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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bored at the office? Try our States I've Visited Electoral Map.
There may be 11 participants in the next 10 person Republican debate, based on new rules announced by CNN today.
Originally, CNN said that only candidates in the top 10 from polls taken from July 16 to September 10 could particpate. While similar to the Fox News approach for the first debate, it failed to account for shifts in public opinion occurring as a result of that event.
Fiorina participated in an earlier forum at the August 6 Fox debate, and her strong performance has propelled her to well within the top 10 in polls taken since then.
The new CNN rules will keep the original criteria, while adding a separate criteria to include those in the top 10 for polls taken post-debate until September 10.
This likely means 11 participants at the September 16 debate, including the 10 candidates from the first debate plus Fiorina. As it turns out, this appears to be a good break point, based on the average of the most recent polls:
Here's the full CNN statement on the rules change. The debate will take place at the Reagan Presidential Library.
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