November 17, 2015

BREAKING: Bobby Jindal Drops Out of GOP Race

  6:15 pm

Bobby Jindal announced on Fox News tonight that he is suspending his campaign for president, becoming the third major GOP candidate to do so:

“I’ve come here to announce that I am suspending my campaign for the president of the United States,” he told Fox News’ Brett Baier. “The reality is this isn’t my time,” he said.

Now we’re down to the Final Fourteen…

UPDATE: According to the most recent Iowa poll (PPP – I know…), here’s where Jindal supporters land with him out of the race:

  • Huckabee – 23%
  • Rubio – 12%
  • Fiorina – 8%
  • Paul – 8%
  • Carson – 6%
  • Bush – 5%
  • Cruz – 5%
  • Trump – 3%

Of course, Jindal only scored 6% in that poll, so Huckabee and Rubio get about a 1% bump and the rest is negligible.


November 16, 2015

Rumor Mill: Steve King (R-IA) to Give His Endorsement Monday Morning

  1:48 am

Representative Steve King of Iowa, one of the big “gets” as far as endorsements on the “very conservative” end of the spectrum, has announced a press conference for 9:30 am central time on Monday morning. Rumors are swirling that he will be endorsing Ted Cruz – a major boost to Cruz’s campaign. It would come as no surprise: Cruz and King are friends, and King’s son works for one of Cruz’s Super PACs.

Of course, how much Rep. King’s endorsement really matters remains to be seen – he endorsed Fred Thompson in 2008. (In 2012 he remained neutral.)

Other campaign staffers are spreading the rumors that King will actually be endorsing Donald Trump or Rick Santorum. Some are even floating Bobby Jindal as a possibility. One thing’s for sure: it will be one of the candidates focused on running in that “lane” of the GOP primary.

None of the candidates had any plans to be anywhere in the state of Iowa for King’s press conference as of late Sunday evening, so it appears King will be making the endorsement without the endorsee present.

Finally, new rumors began igniting late Sunday night when Ben Carson’s campaign gave notice of a hastily assembled press conference of his own in Nevada, where he is campaigning, for Monday morning… Could King be endorsing Carson? That would be a huge upset for the doctor. Or does Carson have other news he abruptly needs to share with the American people?


October 23, 2015


  12:06 pm

1. Marco Rubio  U.S. Senator from Florida

Sen. Rubio continues to be the most likely nominee for the GOP in 2016. After another impressive debate performance and good management of his resources by his team, Rubio is primed to take advantage of the collapsing Jeb Bush and the unserious Donald Trump.  The prediction markets have moved heavily in favor of the Florida senator, with a steady uptick in the polls and continued stellar favorability ratings. Rubio continues to be the most broadly acceptable candidate among the varied factions of the party, with the smallest number of voters saying they couldn’t support him, while Trump and Bush have the largest number. He is also now seen as a more plausible general election candidate then the gaffe-machine that Jeb Bush has become. Two debates in two weeks with Rubio near center stage play to his significant advantages and will propel his momentum into the winter months.

2. Ted Cruz  U.S. Senator from Texas

Cruz has positioned himself perfectly among the base of the GOP, strategically out-manuvering key rivals like Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.  He’s become a leading candidate among white evangelicals and has crafted a potentially brilliant southern strategy that could move him to the top of the pack by Super Tuesday. Cruz’s major problems remain his inability to curry any favor or support from any establishment forces.  In fact, he has burned more bridges to the wider swath of the party that it could prove decisive in keeping him from the nomination. His likability and favorability also trail significantly behind the more charismatic Rubio.

3. Donald Trump  Chairman and President of The Trump Organization 

Trump’s unserious campaign plods along, spending more money on hats than organization, and taking no serious attempts to build a national fundraising operation. As the only campaign to not purchase a voter file, nor use the free RNC voter database, it becomes harder to see how Trump’s campaign will turnout, register, or reach the new people he has attracted through earned media saturation. With his lead in Iowa gone, one of Trump’s only talking points is now slipping. His attacks on Sen. Rubio have also appear to have backfired, with Rubio steadily rising and will now be center stage with Trump, forcing the elderly real estate magnate into direct confrontation with the best communicator in the field.

4. Ben Carson  former Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 

Dr. Carson has become the most favorably viewed candidate in the field and the top fundraiser in the third quarter, with a massive number of small donor contributions. With a strong personal story and bond with religious voters, the affable doctor has won voters over as the kindhearted outsider, as opposed to the bombastic, xenophobic Trump sideshow. Now leading in Iowa, Carson will now have to deal with increased scrutiny, as well as a barrage of incoherent rants and tweets from Mr. Trump.

5. Jeb Bush  former Governor of Florida

Things have gone from bad to worse for the former frontrunner. Bush’s “shock and awe” fundraising operation has turned out to be just average, leaving the governor in the middle of the pack, behind Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz. His cash-on-hand advantage in non-existant, and his team had to slash salaries, fire staff, and cut their operation to refocus on their fading New Hampshire hopes.  Bush’s last weapon has been the Super PAC cash haul he amassed early in the campaign. But after the first wave of ads, Bush’s numbers have actually dropped, and his unfavorable numbers have reached new highs.  He has been demoted from center stage in the debates, an indignity that reflects the trajectory of his campaign.  He has been replaced on stage, in polls, and in the prediction markets by Sen. Marco Rubio.  Now stories are beginning to trickle out, including ones from Bush supporters claiming he can no longer win, but must rely on others to lose.  If he is unable to outperform Rubio in the next two debates, the calls for him to step aside for the good of the party will grow louder.

6. Carly Fiorina  former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

After scoring a big victory in the second debate and damaging Donald Trump with female voters, Ms. Fiorina has been unable to capitalize on her moment.  The media’s pro-Planned Parenthood attacks on Fiorina withered her post-debate bounce, and the former businesswoman has been unable to sustain earned media.

7. John Kasich  Governor of Ohio

Kasich’s small surge in New Hampshire is long gone, coinciding with the Ohio governor’s Super PAC spending drying up. Kasich has shifted staff from Ohio to New Hampshire, making the state his must-win. However, Kasich’s campaign cash has quickly dried up and he risks fading from contention if things don’t change fast.

8. Chris Christie  Governor of New Jersey

The New Jersey governor was on the brink prior to the last debate, but is enjoying a slight resurrection, complete with the return of his 2012 Iowa backers and a small bump in New Hampshire and in national polls. Still, the governor is running low on funds and is still at risk of missing future debates.

9. Bobby Jindal  Governor of Louisiana

Jindal continues to hang on despite dwindling resources and no main stage debate performances.  He’s gone with an all-in Iowa strategy that has him registering more support than the past two Iowa winners, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. An Iowa upset is his only hope, if he doesn’t run out of money first.

10. Rand Paul  U.S. Senator from Kentucky

Paul’s fundraising and poll numbers have tanked, leading to increased pressure that he abandon his presidential campaign and focus on his senate reelection, which is looking increasingly competitive.

Drop Out Watch:  Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore


September 25, 2015

Why I’m Still Undecided

  6:00 am

As I’ve made clear as I have talked about the debates before, I am one of your few vocally undecided front page posters here at Race42016. But, why am I undecided? We have a seemingly nice field of candidates. Many who are polished and refined with some great experience. Yea, we also have Trump, but he’s the anomaly, not the norm. Well, I’ll tell you why I’m undecided – it’s all about specific concerns which I’ll go through.

No Executive Experience – We have a number of United States Senators in the race. That’s fine, the more the merrier – to a certain degree. That said, what experience does Marco Rubio have actually serving as an executive in any capacity? Or Rand Paul? Or Ted Cruz? Or Rick Santorum? Or Lindsey Graham? Their skill set would make them fine Vice Presidential candidates, even cabinet members, but for President? I would prefer a nominee with executive experience. Does that mean I’d vote against them in the general? No, but it makes me wary to jump onto a bandwagon for a candidate who has never served in an executive capacity – either in business or in a governing role.

No Political Experience – Trump, Carson, and Fiorina have one major thing in common – none of them have served in public office before. The last President who went from private citizen to President was Eisenhower. It was different, though, with Eisenhower as Eisenhower had vast military experience which directly correlated to the position of Commander in Chief. He also had experience in the Federal Government as the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as serving as the overseeing Governor of American occupied Germany immediately after World War II. Carson has absolutely no experience relevant to the position of President. Fiorina and Trump at least are businesspersons who have experience serving as executives, but running a business and running the nation are not exactly the same. Also, their lack of political experience means they will make mistakes on the campaign trail most rookies make which could turn tragic against the Clinton machine in the general. Would I vote against them in the general? Apart from Trump, no, but again – it will make it more difficult for them.

Not Fiscally Conservative Enough – Let’s be real about John Kasich, George Pataki, and Mike Huckabee – their governing experiences in their respective states are not fiscally conservative. They are centrists at best, and at times center left when you look at their full records in office. Increased government spending, taxes, fees – that’s what you saw in their respective states. And Kasich’s continued defense of embracing Obamacare in Ohio should be disqualifying enough for any Republican voter, in my opinion. Christie has a…mixed history on the state level including some expansion and some cutting, making him in the mushy middle. And while Jeb was mostly great on the state level, his stances lately on federal issues and some of the decisions he made toward the end of his tenure in Florida are enough to give me pause. This doesn’t even begin to mention Trump’s vast history of proposing increasing the size and scope of government (socialized healthcare, increased taxes) and his personal abuse of eminent domain. Again, in the general it becomes a different beast entirely and I’ll most likely come back to support the nominee; but when I review their views now, I have concerns.

Not Socially Conservative Enough – I will not vote for a pro-choice candidate. Period. That eliminates George Pataki, but the fact that I lived in New York during all 12 years of Pataki’s reign and his center-left fiscal record were enough to disqualify him already. Kasich likes to talk about having a “truce” on social issues and is unwilling to fight the good fight federally on Planned Parenthood, only coming reluctantly on the state level after it became a major campaign issue. Paul rarely talks social issues, to my disappointment. I want someone ready to fight, especially for the right to life. Being able to talk on this issue and being firmly pro-life is a must for me. I will not vote for a pro-choice Republican who I can’t trust to appoint justice to SCOTUS who are ready to fight against Roe vs Wade. This, again, doesn’t begin to mention Trump who has been on all sides of the issue of life, still stands behind the “good” Planned Parenthood can do, and has a history of supporting restrictions on gun rights. A pro-choice nominee is one I won’t vote for unless I can be adequately convinced we’ll get pro-life judges on SCOTUS. I have yet to meet a pro-choice candidate capable of doing that, Giuliani came the closest in 2008.

I Despise the Fair Tax – Between the fact that the government can vote to give people more money through the poorly thought out prebate to the fact that a national sales tax will get abuses to no end, I despise the Fair Tax. This alone, for me, disqualifies Huckabee. I can’t vote for someone who supports the Fair Tax for President.

Foreign Policy Disagreements – I do not trust Rand Paul on foreign policy. There, I said it. I disagree with his seemingly naive view that we can withdraw inward. In the second debate he sounded more pragmatic, but in terms of national security – he concerns me. Bush and Kasich seem to have unrealistic expectations out of what Iran will do. And Fiorina sounds bold and capable, but are her plans she proposed in the debate realistic or too big? Carson – he just isn’t well versed enough in foreign policy to give answers and we don’t need a President who’s still training on the issues; we need them ready and having a plan in place for Day 1.

Now, I get – there are no perfect candidates. If I wanted a perfect candidate who I agree with 100%, I should run myself. I don’t and being I’m 32, I’m not qualified to be President. That said, these are my personal concerns. It’s okay to have concerns. And from them taken together I’m unsure about who I’ll vote for in the primary. Gun to my head? No idea. Still. There are things I love about each of the candidates. I love Fiorina and Rubio’s ability to connect with voters on a personal level. I love the humility of Carson. I love the willingness to stand firm on personal liberty of Paul and Cruz, even at their own personal career’s expense. I love Rubio, Bush, Fiorina, and (oddly enough) Christie’s ability and willingness to boldly defend the unborn on life issues. I love fact that we’re discussing reforming the tax code from a conservative perspective. That said, their pluses so far have not outweighed my current concerns. I will wait as the campaign continues, watching the impressive field and see if any of them have great pluses as I see them campaign and debate which outweigh my concerns. Until that day, I remain on Team Undecided. Feel free to join me here. It’s not the worst place to be…


-Matthew Newman is an engineer and blogger who also writes at Old Line Elephant and Red Maryland. Follow Newman on Twitter @mdmrn.


September 23, 2015

Jindal Web Ad: From Winning to Whining

  3:35 pm

At this point, it certainly looks like Governor Jindal’s sole reason for remaining in the GOP race is to take out Donald Trump. He released this new web ad today, in which even Charlie Sheen, after being subjected to Trump’s whining, declares himself bored with the whole thing:

For someone who’s supposedly so tough and such a fighter, this latest line of attack – “he’s whiny” combined with “we’re bored” – might just be… what was the term? A linguistic kill shot?


September 17, 2015


  12:13 pm

1. Marco Rubio  U.S. Senator from Florida

Sen. Rubio holds the top spot in the rankings for his continued performance and potential, outshining his main rivals among the establishment. Rubio’s steady campaign has remained under the radar and disciplined while his main rivals, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, have seen their favorability and electability numbers tank. The addition of Lanhee Chen to the senator’s foreign policy team is just the latest indication that the major influence leaders in the party are shifting towards Rubio. His favorability, debate performances, fundraising, and organization combine to make Rubio the best and most complete package the establishment could ask for.

2. Donald Trump  Chairman and President of The Trump Organization 

Trump’s campaign appears to have hit a ceiling this month, struggling to find more low-information voters to add to his carnival show. Trump stumbled badly when confronted on Foreign Policy 101 by radio host Hugh Hewitt, and added to his image as a misogynist with a misguided attack on Carly Fiorina’s looks. Trump’s bad month culminated in a humiliating defeat in the second GOP debate, where his  incoherent policy ideas and childish personal attacks left him the clear loser with nowhere to go but down.

3. Jeb Bush  former Governor of Florida

Gov. Bush slips further in the rankings, held up only by the strength of his financial advantage. Bush got the worse of a number of ill-advised exchanges with Trump, seeing his favorability and electability numbers crash. Rumors of the establishment abandoning Bush for a new candidate continue to grow, with even calls to draft former Gov. Mitt Romney once again rising among the donor class. Bush failed to reassure his supporters with another halting, awkward debate performance, though he handled himself better than in his first debate loss. Still, Bush continues to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, an establishment scion running in the most anti-establishment climate in a generation.

4. Ted Cruz  U.S. Senator from Texas

Like Rubio, Cruz continues to move methodically, aiming to be the last conservative alternative standing. He’s built strong ties with evangelical and Tea Party leaders and could be the candidate who benefits the most from Donald Trump’s continued humiliation. His anti-Washington crusade has been strong in both the debates and on the stump, and the longer he flies under the radar, the more likely he is to be one of the last candidates standing.

5. Carly Fiorina  former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

After dominating the first “Kid’s Table” debate, Fiorina went on to dominate the second main debate. With a better grasp of the issues than fellow outsiders Ben Carson and Donald Trump, and a more polished style, the former CEO will continue to rise, and will likely end up in the first tier by the time of the next debate.

6. John Kasich  Governor of Ohio

Kasich’s small surge in New Hampshire has cooled off some as other candidates have begun going up on the air. The Ohio governor has added more establishment endorsements, continuing to chip away at Jeb Bush’s only strength. However, Gov. Kasich had a bad night in the second debate, and his answers on Iran will likely come back to hurt him throughout the primaries.

7. Ben Carson  former Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 

Dr. Carson’s personable style has quietly earned him a large following on the right, but his weakness on foreign affairs will continue to weigh him down and leave him unable to capitalize on his surprising poll strength. His apology to Donald Trump after their brief exchange over religion doesn’t help his case as a strong leader.

8. Scott Walker  Governor of Wisconsin

Walker’s slide turned into a nose-dive this month, with his flip-flopping and uneven performances continuing to dog him. He is fast becoming 2016’s Rick Perry; a good-on-paper conservative governor who flopped on the national stage.

9. Chris Christie  Governor of New Jersey

The New Jersey governor is on the brink of falling out of the main stage debates, and he has launched a national advertising push in order to stave off elimination. His strong debate performance will likely give him a lifeline as will the continued implosion of Jeb Bush’s candidacy.

10. Rand Paul  U.S. Senator from Kentucky

Paul has fast become an asterisk in the race, and could very well be bumped to the “Kid’s Table” debate next month. His confrontations with Trump have done nothing to move his numbers, and his fundraising has all but dried up. He may follow Perry out of the race rather than being relegated to the lower tier.

Drop Out Watch:  Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore


September 16, 2015

Kid’s Table Debate Open Thread

  5:00 pm

The CNN Kid’s Table Debate begins at 6:00 pm eastern this evening. On the stage will be Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki — an all-star lineup if ever there was one. This is the place for all your thoughts, discussion, and analysis regarding the event and the candidates who are trying desperately to convince Americans they still matter.


September 10, 2015

Bobby Jindal Directly Takes on Donald Trump

  11:53 am

Bobby Jindal is going nowhere. He has very little cash, very little support, and no clear path to victory in the GOP primary. So today, he decided launch a full assault on Donald Trump and excoriate him at the National Press Club — and it was pretty great. Here are some snippets (and here is the link to read/watch the whole thing):

“The idea of the Donald Trump act is great. The reality of Donald Trump, however, is absurd. He’s a carnival act.”

“He has told us over and over that he has no problem with big, top-down style government. The only problem he has with D.C. today is he’s not the one running it.”

“Like all narcissists, Donald Trump is insecure and weak. That’s why he tells us all the time how big and strong and wealthy he is. Only a weak and small person needs to continue telling us how powerful they are.”

“You may have recently seen that Donald Trump said the Bible was his favorite book, yet when asked, he couldn’t even name a single Bible verse that was important to him. It’s clear Donald Trump has never read the Bible – and the reason he’s never read the Bible is he isn’t in it.”

“The Democrats have gift-wrapped this election for us, and we are flirting with nominating a non-serious, unstable, substance free narcissist… We can win right now, or we can be the biggest fools of all time and put our faith not in our principles, but in an egomaniacal madman who has no principles.”

“Making America great again starts with firing Donald Trump.”

Bobby Jindal will more than likely be out of the race soon, but he’s trying his best to bring down Donald Trump on his way out. For that, the GOP owes him their gratitude and respect.


August 19, 2015


  12:53 pm

1. Marco Rubio  U.S. Senator from Florida

Sen. Rubio at number one? How? Trump is leading! Breitbart News says Trump is the frontrunner! Well, August horse race polls are not the best indicator of how the race shakes out, as President Giuliani should remind you. Favorability and overall acceptability combined with organization and fundraising are better indicators of long term success. With Bush and Walker stumbling, Marco Rubio stands to benefit the most. Rubio was considered by many to be the big winner in the first debate, and he is trending up across the early states, leading Bush in both Iowa and Nevada. With the other establishment candidates faltering, the likable and charismatic Rubio is gaining, with a surge in fundraising added to his leading campaign haul. Soon, the establishment will need to decide to double down on the increasingly unfavorable Jeb Bush or, as the Democrats did in 2008, move their support to the young rising star.

2. Jeb Bush  former Governor of Florida

Gov. Bush slips from the top spot after a month of dreadful news for the dynastic presidential hopeful. Despite early leads in fundraising and organization, Bush’s numbers have continued to slide, partly due to the rise of Donald Trump, but also due to the lingering concern of a third Bush candidacy. The upward trends of Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich leave Bush with little room for error, as he trails Rubio in Iowa and is staring down a Kasich surge in the Bush firewall of New Hampshire. With his unfavorable numbers topping both Trump’s and Clinton’s, Bush’s argument of electability is now largely without merit. His Right to Rise super PAC is now hoping a massive media blitz will help stop the bleeding.

3. John Kasich  Governor of Ohio

Kasich’s late start hasn’t stopped him from making big inroads in New Hampshire, a state his campaign has focused heavily on. Kasich added the support of Tom Rath, who joined former Sen. Sununu in backing the Ohio governor, in a direct blow to Jeb Bush’s New Hampshire effort. Rath and the Sununu family have long standing ties to the Bush family, and this could be an indicator of more defections to come. Kasich also received the endorsement of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a longtime Mike Huckabee supporter who has clearly sensed that the tanking former Arkansas governor is finished.

4. Donald Trump  Chairman and President of The Trump Organization 

Xenophobic billionaire and prominent Democratic donor Donald Trump continues to lead with a small plurality in the fractured GOP field. Despite any conservative credentials, gravitas, or substance, Trump has proven resilient due to his bombast and star power combined with a saturation of press coverage from Democratic allies in the media. Still, the Planned Parenthood supporter has awful favorable/unfavorable numbers and still lacks a professional campaign organization. Also, unlike other wealthy self-funded candidates like Perot, Forbes, or Bloomberg, Trump has not yet committed substantial money to his campaign.

5. Ted Cruz  U.S. Senator from Texas

Cruz continues to be steady as he goes. With Trump filling the role of blowhard, Cruz seems almost substantive by comparison. He has stayed out of the fray, performed well in the first debate, and has watched as the numbers of his top social conservative opposition (Huckabee, Jindal, Perry, Walker) tank. As it stands, Cruz will benefit the most from the inevitable end of Trump and the fall of others such as Perry and Huckabee.

6. Scott Walker  Governor of Wisconsin

Walker was damaged the most in the first debate, with his numbers in free fall ever since. It seems that the Pawlenty comparisons he tried to shake have proven resilient. To make matters worse, Walker has flip-flopped on a number of issues in a desperate bid to chase headlines with Donald Trump. His trends don’t look good.

7. Ben Carson  former Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 

Dr. Carson benefitted the most from the first debate, seeing a surge into to second place in multiple polls behind only Donald Trump. The former surgeon also has very high favorable numbers across the party spectrum, and has raised enough money to be a credible candidate. However, his organization has thus far been underwhelming, and his grasp of foreign policy is still a glaring weakness going forward.

8. Carly Fiorina  former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

The clear winner of the “kid’s table” debate, Fiorina has used her debating talents and media savvy to launch herself into the top ten and will likely make the main debate next month. Her consistent and substantive attacks on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton have earned her a devoted fan following, but her lack of funding will keep her from the top tier.

9. Rand Paul  U.S. Senator from Kentucky

Paul’s numbers have tanked in Iowa, New Hampshire, and nationally. He, along with Scott Walker, seem to have taken the most damage from the first debate. Things have gotten so bad that Rand has now trotted out Ron Paul on the trail in a desperate final bid for attention.

10. Chris Christie  Governor of New Jersey

The New Jersey governor has slipped out of the top ten nationally and is in danger of missing the next debate. To add insult to injury, his friend John Kasich has stolen the role of “straight talking governor” in New Hampshire. Christie is going for one final media push, but rumors are swirling that his campaign could end soon.

Drop Out Watch:  Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore


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