After three Republican debates (the fourth is scheduled for October 28), the Democrats vying for the 2016 presidential nomination will take the debate stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas Nevada. CNN and Facebook will host the event, which will be moderated by Anderson Cooper. CNN will telecast the debate, beginning at 8:30PM eastern time.
Five declared candidates have been invited, based on achieving at least 1% in three recognized polls. Candidates will be positioned based on position in the polls. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be at center, flanked by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley. The final two spots will be occupied by former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb. Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig, the sixth declared candidate, did not meet the polling criteria to be included.
Vice president Joe Biden has qualified for the debate, but is not yet a declared candidate. A 6th podium is on-site should Biden decide to join the race and participate.
Looking at the Democratic polls, Clinton remains the strong frontrunner, although Sanders has provided a larger challenge than many expected when he entered the race. None of the remaining invited candidates has gained any traction of note with Democratic primary voters. The debate will provide the first real opportunity for these candidates to connect.
This is the first 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.
What the Candidates Need to Do
USA Today has a nice summary of what each candidate needs to accomplish for a successful evening.
Clinton: Reintroduce herself and her rationale for running/wanting to be president to reverse the torrent of negative publicity surrounding her in recent months
Sanders: Try to expand his appeal beyond core liberal base; appear electable
O'Malley: He's been more willing to go after Clinton than Sanders; needs to find an opportunity to do that on stage
Webb: Highlight his centrist views as contrast to others on stage; highlight opposition to Iraq War in contrast to Clinton
Chafee: Highlight his broad political experience
A new Quinnipiac Poll for the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton remaining atop the field in those states for their parties' nomination. This despite the fact that they continue to have the worst overall favorability ratings among all voters. Translation: Perhaps the most polarized general election ever if these two are the eventual nominees.
For the Republicans, Trump and Ben Carson were 1-2 in all 3 states, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio 3rd in that state and Pennsylvania. Governor John Kasich of Ohio was 3rd in his state. In passing Kasich in Ohio, Trump now leads in in almost every state where Republican primary polling has been conducted.
Results were fairly similar across the three state for the Democratic candidates. In Ohio, Clinton's 40% was equal to Biden + Sanders. She outperformed that in Florida, while doing a bit more poorly in Pennsylvania. If Biden wasn't in the equation, Clinton would be just over 50% in all 3 states; Sanders about 25%
Vice President Joe Biden will decide within the next 7 to 10 days whether to run for president in 2016, CBS News reports. CBS noted that this info came from 3 sources, 2 of whom indicated Biden is leaning toward running.
Even if Biden enters the 2016 race, he is expected to skip the first Democratic debate.
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Biden, while still trailing in the poll, would enter the race as the most popular Democrat. It is worth noting, however, that recent attention on Biden has largely been positive; this would undoubtedly change if he actually became a candidate.
The third Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, in Boulder, Colorado. It will be hosted by CNBC. Befitting that network, the debate will focus on the economy. This includes "jobs, taxes, the deficit and the health of our national economy", according to the original CNBC debate press release.
The Republican field remains crowded, with 15 candidates vying for the nomination. As a result, there will again be two debates. Qualifications are as follows:
Main Debate (8PM ET): For those candidates averaging 2.5% or higher in qualifying polls released from September 17 to October 21. Qualifying polls are those released by NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN and Bloomberg. At this point it appears 9 or 10 will qualify for that.
Earlier Debate (6PM ET): For those candidates not meeting the above criteria but who have earned at least 1% in any single poll from the same organizations in the same time frame.
Four polls appear to qualify thus far. Meeting the 2.5% threshold in all of them are: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie.
John Kasich only polled 2% in a September 20 CNN poll, but has seen 4-6% support since, so he looks fairly safe at this point. Mike Huckabee saw 6% in that same CNN poll, but his numbers have declined since. He's still likely to make the cut. Rand Paul is on the bubble, averaging just over 2.5% in the four qualifying polls.
Of the remaining five candidates, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and George Pataki have received 1% support in at least one poll, so have qualified for the early debate. Lindsey Graham has not, despite performing well in the early debate last time. Jim Gilmore has also seen 0% in the four qualifying polls.
The table below shows the 270toWin calculated polling average for each Republican candidate. This includes poll sources that are recognized, but not in the CNBC criteria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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