Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week 8: "All Eyes on Iowa" (January 31, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The Iowa Caucuses are tomorrow! Hop along, cause it’s going to be a wild ride of a day.

Days until Iowa Caucuses: 1!!!
Days until New Hampshire Primaries: 9
Days until General Election: 282


A Trumpless Debate
On the Republican side, there was a debate in Iowa. The FOX News debate in itself was not notable: the “experts” say Rand Paul won. The notable thing was the fact that Donald Trump did not attend because he thought moderator/FOX News host Megyn Kelly was biased against him - apparently because at the last debate she asked him a “biased question”. Somehow, this didn’t affect his poll numbers very much.


New York Times/Des Moines Register Endorsements
The two publications listed above both endorsed Hillary Clinton. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because of her universal establishment support. However, this can’t hurt her. The real news was the two papers’ endorsements on the Republican side. The NYT endorsed John Kasich and the DMR endorsed Marco Rubio. Rubio has had some momentum in Iowa as of late, and this could be the reason.

Upcoming Events:
February 1: The Iowa Caucuses - the first real voting
February 4: Democratic Debate in NH, hosted by MSNBC. Previously unsanctioned by the DNC, that has since changed.

In place of everything else normally here, I give you my...
Personal, Unscientific, Iowa Forecasts

Hillary Clinton - 49.6%
Bernie Sanders - 49.2%
Martin O’Malley - 1.2%

Donald Trump - 27.5%
Ted Cruz - 22.8%
Marco Rubio - 17.8%
Ben Carson - 11.1%
Rand Paul - 6.0%
Jeb Bush - 3.9%
Mike Huckabee - 2.9%
Chris Christie - 2.6%
John Kasich - 2.4%
Carly Fiorina - 1.9%
Rick Santorum - 1.1%

I have no guarantees as to how accurate these will be, they’re just my best guesses based on various sources and data.

Thanks for reading! Any suggestions/criticisms are welcome, just reply! Make sure to pay attention to tomorrow’s results!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 7: "Out of the Bluemberg" (January 24, 2016)

Dear Readers,

Much has happened this week in the (hectic) election season. I’ll help you make sense of all the news.


Days until Iowa caucuses: 8
Days until New Hampshire primaries: 16
Days until General Election: 289


Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump
You’ve probably seen this before, so it’s not a shock, but former Alaska Governor and 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president. It is the first real endorsement Trump has received, and that’s meaningful. But come on. It has to be from the craziest, most counter-establishment, all around worst person there is? Although I guess it’s Trump, so all bets are off. Remember: he eats pizza with a fork.

Forced to do his Job
Chris Christie has been hanging around New Hampshire a lot as of late - so much, it’s started to grow on him. How much is it growing on him, you ask? Well, Mr. Christie, faced with a snowstorm heading towards his New Jersey, had to make a “difficult” choice: Go back to Jersey to govern his people through extreme weather, or stay in NH picking up votes. He almost chose the former. As parts of New Jersey neared 3 feet of snow, this was a good thing, clearly, but it really shows how much they campaign - they will only grudgingly go do their job.

For Once, Trump Says the Truth
But this time he claimed he could “walk out on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and it wouldn’t cost him any votes.” Very sad and very, very true.


Bernie Keeps Gaining
For the third week in a row, Bernie Sanders is experiencing more gains in his poll numbers in Iowa, New Hampshire, and even nationally. This could make out to be a very close election season on the Democratic side when a few months ago it looked like there was nothing interesting.


A Third Party Run
Former New York mayor/Billionaire/noted independent/attention-seeker Michael Bloomberg has formed a committee to prepare for a potential run for president. A poll showed him getting 13% against 36% for Clinton and Trump, but he has said he will only run against Sanders and Trump/Cruz. While this worries many Democratic voters, it’s unclear whether he would make a real difference or just get 2% and fade off unnoticed.

Upcoming Events:
Republican debate on FOX News on Thursday, January 28. In Iowa. It will get crazy.

A Look Back:
At this point in 2008:
-Rudy Giuliani was still leading nationally. He won 10 delegates (out of 2,000+).

At this point 2012:
-Ron Paul was leading in Iowa. Eight days later, he’d finish in third.
-Newt Gingrich was leading nationally. He won two states.

State of the Race
My Personal Odds:
Donald Trump - 48%
Ted Cruz - 24%
Marco Rubio - 24%
Jeb! Bush - 3%
All Others - <2%

Hillary Clinton - 75%
Bernie Sanders - 24%
Martin O’Malley - 1%

Iowa Polls:
Donald Trump - 32.2% (up 4.4)
Ted Cruz - 27% (up .3)
Marco Rubio - 12.2% (up .5)
Ben Carson - 7.4% (down 1.3)
All Others - <5%

Hillary Clinton - 45.7%
Bernie Sanders - 45.7%
Martin O’Malley - 5.8%

Thanks for reading! Any suggestions/supports/criticisms are welcome, just reply!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 6: "State of the Union" (January 17, 2016)

Dear Readers,

Much has happened this week in the (hectic) election season. I’ll help you make sense of all the news.

Happy MLK Day!


Days until Iowa Caucuses: 14
Days until New Hampshire Primaries: 22
Days until General Election: 295


Cruz Smashes Trump’s Birthplace
Last week I explained how Donald Trump began cracking down on rival Ted Cruz by calling him a Canadian. (“That’s right: ultra-American ultra-right wing Cruz was born in Canada. Now, what impact this has is potentially limiting - his mother was an American citizen, meaning he is still eligible for the presidency.”) Cruz hit Trump back, however, by saying he had “New York values”, implying that he was really a pro-choice, pro-gun control liberal or something. As a New Yorker and a part-Canadian, I really don’t appreciate this, but we’ll see which of these places voters hate less.

Charleston Madness
There was a debate on each side last week, and the Republican’s happened on Thursday. As with many of the recent debates there was an accent on terrorism and foreign policy. As expected, the whole Canadian/New Yorker thing came up in one of the many times the two frontrunners clashed. Other memorable arguments included Marco Rubio calling Chris Christie a liberal, to which Christie responding by flat-out lying in three consecutive statements. We’ll see what impact this debate had, but if anything it really showed how badly Ben Carson is doing: he tried taking to comedy and let me tell you - he’s not very good.

Rand Takes A Stand

When the lineups for the undercard debate were announced, they said Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. However, Rand was angered, and he decided to boycott the debate. Somehow this worked, as during the debate he gained more Twitter followers than any other non-Trumpian candidate. Again, we’ll see what impact this has, but the one thing that angered me, was that they still didn’t #LetGilmoreDebate.


Charleston Madness - Again

You may not have noticed, but there have been Democratic debates too! Indeed, the fourth one was held this Sunday (because they’re just always on weekends!) and it featured... Basically the same things as the previous three. Bernie talked about campaign finance reform and Wall Street corruption, Hillary played the experience card, and Martin O’Malley was there. Indeed, O’Malley got about 30% of the speaking time of the other candidates, but the real news was that, for the first time, Bernie and Hillary showed tenseness and anger. How will Angry(er) Bernie play with voters? We shall see.

POTUS’ Last SotU

Obama’s final State of the Union was this Tuesday, and I won’t put much here since (I sincerely hope) you watched it. The main highlights were him promising Biden would lead the fight to cure cancer, and a few jokes about the current candidates.

Upcoming Events:
Really not very much, but only 2 weeks-ish ‘til Iowa!

A Look Back
At this point in 2008:
-Rudy Giuliani was in first place nationally. He didn’t win a single state.
-Romney was up 13% in New Hampshire. He lost to McCain (although he would win it, and the nomination, in 2012)
At this point in 2012:
-Newt Gingrich was leading by 10% nationally.
-Ron Paul was leading in Iowa. he would come in third.
-Eventual fifth place finisher Gingrich was in 2nd with 20% in New Hampshire.

State of the Race (Odds and Iowa Polls)
My Personal Odds:
Donald Trump - 34%
Marco Rubio - 31%
Ted Cruz - 26%
Jeb Bush - 3%
All others - <2%

Hillary Clinton - 77%
Bernie Sanders - 22%
Martin O’Malley - one sad percent
Iowa Polls:
Donald Trump - 27.8%
Ted Cruz - 26.7%
Marco Rubio - 11.7%
Ben Carson - 8.7%
Jeb Bush - 4.5%
Chris Christie - 4.2%
All Others - <4

Hillary Clinton - 44.8%*
Bernie Sanders - 44.2%*
Martin O’Malley - 4.8%*

*Excluding a hideously horrible Gravis poll that everyone agrees is very wrong.

Thanks for reading! Any suggestions/supports/criticisms are welcome, just reply!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 5: "A Canadian Among Us" (January 10, 2016)

Dear Readers,

Much has happened this week in the (hectic) election season. I’ll help you make sense of all the news.


Days until Iowa Caucuses: 22
Days until New Hampshire Primaries: 30
Days until General Election: 302


Canadian Controversy
Recently, Donald Trump took to a curious detail on Ted Cruz: he wasn’t born in America, but instead Calgary. That’s right: ultra-American ultra-right wing Cruz was born in Canada. Now, what impact this has is potentially limiting - his mother was an American citizen, meaning he is still eligible for the presidency. Regardless, it’s just another way for Trump to get his name in the news and attempt to cut his closest rival’s support.

Rubio - Establishment Hero?
Early on, Jeb! Bush was the establishment favorite. He earned a flurry of endorsements and donations, and appeared a lock. However, the exclamation point drove his campaign to the low single digits and the establishment has tried to find a new candidate to rally around. Indeed, they decided on Marco Rubio. The Floridian senator is nearing Jeb’s endorsement totals, and unlike Jeb, he may still have a chance to defeat the Big Bad Wolf Donald Trump.

And Some People Just Gave Up
Mike Huckabee was never the most serious of candidates. But recently, he’s seemed to just stop caring. In fact, he failed to file for the March 12th D.C. primary, and he’s openly said that he’ll drop out if he doesn’t pull a serious surprise in Iowa. Similarly, Rick Santorum has been unable to file delegate slates in most states, and from the beginning bad punchline/Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore hasn’t even campaigned at all.


Meet Rocky
If you look closely at your primary ballots you may be surprised to see an unfamiliar name on your ballot: Rocky de la Fuente. The San Diego-based businessman has filed for a surprisingly high amount of ballots, and he even got 10,000 (!) signatures to be featured on the North Carolina ballot. Rocky calls himself a centrist Democrat who is running out of outrage against Trump. He prides his Hispanic heritage and is bilingual, running a bilingual campaign.

Bernie in Iowa
Bernie Sanders’ campaign had better be satisfied with the latest poll results from Iowa - he was just 3% back of Hillary, within the margin of error. Add this to a growing lead in New Hampshire, and America may soon truly “Feel the Bern.”

Upcoming Events:
State of the Union Address: Tuesday, January 12
Republican debate on Fox Business Network: Thursday, January 14
Democratic debate on CNN: Saturday, January 17

A Look Back
At this point in 2008: John McCain was at 17% in New Hampshire. He wound up winning with 37%. Nationally Rudy Giuliani was leading Mike Huckabee by 4%. Eventual nominee McCain was in 5th.
At this point in 2012: Newt Gingrich was leading nationally and in Iowa. Eventual Iowa winner Rick Santorum had 5%.

Sen. Marco Rubio - 36%
Sen. Ted Cruz - 32%
Mr. Donald Trump - 24%
All Others - <2%

Sec. Hillary Clinton - 85%
Sen. Bernie Sanders - 14%
Gov. Martin O’Malley - a very sad 1%

Thanks for reading! I’m really going to try to get exact poll numbers in here, I just don’t know how to format it. Any suggestions for that, or for anything, are very welcome!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 4: "Winnow, Winnow, Winnow" (January 3, 2016)

Dear Readers,

This week in politics has been an eventful one. Well - sort of. Anyway, I will help you make sense of it all.


Days until Iowa caucuses: 29
Days until New Hampshire primaries: 37
Days until General Election: 309


Yet Another Departure
Former New York governor and legendary footnote George Pataki dropped out of the race this week after failing to reach 1% in most polls. This holds absolutely no consequences, but now the only other footnotes left in the race are Jim Gilmore and Rick Santorum.

Nevada Finally Polled
The final primary state of February, Nevada, has been in need of polling for about two months, and finally, it has arrived! Well, it was polled by Gravis - who are fairly dubious. However, these results show former GOP frontrunner Ben Carson at only 6%, just one ahead of Carly Fiorina. However, otherwise, these results are nothing remarkable.


O’Malley Holds Underwhelming Event
Martin O’Malley held a meet-and-greet in Iowa this past week, getting a grand total of one person to show up to his event. Upon leaving, that person claimed they were “still undecided.”

Upcoming Events:

State of the Race (Personal, Unscientific, Odds)
(Starting next week I’m going to include poll numbers here, but there was no polling this week)
Sen. Rubio - 37%
Sen. Cruz - 36%
Mr. Trump - 13%
Gov. Christie - 7%
Gov. Bush - 3%
All Others - <1%

Sen./Sec. Clinton - 93%
Sen. Sanders - 6%
Gov. O’Malley - 1%

Thanks for reading! Sorry it was short again this week, there will be more news heading into the homestretch in Iowa and NH. Any questions? Feel free to ask me!