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February 7, 2016

Posts in "Presidential"

February 7, 2016

Why Was Fiorina Denied Ad Time During the Debate?


STRATHAM, NH - FEBRUARY 03:  Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina waits to be introduced during a Timberland Town Hall at the Timberland Global Headquarters on February 3, 2016 in Stratham, New Hampshire. Democratic and Republican Presidential are stumping for votes throughout New Hampshire leading up to the Presidential Primary on February 9th.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Fiorina waits to be introduced during a town hall at the Timberland Global Headquarters last week in Stratham, N.H. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Carly Fiorina didn’t make Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire because she didn’t meet ABC’s polling threshold. But the network appeared to add insult to injury by not allowing her campaign to air television ads during the debate either. At least that’s what her campaign wanted you to believe.The public outcry on the lack of ad time appeared to start with a reporter’s tweet that was subsequently amplified by the Fiorina campaign. Full story

What the Hell Happened to Jeb Bush?


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Long political bloodlines and deep establishment connections are liabilities when Republicans are looking for something new and different. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It must be more than a decade ago when I got a glimpse of the man often referred to as “George W. Bush’s smarter, younger brother.”

Charlie Cook and I were scheduled to speak to a group of Florida business leaders during lunch, but before we began our shtick, the state’s sitting governor, Jeb Bush, was to offer some remarks.

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February 1, 2016

Revenge of the Old Fogies


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26 - Kenny Jackson, from Knoxville, Iowa, smoke a cigarette as he dons a shaved head in support of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders before a meeting at the United Steelworkers Local 310L in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kenny Jackson, of Knoxville, Iowa, shows who he’s supporting before Sanders spoke to a meeting of the United Steelworkers Local 310L in Des Moines on Jan. 26, 2016. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

While the decision makers at news organizations from the Public Broadcasting System to CNN and the three major networks scramble to appeal to younger viewers, often by skewing younger with their hosts and commentators, Republican and Democratic voters in Iowa and nationally have embraced a remarkably “mature” handful of top tier candidates.

And by “mature,” I really mean old.

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January 31, 2016

Handicapping the GOP Race Past Iowa


NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth Republican debate is held in two parts, one main debate for the top seven candidates, and another for three other candidates lower in the current polls.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

While Trump, center, and Cruz, right, have established themselves as front-runners, Rubio has broken away from other establishment candidates. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Have we entered a new period in American politics, when establishment candidates on the GOP side don’t win their party’s nomination? That is the question I posed in a June 4, 2015 column. It is still a relevant question.

While I answered that it is a mistake to assume that the establishment candidate would inevitably win the GOP nomination, I doubted that combative candidates such as Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, could pass the smell test for most Republicans.

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January 29, 2016

It’s Official: Put a Fork in Kasich’s Candidacy


DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28:  Republican presidential candidates (R-L) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kasich, right, debates with Bush, center, and Rubio on Thursday in the Fox News-Google GOP Debate in Des Moines. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Feel free to believe that there is a glimmer of hope for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination. If that gives you comfort or plays to your own preferences, be my guest. I certainly wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable.

But even if you believe that, try also to understand that Kasich’s campaign is done. You can stick a fork in it. He will not be the GOP nominee for president in 2016. Recent endorsements from two New England newspapers prove that.

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January 26, 2016

Hillary and Jeb: Destined to Play the Long Game?


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24 - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the crowd during a Get Out the Caucus event with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at Vernon Middle School, in Marion, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton greets the crowd during a Get Out the Caucus event with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at in Marion, Iowa, on Sunday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In a previous election cycle, or maybe a previous decade, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush might, at this point, be coasting to their parties’ nominations. This cycle, however, both resemble tragic heroes — politicians who have worked hard to prepare themselves for the presidency yet face possible rejection by voters.

Some Clinton and Bush supporters hope their candidates have an advantage that is still being underestimated: their ability to remain in their respective presidential nominating contests until voters decide to turn to them.

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January 19, 2016

Goldwater vs. McGovern in 2016?


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The strangest election in our lifetime continues to get stranger.

Very rarely, one party decides to make a suicidal statement about its views and values. It happened in 1964 and again in 1972, for example. But this time, both parties are at least flirting with the idea of nominating candidates who, under normal circumstances, appear unelectable in 2016. Full story

January 10, 2016

Can Rubio Win Even If He Loses?


Rubio does not fit the typical Republican presidential candidate demographic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio does not fit the typical Republican presidential candidate demographic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Can a candidate win the Republican presidential nomination without winning one of the first three contests – Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina? We may just find out this year.

History, of course, has already provided something of an answer. Democrat Bill Clinton didn’t win a contest in 1992 until March 3rd in the Georgia primary. He had already “lost” the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the Maine caucuses and the South Dakota primary. (Fortunately for Clinton, no one in the field won more than one of the first four contests, and his solid second-place finish in the Granite State was regarded as a  victory of sorts.)

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January 8, 2016

Obama’s Empty Campaign Threat on Gun Control


FAIRFAX, VA - JANUARY 7:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a question from Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu during  a live town hall event with CNN's Anderson Cooper  (R) at town hall at George Mason University on January 7, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia. The president this week announced new, relatively mild executive actions to regulate the gun industry.  (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Obama listens to a question from Pintal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu during a town hall event on Thursday. (Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images)

In the heat of his push for more gun control, President Barack Obama threatened to withhold support from anyone, including Democrats, who didn’t support “common-sense” changes. But based on the political realities of this cycle, his comments aren’t likely to dramatically impact Senate races.

“Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen,” Obama wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.”

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January 5, 2016

Ted Cruz Might Not Need Trump Supporters


UNITED STATES - UNITED STATES - September 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets fellow candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz and Trump embrace at a September rally at the Capitol to oppose the Iran nuclear deal. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is poised to absorb Donald Trump’s supporters when the billionaire exits the race for the GOP presidential nomination, according to one of the campaign’s most common narratives. But how many Trump supporters are open to supporting another candidate?

The quickest analysis of the Republican race divides candidates into distinct establishment and anti-establishment lanes, including lumping Trump, Cruz and Ben Carson supporters together as a monolithic force that is interchangeable between the candidates.

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January 3, 2016

Will ‘Electability’ Sink Trump?


BILOXI, MS - JANUARY 02:  Supporters of the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump wait to hear him speak at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on January 2, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Trump, who has strong support from Southern voters, spoke to thousands in the small Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico. Trump continues to split the GOP establishment with his populist and controversial views on immigration, muslims and some of his recent comments on women.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Trump supporters line up to hear him speak at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi, on Saturday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Most national polls show Republican frontrunner Donald Trump trailing likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and faring worse than other GOP hopefuls against her.

That raises an obvious question: Could doubts about Trump’s strength in a general election derail his bid for the Republican nomination, or would GOP caucus attendees and primary voters simply ignore poll numbers that suggest Trump would be a risky bet in November?

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December 17, 2015

And the GOP Nominee Will Be…


UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., prepares to address the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference which featured speeches by conservative politicians at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, June 18, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What are Paul’s chances of being the GOP nominee? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

RealClearPolitics political analyst Sean Trende is one of the clear-eyed, analytic observers of American politics, and I usually find myself nodding in agreement when I read his invariably thoughtful stuff.

That didn’t happen when I was reading his Dec. 10 piece, “Laying Odds on the GOP Presidential Race.”

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December 10, 2015

GOP’s Brand In More Trouble Than Its Candidates


Donald Trump 2016 is xxxx. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An ongoing civil war in the GOP, especially one in which Trump was a combatant, would be a heavy burden for any Republican nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Political brands are important,” I wrote more than a year and a half ago in a lede that was much less interesting than the entire column. Now, though, I am wondering whether political party brands are so different from soap brands or over-the-counter medicine brands, which loyal consumers often stick with no matter what the competition is selling.

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December 9, 2015

Hispanic Voters Only One Problem for GOP


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 1: GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears at a campaign stop at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Current polls have President Obama neck and neck in the state the day before the election. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Obama carried Hispanic voters 71-27 percent over Romney in 2012. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans’ decline with Hispanic voters over the past two presidential races is undeniable and improvement with the growing demographic is an imperative to improve the party’s White House prospects. But a new interactive tool helps demonstrate that the GOP’s Electoral College challenge goes well beyond the party’s problem with Latino voters.

David Wasserman wasn’t joking when he tweeted that the Swing-O-Matic would be “hours of fun for political numbers nerds.” The Cook Political Report’s House Editor teamed up with FiveThirtyEight to create a fun, interactive tool to try to project the 2016 presidential race.

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An Independent Candidacy Would Make Trump the Biggest Loser


WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. Candidates spoke and took questions from Jewish leaders and activists as they continued to seek for Republican presidential nomination.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Running as an independent would make it more difficult for Trump to win the White House than staying in the GOP race. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An independent presidential run by Donald Trump would sink Republican chances of winning the White House, but Trump would be the biggest loser. And if there is one thing Trump can’t afford or stomach, it’s losing.

During the wealthy businessman’s latest dustup with the GOP establishment over his proposed travel ban on all Muslims, Trump used a new USA Today/Suffolk University survey as a thinly-veiled threat.

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