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

Candidates Head to Church for Christmas

Even Donald Trump went to church on Christmas Eve. Not that Trump normally goes to church, but attending some kind of church on Christmas Eve is expected of candidates and it is an easy way to score a few points with evangelicals—or at least not lose points. Trump attended a service in Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, FL, the church where he and his third wife, Melania, were married in 2005. Among the guests at the wedding was Hillary Clinton. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeb Bush also went to church. Martin O'Malley went to the Cathedral of Mary our Queen in Baltimore. While not all the candidates reported on which church they went to, it is a safe bet they all went somewhere, just for appearances. The only candidate who definitely didn't go to church is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders is Jewish and spent the evening at home in Vermont. (V)

Clinton Doing Fundraising in Smaller Cities

Hillary Clinton has been doing much of her fundraising in New York and California to date, but now she is expanding into other states and especially smaller cities as well. In particular, she has been doing events and fundraisers in states that vote on Super Tuesday (March 1). By combining public events with private fundraising, she gets more done in less time and opens new sources of donations. She needs a constant source of new money, as she has more people on her payroll than any other candidate and has an exceedingly high burn rate. She raised $29 million in the last quarter but has already spent 86% of it. She also knows that the Republican nominee will be extremely well funded, so she is trying to make sure she will be as well. (V)

Little Correlation Found Between Campaign Stops and Poll Numbers

Candidates for President campaign because, well, that is what candidates for President do. One might think that the more someone campaigns in a state, the higher their poll numbers will be. It turns out that is not true. For example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is surging in Iowa despite the relatively few days he has spent there. The New Hampshire leader, Donald Trump, has spent only 12 days in the state, compared to the 48 days Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spent there before giving up in despair. Similarly, Carly Fiorina has spent 32 days in Iowa and is polling around 2% at best. In short, spending a lot of time on the ground in a state doesn't seem to matter as much as it used to. (V)

Susana Martinez Was Not the First Public Official to Get Drunk

When the police were called to a hotel party in Santa Fe in response to bottles being thrown off a fourth-floor balcony, they discovered Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM), a possible vice presidential candidate, drunk. However, she is not the first public official to be drunk while in office. Some of the others include Richard Nixon, who was drunk while planning the invasion of Cambodia. In fact, drunken Presidents go back as far as the eighth President, Martin Van Buren, who partied so hard he was known as "Blue Whiskey Van." Although he never made it to the White House, senator Ted Kennedy also liked to drink, most famously before the accident at Chappaquiddick where he drove off a bridge, which resulted in his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowning. (V)

The Blunt Truth About 2016

It is not often that we link to Leafly, which bills itself as "The World's Cannabis Information Resource." However, when it comes to legalizing pot, they're the go-to source. And earlier this week, they published a very thorough overview of states where legalization will—or, at least, may—move forward in 2016.

Why does this matter? Because marijuana-legalization initiatives bring young liberals who otherwise might not vote out to the polls. This won't have much impact in California or Maine, but it could affect the swing states of Nevada and Ohio. In 2016, both have precious electoral votes up for grabs, as well as hotly-contested Senate races. It's within the realm of possibility that, on election night, Hillary Clinton, or Catherine Cortez Masto, or Ted Strickland will have to thank ganj for their victory. (Z)

DHS Deportation Plan Angers Democrats

Yesterday, we noted that the Department of Homeland Security is working on a plan to raid and deport a large number of undocumented families. We also presumed that liberals would not be terribly happy about the plan. Well, as it turns out, they are not. A number of immigration activists have blasted the plan, as have all three Democratic presidential candidates. A campaign spokesman said that Hillary Clinton has "real concerns" about the operation, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) declared that he was "very disturbed" by the news, and Martin O'Malley said time had come to end "mindless deportations." With a response like this, it seems nearly certain that the plan will be quietly dropped (or conveniently put on hold until, say, November 9, 2016). (Z)

Thanks to Rubio, U.S. Has No Ambassador to Mexico

President Obama nominated Roberta Jacobson as ambassador to Mexico six months ago. She is eminently qualified, and has the approval of both the government of Mexico and the Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, Sen. Marco Rubio—because he is angry about the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba—has put a hold on the nomination, which prohibits it from coming up for a vote.

This is a high-risk move, for two reasons. First of all, it looks punitive and petty, not unlike Gov. Chris Christie's (allegedly) shutting down a bridge to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. Second, the anti-Castro maneuver may play well with Cuban-Americans, but likely not with Mexican-Americans. They may see the hold as disrespectful, or may have need of services that are unavailable (or less easily available) in the absence of an ambassador. Since Mexican-American voters outnumber Cuban-Americans 20-to-1, Rubio might want to back down on this one. (Z)

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---The Votemaster
Dec25 New FEC Ruling Makes Raising Money for Super PACs Even Easier
Dec25 Are the Rules of the Game Changing?
Dec25 Cruz to Visit 36 Iowa Counties in January
Dec25 New Kentucky Governor Rolls Back Voting Rights for Felons
Dec25 Huckabee Will Drop Out Unless He Finishes in the Top Three in Iowa
Dec25 No Christmas Truces in Politics
Dec25 Homeland Security Planning Deportation Raids
Dec24 Two New National Polls Show Trump Way Ahead
Dec24 Susana Martinez Might Have Been Drunk at Party When Police Arrived
Dec24 Clinton Seizes on Trump's Remarks to Galvanize Women
Dec24 Cruz Learning About Life in the Spotlight
Dec24 Will Mexican-American Voters Support Cuban-American Candidates?
Dec24 There is Method to Trump's Madness
Dec24 Carson's Madness, However? Maybe Not So Much
Dec24 Franklin Graham Is Resigning from the Republican Party
Dec23 Cruz Catching Up Nationally
Dec23 50% Embarrassed By President Trump
Dec23 Hillary Clinton is Not Like Your Abuela
Dec23 The Next GOP Debate Will Be Less Crowded
Dec23 Hillary Clinton Loves Her Husband
Dec23 Sanders Blasts Trump
Dec23 Ten Factors That Will Determine the Next President
Dec23 Whither the Republican Party?
Dec23 Obamacare Enrollments Are Up Compared to 2014
Dec22 Christian Conservatives Starting to Coalesce around Ted Cruz
Dec22 Should Democrats Be More Like Ted Cruz?
Dec22 Trump Still Angry About Democratic Debate
Dec22 Trump Has Been Planning to Make America Great for Years
Dec22 Lindsey Graham Quits
Dec22 Who Will be the Next Republican to Go?
Dec22 Obama, GOP Locking Horns Over Environment
Dec22 Latinos Could Turn Red States Blue in the Future
Dec22 Hillary Clinton Expecting Her Second Grandchild Next Summer
Dec21 Democratic Debate Postmortem
Dec21 New Polls Put Cruz and Trump on Top
Dec21 Trump Ground Game in Iowa Is Behind Schedule
Dec21 Sanders Knows How to Apologize
Dec21 Do Republican Donors Want Bush to Try a Kamikaze Mission Against Trump?
Dec21 Rubio Lands Another Big Donor
Dec20 Democrats Largely Favor Substance Over Drama
Dec20 Sanders vs. the DNC: The Sequel
Dec20 Big Brother is Watching
Dec20 How Cruz Will Try to Destroy Rubio
Dec20 A New Era at Fox News?
Dec20 Kasich Launches Trump-Putin 2016 Website
Dec19 Democrats to Debate Amongst Budding Civil War
Dec19 Conservatives Going after Rubio on Immigration
Dec19 Rubio Misses Key Senate Vote
Dec19 There Are No More Swing Voters
Dec19 McConnell Tells Republican Voters to Shun Tea Party Candidates