January 29, 2015

Poll Watch: Fox Has Mitt On Top

Fox News released their latest poll.

The horse race (394 Republicans):

  • Mitt Romney 21%
  • Mike Huckabee 11%
  • Rand Paul 11%
  • Jeb Bush 10%
  • Ben Carson 9%
  • Scott Walker 8%
  • Marco Rubio 5%
  • Chris Christie 4%
  • Ted Cruz 4%
  • Rick Perry 4%
  • Bobby Jindal 2%
  • John Kasich 1%
  • Rick Santorum 1%
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • Don’t Know 5%
  • None 4%
  • Other 1%

The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers January 25-27, 2015 among a random national sample of 1,009 registered voters (RV). Results based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Head to head versus (Hillary)

  • Romney 46 / (46)
  • Paul 44 / (47)
  • Bush 43 / ( 48)
  • Christie 42 / (48)

 

January 27, 2015

Charlie Cook’s Brackets

Since we had some fun yesterday with placing our bets in Vegas, let’s try doing brackets today. Charlie Cook, in the National Journal, divided the Republican field into four groups – the Establishment, Conservative Governors, the Tea Party, and Social Conservatives.

As always, things aren’t this simple — there are Governors in all four groups, for example – but still, it’s an interesting and different way to look at the field. It will probably help clarify things if you read Cook’s article (it’s short) to see how he defined each bracket.

I’ve created a graphic to help in visualizing the brackets (sorry that some of the lines/boxes are not quite lined up, this was my first time using this software).

Bracket

If you don’t agree with the bracket your guy/gal is in, complain to Charlie. I used his categories, with two exceptions – Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson. Cook said he didn’t know where to categorize them, and I can see why. I early on would have said Jindal belonged very much in the Conservative Gov group, but his recent speech in Iowa indicated (to me, at least) that he’s going more for the SoCon vote, so I put him there. Carson could easily go into either the Tea Party or SoCon brackets, but I somewhat arbitrarily put him into the SoCons – he evens out the numbers there, and I figure he’s not a factor anyway.

Cook seems to have included everybody who has made any noise at all about running (except George Pataki and, as noted below, Marco Rubio*), so there are a lot more people here than I hope we ever see on a debate stage, but I guess that will do no harm for this exercise – just ignore those you think will not run, or will not be a factor if they do.

Today’s assignment, class, is to choose the likely winner (please – not just your favorite!) for each bracket. Herewith mine:

Establishment: Carly Fiorina apparently did quite well in Iowa, but I can’t see her as more than (maybe) a VP possibility. Chris Christie I’ll eliminate on the basis of his unfavorables problem detailed a few posts below. I think Mitt Romney’s staleness and stiffness is less of a handicap than Jeb Bush’s name and contempt for conservatives. Marco Rubio (see footnote) could be the darkhorse winner here, if Bush doesn’t freeze him out of money and staff. Still, I’ll cautiously go with … Winner: Mitt Romney.

Conservative Governors: There might very well be a Midwest Regional already going on as a preliminary round in this bracket. If so, Scott Walker may have frozen out Rick Snyder (who I never thought was running anyway), John Kasich, and Mike Pence. The latter two could be making preparatory moves behind the scenes for all we know, but Walker looks to be way out front of them at this point. I think it comes down to Walker and too-much-baggage Rick Perry. Winner: Scott Walker.

Tea Party: This is the most heterodox bracket, which is perhaps fitting, since the Tea Party is a heterodox movement. I think Cook was fair in assembling this group and saying it is for people who are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. I’ll also note that in most tournaments there are tough and easy brackets, and this is the easy bracket in this one. Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump are probably not going to run, and if they do, they’re going nowhere. Ted Cruz will shoot himself in the foot at some point. Winner: Rand Paul.

Social Conservatives: Rick Santorum is already showing his weakness with Mike Huckabee as an alternative. He may be forced to withdraw early, if not I expect him to be eliminated in Iowa. Ben Carson, as I wrote earlier, is unlikely to be a factor. Jindal v. Huckabee could be interesting – Jindal, I think has the ability to draw votes from other brackets, but Huckabee has his vaunted charm and deep, deep SoCon roots. A close call, but … Winner: Mike Huckabee.

 

* I didn’t notice Rubio’s omission until after I had created the brackets. So please visualize his name among the Establishment bracket, where I think he fits most easily.

Christie is in Serious Trouble

Harry Enten published the following chart on Five Thirty-eight blog:

enten-datalab-christiescatter

Note the close correlation between name recognition and net favorability? It is practically a straight line graph.

But notice how far below the line Chris Christie is. The article goes on to say (emphasis added):

Christie is 25 percentage points off the pace. … Given his high name recognition, you would expect him to have a net favorable rating of +45 percentage points.

Christie’s net favorable rating is more than two standard deviations below what we’d expect from a candidate like him.

Certainly the race has barely began, and you never know what might happen, but it is obvious that Governor Christie has a very long, steep hill to climb if he hopes to win the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Let’s hope for his sake that none of his big money backers read Five Thirty-eight blog.

January 26, 2015

Another Shoe Drops for Christie

Chris Christie has formed his leadership PAC, “Leadership Matters for America”. NBC News reports:

Christie filed paperwork late Friday with the FEC to form the “Leadership Matters for America” political action committee. Christie is staffing up and plans several political trips in February. Christie aides say the Governor has not made a final decision about a White House run at this time.

“There is a vehicle now for donors to get involved,” an aide said.

This PAC isn’t the same as a presidential campaign committee, but it would allow Christie to raise funds, travel the country and support other candidates. Aides say this “gives a more formal structure” to his political operation and his major donors. Christie’s Iowa trip this weekend to speak at the Freedom Summit fell under this new PAC.

by @ 9:24 am. Filed under Chris Christie

January 24, 2015

Zogby Poll: GOP Presidential Race

A number of people have linked to this poll in the comments, so I thought I would go ahead and give it its own thread.

This is a Zogby poll, which is not exactly considered the gold standard of polls. To begin with, it is an on-line poll. That means it is not a random sample. The people participating signed themselves up to do so. Second, it attempts to take a snapshot of the entire nation using a sample of only 223 likely Republican primary voters — a very small number four or five times smaller than any reputable polling firm uses. As it is, they claim a MOE of 6.6% which means Rand Paul could be in first place for all we know.

Anyway, here it is:

  • Romney 16%
  • Bush 13%
  • Rubio 13%
  • Christie 11%
  • Huckabee 9%
  • Walker 6%
  • Jindahl (sic) 4%
  • Paul 3%
  • Perry 3%
  • Cruz 3%
  • Haley 0%
  • Portman 0%
  • Martinez 0%
  • Santorum 0%

As I said, it’s Zogby, so take it with a grain of salt. About the only thing that can be said is once again Romney’s in first place, Bush is in second, and Santorum is at or near dead last.

January 23, 2015

Poll Watch: Rest of Rasmussen’s National GOP Presidential Poll

Rasmussen released partial results yesterday for their latest 2016 GOP Presidential Poll. Here are the rest of the results:

Horse Race Fav Unfav Never Heard Not Sure Support Certain Support Uncertain
Romney 24 77 20 1 2 31 27
Bush 13 64 28 3 5 20 14
Carson 12 51 16 26 7 21 11
Walker 11 52 17 23 8 9 15
Christie 7 53 36 6 5 6 6
Paul 7 57 27 7 9 5 10
Perry 5 54 29 10 7 3 7
Rubio 5 58 22 11 8 21 11
Other 4
Not Sure 12

How Certain are you of your vote:

  • Certain: 30%
  • Uncertain: 70%

Some observations:

  • Mitt Romney is currently enjoying a double digit lead over his closest competitor
  • Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Scott Walker are battling it out for second place.
  • Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio are down in the noise.
  • With a 30/70 ratio of vote certainty, nobody has this race sewn up.

 

Christie Moves to Save Atlantic City

NJ.com reports:

ATLANTIC CITY — Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he’s signed an executive order to install an emergency management team in Atlantic City to help dig financially strapped gambling resort out of “an enormous hole.”

Christie tapped Kevin Lavin, a corporate finance attorney who specializes in helping troubled companies, to overhaul the daily operations and finances of the city, which has seen four casinos close and more than 8,000 people lose their jobs over the last year.

The Republican governor also named Kevyn Orr, a former corporate bankruptcy lawyer who led Detroit through the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history last year, as a special counsel to Lavin.

“I can’t wait any longer,” Christie said while making the announcement at the third summit he has held in Atlantic City with casino executives, business leaders, union leaders, and state and local officials to search for ways to revive the city. “We need more aggressive action. It’s time to confront the dire circumstances with which we are confronted.”

The move comes as Christie considers whether to launch a bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for president and could have implications for his campaign.

They also had this to say in a separate story:

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of an emergency manager to oversee Atlantic City gives the appearance of a take-charge leader doing everything he can to help a desperate city.

“When you have a leader that takes action, that’s what people want,” said Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson. “They want action. And he gave them action. There’s no more pussyfooting around. This is what we’re going to do. And we’re going to bring in people who understand what to do.”

But the move also underscores a big risk to Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects: That he could be selling his management skills to the country while an iconic American city spirals out of control under his watch, with thousands of jobs lost and hulking empty towers left behind as city residents complain of skyrocketing property tax bills.

Yes, there is certainly a great deal of risk here for Christie. If he should fail, it could easily mean the end of any hope he might have of winning the Presidency. But if his efforts succeed, it will give him a lot of cred for being a problem-fixer. Considering the mess that Obama will be leaving his successor, that can only be a plus.

by @ 10:36 am. Filed under Chris Christie

January 22, 2015

Poll Watch: NH1 New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary

A new poll came out yesterday on the 2016 Republican presidential primary for New Hampshire. The polling firm is NH1 News. They polled 827 New Hampshire voters likely to vote in the 2016 GOP primary.  It was conducted Wednesday, January 21, 2015, by an automated dialing system with a MOE of 3.4%.

  • Mitt Romney 29%
  • Jeb Bush 11%
  • Scott Walker 8%
  • Chris Christie 8%
  • Rand Paul 7%
  • Ben Carson 7%
  • Mike Huckabee 5%
  • Ted Cruz 4%
  • Marco Rubio 3%
  • Someone Else 18%

Once more we see where Mitt Romney easily leads all the rest of the field. Of the rest of the field, Jeb Bush is the only one in double figures, and he’s barely there.

There is a huge logjam at 8-7%. The four candidates Walker, Christie, Paul, and Carson are all jumbled together practically on top of one other. Bush is only manages to separate himself from this group by a mere three ppts.

 

POWER RANKINGS: January *UPDATED*

1. Mitt Romney  former Governor of Massachusetts
Third time’s the charm? That old cliche will be alive and well among the throngs of donors, activists, staffers, and volunteers who have been asking Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 standard bearer, to run again in 2016. After many denials, the former nominee has let it be known that he is seriously considering another bid. Romney’s name recognition, fundraising machine, political operation, and decade of recent campaign experience send him back to the top of the ladder. While Romney’s flaws are well known, and his 2012 failure is sure to be used against, he has cultivated much goodwill among GOP office holders and activists across the country. He is also primed for a major “I told you so” victory lap regarding many of President Obama’s second term failures. In the crowded 2016 lineup, a third Romney run is no more outlandish than a third Bush family campaign. As of now, it is the son of George Romney, not George Bush, in the best position to win.

2. Jeb Bush  former Governor of Florida
The scion of the Bush dynasty has all but declared his candidacy, launching a surprisingly early bid into the 2016 fray. Bush announced on Facebook that he would explore a bid for president, but the release of emails from his time as Governor of Florida and his resignation from many corporate boards signals he’s far past the exploratory phase and is already running. The early jump by Bush gives him both a head start on consolidating establishment support and puts pressure on his main establishment rivals, former nominee Mitt Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to get in sooner than he may have wanted. Still, family connections and money can only take Bush so far, and he will have to shake off the rust and prove himself a modern candidate if he is to prevail in 2016.

3. Rand Paul  U.S. Senator from Kentucky
The libertarian-leaning senator remains a top contender due to his his strong grassroots organization in Iowa and New Hampshire. Paul has successfully capitalized on his father’s prior campaigns to gain a foothold in the early states. Still, Paul’s unconventional positions, such as his isolationist foreign policy and his ideas for policing and social justice, put the senator out of step with the establishment he has tried hard to win over. Paul’s chances rest more on attracting a new coalition of younger, more diverse conservative voters than by winning over the GOP elite, who will have centrist heavyweights to rally around.

4. Scott Walker  Governor of Wisconsin
The governor of Wisconsin’s third election in four years in a state carried twice by President Obama and in the face of unprecedented liberal opposition has made him a party favorite. On paper, Walker could be a top contender and his battle-tested tenure has given him a huge donor base and the most diverse group of admirers in the field, from business leasers to grassroots activists. He could be positioned as the best compromise candidate, uniting both the Bush/Christie wing and the Cruz/Paul wing of the party.

5. Marco Rubio  U.S. Senator from Florida
Sen. Rubio was an early frontrunner for the 2016 nomination, but the combination of his troubles with immigration reform and the entry of Jeb Bush into the field have complicated the young senator’s path. Rubio’s team says they will not be pushed out of the race by Bush, but the competition for staff and donors in their shared Florida base will likely favor the former governor. Still, Rubio has proven in the past that he can cut an establishment favorite down to size and may be able to do it again. The son of Cuban immigrants is may be the most talented Republican communicator in the country, and should not be underestimated.

6. Chris Christie  Governor of New Jersey
With unexpected victories in the 2014 midterms tied to his tenure at the RGA, his own landslide reelection in a blue state, and the flop of the Democratic-led investigation into Bridgegate, Gov. Chris Christie is now ready to rally the national support and favors his accumulated these last several years. Once the unmistakeable establishment favorite, Christie’s 2014 hardships have opened the door for Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, and if both establishment heavyweights enter the field, Christie’s path will narrow dramatically. With top contenders and Democrat investigators both smelling blood, Christie will need to show a new level of resolve to regain his footing.

7. Mike Huckabee  former Governor of Arkansas
Gov. Huckabee is once again considering a presidential bid, and once again his strengths and weaknesses are clear. The author and former Fox News host retains positive favorable numbers and a deep connection to the party’s evangelical Christian wing while struggling with the donor class. Despite strong name recognition, Huckabee hasn’t been able to build a viable fundraising network outside of the evangelical grassroots. He will need a serious national effort to win over the party establishment if he is to overcome his 2008 pitfalls.

8. Ted Cruz  U.S. Senator from Texas
The Tea Party firebrand will be the favorite of many hardcore activists and religious conservatives. But Cruz has burned a lot of bridges with the establishment, and will likely struggle to build a significant national operation with both his senate colleagues and the business wing of the party working against him. With both Jeb Bush and Rick Perry likely to run, Cruz may also struggle to rally support in his own backyard. The conservative darling will need to rely on a strong grassroots effort, his network of evangelical leaders, and his debating and media savvy to break through against the support aligning against him.

9. Bobby Jindal  Governor of Louisiana
Bobby Jindal has been one of the more active potential candidates, leaving little doubt that the term-limited governor will launch a 2016 bid. Jindal’s campaign will be centered around his record as a conservative reformer with real achievements in education and tax policy. He has worked hard to win over the evangelical and activist base of the party without burning bridges to the establishment. The Louisiana governor will have to over come doubts about his stage presence and slipping numbers in his home state if he is to climb into the top tier.

10. Mike Pence  Governor of Indiana
The conservative governor of Indiana is a rare find in GOP politics; he is someone both well liked by the establishment and grassroots. The former congressman has a strong fiscal conservative record to match his staunch but friendly social conservatism. Pence is a gifted communicator with a background as a talk radio show host prior to entering politics. Despite a solid resume of experience, he will likely be criticized for a lack of accomplishments as a governor with a strong GOP majority in the legislature. Still, if the establishment and grassroots are looking for a compromise candidate, Pence could be their man.

Honorable Mention: Ben Carson, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina

No Chance: Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump

Dropped Out: Rob Portman, Paul Ryan

January 21, 2015

Christie Will Not Be Squeezed Out, Says Supporter

The Washington Times reports:

Republican donors say Chris Christie won’t be squeezed out of the Republican presidential race even if Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush dive in because there is plenty of money to go around among the three men viewed as the establishment’s candidates and the New Jersey governor has advantages the other two don’t have.

Some analysts are wondering whether Mr. Christie, who has been eyeing a run for years but hasn’t been as forthcoming as Mr. Bush or Mr. Romney, could be left out of the race.

Chris Vincze, a Republican donor from Boston and Romney backer in 2012, said it is far too early to write off Mr. Christie, whom he plans to support if he runs.

“The notion that he is going to be squeezed out is so premature and invalid from my perspective,” Mr. Vincze said.

He added that the donor community in the Northeast is “very open” to all three candidates.

If Christie chooses to run, I am confident he will have plenty of money. Having said that, I have a hard time believing he has much chance of succeeding. While his loud, bellicose personality might be a hit in New Jersey, I have a hard time seeing it succeed elsewhere, especially when you consider his record.

And how many Republicans will forget his embrace of Obama the week before the 2012 election? Even if they have, his competitors and their supporters surely won’t. And they will take every opportunity to remind people of it.

And then there is his liberal record…

Good luck, Mr. Christie. You’re going to need it.

by @ 5:49 pm. Filed under Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

January 20, 2015

Free To Run

This is the time of presidential trial balloons. With a new president certain to be elected in 2016, hopefuls and aspirants in both major parties are testing the waters, rounding up staff members, and appealing to major donors. It is an old ritual with contemporary procedures and techniques. It is big-time American politics on a grand scale.

The establishments of both parties have a tendency to try to control this process. In the case of the Democrats, they have a frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, who is way out in front, with no one yet in sight who can wrest the nomination from her. She leads in all polls, not only against potential Democratic rivals, but also against every Republican opponent. The Democratic establishment therefore would like to end this contest early, and prepare for the general election. When Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren began making competitive waves from Mrs. Clinton’s left, the liberal establishment got nervous, and started trying to warn Mrs. Warren off the contest. Their nervousness was increased by the fact that Mrs. Clinton’s initial campaign roll-out has been notably less than successful. There are several other Democratic wannabes, including Vice President Joe Biden, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, former Virginia Senator James Webb and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Should Mrs. Clinton falter or pull out, other big names in the party could enter, including notably New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On the Republican side, there is no true frontrunner, but there is an establishment favorite, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Another major candidate would be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Also potentially serious candidates include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Less serious, there are a number of hopefuls who might take a crack at the nomination. (Abraham Lincoln was at the bottom of the list of nine GOP candidates as late as February, 1860, and look what happened only six months later when he won his nomination.)

Then there is Mitt Romney. In 2008, he was runner-up to John McCain in the GOP nominating contest, and in 2012, he was the Republican presidential nominee. He lost to Barack Obama that year by a relatively small margin, but as it turns out, most of what he said on the campaign turned out be right, or rather more right, than what Mr. Obama said. Nevertheless, the GOP establishment does not want Mitt Romney to run in 2016, and are saying so out loud.

It so happens I agree with those who say Mitt Romney is not likely to be the best Republican nominee in 2016, but I do disagree that he should be told not to run. I don’t agree with much that Elizabeth Warren has been saying, but I also don’t think she should be told not to run.

After all, it’s a free country, isn’t it?

Some folks in both parties fear open contests with many candidates. Republicans particularly point to the large field and numerous debates in 2012 as having hurt their ticket in November. I disagree with that strongly. There were perhaps too many debates (27), but the process, in my opinion, made Mr. Romney a better and stronger candidate. Newt Gingrich, for example, was by far the best debater in 2012; Mr. Romney held his own in the debates, but he had to face someone who was formidable early in the process. Romney did not lose because of the number of GOP rivals he had or the debates. He lost because of the successful (and unanswered) personal attacks on him made by the Democrats early and often, and because the Democrats had a much superior get-out-the-vote effort. (That the GOP did not have a better one, truth be told, was Mr. Romney’s responsibility.)

The nation and its political process is best served, as I see it, by open and competitive nomination contests. The number of candidates does not really matter because the process is designed to weed out those who cannot win very early.

So I say to Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney, and anyone else who thinks they should and can be president: Be free to run!

————————————————————————————————–
Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

January 16, 2015

Poll Watch: The Economist/YouGov 2016 Presidential

Here’s an interesting poll. It is one of those polls where people volunteer to be polled. Zogby became infamous for them. So take the results with a grain of salt.

The numbers below are for registered Republican voters.

If you had to choose one, which of these individuals would you want to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016?

Mitt Romney 28
Jeb Bush 12
Ben Carson 10
Ted Cruz 9
Rand Paul 8
Mike Huckabee 8
Scott Walker 6
Chris Christie 3
Paul Ryan 3
Marco Rubio 2
Rick Perry 2
Lindsey Graham 0
Other 3
None 6

If the choice was between Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, which one would you want to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016?

Mitt Romney 60
Jeb Bush 29
No Preference 11

Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of the following people?

Fav Unf D/K
Mitt Romney 82 12 6
Paul Ryan 75 14 11
Mike Huckabee 72 15 14
Rand Paul 70 15 15
Rick Perry 65 13 21
Marco Rubio 62 15 23
Jeb Bush 61 24 15
Ted Cruz 56 26 18
Ben Carson 54 10 36
Chris Christie 54 32 15
Scott Walker 49 16 34
Lindsey Graham 44 18 38

The full poll is found here.

January 15, 2015

Is There Enough Oxygen Left For Christie?

With both Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney stating they are seriously looking into running for President, the path ahead for Chris Christie is getting a lot tougher. Politico reports:

As Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush engage in an increasingly bitter fight over big donors and fundraisers, another Republican eyeing the presidency could get squeezed out: Christopher James Christie.

A quick editorial aside: “Bitter”? I haven’t noticed the current Bush/Romney maneuvering being all that bitter — not yet, at any rate. It’s heating up to be sure, but if the polite scrimmaging that is going on right now is what they call “bitter”, what word do they use to describe knock-down, drag-out, eye-gouging fights? Anyway, back to the article.

Many … on Wall Street … may like and admire Christie, and might even support him in a scenario without Romney and Bush, but they now don’t see a path for the New Jersey governor.

“I think Christie is the odd man out right now. He’s in serious trouble,” said one senior Wall Street executive. … Another executive said of Christie: “I like him, and under other circumstances, I could support him. But not with Mitt and Jeb in the race. And Christie has so many other issues.”

So, what do you guys think? With both Bush and Romney in the race, is there a reasonably viable path to the nomination for Christie?

by @ 12:49 pm. Filed under Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

January 14, 2015

Walker Sends Up a Few Smoke Signals

In his “State of the State” address Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker brought up some national themes:

Some in Washington believe government should play a growing role in our lives and rarely question its expanse.  Others have such disdain for government that they attempt to keep it from working at all.

Instead, we have a chance to lead here in Wisconsin.  I believe that government has grown too big and too intrusive in our lives and must be reined in, but the government that is left must work.  As taxpayers, we should demand that the functions that government must reasonably do, it should do well.  We should demand a government that is more effective, more efficient, and more accountable to the public.

Top-down regulations and mandates from the federal government get in the way of innovation and growth in Wisconsin and states like ours.

Therefore, I am working with our new Attorney General to prepare a lawsuit challenging the newly proposed federal energy regulations.  These proposals could have a devastating impact on Wisconsin because we are so heavily dependent on manufacturing.
According to recent reports, we could lose tens of thousands of jobs in our region, and ratepayers could see an increase of up to 29 percent.  We will fight to protect Wisconsin’s hard-working families.

Instead of fighting with states like Wisconsin, the federal government should work with us to find reasonable alternatives.  We can be both environmentally and economically sustainable.

He even got in what could be interpreted as a little dig at Chris Christie:

Here in Wisconsin, support for the Packers transcends political, religious, and personal differences.  Heck, I was sitting a row ahead and a few seats over from a guy on Sunday who didn’t care much for my policies.  I told him we were all Packer fans there, and by the end of the game, we were high-fiving another Green Bay victory.  Green and gold runs deep.

Referencing, perhaps, Christie’s well-documented love of the Cowboys, which the Packers defeated just this Sunday.

by @ 9:43 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Scott Walker

Another Shoe Drops for Christie

The New York Times reports that Chris Christie is starting up a Leadership PAC.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is preparing to take his first concrete steps toward a presidential bid by setting up a leadership political action committee as early as this month that could help pay for travel and provide a fund-raising vehicle for would-be donors, three supporters involved in the discussions said.

Mr. Christie, a Republican, is unlikely to make a formal announcement of his campaign before the end of the spring, timing that would allow his team to evaluate any further fallout from federal investigations into his administration. His advisers and supporters have said he is under little pressure to hurry.

The three supporters spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Mr. Christie’s plans.

The move would provide a signal of Mr. Christie’s seriousness to allies concerned about the flurry of attention surrounding rival contenders for the nomination. Another potential 2016 candidate, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, has already established a leadership PAC, Right to Rise, which shares its name with a new “super PAC” that has already begun soliciting contributions.

A leadership PAC is not quite an exploratory committee. An EC is essentially a campaign in all but name only. All monies raised can be used directly for campaigning, and can be rolled into the real campaign once that gets started. A leadership PAC, on the other hand, is limited in how much it can directly help a campaign. It can only contribute up to $5000 to any given campaign’s expenses. All other expenses have to be justified in some way as being non-campaign related. Traveling to speaking engagements is a good example of this.  Keeping valuable campaign staff on retainer until the campaign takes off is another.

Leadership PACs are also useful for helping out other candidates by donating money to their campaigns. It’s the old, “I’ll scratch your back, and you’ll scratch mine”, game all politicians play.

by @ 8:44 am. Filed under Chris Christie

January 8, 2015

Scott Walker Building Presidential Campaign Team

Hmm…

(CNN)—Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will launch a new political organization in the coming weeks and has tapped a national political strategist to serve as his campaign manager should he decide to run for president, multiple GOP sources told CNN.

Walker, who was sworn in to a second term in Madison this week, quietly brought on Rick Wiley, a former Republican National Committee political director and veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, about a month ago to build a political operation in advance of the 2016 race, the sources said.

Wiley had also been mentioned a possible campaign manager for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Wiley works at the same consulting firm, Mercury LLC, as a Christie’s chief political guru Michael DuHaime.

A Walker entry would definitely scramble the field, and perhaps challenge the conventional wisdom that Jeb, Christie, Huckabee, and others can bigfoot their way to the nomination. I continue to believe that Walker would be a strong GOP nominee and would provide a much needed fresh face, as well as a candidacy that every element of the party could get behind, and one that would attract swing voters.

by @ 1:00 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Scott Walker

January 5, 2015

Poll Watch: Rutgers-Eagleton New Jersey 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Rutgers-Eagleton New Jersey 2016 GOP Primary Poll

The 2016 presidential election is far away, but thinking ahead to the Republican primary for president, who would be your first choice for the Republican candidate? Just tell me a name.

  • Chris Christie 32% (41%)
  • Mitt Romney 10% (6%)
  • Jeb Bush 6% (5%)
  • Rand Paul 4% (2%)
  • Marco Rubio 4% (1%)
  • Ted Cruz 3% (3%)
  • Ben Carson 2%
  • Bobby Jindal 2% (0%)
  • Rudy Giuliani 1% (0%)
  • Rick Perry 1% (1%)
  • Ron Paul 1% (1%)
  • Scott Walker 1% (2%)
  • Other 3% (3%)
  • Don’t know 31% (30%)

Survey of 224 registered Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted December 3-10, 2014. Results from the poll conductedJuly 28 – August 5, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:07 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch, Republican Party

January 3, 2015

Poll Watch: Rutgers-Eagleton New Jersey Survey on Governor Chris Christie

Rutgers-Eagleton New Jersey Poll on Gov. Chris Christie

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as governor? 

  • Approve 48% {49%} [52%] (55%) {55%} [53%] (68%) {67%} [66%] (70%) {68%} [73%] (67%)
  • Disapprove 47% {46%} [41%] (41%) {39%} [41%] (26%) {29%} [31%] (25%) {26%} [23%] (26%)

Among Democrats

  • Approve 22% {27%} [31%] (29%) {34%} [29%] (51%) {46%}[50%] (56%) {51%} [62%] (49%)
  • Disapprove 73% {67%} [60%] (67%) {60%} [64%] (41%) {47%} [45%] (39%) {42%} [31%] (39%)

Among Republicans

  • Approve 82% {80%} [78%] (86%) {83%} [83%] (93%) {91%} [89%] (87%) {93%} [90%] (88%)
  • Disapprove 16% {18%} [17%] (10%) {12%} [13%] (6%) {8%} [10%] (9%) {5%} [10%] (8%)

Among Independents

  • Approve 52% {52%} [57%] (62%) {58%} [60%] (71%) {74%} [70%] (77%) {75%} [75%] (76%)
  • Disapprove 42% {43%} [37%] (34%) {36%} [33%] (24%) {21%} [26%] (18%) {20%} [21%] (20%)

Among Moderates

  • Approve 49% {51%} [53%] (57%) [53%] (71%) {65%} [69%] (73%) {70%} [75%] (68%)
  • Disapprove 46% {45%} [40%] (39%) [40%] (23%) {30%} [27%] (22%) {25%} [20%] (25%)

Survey of 646 registered voters was conducted December 3-10, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.  Party ID: 34% {34%} [33%] (36%) {36%} [39%] (36%) {39%} [40%] (41%) {41%} [39%] (43%) {38%} [35%] (37%) {39%} [37%] {35%} [31%] (36%) {35%} Democrat; 20% {20%} [20%] (21%) {23%} [19%] (21%) {21%} [21%] (22%) {19%} [22%] (22%) {24%} [24%] (22%) {21%} [20%] {18%} [19%] (22%) {23%} Republican; 46% {46%} [47%] (43%) {41%} [42%] (42%) {40%} [38%] (37%) {40%} [40%] (35%) {38%} [41%] (41%) {40%} [43%] {47%} [50%] (42%) {42%} Independent/Other. Results from the poll conducted September 29 – October 5, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted July 28 – August 5, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 31 – April 6, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted February 22-28, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 14-19, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted October 28 – November 2, 2013 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted October 7-13, 2013 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 3-9, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted June 3-9, 2013 are in parentheses.Results from the poll conducted April 3-7, 2013 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 30 – February 3, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted November 14-17, 2012 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted September 27-30, 2012 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 23-25, 2012 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted May 31 – June 4, 2012 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted March 21-27, 2012 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 9-11, 2012 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 9-12, 2011 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted October 6-9, 2011 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 9-15, 2011 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 28 – April 4, 2011 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted February 24-26, 2011 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October, 2010 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted September, 2010 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted August, 2010 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted February, 2010 are in square brackets.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:12 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

January 2, 2015

POWER RANKINGS: January 2015

1. Jeb Bush  former Governor of Florida

The scion of the Bush dynasty has all but declared his candidacy, launching a surprisingly early bid into the 2016 fray. Bush announced on Facebook that he would explore a bid for president, but the release of emails from his time as Governor of Florida and his resignation from many corporate boards signals he’s far past the exploratory phase and is already running. The early jump by Bush gives him both a head start on consolidating establishment support and puts pressure on his main establishment rival, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to get in sooner than he may have wanted. With Christie still on the sidelines and former nominee Mitt Romney likely only to enter the race if the establishment candidates falter, Bush has become the frontrunner, which is now reflected in the early polling.

2. Chris Christie  Governor of New Jersey
With unexpected victories in the 2014 midterms tied to his tenure at the RGA, his own landslide reelection in a blue state, and the flop of the Democratic-led investigation into Bridgegate, Gov. Chris Christie is now ready to rally the national support and favors his accumulated these last several years. Once the unmistakeable establishment favorite, Christie’s 2014 hardships have opened the door for Jeb Bush, and some party elites are shifting their support to the more familiar and less unpredictable former Florida governor. However, the tough-talking, battle-hardened New Jersey governor has the talent and the resources to regain his frontrunner status.

3. Rand Paul  U.S. Senator from Kentucky
The libertarian-leaning senator remains a top contender due to his his strong grassroots organization in Iowa and New Hampshire. Paul has successfully capitalized on his father’s prior campaigns to gain a foothold in the early states. Still, Paul’s unconventional positions, such as his isolationist foreign policy and his ideas for policing and social justice, put the senator out of step with the establishment he has tried hard to win over. Paul’s chances rest more on attracting a new coalition of younger, more diverse conservative voters than by winning over the GOP elite, who will have centrist heavyweights like Bush and Christie to rally around.

4. Scott Walker  Governor of Wisconsin
The governor of Wisconsin’s third election in four years in a state carried twice by President Obama and in the face of unprecedented liberal opposition has made him a party favorite. On paper, Walker could be a top contender and his battle-tested tenure has given him a huge donor base and the most diverse group of admirers in the field, from business leasers to grassroots activists. He could be positioned as the best compromise candidate, uniting both the Bush/Christie wing and the Cruz/Paul wing of the party.

5. Mike Huckabee  former Governor of Arkansas
Gov. Huckabee is once again considering a presidential bid, and once again his strengths and weaknesses are clear. The author and Fox News host retains positive favorable numbers and a deep connection to the party’s evangelical Christian wing while struggling with the donor class. Despite strong name recognition, Huckabee hasn’t been able to build a viable fundraising network outside of the evangelical grassroots. He will need a serious national effort to win over the party establishment if he is to overcome his 2008 pitfalls.

6. Ted Cruz  U.S. Senator from Texas
The Tea Party firebrand will be the favorite of many hardcore activists and religious conservatives. But Cruz has burned a lot of bridges with the establishment, and will likely struggle to build a significant national operation with both his senate colleagues and the business wing of the party working against him. With both Jeb Bush and Rick Perry likely to run, Cruz may also struggle to rally support in his own backyard. The conservative darling will need to rely on a strong grassroots effort, his network of evangelical leaders, and his debating and media savvy to break through against the support aligning against him.

7. Marco Rubio  U.S. Senator from Florida
Sen. Rubio was an early frontrunner for the 2016 nomination, but the combination of his troubles with immigration reform and the entry of Jeb Bush into the field have complicated the young senator’s path. Rubio’s team says they will not be pushed out of the race by Bush, but the competition for staff and donors in their shared Florida base will likely favor the former governor. Still, Rubio has proven in the past that he can cut an establishment favorite down to size and may have to do so again if he is to return to the top tier in 2016.

8. Bobby Jindal  Governor of Louisiana
Bobby Jindal has been one of the more active potential candidates, leaving little doubt that the term-limited governor will launch a 2016 bid. Jindal’s campaign will be centered around his record as a conservative reformer with real achievements in education and tax policy. He has worked hard to win over the evangelical and activist base of the party without burning bridges to the establishment. The Louisiana governor will have to over come doubts about his stage presence and slipping numbers in his home state if he is to climb into the top tier.

9. John Kasich  Governor of Ohio
Any politician who wins a swing state by 31% deserves some serious consideration for president. Kasich’s economic success in Ohio, his memorable career as a budget-balancing congressman, his private sector business experience, his communication skills and media savvy, and a tragic and moving personal story make the governor an interesting dark horse candidate with potential to move up.

10. Ben Carson  retired neurosurgeon from Maryland
Dr. Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, burst onto the national political scene with his now famous prayer breakfast rebuke of President Barack Obama. Since then he has become a conservative media darling and is an interesting wild card candidate in the early stages of the 2016 race. Still, a brilliant career in medicine doesn’t preclude the mistakes suffered by many novice politicians, and he will have to learn quickly to make up for his lack of experience.

Honorable Mention:  Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina

December 23, 2014

What’s More Important, Character or Ideology?

Jennifer Rubin makes the point that ultimately it is character that determines who gets nominated and who does not:

Too often political insiders, in evaluating presidential prospects, get hung up on ideology or even specific positions. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), they said, couldn’t get the GOP nomination in 2008 because he championed immigration reform, or Mitt Romney was ineligible for the nomination in 2012 because of Romneycare. Whether they should have gotten the nomination in the eyes of hard-line conservatives can be debated, but in fact, they and the mainstream media (which often incorrectly adopt the right-wing assessment of the GOP) made a cardinal error: mistaking individual positions with viability and ignoring the role of character.

In 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry did not lose the nomination because of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants; he lost because he did not project seriousness and readiness to govern. (He’s working mightily to correct that impression.) In 2012, Newt Gingrich did not lose because he once supported a form of the individual mandate; he lost because voters remembered his erratic personality, penchant for self-destruction and utter lack of discipline. And Herman Cain sure didn’t bomb out because of his 9-9-9 plan, as silly and unworkable as it may have been. He turned out to be a unprepared dilettante with too many personal scandals swirling about him.

She has a point. Presidential campaigns are long, grueling affairs that really try the character of those who would occupy the Oval Office. Those candidates who are found wanting in character seldom make it to the end. It’s not a fool-proof system, but it generally works.

She then goes on to evaluate the presidential character of four possible GOP candidates, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz. You will note that she had nothing to say about Jeb Bush, arguably the current GOP frontrunner.

by @ 10:04 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz

Jeb Already Clearing The Field?

The consolidation of the GOP “Establishment” behind Jeb Bush has begun. NBCNews reports:

Jeb Bush Already Winning Over Some Supporters of Christie, Rubio

Some potential supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are already saying they will instead back Jeb Bush if he runs for president, illustrating the new challenge both men face with Bush now likely to be a 2016 candidate.

While the vast number of influential figures in the Republican Party have not yet said who they support, a slew of political operatives and donors in Florida, including former state party chair Van Poole and ex-RNC finance chairman Al Hoffman, all told the Tampa Times over the last week they would choose Bush over Rubio if the two ran against each other. Several of them suggested Rubio should not run, since he would be fighting important political influencers in his own home state.

Meanwhile, Mel Sembler, who was the Republican National Committee’s finance chair from 1997 to 2000 and then served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to Italy, told the Newark Star-Ledger that he was an “admirer” of Christie but will opt for Bush.

The Tampa Times reports about what is happening in Rubio’s own backyard, in Florida:

“It’s nothing against Marco,” said John Thrasher, a former legislator who is now president of Florida State University. “Jeb has built up political capital over the years. It’s not just capital. These are people who have worked with him, understand him, and feel his time is here.”

Rubio, who at 43 is nearly two decades younger than Bush, enjoys loads of enthusiastic supporters among Florida’s deep pool of elite GOP fundraisers, but few, if any, of those top bundlers prefer him over Bush. It’s a simple fact of life for any Republican elected leader in Florida that even eight years after he left the governor’s office, Bush overshadows all.

“I love Marco Rubio. I was his general campaign chairman when he ran for Senate,” said Al Hoffman, a developer and former Republican National Committee finance chairman from North Palm Beach. “Marco is a great guy and has a tremendous future, but I have to support Jeb first.”

“It’s about loyalty. For so many of us who got into this game, you don’t forget the one who brought us to the dance. Jeb and his dad and his brother did that for us,” said Mike Hightower, another top fundraiser and former Duval County GOP chairman. “I’d say to Marco, ‘Sorry, but on this one I can’t help you. It’s not personal.’ ”

So if the “Establishment” is leaving Rubio and Christie for Bush, who could possibly stop the runaway Bush train? Who indeed. The Wall Street Journal reports:

One wild card in donor calculations is the uncertain intention of Mr. Romney. Spencer Zwick, who ran Mr. Romney’s fundraising operation in 2012, has been meeting with Republican donors in recent weeks to gauge their appetite for another bid, according to people familiar with those talks. Many of the meetings have been initiated by donors hoping to see Mr. Romney run again.

“If Gov. Romney were to run, one thing is for sure: The financial support would be there in a big way,” said Mr. Zwick, who said he fields regular calls from Republicans who want the former Massachusetts governor to enter the race.

National polls show that a substantial well of support remains in the party for Mr. Romney. Confidants say the former nominee isn’t actively exploring another presidential bid but hasn’t ruled it out.

“Party leaders and major donors are reaching out to Mitt, asking him to run again,” said Kent Lucken, an adviser on Mr. Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns who traveled with him this past fall. “Will he do it? I don’t know. He has been a bit taken aback by how enthusiastic people are.”

Will Mitt jump in? I doubt it. Now that Bush has made his intentions known, he has less of a reason to join the party than ever before.

All in all, this is shaping up to be a far more entertaining primary season than last time. Bring popcorn. :)

by @ 9:42 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney

December 18, 2014

And Now the Spotlight Is On Christie

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Jeb Bush’s move to actively explore a 2016 White House bid is likely to complicate the path for fellow Republican Chris Christie and pressure the New Jersey governor to shore up donor support as he considers his own campaign.

Mr. Christie has spoken with a range of donors in recent weeks, according to people familiar with his conversations, among them billionaire backer Ken Langone. Mr. Christie has indicated in those talks that Mr. Bush’s entry alone wouldn’t keep him from the race, those people said.

The second-term governor hasn’t been as overt about hiring potential campaign staff as some other possible 2016 GOP contenders. But some political analysts said Mr. Christie should quickly move to convince senior staff and top donors that he is serious, or risk losing their support to Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor who is expected to appeal to a similar part of the electorate.

Christie had stated earlier that he would announce his 2016 intentions in early 2015. He may have to announce sooner than he wanted.

Jeb Bush’s announcement that he is seriously in the race has really put the pressure on Christie and anyone else hoping to run with “Establishment” support. Jeb Bush can now begin openly recruiting staff and lining up donors.

When it comes to quality staff and to a lesser extent the donors, the phrase, “First come, first served”, applies more often than it doesn’t. The top resources want to get in on the ground floor of the winner’s campaign as quickly as possible. This means if you hope to be a top tier candidate, you have to be one of the first to announce if you want any chance at getting the best of the best behind you. Any latecomers have to be content with fighting over the leftovers.

That is why the Bush announcement is a major “fish or cut bait” signal. Anybody sitting on their hands while Bush nails down all the key operatives and donors will enter the race greatly handicapped. This hard, cold, cruel fact of life applies even to fairy tale “white knights” who plan on showing up (as Bullwinkle J. Moose put it), “in the — Ta-da! — nick of time“, to save the day.

If that “White Knight” doesn’t have top-drawer staff and donor money to back him up (which he can’t have because the candidates who’ve been in the race for months already have them tied down and committed to them instead of him), the results will bring to mind Princess Leia’s famous exasperated comment, “This is some rescue! You came in here, but didn’t you have a plan for getting out?”

by @ 10:43 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Jeb Bush

December 17, 2014

Bush is “Instant Frontrunner”, says Krauthammer

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer claims that Jeb Bush is an “Instant Frontrunner”.

I think it is a big deal because those who would be on his wing of the spectrum are going to have to rethink whether they are going to go up against Jeb Bush and how good of a chance they’re going to have. I think it will clear out some of his wing. As for the others, there are a lot of people who would otherwise be on the fringe. It would look like a free for all. It would look like the most open seat in the history of the presidency, so why not throw in your hat. And I think it will, because it creates an instant frontrunner, for good or for ill, it will discourage some of the fringe candidates

Well, maybe. Take a look at these two recent polls, one from the Washington Post, the other from Fox.

Washington Post Fox Poll
w/ Romney w/o Romney
Romney 20 Romney 19
Bush 10 Bush 13 Bush 10
Paul 9 Paul 11 Christie 8
Ryan 8 Ryan 10 Paul 8
Cruz 7 Cruz 9 Huckabee 8
Carson 6 Christie 8 Don’t Know 8
Christie 6 Carson 7 Walker 7
Huckabee 6 Huckabee 7 Carson 6
No Opinion 6 No Opinion 7 Ryan 6
Walker 5 Walker 6 Cruz 5
Perry 4 Perry 5 Rubio 4
Rubio 4 Rubio 5 Kasich 2
Jindal 3 Jindal 4 Perry 2
Kasich 2 Santorum 3 Jindal 1
Santorum 2 Kasich 2 Santorum 1
Other 0 None 0 Other 0
None 2 Other 2 None 2

Bush leads nobody by more than two ppts in either poll — with or without Romney. I don’t know about you, but I have difficulty thinking of someone as a “frontrunner” whose lead is less than the Margin of Error of the poll.

One thing that jumps out at me from either of these polls is the really poor showing of Rick Santorum. These early polls tend to be mainly about name recognition; we all know that. Now remember that Santorum finished the last race solidly in second place. Name recognition should not be a problem for him. So people should know him, and yet his position still sucks.

He has been making noises about running again. Maybe he should save himself some aggravation and a whole lot of money and not bother.

Poll Watch: Fox News 2016 Presidential Survey

Fox News 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% {52%} [51%] (51%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% {39%} [42%] (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% {52%} [51%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 40% {41%} [42%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% {50%} [50%] (49%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 40% {40%} [42%] (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53% {54%}
  • John Kasich (R) 37% {35%}

National survey of 1,043 registered voters was conducted July 20-22, 2014 under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Party ID: 41% {43%} [39%] (40%) Democrat; 39% {35%} [38%] (34%) Republican; 18% {18%} [20%] (23%) Independent/Other. Results from the poll conducted July 20-22, 2014are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 13-15, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 2-4, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:09 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Herman Cain, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

December 16, 2014

More On The Latest McClatchy – Marist Poll

The lastest McClatchy-Marist Poll has been posted already, yet there is still some information to be gleaned from it. For example, on the question to Republicans as to which possible 2016 GOP candidate they would favor:

w/ Romney   w/o Romney
Romney 19 Undecided 18
Bush 14 Bush 16
Undecided 13 Huckabee 12
Christie 9 Christie 10
Huckabee 9 Carson 8
Carson 8 Ryan 7
Paul 5 Paul 6
Cruz 4 Cruz 5
Perry 4 Perry 5
Ryan 3 Rubio 3
Santorum 3 Walker 3
Rubio 3 Kasich 3
Walker 3 Santorum 3
Kasich 2 Jindal 1
Jindal 1 Fiorina 1
Fiorina 1

Note that Bush comes in second whether Romney is included or not. With Romney, Romney is in first place. Without Romney, Undecided leads the pack.

Also notice that Christie is always fourth behind Undecided, Bush, and either Romney or Huckabee. I’m not seeing a real big mandate for Christie here. That’s really not much of a vote of confidence in Christie trying to run as the “Establishment” choice.

With Bush essentially throwing his hat into the ring, that pretty much slams the door on Christie, Rubio, and any other candidate wishing for the backing of the “Establishment”. Perry comes to mind. The only other candidate who would stand a chance is Romney, but Bush’s announcement pretty much closes the door on any Romney 2016 run. Why?

  • One, the “Establishment” likes to consolidate behind their candidate as quickly as possible. If Romney were to run, he’d have to announce before the year is out. He’d then appear as the spoiler, and the “Establishment” doesn’t like spoilers. He’d have to provide very good reasons why they shouldn’t back Bush, and I don’t think Mitt could do that.
  • Two, Bush could crash and burn, and the establishment would go looking for a white knight. This highly unlikely scenario only happens in the movies. Bush would really, REALLY have to screw up before that happened.

So Romney is about 99.9% likely NOT to run.

December 15, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Survey

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Ben Carson (R) 44%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% [45%] (42%) {44%} [42%] (44%) {46%} [43%] (44%) {45%} [43%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [43%] (46%) {45%} [45%] (45%) {47%} [47%] (46%) {46%} [47%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% [45%] (45%) {45%} [44%] (46%) {46%} [45%] (42%) {42%} [43%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% [38%] (38%) {41%} [40%] (44%) {42%} [42%] (43%) {45%} [46%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [45%] (45%) {46%} [47%] (48%) {49%} [48%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 44% [46%] (44%) {43%} [43%] (43%) {42%} [43%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 45%
  • Joe Biden (D) 40%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 47%
  • Joe Biden (D) 42%
  • Ben Carson (R) 44%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 37%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 39%

Among Independents

  • Ben Carson (R) 42%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% [39%] (43%) {45%} [40%] (45%) {38%} [35%] (41%) {44%} [41%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [36%] (39%) {35%} [33%] (39%) {46%} [50%] (36%) {37%} [40%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 36% [36%] (37%) {36%} [36%] (38%) {39%} [47%] (33%) {31%} [31%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 33% [37%] (42%) {39%} [39%] (45%){38%} [33%] (39%) {50%} [46%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 41% [45%] (46%) {46%} [46%] (44%){34%} [36%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [38%] (39%) {37%} [39%] (38%) {48%} [52%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 43%
  • Joe Biden (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 44%
  • Joe Biden (D) 34%
  • Ben Carson (R) 41%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 29%

Among Moderates

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52%
  • Ben Carson (R) 26%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% [57%] (59%) {55%} [57%] (60%) [58%] (58%) {59%} [61%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 29% [29%] (27%) {30%} [23%] (29%) [25%] (25%) {30%} [26%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% [59%] (58%) {53%} [59%] (60%) [54%] (50%) {51%} [54%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 27% [26%] (28%) {30%} [18%] (31%) [31%] (32%) {32%} [36%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% [60%] (59%) {58%} [64%] (62%) [60%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 26% [31%] (28%) {25%} [21%] (28%) [25%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 46%
  • Ben Carson (R) 28%
  • Joe Biden (D) 55%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 28%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 41%
  • Ben Carson (R) 23%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 46%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 27%

Among Men

  • Ben Carson (R) 53%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 37%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 53% [51%] (48%) {51%} [47%] (50%) {49%} [46%] (49%) {51%} [46%] 
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% [36%] (39%) {39%} [39%] (42%) {42%} [45%] (41%) {38%} [42%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 49% [45%] (42%) {45%} [43%] (47%) {48%} [46%] (49%) {51%} [51%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [38%] (39%) {41%} [39%] (42%) {40%} [41%] (37%) {35%} [37%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 51% [53%] (50%) {48%} [49%] (47%){44%} [46%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39% [39%] (40%) {42%} [43%] (45%) {47%} [47%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 54%
  • Joe Biden (D) 35%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 52%
  • Joe Biden (D) 37%
  • Ben Carson (R) 54%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 30%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 54%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 32%

Among Women

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51%
  • Ben Carson (R) 36%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% [50%] (52%) {49%} [50%] (49%) {50%} [49%] (51%) {53%} [52%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 39% [40%] (37%) {39%} [38%] (39%) {43%} [41%] (38%) {39%} [40%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% [51%] (51%) {49%} [49%] (49%) {52%} [48%] (47%) {49%} [47%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 36% [33%] (35%) {37%} [36%] (42%) {37%} [38%] (38%) {40%} [42%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% [51%] (50%) {50%} [50%] (50%) {52%} [50%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 37% [40%] (38%) {38%} [38%] (40%) {41%} [41%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 45%
  • Ben Carson (R) 38%
  • Joe Biden (D) 46%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 44%
  • Ben Carson (R) 35%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 45%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 39%

Among Whites

  • Ben Carson (R) 56%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 57% [55%] (51%) {54%} [51%] (55%) {57%} [54%] (55%) {58%} [53%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 33% [33%] (38%) {35%} [39%] (37%) {35%} [37%] (34%) {35%} [37%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 54% [47%] (46%) {48%} [46%] (54%) {51%} [50%] (53%) {57%} [56%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32% [35%] (37%) {35%} [39%] (37%) {36%} [36%] (32%) {30%} [33%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 57% [56%] (52%) {53%} [51%] (53%) {53%} [54%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 33% [35%] (37%) {35%} [39%] (38%) {37%} [38%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 57%
  • Joe Biden (D) 28%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 60%
  • Joe Biden (D) 30%
  • Ben Carson (R) 56%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 26%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 59%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 27%

Among Blacks

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 83%
  • Ben Carson (R) 9%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 83% [81%] (77%) {82%} [69%] (77%) {86%} [82%] (86%) {81%} [81%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 12% [9%] (11%) {11%} [9%] (8%) {9%} [7%] (7%) {9%} [13%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 80% [84%] (78%) {82%} [68%] (78%) {80%} [78%] (79%) {81%} [77%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 9% [9%] (12%) {12%} [11%] (13%) {14%} [11%] (11%) {9%} [17%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 82% [83%] (76%) {86%} [78%] (80%) {89%} [82%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 6% [11%] (13%) {8%} [10%] (10%) {9%} [9%]
  • Joe Biden (D) 75%
  • Ben Carson (R) 11%
  • Joe Biden (D) 75%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 10%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 68%
  • Ben Carson (R) 9%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 69%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 7%

Survey of 823 registered voters was conducted December 4-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points. Party ID: 42% [45%] (42%) {43%} [42%] (42%) {42%} [39%] (43%) {43%} [45%] (43%) Democrat; 36% [34%] (31%) {36%} [35%] (36%) {35%} [34%] (33%) {34%} [33%] (34%) Republican; 22% [21%] (27%) {22%} [23%] (22%) {23%} [27%] (23%) {23%} [21%] (24%) Independent/Other.  Gender: 53% [53%] (53%) {53%} [53%] (53%) {53%} [53%] (53%) {53%} [54%] (57%) Women; 47% [47%] (47%) {47%} [47%] (47%) {47%} [47%] (47%) {47%} [46%] (43%) Men. Race: 72% [73%] (75%) {75%} [74%] (74%) {74%} [75%] (73%) {73%} [73%] (72%) White; 22% [20%] (20%) {20%} [20%] (20%) {20%} [20%] (21%) {21%} [20%] (22%) Black; 6% [7%] (5%) {5%} [6%] (6%) {6%} [5%] (6%) {6%} [6%] (6%) Other.  Results from the poll conducted September 11-14, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 14-17, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted June 12-15, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted May 9-11, 2014 are in square brackets.Results from the poll conducted April 3-6, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted March 6-9, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 9-12, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 5-8, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 8-11, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 11-14, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

December 14, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Republican Primary Survey

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Ben Carson 19%
  • Jeb Bush 15% {17%} [15%] (18%) {12%} [15%] (14%) {15%} [16%] (9%)
  • Chris Christie 14% {12%} [9%] (12%) {15%} [11%] (17%) {19%} [20%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 14% {17%} [19%] (22%) {19%} [20%] (15%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {8%} [6%] (9%) {4%} [8%] (11%) {7%} [7%] (12%)
  • Rick Perry 7%
  • Ted Cruz 5% {12%} [17%] (12%) {14%} [8%] (11%) {12%} [12%]
  • Rand Paul 5% {12%} [15%] (9%) {12%} [14%] (14%) {13%} [12%] (6%)
  • Marco Rubio 4% {5%} [5%] (5%) {5%} [7%] (9%) {10%} [10%] (21%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 7% {11%} [9%] (6%) {12%} [9%] (13%) {11%} [13%] (8%)

Among Men

  • Ben Carson 20%
  • Chris Christie 18% {14%} [9%] (12%) {16%} [14%] (18%) {18%} [19%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 13% {18%} [13%] (19%) {15%} [15%] (14%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {7%} [7%] (8%) {3%} [5%] (10%) {5%} [6%] (12%)
  • Jeb Bush 11%{12%} [15%] {13%} [18%] (14%) {14%} [14%] (11%)
  • Rand Paul 7% {14%} [18%] (8%) {13%} [19%] (14%) {15%} [16%] (9%)
  • Ted Cruz 6% {12%} [19%] (16%) {16%} [7%] (14%) {15%} [16%]
  • Rick Perry 5%
  • Marco Rubio 2% {4%} [6%] (6%) {3%} [7%] (7%) {10%} [9%] (22%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 7% {11%} [7%] (4%) {12%} [6%] (9%) {7%} [10%] (7%)

Among Women

  • Jeb Bush 18% {23%} [15%] (21%) {11%} [13%] (13%) {16%} [18%] (8%)
  • Ben Carson 17%
  • Mike Huckabee 16% {16%} [26%] (24%) {24%} [25%] (16%)
  • Paul Ryan 11% {9%} [4%] (9%) {5%} [12%] (11%) {8%} [9%] (12%)
  • Chris Christie 9% {10%} [9%] (12%) {13%} [7%] (17%) {19%}[20%] (10%)
  • Rick Perry 8%
  • Marco Rubio 6% {5%} [4%] (5%) {7%} [7%] (11%) {10%} [10%] (19%)
  • Ted Cruz 4% {11%} [13%] (7%) {11%} [9%] (9%) {10%} [9%]
  • Rand Paul 3% {9%} [11%] (11%) {10%} [9%] (14%) {11%} [8%] (4%)
  • Someone else/Not sure 8% {10%} [10%] (7%) {14%} [13%] (17%) {15%} [17%] (10%)

Survey of 390 Republican primary voters was conducted December 4-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points. Political ideology: 39% {40%} [45%] (39%) {37%} [35%] (38%) {37%} [36%] (44%) Very conservative; 38% {37%} [35%] (32%) {35%} [33%] (40%) {39%} [36%] (35%) Somewhat conservative; 18% {20%} [13%] (21%) {20%} [22%] (16%) {16%} [21%] (13%) Moderate; 5% {2%} [4%] (6%) {4%} [7%] (4%) {7%} [4%] (6%) Somewhat liberal; 1% {1%} [4%] (3%) {3%} [3%] (2%) {1%} [3%] (1%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted May 9-11, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted April 26-28, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 3-6, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted March 6-9, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 9-12, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 5-8, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 8-11, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 6-9, 2012 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

December 11, 2014

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Survey

Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {50%} [50%] (49%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 39% {40%} [42%] (45%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53% {53%} [54%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 31% {32%} [34%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {55%} [55%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 31% {31%} [35%]

Among Independents

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% {46%} [48%] (44%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 41% {40%} [42%] (48%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% {53%} [54%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 33% {32%} [32%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {52%} [52%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 32% {32%} [34%]

Among Men

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% {43%} [44%] (35%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 41% {46%} [47%] (58%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% {46%} [49%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 33% {39%} [37%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% {47%} [49%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 34% {39%} [40%]

Among Women

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% {56%} [54%] (60%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 38% {36%} [38%] (34%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {60%} [59%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 28% {26%} [32%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 57% {62%} [61%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 28% {25%} [31%]

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Hillary Clinton 58% [60%] (67%) / 35% [38%] (29%) {+23%}
  • Chris Christie 45% [47%] (69%) / 47% [47%] (22%) {-2%}
  • Rand Paul 25% [31%] / 32% [33%] {-7%}
  • Jeb Bush 25% [32%] / 35% [33%] {-10%}

Do you think Chris Christie would make a good President or not?

  • Yes 40% [39%]
  • No 53% [55%]

Would you like to see Chris Christie run for President in 2016 or not?

  • Yes 44% [46%]
  • No 50% [49%]

Survey of 1,340 registered voters was conducted December 3-8, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points.  Party ID: 34% {33%} [34%] (33%) Democrat; 23% {23%} [24%] (25%) Republican; 37% {37%} [35%] (36%) Independent; 7% {7%} [7%] (7%) Other/Don’t know. Results from the poll conducted September 25-29, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 31 – August 4,2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 13-17, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:10 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch

December 10, 2014

Chris Christie and Donald Trump Headed To Iowa Next Month.

Add New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s name to the list of speakers at next month’s Iowa Freedom Summit being held in Des Moines. He will be joined by “The Donald” himself, Donald Trump.

Christie’s 2016 Presidential ambitions are well known, Trump’s less. NewsMax reports:

Just one day after the midterm elections, Donald Trump let it slip that he’s “going to take a very serious look” at making a bid for the White House in 2016.

Granted, for years he’s floated the idea of running for president, but it seems this time could be different. I spoke to him in depth about his views on politics, the 2016 presidential field, and why he’s moving closer to taking up the call.

“The reason that I’m looking at it very strongly this time is I’m so sick and tired of politicians. I am so sick and tired of watching these politicians who are all talk and no action. As an example, Benghazi, the IRS…I’ve just watched so much of the talk and the rhetoric and nothing gets done,” Trump told me.

Trump said that he will be making the decision about whether to run in March or April, but I felt he gave some strong hints about which way he is leaning.

“I have an instinct for things. I think the country is ready for someone who gets it. I think the country is ready for somebody who can take it to greatness again,” he said.

by @ 11:15 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Donald Trump

December 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Bloomberg Politics/Selzer & Co. 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% [45%] (52%) 
  • Chris Christie (R) 36% [38%] (39%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% [47%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 37% [38%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% [47%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 37% [38%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 33%
National survey of 753 likely voters was conducted December 3-5, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted June 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 7-10, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:56 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

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