential Race

December 21, 2015 - This morning on a YouTube video Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced he was suspending his Presidential bid.

Surprisingly, South Carolina's senior Senator did not announce an endorsement of any of the remaining candidates. The Palmetto State holds the third-in-the-nation primary after Iowa and New Hampshire, and the statewide officeholder's endorsement would seem to be quite valuable.

We believe Graham would make an excellent Secretary of Defense (though likely an equally dismal President as Senator), and an endorsement would be a fair trade for a SecDef nomination.

The endorsement and ensuing nomination may yet be forthcoming - you heard it here first.

Dean Skelos & Son Guilty on All Counts

December 11, 2015 - New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R - Long Island) has been found guilty on eight counts of extortion, conspiracy, and bribery.

Skelos is reviled by conservatives for helping Andrew Cuomo pass gay marriage legislation as well as the SAFE Act, among the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Not to mention undermining Republican Rob Astorino in his 2014 gubernatorial challenge against Cuomo.

In summary, he cared little about the perspectives of those whose efforts gave him his position, little about conservative causes, little about the Republican Party. Skelos was out for himself.

He deserves jail. Good riddance.

Sheldon Silver Guilty on All Counts; Dean Skelos Next

December 01, 2015 - The former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Democrat Sheldon Silver, has been found guilty on all counts of various corruption charges.

The New York state government might be the most corrupt political entity in the country, and Silver was its ringleader. He had it coming, too bad it was so long in coming.

Moving from the on deck circle into the batters' box is one of Silver's many co-conspirators, also facing a stack of corruption charges, former New York State Senate Majority Leader Republican Deal Skelos.

Yes, bipartisanship at its finest. Government works much better when there is opposition. When politicians "cross the aisle" they do so to enrich themselves and pillage the taxpayers.


2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES








PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS - AS AT DECEMBER 01, 2015
Democrat Status Republican
Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders Running Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsay Graham, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump
Lincoln Chaffee, Lawrence Lessig, Jim Webb Exited Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Scott Walker
Barbara Boxer, Wesley Clark, Andrew Cuomo, Al Gore, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, Brian Schweitzer Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren Non-Starters -
Joe Biden Julian Castro, Deval Patrick Irrevocable No Rob Portman, John Thune, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan


2016 Election Archives

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

THE REPUBLICANS

1. DONALD TRUMP - We have moved The Donald to the #1 slot, for now. His comments about a registry for Muslims were baffling, causing us to wonder if he is even aware of our Constitution? We still don't think this non-conservative pseudo-Republican will be the nominee.

2. MARCO RUBIO - Marco Rubio is a great candidate, but has two issues he must overcome: baggage regarding his personal finances, and his stew-like position on immigration. It really is like stew - what's in there, and where did it come from?

3. BEN CARSON - Carson is a good man, a man of principles, and has a lot of support. But he just does not strike us as a fighter, not a person with the drive to fight for and implement conservative public policy. That would have been Scott Walker. Sigh.

4. TED CRUZ - The direct challenge by Cruz to Obama - "Insult me to my face!" - in the wake of the Paris ISIS attacks was appreciated. It was presidential for Cruz to go straight at our unpresidential President.

5. JEB BUSH - Bush just keeps sinking. This is increasingly looking like a four man race without Bush in the Final Four. He is spending a lot of money on commercials, but they just seem "out there", not connected to the 2016 election or anything else.

6. CARLY FIORINA - Are the best days of the Fiorina campaign behind her? She just can't seem to get the media attention. Kind of a shame, actually, she is actually interesting to listen to. Not like Obama, Clinton, or, for that matter John Kasich.

7. JOHN KASICH - Kasich manages to keep the embers glowing in NH, but otherwise his campaign has found nothing but wet wood nationwide and he has not been able to get the fire started. Yay!

8. RAND PAUL - The Paris ISIS attacks are another nail in the Paul coffin. After selling out to the Clinton Obama Doctrine of failed foreign policy, he has done nothing to make us feel he would do a better job against militant Muslim extremism.

9. MIKE HUCKABEE - Huckabee will drop out before the Iowa caucus, and trade his endorsement to Ted Cruz for... something. It is time for social conservatives to coalesce behind a legitimate contender, and that ain't Huck.

10. LINDSEY GRAHAM - We have cut the field from twelve down to ten, and Grahamnesty makes the cut. Barely.


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - It's sad to see Democrats lining up lemming-like behind such a bad, flawed, corrupt, self-serving office-seeker. In a recent poll Clinton trails six top GOP candidates.

2. BERNIE SANDERS - Sanders and O'Malley are the two Democrat candidates who are 1) in the race; 2) cause progressives; 3) actually mean what they say; and 4) represent the base of the Democrat Party. The last three attributes are a no-fly zone for Clinton.

3. MARTIN O’MALLEY - O'Malley and Sanders are the two Democrat candidates who are 1) in the race; 2) cause progressives; 3) actually mean what they say; and 4) represent the base of the Democrat Party. The last three attributes are a no-fly zone for Clinton.

4. ANDREW CUOMO - It looks like Horrible Hillary will stay in the race, and box out Bill's protege Andrew. Hillary will lose badly, and we'll be seeing a lot more of Cuomo by the time 2020 rolls around.

5. ELIZABETH WARREN - Warren would have been a legtimate contender for the Democrats. Unlike Clinton, she is a good candidate, a cause progressive, and she represents the core of her party. But she did not enter the race.

6. AL GORE - He may decide to jump in. How much would it annoy him to see the Clintons back in the White House? Especially a corrupt self-serving non-progressive like Hillary Clinton?

7. JOE BIDEN - He's out, but we need placeholders to fill out the weak field. He, along with Warren, should have joined O'Malley and Sanders to take on the Clinton machine. Clinton will be a worse disaster for Democrats than Obama.

8. JIM WEBB - He's out, but we're keeping him around. A Jacksonian populist, he does not represent the Democrat Party. Most of his kindred spirits have fled to the GOP.

9. LINCOLN CHAFFEE - He's out, ya, we know. The more you review the candidates and conversations within the two parties, the more you realize how likely the Democrats are to lose in 2016.

10. JOE MANCHIN - He's a lot like Jim Webb. This West Virginia senator frequently votes with the GOP. His party left him long ago. And yes, he's not running, but we needed to fill in the tenth slot.



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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