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US PRESIDENTIAL PREDICTIONS - FEBRUARY 2016

THE VOTING BEGINS
Iowa: This year, the Dems fought to a draw and the Pubs went with Cruz, the man that Pubs love to hate almost as much as Trump. So nothing was really settled. Bernie's insurgency appears real but this is Iowa, remember. Rubio's third place finish looked good until the next debate, but...Rubio's third place finish looked good until the next debate, but...Rubio's

New Hampshire: No surprise on the Democratic side. Comparing Bernie's win this year with Hillary's save against Obama eight years ago is just silly. Aren't Vermont and New Hampshire really the same state spelled differently? A Bernie loss would have been much more predictive than his win is. The Republicans made things interesting, though. The Donald got his one-third of the vote and it was enough to win. I still maintain that's his ceiling. Kasich was the one who took advantage of Rubio's missteps in the debate. Can he carry the mantle of sanity against the likes of Donald and Cruz? Maybe, but he'll need the centrist Republicans (if there are enough of them left) and the Rubio crowd to coalesce behind him in a hurry. And he'll need money. Speaking of money, Bush showed some strength as well, but he'll have to build on it. Being at the back of the lead pack is not enough.

DEMOCRATS
What does all of this mean? Not much. I'm certain that Hillary's people see South Carolina and the Southern Super Tuesday coming up as a chance to regain momentum. If we wake up March 2nd and Hillary isn't smiling, all bets are off. So why have I stuck with Hillary? Because, as I said last month, if it comes down to a smoke-filled room, Hillary has more cigar smokers in her pocket than Bernie.



February, 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? One-third of the Republican electorate will eventually punch his ticket back to New York while the remaining two-thirds decide on a sane person. Meanwhile, Rubio had his chance and may have blown it. Christie? Carson? Fiona? All on life support if they decide to stay. (As I write, Christie and Fiona have left the building.) That leaves Cruz (hated), Rubio (green), Kasich (Ohio wins Presidencies), and Bush (hanging around). Like the Democrats, Southern Super Tuesday may bring clarity.

Prediction? Well, Kasich has taken over the Long Shot role. He's rational (mostly), he's from Ohio, but does he have enough money and can he survive the South? Predicting Jeb? Really? Well, the electorate just might have shown a bit of moderation in New Hampshire. If you want moderate, Bush fits the bill...for a Republican.

February, 2016
Favorite: Toss Up
Long Shot: Kasich
Wild Card: Rubio
Prediction: Jeb

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

Comments

  1. Ira: I was with you all the way until your GOP predictions. From what I can see, nothing is going to stave off Trump. Jeb is biting at the heels of Christie in terms of departure, which leaves Rubio and Cruz on the far right and Kasich as the candidate of moderation but with no money and no pizzazz. Since Rubio doesn't have two arguments to rub together and the party isn't about to compromise by going for a lackluster moderate again as in 2012, Cruz seems to be the only other pretender. So, astounding as it may seem, only a groundswell on the right could derail Trump, and given the growing level of comfort for his candidacy among the rank and file, that doesn't appear likely. Now mind you, I didn't say there was anything sane about any of this. In fact, there's never been anything like it. -- Geoff (posting using a gmail pseudonym)

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    Replies
    1. I understand what you're saying but I do respectfully disagree. When Trump shows that he can command 40%-45% of the vote in a field of four or five candidates, I'll be happy to rethink. But for now, even with support for the second tier candidates going away, Trump did not benefit. Others did - Kasich and Bush in particular. So I do think that Trump's approximate one-third of the Republican vote represents a ceiling and not a floor. Time will tell.

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