Tentative Primary and Caucus Schedule
  March 1 (Super Tues)
  March 2-14
L blue   March 15-31
Delegates needed for nomination:
GOP: 1237,   Dem: 2242
Map explained
New polls:  
Dem pickups:  
GOP pickups:  

News from the Votemaster

Editorial note: Starting today, the headlines will appear in a box at the top of this section. This allows you to skip to any article by just clicking on the headline. You can get back to the top of the page by using your browser's "back" button.

Cruz Says Rubio is Like Hillary Clinton

In a vicious attack on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused him of supporting Hillary Clinton's foreign policy. In particular, Cruz said that Rubio, like Clinton, supported overthrowing former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Cruz admitted that Qaddafi was a monster but he had become a significant ally in the fight against "radical Islamic terrorism" and should not have been overthrown. Rubio responded by accusing Cruz of voting to gut U.S. intelligence programs that keep Americans safe.

Cruz' foreign policy could be described as "Jacksonian." He doesn't like spending money and sending troops abroad. He doesn't always see the value in free trade and doesn't believe that democratizing far-off countries is necessary for American security. And finally, when there is a crisis in some distant part of the world, the Jacksonian view is: "Let the countries over there deal with it."

Foreign policy is not the only area where Cruz and Rubio disagree. They also differ on immigration and taxes. Both senators are the sons of Cuban immigrants, but both are hostile to more immigration. Nevertheless, Rubio was a sponsor of a 2013 bill that would have eventually granted citizenship to the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. Cruz calls this "amnesty" and is against granting these people citizenship—ever. On taxes, the two are also worlds apart. Cruz favors a flat 10% tax on all income. Rubio emphasizes middle-class tax cuts rather than across-the-board cuts. He also wants to add a $2,500 per child tax credit to the tax code. (V)

Marco Rubio Starts Retail Campaigning

Up until now, Marco Rubio was busy with the invisible primary, lining up donors and endorsements. Now he is starting to move to the next stage: talking to voters. This week alone he has campaigned in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Alabama. The travel schedule is being accompanied by a television campaign in which he is blanketing the airwaves in Iowa and New Hampshire to the tune of $700,000. A key asset that Rubio has is that much of the party establishment is coming around to seeing him as their best chance in 2016. Now he has to see if he can make the voters agree. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, voters expect to meet the candidates personally, often multiple times. He certainly has some catching up to do. In New Hampshire, for example, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) just held his 36th town hall event. That is more than all the events—speeches, town halls, pancake breakfasts, etc.—that Rubio has held in the state combined. (V)

New Jersey Newspaper Dissents from the Union Leader's Opinion

The New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed Chris Christie this week but it may not have the final word. The Newark, NJ, Star-Ledger—New Jersey's most prominent newspaper—just issued a sharp rebuttal to the Union Leader, saying: "The paper knows almost nothing about his record as governor." The Star-Ledger went on to say that on jobs, pension reform, and Hurricane Sandy relief Christie has been a failure and he is more interested in his own career than in governing New Jersey.

The Star-Ledger editorial board even brought up "Bridgegate," which the Union Leader didn't mention, saying "It's possible Christie didn't know about the lane closures or the coverup. But this is a governor whose cabinet members don't go to the bathroom without his permission." (V)

All the Female Democratic Senators Have Endorsed Clinton, Except One

Of the 14 women Democrats in the Senate, 13 of them appeared with Hillary Clinton on stage Monday at a fundraising event. That is 93%. Unfortunately for her, the one missing lady is the most influential one: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). When Warren declined to run for President, as many of her fans had urged her to do, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) jumped in. Sanders supports almost everything Warren supports, yet Warren has not endorsed either him or Clinton so far. Most of the male Democrats in the Senate have also endorsed Clinton. She has 33 of the 44 Democratic senators in her camp. (V)

Clinton Campaign Misfires with Rosa Parks Logo

Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and her subsequent arrest. In honor of the occasion, Hillary Clinton gave a laudatory speech and also honored Parks by incorporating her into the Clinton campaign logo. The speech was well received. The logo, not so much.

There were, in fact, two different problems with the altered logo. The first is that Rosa Parks is, to nearly all Americans, a heroic figure. When a politician, particularly a white politician, uses Parks in this way, it looks like an attempt to steal some reflected glory and so comes off as crass. The other, more subtle problem is that Parks is "seated" on the left half of the 'H' rather than the right. This makes it look like Parks is sitting at the back of the bus. Needless to say, this is precisely what Parks did not do. Though it is not likely to have long-term repercussions, it is a rather surprising blunder for the Clinton campaign—a veteran candidate and a veteran operation should not be making mistakes like this. (Z)

Bush on His VP: "She Will Be a Great Partner"

Jeb Bush appeared at a town hall meeting on Tuesday and answered questions from the crowd. When asked about his (hypothetical) vice president, Bush said, "Should I be elected president, I would have my vice president—I think she will be a great partner."

There are three ways to read this, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The first possibility is that Bush is acknowledging that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate, and that if he were to be her opponent, he would need a female running mate to avoid ceding too many women voters to the Democrats. The second is that he is asserting that he, like Hillary, wants to be someone who breaks glass ceilings and that the time has come to end the male monopoly on the vice presidency. The third is that he already has someone in mind, possibly Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM). Bush did not take follow-up questions, so it is not clear which one (or ones) it is. Of course, the odds are that we will never know for sure, since it seems unlikely he will be needing to choose a running mate. Nevertheless, Martinez could easily end up being #2 no matter who is #1. (Z)

The Politics of Climate Science

The Paris UN Climate Conference is taking place this week, as world leaders, activists, industrialists, climate scientists, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy have convened for a discussion of what the world must do to combat global warming. Given the attention being given to the subject, it is prime time to release relevant new research. On Tuesday, two studies that examine the intersection of politics and climate science were unveiled.

The first study, commissioned by the Associated Press, focused on statements about climate science made by the 2016 presidential candidates. Tweets, television interviews, and declarations during the various debates were all collected; each candidate's statements were grouped together and then assigned a number in place of the candidate's name (so, for example, the list of comments made by Rand Paul was labeled "Candidate Number 4" with no other identifying information). Eight scientists were then asked to rate each set of comments on a scale of 0 to 100, with the eight scores averaged in order to give each candidate a "grade."

The final grades were fairly predictable. Hillary Clinton did best, earning an average score of 94. Right behind her were Martin O'Malley at 91 and Bernie Sanders with an 87. The best score in the GOP field was Jeb Bush, who earned a "barely passing" 64. He was followed by Chris Christie (54), John Kasich (47), Rand Paul (38), Carly Fiorina (28), Marco Rubio (21), Donald Trump (15), and Ben Carson (13). Bringing up the rear was Ted Cruz, who barely registered with an average score of 6. Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor and one of the eight evaluators, wrote this comment on Cruz' list of statements: "This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner. That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president."

The second study—one with considerably greater scholarly heft—was conducted by Yale sociologist Justin Farrell. He collected all of the documents that he could find that had been produced in the last 20 years by organizations that deny climate change. Then he used computer algorithms to trace the presence of those organizations' ideas in newspaper articles, Congressional debates, and Presidential speeches and interviews. Ultimately, after analyzing more than 39 million words, Farrell was able to demonstrate that the two most important sources of climate change denial—far and away—are Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers. Both entities, of course, are in the petroleum business, and both are major GOP donors. And so, while there was no coordination between the Associated Press and Justin Farrell—either in terms of their research, or in the timing of their releases—the two studies end up complementing each other. (Z)

Zuckerberg Organization To Take Aim at Trump

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a big day on Tuesday, welcoming his first child and also announcing that he would give 99% of his fortune to charity. He also found time to make a bit of a splash in the world of politics, as his immigration reform group Fwd.us outlined its plans for 2016.

Fwd.us, which also includes Bill Gates among its supporters, focuses its lobbying activities on multiple dimensions of immigration policy—opposing deportations, supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country, and advocating for a humane and fair policy for the admission of refugees and others desiring to enter the United States. The group will spend as much as $10 million on advertising, advocacy, and polling in the next election cycle, focusing particularly on anti-immigrant candidates. That means that Donald Trump will be a major target, as will Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. The Democratic field is not immune, either, as Fwd.us does not care for some of the sentiments expressed by Bernie Sanders. Former GOP operative and current Fwd.us campaign manager Rob Jesmer declared, "From a policy situation if we nominate any of those people [America is] going to lose. No two ways about it." The group had relatively little impact in 2014; we shall see if having more money and bigger targets in 2016 will change that. (Z)

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---The Votemaster
Dec01 The Idea of Cruz as Their Nominee Scares Republican Senators
Dec01 Cruz Says Most Violent Criminals are Democrats
Dec01 GOP Candidates Continue to Chip Away at Trump
Dec01 Trump wants $5M to Debate
Dec01 How Many Trump Supporters Are There, Actually?
Dec01 Kevin McCarthy: No Government Shutdown over Planned Parenthood
Dec01 Hillary Rodham Clinton is Now Hillary Clinton
Dec01 State Department Releases More of Hillary's Damn Emails
Nov30 Republican Field Reacts to Planned Parenthood Shootings
Nov30 Trump Campaign Showing Some Signs of Weakness
Nov30 New Hampshire Union Leader Endorses Christie
Nov30 Trump Scores Much Better in Online Polls than in Live-interviewer Polls
Nov30 Cruz and Rubio Plan to Divvy Up Jewish Bush Supporters
Nov30 Fewer White Voters Expected in Swing States
Nov30 Republicans May End Up with a Three-Way Race
Nov30 Clinton Releases Infrastructure Plans
Nov29 GOP Candidates: No Comment on Planned Parenthood Shootings
Nov29 Karl Rove Helps Ben Carson
Nov29 Carson Visits Refugee Camp in Jordan
Nov29 Carson A Product of...ObamaCare?
Nov29 Rubio Releases His First TV Ad
Nov29 Ballot Access May Separate the Sheep from the Goats
Nov29 Cruz Makes Campaigning a Family Affair
Nov29 Cruz' Shaky Electoral Math
Nov28 Trump Drops in New Poll
Nov28 DAPA Could Affect over a Million Voters
Nov28 Sanders Has More Women Donors Than Clinton
Nov28 GOP Insiders: Cruz Will Win Iowa
Nov28 What Happened to Carly?
Nov28 Alan Grayson Will Challenge Ted Cruz' Eligibility in Court If He Is Nominated
Nov28 2016 Candidates Using Some Really Shitty Language
Nov28 A Panacea for Fixing Congress?
Nov27 Cruz and Rubio Gun for Each Other, not for Trump
Nov27 What Happened to Bush?
Nov27 Trump's Pants on Fire, Yet Again
Nov27 Carson Headed to Jordan
Nov27 McConnell Wants to Eliminate Caps of Party Spending
Nov27 Obama Equates Syrian Refugees to the Mayflower Pilgrims
Nov27 Some of the Ways Candidates Are Trying to Appeal to Millennials are Lame
Nov27 Thanksgiving-themed Political Cartoons are Rampant
Nov26 Thanksgiving is Upon Us
Nov26 Koch Brothers Give Free Turkeys to Latinos
Nov26 Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush Are Afraid to Take on Trump
Nov26 Cruz Moves Up to Second Place in National Poll
Nov26 Trump Don't Know Much About History
Nov26 Rubio: God's Law Trumps Federal Law
Nov26 Clinton Still Ahead of Sanders in Iowa
Nov26 Islamophobia Has Consequences
Nov25 Half the GOP Delegates Will Be Chosen by March 15
Nov25 Is Trump's Nomination Inevitable?