March 27, 2015

BREAKING: Harry Reid to Retire

Democrats will have to defend the former Senate Majority leader’s seat in 2016, making this a prime GOP takeover opportunity with Gov. Brian Sandoval a likely candidate:

WASHINGTON — Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”

Full story here.

by @ 11:05 am. Filed under 2016, Democrats, Republican Party

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Florida 2016 Republican Presidential Primary Survey

PPP (D) Florida 2016 GOP Presidential Primary Poll

  • Jeb Bush 25% [30%] (30%) {26%} [28%] (22%)
  • Scott Walker 17% [7%]
  • Marco Rubio 15% [14%] (29%) {31%} [22%] (24%)
  • Ben Carson 12%
  • Mike Huckabee 7% [7%] (9%) {11%} [11%] (10%)
  • Ted Cruz 6% [9%]
  • Chris Christie 4% [8%] (8%) {7%} [9%] (10%)
  • Rand Paul 4% [11%] (11%) {5%} [3%] (4%)
  • Rick Perry 3% (1%) {2%}
  • Not sure 6% [10%] (6%) {5%} [5%] (4%)
Survey of 425 Republican primary voters was conducted March 19-22, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.8 percentage points. Political ideology: 39% [41%] (40%) {36%} [42%] (40%) Somewhat conservative; 34% [28%] (27%) {35%} [34%] (33%) Very conservative; 20% [22%] (24%) {19%} [19%] (20%) Moderate; 5% [6%] (6%) {9%} [3%] (5%) Somewhat liberal; 2% [2%] (2%) {2%} [2%] (3%) Very liberal.  Results from the poll conducted June 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 15-18, 2013 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted January 11-13, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 3-4, 2012 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted August 31 – September 2, 2012 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 26, 2015

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Florida 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48% (49%) {48%} [56%] (50%)
  • Marco Rubio (R) 46% (42%) {44%} [40%] (46%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% (46%) {46%} [53%] (49%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 44% (44%) {45%} [40%] (44%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% (48%) {48%}
  • Rand Paul (R) 42% (40%) {42%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% (49%) {48%}
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 44% (40%) {41%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48% (46%) {46%}
  • Chris Christie (R) 41% (38%) {38%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49% (51%) {50%}
  • Ted Cruz (R) 42% (36%) {39%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50%
  • Rick Perry (R) 42%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Ben Carson (R) 41%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Scott Walker (R) 41%
  • Joe Biden (D) 43%
  • Scott Walker (R) 43%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 42%
  • Scott Walker (R) 41%

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Marco Rubio’s job performance?

  • Approve 45% (44%) {45%} [44%] (49%)
  • Disapprove 40% (41%) {40%} [43%] (36%)

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Jeb Bush?

  • Favorable 45% (50%) {51%} [50%] (51%)
  • Unfavorable 42% (35%) {35%} [37%] (35%)

Do you think Jeb Bush should run for President in 2016, or not?

  • He should 37% (31%) {35%} [33%] (32%)
  • He should not 52% (53%) {50%} [51%] (53%)

Do you think Marco Rubio should run for President in 2016, or not?

  • He should 35% (32%) {27%} [37%] (38%)
  • He should not 51% (53%) {59%} [53%] (49%)

Survey of 923 likely voters was conducted March 19-22, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points. Party ID: 41% (40%) {38%} [42%] (44%) Democrat; 41% (38%) {37%} [37%] (38%) Republican; 19% (22%) {25%} [22%] (18%) Independent/Other.  Political ideology: 32% (31%) {28%} [32%] (33%) Moderate; 24% (23%) {25%} [21%] (21%) Somewhat conservative; 17% (13%) {15%}[17%] (18%) Very conservative; 16% (19%) {22%} [17%] (17%)Somewhat liberal; 11% (13%) {11%} [13%] (12%) Very liberal. Results from the poll conducted September 4-7, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted June 6-9, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 15-18, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 11-13, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

March 24, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Marketing/Howie Carr New Hampshire 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Gravis Marketing/Howie Carr New Hampshire 2016 Republican Primary Survey

  • Scott Walker 19%
  • Jeb Bush: 18%
  • Chris Christie 10%
  • Ron Paul 10%
  • Marco Rubio 6%
  • Ben Carson 6%
  • Ted Cruz 6%
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Mike Huckabee 4%
  • Rick Santorum 1%

Gravis Insights, a nonpartisan research firm, conducted a random telephone survey of potential Republican and Democratic Primary voters in New Hampshire. The poll included 683 respondents for the Republican Primary and 427 for the Democratic Primary. The poll has a margin of error of ± 4% for the Republican Primary and ± 5%.

Note: This poll was conducted March 18-19, 2015 – KWN

by @ 3:45 pm. Filed under 2016, New Hampshire Primary, Poll Analysis, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 22, 2015

REPORT: Ted Cruz to Announce Presidential Bid Tomorrow

Per The New York Times:

Senator Ted Cruz intends to declare on Monday that he will run for president in 2016, making him the first major hopeful to formally enter the race, an aide to Mr. Cruz said.

Mr. Cruz, Republican of Texas, will make his announcement at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to be a speaker at a convocation ceremony. His intention to declare his candidacy was first reported by The Houston Chronicle and an aide to Mr. Cruz, who requested anonymity, confirmed the report on Sunday.

Mr. Cruz will skip the habitual step of creating an exploratory committee as a precursor to a campaign, the newspaper reported, citing senior advisers to Mr. Cruz. The move seems designed to send a signal that he has completed the exploratory phase and is ready to run.

Full story here.

by @ 11:37 am. Filed under 2016, Republican Party, Ted Cruz

March 20, 2015

New RNC Web Ad: Stay Secretive, My Friends

Another new attack ad on Hillary Clinton. Feel free to comment below.

by @ 7:05 am. Filed under Campaign Advertisements, Hillary Clinton, Republican Party

Poll Watch: CNN/ORC 2016 National Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54% {58%} [58%] (54%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 43% {38%} [38%] (40%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% (56%)
  • Marco Rubio (R) 42% (37%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {59%} [57%] (55%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 41% {38%} [38%] (39%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {56%} [56%] (47%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 40% {39%} [37%] (47%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55%
  • Scott Walker (R) 40%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55% {54%} [59%] (58%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 40% {41%} [36%] (36%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 56% {56%}
  • Ben Carson (R) 40% {35%}
National survey of 1,009 adults was conducted March 13-15, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted December 18-21, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 31 – February 2, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 16-19, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 19, 2015

The Looming Sunshine State Showdown

Making predictions in politics is a fool’s game. Making predictions in politics at this point in the race, this far removed from any actual voting, is like throwing darts while drunk and blindfolded at a dartboard in another bar. Given that, I’d like to go on the record and fling my dart: before any candidates have even formally announced their candidacy, I predict the 2016 Republican nomination will come down to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Depending on how you view the current state of the race, this could either be a boring or outlandish prediction. On one hand, Senator Rubio is mired in single digits in every poll, barely registered in the CPAC straw poll last month, and is not expected to be able to out-raise or out-organize Governor Bush. Nothing points to Rubio going anywhere in this crowded field-to-be. In fact, 2-4 times the number of voters are supporting the current hot candidate, Governor Walker, at the moment. The money seems to be on a Walker-Bush race once it actually gets under way.

But on the other hand… nobody should care about actual poll numbers at this early stage of the game. Right now, it’s all about potential, upside, ceiling… and all about impressing the right people (read: party insiders who have more influence over the nomination process than any voter would like to admit). And in those areas, Marco Rubio is absolutely shining while the sheen is already beginning to come off Governor Walker’s and Governor Bush’s campaigns.

Governor Jeb Bush
Bush’s campaign has seen a string of negative press recently, starting with the complete disaster of his major foreign policy speech last month. He mispronounced names, gave incorrect facts, and gave vague, non-descript answers to questions for which he should have been more than prepared. In a speech your campaign dubs as your first major policy speech on a national stage, people describing the end result as “uncertain,” “rushed,” “nervous,” “clunky,” and “vague” simply isn’t good.

Luckily for Governor Bush, nobody was paying attention to that speech so it didn’t hurt him in the polls. But again, actual poll numbers are secondary at this stage in the game. The more important question is this: what does this bumbling speech tell us about Jeb Bush moving forward? This was not an uncontrolled event or a last minute interview. This was a planned, scripted speech which the campaign put together to display Bush’s gravitas and seriousness as a candidate. Instead, what we got was something that looked much more akin to Jeb’s older brother.

Those family ties may end up being the biggest thing weighing down a Bush candidacy at this point, actually. Every speech or interview Governor Bush has done over the past month has included a line to the tune of, “I am my own man,” or “I am not my brother.” It’s a weak attempt to distance himself from the negatives of George W. Bush’s time as President, but what it really does is tell us which of Jeb’s negatives poll the worst with the focus groups.

Speaking of negatives, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll delivered more bad news for Governor Bush last week: a larger-than-expected 42% of Republican primary voters said they could not see themselves supporting Jeb Bush in the primary. The only two potential candidates who had higher negatives were Christie (57%) and Trump (74%). In a culture where voters want someone who will look to the future, 60% of voters said Bush represents a return to the past. And among all Americans, Bush’s positive ratings clocked in at a dismal 23% (4% very positive, 19% somewhat positive). That actually put Jeb’s favorability below his older brother’s, who clocked in at 35% in the same poll (and well below Hillary Clinton at 44%). In other words, at this point the GOP would do better running Dubya than Jeb.

So how will Governor Bush remain in the race and be one of the two finalists? Simple: insider support. The Republican Party insiders largely belong to the Bush family, and Jeb is leveraging that support in every way possible. He will have no trouble finding staffers to man his field offices, money men to bankroll his campaign, or organizers to assemble and maintain a campaign structure. All he has to do is hit the trail and be “good enough” for the average voter. He’ll easily last the first few rounds of the fight and be one of the final contenders.

Governor Scott Walker
Meanwhile, Governor Walker’s team has become well acquainted with the harsh reality of what becomes of candidates who rise too quickly too soon. After catching flack for mishandling the Giuliani comments and Obama religion issues, as well as comparing liberal protesters to ISIS terrorists, Governor Walker went on to be slammed for giving vague answers at a Club For Growth event (and appearing to know little about the issues he was answering), flip-flopping on immigration and ethanol subsidies, and most recently, the complete bungling of the Liz Mair/Iowa situation.

All of these missteps coming in such a short window of time have left the party insiders with severe doubts about Walker’s ability to hold up during the rest of the campaign — or, more importantly, during a general campaign against Hillary Clinton. Indeed, leaks have appeared in numerous articles of the past few weeks in which insiders question whether Walker is ready or has what it takes. Those sorts of questions have the potential to doom a Walker candidacy before the actual campaign even begins. To add insult to injury, however, the way in which Governor Walker handled the Liz Mair firing/resignation has turned the conservative blogosphere against him as well: RedState, NRO, HotAir, Ace of Spades, and several other prominent blogs have all attacked Governor Walker, leaving him without a solid base of support any longer. He was supposed to be the candidate who bridged the gap between the grassroots and the establishment, and he has now caused both sides to back away and question him. He was supposed to be the candidate running on strength and honesty, and so the lack of issue knowledge, flip-flopping on issues, and pandering to Iowa voters will be his Achilles’ heel. Unlike Governor Bush, he doesn’t have the apparatus to prop himself back up, either. Which leaves us with…

Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Rubio has yet to break 7% in any Republican primary poll, and often trails the likes of Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and others. And yet, I would assert that at this point he is the best positioned of any candidate in the field. Why? Because of three things: what he’s shown during speeches and interviews, the attention he’s getting from GOP insiders, and the relationship he’s cultivating with Governor Mitt Romney.

The first, his speeches and interviews, comes down to his innate ability to communicate. He is clearly and hands down the most effective communicator of the potential Republican field, and every time he gets in front of people to speak it benefits his chances. (This is, obviously, in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton, and to some degree to Governors Bush and Walker as well.) His CPAC speech and subsequent Q&A didn’t result in a straw poll victory, but it did result in several movers and shakers in GOP circles sitting up and taking notice. Where other candidates-to-be majored in vague boilerplate and platitudes, Rubio majored in the specifics. Where others had difficulty differentiating themselves and answering the question, “Why are you running for president?” Rubio made insiders drool while imagining him saying, “I owe a debt to America I could never repay” during a debate with Hillary Clinton. Senator Rubio has been deliberate in limiting his appearances thus far so as not to fall into the same trap as Governor Walker has (and that Governor Romney did in 2007-08). But when he does speak, he makes sure he knows what he’s going to say and clearly anticipates the questions he will receive and practices how to answer them (unlike Governor Bush). Meanwhile, he’s working tirelessly behind the scenes to cobble together a donor network and campaign team that will never rival the size of Governor Bush’s, but will certainly rival (and perhaps best) its tenacity and loyalty.

All of that results in some tectonic movement in the rank-and-file of the GOP. They are watching Senator Rubio very carefully and optimistically, and if he proves to be the real deal during the spring and summer months, could land enough of their support to KO Governor Bush next winter. Just look at the tone of the insiders from this NRO piece:

Insider Buzz Grows for Marco Rubio… “Everybody’s talking about Rubio.” So says a top Republican operative who’s been in touch with nearly every potential presidential campaign, as well as with several top donors… “The Jeb boom is over and people are having second thoughts about Walker…” Marco Rubio, who now has many of the party’s top donors looking at him… his knowledgeable presentations and obvious political talent are nonetheless turning heads or, at least, enough of them.

That same WSJ/NBC News poll that delivered troubling data to Governor Bush also gave a glimpse of just how much potential Rubio has in this race: a full 56% of Republican voters could see themselves supporting Rubio — the highest level of support for any of the 14 candidates in the survey. In this primary, slow and steady may end up winning the race, and if that’s the case Senator Rubio will be the one holding the trophy at the finish line. And Rubio may well have a secret weapon up his sleeve — the support he’s receiving from none other than Mitt Romney.

When Romney announced he wasn’t running in 2016, he declared it was time for a new face of a younger generation to lead the party. It is becoming increasingly clear the Massachusetts Governor had Marco Rubio in mind when he said that: the Washington Post reports Romney and Rubio have had at least two “lengthy” phone calls, and many of Romney’s campaign staff and donors have come out praising the Florida Senator, including Lanhee Chen (Romney’s policy director), Spencer Zwick (national finance chairman), Rich Beeson (national political director), and Jim Merrill (New Hampshire strategist). In fact, Rubio’s campaign has already hired the latter two, and it’s probably just a matter of time before more of Team Romney jump aboard Rubio’s ship. Governor Bush will have the big name money bundlers in New York and Florida, and no one will raise more money than him this primary campaign, but if Romney gets the rest of his donor network to back Rubio it may make Rubio at least more competitive financially speaking.

And so as Governor Walker begins to fade due to a series of self-inflicted wounds, and other candidates like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, and Rick Perry hit their naturally low ceilings, the two serious candidates who will fight for the GOP nomination in 2016 will be Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. One has inevitability on his side, which is a powerful force in GOP primaries (see McCain, 2008). The other has potential on his side, which can be an equally powerful force if harnessed and realized. I’ll predict those two as the two frontrunners come voting time, but it’s anybody’s guess as to which one will end up winning.

by @ 8:00 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 18, 2015

Poll Watch: CNN/ORC 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

CNN/ORC 2016 GOP Nomination Poll

  • Jeb Bush 16% (14%) {23%} [14%] (8%) {12%} [13%] (9%) {10%} [6%] (10%)
  • Scott Walker 13% (11%) {4%} [5%] (5%) {5%} [7%]
  • Rand Paul 12% (10%) {6%} [8%] (12%) {14%} [13%] (16%) {13%} [13%] (13%)
  • Mike Huckabee 10% (16%) {6%} [10%] (12%) {11%} [10%] (10%) {14%}
  • Ben Carson 9% (8%) {7%} [11%]
  • Chris Christie 7% (7%) {13%} [9%] (13%) {8%} [9%] (8%) {10%} [24%] (17%)
  • Marco Rubio 7% (5%) {5%} [3%] (6%) {8%} [6%] (5%) {9%} [9%] (9%)
  • Ted Cruz 4% (3%) {4%} [7%] (8%) {9%} [7%] (8%) {8%} [10%] (7%)
  • Rick Perry 4% (3%) {4%} [5%] (11%) {6%} [8%] (11%) {8%} [7%] (6%)
  • John Kasich 2% (2%) {3%} [3%]
  • Lindsey Graham 1% (1%)
  • Bobby Jindal 1% (1%) {4%} [1%]
  • Rick Santorum 1% (3%) {2%} [2%] (3%) {4%} [2%] (3%) {4%} [6%] (5%)
  • Carly Fiorina 0% (1%)

Survey of 450 Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted March 13-15, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted February 12-15, 2015 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted December 18-21, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted November 21-23, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted July 18-20, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted May 29 – June 1, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted May 2-4, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 7-9, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted January 31 – February 2, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 18-20, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted September 6-8, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 5:19 pm. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 16, 2015

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

  • Republicans 39% 41% 39% 38% 39%
  • Democrats 38% 36% 39% 39% 38%

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from March 8-12, 2015. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 9:52 am. Filed under 2016, Democrats, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 14, 2015

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac Connecticut 2016 Presidential Survey

Quinnipiac Connecticut 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52%
  • Chris Christie (R) 34%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 52%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 34%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53%
  • Marco Rubio (R) 34%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 53%
  • Scott Walker (R) 33%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 54%
  • Rand Paul (R) 32%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 55%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 30%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 56%
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 31%

Survey of 1,235 registered voters was conducted March 6-9, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.  Party ID: 35% Democrat; 19% Republican; 40% Independent; 6% Other/Don’t know.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 13, 2015

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac Connecticut 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Quinnipiac Connecticut 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Jeb Bush 18%
  • Scott Walker 18%
  • Rand Paul 12%
  • Chris Christie 11%
  • Ben Carson 7%  
  • Ted Cruz 5%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Mike Huckabee 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 2%
  • Rick Perry 2%
  • John Kasich 0%
  • Lindsey Graham 0%
  • Rick Santorum 0%

Survey of 323 registered Republicans was conducted March 6-9, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 5.5 percentage points.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 8:00 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 11, 2015

Poll Watch: PPP (D) Wisconsin 2016 Republican Primary Survey

  • Scott Walker 53% {21%} [37%] (33%) 
  • Ben Carson 12%
  • Jeb Bush 8% {6%} [11%] (5%)
  • Marco Rubio 6% {6%} [9%] (27%)
  • Rand Paul 6% {8%} [10%] (6%)
  • Chris Christie 4% {8%} [13%] (10%)
  • Mike Huckabee 3% {8%} (7%)
  • Ted Cruz 2% {7%} [10%]
  • Rick Perry 1% (0%)
  • Not sure 5% {8%} [3%] (8%)

Do you think Scott Walker should run for President in 2016, or not?

  • Think he should 67% {43%}
  • Think he should not 25% {42%}

Survey of 461 Republican primary voters was conducted March 6-8, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.6 percentage points. Ideology: 39% {42%} [41%] Somewhat conservative; 35% {34%} [34%] Very conservative; 20% {19%} [18%] Moderate; 4% {3%} [5%] Somewhat liberal; 2% {2%} [1%] Very liberal.  Results from the poll conducted April 17-20, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 13-16, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted February 21-24, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 8:00 am. Filed under 2016, Poll Watch, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 9, 2015

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (46%) {48%} [49%] (48%) {48%}
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (41%) {41%} [38%] (39%) {40%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [50%]
  • Marco Rubio (R) 41% [34%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% (46%) {49%} [49%] (48%) {49%} [53%] (50%) {49%}
  • Rand Paul (R) 41% (41%) {40%} [39%] (41%) {40%} [36%] (38%) {41%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% (43%) {47%} [46%] (41%) {42%}[49%] (46%) [45%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 39% (42%) {38%} [38%] (42%) {43%} [36%] (40%) [37%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% (46%) {49%}
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 40% (41%) {40%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48%
  • Scott Walker (R) 39%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 48% (48%) [50%] (50%) {51%} [54%]
  • Ted Cruz (R) 38% (37%) [35%] (37%) {36%} [31%]
National survey of 1,286 registered voters was conducted February 26 – March 2, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points.  Party ID: 32% (31%) {26%} [26%] (26%) {26%} [24%] (23%) {27%} [25%] Republican; 29% (30%) {31%} [29%] (31%) {32%} [35%] (32%) {33%} [34%] Democrat; 28% (27%) {35%} [36%] (34%) {35%} [31%] (35%) {33%} [34%] Independent; 11% (12%) {7%} [9%] (9%) {7%} [9%] (9%) {7%} [7%] Other/Don’t know. Race: 73% (74%) {73%} [74%] (74%) {72%} [72%] White; 13% (12%) {13%} [11%] (12%) {12%} [12%] Black; 7% (7%) {7%} [8%] (7%) {7%} [8%] Hispanic; 7% (7%) {8%} [7%] (6%) {8%} [8%] Other. Results from the poll conducted November 18-23, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted June 24-30, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 15-19, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 3-9, 2013 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted November 6-11, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted September 23-29, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted June 28 – July 8, 2013 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted May 22-28, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted February 27 – March 4, 2013 are in square brackets.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 7:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 8, 2015

Poll Watch: McClatchy-Marist 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

McClatchy-Marist 2016 GOP Nomination Poll

  • Jeb Bush 19% [16%] (15%) {13%} [13%] (8%) {8%} [10%] (10%)
  • Scott Walker 18% [3%] (3%) {4%} [5%] (7%) {4%} [4%] (2%)
  • Mike Huckabee 10% [12%] [13%] (13%)
  • Ben Carson 9% [8%]
  • Rand Paul 7% [6%] (13%) {7%} [12%] (9%) {9%} [12%] (9%)
  • Chris Christie 6% [10%] (12%) {13%} [12%] (13%) {16%} [18%] (15%)
  • Marco Rubio 5% [3%] (6%) {9%} [7%] (12%) {7%} [7%] (12%)
  • Ted Cruz 4% [5%] (4%) {10%} [4%] (5%) {5%} [10%] (7%)
  • Rick Perry 3% [5%] (7%) {7%} [3%] (2%) {6%} [3%] (4%)
  • Rick Santorum 2% [3%] (3%) {3%} [3%] (2%) {5%} [4%] (2%)
  • Carly Fiorina 2% [1%]
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • Undecided 13% [18%] (21%) {23%} [14%] (12%) {25%} [13%] (25%)

Survey of 426 registered Republicans and GOP-leaning Independents was conducted March 1-4, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.7 percentage points. Party ID: 68% {70%} (67%) {57%} [63%] (64%) {65%} [62%] (65%) Republican; 32% {30%} (33%) {43%} [37%] (36%) {35%} [38%] (35%) Independent. Results from the poll conducted December 3-9, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 24-29, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted August 4-7, 2014 are in curly brackets. 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 @ 11:00 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 6, 2015

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

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Ben Carson (R) 46% (45%) {44%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (45%) {44%}
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% {46%} [45%] (45%) {46%} [47%] (48%) {49%} [48%]
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 46% {44%} [46%] (44%) {43%} [43%] (43%) {42%} [43%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (46%)
  • Scott Walker (R) 43% (44%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% {44%} [45%] (45%) {45%} [44%] (46%) {46%} [45%] (42%) {42%} [43%]
  • Chris Christie (R) 42% {42%} [38%] (38%) {41%} [40%] (44%) {42%} [42%] (43%) {45%} [46%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% [46%] (47%) {46%} [45%] (47%) {49%} [47%] (47%) {48%} [50%] (52%) 
  • Rand Paul (R) 43% [41%] (42%) {43%} [44%] (43%) {43%} [44%] (43%) {44%} [41%] (40%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47%
  • Rick Perry (R) 44%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46%
  • Marco Rubio (R) 42%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% [48%] (47%) (47%) {49%} [51%]
  • Ted Cruz (R) 43% [40%] (41%) (41%) {41%} [39%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46% (44%) {46%} [43%] (46%) {45%} [45%] (45%) {47%} [47%] (46%) {46%} [47%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (44%) {46%} [45%] (42%) {44%} [42%] (44%) {46%} [43%] (44%) {45%} [43%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 47% {47%}
  • Joe Biden (D) 40% {42%}
  • Jeb Bush (R) 44% {46%}
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 38% {39%}

Survey of 849 registered North Carolina voters was conducted February 24-26, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points. Party ID: 44% (43%) {42%} [45%] (42%) {43%} [42%] (42%) {42%} [39%] (43%) {43%} [45%] Democrat; 35% (34%) {36%} [34%] (31%) {36%} [35%] (36%) {35%} [34%] (33%) {34%} [33%] Republican; 21% (23%) {22%} [21%] (27%) {22%} [23%] (22%) {23%} [27%] (23%) {23%} [21%] Independent/Other.  Results from the poll conducted January 29-31, 2015 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 4-7, 2014 are in curly brackets. 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, 2014are 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.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 8:00 am. Filed under 2016, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

Quinnipiac 2016 GOP Nomination Poll

  • Scott Walker 18% {6%} [8%] (6%) {5%} [4%] (2%)
  • Jeb Bush 16% {14%} [10%] (11%) {11%} [11%] (10%)
  • Chris Christie 8% {11%} [10%] (12%) {17%} [13%] (14%)
  • Mike Huckabee 8% {7%} [10%]
  • Ben Carson 7% {9%}
  • Ted Cruz 6% {5%} [8%] (9%) {13%} [10%]
  • Rand Paul 6% {8%} [11%] (13%) {14%} [17%] (15%)
  • Marco Rubio 5% {3%} [6%] (8%) {7%} [12%] (19%)
  • Bobby Jindal 2% {3%} [1%] (3%) {3%} [3%] (3%)
  • Rick Santorum 2% {2%} [2%]
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • John Kasich 1% {2%} [2%] (2%) {2%}
  • Rick Perry 1% {3%} [3%]
  • Don’t know 17% {19%} [20%] (22%) {17%} [19%] (18%)

Survey of 554 registered Republican and GOP-leaning voters was conducted February 26 – March 2, 2015.  The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 18-23, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted June 24-30, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted January 15-19, 2014 are in parentheses.  Results from the poll conducted December 3-9, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted September 23-29, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 26 – April 1, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 5, 2015

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

PPP (D) North Carolina 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Scott Walker 24% [14%] {5%} (7%) {6%} [4%] (3%) {5%} [1%]
  • Jeb Bush 17% [14%] (15%) {17%} [15%] (18%) {12%} [15%] (14%) {15%} [16%] (9%)
  • Mike Huckabee 15% [13%] (14%) {17%} [19%] (22%) {19%} [20%] (15%)
  • Ben Carson 12% [14%] (19%)
  • Marco Rubio 7% (4%) {5%} [5%] (5%) {5%} [7%] (9%) {10%} [10%] (21%)
  • Chris Christie 5% [5%] (14%) {12%} [9%] (12%) {15%} [11%](17%) {19%} [20%] (10%)
  • Rand Paul 5% [6%] (5%) {12%} [15%] (9%) {12%} [14%] (14%) {13%} [12%] (6%)
  • Rick Perry 3% [3%] (7%)
  • Ted Cruz 3% [6%] (5%) {12%} [17%] (12%) {14%} [8%] (11%) {12%} [12%]
  • Not sure 8% [9%] (7%) {11%} [9%] (6%) {12%} [9%] (13%) {11%} [13%] (8%)

Survey of 389 Republican primary voters was conducted February 24-26, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points. Political ideology: 38% [35%] (39%) {40%} [45%] (39%) {37%} [35%] (38%) {37%} [36%] (44%) Very conservative; 36% [39%] (38%) {37%} [35%] (32%) {35%} [33%] (40%) {39%} [36%] (35%) Somewhat conservative; 19% [20%] (18%) {20%} [13%] (21%) {20%} [22%] (16%) {16%} [21%] (13%) Moderate; 4% [4%] (5%) {2%} [4%] (6%) {4%} [7%] (4%) {7%} [4%] (6%) Somewhat liberal; 3% [2%] (1%) {1%} [4%] (3%) {3%} [3%] (2%) {1%} [3%] (1%) Very liberal.Results from the poll conducted January 29-31, 2015 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted December 4-7, 2014 are in parentheses.  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

by @ 4:54 pm. Filed under 2016, Poll Watch, Republican Party, Scott Walker

Poll Watch: Gravis Marketing (R) South Carolina 2016 Republican Primary Survey

  • Jeb Bush 19% {18%} [22%] (16.0%)
  • Scott Walker 17% {11%} [5%] (2.3%)
  • Lindsey Graham 12%
  • Mike Huckabee 10% {11%} [19%] (15.8%)  
  • Chris Christie 8% {8%} [12%] (16.6%)
  • Marco Rubio 6% {9%} [6%] (7.2%)
  • Rand Paul 6% {8%} [8%] (9.7%)
  • Ted Cruz 2% {9%} [8%] (11.1%)
  • Rick Santorum 2% {4%} [2%] (2.8%)
  • Carly Fiorina 2%
  • Unsure 16% {17%} [19%] (18.5%)

Survey of 792 ikely GOP primary voters was conducted February 24-25, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted January 21-22, 2015 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 6-7, 2014 are in square brackets.Results from the poll conducted November 30 – December 2, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 2:34 pm. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Passing the Test: Prepared to be President?

The first test any candidate running in a presidential primary must pass is simple: the public must be able to picture you being the President.

There’s a lot wrapped up in that analysis, of course, but for most voters, it comes down to one thing: competency. Are you intelligent and capable of leading a country? If not, the electorate will (rightly) toss you aside and move along to the next candidate.

Along those lines, every verbal slip, campaign trail gaffe, and moment of misspeaking will get noticed and dissected in front of the entire nation. The best politicians have learned over time to successfully navigate these perilous waters, while newcomers often learn the dangers the hard way as they watch their presidential ambitions sink into the icy water.

It’s no surprise that little-known candidates suffer this fate far more often. Case in point is the series of “flavors of the month” from the last primary campaign whose wings of wax continually melted under the hot lights of national media scrutiny. Rick Perry had several awful moments stretching several debates that killed his candidacy. Herman Cain imploded due to a series of massive gaffes on foreign policy, abortion, and immigration, before allegations of sexual harassment ended his campaign for good. Michelle Bachmann had a playlist of gaffes a mile long when she had her chance at the top of the polls, touching on anything from John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, vaccinations and mental retardation, and the founding fathers and slavery. Newt Gingrich was, well, Newt Gingrich, but he had a list of gaffes as well: unveiling a plan to pay poor kids to be janitors, expressing a desire to lecture black people about food stamps and paychecks, calling for the return of poll tests to vote, and promising to colonize the moon. (What?!?)

At any rate, the 2012 primary was a clear example of what happens when candidates are underprepared for the spotlight. Hopefully we won’t see a replay of that sort of ineptitude for a very long time in Republican politics, but it is instructive to us today. Candidates had better be prepared to answer questions on mainstream issues in an intelligent and coherent way. Which brings us to two of our fresh new faces in this campaign who need to heed this lesson quickly: Dr. Ben Carson and Governor Scott Walker.

Last summer, Carson made it into the news for suggesting that the marriage equality movement in America was actually a communist plot to take down the United States and start the infamous New World Order. Now, Carson has expounded on his views on homosexuality by invoking… prison sex. According to Dr. Carson, being gay is a choice because people who weren’t gay when they went to prison engage in gay sex while in prison.

Setting aside the obvious logical fallacies in Carson’s argument (orientation vs. behavior, choice vs forced sex, etc.), what these sorts of comments make clear is that Carson is nowhere near ready for the bright lights of the national stage yet.

Joining him is current frontrunner Governor Scott Walker. At the end of his recent CPAC speech (which thrilled many but admittedly left me feeling entirely underwhelmed due to its overly generic nature), the Governor took questions. Asked about the threat posed by ISIS militants, Walker answered, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters [in Wisconsin], I can do the same across the world.” In one fell swoop, Walker equated the public workers in Wisconsin with Islamic terrorists and undercut his own national security/foreign policy credentials at the same time. Just stop and ask yourself one question: if a Democratic candidate-to-be compared a conservative group to ISIS militants, what would Republican reactions be?

Now, luckily, these gaffes come at a time when most of the nation is not paying attention. They are getting some media coverage, but not a lot — and the coverage they are getting is largely not being watched. This is the warmup phase of the primary campaign which gives Walker and Carson — as well as all of our candidates who have yet to experience the harsh reality of the limelight — time to practice their responses.

The bottom line is this: people need to be able to envision a candidate being president before they will consider voting for them for president. This takes priority over any policy stance and ideology, especially for candidates like Walker and Carson who have yet to introduce themselves to the public on a national level. All of the Republican candidates should take a lesson from the debacle that was the 2012 primaries and use this time to tighten up their message — after all, it’s not just themselves they’re representing, but the Republican Party as a whole as well.

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Ben Carson, Press Releases, Republican Party, Scott Walker

March 4, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Insights/Howie Carr (R) Florida 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Gravis Insights/Howie Carr (R) Florida 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Jeb Bush 23% (33%)
  • Scott Walker 22%
  • Marco Rubio 11% (14%)
  • Mike Huckabee 10%
  • Ben Carson 8%
  • Chris Christie 6% (6%)
  • Rand Paul 5% (11%)
  • Ted Cruz 2% (11%)
  • Rick Perry 1%
  • Unsure 12% (13%)

Survey of 513 Republican voters was conducted February 24-25, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 19-20, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:14 pm. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Poll Watch, Republican Party

New RNC Web Ad: A Very Serious Matter

New attack ad on Hillary Clinton. Feel free to comment below.

by @ 8:23 am. Filed under 2016, Campaign Advertisements, Hillary Clinton, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Rasmussen 2016 Presidential Survey

Rasmussen 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46%
  • Scott Walker (R) 41%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% (47%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 36% (33%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47% [45%]
  • Ben Carson (R) 36% [38%]

Survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted February 28 – March 1, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted June 4-5, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted March 4-5, 2014 are in parentheses. 

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 2, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Insights Nevada 2016 Presidential Survey

Gravis Insights Nevada 2016 Presidential Poll

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Scott Walker (R) 43%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 49%
  • Rand Paul (R) 42%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 47%
  • Chris Christie (R) 38%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 50%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 37%

Survey of 955 registered voters was conducted February 21-22, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Party ID: 43% Democrat; 37% Republican; 21% Independent/Other.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 7:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

March 1, 2015

Poll Watch: Gravis Insights Nevada 2016 Republican Caucus Survey

Gravis Insights Nevada 2016 GOP Caucus Poll

  • Scott Walker 27%
  • Jeb Bush 19%
  • Chris Christie 8%
  • Ted Cruz 6%
  • Mike Huckabee 6%
  • Rick Perry 6%
  • Marco Rubio 4%
  • Rick Santorum 4%
  • Rand Paul 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 1%
  • Unsure 16%

Survey of 438 Republican primary participants was conducted February 21-22, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 5 percentage points.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:00 am. Filed under 2016, Poll Watch, Republican Party, Scott Walker

February 25, 2015

Rubio is Running and Will be a Powerful Contender – But Will Republicans Recognize It?

If the New York Times is to be believed, Senator Marco Rubio has begun telling donors he will be running for President, and will likely announce his candidacy in April.

This could well be a defining moment for a Republican field that is taking longer than expected to take shape. Mitt Romney bowing out of the race opened the door for the candidate many presumed to be the obvious frontrunner: Jeb Bush. Governor Bush is almost certainly running, having spent the past several weeks assembling an all-star fundraising team and enjoying the wide support of the Republican establishment. His behind-the-scenes shock-and-awe strategy is designed to convince others not to run. The grassroots candidates such as Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, and Rand Paul remain largely unswayed by this show of strength, of course, operating fully in the realm of ideology rather than pragmatism, as is their modus operandi. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Potential candidates on the other side of the equation, however, have a difficult calculation to make now: can they legitimately pose a threat to a Bush candidacy? Can they sway establishment support away from Governor Bush in an atmosphere where the establishment possesses a desire to act more monolithically than ever before?

For some, the answer is becoming clearer, and it’s not what they hoped. Most politicos, for instance, would now consider it a surprise if Governor Chris Christie chose to throw his hat in the ring — quite the change from a year ago. Others like Paul Ryan, Susana Martinez, and Rob Portman have also chosen to bow out.

The only legitimate challenger Jeb Bush seems to have at this early stage in the game is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who at first blush seems to be a fantastic figure to bridge the gap between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the party. Both groups seem open to at least giving Governor Walker a chance to impress them; what remains to be seen is whether he can meet their expectations (this pundit would personally be surprised if he did).

That leaves a large group of potential candidates who are stuck running the numbers on the backs of cocktail napkins these days. Governors John Kasich and Mike Pence both remain noncommittal, saying they’ll make a decision later in the spring or early summer. If Governor Bush wasn’t headlining this concert, we’d have to believe both men would already be up on stage for a sound check.

Likewise, Governor Mike Huckabee is trying to balance his fundraising ability against the financial realities of Governor Bush’s machine. He’s using his PAC in a way few do any longer: to actually test the water. Governor Huckabee has said it will be “months” before he makes his decision. (Meanwhile, he’s embarking on another book tour that looks an awful lot like the separate book tours he and Governor Palin took during the lead up to the last primary.) Similarly, Governor Bobby Jindal has only narrowed the timeline for his decision down to “the first half” of 2015, potentially leaving the door open for the next four months.

Bringing this back to Senator Rubio, then: this means the Florida Senator is now the first candidate who has looked at the bottom line on the back of that napkin and decided it was worth it to challenge the two-headed Bush/Walker frontrunner. Make no mistake: this could not have been an easy decision for Rubio. In fact, he had more to lose with this decision than any other potential candidate: like Rand Paul, he had to choose between running for President or running for re-election in the Senate. Unlike Rand Paul, Rubio was (and is) being heavily courted by the establishment to keep his Senate seat. Giving up his seat at this stage would mean two things: one, the potential end of his bright career with massive potential in national GOP politics; and two, the potential alienation of the establishment.

At first blush, Marco Rubio and the last GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, seem to have little in common. One is a young, charismatic Senator and the other an aging, wooden Governor. But when Senator Rubio throws his hat in the ring this April, the two will share this vitally important distinction: neither will have the full support of their party, and that will make winning the general election an uphill battle.

Governor Romney was never part of the Republican establishment, only earning their begrudging support in 2012 by default because none of their chosen candidates (Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbourl, John Thune, Jeb Bush, et al) ran. And he was never part of the Republican grassroots, either, despite (and because of) his attempt to remake his record in the 2008 primary. This half-hearted support from Republicans can easily be pointed to as the reason Romney lost the election. Despite winning independent voters by the largest margin for a Republican candidate in recent history — an unbelievable five percent margin over President Barack Obama, and up to a ten percent margin in some swing states like Ohio! (Obama won independents by 8% in 2008, Kerry won them by 1% in 2004, Bush won them by 1% in 2000, and Clinton won them by 8% in 1996 and 6% in 1992) — Romney still lost the election. Why? Because of depressed Republican turnout. Republican turnout as a percentage of the electorate in 2012 matched a recent historical low. In other words, Republicans have nobody but themselves to blame for Obama’s second term in the Oval Office.

Could Senator Rubio find himself in the same boat this time around? He certainly has the same kind of appeal to independents Governor Romney had, and a heaping serving of charisma which the Massachusetts Governor could only dream of. His youth, positive demeanor and vision, and his Hispanic background would all be a massive boon for a party who is desperately trying to expand their identity past the stereotype of angry old white men. All one has to do is picture national campaign ads with Senator Rubio looking directly into the camera and speaking fluent Spanish to understand how powerful his candidacy could be for the Republican Party.

And yet, Republicans are, at this stage, more than quick to attack Rubio and tear him to shreds. The establishment doesn’t like him because he’s not Jeb Bush. The base doesn’t like him because of his break with conservative orthodoxy on immigration (despite the fact that conservative orthodoxy on the issue is both wildly impractical and one of the main reasons the GOP has an identity issue to begin with). And so, should Senator Rubio end up with the nomination (and there is a decently clear path for him to do so — more on that in a later column), he would find himself in the same place as Governor Romney four years ago: with an incredible chance to win the White House, if the Republican Party can get their act together.

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Marco Rubio, Republican Party

February 23, 2015

Poll Watch: Field Research California 2016 Republican Primary Survey

Field Research California 2016 GOP Primary Poll

  • Scott Walker 18%
  • Jeb Bush 16%
  • Rand Paul 10%
  • Ben Carson 8%
  • Marco Rubio 7%
  • Mike Huckabee 5%
  • Ted Cruz 5%
  • Rick Perry 4%
  • Chris Christie 3%
  • Bobby Jindal 1%
  • Lindsey Graham 1%
  • Other 3%
  • Undecided 19%

Survey of 237 likely GOP primary voters was conducted January 26 – February 16, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 5.4 percentage points.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Poll Watch, Republican Party, Scott Walker

February 20, 2015

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

  • Mike Huckabee (R) 49%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41%
  • Ben Carson (R) 48%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 49%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%
  • Rick Perry (R) 48%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43%
  • Scott Walker (R) 46%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 46%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43%
  • Chris Christie (R) 43%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41%
  • Lindsey Graham (R) 45%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43%
  • Rand Paul (R) 45%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 50%
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) 34%
  • Jeb Bush (R) 53%
  • Joe Biden (D) 36%

Survey of 868 registered South Carolina voters was conducted February 12-15, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Party ID: 44% Republican; 32% Democrat; 25% Independent/Other. Ideology: 33% Moderate; 27% Somewhat conservative; 19% Very conservative; 13% Somewhat liberal; 9% Very liberal.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

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

  • Jeb Bush 19%
  • Scott Walker 18%
  • Lindsey Graham 13%
  • Ben Carson 13% 
  • Mike Huckabee 12% 
  • Chris Christie 7%
  • Rand Paul 5%
  • Ted Cruz 3% 
  • Rick Perry 3%
  • Someone else/Not sure 6%

Survey of 525 GOP primary voters was conducted February 12-15, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percentage points. Ideology: 38% Somewhat conservative; 33% Very conservative; 23% Moderate; 5% Somewhat liberal; 2% Very liberal.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:07 am. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac Virginia 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% (47%)
  • Jeb Bush (R) 42% (39%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% (48%) {49%} (51%)
  • Rand Paul (R) 42% (42%) {40%} (37%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% (49%)
  • Mike Huckabee (R) 41% (41%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44% (45%) {42%} [46%] (45%)
  • Chris Christie (R) 39% (41%) {41%} [37%] (40%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45%
  • Scott Walker (R) 40%

Survey of 1,074 Virginia voters was conducted February 5-15, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.  Party ID: 30% (33%) {31%} [32%] (31%) Democrat; 26% (24%) {26%} [22%] (26%) Republican; 34% (35%) {35%} [37%] (36%) Independent; 10% (8%) {9%} [10%] (8%) Other/Don’t know. Gender: 53% (54%) {50%} [52%] (53%) Female; 47% (46%) {50%} [48%] (47%) Male.  Race: 71% (72%) {70%} [69%] (71%) White; 18% (17%) {16%} [17%] (17%) Black; 3% (3%) {4%} [4%] (4%) Hispanic; 8% (8%) {10%} [10%] (9%) Other/Don’t know. Results from the poll conducted March 19-24, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted September 9-15, 2013 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted August 14-19, 2013 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted July 11-15, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch, Republican Party

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