January, 2016

Clinton and Sanders Agree to 4 More Debates

Politico: “Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns have agreed in principle to attend four more debates, starting with the proposed New Hampshire event next week, a Clinton campaign aide confirmed Saturday — but an exchange of statements on Saturday called the Feb. 4 date into question.”

“Both campaigns, and Martin O’Malley’s, spent Friday negotiating with the DNC, which has not publicly weighed in on the campaigns’ requests to add the four events — one in February, one in March, one in April, and one in May — since Sanders proposed it this week. The final details are still being ironed out, and no dates or locations have been solidified.”

Contested Convention Increasingly Likely

Charlie Cook: “At this point, my gut sug­gests that by the time we get deep in­to the pro­cess, Trump will ap­pear to have the sup­port of the pop­u­list, less ideo­lo­gic­al third of the GOP, roughly where he is now; Cruz will have con­sol­id­ated con­ser­vat­ives and roughly one third of the party; a con­ven­tion­al can­did­ate (Bush, Christie, Kasich, or Ru­bio) will be pulling about a quarter, with the re­main­ing fifth up in the air. That spells a con­tested con­ven­tion.”

Kasich Gets Cash Infusion

“John Kasich, facing a sudden battery of attacks from Republican rivals, has secured a $4 million cash infusion from supporters looking to defend him,” Politico reports.

“The Ohio governor has seen a surge of momentum in New Hampshire, a state where three other establishment-friendly candidates — Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush — are also making an aggressive play. Some in the GOP hierarchy are concerned that the four could divide support in the Feb. 9 primary, potentially handing victory to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.”

Final Iowa Poll Shows Trump and Clinton Ahead

The final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll in Iowa finds Donald Trump leading the GOP race with 28%, followed by Ted Cruz at 23%, Marco Rubio at 15%, Ben Carson 10% and Rand Paul at 5%.

Interesting: “Another sign of a possible cliffhanger Monday night: Although just 9% of likely GOP caucusgoers haven’t yet made a choice, they’re part of the 45% who could be persuaded to change their minds in the final hours.”

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders, 45% to 42%.

For members: Why this is the most important poll

Parties Acknowledge Gap in Online Caucus Tool

“Three days before voting begins, residents around Iowa are making plans to caucus, but new online tools launched by both the state Democratic and Republican parties designed to inform people where to go Monday evening were built with one major hole,” ABC News reports.

“The systems were only built off the list of registered voters’ addresses. As a result, for new voters who have never registered in the state and who live at addresses where no one else has registered, the online feature does not work.”

Branstad Will Campaign with Christie

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will appear with Gov. Chris Christie at his final rally before the Iowa Caucuses Sunday night, “providing a final boost to Christie before the first ballots are cast,” Time reports.

“The appearance, in which Branstad introduce Christie, is not an official endorsement, according to Christie’s campaign. But it is expected to nonetheless signal Branstad’s preference in the race, much like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s appearance with Sen. Marco Rubio last week gave a signal to her supporters.”

Christie Says He Won’t Embarrass Us

Gov. Chris Christie “waited until just two days before voting begins in Iowa, but delivered his sharpest attack yet against front-runner Donald Trump,” the Newark Star Ledger reports.

Said Christie: “I will never embarrass you. I promise you: I will make you proud every day I’m in that job.”

He added: “He gives an hour-long rambling speech where he insults everybody within spitting distance of him, he signs a bunch of hats then throws them into the crowd, and he leaves. When you do that, you don’t have to answer, ‘How?'”

GOP Predicts Big Iowa Turnout

The Hill: “GOP strategists expect between 150,000 and 185,000 voters will turn out, according to one senator who reviewed campaign projections. A big turnout would bode well for Trump who is expected to perform strongly among first-time voters.”

“A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday shows Trump with 32-percent support in Iowa compared to 26-percent support for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, his second-place rival, under a scenario in which 200,000 people vote. When the projected turnout drops to 130,000, Trump and Cruz are tied at 26 percent, according to the Monmouth survey.”

Is Bernie Sanders Like Barack Obama, or Howard Dean?

Los Angeles Times: “Targeting technologies pioneered by Obama’s campaign have made it possible for outsider candidates like Sanders to turn out Iowans who a decade ago might have showed up at a rally and then faded away before the caucuses. Now, computers can quickly link them up with a caucus coach who can walk them through the bewildering voting process and even make sure they have a ride on election night.”

“But ultimately, much of the work of sealing a commitment from voters happens through human contact. And to avoid the disappointment fellow Vermonter Howard Dean endured in the 2004 caucuses, when he failed to leverage similar insurgent momentum, the Sanders campaign has been rushing to build the infrastructure to capture enthusiasm and turn it into votes.”

Are Voters Ready to Upend American Politics?

“The presidential race hurtled over the weekend toward a watershed moment: voting that will start to reveal the true depth of Americans’ desire to cast aside traditional politicians and Washington-style compromise and embrace disruptive outsiders appealing to their passions,” the New York Times reports.

“After a year of countless and often conflicting polls, more than 250,000 Iowans are expected to attend caucuses on a relatively mild Monday night and render judgment on insurgent candidates who would bar Muslims from the country (Donald J. Trump), oppose concessions to Democrats (Senator Ted Cruz of Texas) and pursue a high-tax, big-government agenda (Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont). Voters are poised to bring order to the race, or reorder politics, as in no other recent election.”