Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 9, 2015

Posts in "Republicans"

October 7, 2015

Why I Keep Forgetting About John Kasich

UNITED STATES - JUNE 19- Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference which featured speeches by conservative politicians at the Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel, June 19, 2015.(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich’s path to victory is no more clear now than it was in the spring. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican contest for president probably will boil down to a fight between a pragmatic conservative, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and either an uncompromising conservative, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, or an outsider, like Ben Carson.

Most of the GOP hopefuls fit into either of those categories, but Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich doesn’t.

Full story

October 6, 2015

Early Iowa Presidential Polls a Better Predictor Than National Ones

Democratic presidential hopeful former North Carolina senator John Edwards (R) makes a point as Illinois Senator Barack Obama (C) and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (L) listen during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate hosted by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute 21 January 2008 at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  AFP PHOTO/STAN HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

National polls in 2007 showed Clinton with a big lead over Obama and Edwards going into the Iowa caucuses. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Last month, national polls by CNN/ORC, Fox News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal got plenty of attention, and they certainly helped readers and viewers understand what is going on in the Republican and Democratic presidential contests.

But if history is any guide, early national polls are far less valuable in understanding what is happening in the presidential contest than are reliable surveys of Iowa voters, such as the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.

Full story

September 28, 2015

Does Voter Anger Explain the Success of Presidential Outsiders?

UNITED STATES - September 25: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington D.C., Friday, September 25, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The past 18 months have radicalized some in the GOP grass roots, which helps explain the rise of candidates such as Trump. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Those of us who report on and analyze politics for a living have been talking ad nauseam about voters’ frustration and anger.

It’s the hot topic that presumably explains Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernard Sanders, as well as the problems that political veterans such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush have encountered.

Full story

September 21, 2015

Young, Ambitious and Wealthy Isn’t Enough in Arkansas

U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge speaks at a Little Rock, Ark., civic club Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Beebe’s wins as a Democrat in Arkansas won’t provide Eldridge with a roadmap to victory in the Senate race. (Danny Johnston/AP File Photo)

Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced on Sept. 9 he will seek the Arkansas Democratic Senate nomination and the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman in 2016.

Writing in the Arkansas Times before Eldridge entered the race, veteran political journalist Max Brantley observed the Democrat would be “a sparkling candidate in a long tradition of young, ambitious, smart lawyers — [Dale] Bumpers, [David] Pryor, [Jim Guy] Tucker, [Bill] Clinton, [Vic] Snyder.”

Full story

September 17, 2015

Post-CNN Debate Thoughts

SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rubio did well for himself at the debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Given there are still four and one-half months until the Iowa caucuses, why would any Iowa Republican make a final decision right now about which candidate he or she will support?

Yet that didn’t stop CNN from treating Wednesday night’s GOP debate at the Reagan Library as the Super Bowl, with a countdown clock and the suffocating self-promotion that we have all come to expect these days. Full story

September 9, 2015

A Significant Reassessment of the GOP Race


Trump’s image in Iowa has improved at the same time that his flaws, shortcomings and liabilities have become more apparent. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump isn’t going away anytime soon, I now believe.

That assessment doesn’t mean I think Trump is the favorite for the Iowa caucuses or the GOP nomination, but it does reflect a fundamental shift in my thinking. I have believed and been arguing that once Iowa Republicans start to see the caucuses as an opportunity to select the next president, rather than an opportunity to express their frustration and anger, they will turn away from Trump (and other outsiders) and toward politically experienced, mainstream contenders.

Full story

July 28, 2015

Chris Christie’s Conundrum

Christie speaks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in D.C. on June 19. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Christie speaks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in D.C. on June 19. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On first glance, Christie’s bio and profile should make him a top-tier hopeful for the 2016 Republican nomination. But he isn’t — at least not right now. In this case, timing is everything.

A former county freeholder and U.S. attorney finishing his second term as governor in a very blue state, Christie, 52, is a guy with a big personality who has received more than his share of national media coverage over the past few years.

Full story

July 23, 2015

President-Elect Donald Trump Announces First Cabinet Picks

What if Trump won. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What if Trump won. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nov. 9, 2016, ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.  — President-elect Donald Trump announced his first cabinet selections last night, minutes after the major networks projected him as the winner in Tuesday’s election.

Trump, who will become the nation’s 45th president when he is inaugurated in January, upset former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, winning 54 percent of the vote and carrying all the swing states. The president-elect did particularly well among older men, union members and the mentally ill. Full story

July 21, 2015

The Politics of Identity Politics

identity politics

Perdue and Gardner proved exceptions to a rule in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’m tired of hyphenated Americans,” complains Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in “We’re All Americans,” a television spot aired by Believe Again, the super PAC supporting the presidential hopeful’s bid.

“We’re not Indian-Americans or African-Americans or Asian-Americans. We’re all Americans,” he continues as the audience applauds. Full story

July 13, 2015

Who Will Benefit From the Issues Mix in 2016?


Immigration could be the wild card issue in the 2016 election. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every election is different, but they almost always come down to one question: What is the election about?

Some elections are about one or both of the candidates (personality, preparedness or accomplishments), while others are merely about “change.” Some are about the economy in general, or jobs or inflation in particular. A relative few are about national security or a military conflict.

Full story

July 6, 2015

The Donald Trump Impact: Not so Inevitable After All

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

Will the Donald Trump immigration comments linger? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

I was surprised by the near unanimity over the weekend about the impact of the Donald Trump comments about Mexican immigrants. Almost every disinterested political observer agreed Trump’s typically over-the-top remarks were certain to hurt GOP prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

I am skeptical about that.

Full story

June 30, 2015

When the Second Time Isn’t the Charm

Santorum speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalition'’s Road to Majority Conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Santorum speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalition’’s Road to Majority Conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

I feel bad for Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. They are presidential retreads at a moment when anything that is more than an hour or two old is passé.

John McCain was a retread in 2008 (having lost a bid for the GOP nomination in 2000), as was Mitt Romney four years later. Ronald Reagan was a retread in 1980, and Richard M. Nixon was one in 1968. But they’re ancient history. Times have changed. Full story

June 23, 2015

Does Scott Walker Have What It Takes to Win in 2016?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is widely viewed as a top-tier hopeful for the GOP presidential nomination. But it’s less clear he has the right profile to knock off the likely Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Walker’s strength in the nomination race comes from his positioning in the Republican Party.

Full story

June 16, 2015

The Iowa Straw Poll: Put a Stake Through Its Heart

iowa straw poll

Bachmann addresses supporters and media in Ames, Iowa, after winning the 2011 straw poll. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Iowa Straw Poll is dead for 2015. Let’s hope it doesn’t resurrect its ugly head for the 2020 cycle and beyond.

Almost four years ago I wrote a column, “The Nothingness of the Iowa Straw Poll,” in which I disclosed that I had canceled my trip to cover the 2011 straw poll. Full story

June 8, 2015

Can Marco Rubio Save the GOP in 2016? (Video)

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

Rubio, of Cuban descent, doesn’t fit the typical GOP presidential candidate demographic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican presidential field looks unusually diverse this cycle — an African-American (Ben Carson), an Indian-American (Bobby Jindal), a woman (Carly Fiorina) and a Hispanic, or, if you prefer, a Cuban (Marco Rubio). One candidate is married to a Hispanic originally from Mexico (Jeb Bush).

There is even a Canadian in the field.

Full story

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