Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 46
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GOP 54
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  • Strongly Dem (191)
  • Likely Dem (72)
  • Barely Dem (69)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (16)
  • Strongly GOP (175)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: (None)
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC

News from the Votemaster

Hillary Clinton is Rooting for Jeb Bush

In an article in Politico by a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, Matt Latimer, he says the Clintons think Jeb Bush would be the weakest of the serious opponents Hillary might face. Given a choice of anyone, they would probably choose Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, or Bobby Jindal, but that is not going to happen. Among Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker, they think Bush is the weakest of the bunch. Arguments that Rubio or Walker could use, like "No dynasties" and "Time for a new generation" immediately go out the window with Bush.

But it gets worse. Clinton has a couple of suitcases of baggage, but Bush has boatloads of it. Clinton is going to do everything humanly possible to tie Jeb to Bush 41 and 43. Expect her to ask questions like:

  • Do you think invading Iraq was a good idea?
  • Do you think 43 should have attended soldiers' funerals?
  • Do you approve of waterboarding and torturing people?
  • Do you think 43's response to Hurricane Katrina was adequate?
  • Do you like how 43 handled the Great Recession?
  • Do you agree with 43's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence after he exposed a CIA spy?
  • Do you think 43's tax cuts for the rich helped the economy?
  • Was 41 lying when he said "Read my lips: no new taxes" and then raised taxes?

It could be a very long list and it will put Bush in the position of either approving unpopular decisions or rejecting his brother and father, neither of which will help him.

Second, the Bushes are a predictable bunch. They all advocate the same policies, listen to the same voices, hire the same consultants, and make the same arguments. This gives the Clintons a year to figure out how to respond. With Rubio or Walker as the opponent, there might be surprises Clinton didn't prepare for and she is not good at reacting quickly.

Third, Bush might squeak through the primaries because true-blue conservatives split their votes among Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, and some of the others, but that doesn't mean they love him and will turn out to vote for him in droves in the general election. In contrast, Clinton is going to fire up Democrats with the historic nature of her candidacy. Furthermore, if Bush tries to act like a moderate in the general election, the disgruntled conservatives might be even more inclined not to vote or to vote for a third party or independent candidate, especially if Trump runs as an independent.

Fourth, nice guys finish last. Bush has little charisma and is running as the grown-up in the room. Against Trump and Huckabee, that might work, but Clinton is about as sober and qualified a candidate as we have seen in years. Saying: "I am a serious adult and she is a clown" just won't fly in the general election. If you ask any 6-year-old whether the tortoise can beat the hare, the answer will be: "Yes." But what happens if the tortoise is running against another equally determined and very streetwise tortoise?

Fifth, Bush is rusty. He hasn't campaigned since 2002 and has made quite a few gaffes already. He was once asked what he would do to help blacks if he were elected governor and he said: "Nothing." He'd better pray no tapes of that exist. When asked how to improve the economy, the multimillionaire son of a multimillionaire said people should work longer hours. He said that taking out Saddam Hussein was "a pretty good deal." He recently questioned the need for spending money on women's health programs. Clinton is probably already stockpiling ads featuring him saying that. Many things he said in the past will come back to haunt him.

It is true he will have a vast amount of money, but Koch brothers and Karl Rove will make sure than any Republican has boxcars full of money. Even if it is more than Clinton, she will have enough to get by.

Birthers Turn on Republicans

Some "birthers" still believe that President Obama is not eligible to be President because he does not meet the Constitutional requirement of being a "natural born citizen." Now that 2016 is around the corner, some of them are beginning to question whether all the Republicans in the race meet the test. In particular, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum have come under scrutiny For Cruz, at least, there are legitimate questions. He was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban father. U.S. law says that a child born abroad to a couple only one of whom is a U.S. citizen is only a U.S. citizen if that parent lived in the U.S. for 10 years prior to the birth. In addition, five of these years have to be after the parent's 14th birthday. As we discussed at length before, Cruz has never proven his mother met the residency requirements, so his citizenship can be legitimately questioned, even though he has already renounced his Canadian (birthright) citizenship.

Rubio, Jindal, and Santorum were all born in the U.S., so the argument about them hinges on what "natural born citizen" means. Some conspiracy theorists argue that the founding fathers were trying to eliminate people who might have divided loyalties, so anyone whose parents were immigrants might be disqualified. Few, if any, serious constitutional lawyers buy this argument, but the topic might come up. In the case of Cruz, the rallying cry of his opponents might be: "Let's see your mom's elementary school report cards and her later phone bills" but for the others, this is a nonissue.

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---The Votemaster