Election News

Waiting for Biden: CNN Democratic Debate Criteria

September 28, 2015

CNN has announced eligibility criteria for the first Democratic presidential debate, to be held October 13 in Las Vegas. In addition to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, 3 other candidates meet a minimal threshold polling requirement: Martin O'Malley, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. 

Vice president Joe Biden has met the polling criteria; he will be able to participate in the debate if he announces his intention to run as late as the day of the event

This is one of six debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, a limited schedule that has caused some controversy. The next two debates will be in the first two primary/caucus states. The first will be November 14 in Des Moines, followed by a December 19 event in Manchester, New Hampshire.



Headlines From Political Wire

Trump Willing to Delay Border Wall Funding

President Trump signaled “he would be comfortable delaying a fight over a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border until September, possibly averting a government...

Decision Time for Republicans to Avoid a Shutdown

“Republicans are caught in one of their biggest dilemmas of the year: Whether to cross President Donald Trump and ignore his demand for border wall...

Dissatisfaction With Ryan, Congress Is Growing

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that Americans hold dim views of Congress and of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). “Nearly three-quarters...

Trump Jokes About Firing Nikki Haley

President Trump joked that if members of the United Nations Security Council don’t like U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, she “could easily be replaced,”...

Le Pen Steps Down as Party Leader

Marine Le Pen said she’s stepping aside as leader of far-right National Front party as she seeks French presidency in order to “unite all French...

Four General Election Debates Announced for 2016

September 23, 2015

Although the first one is still more than a year out, the Commission on Presidential Debates today announced four debates for the 2016 general election. There will be 3 presidential and one vice presidential debate.

3 of the 4 debates will take place in what are likely to be competitive states in 2016.

The first presidential debate will be at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio on Monday, September 26, 2016. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio and the state's residents have voted with the eventual winner for the past 13 consecutive elections.

Next up is the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on Tuesday October 4. Virginia and Ohio were two of only four states to be decided by less than 5% popular vote margin in 2012, indicative of our nation's increasing electoral polarization

The second presidential debate will be Sunday, October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. While Missouri has been trending 'redder' in recent presidential elections, it was decided by just 0.1% in 2008 so could be competitive in the right circumstances.

The final presidential debate will be Wednesday, October 19 at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. The state has voted with the eventual presidential winner in each election since 1980. It has also seen its electoral votes double, from 3 to 6, in that period.


Scott Walker Exiting 2016 Race

September 21, 2015

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, once thought to be a leading candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination is exiting the race, the New York Times reports. A news conference is scheduled at 6PM eastern time.

Here is the current polling average for the 15 remaining candidates, based on 5 recent national polls. Click the image for details.

 

 


House Back at Full Strength; Looking Ahead to 2016 Elections

September 21, 2015

The swearing in of Darrin LaHood (IL-18) on September 17 (the office he took over no longer looks like this) returned the U.S. House of Representatives to full strength - 435 members - for the first time since January 5 of this year. The House is currently comprised of 247 Republicans, the same as earlier this year, and the most since 1931.

2016 Election

As is the case every two years (including all presidential election years), there will be elections for all 435 House seats in 2016. Given the Republican 29-seat majority (over the 218 needed), it should not be surprising that, this far out, Republicans are expected to retain control. An early projection by Sabato's Crystal Ball indicates that only 59 of the 435 seats are expected to be somewhat competitive, with just 17 of them true toss-ups. Republicans would keep control by winning just 10 of these 59 seats.

Retiring Members

Thus far, 22 Representatives have announced they will not be seeking another term in the 2016 House elections. Interestingly, there is an even split between Democrats and Republicans. Several are running for Senate; many are retiring. In terms of 2016, quite a few of these races may be competitive, including AZ-01, CA-24, FL-13, FL-18, MI-01, MI-10, MN-02, NV-03, NY-19, PA-08.


Post Debate Poll: Fiorina, Rubio Gain, Trump Down, Walker Disappears

September 20, 2015

A new CNN | ORC poll is our first look at the Republican field post-debate. This survey was conducted entirely after the September 16 event. In the table below, we compare this poll with the prior CNN | ORC survey, released September 10.

When comparing the two polls:

 

  • Fiorina and Rubio were the big winners. Both were at 3% prior to the debate, now in double digits. Fiorina's 12 point gain has put her in 2nd place.
  • Trump remains well ahead of the field, but saw a 25% reduction in support from 32% to 24%.
  • Carson lost 5 points and now is tightly bunched with Fiorina and Rubio. Along with Trump, all these candidates exceeded 10%, vs. only 2 at that level in the prior poll
  • Walker also lost 5 points -- his only 5 points -- and has fallen to the bottom of the pack. Before the political outsiders came along, he and Bush (who held steady at 9%) were seen as favorites for the nomination. 
  • Speaking of those outsiders, The combined total of Trump, Fiorina and Carson, none of whom have held political office, was 53%, virtually unchanged (although redistributed) from the 54% total of 10 days ago.

2nd Republican Debate: Defining Success for Each Candidate

September 16, 2015

Tonight's second Republican debate will take place at the Reagan Library in California, televised at CNN beginning at 8PM ET. It is expected to last about 3 hours.  11 candidates will participate. Here's where they will stand:

And, here's how they are doing in recent polls:

The Hill has put out a nice summary of what each candidate needs to do for a successful showing tonight. Some excerpts:

Donald Trump must conjure all of his skills as an entertainer to handle increased scrutiny while also laying out a vision that goes beyond a 'make America great' slogan

Ben Carson needs to build on the outsider wave that has gotten him to second in the polls. He needs to display command of policy.

Jeb Bush can't appear intimidated by Trump and needs to reverse the low-energy image that Trump has painted him with.

Carly Fiorina should stay above the fray as she introduces herself as the only woman on the main stage.

Politico has a top 5 things to watch article. Carson and Fiorina have something to prove, while Bush vs. Trump is expected to be the evening's main event. Scott Walker and Rand Paul need to use this debate to get back into the conversation as their recent poll numbers have lagged. Finally, the article discusses the endurance event this three hour debate will be.


Rick Perry Ends 2016 Campaign; Avoids Wednesday Debate

September 12, 2015

Former Texas governor Rick Perry became the first declared Republican candidate to leave the 2016 race, suspending his campaign on Friday. Perry was averaging less than 1% in recent polls and would have again been relegated to a secondary forum in this Wednesday's CNN-hosted Republican debate

This leaves 16 Republicans in the 2016 field.

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.


Trump Passes 30% in CNN Poll; Inside One Week Until Next Debate

September 10, 2015

The latest Republican presidential poll from CNN | ORC shows Donald Trump at 32% and Dr. Ben Carson at 19%.  These two candidates now have the support of over half the Republican electorate or more than the other 15 candidates combined. In the last CNN poll, from mid-August, Trump was at 24%, Carson at 9%.

In the 270toWin average of Republican polls, Trump, Carson and Jeb Bush are 1-2-3, with Trump enjoying roughly double the support of Carson who, in turn, almost has double the support of Bush.

The upcoming Republican debate, hosted by CNN at the Reagan presidential library, will take place next Wednesday, September 16 at 8PM EDT. It will be preceded by a forum for lower-polling candidates, which will take place at 6PM.

CNN recently changed the debate criteria so that Carly Fiorina, who has polled well since the first debate, could participate. At this point, it appears that there will be 16 candidates participating between the two debates. The first debate will include all 10 from the first Fox debate plus Fiorina (names are those in the above image), with Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki invited to the earlier event. 


Bush Leads Clinton by 11 in Iowa; Results of NH and IA Polls

September 6, 2015

New NBC News/Marist polling from Iowa and New Hampshire is out this Labor Day weekend and the news is not good for Hillary Clinton. 

Democratic Primary/Caucus: Clinton is under 40% in both Iowa and New Hampshire, a loss of about 10% in both states from the last NBC News/Marist survey in July. Clinton trails Bernie Sanders by 9% in New Hampshire, while her 11% lead in Iowa is down from 24% in July. In a separate survey without Joe Biden included, the margins were about the same, indicating Biden's supporters would split roughly 50/50 if they had to choose Clinton or Sanders.

Republican Primary/Caucus: Donald Trump leads in both states, coming in at just under 30% support. In Iowa, only Ben Carson comes close, at 22%; no other candidate exceeds 6%. In New Hampshire, John Kasich and Ben Carson trail trump, both in the low teens. It is interesting to also note regional differences in candidate support; see table below. That's a reminder that national polling should be viewed somewhat skeptically, as the nomination will be decided based on the results of state-level contests that take place over several months. 

General Election: The poll surveyed Clinton or Biden vs. Bush or Trump. The most notable results were that Bush has opened up an 11 point lead over Clinton in Iowa and that Biden outperforms her vs. these prospective Republican challengers. Keep in mind that Biden is not in the race, and he's not being subject to the attacks and negative publicity that accompany a campaign. Visit our 2016 general election poll page to follow all the polls. 


New Poll Shows a Generally Close Presidential Election Race

September 3, 2015

A new national poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) points to a competitive general election, although the named Democratic nominee usually has a small lead.

PPP surveyed 16 possible match-ups, 9 involving Hillary Clinton, 5 Bernie Sanders and 2 Joe Biden.Clinton leads in 8 of the 9 heats. She is tied with Ben Carson, and leads Scott Walker by 7; all the other results fall within those two ranges. 

Joe Biden was surveyed against Bush and Trump, leading Bush by 3 points and Trump by 6 points. Bernie Sanders lost 3 of the 5 match-ups he was in, most notably by 6 points to Ben Carson.

Visit our 2016 presidential election poll page for all the national and state-level general election surveys.

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