We’re less than one month out from the Iowa Caucuses and the true start of the 2016 presidential primary season. Of course, in reality, it’s been going on for about a year, but as of February 2nd, it’s on like an injured prawn at dawn. Or something like that.
So, let’s take a look at where we stand and see what’s going on and where we are going to be in a few short months come July.
First of all, on the Democrats side, I can’t see anybody doing anything to knock the Arkansas Princess off her perch unless the FBI steps in and says that Hillary should be charged with some federal crimes in her latest scandal regarding her email. That’s altogether possible, by the way. But in lieu of that, she’ll end up winning the Democrats’ nomination for president. And I fully expect her to win in Iowa. I do expect Bernie Sanders to win in New Hampshire, because he’s their “native son” candidate being from next door in Vermont. But after that, Hillary should have an easy time with it.
The Republican side is a little different. Donald Trump will do well in Iowa but he won’t win it. But Iowa doesn’t very often foretell the GOP nominee. Look at four years ago when Rick Santorum ended up edging Mitt Romney out of contention for the win in that state, only to get swamped the rest of the way. Santorum finished a distant second, and this year, I think I have more support for president than he does. It’s really going to come down to a four person race. Donald Trump will be in it until the convention. He’ll have a say in the platform, but in all actuality, I really doubt he’s going to get the nomination. Ben Carson, the other outsider is fading, and his campaign staff is starting to quit on him. That’s going to be a big challenge to see whether or not he can overcome the loss of a couple of key staffers, who felt their advice was given a backseat to a radio talk-show host. Then you’ve got the Senate twins of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Either one of them could very easily end up the nominee. In fact, I would say it’s going to eventually come down to which of the two of them is better. Marco plays better to the crowds than Ted does, and that’s a plus, but Cruz is more conservative, and has long laid out the groundwork to be the “other Trump” if and when The Donald falters.
Right now Cruz is leading Iowa, and Trump is leading in New Hampshire, where Cruz is third behind Rubio. That’s no surprise with Trump coming from New York and spending an inordinate amount of time there. What will be interesting will be the following states. Trump should do well in South Carolina and Nevada, and Cruz will do well in Super Tuesday (also called the SEC Primary) states. But there is a more interesting question. Who will beat the Arkansas Princess?
Right now, Trump loses in a head to head matchup by about six points. Cruz and Clinton are tied, though I would give the nod to Cruz just on his debating skills. Rubio beats Clinton by a little more than a point. The interesting thing here is that usually at this point in time, the leader in these matchups doesn’t usually end up winning. There’s a flip that occurs. Remember…Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were leading at this point eight years ago. Neither made it to the convention.
My guess at this point? I’m going to go with one of the Senate twins, either Rubio or Cruz to take on Clinton in the general election. I don’t think Trump will run an independent campaign, he’s too smart for that, and won’t waste the money. If Cruz gets the nod, I believe he wins the general election in November. If Rubio gets it, I’m hoping he wins it…but it would be too close to call.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!