Election News

Coming Soon: A New Interactive Senate Map

January 1, 2016

Happy Presidential Election New Year! There are 312 days until the 2016 presidential election. This year will also see contests for all 435 House seats as well as 12 gubernatorial contests. Republicans currently hold the House with 246 seats (218 needed for control) and control 31 of the 50 state executive chairs.

Republicans also control the Senate, with 54 of the 100 seats. Unlike the House, where Republicans will most likely hold power, the Senate is once again up for grabs. Republicans gained control in 2014, when most seats up were held by Democrats. The situation is reversed this year, with 24 of the 34 elections held by Republican incumbents. Outside the presidential election, this will be the most interesting area to watch and forecast.

To that end, we've been busy upgrading our interactive Senate map. The new map, which we hope to launch in the next couple weeks, will be three maps in one. You'll be able to look at the current Senate, make your forecast for the 2016 Senate elections and then view the composition of the 2017 Senate based on your predictions.

It will also be easier to share the map via social media or embed an image into a web page.

 

 



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George Pataki Reportedly Dropping Presidential Bid

December 29, 2015

Former New York Governor George Pataki, who struggled to gain traction in a very crowded Republican field, is reportedly going to end his campaign

If true, this will leave 12 candidates vying for the party's 2016 nomination.

 


O'Malley Iowa Event Draws One Person; He Leaves Uncommitted

December 29, 2015

Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, running a distant third in the Democratic presidential field, drew just one person - a man named Kenneth - to an event in Iowa on Monday, the Hill reports. 

Despite the one-on-one time, O'Malley was unable to convince Kenneth to vote for him at the Iowa caucus, although he did have some nice things to say about the candidate.

A snowstorm had other candidates cancelling their events.

O'Malley is averaging about 4% in nationwide polls; he's done slightly better in Iowa. The Iowa Democratic caucus is February 1.


Only Six on Main Stage for Next Republican Debate?

December 22, 2015

According to Politico, Fox Business will announce qualifying criteria for the next Republican debate on Tuesday. The main stage could see as few as six participants. Those who place in the top 6 nationally based on the 5 most recent recognized polls as of January 11 will qualify. If any other candidate is in the top 5 in New Hampshire or Iowa based on recent state polls, they will also qualify.

Once again, there will be a preliminary debate. In this case, those with 1% in one or more of five recognized polls will qualify.

As of now, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie would qualify based on the 270toWin average of recent polls. Note that these may not be the same polls used by Fox.

 

Nobody else would qualify based on Iowa or New Hampshire. This would leave John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul off the main stage.

The debates will be held January 14 in North Charleston, SC.


Lindsey Graham Exits 2016 Race

December 21, 2015

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham suspended his presidential campaign Monday, Politico reports. Today was the final day for Graham to remove himself from the ballot for the February 20 South Carolina Republican primary. Graham was only averaging 1.8% in his home state, good for a distant 9th in the then 14-person race. Graham's national poll numbers were even worse, averaging less than 1%. As such, he could never crack the main debate stage, which limited his ability to gain exposure.

The Politico article notes that Graham now has an opportunity to be kingmaker in South Carolina, giving him a chance to be more vocal about his opposition to Donald Trump and fellow Senator Ted Cruz.

Suspending a Campaign vs. Ending It

If you've ever wondered why candidates 'suspend' their campaigns instead of just declaring them over, it mostly boils down to two things. First, in the unlikely event that the world changes, it is easier to revive the campaign. However, the main reason is that it takes a while to wind down a campaign, paying off bills/debts etc. This article from 2012 discusses some of this in a bit more detail.


New Hampshire: Trump Leads as Rivals Bunch in 2nd; Sanders Lead over Clinton Disappears

December 18, 2015

Donald Trump is at 26%, while a group of other Republicans have become tightly grouped in the low teens, according to a new poll of New Hampshire Repbublicans conducted by Franklin Pierce University and The Boston Herald. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has all but erased Bernie Sander's lead in the one state that the Vermont Senator was ahead. New Hampshire will hold the nation's first primary (Iowa precedes it with their caucuses) on February 9. 

More: 2016 Election Calendar

Republican Primary

Trump's 26% is more than double that of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both at 12%. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are right there as well, with 11% and 10%, respectively. John Kasich is at 8%.

Comparing this poll to other recent ones, these results seem to indicate that Trump's core support remains steady, but not growing. Meanwhile, the more traditional candidates seem to be slowly gaining support as a group, but with a 5-way split, none are really making headway against the Republican frontrunner. 

It appears that some of the candidates behind Trump will need to leave the race before his lead can effectively be challenged. That creates a paradox: All the tightly grouped candidates will be better off if one or more of them leaves, but nobody will want to be the one that leaves to miss out on that opportunity.

New Hampshire has just 23 delegates (1,237 are needed to be nominated) and these are allocated more-or-less proportionately

Democratic Primary

Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by just 2%, well within the margin of error. Sanders led by 10% in a CNN poll last week, although trailed by 2% in a poll earlier in December. This race is effectively tied as the year comes to an end. As the Vermont Senator is trailing Clinton in most other places, including by 17% in Iowa, winning here seems critical if he is to have much of a shot against the Democratic frontrunner. Interestingly, Sanders continues to poll slightly better than Clinton in many general election match-ups.

 

 

 


Trump Seen as Debate Winner by More Than 50%

December 16, 2015

Final Results

Not too much change from earlier today. Trump dropped slightly, but still finished with 52.5% of the votes. Rubio and Cruz both gained a bit from earlier. The final results chart follows; we've removed the preliminary chart.

Preliminary Results

More than 50% of those participating in our overnight snap poll thought Donald Trump won the CNN debate. Despite barely making the cut to appear on the main stage, Rand Paul was 2nd at about 15%. Trump's closest challengers in the national Republican polls, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were third and fourth. These two spent considerable time going at each other; it appears neither had a breakout moment.

Fewer than 5% of respondents thought the remaining five candidates won the evening.

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 respondents selected themselves to participate. It is therefore not a random sample as would be the goal of a more traditional poll. 

 


Snap Poll: Who Won the CNN Republican Debate?

December 15, 2015

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


Republican Debate Tonight: What You Need to Know

December 15, 2015

The fifth Republican debate will be held tonight at The Venetian in Las Vegas. It is hosted by CNN and Salem Radio and telecast live on CNN, moderated by Wolf Blitzer. This will be the final Republican debate for 2015.

As with previous Republican debates, it will be split into two sessions. The first, at 6 PM ET will include George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham. The main event, at 8:30 ET, will include nine candidates:  The eight that participated in the Fox Business debate a few weeks back plus Chris Christie. Both Christie and Rand Paul made the main stage by virtue of their polling performance in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively. This is the first debate where early state polling was considered as a qualifying criteria.

As in prior dates, the candidates will be ordered by polling averages. CNN is using the average of national polls from November and December. Donald Trump will again hold center stage, flanked on his left by a surgng Ted Cruz and on his right by a fading Ben Carson. Marco Rubio, will be to Carson's right. Given the direction of the race today, these two probably should be switched, but they didn't ask our opinion. Jeb Bush will be to Cruz's left, with Chris Christie and Rand Paul on that end. On the other end, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich will be to the right of Rubio. 

Turning to the polls, we've compiled the national 270toWin polling average for these nine, as well as that average for the first two voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. These averages include the five most recent polls, which is different than the CNN criteria.

 

 

 

While the top 3 are the same in all three locations, note that the recent ascendency of Ted Cruz in Iowa has not yet translated into New Hampshire. 

 

 

 

 

NPR has put together a nice summary of what each candidate needs to accomplish and avoid in the debate. 


Debates Next Week: Paul May Miss Main Stage; Sponsor Dropped from Democratic Event

December 11, 2015

The fifth Republican debate will be on Tuesday, the 15th at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Hosted by CNN and Salem Radio, it will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt. CNN will broadcast the debate at 9PM ET, preceded at 7PM by a forum for those not making the main event.

As we noted previously, CNN is going to use poll standing in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as nationally, to decide who makes the main stage. At this point, it looks like Rand Paul could miss out, while Chris Christie would return, after he missed out on the Fox Business debate last month. The New Jersey governor is pretty much a lock, as he has performed quite well in recent New Hampshire polling, including 2nd place in a poll out Friday morning

As a result, there will be 8, perhaps 9 participants in the main Republican debate. The final determination will come after this weekend.

 

The Democrats will debate next Saturday in Manchester, Vermont. ABC will host the debate beginning at 8PM ET. Co-sponsor WMUR, an ABC affiliate and New Hampshire's most influential television station was dumped from the event today because of a labor dispute with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This prevented a possible scenario where the participants would have to cross a picket line to attend the debate.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, the three remaining Democrats in the race, are expected to participate.



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