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HANDICAPPING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - JANUARY 2016



Anyone who claims to have this election figured out is delusional. I am not delusional. But I am reasonably well read and I know a modicum of history. That gives me a leg up over a large segment of the electorate. Yes, it does.


So after taking the month of December off to catch my breath, I'm back. Remember, after I announce my predictions for the month, I'll repeat the predictions that I made in the first of these posts in June of 2015.



DEMOCRATS
Has Clinton Fatigue finally set in? Has Bernie truly lit a spark that will catch electoral fire? The first three will answer those questions.

Iowa: Always interesting but seldom dispositive, Iowa picks the eventual candidate as often as not. In 2008, Obama and Huckabee won. Past winners include Tom Harkin, Dick Gephardt, and Uncommitted.

New Hampshire: A better record than Iowa, New Hampshire nonetheless has been won by the likes of Pat Buchanan, Paul Tsongas and Gary Hart.

South Carolina: Newt Gingrich and John Edwards are past winners, but by this time the field has narrowed considerably.

What does all of this mean? Not much. One suspects that Bernie is hot to win the first two and Hillary sees South Carolina as a firewall. If that's how it shakes out, fireworks will abound throughout the rest of the campaign. And I've kept Warren in as the Wild Card because, assuming that Biden and Michelle don't run, Warren is the only Dem who could jump in at this late date with any chance of moving the needle. Why Hillary in the end? Because if it comes down to a smoke-filled room, Hillary has more cigar smokers in her pocket than Bernie.

January, 2016
Favorite: Toss Up
Long Shot: None Left
Wild Card: Elizabeth Warren
Prediction: Hillary Clinton

July, 2015
Favorite: Hillary Clinton
Long Shot: Bernie Sanders
Wild Card: Elizabeth Warren
Prediction: Hillary Clinton


REPUBLICANS
Trump? I still contend that he cannot and will not win the nomination. Few of those not already in his camp will be enticed to join. But with the possible exception of Jeb, the eventual runner-up to Trump will likely sweep up all of the other competitors' support.

Why Rubio? Why not Cruz? Because Cruz is only slightly less mental than Trump.






January, 2016
Favorite: Rubio
Long Shot: Cruz
Wild Card: Everybody else...
Prediction: Rubio

July, 2015
Favorite: Jeb Bush
Long Shot: Rick Santorum / Mike Huckabee
Wild Card: Any Current/Former Republican Governor/Senator Not Named Christie or Perry
Prediction: Jeb

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