Tentative Primary and Caucus Schedule
  March 1 (Super Tues)
  March 2-14
L blue   March 15-31
Delegates needed for nomination:
GOP: 1236,   Dem: 2242
Map explained
New polls:  
Dem pickups:  
GOP pickups:  

News from the Votemaster

No news today. Here is a repeat of yesterday's posting. Tomorrow we will rank the Republican candidates.

Republicans Are Quietly Plotting to Get Rid of Trump

As it becomes increasingly clear that Donald Trump is not the second coming of Herman Cain but more like the ghost of George "Send 'em a message" Wallace, Republican operatives are getting nervous and are starting to hatch plans to get rid of him. The problem is that each campaign has a different perspective, not to mention, budget. While the backers of Jeb Bush don't like Trump at all, they realize that if he takes a long time to go gentle (or maybe not so gentle) into that good night, the Republicans may not have a lot of time to select a nominee, so the candidate with the most famous last name may win by default. This view suggests that there is no hurry getting rid of Trump. For a candidate like Scott Walker, who needs time to build name recognition, now is the time for action.

A major issue is how to get rid of him. The only tactic all the Republic strategists know is running attack ads on television (and maybe putting them on YouTube). Normally, these ads either go after some character flaw the candidate has or attack some policy position the candidate holds. For Trump, there are plenty of character flaws to point out, starting with his three marriages and four bankruptcies. Similarly, in the past at least, he has held policy positions like supporting single-payer health insurance that are anathema to the Republican base. The trouble is, many people seem to be attracted to Trump for a couple of policy positions the Republicans can't attack easily (such as his strong opposition to illegal immigrants). But even more than that, his supporters are mad as hell at the Republican elites who promise all kinds of red meat (like a constitutional amendment banning all abortions) during campaigns and forget about it the moment they take office. How do the elites fight a candidate whose major selling point is "I hate the elites and I have so much money I'm not dependent on them"? It won't be easy and it could backfire.

There is also the mechanics of how to coordinate the anti-Trump movement. Various groups are already running their own focus groups to learn where his weaknesses are, but that information is scattered among the candidates. Also, an anti-Trump campaign would be very expensive—certainly tens of millions of dollars. Who would pay for it and who would mange the fight? Could a new super PAC be created and funded with dark money? Who would be in charge? Bush's people wouldn't be happy with a Walker supporter in charge and so on. How about a 16-man and 1-woman committee to run it? Could it ever make decisions?

Finally, Newton's third law of politics says every action gets a reaction. Trump is not the kind of guy to take a $20 million campaign to sink him lying down. He would react instantly and with great force. Raising $20 million would take maybe a minute or so, depending how far away his checkbook was. The ads he ran might not be pleasant for the party. Furthermore, as everyone well knows, Trump's promise not to run as an independent is not worth the paper it is written on. If he ultimately goes down because his supporters finally decide he is more fun than a barrel of monkeys but is not presidential material, he might accept it and go back to making some more money. But if he feels the party is ganging up against him, who knows what he might do. In bullfights, the matador dances around the bull for a while, but then begins stabbing the bull with long sticks with hooks that don't come out until the bull is really, really angry. That approach requires the matador to have supreme confidence in his ability to defeat a really, really angry bull. Do the Republicans now plotting quietly against Trump have matador-level confidence in themselves? What they don't want is a wounded but furious Trump doing his best to gore them.

And while this show is playing out, Bernie Sanders is wowing large crowds and Hillary Clinton is quietly collecting superdelegates and more money.

Kasich Is Running as a Politician

In a year when people who have never held elective office are doing great, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) is advertising that he is a lifelong politician (he was elected to the Ohio state senate at 26) and is rapidly coming up from nowhere. He has the seriousness of Jeb Bush but without the family baggage and has an actual record of governing as a conservative. He is no firebrand like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), but his audiences seem to like it that way. His informal style fits the kind of retail campaigning people in New Hampshire expect, although, unlike the other candidates, he is also running ads there already. If Trump finally implodes and Bush looks too weak, Kasich might well rise to the top. Besides, every strategist knows that the Republicans absolutely must win Florida and Ohio, so a ticket with one person from Ohio (Kasich) and one from Florida (Bush or Rubio) would be a dream ticket. Kasich is a guy to watch closely.

Insiders Think Biden Will Not Run

The Hill talked to over a dozen Democratic Party insiders about Joe Biden and the consensus is that he won't run for President. The argument is that while Hillary Clinton's popularity dropped when she entered the race and stopped being a nonpartisan figure, the polls still show her defeating every Republican. So if Democrats already have a winner, what is Biden's rationale for running?

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---The Votemaster
Sep04 Trump Signs Loyalty Oath
Sep04 Heitkamp May Run for Governor
Sep04 Biden Still on the Fence about Run
Sep03 Nevada and South Carolina Will Be Critical in 2016
Sep03 Republicans Split on Defending Kentucky Clerk
Sep03 Some People Support Trump as a Protest Vote
Sep02 Winning Delegates Is What Counts
Sep02 Fiorina Will Make the Next Main Debate
Sep02 Ben Carson is Now in Second Place Nationally
Aug31 New Map Shows Dates of Primaries and Caucuses
Aug31 Clinton May Have 20% of the Needed Delegates Already
Aug31 Republicans Silent on Ashley Madison
Aug31 Trump May Sign Pledge Not to Run as an Independent
Aug27 First Look at the Senate
Aug25 RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Says Trump is a Net Positive
Aug25 Puerto Ricans Moving to Florida in Large Numbers
Aug25 Biden Must Consider His Family If He Decides to Run
Aug24 Republicans Differ on Birthright Citizenship
Aug24 Paul Can Run for President and Senator Next Year
Aug24 Fiorina May Fail to Make the Cut for the Second Debate
Aug24 Could Google Affect the Election?
Aug20 Could the Birthright Issue Cost the Republicans the Election?
Aug20 Supreme Court: Congress Can't Overule 14th Amendment
Aug20 Selfies Threaten Democracy
Aug18 Hillary Clinton is Rooting for Jeb Bush
Aug18 Birthers Turn on Republicans
Aug17 Trump Would Deport Undocumented Immigrants
Aug17 Ben Carson Won the Main Fox News Republican Debate
Aug14 Bernie vs. Donald
Aug14 Trump Is Actually Building an Organization in Iowa
Aug14 March 1 Is Do or Die Day for Ted Cruz
Aug11 The Republican Presidential Candidates
Aug10 Trump Still Leading the Field
Aug10 Takeaways from the RedState Gathering
Aug07 Trump Trumps the Other Candidates in First Debate
Aug03 Announcement
Aug03 The Democratic Primary
Aug03 The Republican Primary