Election News

Fourth Republican Debate Tuesday; 52 Weeks Until Presidential Election

November 9, 2015

The fourth Republican Debate will take place on Tuesday at the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal, the main event will begin at 9 P.M. ET, preceded at 7 P.M. by a forum for those that didn't qualify for the main stage. The debate will be telecast by Fox Business Network and moderated by Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto of that network, along with WSJ Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker.

Tuesday is exactly 52 weeks until the 2016 presidential election which will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. (2016 Election Calendar)

Eight candidates qualified for this debate, with Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee not qualifying based on the 2.5% polling support cut-off set by the sponsors. Relegated to the earlier forum, these two will square off against Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. Not invited at all were Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. As with previous debates, there has been no shortage of controvsery about the qualifying criteria. It is probably more justified in this case due to the limited number of polls included in the average as well as the polls chosen for inclusion. (One could argue Fox Business chose polls to get the results they wanted). In any case, as we've noted before (see last couple paragraphs), choosing participants based on national polls and miniscule differences in polling is illogical.

For those unfamiliar, Fox Business Network can be found in HD on Dish Network channel 206, DIRECTV channel 359, FiOS channel 617 and U-verse channel 1211. For other providers, including cable, use this Fox Business search tool.




Has Carson Peaked in Iowa? Trump Edges Him in CNN Poll

November 6, 2015

Donald Trump leads Ben Carson 25% to 23% in a new poll from CNN | ORC. While well within the margin of error, this is the 2nd poll this week that has seen Trump with a small lead. This sharply contrasts with several late October polls that had seen Carson pull ahead by almost 10%. Carson remains ahead in the 270toWin Iowa polling average as a result of those earlier margins, but this could be one situation where the average isn't telling the whole story. Time will tell.


Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio continue to make up the 2nd tier in Iowa, and are essentially tied for 3rd. Taken together, the four candidates at the head of the Republican field are now receiving over 70% share.

On the Democratic side, CNN | ORC found Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 55% to 37%, slightly tighter than other recent Iowa Democratic polls.

The Iowa Caucuses are 87 days out on February 1, 2016. 

Trump, Carson Lead Fox Poll; Final Roster for Next Debate Announced Tomorrow

November 4, 2015

In the latest poll from Fox News, Donald Trump leads Ben Carson by 3 points, 26% to 23%, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tied for 3rd at 11%. These four continue to break away from the field. Trump and Carson are virtually tied at 25% in the 270toWin average of recent polls. Rubio and Cruz are still well back of the two frontrunners, but have seen their numbers slowly climb in recent polls. 

Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul all received 4% in the Fox poll.

The next Republican debate, hosted by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal, will take place next Tuesday, November 10th in Milwaukee. As with prior events, there will be a main event (8PM ET) and an earlier debate for those that don't make the cut. Fox Business has previously said that candidates must have a 2.5% average in the four most recent polls through today to make the main stage. 

We don't know which polls Fox will use, but it looks like Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee's 4% will be enough to keep them in the main debate; Chris Christie may fall just short. The official lineup is expected to be announced tomorrow evening.



Republicans Bryant and Bevin Win Gubernatorial Races in Mississippi and Kentucky

November 3, 2015

Republican Phil Bryant was releected governor of Mississippi tonight, easily fending off challengers from the Democratic and Reform parties.

In Kentucky, businessman Matt Bevin won a surprisingly easy victory over the state's Attorney General, Jack Conway. Bevin outperformed the polls, which had shown either a dead heat or a small lead for Conway.

Louisiana will conduct a runoff for governor on November 21st. Unlike the above races won by Republicans, Democrat Jon Bel Edwards seems to be taking the lead against Senator David Vitter. 

A number of mayoral races took place today. Democrat Jennifer Roberts won in Charlotte as did James Kenney in Philadelphia. Democrat Joe Hogsett was victorious in Indianapolis. Houston and San Francisco, among many other cities, will also elect a mayor tonight.




Richard Nugent Becomes 24th House Member not Seeking Reelection

November 2, 2015

Richard Nugent, the U.S. Representative from Florida's 11th District, today became the 24th current member of the U.S. House to announce they will not seek reelection in 2016Nugent is the 5th of Florida's 27 representatives to leave; but the first to retire. The other 4 are running for the Florida Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio in 2016.

Composition of the announced departures:

  • Thirteen Republicans, Eleven Democrats
  • Nine (6 R, 3 D) are in competitive districts; rated toss-up or lean in 2016 per Sabato's Crystal Ball
  • Ten are retiring (8 R, 2 D) while twelve are seeking a Senate seat (7 D, 5 R)

This list excludes anyone who has already departed the Congress, most recently former Speaker John Boehner whose seat (OH-8) will remain vacant until a special election next June.

To look up your elected officials, or those of any location in the country, use our Who Represents Me lookup. We also have a 2016 House Election Interactive Map.

Larry Lessig Withdraws from Democratic Presidential Race

November 2, 2015

Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig, running primarily on reforming campaign finance, today ended his long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination.

In announcing his withdrawal via YouTube, Lessig cited a last-minute shift in Democratic Party debate rules that basically made it impossible for him to qualify to participate. Lessig went Absent that forum, his campaign would be unable to get the visibility necessary to compete effectively and it would be unfair to ask people to continue to give of their time and money.   

Lessig was receiving minimal support in national polls and may not have even qualified on the prior rules. However, he was starting to see small support (about 1%) in some recent New Hampshire and Iowa polls.  

The next Democratic forum will be this Friday, November 6th, at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It will start at 8PM ET and be hosted by MSNBC. This event is not technically a debate; it is expected to feature moderator Rachel Maddow speaking conversationally with each of the three remaining Democrats (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley) 

Two Gubernatorial Races Highlight Quiet 2015 Election Day

November 2, 2015

Tuesday will bring a quiet Election Day 2015 with two governorships being contested.  A third gubernatorial race will be decided by runoff later in November. A number of large cities, including Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco will have mayoral elections

Three states have gubernatorial elections this year, with two of them taking place on Election Day. Mississippi governor Phil Bryant is expected to easily win reelection to a second term. A much more competitive race is on tap in Kentucky to replace term-limited Democrat Steve Beshear. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway is up against Republican businessman Matt Bevin. Both Conway and Bevin have previously lost races for the U.S. Senate. Recent polling has shown a consistent but small lead for Conway, although one poll out over the weekend showed a tie. Independent Drew Curtis is also in the race. That's noteworthy for two reasons. First, while he's not expected to win, he is polling around 5%; some of those votes could find their way to one of the party candidates which could be significant in a very tight election. Second, Curtis is the founder of Fark.com, an irreverent stream of user-generated takes on the day's headlines which can be pretty amusing.

Louisiana will also elect a new governor this month to replace term-limited Bobby Jindal. The state held its 'jungle primary' on October 24th, where candidates from all parties competed. Since no candidate acheived 50%, the top two will compete in a runoff on November 21st. Sitting Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter will face off against Democratic state legislator John Bel Edwards. The race, which was once seen as safe Republican, has been trending closer, with Edwards leading Vitter in some polls. Most pundits still give a slight edge to Vitter. If Vitter does win, he will get to appoint his replacement in the Senate. Depending on when Vitter resigns his Senate seat, there may or may not be a special election for that seat in 2016. Regardless of which way that goes, the seat currently held by Vitter is one of 34 Senate seats to be contested in 2016


Trump, Rubio Win Debate: 270toWin Snap Poll Results

October 29, 2015

Donald Trump won the CNBC debate according to about 40% of those participating in an overnight snap poll at 270toWin. Marco Rubio also had a strong night, with about 22% naming him. With 6 and 10 choosing these two, it seems as the leading outsider and the emerging establishment candidate both kept the momentum going with their performance.

Ted Cruz was third with about 10% support. Ben Carson, who had been gaining on Trump in several recent polls, even taking the lead in Iowa, was seen as the winner by 8.5%, about the same as John Kasich. Considering their relative position coming into the debate, this could be interpreted as a very good showing by the Ohio governor. We shall see if this translates into improved polling in the weeks ahead.

The remaining 5 participants had less than 5% support. Interestingly, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush both received about 3% in the poll, even though pundits have widely praised the New Jersey governor's performance while panning that of the former Florida governor. 

Thanks to everyone that participated in our overnight snap poll. While we eliminated obvious duplicate votes from the results, we do want to note that this is just a response by those that chose to participate, and not a random sample.

Straw Poll: Who Won the Republican Debate?

October 28, 2015

The third Republican debate took place earlier tonight. Who do you think won? Vote now in our straw poll.



New Milestone in Presidential Succession Reached

October 27, 2015

This seems like a slightly awkward topic to write about, but ultimately good news given today's longer life expectancy and improved presidential security. 

Today (October 27) is 18,967 days since president John F. Kennedy died in office. This marks the longest such interval in U.S. history. The previous gap of 18,966 days occurred between George Washington's inauguration as the first president on April 30, 1789 and the death of William Henry Harrison, just one month into his term, on April 4, 1841. 

The shortest such period was the 3,383 days after John Tyler took over for Harrison; Zachary Taylor died on July 9, 1850. 

Eight presidents have died in office; 4 by assassination, 4 by other causes.