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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Here Comes Huckabee!

Two-thousand-eight's last candidate to concede is giving it another shot. Today, Mike Huckabee announced his candidacy for the presidency. You might remember that he won the 2008 Iowa Caucus by an impressive nine points. He then rode that victory into a half dozen mostly meaningless more in the south, but was essentially done by Florida. Considering he won Iowa but collapsed into being a non-factor within a month, it's hard to see how he does any better now, especially with more competition from his core constituency--evangelical conservatives--from the likes of Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, and eventually Rick Santorum. Today's Christian, conservative speech tried to solidify that core, but it's hard to see how he'll expand it.

Seeing Huckabee and Santorum throw down would be fascinating. In those two candidates we not only have similar platforms and messages, but they are the last two Iowa winners and, like Huckabee ran second to McCain in 2008, Santorum ran second to Mitt Romney in 2012.  Their candidacies seem perfect to attract some loyal followers that can win them some states, but their lack of crossover appeal hurts their ability to fund-raise with the big boys, hence these distant second place results.  There's clearly not room enough for both of them, and they'll remain non factors as they and Cruz will limit each candidate's support.

Odds on nomination--25:1

Monday, May 04, 2015

May the 4th is with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina

Ben Carson was long expected to use this day to announce his presidency in Detroit.  But Carly Fiorina?  That caught me by surprise. We'll see how interested the GOP is in a CEO. I'm guessing she'll have one big run up the polls later this year as Republicans start thinking the former Hewlitt Packard boss is the closest thing they have to their last nominee.  Then she'll crater by Iowa as Republicans start remembering that she is indeed the closest thing they have to their last nominee.

But Dr. Carson?  You had me at "I don't want to be a politician."

They'll both paint themselves as outsides in the upcoming race, a luxury that the other declared candidates--senators Ted Cruz. Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio--will not have. Still, I don't like the chances of any of the five and still see it as a three-horse race.

Odds on nomination:
Dr. Carson--12:1
Carly Fiorina--25:1 (see sidebar for more odds)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hillary Finally Has Competition... Kind Of

Hilariously claiming that he's "running in this election to win," Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.  Today's announcement outlined his quest to run as a populist. Then again, just as all Republicans will run as conservatives, all the Democrats will run as populists, including heavy favorite Hillary Clinton.  That being said, he does rank more liberal than Clinton on 14 of 15 major issues, especially banking and foreign policy.

The good news for Clinton?  He's no threat, and her relative centrism compared to Sanders will make her look even better to independent voters come next November.

Odds for nomination: 25:1

Friday, April 17, 2015

Scott Walker: Spoiler

We knew he looks good in Iowa. We knew he looks good in New Hampshire. But now Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is even playing in South Carolina, where he leads, albeit by within the margin of error, Jeb Bush. The rest of the field settled for single digits. Has he come to spoil the anointment of another Bush nomination?

As of now, no one is in better position. While Governor Bush maintains a slim national lead over a crowded field and is assumed to be the most potent fundraiser of the pack, a candidate that clicks in the barometer states can certainly start earning his fair share of donations. There will be a sizable sect of the GOP that does not want to renew the Bush Dynasty, especially if, as I said Sunday, they want to play the dynasty card against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. To whom will these Republicans turn?

Not Rand Paul, whose foreign policy scares off the hawks.
Not Ted Cruz, who, if not too conservative for even the Republican Party will be considered too conservative for the general.
Not Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum, who have shown that even winning Iowa is not enough to take the evangelical darling to the dance.
Not Marco Rubio, who does not have the executive experience valued by Republican voters, as seen with every Republican president since Herbert Hoover (and we know how well that turned out).
Chris Christie?  Maybe.  I would have once said "probably."  More on him some other time.  I think he can catch fire, but first he needs to catch his breath.

So how about the guy that leads in the first three states of the primary season who is a tried and true conservative and executive?  It makes sense. I've moved him into a tie, behind Bush, with Christie at 5:1 for the nomination.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cruz Raking in Donations; where is the field?

In nine days as an official candidate for the presidency, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has raised a reported $9.3 million. Such an impressive figure explains why a string of candidates declared so early in the process. Once someone donates to a candidate, they're less likely to donate to another. A donor's spigot gets turned off (or, at least, responsive only to one candidate's hand) once they've picked their initial champion. If Cruz waited for, say, Scott Walker or Ben Carson to declare, he would have missed out on potential donors. Now it is those two who missed out.  (Politico expects Carson to declare on May 4 (May the 4th be with him?), but it's unclear when Walker will officially join the fray.)  Cruz also recognizes what EMILY's List already knew--early money is like yeast; it raises dough. Cruz can use this money to attract more. Due to Cruz's early fundraising success, I'm ticking up his Republican nomination odds to 14:1.

In addition to Walker and Carson, we also wait for likely front runners Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, and a host of others like Bobby Jindall and former candidates Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum.

More on Walker soon, as he continues to excel in the key state polls.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In Comes Rubio

What a stretch of declarations!  Senator Marco Rubio joins fellow senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in their quests to win the Republican nomination and the right to take on Hillary Clinton. You best know Rubio as a top vice-presidential candidate in 2012, if for no other reason than his mammoth home swing state of Florida.  Now his most attractive quality might be his potential to put a tourniquet around the Republican Party's hemorrhaging Hispanic vote, which might prove crucial in electoral math.  As a conservative Cuban, however, that's unlikely.

Odds for nomination--7:1  (See left sidebar for more odds)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

It's Official

Hillary Clinton is again running for president.  The nomination is hers to lose.  Odds to win it--1/5

But the general election? Old Regime fatigue will kill her campaign. She'll want a Jeb Bush nomination to nullify that.  Of course, without a Bush nomination, the GOP will focus on the country being tired of old names.  If Bush were to be nominated against a different Democrat, however, it would be the Democrats making the same argument.  Politics are at once exciting and reductive.

Odds to win the general election--6/5

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Paul Counters

Senator Rand Paul has joined Senator Ted Cruz in the race to win the right. His "message of liberty" directly combats Cruz's decision to announce at Liberty University. How far can they and Scott Walker drag Jeb Bush and Chris Christie to the right? We'll find out!

Paul's odds for White House: 25:1.  (See sidebar for others.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

And they're off!

Senator Ted Cruz is off to an early lead by virtue of being the only one running so far.  Odds for the White House--30:1

Headline buried: Is Presidential Politics for America back??
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