Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Radioactive: Setting the Field

OCTOBER 15, 2015

In a joint announcement today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) both affirmed that they would not be seeking the Republican nomination for President. There was significant discussion on whether or not these nationally known representatives would represent the GOP, but both stated today that there was much more work to be done in the House to “fix gridlock and help the American people.” Ryan has been in the national spotlight since he was chosen as the 2012 GOP Vice Presidential nominee, but McCarthy has been in the spotlight only recently with his ascension to Majority Leader, and possibly to a speculated speakership after the 2016 election. Representative Ryan has been frequently ranked by polling of Republican party members as the most well liked and amiable party figure across the various party wings, which would have put him in a strong running as a compromise candidate.

With McCarthy and Ryan turning down presidential campaigns, the Republican field appears practically set at this point. Cruz has kept placing Kasich as a person who would not make as significant leaps as president as he would, while attacking Paul’s statements on the NSA and marijuana. Meanwhile Kasich has been barnstorming Iowa, trying to present himself as an average American to rural Iowans, and pushing himself as the “non-extreme and electable” option. Brownback and Ayotte have been pushing to break this triopoly: their numbers have been increasing, but not quite enough to push any through. Christie and Walker remain at the back, and with both having undergone criminal investigations in the past, it is heavily unlikely that they will be able to pull any primary victory.
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OCTOBER 21, 2015

Many Republican candidates have labeled the Democratic frontrunner, Vice President Joe Biden, as “gaffe-prone, out of touch, and a vestige of the failed Obama administration,” but Americans seem to have a very different perception of the candidates based on new Pew polling. One of the questions asked was about if they believed each candidate was in touch with the condition of the average American, which has become a greater benchmark for presidential candidates after comments made about Hillary Clinton’s “dead broke” statement in 2014. Out of all candidates, Biden and Gillibrand were far in front, with 74% and 75% respectively rating them “in-touch.” The next closest was Governor Kasich at 69%. When asked why, the most common responses were that they “worked hard on meaningful legislation” and “meant what they said in most or all cases.”

Time and time again, Biden has been labeled as gaffe-prone, but is this helping his believability? Many of his recent speeches in Iowa have avoided using overly legal vernacular and has had the occasional politically incorrect term or statement, but this has in fact appeared to help cement a more in touch perception. However, this does not entirely qualify as making gaffes, due to the fact that they are planned and not a slip up, and many voters are concerned he may be capable of doing something damaging in the general election season if nominated. The fact that Gillibrand is ahead, albeit within the margin of error, is somewhat worrisome for the Biden campaign, even though she maintains less than half of Biden’s level of support in polling. It appears to be a near-certainty that we will see a Biden victory in Iowa, but the GOP field remains wide open and New Hampshire tends to support different candidates than Iowa. Stay in tune for the latest updates on this building 2016 presidential race.
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IOWA POLLING:
Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware - 52%
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York - 22%
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado - 15%
Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - 3%
Other/Undecided - 8%

NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLING:
Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware - 40%
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York - 34%
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado - 13%
Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - 3%
Other/Undecided - 10%


IOWA POLLING
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas - 19%
Governor John Kasich of Ohio - 19%
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky - 16%
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire - 13%
Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas - 9%
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey - 4%
Fmr. Governor Scott Walker - 3%
Other/Undecided - 18%

NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLING
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky - 21%
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire - 21%
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas - 15%
Governor John Kasich of Ohio - 12%
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey - 7%
Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas - 4%
Fmr. Governor Scott Walker - 2%
Other/Undecided - 18%

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