News from the Votemaster
A new CBS tracking poll shows Donald Trump in first place in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The top five Republican candidates in each of these states are as follows.
It can't be emphasized enough that this is how things would go if the caucuses and primaries were last week. But they are not. They are in February 2016. Candidates will drop out between now and then, there will be more debates, and although we know about the known unknowns, we don't know about the unknown unknowns.
The CBS poll also looked at the Democratic race in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads in the first two but trails badly in South Carolina. This could be Hillary Clinton's firewall.
Same caveat as above. It ain't over until the fat lady sings and she hasn't even fired up the Uber app to get a ride to the theater.
An August Gallup poll found that Hillary Clinton's popularity with blacks was 80% while that of Bernie Sanders was 23%. This is reflected in the South Carolina poll above, a state where 55% of the Democratic electorate is black. New York Times columnist Charles Blow (who is black) wrote a column about Sanders pointing this out. Sanders has spoken at a number of historically black colleges, mostly about inequality and other economic issues that affect blacks strongly, but he gets relatively little attention for it. Nevertheless, he will keep trying as winning minorities is the key for him to become a real threat to Hillary Clinton.
This year the calendar works in Clinton's favor. If Sanders wins Iowa, which the CBS poll says he will, there will be a lot of suspense leading up to the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, just as there was in 2008 after Barack Obama beat Clinton in Iowa. In 2008, the average of 22 post-Iowa New Hampshire polls on election morning showed that Obama was going to crush Clinton in New Hampshire. We wrote: "Barring something very unexpected, Barack Obama is heading towards a huge win ..." So did everybody else. Oops. She won. Nearly every poll was wrong. This time that probably won't happen to Sanders because he is a favorite neighbor from Vermont.
If Sanders wins Iowa and New Hampshire, count on seeing these headlines from Feb. 10 to Feb. 19.:
- Can Sanders Be Stopped?
- Is Hillary's goose cooked
- President Sanders?
- Sorry establishment, it's Sanders vs. Trump
- Hillary Clinton's historic collapse
- Nice try Hill but Bill was smarter: he doesn't use email at all
Then the calendar cuts in. On Feb. 20, the Democrats caucus in Nevada (and the Republicans have a primary in South Carolina). Clinton might well win Nevada due to her popularity with Latinos. Now the suspense builds. A week later, on Saturday, Feb. 27 the Democratic primary in South Carolina will be held, and by all indications Clinton will win it. At that point the score is 2-2. Three days later is Super Tuesday, when 7 or 8 Southern states, all with large black populations vote. Clinton could easily sweep them all (although Sanders could win Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont that day). At that point Clinton would have more states and more delegates and would be the favorite. Of course, this could be all wet, but at the moment, it seems the most likely scenario (absent Biden).
A new WaPo/ABC News poll has Hillary Clinton at 46% and Donald Trump at 43% nationally. Don't you believe it. That might be the case right now, but it won't be in 6 months or a year. Clinton has been in the public eye for over 20 years and her every misstep has been thoroughly aired in the news. Her email server is the most famous email server in the history of the world, even more famous than all of Google's thousands of email servers combined. It is unlikely she has many more skeletons nestled among the pantsuits in her closet.
In contrast, Trump has never really been vetted in public and should he somehow miraculously win (or threaten to win) the Republican nomination, all his dirty laundry will be displayed in public in great detail. He has been divorced twice. Might his ex wives be willing to say a few things about him on camera? He has gone bankrupt four times. Might the people whose loans he defaulted on have something to say about his business practices? He owns casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. By any chance has he done business with the Mafia, which runs the place? He has hired nonunion workers on construction projects in very-union New York City. Why was he never picketed? He doesn't seem to like women much. How's that going to play out with female voters if he finds himself running against one?
No doubt both the Democratic and Republican oppo research teams are starting to sniff around and there most likely are quite a few items that Trump would prefer to keep hidden.
If you want to start your own oppo research project on him, here is a excellent place to start. The Republicans will probably go first since they want him out of their primary. The Democrats will just quietly collect material in the event he somehow becomes the GOP nominee.
While Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both insurgents and have a number of things in common, they also differ in some key ways. Nate Silver wrote a nice piece discussing some of the differences. Very briefly, they are:
- Trump is leading his party nationally; Sanders is not
- Sanders is campaigning on policy; Trump is running on his personality
- Sanders is a career politician with 25 years in Congress; Trump has never run for office before
- Trump gets far more media attention than Sanders
- Sanders is de facto a generic liberal Democrat; Trump is all over the map
- Sanders supporters are easy to define: white liberals; Trump's supporters come from many demographics
- Sanders is like Gene McCarthy, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley, Howard Dean and others; Trump is unique
- Sanders has one opponent; Trump has about half a dozen serious opponents
- The Democrats would grudgingly accept Sanders as their nominee; The GOP will never accept Trump
Exhibit "A" of why the Republican establishment will never support Trump is his comment yesterday that the high salaries paid to CEOs were a "joke" and a "disgrace." No, that is not a typo. Trump said that, not Sanders (well, maybe Sanders said it as well, but not on Face the Nation yesterday). If Sanders won the presidency, he would try to carry out the Democrats' platform. If Trump won the White House he would do things the Republicans hate. This is why Trump is much less acceptable to the Republicans than Sanders is to the Democrats.
In the wake of his son's death from brain cancer, Vice President Biden still hasn't made up his mind whether to run for President or not. Neither have his Democratic colleagues in Congress. Some Clinton backers want him in to enliven the race and give the Democrats equal time with The Donald Trump Show. The Biden fans see him as fairly close to Bernie Sanders ideologically, but much more electable. Others think he might not be emotionally ready for the race or simply that at his age (he'll be 73 in November) he's too old. For the record, Hillary Clinton will be 68 in October, Bernie Sanders was 74 last week, Donald Trump was 69 in June, and Jeb Bush was 62 in February.Email a link to a friend or share:
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