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!

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