November 24, 2014

Poll Watch: Reuters/Ipsos Iowa 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%
  • Paul Ryan (R) 41%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40%
  • Chris Christie (R) 37%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43%
  • Rand Paul (R) 36%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 36%
  • Paul Ryan (R) 45%
  • Joe Biden (D) 32%
  • Chris Christie (R) 41%
  • Joe Biden (D) 30%
  • Rand Paul (R) 39%
  • Joe Biden (D) 33%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 40%
  • Joe Biden (D) 33%
  • Paul Ryan (R) 41%
  • Andrew Cuomo (D) 27%
  • Chris Christie (R) 39%
  • Andrew Cuomo (D) 24%
  • Rand Paul (R) 37%
  • Andrew Cuomo (D) 30%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 36%
  • Andrew Cuomo (D) 30%

Online survey of 1,129 likely voters was conducted October 23-29, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Party ID: 33% Republican; 32% Democrat; 34% Independent.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

November 21, 2014

OPINION: Help Us, Chris Christie, You’re Our Only Hope

The 2014 midterm elections were long expected to go well for Republicans. What was surprising was just how good a night the GOP wound up having, and that is in large part due to the extraordinary success of Chris Christie and the RGA.  Long thought to be the Democrats’ silver lining in 2014, the governors races ended up delivering a succession of crippling blows to the President’s party. Holding key states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida, while adding blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois, was the unexpected highlight of the election and the crowning achievement of Christie’s record-breaking tenure as RGA chairman. This accomplishment has rightly put Christie back in the frontrunner’s position for 2016.

Naturally, his return to the top has angered some on the far right, as well as some Bush loyalists in the establishment. But despite the naysayers, Christie is still better positioned and better suited to be the party’s standard bearer in 2016 than anyone else. This is due not only to Christie’s strengths, but also the profound weakness of his competition. Here are a few reasons why the 2016 field doesn’t stand much of a chance against the New Jersey governor:

1. Bush Baggage – The notion of Jeb Bush as a frontrunner has been a perplexing one for me. True, his family connections and donor base will give him a early jump on some of the new faces looking at the race, but other than that what does a third Bush run offer? The former Florida governor has been out of office for over a decade, a lifetime in politics. He champions a number of policies despised by the conservative base and attempts to sell these positions with a stage presence and style that would make Al Gore seem exciting. Worst of all, after painstakingly moving the party out of the shadow of George W. Bush, brother Jeb would pull us right back in. In a field of candidates unburdened by votes for the Iraq War or a bailout for the financial industry, Jeb Bush will be made to defend both. He is uniquely positioned to be the only Republican still carrying those albatrosses around his neck.  Add that to the fact that the Democrats are relying on a dynastic relic of their own for 2016, and it all seems incredibly stupid for the GOP to do the same. Why would we want to create a contrast between the Clinton economy of the 1990’s and the Bush economic collapse of 2008? Why hinder ourselves with the burden of the Bush family when we can finally run a new generation candidate in a change election? Without question, Jeb Bush is the worst possible option for 2016.

2. Empty Resumes – After two terms of Barack Obama and years of complaining from the GOP faithful about how unqualified and unprepared this half-term senator was for the job, the conservative base seems eager to offer up even less qualified candidates of their own. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio all have resumes even weaker and devoid of accomplishments than Sen. Obama offered in 2008. While some would argue that Rubio doesn’t belong in this group due to his short time in the Florida legislature, I would argue his flip-flop on immigration reform (a bill he helped write) has damaged his credibility even more so than his unqualified fellow senators. If these three were not unfit enough, conservatives are also pushing Dr. Ben Carson, a man with no political or governing experience whatsoever. None. Zip. Zilch. The shocking lack of qualifications among this group would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

3. Untested Governors – The common refrain among Republicans is that the 2016 field is so deep and talented. This notion seems to stem from the accomplished crop of governors that the party has cultivated. At first glance this seems to be the case, but upon further review, this group of big talents appears to be a collection of paper tigers. Take Rick Perry, the outgoing governor of Texas, who humiliated himself in the last presidential race despite his state’s good economic record. There is Bobby Jindal, often cited as a big thinker, who has also made himself a punch-line on the national stage when he wasn’t busy being the South’s most unpopular Republican. Even Mary Landrieu, the about-to-be-ousted senior senator from Louisiana boasts a high approval rating. Gov. Mike Pence checks a lot of boxes for the GOP, but he has a stunning lack of accomplishment for someone who has been in office as long as he has. Compare his record as governor to his predecessor and you will quickly see that Pence is as big a do-nothing governor as he was a do-nothing congressman. He also has no real experience dealing with the opposition, a gaping hole in the resume shared by Perry and Jindal.

4. Retreads – The rest of the field of pretenders is full of candidates who have run and lost before, and in some cases multiple times. Rick Santorum is planning to run again, despite having spent the last 15 years losing elections and saying embarrassing, bigoted nonsense every time he’s on television. Mike Huckabee, a moderately successful television and radio entertainer, is pondering another run to be President of Iowa, but like his previous campaign proved, he has little appeal outside the tiny, caucus electorate.  Mitt Romney has seen a bit of a comeback in the media, almost entirely due to the failures of the man who soundly defeated him. While he would have a few “I told you so” points to make in another race with Obama, he has no real appeal in a race against anyone else. Paul Ryan could be considered the “next-in-line” candidate due to his role as Romney’s defeated running mate, but he faces the same daunting realities that plagued other defeated VP nominees. Add in the fact that no member of the House has won the presidency in over a century and his path becomes even more unrealistic.

5. Real competitors – For all the problems the field has, there are a few bright spots who could lead to real challenges for Christie. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio can claim to be just as tested and even more accomplished than the New Jersey governor. True, only Christie has a powerful Democratic legislature to deal with, but Kasich and Walker faced fierce opposition from labor unions, and came out winners. While neither can command a stage or a late night show with Christie’s charisma, their mid-western charms may be compelling to voters in search of candidates to relate to. Most importantly, both men have shown they can win in purple states, which is one of Christie’s biggest assets. Both men have a long way to go to be able to stand toe-to-toe with the New Jersey governor, but they have a better shot than anyone else considering a run.

When you really examine this “deep bench” you begin to see that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Gov. Christie became a national star for a reason; he possesses the intangibles and talent that often accompany successful politicians. He can masterfully play both wrecking ball and common man, someone who can both feel your anger and your pain. He has accomplished a lot in a state long bereft of leadership, and with a mountain of problems thirty years in the making. He showed real leadership during a natural disaster that tore through his state. He demonstrated a level of accountability unseen on the presidential level in years during his marathon Bridgegate press conference. He has withstood a full-court assault from the media in an attempt to destroy his 2016 prospects. Through it all he has shown a remarkable resiliency, even more amazing considering just how blue his home state is. Some will nitpick about New Jersey’s economic numbers, or they’ll attempt to hype non-scandals, but these efforts will likely fail, just as they did when they were used to attack Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

Gov. Chris Christie is the best chance the GOP has at defeating Hillary Clinton and taking back the White House, and it will take an extraordinary effort by someone far less talented to change that reality.

November 19, 2014

RNC 2018 Straw Poll Lists 33 Possible Candidates

The Republican National Committee recently began an on-line straw poll asking its members which candidate they would like to see. The respondents are to circle any three. The list includes:

  1. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte
  2. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
  3. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
  4. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  5. Businessman Herman Cain
  6. Dr. Ben Carson
  7. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  8. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  9. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
  10. Former CEO Carly Fiona
  11. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  12. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  13. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  14. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
  15. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  16. New York Rep. Peter King
  17. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
  18. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
  19. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  20. Former Rep. Ron Paul
  21. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  22. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
  23. Texas Gov. Rick Perry
  24. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
  25. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  26. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
  27. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
  28. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval
  29. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
  30. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
  31. South Dakota Sen. John Thune
  32. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  33. Former Florida Rep. Allen West

Write-in votes are allowed.

The results have not been published anywhere that I’ve seen, and I don’t particularly wish to sign up just so they can get my email address to spam me. However, if you are inclined to participate, here is the link.

November 18, 2014

More Christie News: He Addresses Incoming GOP Congressmen

A story in the Associated Press tells of Governor Chris Christie meeting with the incoming Republican Congressmen and offering them some advice:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Making a rare Capitol Hill appearance, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday encouraged the GOP’s newest members of Congress to embrace compromise and common ground as they shift to a governing role following their party’s midterm rout.

The Republican governor, who is contemplating a 2016 presidential bid, addressed newly elected House Republicans and their spouses during a closed-door orientation luncheon inside the Capitol. The often-outspoken Christie declined to answer questions from reporters afterward, but attendees said offered a distinctly bipartisan tone.

“He did talk about compromise and finding common ground,” said incoming Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J.

 

Christie avoided immigration altogether during his remarks, according to attendees. The two-term governor, who is often criticized by his party’s most passionate conservatives, talked instead about energy policy – including the need for the Keystone Pipeline – tax reform and reducing government regulation.

“He alluded to shutting the government down was not a good idea,” said incoming Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont.

“I asked him what he was going to do about uniting the party,” Zinke added. “His answer was focus on things we can agree on.”

 

No, I have not suddenly become a Christie fan, but he has certainly been in the news a lot in the past few days.

by @ 9:14 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie

Christie’s Term of Leading GOP Governors Ending

According to the Wall Street Journal:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to arrive in Florida on Tuesday to wrap up his yearlong job as Republican Governors Association chairman, a position that brought national visibility to the potential 2016 contender.

Mr. Christie will join 28 other Republican governors from across the country for the annual RGA conference, which runs from Wednesday through Thursday. About a half a dozen governors who are potential 2016 presidential candidates are scheduled to attend the event in Boca Raton, Fla.

The conference comes on the heels of Republicans picking up four gubernatorial seats in a particularly strong showing during the midterm elections. The GOP now controls 31 governor’s seats, a high last reached in 1998.

Governor Christie can point to a very successful election year for the governors as a positive in any potential Presidential race he may run. It might help. Mitt Romney held the same position in 2006 which was not a good year for Republican governors, and he lost in 2008. Coincidence?

(*edited per Chip’s comment)

by @ 8:08 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney

Christie is Getting into Fighting Trim

In nearly the past two years, Chris Christie has lost at least 100 pounds. From NJ.com:

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie refuses to disclose exactly how many pounds he’s shed since undergoing weight loss surgery, but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating.

Christie, who’s visibly trimmed down since undergoing Lap-Band surgery in February 2013, lost at least 100 pounds, according to a doctor who was provided before and after pictures of the governor by The Record of north Jersey.

“He’s lost 100 pounds, if not a little bit more, which puts him on a very good track,” Dr. Jaime Ponce, former president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, told the newspaper.

Weight reduction serves many purposes for the Governor of New Jersey:

  1. It’s healthy.
  2. It gets him into shape for the long, strenuous hours of running for President.
  3. It’s not likely Americans will elect a fat President.
by @ 7:52 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie

Christie to Veto New Jersey Bill. Thinking of Iowa?

Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey has indicated that he’s considering vetoing a bill pending in his state’s legislature. The bill would ban the use of so-called “Gestation Cages” by hog farmers. They are used to confine pregnant sows during their gestation, hence the name.

The bill would have pretty much zero effect in New Jersey. There are only a small number of hog farmers in the state, and none of them use the cages. So it’s pretty much a meaningless bill — in New Jersey.

So why would the Governor of New Jersey want to veto a largely symbolic bill in his state? In a word, Iowa.

It turns out that gestation cages ARE a big deal in Iowa. There are tons of hog farmers in Iowa, and the use of the cages is quite common. One or two of the farmers expressed to Governor Christie when he visited the state recently that they really don’t see how anyone who’s never set foot on a hog farm could ever have an informed opinion on the cages. Christie agreed with them.

And which state has the first Presidential contest in the nation? Iowa, which makes it very important in the realm of Presidential politics.

And that’s how an essentially meaningless bill in New Jersey suddenly becomes controversial.

by @ 7:11 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Iowa Caucuses

November 17, 2014

Does Christie Have a Gambling Problem?

Gov. Chris Christie has a gambling problem — one that will stretch far beyond this resort city if he runs for president next year.

As the gaming industry continues its free fall, Christie says he wants to “stop the bleeding” in Atlantic City, where the municipal government is a financial train wreck and the casinos have become mostly losing bets for their owners as former patrons flock to competitors in neighboring states.

It’s a dilemma with added political urgency for Christie as he nears an announcement on seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for president — a campaign in which rivals surely will try to pin New Jersey’s ills (Atlantic City isn’t the only one) on Christie.

“Any governor running for president wants to be able to point to successes in his state,” Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker said. “Christie has a problem in Atlantic City.”

Thus begins an article in the New Jersey Daily Journal entitled, Chris Christie’s Gambling Problem. Its basic premise is that since Atlantic City’s gaming industry is dying and taking Atlantic City with it, that is going to be a problem for Christie should he run for President.

Well maybe it will, or maybe it won’t. Right now I’m on the side of maybe it won’t.

(more…)

by @ 10:19 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie

November 15, 2014

Weekend Miscellany

This is planned to be a regular weekend compendium of short comments on (mostly) minor news items, mostly but not exclusively political in nature. It is also an opportunity for you to post your own items in the comments (there’s no such thing as being off-topic on a Miscellany post). We did this in 2011-12 and had fun with it – I hope for the same this go-round.

 

The Mary Landrieu Preservation Act of 2014
WaPo takes a rather cynical view of Senate Democrats’ efforts to rescue one of their own.

Suddenly, the full legislative force of the government has been marshaled to try to tilt the results of the Senate runoff in Louisiana. And voters thought lawmakers couldn’t get together to do what’s best for the nation?

Additionally, they note that theDemocrats may be giving away a valuable bargaining chip and getting little (probably nothing) in return.

…Landrieu had put her fellow Democrats in an awkward spot. Approval of the pipeline was likely to happen eventually, but Obama could have extracted significant concessions from the Republicans for it. Now they may be giving away that chit for nothing, to aide a colleague in a race she’s unlikely to win anyway.

I doubt it matters anyway. Most speculation I’ve seen has been that President Obama will veto any such bill.

 

Should Ben Carson Be Taken Seriously?
In my post a few days ago assessing the early field, I laughed off Ben Carson. This article by Scott Conroy in RCP tries to make the case that maybe that’s not valid.

Okay, I read the article and tried to keep an open mind. Nonetheless, I came away still convinced that a Carson candidacy ain’t goin’ nowhere. I was impressed by the fundraising numbers Conroy cited:

The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee (also known as Draft Ben Carson) has raised over $11 million since it was founded in August 2013, more than $8 million of which has come from contributions under $200.

If they can keep that up, maybe they can keep their guy in the game until the big money that comes to winners starts arriving. I was also impressed that they have operations in every county of Iowa.

My doubts returned, though, when the discussion turned to Carson’s biggest obstacle – his mouth.

And like previous Republican long-shot contenders who rallied the conservative grassroots only to flame out eventually, Carson has a tendency to overreach in searching for the punchiest sound bite.

He is particularly fond of doling out dubious comparisons between the United States under President Obama and Nazi Germany under Hitler, for which he has refused to backtrack whenever given the opportunity to do so.

During an interview with liberal radio host Alan Colmes that was conducted just before the midterms, Carson speculated that if Republicans did not win the Senate, there might not even be an election in 2016 because “there may be so much anarchy going on” in the United States.

One or two of those in a debate, and he’s finished. The problem is that the media will ensure that his wild statements reflect on the whole Party.

 

Was Hillary the Big Winner in the Midterms?
I thought that would get your attention. Of course she wasn’t, but that has been the theme of a number of pieces of wishful thinking by assorted lefties. Their logic, such as it is, goes like this:

  • The rejection of Obama lessens the threat to her from the left
  • It was a rejection of Obama’s leadership, and not of Democratic policies
  • Republicans are wackos and will make a mess of things

Ross Kaminsky does an excellent job of detailing these arguments and then destroying them in The American Spectator. Since Miscellany is intended to be short, I won’t get into details. Read it.

 

Update from Arizona CD-2
Since I’m back in my home state, you’ll have to put up with some Arizona-centric posting. For the second straight election, the race in CD-2 was between Martha McSally and Ron Barber, and for the second time it’s really, really close. Barber, the Democrat, won a tight one (about 1400 votes) last time, and McSally is ahead in an even closer one this time.

So close that it’s going to a mandatory recount. Arizona law says that recounts are required when the margin is either less than 200 votes or less than 0.1% of votes cast. Since McSally is ahead by 161 votes of 219,000 cast, this one qualifies on both measures.

Recounts are usually accompanied by lawsuits, of course, and this one seems likely to be no different. Barber has threatened a suit over 782 provisional ballots that were disallowed, and McSally earlier threatened a suit when Pima County counted provisional ballots that had not been certified by precinct election judges.

The recount won’t start until December 1, I believe, so things are on hold until then. I think McSally, if she survives the recount (which she probably will) and also survives Barber’s probable shot at making it best two out of three, could be a future star in Arizona, so I’ll be watching closely.

 

Chris Christie Ponders Pig Crate Bill
A bill has passed the New Jersey legislature banning the use of ‘gestation crates’ by pig farmers, of whom there aren’t all that many in the state.

Christie has until early December to decide whether to sign a bill that would ban pig farmers in the state from using devices called gestation crates, or metal cages, that are so small that pregnant pigs can’t turn around.

The bill has the overwhelming support of Republican and Democratic state lawmakers in New Jersey, where it would have little-to-no impact – the state’s roughly 300 pig farms don’t regularly use the crates.

Pretty much of a no-brainer, right? It’s a bi-partisan bill of the feel-good variety, probably popular in the Jersey suburban communities, and it won’t do a lot of harm. So sign it, already.

But wait! There are a whole passel of pigs in Iowa, and that state’s governor, Terry Bransted, has called Christie to lobby against the bill. Terry Bransted is somebody potential presidential candidates like to make nice with.

Oh dear, what to do?

 

The Ted Cruz Superhero Coloring Book. Yes, Really.
How much is there to say about such a thing? A picture is worth a thousand words, I’m told, so here are a couple, and you can see the rest at the link.

cruz3
That’s it for this week. Please post your comments or, as mentioned earlier, your own miscellany.

by @ 11:19 am. Filed under 2014, 2016, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz

November 12, 2014

A Personal Appraisal of the Early Field

Since some of the other posters from R4’12 seem to be returning (great to see you, Matt and Mark), I thought I might do the same. A good place to start might be with a very preliminary assessment of the field that is shaping up. In order to do that fairly, however, I think I need to first position myself, so that you know from what perspective I’m coming (or, if you prefer, what my biases are).

In the run-up to ’12, I was an ardent Mitch Daniels supporter. After Daniels withdrew, I never really settled on another candidate, though I tried to get hyped up about several, most notably Tim Pawlenty; hell, I even gave Jon Huntsman a look (and then quickly backed away). Eventually, of course, it became obvious that Romney would get the nomination, but I couldn’t work up enthusiasm about him, either, since I was fairly certain he’d lose (admission: there was a point in October where I came around to thinking he might pull it out – wrong again!). However, I was out of the country by then and unable to do anything other than go to the nearest consulate and vote for him).

Which brings us to 2016. I would still support Daniels in a heartbeat, but he seems perfectly happy at Purdue, and getting him to change his mind about subjecting his family to the ugliness that American politics has become is about as likely as the Romney and Palin supporters of R4’12 organizing a ‘Draft Bob Hovic’ movement.

So I’ll have to find someone who can fill the same slot – reformist, executive experience, competence, able to relate to ordinary people, fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and defense-minded.

On those last three points let me add this: our party (and any party that is going to be more than a splinter movement – I’m looking at you, Libertarians) is a coalition. Any candidate that is going to unite a coalition must be acceptable to all major factions. Not that s/he is the favorite of all of them (or any of them). But s/he must not be obnoxious to any of them.

Matt Coulter listed a number of subgroups in his recent (excellent) post, but I’ll be old-fashioned and go with the old ficons, socons, and defcons. The Republican nominee need not be a hard-core deficit hawk, but must not go far in the opposite direction; need not be a culture warrior but must not be pro-choice (or even weakly pro-life); need not be an interventionist, but must not be isolationist. Which means the candidate must be able to thread needles quite nicely.

Oh – and one more qualification: I refuse to support anyone who can’t win.

For an early choice I’m leaning toward Scott Walker. Walker is identified primarily with fiscal and reform issues (especially reining in public employee unions), but his social policy credentials are sufficient that I think my most ardently socon friends would find no problem accepting him (part of why I think this is because he is well to my right on social issues). I know nothing about his defense views (having held only local and state offices, he has not had occasion to take positions on defense). I’ll look forward to seeing what he has to say about defense and foreign policy.

He also comes from a solidly middle-class background (mom a bookkeeper, dad a Baptist minister) and can relate to the suburban and blue-collar people Republicans must get in order to win. He has that Midwestern Nice thing going for him (though it did nothing for Tim Pawlenty). Coupled with his inoffensive (some say ‘bland’ and/or ‘boring’) manner, he (like Daniels) seems able to take strong positions without being offensive to middle-of-the-roaders.

My early second choice is Bobby Jindal, who shares many of Walker’s qualities – a proven record of reform at the state level (including a successful school voucher program), plus strong ficon and socon credibility. In addition, his grasp of policy is legendary, and to be blunt, his skin color is a positive. As with Walker, I know nothing of his defense views, and I’ll be waiting to learn more.

On the negative side, I have a perception of Jindal as being very outspoken on social issues – to the point that it might create problems for him with social moderates (whether or not strongly-held socon positions are a big political negative in a national race is, in my opinion, dependent on words and tone more than the positions themselves). This is just a perception, I admit, and only time will tell. I also think a Midwesterner would be a better choice than a Southerner.

It’s no accident that my two main choices are both governors. I strongly prefer governors for two reasons: 1) If Obama has proven anything, it is that executive experience matters greatly; and 2) I think the anti-Washington mood will continue into 2016, and these two will have little difficulty painting Hillary as an ‘insider’ and contrasting her to themselves.

These are the two I’m most interested in at this point. There’s a long way to go, obviously (at this point last time, Mark Sanford headed my list – but I’d rather not discuss that, thank you), so I retain my option to change at any time.

As for the others, just a few words on why I choose not (for now) to back them.

Mitt Romney – Obviously meets my executive experience criterion, in spades. He totally fails on appealing to blue-collar types and is past his sell-by date. In any case, I’m inclined to think, for now, that he isn’t running.

Mike Huckabee – Another governor who can sell socon positions with a smile, though I think he is so closely identified with social issues that he comes across as a one-issue candidate. His Arkansas record makes ficons like me uneasy, to put it mildly. I can’t support him for that reason, and I think he will have problems with a big enough bloc of Republicans that he’ll be stymied.

Rand Paul – Certainly a better salesman for libertarianism than his father, though that isn’t saying much. (As a libertarian myself, I prayed nightly for Ron Paul to just go away). Unless he starts quickly to moderate his foreign policy views, however, I think he has zero chance of getting the nomination. Also – no executive experience.

Jeb Bush – If only he had a different last name. By all accounts an excellent governor, but … well, let’s put it this way: We have an opportunity to run against a hard-core insider and we are contemplating nominating a Bush? Really?

Marco Rubio – No executive experience. Shot himself in the foot on comprehensive immigration reform, but probably backed away sufficiently that it will be forgiven/forgotten. Probably hasn’t been in Washington long enough to be perceived as being one of them. My problem with him is that I see no reason to support him other than his ethnicity. (We do owe him thanks for ridding the party of Charlie Crist).

Ted Cruz – Another short-term Senator. In addition to having no executive background, the guy is a loose cannon. Heaven only knows what he’d spout on the campaign trail.

Rick Perry — We’ll see if he learned anything from 2012. If he did, he might be worth giving attention to (though I think he’s damaged goods). If he didn’t, we won’t have to wait long for him to be gone.

Chris Christie – “Shut up and sit down!” might go over big in NY/NJ, but it will get real old real fast in the rest of the country. The guy just lacks the temperament for a long national campaign. I’ll never forgive him for embracing Obama right before election day – that finished the guy for me.

Paul Ryan – A ficon’s wet dream and one of my ABR options late in the 2012 primary season. On sober reflection, I don’t think a Representative can do it – though he has the advantage of having run a national campaign (losing, but still …). My objection is no executive experience, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset if he were the nominee.

Rick Santorum – He apparently hasn’t figured out that the only reason he did so well in ’12 is that he was the final ABR. If Huckabee gets in, Santorum will be eliminated in Ames, otherwise he might make it to New Hampshire.

Ben Carson – Okay, I’m scraping bottom now. Time to quit.

Whom do the National Security Professionals Favor as Future Commander-in-chief?

Defense One, a website dedicated to National Security, recently ran a poll of “…427 individuals currently serving within the national security community, including from the State Department, Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security”. They were asked whom they preferred as the new Commander-in-chief in 2016. The results are rather telling.

Defense One has not released the percentage results yet; those will be revealed next week. They did, however, release the order of finish. Here it is:

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Jeb Bush
  3. Hillary Clinton
  4. Paul Ryan
  5. Chris Christie
  6. Rick Perry
  7. Rand Paul
  8. Joe Biden
  9. Marco Rubio
  10. Ted Cruz

I am surprised to see Mitt Romney’s name atop that list. He has never struck me as the sort of person that a National Security professional (aka: “hard men who put their lives on the line so we can sleep safe at night”) would prefer as CinC.

November 10, 2014

And So Begins the Race for 2016: GOP Edition

With the midterm elections in the rearview mirror and the Republican Party celebrating greater-than-expected gains across the board (Senate, House, and Gubernatorial races, as well as state houses), the electoral attention of politicos nationwide has now snapped to 2016 and the greatest prize of all: the presidency.

Specifically, who will run? Because of several factors coming to a head at the same time, we anticipate this being one of the largest Republican fields in history. The more interesting question might be: who will decide not to run?

This is where things get incredibly interesting for the Republicans. We are aware of a schism within the Democratic Party between the DLC’ers and the liberal wing of the party (and we will explore that schism, and what it means for their primaries, in a future piece). But we are now seeing a similar schism becoming more well-defined than ever in the Republican Party as well.

Schism

The Reagan Coalition which propelled the Gipper to massive victories in the 1980s (and which provided George W. Bush with two narrower victories in the 2000s) – fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, and foreign policy hawks — has fractured and faded, despite the dreams of well-meaning conservatives to the contrary. Replacing the now-tired three-legged-stool analogy is a much more greatly splintered party: neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, Paulite libertarians, soft libertarians, the Tea Party, social/religious conservatives, secular moderates, and on and on.

The galvanizing effect of the Obama presidency along with the local nature of midterm elections allowed those various factions to sweep Republicans to victory last Tuesday; however, with the national race for the presidency the factions will almost certainly turn on one another in an attempt to get “their guy” (or girl) into the White House.

Truthfully, though, the chasms of difference between the groups is largely overstated. The true schism in the Republican Party is a much simpler one, and is familiar to armchair pundits: the “establishment” versus the “conservatives.” Nearly every faction of the Republican Party can be placed (sometimes with a little force) into one of those two camps. True, this divide has always existed at some level, but never in the forefront like it’s about to, and never with the practical ramifications it will have for the 2016 race.

On This Side of the Ring…

On the grassroots/conservatives side you have candidates like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson (who has said the “likelihood is strong” that he will run, and who is airing what could be considered 2016’s first campaign ads this weekend). On the establishment side, to counter their firebrand version of conservatism, is… well, that is the $25,000 question.

Two big names loom large over the establishment, with a third now gaining traction as well, thanks to the midterm results: Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker. The big question for 2016 is this: will Jeb run? He’s given a personal deadline of the end of 2014 to make that decision (not to announce it, but to make it), and that decision will set off a domino effect of sorts which may determine how the 2016 Republican primary plays out.

First, let’s face the facts: none of the candidates on the other side of the equation stand a legitimate chance of winning the nomination. If you support one of these candidates, you are, of course, free to argue and fight against that assertion, but history is not kind to those types of candidates. That does not mean one or two folks out of the Paul/Cruz/Perry/Carson/Santorum group will not win a few primaries, be vocal, and drive some of the agenda during the primary fight. They certainly will do all of the above. But ultimately, they will not be the GOP nominee. How can I say this with such certainty? Two reasons: money and organization (we will explore both of those aspects in a later piece as well).

The establishment, for all its negative stereotypes (milquetoast, squishy, moderate), prevails during GOP primaries election after election after election because they are smarter about how they go about the process. This is the domino effect I spoke of earlier. The establishment is made up of the money men and women of the Republican party as well as the top tier of the campaign staff talent pool. To say the establishment is monolithic would obviously be overstating things; however, they do tend to recognize electoral reality a tad better than the conservative wing of the party.

Here’s what I mean by that: the conservative wing will run as many candidates as they can. All of the candidates mentioned earlier (Paul, Cruz, Perry, Santorum, Carson) will almost certainly run. Other candidates who appeal to the Tea Party, libertarian, or non-interventionist wings of the party will jump in as well. They all believe the splinter of the Republican Party they represent would best represent the American people (or at least best benefit them) in the White House. Meanwhile, the establishment is hanging back, planning and calculating. If Jeb Bush decides to run, they will throw their massive weight behind him. If he doesn’t run, Scott Walker may well be an attractive alternative for their support. Winning three gubernatorial elections in four years in a blue state has a tendency to make everyone sit up and take notice; only Walker’s vanilla personality and extreme stance on abortion might keep the establishment from fully embracing him. If neither of those men choose to run, then the door is flung wide open: Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal, or John Kasich may choose to jump in the race. Or, difficult as it is to believe, Mitt Romney may attempt a third try to win the Oval Office.

Strategy and Collaboration

The establishment of the Republican Party is well aware of this dynamic, and all the money people and staff and campaign talent are talking through 2016 strategy already. This is the benefit the establishment has, for better or worse, over the grassroots/conservative side of the campaign. Where the grassroots splinter among many different choices (think Santorum/Gingrich/Perry/Cain/Bachmann in 2012), the establishment are more determined than ever to win back the presidency in 2016. Their collaboration and strategizing is with the intent to make that happen.

Many in the establishment are urging Romney to run again. Of course, his former advisors and campaign staff are largely behind the push, but the idea garners more support within GOP circles than one might think at first pass. On the record, Romney says no, over and over again — but then notes that circumstances could change. Those circumstances that Romney is watching, according to those inside the proverbial smoke-filled room, all center around who else is running and who else is winning.

If Jeb Bush (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, Scott Walker) decide not to run, or if a candidate on the other side of the equation actually looks like they stand a chance of winning, then, say those with inside information, Romney will likely jump in and run for a third time. Romney has had several meetings with the big-name donors and talent already, and has remarked to them that he is deeply concerned with the possibility of the GOP being represented and defined on a national level by “ideological hardliners” and foreign policy “non-interventionists.” These concerns are shared by the establishment players and will drive them to Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, or Mitt Romney in droves during the primary (or, absent those three, Kasich, Pence, or Jindal).

The Wildcard

The one name that hasn’t been mentioned yet is the final piece of the 2016 puzzle: Chris Christie. He is the 900 pound gorilla in the room (no pun intended), because he does not align himself with either side of the schism. He is the wildcard in the 2016 race because he is primarily only concerned with one thing: Chris Christie. He will almost undoubtedly throw his hat in the ring, and when he does, it will be fascinating to see how things shake out. His moderate-to-liberal policy positions align more with the establishment wing of the party, but his blunt demeanor plays better with the grassroots. On the surface, one would expect him to therefore be the perfect candidate to unite the two sides and win the GOP nomination, but the exact opposite is more likely.

Chris Christie has alienated a large portion of the establishment thanks to his actions in the 2012 and 2014 elections. There is certainly no love lost between Mitt Romney and Chris Christie because of the way Christie acted during the VP vetting process (arrogant, above the rules) and the way he acted days before the 2012 general election (embracing President Obama). The relationship between Romney and Christie is cold at best, which is a problem for Christie because most of the establishment are firmly aligned with Mitt. Further exacerbating the issue is Scott Walker’s similar coldness toward the New Jersey Governor. While Christie is being rightly praised for the wins of GOP gubernatorial candidates across the country last Tuesday, Scott Walker publicly feuded with Christie over RGA support in the days leading up to the midterm election, separating himself from Christie and making sure the Wisconsin voters knew he stood on his own and didn’t need Christie. Finally, the relationship between the Jeb Bush camp and Chris Christie is cold as well, stemming from the attacks on not only Jeb Bush but the entire Bush dynasty by Chris Christie aides and supporters earlier this year. Christie has managed to alienate the backers and supporters of the three biggest establishment players, and in so doing has lost his most natural path to the nomination.

The even bigger problem for Christie with the establishment, though, comes in closed-door comments that have been leaked to the press: nobody in the establishment think Christie is capable of winning the election. Coupled with an already cold relationship, that spells doom for Christie among the establishment.

As far as the other side of the schism goes, Christie faces struggles there as well. The fondness the grassroots feels for Christie because of his demeanor and blunt opposition to unions stands to dissipate quickly once they, those of the ideological purity camp, discover Christie’s liberal stances on issues such as illegal immigration (including in state tuition), gun control, and Obamacare. Poll after poll is already showing the conservative wing of the party overwhelmingly rejecting a Christie candidacy. They view him as establishment, and the establishment doesn’t want him either. He is the homeless wildcard.

The Stage is Set

And so the race for 2016 begins. The board has been unfolded. One side is rushing to fill it with pieces and the other side is patiently observing, nervously hoping they can find a winning piece to place on the board. Meanwhile, across the aisle the Democrats are gearing up for their own race — and while it does not appear to contain any of the drama of the GOP race on the surface, there is plenty going on which stands to make it just as interesting, as we will see in the second installment of this series.

November 8, 2014

Christie Is Back!

The 2016 presidential election is now on the minds of many Americans who pay close attention to politics, and although there will be no incumbent president running in 2016, the Democratic nomination seems to have been settled on Hillary Clinton, assuming that she runs.

The Republican nomination, however, seems to be a wide open question right now, and even lacks a consensus frontrunner.

I  suggest that, once again, the most formidable contender for the conservative party’s nomination is Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

He had been a early favorite many months ago until a local New Jersey scandal threatened to demolish any aspirations he might have for higher office. The “scandal” itself was “distasteful” and inexcusable, but any direct or even culpable indirect role of the governor in the event turned out to be non-existent. That this “scandal” was meant to derail a very promising Republican national figure, however, became obvious. Governor Christie’s handling of the allegations and insinuations was something to behold. He, in effect, wrote a new book in political crisis management.

He is no stranger to controversy. In the final days of the 2012 presidential campaign, after a hurricane devastated parts of New Jersey, Christie welcomed and “embraced” President Obama to the state at a time when the election outcome was in doubt. Governor Christie needed presidential help to meet the serious problems arising from the natural disaster, but he seemed oblivious to political appearances. Many Republicans declared they would subsequently not ever support Christie if he ran for president. His poll numbers took a dive. “Sage” political observers, political consultants and pundits alike, wrote and rewrote his political obituary.

Employing his natural instinct to remain on offense, and his remarkable speaking skills, Christie immediately faced the public and the press after the New Jersey “bridge scandal” with his side of the story. Damage had unquestionably been done, but in subsequent months, employing his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), he demonstrated his skills as a spokesman, inspiration and fundraiser for his party.

He had won re-election in New Jersey with 58% of the vote in spite of the state being a very Democratic or “blue” state. After the scandal, his poll numbers dropped precipitously. Today, they are partially recovered, especially among Republicans.

Not only did he raise more money for gubernatorial campaigns in 2014, he raised more money than anyone had before. He campaigned tirelessly for GOP gubernatorial candidates, both incumbents and challengers, and everywhere he went he was enthusiastically welcomed (unlike a certain incumbent president of the United States). So much for his political obituary.

The biggest media story from the results of the 2014 national midterm elections was the Republican takeover of the U.S. senate. Perhaps the bigger political story, however, was the performance of GOP governors in winning re-election against considerable odds. There were many more incumbent Republican governorships at stake in 2014, and virtually all observers predicted  Democratic net gains even if there were a GOP wave in congressional races.
Governor Christie, as RGA chair, skillfully raised funds for GOP gubernatorial races (significantly out-raising the Democrats), and as the biggest Republican “star,” campaigned non-stop for virtually all of his party’s gubernatorial candidates, many of whom were very vulnerable in 2014. Most of them nevertheless won. As a result, he can take some notable credit for the the remarkable outcome, I think it’s fair to say that Governor Christie was the biggest individual winner of 2014 and he wasn’t on any ballot.

I am not yet predicting he will be the Republican nominee for president in 2016, but after reviewing the many other known hopefuls for that nomination, I feel safe to say that he is among the two or three frontrunners for it, and perhaps already (again) the man to beat.

He has obvious political handicaps to overcome before the 2016 GOP national convention. As a conservative governor from a liberal state, some of his political views do not conform to party orthodoxy. Some Republicans have not forgotten his “embrace” of Barack Obama in 2012, and others remain skeptical about his role in the recent scandal. “Perhaps he could win the general election,” some go on to say, “but he cannot be nominated.”

The nomination process lies ahead, and how he might win that prize is the challenge that faces him and his strategists, but I point to the central strength of his candidacy: He is the only national Republican figure who understands his party’s need to assume the offense in national politics, and to take the risk of confronting the liberal establishment of regulatory advocates, class warriors, union leaders and other forces of liberal special interests. He is also by far the national Republican personality with the most charisma.

He does have weaknesses and shortcomings, and these might yet keep him from the nomination. He will face a large field of fellow Republicans in the primary/caucus process, and then, even if he is successful, he will probably have to face Mrs. Clinton. All of this is yet to come, and will be formidable. More than anything else, Chris Christie will have to demonstrate to his party, and then to the nation, that he can learn from his own past, and from the polarizing travail of the Obama years.

By 2016, not only his party, but the whole nation, will be yearning for someone to take charge in Washington, DC, someone who can not only lead well and wisely, but also truly inspire.

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Copyright 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under 2016, 2016 Headlines, Chris Christie, R4'16 Essential Reads

October 20, 2014

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

Among Democrats

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

Among Republicans

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

Among Independents

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

Among Moderates

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

Survey of 734 registered voters was conducted September 29 – October 5, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points.  Party ID: 34% [33%] (36%) {36%} [39%] (36%) {39%} [40%] (41%) {41%} [39%] (43%) {38%} [35%] (37%) {39%} [37%] {35%} [31%] (36%) {35%} Democrat; 20% [20%] (21%) {23%} [19%] (21%) {21%} [21%] (22%) {19%} [22%] (22%) {24%} [24%] (22%) {21%} [20%] {18%} [19%] (22%) {23%} Republican; 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 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 @ 7:00 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

October 17, 2014

Fair Warning

The past week was generally good to the Republicans, but a true whole picture of the final outcomes of 2014 is not yet in sight.

No political party easily gives up the powers that they have, and the Democrats are  particularly “ferocious” in this cycle to keep control of the U.S. senate, and to make gains in their number of governors of the states.

I have been stressing, despite the voter momentum to the conservative party this cycle, that the liberal party has serious cards to play, and that they are, and will continue, playing them right up to election day. These include much more campaign funds, reliable constituencies, and a proven and effective ability to get out their vote. Republicans this cycle have outfunded the Democrats only in the gubernatorial races (thanks to having more incumbents and the efforts of Republican Governors Association chairman Chris Christie).

The structure of the congressional map, as well as the GOP trend this year, ensures mostly good outcomes for the conservative party in U.S. house races, despite the Democrats’ financial advantage in these races. The Democrats have now pulled their ads in many of the races where they hoped to defeat incumbent Republicans, and reallocated those funds to saving vulnerable Democrats.

It is in the U.S. senate races where Republicans must most be wary, and not overconfident, with just under three weeks to go. The Democrats know where they still have opportunities, both to save their own vulnerable incumbents and to possibly pick off an incumbent GOP senator or two. They have the money and they have the technology to make a successful last stand.

As in some house races, Democrats have redirected their efforts in some senate races. They appear to be conceding Colorado and Kentucky, but there are several senate races where heavy advertising and aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts might yet save the political day for them.

Just as, following the 2004 election when Republicans had the better ground game, the 2014 mid-term elections are a challenge to the opposition party to adapt to a new election landscape featuring early voting, looser voting rules, high-tech voter I.D methods, and new political media/communication venues.

Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party nomination in 2008 in part by embracing the then new election landscape, and he defeated Mitt Romney in 2012 in part because the Republicans had not learned the technical lessons of 2006 and 2008.

The conservative party has had fair warning.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

by @ 5:12 pm. Filed under 2014, Campaign Strategy, Chris Christie, Democrats, House Races, Republican Party, Senate Races

October 14, 2014

It’s Complicated

Three weeks from tonight, if current trends hold, the Republican Party appears poised to achieve a solid, yet not overwhelming, victory in this year’s midterm elections. What we’re about to see is not quite a wave, but might best be described as a correction. The red states are red again, while the blue states remain blue, and the purple states seem willing to give Republicans a chance. The Republicans will almost certainly capture the Senate, and possibly do so quite solidly, and may actually attain their greatest majority in the House in several decades. All of this, however, does not suggest a Republican resurgence, but rather a diminishing Democratic government.

If the national zeitgeist were to be put into words right now, it would probably go something like this. Things just don’t feel quite right in America. We’re not exactly doing poorly. We’re not in the midst of a once-in-a-generation economic depression, or a clash of civilizations against a foreign empire. No, instead, the tableau is more complicated. The economy seems to be growing on paper, but it doesn’t quite feel that way on the ground. America’s economic engine is working, but not roaring. The unemployment rate has gone down, but people are still not getting promotions, not getting raises, and working two jobs to keep afloat. There’s no optimism out there. Instead, there’s acceptance of a new normal, and a creeping feeling that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Internationally, America seems to be faced with a number of difficult challenges. These challenges seem like they could have been prevented, but now that they exist, they don’t seem easily reparable. The spread of ISIS in the Middle East, and the presence of Ebola within American borders, shouldn’t have happened, but did, and solutions to these sorts of challenges seem, like the economic picture, complicated.

And then there’s the Democratic government. Democrats like “complicated.” Democrats are all about “complicated,” because Democrats believe that life is inherently complicated, and are always ready and willing to provide complicated solutions that will somehow make things even more complicated. Democrats will be the first to claim that the current complicated state of things is the best of all possible outcomes given what they had to work with.

But again, I think, the current zeitgeist goes something like this. We don’t quite buy that argument. Both parties made that argument before, in the 1970s, and then the 1980s came, and it turned out not to be true, and that America could make a comeback. So maybe, once again, it’s not so simple as to deem the future of America to be complicated. Maybe it’s just that our current leaders don’t have a better answer.

Enter Hillary Clinton. Once thought to be the inevitable 45th President, Mrs. Clinton has been coming down to earth in the polls as of late. Several polls have found her statistically tied with a number of Republicans in Iowa, an all important swing state won by Republicans in 2004, and Democrats in 2008 and 2012. Should other purple states follow suit, the Democrats may find that they have a fight on their hands, as memories of the Clinton years are eclipsed by the nagging feeling that the Democratic government simply doesn’t know what to do to make the country better.

Meanwhile, the Republicans still seem to lack a unified message, or optimistic tone, and continue to search for a national leader that can give the party meaning and purpose in the modern era, a full decade following its last presidential victory. Such a leader is not simply going to have to speak to the GOP base, but actually bring together the hodgepodge of voting blocs that will give Republicans victories in states like Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire, the purple states last won by George W. Bush.

Asking for a charismatic and optimistic leader who will end up on Mount Rushmore might be a bit much given the prospective field of Republican candidates. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Democrats thought they had found the same in Mr. Obama, and look how that turned out. The nation may not be opposed to electing someone with less panache this time around, someone a bit more sober and perhaps just a tad boring, but at the same time, any such leader is still going to find that a personal connection with the American people remains a prerequisite for the presidency.

That personal connection was something that Mr. Romney, who is rumored to be considering yet another run, was never able to attain. Despite winning all three debates with Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney was unable to garner the support of a majority of Americans. The Republican Party, hungry for leadership, appears to be considering Mr. Romney again, but it is still far from clear whether Mr. Romney has the ability to be relatable, and to truly reach through the television screen and have a human moment with the American people.

Contra Mr. Romney is Mr. Huckabee, his former primary opponent, and continued outspoken former governor and cultural conservative. Mr. Huckabee is not lacking in human moments, but may not quite capture the zeitgeist of the era, which isn’t really about cultural conservatism versus cultural liberalism, and which is more about a Democratic government promising stagnation in perpetuity, and an American people that want an optimistic alternative filled with opportunity. Mr. Huckabee’s recent weigh in on same sex marriage, an issue on which the country seems to be moving away from his point of view, probably does represent the former’s governor’s genuine beliefs, but doesn’t necessarily bode well for a presidential campaign.

And then there’s Mr. Bush. The former Florida governor seems to be setting his sights on becoming the third member of the Bush family to find his way into the Oval Office, and, in ways that were unthinkable just six years ago, is beginning to seem to be a reasonable bet for the nomination were he to run. The zeitgeist, acting as confessor, seems to have given the most recent president named Bush absolution, and the nation’s problems no longer seem to be the result of an inept Republican president, but the inevitable woes of a nation that had once believed that peace and prosperity could last forever, with the focus now being on how to regain America’s lost prowess.

Mr. Bush’s argument for the nomination goes something like this: “Republicans, I am you. I am just as competent and intelligent as Mr. Romney, but I can avoid being branded just another rich guy. I proved that in Florida. I am no less pro-life than Mr. Huckabee, but no one can pigeonhole me as a socially conservative former preacher. I can appeal to Latino voters, and my wife and son prove that, and I can do so with the gravitas that my friend Mr. Rubio can’t yet muster. I can improve the country’s economic policies, without coming off as wonkish like Mr. Ryan, and I can do so without scaring seniors. Heck, I governed a state filled with seniors. I can win a majority, unlike Mr. Paul and Mr. Cruz, but I also have no animosity for the followers of Mr. Paul and Mr. Cruz, nor do they for me. I know how to win Florida. I’ll hold North Carolina. I can take back Virginia, because I know how to appeal to the concerns of the military without sounding brazen or hawkish. And we can take back Ohio, because despite my family name, I don’t come off as an elitist. And if we all work together, we can win back the swing voters of the Midwest and the Southwest who instinctively know that we as a nation can do better than this, but who need to hear it from someone who sounds eminently reasonable.”

And that may be what Americans will be looking for in their next president — someone relatable without being a rock star, and someone more competent than charismatic. If so, at least a couple of dark horse contenders who believe that they meet such criteria, such as Mr. Walker of Wisconsin, and Mr. Kasich of Ohio, may also begin to more seriously look at a country in need of a leader whose primary claim to fame will be uncomplicating that which is hopelessly complicated.

Then there’s Mr. Christie, a man who appears to be eyeing the White House, despite his own path to the Oval Office being quite complicated in and of itself. Mr. Christie most assuredly has the charisma and the ability to personally connect with the American people and to make a formidable candidate in a national election. But where does Mr. Christie find his base? Is Mr. Christie going to bring lots of new voters into Republican primaries, tilting the culturally conservative Iowa caucus or the gritty, provincial, slightly paleoconservative New Hampshire primaries towards his own personal version of conservatism and Republicanism? If so, Mr. Christie has no time to spare in starting to build such a coalition, and in coming up with the ideas on which this coalition is to be built, neither of which has happened yet. Despite a personality that is larger than life, Mr. Christie will need more than personality to establish a foothold in an early primary state, or put together a coalition that will take the nomination, let alone the presidency.

To be sure, Mrs. Clinton is still the frontrunner for 2016. But a bit less of a frontrunner than she was six months ago. And perhaps six months from now, she’ll be even less of a frontrunner, as Americans, tired of economic and global complications, decide to send the Democratic government a Dear John note with the message, “It’s complicated.”

October 4, 2014

Poll Watch: McClatchy-Marist 2016 National Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51% (47%) {53%} [58%] (50%) {48%} [47%] (46%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (41%) {42%} [37%] (37%) {45%} [41%] (43%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% (48%) {54%} [58%] {55%} [50%] (52%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 43% (42%) {40%} [38%] {40%} [38%] (41%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53% (48%) {55%} [58%] {53%} [48%] (54%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (41%) {39%} [38%] {41%} [40%] (38%)

National survey of 884 registered voters was conducted September 24-29, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted August 4-7, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted April 7-10, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 4-9, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 12-14, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted December 3-5, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 15-18, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 25-27, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 1:13 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

October 2, 2014

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Survey

Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Poll

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

Among Independents

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

Among Men

  • Chris Christie (R) 46% [47%] (58%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% [44%] (35%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [49%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 39% [37%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% [49%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 39% [40%]

Among Women

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

Survey of 1,475 registered voters was conducted September 25-29, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 2.6 percentage points.  Party ID: 33% [34%] (33%) Democrat; 23% [24%] (25%) Republican; 37% [35%] (36%) Independent; 7% [7%] (7%) Other/Don’t know. 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 @ 12:30 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch

September 25, 2014

Poll Watch: Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press New Jersey Survey on Governor Chris Christie

Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press NJ Poll on Gov. Christie

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor?

  • Approve 46% {49%} [51%] (49%) {58%} [65%] (63%) {65%} [70%] (69%) {55%} [53%] (50%) {55%} [55%] (50%){46%} [49%] (44%) {45%} [42%] (31%)
  • Disapprove 42% {43%} [43%] (46%) {35%} [27%] (24%) {26%} [16%] (22%) {36%} [35%] (38%) {37%} [37%] (41%) {49%} [41%] (40%) {43%} [44%] (15%)

(more…)

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

September 19, 2014

Poll Watch: Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind New Jersey Survey on Governor Chris Christie

FDU PublicMind New Jersey Poll on Gov. Chris Christie  

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor?

  • Approve 46% {44%} (41%) [48%] {61%} (62%) [58%] {61%} (66%) [73%] {77%} (56%) [51%] {55%} (56%) [54%] {53%} (51%) [54%] {44%} (51%) [51%] {53%}
  • Disapprove 40% {44%} (44%) [39%] {24%} (24%) [29%] {26%} (20%) [19%] {17%} (33%) [35%] {35%} (33%) [34%] {37%} (36%) [36%] {44%} (41%) [39%] {36%}

Among Democrats

  • Approve 26% {26%} (24%) [34%] {42%} (47%) [42%] {44%} (55%) [62%] {67%} (26%) [28%] {33%} (36%) [30%] {26%} (27%) [31%] {20%} (27%) [27%] {33%}
  • Disapprove 61% {61%} (65%) [54%] {40%} (38%) [44%] {38%} (29%) [29%] {26%} (59%) [55%] {56%} (51%) [52%] {62%} (60%) [54%] {69%} (63%) [61%] {56%}

Among Republicans

  • Approve 66% {70%} (66%) [73%] {84%} (85%) [79%] {84%} (83%) [90%] {87%} (86%) [84%] {82%} (83%) [85%] {90%} (81%) [81%] {75%} (83%) [82%] {80%}
  • Disapprove 21% {19%} (19%) [18%] {8%} (6%) [12%] {7%} (6%) [7%] {9%} (9%) [10%] {13%} (11%) [9%] {7%} (11%) [16%] {16%} (14%) [15%] {14%}

Among Independents

  • Approve 46% {40%} (47%) [41%] {66%} (60%) [62%] {64%} (61%) [80%] {92%} (60%) [55%] {65%} (53%) [60%] {52%} (50%) [64%] {47%} (49%) [54%] {50%}
  • Disapprove 33% {46%} (36%) [40%] {13%} (22%) [18%] {24%} (26%) [13%] {5%} (20%) [30%] {23%} (31%) [27%] {36%} (35%) [26%] {32%} (36%) [28%] {32%}

Among Men

  • Approve 47% {46%} (42%) [48%] {63%} (67%) [65%] {66%} (71%) [77%] {76%} (64%) [54%] {61%} (64%) [62%] {63%} (58%) [61%] {52%} (58%) [61%] {59%}
  • Disapprove 40% {43%} (43%) [41%] {23%} (19%) [26%] {22%} (17%) [17%] {19%} (28%) [32%] {32%} (27%) [27%] {30%} (31%) [31%] {36%} (34%) [32%] {32%}

Among Women

  • Approve 45% {42%} (40%) [48%] {58%} (56%) [52%] {56%} (62%) [70%] {77%} (49%) [49%] {49%} (48%) [46%]{42%} (45%) [46%] {36%} (45%) [41%] {47%}
  • Disapprove 39% {46%} (46%) [38%] {24%} (29%) [32%] {29%} (24%) [22%] {15%} (37%) [39%] {38%} (39%) [40%] {45%} (41%) [42%] {53%} (47%) [47%] {40%}

Survey of 721 registered voters was conducted September 1-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points.  Party ID: 40% {47%}(45%) [44%] {44%} (46%) [48%] {45%} (46%) [48%] {49%} [48%] {47%} Democrat; 38% {33%} (30%) [33%] {35%} (35%) [33%] {33%} (34%) [33%] {34%} [33%] {33%} Republican; 23% {19%} (25%) [23%] {21%} (19%) [22%] {22%} (20%) [19%] {17%} [19%] {21%} Independent. Results from the poll conducted May 27 – June 1, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 3-9, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted January 20-26, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conductedOctober 24-30, 2013 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 30 – October 5, 2013 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted August 21-27, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted June 10-16, 2013 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 4-10, 2013 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted January 2-6, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 13-18, 2012 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted October 26-29, 2012are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted September 6-12, 2012 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 23-29, 2012 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted April 30 – May 6, 2012 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conductedMarch 5-11, 2012 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 2-8, 2012 are in curly brackets.   Results from the poll conducted October 17-23, 2011 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted September 19-25, 2011 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted May 16-22, 2011 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 29 – April 4, 2011 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted February 7-13, 2011 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 3-9, 2011 are in curly brackets.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 11:17 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

September 16, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Kansas 2016 Presidential Survey

PPP (D) Kansas 2016 Presidential Poll 

  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% [45%] (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40% [39%] (41%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 45% [46%] (49%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% [41%] (42%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% [42%] (46%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40% [38%] (39%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 43% [45%] (48%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% [41%] (41%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% [42%]
  • Ted Cruz (R) 41% [43%]
 Among Men
  • Jeb Bush (R) 49% [47%] (57%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 34% [35%] (35%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 52% [48%] (55%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% [39%] (36%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 50% [47%] (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 34% [35%] (36%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 49% [49%] (54%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 36% [40%] (37%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 47% [47%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40% [42%]

Among Women 

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% [43%] (46%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 43% [42%] (43%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [42%] (46%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 39% [45%] (44%) 
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [40%] (42%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 35% [38%] (42%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [43%] (45%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 38% [40%] (42%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% [43%] 
  • Ted Cruz (R) 35% [40%]
 Survey of 1,328 likely voters was conducted September 11-14, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Party ID: 51% [50%](47%) Republican; 26% [30%] (28%) Democrat; 22% [20%] (25%) Independent/Other.  Political ideology: 36% [31%] (32%) Moderate;24% [22%] (24%) Somewhat conservative; 19% [24%] (19%) Very conservative; 14% [16%] (16%) Somewhat liberal; 6% [7%] (9%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted August 14-17, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 18-20, 2014are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 1:20 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

August 26, 2014

Poll Watch: Suffolk University/Boston Herald Massachusetts 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Suffolk/Boston Herald Massachusetts 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Chris Christie 11.00%
  • Paul Ryan 11.00%
  • Jeb Bush 10.75%
  • Rand Paul 10.50%
  • Mike Huckabee 7.00%
  • Scott Walker 6.75%
  • Marco Rubio 5.75%
  • Rick Perry 4.75%
  • Ted Cruz 4.25%
  • Bobby Jindal 3.50%
  • Rick Santorum 2.75%
  • Jon Huntsman 1.75%
  • John Kasich 1.00%
  • Undecided 18.25%

Survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters was conducted August 21-24, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percentage points.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:17 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Poll Watch

August 23, 2014

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Kansas 2016 Presidential Survey

PPP (D) Kansas 2016 Presidential Poll 

  • Jeb Bush (R) 45% (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39% (41%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 46% (49%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% (42%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (46%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% (39%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 45% (48%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% (41%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 43%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%

Among Men

  • Jeb Bush (R) 47% (57%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 35% (35%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 48% (55%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39% (36%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 47% (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 35% (36%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 49% (54%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40% (37%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 47%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%

Among Women 

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% (46%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (43%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 45% (44%)  
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% (46%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 40% (42%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 38% (42%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% (45%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 40% (42%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% 
  • Ted Cruz (R) 40%

Survey of 903 likely voters was conducted August 14-17, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Party ID: 50% (47%) Republican; 30% (28%) Democrat; 20% (25%) Independent/Other.  Political ideology: 31% (32%) Moderate; 24% (19%) Very conservative; 22% (24%) Somewhat conservative; 16% (16%) Somewhat liberal; 7% (9%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted February 18-20, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 9:35 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

August 15, 2014

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

Among Democrats 

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

Among Republicans 

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

Among Independents

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

Among Moderates 

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

Please tell me if your general impression of Governor Chris Christie is favorable or unfavorable.

  • Favorable 49% (50%) {49%} [46%] (65%) {61%} [60%] (64%) {64%} [70%] (67%) {48%} [49%] (50%) {46%} [47%] (49%) {49%} [45%] (44%) {46%} [45%] (46%) {46%} [45%]
  • Unfavorable 40% (42%) {40%} [43%] (27%) {28%} [32%] (26%) {26%} [20%] (25%) {42%} [40%] (39%) {42%} [42%] (37%) {39%} [47%] (42%) {44%} [38%] (42%) {39%} [26%]

Among Democrats 

  • Favorable 28% (25%) {28%} [19%] (45%) {38%} [43%] (48%) {45%} [59%] (49%) {22%} [25%] (27%) {28%} [22%] {26%} [20%] (18%) {24%}
  • Unfavorable 59% (63%) {60%} [69%] (47%) {49%} [47%](41%) {41%} [29%] (38%) {68%} [62%] (62%) {61%} [63%] {63%} [72%] (65%) {67%}

Among Republicans 

  • Favorable 79% (82%) {81%} [78%] (92%) {90%} [87%] (86%) {90%} [88%] (90%) {88%} [84%] (79%) {85%} [81%] {87%} [82%] (79%) {76%}
  • Unfavorable 16% (13%) {12%} [15%] (5%) {6%} [10%] (12%) {6%} [5%] (8%) {8%} [9%] (12%) {8%} [14%] {10%} [11%] (16%) {19%}

Among Independents

  • Favorable 52% (55%) {49%} [55%] (69%) {68%} [64%] (69%) {71%} [71%] (73%) {49%} [48%] (55%) {43%} [52%] {52%} [47%] (49%) {50%}
  • Unfavorable 37% (37%) {38%} [33%] (22%) {20%} [26%] (16%) {19%} [20%] (19%) {36%} [40%] (32%) {42%} [37%] {33%} [45%] (35%) {37%}

Survey of 750 registered voters was conducted July 28 – August 5, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.  Party ID: 33% (36%) {36%} [39%] (36%) {39%} [40%] (41%) {41%} [39%] (43%) {38%} [35%] (37%) {39%} [37%] {35%} [31%] (36%) {35%} Democrat; 20% (21%) {23%} [19%] (21%) {21%} [21%] (22%) {19%} [22%] (22%) {24%} [24%] (22%) {21%} [20%] {18%} [19%] (22%) {23%} Republican; 47% (43%) {41%} [42%] (42%) {40%} [38%] (37%) {40%} [40%] (35%) {38%} [41%] (41%) {40%} [43%] {47%} [50%] (42%) {42%} Independent.  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 @ 9:29 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

August 14, 2014

Poll Watch: McClatchy-Marist 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

McClatchy-Marist 2016 GOP Nomination Poll 

  • Jeb Bush 13% [13%] (8%) {8%} [10%] (10%)
  • Chris Christie 13% [12%] (13%) {16%} [18%] (15%)
  • Ted Cruz 10% [4%] (5%) {5%} [10%] (7%)
  • Paul Ryan 9% [12%] (9%) {12%} [11%] (13%)
  • Marco Rubio 9% [7%] (12%) {7%} [7%] (12%)
  • Rick Perry 7% [3%] (2%) {6%} [3%] (4%)
  • Rand Paul 7% [12%] (9%) {9%} [12%] (9%)
  • Scott Walker 4% [5%] (7%) {4%} [4%] (2%)
  • Rick Santorum 3% [3%] (2%) {5%} [4%] (2%)
  • Bobby Jindal 2% [4%] {3%} (1%)
  • Undecided 23% [14%] (12%) {25%} [13%] (25%)

Survey of 342 registered Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted August 4, 2014The margin of error is +/- 5.3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted April 7-10, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 4-9, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted January 12-14, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 3-5, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 15-18, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:00 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch

August 12, 2014

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 41%
  • Mitt Romney 6%
  • Jeb Bush 5%
  • Ted Cruz 3%
  • Scott Walker 2%
  • Rand Paul 2%
  • Paul Ryan 1%
  • Marco Rubio 1%
  • Rick Perry 1%
  • Ron Paul 1%
  • Mike Huckabee 1%
  • Newt Gingrich 0%
  • Bobby Jindal 0%
  • Rudy Giuliani 0%
  • Sarah Palin 0% 
  • Other 3% 
  • Don’t know 30%

Survey of 255 registered Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted July 28 – August 5, 2014.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 2:34 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

August 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac New Jersey Survey on Governor Chris Christie

Quinnipiac New Jersey Poll on Gov. Chris Christie

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

  • Approve 49%
  • Disapprove 47%

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

More data below the fold…KWN

(more…)

by @ 12:17 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Poll Watch

August 7, 2014

Poll Watch: Civitas Institute (R) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Survey

Civitas Institute (R) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Chris Christie (R) 47%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 48%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48%
  • Rand Paul (R) 47%
  • Chris Christie (R) 49%
  • Joe Biden (D) 42%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 50%
  • Joe Biden (D) 44%
  • Rand Paul (R) 49%
  • Joe Biden (D) 44%

Survey of 600 registered voters was conducted July 28-29, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Click here to view crosstabs.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 2:45 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Joe Biden, Poll Watch, Rand Paul

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Survey

Quinnipiac New Jersey 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50% (49%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (45%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 34%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55%
  • Rand Paul (R) 35%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 57%
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 34%

Among Independents 

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48% (44%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (48%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 32%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52%
  • Rand Paul (R) 34%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 56%
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 32%

Among Men

  • Chris Christie (R) 47% (58%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% (35%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 37%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Rand Paul (R) 40%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 51%
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 36%

Among Women 

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% (60%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 38% (34%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 59%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 32%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 61%
  • Rand Paul (R) 31%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 62%
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 32%

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Hillary Clinton 60% (67%) / 38% (29%) {+22%}
  • Mike Huckabee 34% / 31% {+3%}
  • Chris Christie 47% (69%) / 47% (22%) {0%}
  • Jeb Bush 32% / 33% {-1%}
  • Rand Paul 31% / 33% {-2%}

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

  • Yes 46%
  • No 49%

Among Men

  • Yes 50%
  • No 44%

Among Women 

  • Yes 42%
  • No 53%

Survey of 1,148 registered voters was conducted July 31 – August 4, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.  Party ID: 34% (33%) Democrat; 24% (25%) Republican; 35% (36%) Independent; 7% (7%) Other/Don’t know. Results from the poll conducted February 13-17, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 2:00 pm. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Arkansas 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Mike Huckabee (R) 55% (47%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39% (44%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% (41%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% (46%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 46%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%
  • Rand Paul (R) 45% (42%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% (48%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41% (47%)

Among Independents

  • Mike Huckabee (R) 60% (56%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 29% (31%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 46% (44%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 31% (33%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 49%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32%
  • Rand Paul (R) 50% (51%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 30% (35%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% (44%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 32% (33%)

Among Moderates

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52% (58%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 38% (30%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% (64%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 29% (23%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 57%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 26%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 57% (66%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 23% (24%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% (60%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 24% (27%)

Among Men

  • Mike Huckabee (R) 59% (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 35% (38%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 51% (44%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 36% (38%)
  • Ted Cruz (R) 51%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 39%
  • Rand Paul (R) 49% (47%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 38% (43%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 48% (41%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 37% (40%)

Among Women

  • Mike Huckabee (R) 51% (46%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% (50%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (52%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 40%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (52%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 41% (38%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (52%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 37% (36%)

Do you think Mike Huckabee should run for President in 2016, or not?

  • Think he should run 42% (39%)
  • Think he should not 45% (46%)
  • Not sure 13% (15%)

Survey of 1,066 Arkansas voters was conducted August 1-3, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percentage points. Party ID: 35% (41%)Democrat; 34% (27%) Republican; 31% (32%) Independent/Other.  Political ideology: 28% (28%) Moderate; 27% (23%) Somewhat conservative; 22% (23%) Very conservative; 14% (16%) Somewhat liberal; 10% (10%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted April 25-27, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 11:15 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Poll Watch, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

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