CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

ELECTIONS 2016

PRESIDENT

April 2016 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.

Underdogs Cruz and Sanders Roar in Wisconsin Primaries

April 05, 2016 - Tonight Ted Cruz (R) and Bernie Sanders (D) came out victorious in their respective Wisconsin primary elections.

Cruz picked up 36 of the 42 Republican delegates available, leaving only 6 for the front runner Donald Trump.

On the Democrat side, Sanders picked up 48 delegates against Hillary Clinton's 38.

The first half of April is light for primaries with Wisconsin having the stage to itself. After Wisconsin, the next primary is New York on April 19, followed by five more states a week later on April 26.


2016 - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES





PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS - AS AT APRIL 01, 2016
Democrat Status Republican
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Running Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Donald Trump
Lincoln Chaffee, Lawrence Lessig, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb Exited Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsay Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, 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

March 2016
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May 2015
April 2015
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Januay 2015

THE REPUBLICANS

1. DONALD TRUMP - Does it going without saying that Trump is a polarizing figure? If he doesn't clear the magic number of 1.237 delegates - and it's going to be close - he has little chance of being the nominee, he is almost no one's second choice. So we can't get Trump above a 50% probability yet.

2. TED CRUZ - Donald Trump may be the best thing that happened to Cruz - he makes Cruz seem normal. He has no chance of picking up a majority or even plurality of delegates, but while Trump focuses on winning the state-by-state battles, the Cruz ground game is winning the national delegate war.

3. JOHN KASICH - The John Kasich ego trip continues. If the nominee isn't Trump or Cruz... well, it won't be Kasich. His continued campaign has made him odious to far too many players to allow him to qualify as a consensus candidate.

3. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio dropped out but remains a lingering shadow, a low-probability consensus candidate lurking on the periphery.

5. BEN CARSON - Carson dropped out, but later than he should have. All he did was siphon votes from Cruz and enable Trump. If that was his intent, he shouldn't have dropped out at all.

6. JEB BUSH - Bush is probably thinking about 2020 at this point. He should have made the decision to drop out much earlier and saved some dry powder for the next go-round. And not wasted so much ammunition on Rubio, not at all a smart tactic.


THE DEMOCRATS

1. HILLARY CLINTON - We cut Jaillary Clinton down quite a bit this month. The FBI investigation is not going away, and seems more serious the longer it goes on. And Bernie Sanders isn't going away, so the gaffes continue to pile up.

2. BERNIE SANDERS - Bernie is unlikely to win, the deck is stacked against him. That's okay, it's the Democrat's party and if they wanted a nominee like Sanders they would have stacked the deck in his favor. They don't, and they haven't.

3. JOE BIDEN - The Democrat nomination continues to grind on. Clinton is limping towards the nomination, with the FBI investigation hanging over her head. And we wonder if Joe Biden comes in as the Knight in Shining Armor?

5. ELIZABETH WARREN - Is not Elizabeth Warren the candidate that Democrats really want to see at the top of their ticket, and not Hillary at all? What about a Warren/Sanders ticket, and a pardon for Clinton? Now, how to make that work, how to blame Republicans for Clinton's criminality...

4. ANDREW CUOMO - At this point it looks like Cuomo could not be a Clinton alternative. In exchange for a pardon, Obama will be calling the shots, so it will be an Obama designee, not a Clinton crony.

6. MARTIN O’MALLEY - An alternative to Jaillary if neither Warren nor Biden are interested - maybe they really aren't - and the Dems can get around their Sanders problem.



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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