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Author Topic: 2016 Presidential  (Read 30782 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #250 on: May 21, 2015, 09:21:53 AM »

Should We Be Excluding GOP Candidates From Debates This Early?
Fox News and CNN are drawing a line in the sand -- er, on the debate stage. If you want to be part of the big show in the first Republican presidential debates, you have to be in the top ten in polling. Otherwise, you’re consigned to other appearances on the network, or as Byron York called it, “the kiddie table.”
“The CNN Republican primary debate on September 16 will be divided into two parts featuring two different sets of candidates: those who rank in the top 10 according to public polling, and the remaining candidates who mean a minimum threshold of one percent in public polling, the On Media blog has learned.”
For college basketball fans, think of the second CNN debate as the NIT Tournament. If everyone agrees you won the second debate, you get to chant, “We’re number eleven! We’re number eleven!”
Ace makes the case that at this point, no serious candidate should be left out:
People don’t know enough to make informed judgments yet. That is the point of a debate -- and that’s the point of a first debate, surely.
We are in the very beginnings of this process, and FoxNews is using polls of uninformed people (and I don’t mean that negatively; most of us are uniformed at this point) to decide who is allowed to run for President.
And yes, this poll -- based on nothing but name recognition -- will in fact knock five or six people out of the contest entirely. Once you’re excluded from a debate, you are labeled “fringe” forever -- and good luck trying to get free media, volunteers, and donors once you’ve been labeled fringe.
. . . This isn’t a normal year. We have a lot of serious candidates. So do we stick with the usual, or do we adjust our practices to take into consideration the unusualness of this season?
I think the latter. My proposal is that they split debate night into two panels, over two nights. (Or two panels on one night-- but that would be a long night, with around three hours total debate time plus time in between.)
The top six in the polls would do a random draw to be split between the panels, three and three. Everyone else would do another random draw to determine which panel they’d be in.
You’d end up having about 6-8 people per panel, which is a workable number.
Note that the Fox “solution” solves little -- having ten people on the stage, answering the same questions, will be a huge [bad word for mess]! It’s barely an improvement over having fifteen -- do the math. Assuming about an hour, all told, answering questions (once the questions themselves, commercials, and basic traffic direction are excluded), ten people would have about six minute each to answer questions.
Fifteen people would have four minutes each.
So we’re fighting to get “four minutes of actual answers per candidate” up to six minutes?
A lot of us have the cynical suspicion that some of the candidates know they have no shot at the nomination, and are running to achieve some lesser goal: the vice-presidential slot, a cabinet post, a television gig, bigger speaking fees and book deals after the election. Last cycle’s experience demonstrated that even the longest of long-shots can end up being the flavor-of-the-month.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #251 on: May 21, 2015, 05:47:17 PM »

“The CNN Republican primary debate on September 16 will be divided into two parts featuring two different sets of candidates: those who rank in the top 10 according to public polling, and the remaining candidates who mean a minimum threshold of one percent in public polling"

The first thing wrong with the information above is that CNN is allowed to host.  They should be in at least a 4 year penalty box for their behavior last time.

The Republican party leaders face a good but difficult situation.  As it sits now, there are candidates excluded that I would like to see included.  But if one person like Reince Priebus made that determination, the story would be about him instead of about the candidates.  If you set up stadium seating for 19 or so, the event becomes unmanageable and unwatchable for most viewers.  Early polling data is a lousy criteria, though probably better than all the alternatives.  We are talking about 9 debates over an extended period?  If so, the big news coming into debates 2, 3, 4, etc. is that candidate so-and-so is the new face to watch.  It is a game of momentum, among other things, so missing the first few debates is not necessarily a knockout punch unless a campaign is not organized and managed to survive that.

If not CNN, another network, even if it is pj media (or dbma), can host competing forums to showcase the best of the excluded candidates and ask the same questions - or better ones.  Candidates can cut their own answers out and run ads or post their own videos to promote on the internet.

Bobby Jindal is a two term Governor of a crucial state.  He handled the Katrina aftermath, the gulf oil spill, has immigrant heritage, was a Rhodes Scholar, etc., is young with good ideas; he deserves a look.  People love Ben Carson, fresh face, amazing personal story, big thinker, really accomplished guy; he deserves a look.  I believe he is black, too, which would be good for the party's reach out efforts.  Carly Fiorina has unique qualifications and is showing a unique ability to challenge the front runner of the other side.  She may have an advantage trying to connect with a certain side of the electorate.

Still, reaching the top ten of the Republicans before the 9th debate is very do-able for anyone that is capable of winning the nomination and the general election.  It is not that hard for the top 19 to get a look on conservative media coverage.  Candidates at or near the top will stumble, and this is a very long process.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #252 on: June 07, 2015, 11:31:04 AM »

The man would seem to have no chance whatsoever, but maybe this idea will resonate with some of the others , , ,

https://www.dropbox.com/s/no8zlkltuct0l5x/Gnat%20Warfare%202-HD%201080p.mov?dl=0
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DougMacG
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« Reply #253 on: June 11, 2015, 11:10:28 PM »

I think you've got the wrong link here.  Very interesting anyway.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #254 on: June 11, 2015, 11:48:40 PM »

You are right, that is NOT the link I thought I was posting. cheesy cheesy cheesy
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DougMacG
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« Reply #255 on: June 17, 2015, 03:13:36 PM »

Hopefully we will not need a trump thread.

It is a mistake to take people like Perot and Trump lightly.  Trump has appeal, and he and Perot both had a superb skill of pointing out what is wrong - with both parties in some cases.

As I understand it, Trump can talk big like a candidate but needs to file very complete financials now within 15 days.  Hopefully that hurdle keeps him from taking up a chair.

So what's wrong with Trump?

Kevin Williamson rips him persuasively here with many facts.  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/419853/witless-ape-rides-escalator-kevin-d-williamson

One tidbit I take from it is 4 bankruptcies.  You may want to run the government more like a business but it isn't a business and you don't run it like a Trump business.  The federal government doesn't need to take risks; it needs to provide a solid foundation for private sector risk taking. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #256 on: June 17, 2015, 04:39:20 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/17/the-man-with-a-plan-donald-trumps-5-part-strategy-to-make-america-great-again/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/419853/witless-ape-rides-escalator-kevin-d-williamson
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 04:42:17 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #257 on: June 22, 2015, 01:06:21 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/us/campaign-donations-linked-to-white-supremacist.html?emc=edit_na_20150622&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #258 on: June 29, 2015, 02:12:25 PM »

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/06/28/how-small-gains-with-black-voters-could-boost-gop-in-2016/
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DDF
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« Reply #259 on: June 29, 2015, 09:12:14 PM »

Americans get the government they deserve.

Sometimes, since having moved here to Mexico, learning everything in brutality that I have (it's impossible not to), I am certain that we here are already four steps ahead of where America will be before Obama (got to love multiculturalism) leaves office.

You will soon be straddled with Hilary, or yet another Bush crown, and so many still think either the Left or the Right, is the answer they need. Libertarianism is the way to go (peacefully)... barring that, I prefer things the way they are here.

My two cents, but I'm crazy, what do I know?
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Singing in the rain...
ccp
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« Reply #260 on: June 30, 2015, 08:36:34 AM »

DDF posts, "Sometimes, since having moved here to Mexico, learning everything in brutality that I have (it's impossible not to), I am certain that we here are already four steps ahead of where America will be before Obama (got to love multiculturalism) leaves office."

Interesting.   Would be willing to elaborate?

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DDF
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« Reply #261 on: June 30, 2015, 08:53:27 PM »

Interesting.   Would be willing to elaborate?

Not really. You're watching it all unfold. It's what happens in any country where the people look to the government to grant them their rights (or take them away if people think "safety" actually can exist). It's amusing to watch.

Also amusing, is watching what happens in any country where more than one cultural identity (not to be confused with skin tone), is housed under one flag. I wonder how multiculturalism is going in North Korea, for example. Insert the Bram Stoker's "Dracula" laugh here....because I think it's funny as hell. People will do anything to remain politically correct, even if it means losing their rear end... can't be racist by saying something controversial...heavens no.
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ccp
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« Reply #262 on: July 01, 2015, 09:30:02 AM »

"People will do anything to remain politically correct, even if it means losing their rear end... "

The internet has really been a boom for the Left.   With immediate excoriating, shaming, marginalizing, and ridiculing of anyone who opposes their world view.  .
It seems to work.  Who wants their face going around the world being shamed

Couldn't have come at a worse time for America.

The Right cannot compete.  Just can't.

Even Fox is in retreat.    I didn't hear much comment at all about the recent SCOTUS decisions.  Almost like they ignored them.

Must be hoping for JEB.  Appease appease appease while the LEFT keeps moving forward with their shoulders in driving us back with zero thoughts of retreat.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #263 on: July 01, 2015, 11:06:21 AM »

"People will do anything to remain politically correct, even if it means losing their rear end... "

The internet has really been a boom for the Left.   With immediate excoriating, shaming, marginalizing, and ridiculing of anyone who opposes their world view.  .
It seems to work.  Who wants their face going around the world being shamed

Couldn't have come at a worse time for America.

The Right cannot compete.  Just can't.

Even Fox is in retreat.    I didn't hear much comment at all about the recent SCOTUS decisions.  Almost like they ignored them.

Must be hoping for JEB.  Appease appease appease while the LEFT keeps moving forward with their shoulders in driving us back with zero thoughts of retreat.

Yes the internet helps them but helps us more in the sense that they have a monopoly on almost everything else.

The so-called news on conservative radio, separate from the shows, comes with all the bias of the regular networks - and it drives me nuts.  They need a Mark Levin type to hit pause after every idiocy and set them straight or at least present the other side with it.  Sometimes Fox News could use that too.

Chris Christy says we need more compromise.  Speaking of Mark Levin, I heard his reaction to Christy:  Compromise isn't a principle.  Compromise isn't a vision.  Compromise on what?  With whom?  Compromise is what we do now; it's what got us where we are.

The contradiction between how far left the left has gone / how left we have become, and the fact the Republicans have taken back the House, the Senate and the state houses is astounding.  Yet liberalism is still the driving and governing force.  Conservatism of a sort is starting to win again elsewhere around the globe as well.  As GM said, we are fcuked.  Either that or the table has almost never been set so perfectly for a real leader to emerge and persuasively make the case for a resurgence of freedom and prosperity. 

We are looking for something like a Reagan - without the Anthony Kennedy appointment!  If I were Marco Rubio or any of the others I would offer to put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court. 
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ccp
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« Reply #264 on: July 01, 2015, 12:01:21 PM »

"Chris Christy says we need more compromise.  Speaking of Mark Levin, I heard his reaction to Christy:  Compromise isn't a principle.  Compromise isn't a vision.  Compromise on what?  With whom?  Compromise is what we do now; it's what got us where we are."

Exactly.  Christie totally misses the point.   So does Jeb.   AS we've noted for some time there simply is NO compromise from the left.  Every time we reach something called a compromise the very next day the libs are pushing for more.   There is no end.  Remember the end game is vanquish the world of religion, and country.  One world government with the central planners controlling everything.  THAT is their dream.  THEIR end game.  They will not cease till this is achieved - ever.

So I don't know what the pretend conservatives are talking about with compromise.

Someone who called into Levin's show last night  quoted Gen Patton as saying the way to win is to get the other side to compromise not for us to do it.

Most of the present Republicans are interested in these above points.  They just seem to want power and money.

Except for a few like Jeff Sessions and other real conservatives.


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DDF
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« Reply #265 on: July 01, 2015, 07:05:38 PM »

I don't hope for a Right candidate, and certainly not a Left. Libertarian would be the way to go.... failing that, I'd hope for a right leaning Pol Pot type person.

Some would call that evil... I call it survival. Give them the choice to leave first.

People can take that how they want. In the end, it's a fact, whether people want to admit it or not.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #266 on: July 03, 2015, 12:10:43 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/1/joe-biden-likely-to-join-2016-white-house-race-nex/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #267 on: July 04, 2015, 02:07:11 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/03/mitt-romney-hosting-two-rival-gop-presidential-contenders-for-holiday-sleepover/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire&utm_campaign=Firewire%20-%20HORIZON%207-4-15%20FINAL
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #268 on: July 06, 2015, 10:52:43 PM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/will-biden-be-obamas-candidate-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #269 on: July 08, 2015, 04:16:57 PM »

Very interesting , , ,

Bernie Hogties Hillary
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on July 7, 2015
With Bernie Sanders creeping up on Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination -- closing to within 8 points in New Hampshire and holding her to 52 percent in Iowa -- the new and unanticipated threat he poses presents an important challenge to the former secretary of State. Unfortunately for her, she has no good choices.

Her current strategy of ignoring Sanders has failed abysmally. While she has been hiding from the media and avoiding questions about her emails, Sidney Blumenthal and Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and her speaking fees, the Vermont senator has been catalyzing the left base with bold proposals. His advocacy of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage, as well as opposition to free trade, have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals that has totally stolen the thunder of the first serious chance at a female president.

The humble act has failed. Clinton's listening tour has accomplished nothing. Carrying her own baggage, flying coach and driving to Iowa are all being dismissed as the gimmicks they are.

So how can Hillary Clinton counter the rise of Bernie Sanders?

She can't attack him without giving him more credibility than he has. All hope of dismissing him as an also-ran would evaporate when she mentions his name. Indeed, the more he appears as a harmless protest vote against the party establishment in general and the Clintons in particular, the easier it is to back him in the primary.

She can't attack his issue positions without alienating a big part of her base. Sanders, even without much polling, has identified new hot buttons to elicit a strong response from liberals. She doesn't dare oppose this new agenda for the left. She can move to the center once she has the nomination in hand, but not now.

Nor can she attack Sanders personally or go after his record. First, many liberals support him when he has strayed to the left, and second, she cannot give him the legitimacy of criticizing him. Personal attacks, such as on his sexual fantasies and writings of 40 years ago, look strained and artificial and like the product of an overly active negative researcher.

Her most likely approach is to say that Sanders can't win, raising fears among Democrats that he might steal the party's chances for victory. Just as the Clintons and the Kennedys torpedoed Howard Dean's candidacy in 2004 after he surged in the wake of his approval of a gay marriage bill in Vermont, so Hillary's people will warn of disaster if Bernie is nominated.

In a sense, Clinton will abandon the strategy of ignoring Sanders and try to fast-forward the campaign to a Sanders victory, warning of the consequences -- just as the Clintons did with Dean.

The problem is, Clinton can't know how the rebound off Sanders would carom. In a simple two-way zero-sum race between the two, his negatives are her positives. Perhaps her other opponents for the nomination, like former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, might be able to capitalize, however.

But what could paralyze Clinton is the prospect of Joe Biden entering the race. If the vice president makes it a three-way contest, her shots at Sanders will likely push votes to Biden. If the rap is Sanders can't win, what is the logic that says doubts about his electability will cause voters who once supported Clinton and have since abandoned her to move back to her? If Sanders can't win because he's too liberal, what makes anyone feel that Clinton can overcome her various scandals, particularly voters who themselves have dropped her precisely because of those scandals?

Clinton is stuck. And the more she appears to be stuck in the dilemma of how to handle Sanders, the greater is the likelihood that Biden jumps in.

If Biden does run, how does Clinton attack him without pulling President Obama into the debate as collateral damage? How can she go after the vice president without her attacks reflecting ill on the sitting and, among Democrats, wildly popular president?

Clinton's in a tough spot.
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G M
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« Reply #270 on: July 08, 2015, 07:12:40 PM »

Nice to see the dems finally embrace their socialist core.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #271 on: July 08, 2015, 11:37:09 PM »

"His advocacy (Bernie Sanders) (and hers, Hillary Clinton) of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage,... have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals..."

Speaking of 'why not socialism', isn't that exactly what Greece has done?

almost 75 percent of Greek pensioners retire before the age of 61.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/03/retirement-at-45-and-8-other-simple-reasons-greece-is-imploding-right-now/

46% income tax + 15% social security + 23% VAT + 26% corporate, capital gains taxed as ordinary income!
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/corporate-tax-rate
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/personal-income-tax-rate
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/070615-760392-tax-evasion-high-in-greece-due-to-high-taxes.htm

Public health services are provided by the National Healthcare Service
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_coverage_by_country
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G M
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« Reply #272 on: July 08, 2015, 11:41:24 PM »

Public healthcare brings the same level of cleanliness and safety as public bathrooms and public housing. At twice the price.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #273 on: July 13, 2015, 01:41:30 AM »

Morris may be right about Biden.  Why wouldn't he jump in?  Losing a son is a good reason for getting in late.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/us/politics/still-reeling-from-sons-death-joe-biden-weighs-his-political-future.html?_r=0  
With the backing of the Obama machine (against the Clinton machine), this thing gets weird and ugly.  
And the Dem nominee becomes my prediction, none of the above.

Is Elizabeth Warren really smart enough to know she isn't Presidential?  Wouldn't she be Valerie Jarrett's first choice?  in that scenario, the Obama machine would be backing neither Hillary nor Biden...

A point of trivia, the family name Hickenlooper has won statewide elections in Iowa 17 times:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourke_B._Hickenlooper
Both sides need swing state Colorado to win.
Colo Gov John Hickenlooper is showing no signs of warming up in the bullpen.  But don't rule him out.

Jim Webb:  http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/12/jim-webb-dems-have-moved-way-far-to-the-left-thats-not-my-democratic-party/

Both Clintons ordered to give depositions regarding email server:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/10/bill-and-hillary-clinton-ordered-give-depositions-/

Trump helps R's by making others look sane.  Hurts by showing how many identify with his message and tone.  Destroys the party by running as an independent.  There needs to be a contract that you don't take up a valuable place on the debate stage for the nonination and then run outside of the nomination
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 01:47:59 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #274 on: July 15, 2015, 04:52:57 PM »

Poll: Biden Could Get 56% Of Dem Primary Vote Against Hillary

By DICK MORRIS

Published on DickMorris.com on July 15, 2015

A July 9th national poll by Monmouth University shows that 56% of Democratic primary
voters would be "very" or "somewhat" likely to "consider supporting Biden for the
nomination over your current choice" if he enters the race.
 
The survey first asked voters for whom they would vote if the primary were held now.
 Hillary led the field, although barely eked out a majority:
 
•  Hillary   =  51%
•  Sanders   =  17%
•  Biden     =  13%
•  Webb      =   1%
•  O'Malley  =   1%
•  Undecided =  17%
 
Then, they asked the votes who were not voting for Biden (87% of the sample) "Joe
Biden has not yet indicated whether he intends to run.  If Biden does get into the
race, how likely would you be to consider supporting him for the nomination over
your current choice?"  The results are a real boost to Biden's chances:
 
•  Already for Biden          =  13%
•  Very likely to switch      =  12%
•  Somewhat likely to switch  =  31%
•  Not too likely             =  19%
•  Not at all likely          =  19%
•  Undecided                  =   6%
 
When you drill down, Hillary's unshakeable base in the Democratic Primary is only
38% (those who said it was not likely that they would switch).
 
Hillary's weakness is apparent when one notes that 49% of the voters in the initial
poll chose to be undecided or to vote for another candidate.
 
The myth of her invincibility is being shattered.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #275 on: July 15, 2015, 07:10:00 PM »

http://www.tpnn.com/2015/07/15/cruz-and-the-donald-to-meet-in-nyc/
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G M
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« Reply #276 on: July 15, 2015, 07:42:21 PM »


When the Donald tires of playing candidate, Cruz can step in.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #277 on: July 16, 2015, 05:00:07 PM »

http://m.weeklystandard.com/blogs/trump-ghost-ross-perot_991539.html?nopager=1
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #278 on: July 22, 2015, 12:50:08 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/21/i-was-not-expecting-that-see-how-millennials-react-when-they-learn-who-gets-most-wall-street-cash/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire&utm_campaign=FireWire%20-%20HORIZON%207-22-15%20FINAL
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #279 on: July 23, 2015, 05:28:14 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/politics/clinton-doesnt-condemn-questioners-apartheid-slur-against-israel/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #280 on: July 29, 2015, 01:51:16 PM »

How Far Will Hillary Fall?
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on July 28, 2015
As Hillary Clinton's favorability drops week after week in the polls -- it's down to 43 percent -- the real question is: Will she start losing the support of those who are the core of President Obama's electoral strength?

In every poll of Obama's favorability or job rating, his positive numbers have never fallen below 39 percent. This is because his coalition of African-Americans, Hispanics, students, single mothers, gays and union people stand by him.

Regardless of events, reversals or failing conditions, the president never loses their support. His favorability is measured on a scale, not 1 to 100 but rather 40 to 100. Those first 40 points are like a golf handicap for our president.
 
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George W. Bush, by contrast, had no such safety net as president. When the Iraq War and then the economy fell apart, his approval rating fell to 27 percent near the end of his second term.

So, as Clinton's ratings drop, will she fall through the 40 percent safety net Obama has used to bolster his numbers? Phrased differently, will the Obama coalition stand by Clinton or abandon her as times turn tough?

This is, of course, the question on which the whole 2016 presidential election hinges.

The Obama base seems to be suspending judgment. Gallup polling shows a 7 percentage-point drop in Clinton's favorability rating since early May. She dropped from 50 percent to 43 percent in that timespan. But her unfavorable rating remained flat at 46 percent. No increase there. So the Americans in those 7 points moved from being Clinton fans to being undecided about her.

The initial indications are that Clinton cannot count on the loyalty of the Obama base and that the 40 percent threshold will not be a firewall for her candidacy.

While her overall favorability is not yet low enough to test the firewall, her ratings for being honest or trustworthy indicate that she can, indeed, drop below 40 percent without being rescued by the Obama base.

When Quinnipiac pollsters asked whether Clinton is "honest and trustworthy," only 33 percent of Iowa voters said she was. In Colorado 34 percent saw her as honest and trustworthy and in Virginia 39 percent. So, at least as far as integrity is concerned, the firewall is not holding.

Those who today say she is neither honest nor trustworthy but are undecided about their overall opinion of her are likely to come down on the negative side within a few months.

As the debates near, the impact of Clinton's diminishing popularity among Democrats will become clearer. When liberals see Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) live and in the flesh, embracing their programmatic fantasies -- a $15 minimum wage, a lower retirement age, a 90 percent top tax bracket, a single-payer healthcare system -- there will be no residual affection for Clinton to hold them back.

Democrats are likely to go through a process: First they won't trust Clinton, then they won't like her, then they will be undecided, and finally they will end up backing Sanders or one of her other rivals.

If the Obama firewall won't hold for Clinton, look for her to fall even further behind in head-to-head match-ups with Republican candidates.

Already, tracking polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia show her trailing the likes of GOP candidates Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. When she starts losing these swing states by double digits and begins to fall behind in national polling, the Democrats will get the clear message that Clinton can't win.

Their discontent will stimulate others to join the race. Vice President Biden will look at entering. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) may come in. Or Sanders could begin to beat Clinton in key states.

It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president.
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ccp
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« Reply #281 on: July 29, 2015, 02:03:15 PM »

"It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president"

Take it from Dick.   And Romney was a great President too....  as predicted.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #282 on: July 29, 2015, 06:34:41 PM »

"It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president"

Take it from Dick.   And Romney was a great President too....  as predicted.

The right was wrong on that one and the demographic deck keeps getting stacked more steeply against us.  Still, for a major, leading candidate to drop from 50 to 43 in a short time based on factors that aren't going away is significant.  She also dropped to trailing key Republicans in swing states in polls.  Of course it's early and polls are flawed, but ths is not a good sign for her.

I am more worried about losing to some Democrat than losing to Hillary specifically.  They are name dropping not just Warren and Biden, but also Gore and now Kerry.  It's not too late for any of them because a shorter campaign means more excitement and less scrutiny.

We need to fight back against the governing philosophy common to all of them, not just watch and hope Hillary implodes.

Disclosure: Like Morris,  I was wrong with my last prediction and owe 1 dinner so far...
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DougMacG
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« Reply #283 on: July 29, 2015, 06:51:16 PM »

A very different take than we have heard on this from WSJ etc.  "... it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly".  That was my thought as well.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421446/lee-rubio-tax-plan-conservative-analysis?target=author&tid=1843

Evaluating the Lee-Rubio Tax Plan Lee and Rubio on Capitol Hill. SHARE ARTICLE ON FACEBOOKSHARE   TWEET ARTICLETWEET   PLUS ONE ARTICLE ON GOOGLE PLUS+1   PRINT ARTICLE   EMAIL ARTICLE   ADJUST FONT SIZEAA by RAMESH PONNURU   July 22, 2015 4:00 AM @RAMESHPONNURU From the July 6, 2015, issue of NR   

Of the top three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, judging from the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, only one has released a detailed tax plan: Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida. Not surprisingly, then, his proposal — made along with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who proposed an earlier version of it on his own — has become the focus of the party’s tax debate.

When New Jersey governor Chris Christie, currently in eighth place in that average, outlined his own plan, the editors of the Wall Street Journal praised it by saying it was better than Rubio’s. Stephen Moore, writing in favor of a flat tax in The Weekly Stan­dard, included an aside blasting the Rubio plan. This could be a useful debate for conservatives — if it is conducted on accurate premises. Judging from the press coverage, so far it has not been. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

The Los Angeles Times, for example, reports that Rubio is trying to alter “party orthodoxy” on taxes by moving away from cutting the top income-tax rate: “Rubio’s plan tests whether Re­pub­lican primary voters are willing to go beyond that supply-side view.” Po­li­ti­co claims that Rubio is “running on a tax plan that tosses out decades of GOP allegiance to the idea of simply slashing rates across the board and expecting faster economic growth to follow.”

Such descriptions may hurt Rubio by making him look out of step with his party, or help him by making him look fresh and new. But they are false. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth. Especially when it has been politically successful — when it has actually changed tax policy — the GOP has combined supply-side tax-rate cuts with tax relief that puts money in middle-class families’ pockets. Rubio’s plan is squarely within that tradition.

 Supply-side economics has often been criticized, unfairly, as a cover for plutocratic interests. That’s because a particular concern for the tax rate paid by the very highest earners is built into its logic. They pay the highest, and therefore the most distortionary, rate. They are the ones who are most responsive to changes in their incentives to work, save, and invest. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

And there’s another feature of a progressive income tax that requires a little unpacking: The top rate is the only one that acts as a marginal tax rate on every person who pays it. Let’s say you cut only the 15 percent tax rate that applies to married couples making between $18,000 and $74,000 in taxable income. Making it 10 percent would improve those couples’ incentives to work: Now instead of keeping 85 cents of every extra dollar they earn from the IRS, they would keep 90 cents, an increase of about 6 percent. But every couple that makes more than $74,000 would get the benefit of that tax cut, too, pocketing an extra $2,800 — and their incentives to earn would not have changed at all, because all of their earnings above that threshold would continue to be taxed at the same rates as before. That’s fine if the goal is to let people keep more of their money. But if the goal is to maximize the effect of a tax cut on incentives — if the tax cut is to be judged, that is, on supply-side terms — then the top rate is the one that most needs lowering.

All of this helps to explain why, when he evaluated the Reagan tax cuts in his book The Growth Experiment, Lawrence Lindsey concluded that the reduction of the highest income-tax rate — it went from 70 percent at the start of Reagan’s term to 28 percent at the end of it — had resulted in additional revenue, but the reduction of low-end tax rates had lost revenue. It’s why some supply-siders groused that George W. Bush’s reduction of the lowest tax rate was a waste of money. And it’s a large part of the reason that many supply-siders are enthusiastic about flat-tax proposals that would bring the top tax rate down a lot while raising the lower tax rates.

But Republican presidential nominees have never run on such proposals. They have never taken the only goal of tax policy to be maximizing economic growth while yielding a targeted level of revenues. Reagan could have offered a tax cut as large as the one he did while cutting the top rate much more, if he had left the lower tax rates alone and let bracket creep (whereby inflation pushed people into higher tax brackets) continue. But he wanted to cut middle-class taxes, he wanted a plan that could be enacted, and he wanted to be elected and reelected. So he offered across-the-board reductions in tax rates and an end to bracket creep. The

Republicans running for Con­gress in 1994 again offered middle-class tax relief in their Contract with America: Its major tax proposal was the creation of a $500 tax credit for children. In 1997 that proposal made it into law, paired with a capital-gains-tax cut. George W. Bush, running for president in 2000, also combined supply-side and middle-class tax cuts. He cut the capital-gains, dividend, and estate taxes and the top income-tax rate; he also cut most of the other income-tax rates and increased the tax credit for children to $1,000.

The Lee-Rubio plan, too, has supply-side elements. It eliminates the taxes on capital gains, dividends, and estates, and the alternative minimum tax. It cuts the top income-tax rate. It cuts the tax rate on business income and allows businesses to write off the expense of investments immediately. But it also has two major middle-class-friendly features: It expands the child credit, adding $2,500 to it and applying it against payroll taxes as well as income taxes. (The senators say the credit is necessary to correct for the way entitlements overtax parents, who contribute extra to the programs by raising children.) And it taxes a lot of income that now falls in the 25 percent bracket at 15 percent.

What isn’t new in the plan, then, is that it includes tax cuts other than tax-rate cuts, that it is not just a list of supply-side priorities, and that it expands the child credit. Politico noted that lowering the top tax rate from 39.6 to 35, as Lee-Rubio does, still leaves it “far higher than many Republicans would like.” That’s true, but it also leaves it in the ballpark of previous Republican proposals. It’s the rate George W. Bush and congressional Republicans enacted in 2001. We have had a top tax rate lower than 35 in only five of the last 80 years — and in those years, investment was taxed more heavily than it would be under Lee-Rubio. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth.

Some supply-siders argue that Lee-Rubio should have proposed bringing the top tax rate still lower, which would do more to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, and thus encourage growth. The Journal prefers Christie’s top rate of 28. But this lower rate would not be likely to have a large economic effect. First, we should expect diminishing returns. When Reagan cut the top rate from 70 to 50, the after-tax return on a dollar earned rose 67 percent. Cutting the top rate from 35 to 28 would raise it only 11 percent.

Second, Republicans have repeatedly overestimated the growth effects of income-tax rates — predicting a bust when Clinton raised taxes and a boom when George W. Bush lowered them. Neither occurred, and in fact growth rates were better under the higher Clinton income-tax rates than under the lower Bush ones. Any positive effect of lower tax rates on growth are small enough that other factors can overwhelm them.

Third, it’s not clear that getting the rate on high earners so far down is politically realistic. A tax package that combined some reduction in the top rate with tax cuts that directly benefitted the middle class would almost certainly stand a better chance of enactment. That is, after all, how such tax-rate reductions have been achieved before.

 Lee-Rubio does not break precedents, then, in its approach to the top tax rate. But other aspects of the plan are genuinely new. Over the last generation the payroll tax has become a bigger burden for the middle class than the income tax, but Republicans have generally left the payroll tax alone. Mitt Romney, for example, offered an across-the-board reduction in income-tax rates, but middle-class income-tax liability is too low for it to have helped people as much as previous proposals in that vein. Lee-Rubio reduces ­payroll-tax liabilities for many people. Lee-Rubio is also a bigger tax cut than most previous proposals: The Tax Foun­dation estimates that it would reduce federal revenues by $4 trillion over a decade unless it raised economic growth. Some Republican-primary candidates have run on zeroing out taxes on capital gains and dividends, but no nominee has. The proposed treatment of business is new, too, and reflects an increased concern about competition among countries for capital investment. And the child-credit proposal is also much larger than previous candidates have suggested.

Finally, Lee-Rubio raises taxes on some people. Single people making more than $75,000 and married people making more than $150,000 a year would pay a 35 percent tax rate on income above that amount. These are high earners: The Census Bureau reports that in 2013, the median income for married couples was $76,000. Many of these high earners are now in the 25, 28, and 33 percent brackets, so mar­gin­al tax rates would go up on them. A good many of them would, however, have lower total tax bills. Take a couple making $200,000 a year. The new rate structure in Lee-Rubio would leave them ahead: They would save more from the lower taxes on income between $75,000 and $150,000 than they would pay from the higher taxes on income above that level. They would come out even farther ahead if they had children.

Republican tax reforms have sometimes proposed raising tax rates and tax bills for some people. Most flat taxes, for example, would raise taxes on many more people (and on people with lower incomes) than Lee-Rubio would. Re­pub­li­can nominees, though, have usually avoided proposing tax increases on anyone.

We don’t yet know how the plan will play in the 2016 elections. Most Republican-primary voters have not been supply-side purists, which is why nominees have not been either. Voters might find the $4 trillion impact on revenues too large. And the combination of raising taxes on some affluent households while also nearly eliminating income-tax bills for wealthy people who derive most of their income from investments seems politically problematic, to say the least. Proposing to end the capital-gains tax, as opposed to cut it, was unwise: If it was meant to buy supply-side support for the plan, it has not worked. (The Journal hardly mentions that feature of the plan when it de­nounces it.)

The problem with Lee-Rubio, in other words, isn’t that it breaks with the Republican party’s supply-side traditions; it doesn’t. The problems are that it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly, and that it’s too large. Put the plan on a diet and both problems are solved.
 — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor of National Review.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #284 on: July 30, 2015, 02:18:11 PM »

http://reviveusa.com/shock-poll-trump-leads-bush-in-florida/
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ccp
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« Reply #285 on: July 30, 2015, 03:10:11 PM »

So say Jeb could beat Hillary.  What have we won?  I say not much.
What's the point.  His father was great with Iraq with the caveat that he established a serious precedent of turning over our sovereignty to the court of public opinion on at least  war decisions.  His brother was great with 911.   But otherwise not much else.  Bushes are not able to reset conservative values.   I don't hear Jeb saying anything that is impressive, convincing, or even motivating that is not just  status quo, appeasing, compromising, in and bed with the lobbyists speak.
 
Jeb is Hillary lite IMHO.

I will stay home if it is him or someone like him.

Even Christie has my ear and has sounded better!   I might even be able to give HIM another chance.   shocked  But no more Bushes.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 03:11:59 PM by ccp » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #286 on: July 31, 2015, 09:00:19 AM »

So say Jeb could beat Hillary.  What have we won?  I say not much.
What's the point.  His father was great with Iraq with the caveat that he established a serious precedent of turning over our sovereignty to the court of public opinion on at least  war decisions.  His brother was great with 911.   But otherwise not much else.  Bushes are not able to reset conservative values.   I don't hear Jeb saying anything that is impressive, convincing, or even motivating that is not just  status quo, appeasing, compromising, in and bed with the lobbyists speak.
 
Jeb is Hillary lite IMHO.
I will stay home if it is him or someone like him.
Even Christie has my ear and has sounded better!   I might even be able to give HIM another chance.   shocked  But no more Bushes.

Let's say it somehow shakes out that it is not Trump or Bush.  What do we have left?  Top tier left is Walker, Rubio, Cruz.  Second tier who might move up: Kasich, Fiorina.  I would argue that all are good choices.  Of them, I think Rubio and Fiorina might be the most electable, Cruz  the most pure in his stances, and Governors Kasich and Walker having the closest executive experience for the job.

I think the unsettled side is with the Dems.  Republican candidates are all announced and known.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #287 on: July 31, 2015, 09:10:35 AM »

One question of each candidate;

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/crowded-field-dreams_996630.html#  (more at the link)

At the center of each candidacy lies a fundamental question, the answer to which will determine whether the candidate becomes the Republican nominee. Some of those questions are philosophical, some of them political. With all 16 candidates formally in the race as of last week, and with the first debate just two weeks away, here is a look at the field and those questions.

For nearly half of the candidates, the fundamental question is the simplest one in politics: Am I viable?

This is the question now facing Jindal, Santorum, Fiorina, Graham, and even Perry. The top 10 candidates will be invited to the Fox News debate in Cleveland on August 6. At press time, none of these candidates would qualify on the basis of the Real Clear Politics average of national polls. If you’re not in the debates, you have no shot.

Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson will both make the debates, but they face the same question. Huckabee is a good communicator, but he appeals largely to social conservatives, and his only hope is a strong showing in Iowa, where he’s currently running sixth. Carson has a strong grassroots following, and his early-state supporters seem more committed to their candidate than are the early backers of other candidates. His challenge is to expand his appeal beyond that core group.

Kasich: Will primary voters rally to a candidate arguing that the good Lord wants him to expand government?

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, entered the race with a 45-minute extemporaneous speech that served as a strong reminder of the importance of speechwriters. More than once, Kasich seemed to end up in a rhetorical cul de sac, pausing momentarily to wonder how he’d gotten there before abruptly heading out in a new direction.

There is an authenticity about Kasich that could well be appealing, particularly in a state like New Hampshire, where voters are often open to quirky Republicans. And if government experience were the most important qualification for the presidency, Kasich, with 18 years in the House of Representatives before his two terms as Ohio governor, would be the Republican nominee.

But Kasich, who portrays himself as a budget hawk, chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, arguing that anyone who decided otherwise would be disappointing God. “When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich told  an Ohio lawmaker skeptical of his expansion. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”

It’s an argument without a limiting principle that could be used to justify any expansion of government. And Kasich’s Medicaid expansion is already over budget—some $1.4 billion over budget in just 18 months.

Christie: Will voters, and donors, give him a second look?

Four years ago, with Mitt Romney the odds-on favorite in the Republican primary, a group of six influential Iowa Republicans flew to New Jersey to implore Chris Christie to consider a presidential run. He declined. Christie is running this time, and none of those six men is supporting him. In the RCP average of polls, Christie registers a paltry 2.8 percent.

There are several explanations for this. Being governor of New Jersey means extra attention in the media capital of the world, particularly from the broadcast networks. That’s an advantage, but also a liability, as Christie discovered during the “Bridgegate” scandal in 2013. The story received widespread coverage on television and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, newspapers with national readership. The governor of Oregon, forced to resign amid scandal, didn’t receive a fraction of the coverage that Christie has on the bridge.

Beyond that, conservatives have grown increasingly skeptical of Christie for reasons both substantive and symbolic. Christie, like Kasich, opted to expand Medicaid in New Jersey, a deal with the devil that will inevitably mean vastly more state-level spending when the federal support for the expansion ends. Christie once proclaimed that failure to reform Medicaid and other entitlements put America “on the path to ruin.” And in 2012, he said: “Obamacare on Medicaid to the states was extortion.” But facing reelection in a blue state in 2013, Christie agreed to the expansion, and he now defends it as necessary. That would be a problem for anyone, but it presents a particular challenge for Christie, who is running as a “telling-it-like-it-is” candidate who will deliver the hard truths on entitlements.

But for many conservatives, it was Christie’s embrace of Obama in the days before the 2012 presidential election that left them skeptical. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as Christie sought federal help for his battered state, he toured the coast with Obama and offered praise for the president. It was a brief moment of little actual consequence, but for many conservative voters, it is an enduring memory.

Cruz: Can the mad-as-hell conservative base be converted to mad-as-hell supporters of Ted Cruz?

Cruz has money and arguably the clearest, most consistent message in the entire field: He’s had it with Washington, he’s had it with the Democrats who have expanded government, and he’s especially had it with the Republicans who have enabled them. The good news for Cruz is that large parts of the American electorate agree with him; the bad news is that they’re not yet prepared to make him their spokesman. Cruz, at 5.4 percent in the RCP average, correctly understands that Trump is occupying space that he’s fought for several years to own. And he correctly understands that Trump is only renting that real estate, so he’s been very friendly to Trump in the hopes of staking a claim to it when Trump is evicted.

But there’s a risk to this approach. If Cruz is seen as too close to him, Trump’s inevitable collapse, spectacular as it is likely to be, could damage Cruz, too.

Paul: Is the novelty wearing off?

For years, Rand Paul has attracted attention by being a different kind of Republican. He challenged the hawks who dominate the party and campaigned in places Republicans have ignored for too long. Time magazine dubbed him the “most interesting man in American politics.”

Are Republicans losing interest? Paul is at 5.6 percent in the RCP polling average, and his second-quarter fundraising totals were well below what many observers had expected.

Paul has inexplicably focused on issues where his libertarianism is out of step with the Republican base (national security and civil liberties) and spent less time on those where his party is naturally more libertarian (taxes, regulation, health care). Last week, Paul released a video in which he destroys the U.S. tax code in a variety of ways—chainsaw, bonfire, woodchipper. Perhaps the video is an attempt at a course correction, but it feels like desperation.

His anti-interventionism played better as a theory than it has in real life, with Barack Obama as its chief practitioner accumulating failures around the globe. So Paul has sounded less dovish in recent days, reversing his onetime embrace of Obama’s Iran deal and even suggesting last week that military force might be required if the mullahs move toward nuclear weapons. The irony is that, as Paul has tailored his idiosyncratic views to appeal to a more conventional conserv-ative electorate, he has begun to look more and more like the traditional politicians he deplores.

Bush: Is Jeb Bush the strong conservative reformer he was as governor of Florida or the more cautious and moderate Republican he has been over the past few years? During a brief press availability at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 17, a reporter asked Jeb Bush whether he was comfortable with the growing perception of him as a “moderate” Republican. “No, look, I have a conservative record,” Bush replied, adding, in case there were any doubt, that he considers himself an “I’m-not-kidding conservative.” The coda: “Perhaps moderate in tone is misinterpreted to moderate in terms of core beliefs.”

And yet Bush has been vocal about his concern that the Republican party has become too conservative in recent years. He worried that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have a place in the modern GOP. He famously said Republicans must be willing to “lose the primary to win the general,” a declaration that he wouldn’t allow himself to be pulled to the right in order to win the nomination. It was a lesson he learned from the 2012 Republican primary. He later described his feelings this way: “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective. And that’s kind of where we are.” Beyond that, Bush backs comprehensive immigration reform—he says illegal immigration is often an “act of love”—and he remains an unwavering supporter of Common Core, the education standards loathed by many conservatives.

But the fact that many primary voters see him through the prism of Common Core and immigration could allow him to surprise in the debate. Conservatives who assume that Bush is moderate across the board might well be more open to supporting him when they learn he is not.

The other big question, of course, is his name. Even if voters warm to Bush over the course of the fall campaign, will they be willing to embrace the dynasty and throw out what will likely be at the heart of the Republican case against Hillary Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee—that she’s a relic of a bygone era, a professional politician by marriage, with stale ideas and who doesn’t understand the lives of everyday Americans?

Rubio: Will voters see him as the Republican Obama?

Five years ago, when Rubio was running for Senate, many of those who saw him on the trail compared him to Barack Obama. At the time, it was the highest compliment they could imagine. But six years into the Obama administration, and in the context of a Republican primary, it’s not a compliment but a critique.

The similarities are obvious. Rubio, like Obama, is a great communicator, would come to the presidency with relatively limited experience, and would take office as a young man by historical standards. Rubio skeptics say: We’ve done this with Obama, and look how that turned out. But that assessment assumes that the problem with Obama was his lack of experience or relative youth. It wasn’t. As Rubio is fond of pointing out, Obama is a failed president because “his ideas don’t work.”

Rubio’s team pushes back hard on suggestions he’s like Obama, pointing to his experience as speaker of the Florida house and contrasting it with Obama’s unremarkable tenure as a state senator in Illinois. And they point out that Rubio will have had two more years of experience on national security, with seats on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, than Obama did when he took office.

But the smartest move for Rubio might be to embrace the comparison, rather than reject it. If Rubio can convince people that he would do as much to limit government as Obama has done to expand it, he will have a winning argument.

Walker: Will voters view Walker as a battle-tested, reform-driven governor with a string of electoral and policy victories, or will the changes he’s made, in tone and sometimes in substance, erode the reputation he built during his tenure in Wisconsin?

Walker ran for governor in 2010 on a pledge to create 250,000 jobs and balance the budget. He didn’t accomplish the former but did, after a nasty and exhausting fight, implement reforms that allowed him to achieve the latter. So the $3.6 billion deficit that Walker inherited was eliminated. He has cut taxes, reformed state welfare programs, and won election three times in a purple state.

But since floating his name as a potential candidate last winter, Walker has equivocated on several issues. Walker had been for comprehensive immigration reform, but now opposes such reform as “amnesty” and is open to greater restrictions even on legal immigration to protect American workers. He once opposed renewable fuel subsidies but now prefers a gradual phaseout. In his 2014 reelection campaign, he ran an ad in which he declared that he was pro-life but said the “final decision” is between “a woman and her doctor.”

Asked in a recent interview about these changes in position, or at least in tone, Walker told The Weekly Standard: “It’s totally overblown. The only position I’ve changed on is my position on immigration, which was a pretty limited position as a governor to begin with. There are a lot of people covering this race who don’t get how people have to talk in a state that’s as swing a state as we are. And talking in a way that doesn’t alienate people doesn’t equate to flipping positions. It means articulating it in a way that maybe isn’t the same red meat that they’ve heard from conservatives in Washington.”

But enthusiasm for Walker’s grit—demonstrated in his fight against public-sector unions and Democratic special interests during a failed recall attempt—remains. And many Republicans are in the mood for a fighter—or, as Walker prefers, a “fighter who can win” on “commonsense conservative reforms.”

But these days, GOP primary voters are behaving as if they would settle for a fighter who has no chance of winning, no common sense, and isn’t a conservative. Which brings us back to Donald Trump.

Trump is without question a fighter. He seems to spend much of his day fighting with his Republican rivals, mainstream journalists, high-profile pollsters—anyone, really, who has said anything negative about him.

But before his recent conversion, the views he expressed over the years would make him a mainstream Democrat. This is the great irony of the current moment in American political life: The man leading the primary of a party whose recent success owes largely to a shift rightward has never really been a Republican.

Trump described himself as “very liberal on health care” and was an advocate of a single-payer health insurance system, a view that puts him to the left of Barack Obama. He long considered himself “very pro-choice” and was in favor of drug legalization. Trump once called Mitt Romney’s self-deportation proposal “crazy” and “maniacal.” Trump said Obama’s $787 billion stimulus was “what we need” and added, “It looks like we have somebody that knows what he is doing finally in office.”

As those comments suggest, Trump didn’t think George W. Bush did a very good job in office. But he didn’t stop there. Trump said Bush was “evil.”

Trump’s financial support for Democrats over the years has been well documented, with checks to Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and others. That’s no surprise, since he said in 2004, “I identify more as a Democrat.” He praised Nancy Pelosi as “the best” when she became speaker of the House in 2007. That same year, he said of a prospective Hillary Clinton in the White House: “I think Hillary would do a good job.”

To put it mildly, Trump is an uncomfortable fit in the Republican party. And that’s why he is unlikely to be there at the end of this process.

That doesn’t mean he won’t run for president. Trump’s political activism has its roots in the Reform party movement of the late 1990s. He flirted with a presidential bid in 1999 on the Reform party ticket. He has in recent days repeatedly declared his openness to running as an independent candidate in 2016. Last week, he told the Hill that “so many people want” him to run as an independent if he doesn’t win the GOP nod and acknowledged that revenge could play a role if he loses. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that could be a factor.”

If he does run, all of the strategizing, planning, and campaigning that those mentioned above are currently engaged in could well be for nothing. With an evenly divided electorate and an angry conservative base, if Trump runs as a third-party, right-wing populist he could well siphon off enough votes to make Hillary Clinton the next president.

On the other hand, perhaps Trump won’t run. And, given her current troubles, with polls showing more Americans disapproving than approving of her, Hillary seems increasingly not a terribly formidable candidate. She seems eminently beatable. But which Republican can win the nomination and defeat her?
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