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

Perry Drops Out

As we pointed out yesterday, Rick Perry wasn't going to last long and now he has officially dropped out. His chance was in 2012 and he blew it. Second acts in politics happen (think: Richard Nixon in 1968) but they are rare. Can Gilmore, Pataki, Jindal, Santorum, and Graham be far behind? Maybe they will wait until the second debate, but they are all lost causes.

Perry didn't drop out due to lack of money. His super PACs have about $12 million in the bank It is not clear yet what they will do with this money.

Walker Drops to 10th Place in Iowa

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was initially hyped as the Bush killer, the only Republican candidate who could take down former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The main part of his strategy was to win the Iowa caucuses. Since he is governor of a neighboring state, everyone figured that shouldn't be too hard. Well, it turned out to be a tad harder than everyone expected. A new Quinnipiac University poll in the Hawkeye State puts him in 10th place, with 3% of the vote. This is a far cry from the 18% and #1 slot he had in Quinnipiac's July poll. The new poll puts Donald Trump first with 27%, Ben Carson second with 21%, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) third with 9%. Walker is unlikely to drop out before Iowa, but if he can't make a respectable showing in Iowa or New Hampshire, his goose is probably cooked.

Number of Democratic Debates Will Not Change

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have repeatedly asked Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to increase the number of debates from the scheduled six. They see the small number of debates as "rigging" the system in favor of front runner Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schulz has now given a definitive answer: NO! More debates would no doubt help the lesser-known candidates get badly needed exposure and would also provide more opportunity for Clinton to make a fatal mistake. But Wasserman Schulz is not budging. Here is the schedule for the Democratic debates:

Date Location
Oct. 13, 2015 Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 14, 2015 Des Moines, IA
Dec. 19, 2015 Manchester, NH
Jan. 17, 2016 Miami, FL
Feb./March 2016 Charleston, SC
Feb./March 2016 Milwaukee, WI

Sanders' Challenge in South Carolina

As we have pointed out before, for Bernie Sanders, the real test is not Iowa or New Hampshire, both of which he might win, but South Carolina and Nevada. The South Carolina Democratic primary electorate is about half black and Nevada's is heavily Latino. An indication of Sanders' problems in South Carolina is shown in a recent PPP poll showing Hillary Clinton at 54% and Sanders at 9%. If Vice President Joe Biden enters the contest, he pulls in 24%. Sanders' challenge is doing better with black voters.

To some extent, the issue of personality plays a major role here, just as it does for Donald Trump. Trump's supporters don't seem to care what his positions are, or even if he has positions. They just like the way he thumbs his nose at the establishment. Sanders' problem with black voters is that they like Hillary Clinton. When pressed, they will say there is nothing wrong with Sanders' positions on inequality, the minimum wage, reforming the criminal justice system, etc. All of those are great. They just like Hillary. Making them defriend her will be tough.

Romney's Team Wants to Stop Trump

While Mitt Romney doesn't seem to be interested in making a third run for President, he and his team are definitely following the race with interest and alarm. The feeling among the people who ran Romney's 2012 campaign is that the longer Trump is on top and in the news, the more damage he is doing to the Republican brand and the harder it will be for the eventual nominee to repudiate much of what he is saying now. They are seeing the start of an effort to mobilize a concerted effort to take him down, but it is not here yet.

Hillary Clinton's Email Problem Explained

The media, especially the Republican-controlled media, can't get enough of Hillary Clinton's email server, although no one has explained why this is actually so important and why it is so different from Jeb Bush having his own server when he was governor of Florida. If you haven't followed all the ins and outs of this controversy, Vox has a good piece explaining it in detail.

One new development in the affair is a statement in a federal court brief filed by the Justice Department that Clinton had the authority to delete 31,000 personal emails from her server and the State Department has no obligation to try to recover them. The Justice Department's lawyers added that she would also have had the authority to delete personal emails had she been using a government server. The president of Judicial Watch, a conservative group suing over the emails described the Department as "out to lunch."

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---The Votemaster
Sep11 Has Donald Trump Exposed a Fault Line Between the Elites and the People?
Sep11 New CNN/ORC Poll Puts Trump above 30%
Sep11 CNN Announces Debate Participants
Sep11 Biden Drops a Hint that He May Not Run
Sep11 Sanders Addresses the Congressional Black Caucus
Sep10 The Sheldon Adelson Primary Is in Full Swing
Sep10 Blue-State Republicans Matter
Sep10 Trump is Not At All Like Perot
Sep10 Bush Follows Trump on Taxes
Sep09 Can a Disorganized Party with 17 Candidates Beat an Incumbent Party?
Sep09 Huckabee and Cruz Rush to Meet Kim Davis
Sep09 Clinton Apologizes for Using a Private Email Server
Sep07 Ranking of the Republican Candidates
Sep07 Clinton Going South
Sep05 Republicans Are Quietly Plotting to Get Rid of Trump
Sep05 Kasich Is Running as a Politician
Sep05 Insiders Think Biden Will Not Run
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