Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb announced the end of his bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination today, while leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.
Webb, the most centrist of the declared Democrats was unable to get much traction, generally polling at 2% or less.
While an independent bid would be unlikely to succeed, Webb could still be a major influence on the general election. His home state of Virginia is one of only four to be decided by 5% or less in 2012, and is widely considered to be a battleground again in 2016.
For more, read this statement from Jim Webb.
Following a solid debate performance, Hillary Clinton is back over 50% support in a new Democratic poll from ABC News & The Washington Post. Clinton's 54% was 12 points better than this same pollster's September survey. Bernie Sanders was at 23%, little changed from September, while Joe Biden lost 5 points and now sits at 16%. As noted yesterday, we expect Biden to run, but his seeming inability to decide may be wearing thin, particularly if Clinton is being perceived as past her recent difficulties.
While not seeing majority support, Clinton's numbers have been ticking up in most recent polls. The 270toWin average now shows her at 48.2%, almost double that of Sanders. The table below shows national polls since the beginning of October. Click or tap the graphic for full details, as well as links to polls from individual states.
The other 4 declared Democratic candidates continue to see miniscule polling numbers. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, unhappy about the time afforded him to speak in last week's debate, has scheduled a news conference for 1PM ET today at the National Press Club. Webb is expected to announce that he is considering leaving the Democratic race and running for president as an independent.
While it is unlikely this would increase his near-term visibility, given the focus on the nomination process, Webb could eventually be influential as it relates to the swing state of Virginia, where he served as Senator from 2007 to 2013. Virginia was one of only 4 states to be decided by 5% or less in 2012.
Vice President Joe Biden will finally announce his 2016 presidential plans in the next 48 hours, sources tell NBC's Kristen Welker. She discusses with Peter Alexander in this video from earlier today (Monday) on MSNBC.
By announcing prior to Thursday, Biden would get out in front of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the Select Committee on Benghazi this Thursday at 10AM*.
This is not the first time news of an imminent announcement has come, so it remains to be seen if this time will be different.
* The hearing will be telecast live on CSPAN-3
Our opinion (270toWin) continues to be that Biden will run. He has long wanted to be president; age makes 2016 his last real opportunity. Unlike his prior campaigns, he now has nearly 100% name recognition. In addition, there's no incumbent (from either party) to run against, which makes this a good year to run even if one has no chance, which is clearly not the situation the Vice President is in. Hillary Clinton will be tough competition for the nomination, but unless you are an incumbent, that would always be the case.
If we're wrong, we're wrong, but running seems like the path of least resistance.
Third quarter fundraising numbers are out, as reported by Politico. Three candidates topped $20 million, including Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ben Carson was the only Republican to surpass that total in a much larger Republican field, while frontrunner Donald Trump's numbers reflect the fact that he is self-funding his campaign.
Republicans raised $77.4 million in Q3, per the Politico article. More than half of this was raised by Carson, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. Carson, Bush, Cruz and Rubio all had over $10 million cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Most of the candidates that raised less than $3 million spent more during the quarter than they took in. As noted earlier, Trump is a bit of an outlier as he is primarily self-funding. Trump raised and spent roughly $4 million.
Democrats raised $59.1 million during the quarter, 95% of it to frontrunner Clinton and her closest challenger Sanders. Those two candidates had over $25 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
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.
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