Election News

Rand Paul Joins 2016 Presidential Field

April 7, 2015

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination today in Louisville. The first-term Senator will join Ted Cruz as official candidates for the presidiency. There are approximately 580 days until the 2016 presidential election.

It is expected that numerous other Republicans will follow in the weeks ahead.

Paul and Cruz have both been averaging about 10% in Republican primary polls, trailing but competitive with early polling frontrunners Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Looking to the general election, should it be Paul vs. Hillary Clinton, early polling has Clinton with the advantage. However, when considering polled states + 2012 results for unpolled ones, this is the only match-up that doesn't currently show Clinton ahead in states totaling 270 electoral votes.



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New Swing State Polls Shows Republican Field Fluid; Preference for Local Pols

April 2, 2015

An April 2 Quinnipiac poll for the general election battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania show that the Republican nomination remains wide open. Preference for home-state political figures (or perhaps it is just name recongition) was a significant influence in the results. For example, former Governor Jeb Bush sees almost 25% preference in Florida, but can't crack double-digits in the other two states. 

Florida: Former governor Jeb Bush leads with 24% of the vote with Senator Marco Rubio in 3rd at 12%. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is in-between, with 15%. These results are similar to those seen in last week's Public Policy poll. Rubio is scheduled to announce his 2016 plans on April 13. 

Ohio: Senator John Kasich garnered 20% of the vote; the only candidate to crack double-digits. Kasich has gotten little support in other polling, but his popularity in this critical general election battleground could become important. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio.  

Pennsylvania: Walker was the only prospective candidate with double-digit support here, and the only one to finish in the top three in all three states polled. Former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second at 9%. Santorum has gotten little support elsewhere.

Quinnipiac also polled the Democratic field in these three states. Hillary Clinton's support ranged from 48% in Pennsylvania, to 54% in Ohio, to 65% in Florida. While Clinton is clearly ahead, this wide variation in support for the presumptive (if she runs) nominee might be something to monitor. 

 


Poll Shows 2016 Race Tightening in Key Swing States

March 31, 2015

A March 31 Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll shows Hillary Clinton's lead shrinking (even disappearing in a couple cases) in 2016 match-ups against prospective Republican nominees. Polls were conducted in the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania

A few highlights

  • Jeb Bush leads Clinton by 45% to 42% in Florida. While within the margin of error, this is one of the stronger Republican showings vs. Clinton seen in 2016 competitive state polling thus far
  • Rand Paul leads Clinton by 45% to 44% in Pennsylvania
  • Scott Walker's recent strong performance in Republican primary polling is not yet carrying over to the general electorate. Walker trails Clinton by 5% to 11% across the three states
  • Clinton is polling strongest overall in Ohio, leading by an average of 8.6% (vs. 4% to 5% in the other two states). A Republican has never won the presidency without carrying Ohio.

We've made a few updates to our polling-based HRC vs. GOP electoral maps.


Poll Shows Clinton leads in Florida; Bush tops Republican Primary Field

March 25, 2015

A new poll from Public Policy shows Hillary Clinton with leads of varying sizes over prospective 2016 opponents while Jeb Bush leads the crowded Republican primary field.

Republican Primary: Former governor Jeb Bush leads with 25% of the vote with home state Senator Marco Rubio in 3rd at 15%. Scott Walker is in-between, with 17%. This is one of the stronger poll showings we've seen from Rubio thus far.

Democratic Primary: Hillary Clinton received 58% of those responding, with Joe Biden at 14% and Elizabeth Warren at 10%. The email issue doesn't seem to be affecting Clinton much in her own party.

General Election: Clinton leads all Republicans in head-head match-ups, with Florida's Rubio and Bush coming closest, within the margin of error. Walker, who is performing well in Republican primary field surveys is not seeing that carry over yet; he trails by 8%. Democrats have won states totaling 242 electoral votes in the last 6 consecutive presidential elections. If that 'blue wall' should persist in 2016, Florida is a must-win state for the Republicans as its 29 electoral votes would put the Democratic nominee over the 270 threshold.

 

image from 270toWin iPad App


Senator Dan Coats Not Running for Reelection in 2016

March 24, 2015

Republican Indiana Senator Dan Coats announced today that he is not running for reelection in 2016. Coats won the seat in 2010 after former Senator Evan Bayh retired. This was Coats' 2nd Senate stint. He was appointed to the Senate in 1989 to succeed Dan Quayle, who had resigned to become Vice President under George H.W. Bush. 

Prior to this announcement, the seat was favored to remain in Republican hands. It may become more competitive now and could be an additional hurdle to Republican retention of the Senate in 2016, as the party must defend 24 of the 34 seats up next year.


Update Released for 270toWin iPad App

March 24, 2015

Version 1.5 of the 270toWin iPad app is now available in the App Store. In this update:

  • My Maps: Added more user options for map interaction including a color rotation similar to that on the 270toWin website
  • The States: Electoral vote count now changes as user scrolls through history. Also added electoral votes for 2020 (same as today) and an early projection for 2024
  • The Library: A 2016 Projections directory is now available. It will be populated with pundit and other projections

For those that haven't looked at the app since the last election, here are some changes from the prior update, version 1.4, that launched last year:

  • Technical: App rebuilt for iOS 7 including updated Retina graphics
  • My Maps: Create candidate-specific 2016 match-ups; save maps to camera roll via Share button
  • The States: Updated narrative, voting history and popular votes for 2012 election results
  • The Library: Added 2012 Related directory for maps based on 2012 results
  • The History: Added 2012 to the timeline

And it Begins: Ted Cruz to Announce Presidential Bid

March 22, 2015

Texas Senator Ted Cruz will announce Monday that he is running for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, CNN reports.  The first-term Senator will make his announcement at Liberty University in Virginia.  This declaration will make Cruz the first major candidate to officially launch a 2016 presidential campaign.  There are approximately 595 days until the 2016 presidential election.

It is expected that numerous other Republicans will follow in the weeks ahead.

With the usual caveat that polling is of limited predictive value this far out: Cruz has been averaging just under 5% in recent national Republican primary polls, in a group of hopefuls that have gotten some support but are trailing leaders Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Looking to the general election, should it be Cruz vs. Hillary Clinton, early polling has Clinton with the advantage.  

 


New CNN Poll Shows Clinton Well Ahead of Prospective Republican Opponents

March 18, 2015

A new poll from CNN-ORC shows Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead over her prospective Republican challengers for 2016. These large leads, however, are generally a few points less than when CNN-ORC last surveyed the race in December, 2014. 

Republican Primary: Jeb Bush has a small lead over Scott Walker and Rand Paul, with Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson next. No Republican received more than mid teens preference. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are virtually tied in our 270toWin national average. 

Democratic Primary: Hillary Clinton received 62% of those responding, with Joe Biden at 15% and Elizabeth Warren at 10%. Hillary is polling almost 60% in the 270toWin average, with Biden and Warren battling it out for a distant 2nd. 

General Election: Clinton leads by 11-16% over every prospective Republican opponent surveyed, with Rand Paul performing best. Clinton consistently came in at about 55%, each Republican within a couple points of 40%. This seems to indicate a pretty rigid adherence to party preference at this point. Whether and how much that changes as the Republicans become more well-known will go a long way to determining how competitive 2016 will be.

 


Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns from Congress

March 17, 2015

Politico reports Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) resigned Tuesday, less than 12 hours after that website raised questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements he received for his personal vehicle. This is just the latest in a series of ethical questions that have dogged Schock, who recently began his 4th term. The resignation will be effective March 31. 

This vacancy will create the third open seat in Congress, all Republican. Peter Grimm (NY-11) resigned on January 5; a special election is scheduled for May 5. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01) died February 6; a special election will be held May 12. Both these seats are expected to remain in Republican control, as is Schock's seat. Per Roll Call, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner must call for a special election within 5 days of the effective date of the resignation. The special election must be held within 115 days from the date of that announcement.

Looking ahead to 2016, 7 other Representaives have announced they will not seek re-election. Republicans Chris Gibson (NY-19) and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) are in the most competitive districts; rated toss-up by Sabato's Crystal Ball. Four Democrats in safe districts are leaving: Janice Hahn (CA-44), Donna Edwards (MD-04), Chris Van Hollen (MD-08) and Charles Rangel (NY-13). Reps. Edwards and Van Hollen are running for the Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski.  Republican Candice Miller (MI-10) is also leaving; her seat is safe for the GOP.

 

 


Michigan Tees Up Another Effort to Change Electoral Vote Allocation

March 11, 2015

A bill that would change how Michigan allocates its electoral college votes was introduced in the State Legislature this week, Michigan Radio reports. This is not the first time time the Republican-controlled legislature has attempted to modify the all-or-none allocation method in an attempt to get some of Michigan's 16 electoral votes into the column of their presidential nominee. Michigan has not voted for a Republican in a presidential election since 1988.

In the current bill, two electoral votes would go to the winner of the state's popular vote, while the remaining 14 would be allocated individually based on the winner of the popular vote in each Congressional District. This is the same methodology used in Nebraska and Maine, the only two states not following the all-or-none method. 

Had this method been in place during the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have received 9 electoral votes from Michigan, despite losing the overall popular vote by almost 10%.  

To see the implications of alternate electoral college methods in each state, visit our Gaming the Electoral College feature.

 

 



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