Sunday, November 10, 2013

A House Divided: The Field Thins (January 21 - February 6, 2016)

- January 21, 2016 -

As widely predicted, Senator Ted Cruz won a healthy victory in South Carolina. The state GOP has a history of supporting strong conservative candidates, and with this victory, Cruz remains well in lead in delegate count. A noticeable surprise is that Murkowski, finishing in third place, beat Christie by two percent. Murkowski continues to put a dent into many of the candidates previous plans.

HUNTSMAN: Murkowski is getting all of the attention right now, but we can't forget about Rand Paul. He has consistently polled high and finished in third or second in the primaries so far. Even though she is rising, he is still up there, and garnering support.

- Febuary 2, 2016 -

The first big surprise this primary season is a huge win for Senator Udall in the form of a victory in his home state of Colorado and the neighboring state of Utah. Senator Klobuchar was projected to win Colorado and Utah earlier on in the season, but Udall still remains competitive in the state due to his good debate performance, which has culminated in a significant, but not quite massive victories. Klobuchar still swept the contest in Minnesota while O'Malley had a slim victory in Missouri

HUNTSMAN: The Democratic field is shaping up to be just as divided as the Republican one appeared to be. Anybody who can win the third contest has a solid chance to win the nomination generally, but I still have a hard time picturing Udall as the winner, as his appeal is mostly in states with few delegates in the west, and O'Malley and Klobuchar take the lions share of public attention. Klobuchar has big leads in Texas and Illinois while O'Malley leads in California and New York, all big contests that are virtually not up for grabs.

Patrick, Santorum suspend presidential campaigns
Chris Bradford, ANN Contributor
3 February 2016, updated 3:13 PM EST

After disappointing showings in the past few primaries and caucuses, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania have chosen to suspend their respective presidential campaigns. Santorum stated that he is dissapointed by the past few showings, and that he will not run for president again, but that he does not wish to continue splitting the conservative vote. He gave his endorsement to Senator Cruz, saying that he is the best man and the strongest candidate to carry the party and bring it back to its roots.

Patrick stated that it is clear he does not have enough support for the nomination, so he has chosen to drop out for the sake of party unity. He endorsed O'Malley for the Democratic nomination, giving him an important boost in what has been a close fight between Klobuchar and O'Malley for the top spot in most contests. At this point in the primaries, the fields for both parties are being slimmed down quickly and we are seeing the big players emerge. The Democratic field is down to three, while the Republicans still have four that all have a competitive chance at their parties nomination.

Sandoval competitive with Reid, but other Senate Republicans vulnerable
Chris Bradford, ANN Contributor
4 February 2016, updated 6:50 PM EST

Former Governor Brian Sandoval announced his challenge for Reid's senate seat around two months ago, and at this point, he is far ahead of all competitors and very likely to win the primary. Right now, he is polling 47% to 49%, which is much closer than any of Senator Reid's margins of victory have been so far. Sandoval has made a lot of inroads with the Hispanic community in Nevada, which is one of the few Republicans that have been able to do so on this scale. This is digging into Reid's base and putting his seat in danger.

Although the Republicans are competitive in Nevada, they are losing a number of other Senate races. Senator Kirk is retiring after his term is up next year, and Illinois is naturally more favorable to the Democrats. Congressman Schock is likely to win his party's primary, but he is facing an uphill climb against. Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are both polling behind their respective Democratic challengers, which puts the Republican Party in a very tough spot and unlikely to meet their strong performance in the 2014 elections. 

7 out of 8 of the seats polling as tossup have Republican incumbents

- January 31, 2016 -

After a very tedious day counting votes, ANN can finally project that Murkowski will pull a very narrow win in the Florida contest. She is only around 1,000 votes ahead of Cruz at this point. Florida is the first big delegate grab in the primary season for the Republican Party, and Murkowski was not the favorite to win this contest until recently, where it came a toss up. A few minutes ago, Murkowski state to a group of supporters in Tampa Bay that she is pleased to see how much support has been shown for her, and that she hopes that the rest of her party will recognize her as the person to lead the Republican Party into the White House. Christie's campaign has taken some massive hits due to her success, and he is going to have to come back fighting if he wants to regain his spot.

HUNTSMAN: This really shows the power a good grassroots campaign. She started with 'the rest' in the bottom of the pack that stared up to the power duo of Christie and Cruz, but through a lot of positive campaigning, emphasis on her record as a compromiser, and massive power in debates, she climbed to the top and made this race a three way fight. This one will go down to the wire, and this race will likely end up defining the Republican Party for the next few years.

- January 31, 2016 -

Today, Senator Murkowski has put herself in a very good place with victories in Nevada and Maine that solidifies her breakthrough in Florida. Even though she has shown herself to have a strong following, Christie came in a close second in Maine and Cruz a close second in Nevada.

HUNTSMAN: Even though it has been exciting to see Murkowski rise, it has only made the GOP field more contentious. Paul might drop out, but Christie is absolutely holding on. Somebody is going to have to make a breakthrough if they want to avoid a brokered convention.

- February 6, 2016 -

Senator Klobuchar has made another victory today, this time in the state of Nevada. It was a relatively expected victory based on earlier polling, but her margin of victory is higher than expected. O'Malley took second place and Udall took third place as usual, but Udall has been scoring higher after his wins in the Utah and Colorado contests.

HUNTSMAN: Sure, Udall might be doing well, but I don't know if he has a serious chance at securing the nomination at this point. He will likely continue to take small amounts of delegates away from the close race between O'Malley and Klobuchar. At least the Democratic field is slightly more united at this point than the Republican field.

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