Election News

CNN Sets Criteria for Next Republican Debate

November 23, 2015

For the first time this election cycle, polls from early voting states will help determine who makes the main stage at the next Republican debate. That debate is scheduled for December 15th in Las Vegas and will be hosted by CNN, who has set the qualifying criteria.

Candidates that average 3.5% in national polls or 4% in either Iowa or New Hampshire in the weeks leading up to the debate will take the main stage. CNN says nine candidates would currently qualify: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie.

There will also be an undercard debate. Any candidate not making the main stage who saw at least 1% support in four separate national, Iowa or New Hampshire polls will make the cut. At this point, that list includes Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. 

If the above holds, Christie will return to the main stage after being relegated to the undercard in the Fox Business debate earlier this month. He has mainly outperformed the criteria in New Hamsphire. Graham and Pataki will get back on stage after also being excluded in the last debate. Jim Gilmore, who has only participated in one debate, will continue to be on the sidelines.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story said that Jim Gilmore had not been invited to any of the Republican debates. He was invited, and did particpate, in the undercard debate hosted by Fox News on 8/6/15.

Highlights of a Busy Polling Weekend

November 22, 2015

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, a new batch of polls give us the state of the nomination races nationally and in some early voting states. 


National: Two polls out today, one from Washington Post/ABC News (WP/ABC) and one from Fox News give Donald Trump a 10 point lead over Ben Carson. Trump's 32% number in the WP/ABC poll matches the highest level of support he has received in any poll thus far. However, it is worth noting that this prior 32% was in last month's WP/ABC survey. The Fox poll saw less combined support for Trump and Carson (54% WP/ABC vs. 46% Fox) and more (28% Fox vs. 19% WP/ABC) for Rubio/Cruz. Cruz reached 14% in the Fox poll, tying Rubio and also tying his best performance to date. Most recent polls have these four candidates taking nearly 75% of voter support.


Early Voting States: CBS and YouGov released their latest Battleground Tracker series today, individually polling the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire & South Carolina.


Notable here is Ted Cruz at 21% in Iowa; he was at 12% in the October CBS/YouGov poll. Much of that gain came at the expense of Ben Carson, who fell from 27% to 19%.

Finally, there was a separate New Hampshire poll from Suffolk University and Boston Globe. Trump led with 22%, double that of Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz who were around 10%. This is in line with other recent live polls from that state. What was notable, however, was that the pollsters asked about preference if Mitt Romney were in the race. The 2012 Republican nominee dominated that survey, with 31% double that of second place Donald Trump, at 15%. Romney has repeatedly said he's not interested in running.

Democrats: Hillary Clinton maintains a dominant lead over Bernie Sanders, up by over 20% in both of today's polls.

Polls Continue to Indicate a Four Way Battle for GOP Nomination

November 19, 2015

There are still 14 Republicans vying for the party's 2016 nomination, but four seem to be preferred by the majority of Republican voters, based on most ecent polls. At the top, 'outsiders' Donald Trump continues to hold a small lead over Ben Carson, now about 5 points in the 270toWin average. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are basically tied for 3rd, with support averaging in the low double-digits. 

Two polls out today, from Bloomberg and Public Policy, maintain these trends.

Looking past the top four, Jeb Bush seems to be in his own grouping, well back of Rubio and Cruz, but well ahead of the five candidates averaging around 3%.

With the holiday season upon us, the race for the nomination may quiet down for a few weeks with fewer polls and only one debate scheduled (December 15 in Las Vegas). As a result, absent any major gaffes, the relative position of the candidates may not change much until the race really kicks into high gear in early January, preceding the first primary/caucus events in early February

Bobby Jindal Exits Presidential Race

November 17, 2015

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal ended his presidential campaign, CNN reports. Jindal never got much traction in the race, averaging just 0.5% in recent polls:


Jindal is the third of 17 Republicans to exit the race, preceded by fellow governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and former Texas governor Rick Perry. Fourteen Republicans remain, although most support seems to be with four candidates: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Jindal is term-limited and his two terms as Louisiana governor will end in January. He will be replaced by either state representative John Bel Edwards or U.S. Senator David Vitter. These two will meet in a runoff election this Saturday, November 21st.

Virginia Poll Looks at Potential Impact of Jim Webb Running as Independent

November 16, 2015

A new Virginia poll by the University of Mary Washington shows Ben Carson leading Donald Trump 29-24% among likely Republican voters and Hillary Clinton up 63% to 27% over Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic voters. Virginia's primary is scheduled for March 1, part of a Super Tuesday of mostly southern states.

The poll also looked at the November election, but with a twist. All the surveyed match-ups, except one, included former Virginia Senator Jim Webb running as an independent. Webb withdrew from the Democratic field on October 20th, indicating at the time that he could return to the race unaffiliated with any party. No subsequent announcements have been made, although Webb's website is posting articles that would make one think he's giving it serious consideration.

In the four match-ups surveyed, Webb received anywhere from 12-20% of the vote, in all cases larger than the difference between the two major party candidates. While these numbers would undoubtedly change were Webb to run, he could potentially tip the outcome in what was one of only four states to be decided by 5% or less in 2012 and thus the former Senator could have an outsized influence in who becomes our next president. (Virginia voting history).

The University did a 5th 3-way test, pitting Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton, with Donald Trump running as an independent. Clinton easily won that match-up with 42% of the vote, with Trump (27%) and Bush (24%) nearly splitting the rest of the pie.





2nd Democratic Debate Saturday in Iowa: Viewing Info and Race Update

November 13, 2015

The second of six sanctioned Democratic debates will take place Saturday night at Drake University in Des Moines. Hosted by CBS News and The Des Moines Register, the debate will be televised by CBS at 9 P.M. ET, moderated by John Dickerson, host of Face the Nation. Dickerson has indicated his focus will be on the economy, particularly stagnant wages for the middle class and the increasing costs for health care and education.

The three remaining Democrats in the field: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders & Martin O'Malley are all expected to participate.

The Saturday night timing of the debate will likely keep viewership down, and that may be intentional on the part of the Democratic National Committee, which has been previously criticized for the small number of events.

Looking at the state of the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton remains well ahead of Bernie Sanders nationally and in Iowa. Martin O'Malley continues to garner little support, although he did see a best-to-date total of 5% in this week's CBS News/NY Times poll.


Iowa kicks off the 2016 election calendar when it holds party caucuses on Tuesday, February 1, 2016.


Trump Dominates Debate: 270toWin Snap Poll Results

November 11, 2015

Final Results

814 total votes were recorded. After eliminating obvious duplicates, 744 were used. The order of finish was the same as in our preliminary results this morning; there were some minor percentage changes. 


The next Republican debate is scheduled for December 15 in Las Vegas. It will be hosted by CNN.


Preliminary Results

More than 50% of those participating in our overnight snap poll thought Donald Trump won the Fox Business main stage debate last night. Marco Rubio was a distant second with 16%. Trump and Rubio were also 1-2 in the recent CNBC debate, although a much closer 39% to 22%. Rand Paul had a better night according to our respondents, coming in 3rd at 10%; he had a lackluster 3% in the prior debate.

Only 4% thought Ben Carson, roughly tied with Trump in the national Republican polls, won the debate. Coming in dead last out of the eight participants was Jeb Bush.

Thanks to everyone that participated in our overnight snap poll. While we eliminated obvious duplicate votes from the results, we do want to note that this is just a response by those that chose to participate, and not a random sample.

Snap Poll: Who Won the Fox Business Republican Debate?

November 10, 2015

Who do you think won the Fox Business Republican debate? Vote now in our straw poll.

Fourth Republican Debate Tuesday; 52 Weeks Until Presidential Election

November 9, 2015

The fourth Republican Debate will take place on Tuesday at the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal, the main event will begin at 9 P.M. ET, preceded at 7 P.M. by a forum for those that didn't qualify for the main stage. The debate will be telecast by Fox Business Network and moderated by Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto of that network, along with WSJ Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker.

Tuesday is exactly 52 weeks until the 2016 presidential election which will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. (2016 Election Calendar)

Eight candidates qualified for this debate, with Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee not qualifying based on the 2.5% polling support cut-off set by the sponsors. Relegated to the earlier forum, these two will square off against Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. Not invited at all were Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. As with previous debates, there has been no shortage of controvsery about the qualifying criteria. It is probably more justified in this case due to the limited number of polls included in the average as well as the polls chosen for inclusion. (One could argue Fox Business chose polls to get the results they wanted). In any case, as we've noted before (see last couple paragraphs), choosing participants based on national polls and miniscule differences in polling is illogical.

For those unfamiliar, Fox Business Network can be found in HD on Dish Network channel 206, DIRECTV channel 359, FiOS channel 617 and U-verse channel 1211. For other providers, including cable, use this Fox Business search tool.




Has Carson Peaked in Iowa? Trump Edges Him in CNN Poll

November 6, 2015

Donald Trump leads Ben Carson 25% to 23% in a new poll from CNN | ORC. While well within the margin of error, this is the 2nd poll this week that has seen Trump with a small lead. This sharply contrasts with several late October polls that had seen Carson pull ahead by almost 10%. Carson remains ahead in the 270toWin Iowa polling average as a result of those earlier margins, but this could be one situation where the average isn't telling the whole story. Time will tell.


Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio continue to make up the 2nd tier in Iowa, and are essentially tied for 3rd. Taken together, the four candidates at the head of the Republican field are now receiving over 70% share.

On the Democratic side, CNN | ORC found Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 55% to 37%, slightly tighter than other recent Iowa Democratic polls.

The Iowa Caucuses are 87 days out on February 1, 2016. 

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