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Thread: The 2016 Presidential Race

  1. #1

    Default The 2016 Presidential Race

    Is it too early to start talking about 2016? Interesting blog by Nate Silver on how conservative, conservative really is, especially in the case or Marco Rubio

    But what I really found interesing is where along the right wing continuum members of the GOP sit relative to the mix of metrics defined in this article. For instance, Nixon was regarded as relatively left-ish by conservative standards notwithstanding his history of "pinko' bashing (Of course Nixon did establish the EPA and was a proponent for Universal Health Care). The fact that Christie is even further left doesn't really surprise me, but it stands in stark contrast to how he was peceived no longer than 2 or so years ago. Reagan, would be considered fairly hard to the right even by today's standards.

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    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...-conservative/



    February 19, 2013, 8:24 am Marco Rubio: The Electable Conservative?

    By NATE SILVERSome commentators have expressed surprise upon learning about the very conservative voting record of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address last week.

    Since winning his Senate seat, Mr. Rubio has generally sided with other Republicans as part of a party that has steadily grown more conservative over the last three decades. (Mr. Rubio’s recent support for immigration reform is more of an exception than his usual rule of sticking to the party line.)

    Being reliably conservative, however, is hardly a liability for someone who might hope to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Indeed, one reason to watch Mr. Rubio carefully is that, among the candidates who will be deemed reliably conservative by Republican voters and insiders, he may stand the best chance of maintaining a reasonably good image with general election voters.

    How does Mr. Rubio’s conservatism compare to the other men and women who might seek the Republican nomination in 2016 — and to other candidates, like Mitt Romney, that the G.O.P. has nominated recently?

    There are several statistical methods that seek to rate candidates’ ideology on a left-right scale. FiveThirtyEight uses three of these methods in evaluating the ideology of Senate candidates as part of our technique for forecasting those races. The same methods can be applied to presidential candidates.

    The first of these systems, DW-Nominate, is based upon a candidate’s voting record in the Congress. The second method, developed by Adam Bonica, a Stanford University political scientist, makes inferences about a candidate’s ideology based on the groups and individuals who have contributed to his campaign. The third method, from the Web site OnTheIssues.org, works by indexing public statements made by the candidate on a variety of major policy issues.

    Not every rating system is available for every candidate: those who have never served in Congress have no DW-Nominate score, for example. And the methods sometimes disagree. The libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is rated as being extremely conservative by DW-Nominate and by Mr. Bonica’s method, which tend to give more emphasis to a candidate’s record on economic issues. But he is rated as fairly moderate by OnTheIssues.org, which also evaluates his stances on social policy. Sarah Palin is also rated as extremely conservative by Mr. Bonica’s system, but as relatively moderate by OnTheIssues.org. (Keep in mind that before being selected as John McCain’s running mate, Ms. Palin had some history as a reform-minded governor of Alaska.)

    Nevertheless, we can usually get a reasonably good objective measurement of a candidate’s ideology by essentially taking an average of the three approaches. (Because the measures are not on the same scale, I normalize Mr. Bonica’s scores and the OnTheIssues.org scores to give them the same mean and standard deviation as DW-Nominate.) The higher the score, the more conservative the candidate.

    DW-Nominate scores normally run on a scale that goes from negative 1 for an extremely liberal candidate to positive 1 for an extremely conservative one. To make the result more legible, I have multiplied all scores by 100 — so that, for instance, a moderate Republican might have a score of 25 rather than 0.25. Mr. Rubio achieves a score of 51 by this method. What does that mean, exactly?

    The last two Republican presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, had a score of 39 by comparison, meaning that they were more moderate than Mr. Rubio. Mr. Rubio is also rated as being to the right of Ronald Reagan, who had a score of 44, and George W. Bush, who had a score of 46. Among Republican presidential nominees since 1960, in fact, only the extraordinarily conservative Barry Goldwater, who had a score of 67, rates as being more conservative than Mr. Rubio.

    But Mr. Rubio stands out less when compared to Republicans of today. Whereas in 1980 the average Republican member of Congress had a score of 30, the average Republican in the most recent Congress had a score of 48, very close to Mr. Rubio’s. Thus, my contention that Mr. Rubio is a good representative of the Republican Party as it stands today.

    This is a potentially advantageous position for a Republican competing in the presidential primaries. In both parties, nominees have usually come from the center of their parties, rather than from the moderate or the “extreme” wings. There are exceptions: Mr. Reagan, although he would fit right into the Republican Party today, was much more conservative than most of his contemporaries in 1980. But in general, Mr. Rubio is pretty close to the sweet spot of where a presidential nominee might want to be.

    There are some viable candidates to Mr. Rubio’s right. The 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, Representative Paul D. Ryan, rates a score of 55, slightly more conservative than Mr. Rubio. Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, rates a 57.

    Mr. Rubio, however, has had net-positive favorability ratings among the general electorate in the most recent surveys, whereas the Republicans to his right usually have not. Mr. Ryan’s favorability ratings, for example, wound up being about break-even after the 2012 campaign.

    This is not to say that Mr. Rubio is extraordinarily popular. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has favorability ratings that are much stronger than Mr. Rubio’s, for example. Mr. Christie rates as being far more moderate by these statistical methods, however, having broken with his party not just on immigration, but also on issues like gun control and environmental policy, which could be a problem for him with Republican primary voters. (If nominated by the Republicans in 2016, he might possibly be the most moderate major-party nominee since Dwight D. Eisenhower).
    Other potential candidates, including former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, are close to Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney on the ideological spectrum.

    Isn’t it premature to draw attention to a candidate’s popularity so far in advance of the primaries? Certainly, a great deal will change between now and 2016.

    But long before Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire cast their ballots, the potential nominees will be competing against one another in the so-called “invisible primary.” In this stage, which is already under way, they hope to persuade party insiders that they represent the best path forward for Republicans in 2016. The more successful they are at doing so, the more they will be rewarded with money, endorsements and the talent to run their campaigns, giving them a huge advantage once voting actually does begin three years from now.

    Mr. Rubio’s most persuasive pitch to Republican Party insiders may well be that he is more popular than other, ideologically similar candidates. Some of those candidates, like Mr. Ryan, can probably offer a richer intellectual defense of conservatism, or can claim to have been better vetted. Several others, like Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, have more executive experience. Mr. Rubio’s relatively favorable public image represents his comparative advantage. (There are also the facts that Mr. Rubio is Hispanic and is from Florida, but these advantages boil down to electability as well: the possibility that he might help Republicans make gains with Latinos, and that he could give them a lift in an especially important swing state.)

    What makes matters tricky for Mr. Rubio is that, at the same time he is hoping to persuade Republican party insiders that he deserves their support, he will also need to maintain a reasonably good image with the broader electorate lest his electability argument be undermined. This may lead to some strange positions, such as when Mr. Rubio recently critiqued President Obama’s immigration proposal despite its many similarities to his own.

    When the wider electorate learns that Mr. Rubio’s positions are in fact hard to differentiate from those of other conservative Republicans, will his favorability ratings turn mediocre, as Mr. Ryan’s now are?

    This is not meant as a rhetorical question. One measure of political talent, and something that characterized both Mr. Reagan and Mr. Obama, is the ability to sell ideas to voters across a wide range of the political spectrum. Perhaps Mr. Rubio will prove to be such a talent. Otherwise, if Mr. Rubio holds a fairly ordinary (and conservative) set of Republican positions, his popularity ratings may wind up being ordinary as well

  2. #2

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    I know polls are essentially a waste of time but this ^ article highlights how crazy (for me) it is that a recent Quinnipiac poll found that, with NJ voters, Christie currently lags behind Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race. He is about as moderate as they come and yet can't get a sniff of the democratic vote.

  3. #3

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    ^
    It may have more to do with Clinton's popularity, rather than Christie's, among Democrats.

    The poll found that NJ Democrats approve of Christie 56-38.

    At the national election level, Clinton would be a formidable opponent. A recent PPP poll indicates Texas would be in play.

  4. #4

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    Speaking of Christie ...


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    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...e-anti-romney/



    Contrast this to the political climate in late 2011, when Mr. Christie was winning praise from conservatives for his statements toward teachers’ unions — an issue that was then in the news because of the protests against efforts by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin to curtail benefits for public-sector unions in that state. Mr. Christie also takes relatively conservative views on gay marriage and abortion, social issues that had the stage more to themselves in 2011, but which may have to compete more against immigration and gun control in the next political cycle.
    So far as I can tell, Mr. Christie hasn’t changed his positions on any of these issues very much. Rather, it’s that Mr. Christie had a number of relatively moderate positions to begin with, along with some conservative ones.

    February 27, 2013, 8:29 am Christie’s Honeymoon With Conservatives Is Over

    By NATE SILVERIn September 2011, when Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was considering making a last-minute entry into the presidential race, I pointed out an incongruity in Republican attitudes toward him. Many Republican organizations and activists, including some very conservative ones, were enthusiastic about the possibility that Mr. Christie might enter the presidential race. But Mr. Christie’s history of actions and issue statements was fairly moderate.

    Roughly 18 months later, the attitude toward Mr. Christie has changed. Mr. Christie has not been invited to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, which will gather next month. Mr. Christie’s failure to be invited is not a mere oversight; virtually every other prominent Republican who might be a plausible nominee in 2016 has been asked to participate.

    Isn’t it premature to conclude very much about 2016 dynamics based on something that is happening in February 2013?
    Actually, as I wrote in my piece on Marco Rubio week, the Republican primary is already under way. Candidates like Mr. Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Bobby Jindal are already positioning themselves with an eye toward 2016.

    The broader public certainly won’t be paying much attention to what they do or say for a very long time. But the nomination process is as much an inside game as an exercise in voting. The candidates who perform well in the so-called invisible primary — the phase of the campaign when candidates seek to accumulate scarce resources like money, endorsements, staff talent and favorable relationships with the news media — will be far better positioned to succeed once voters in Iowa and New Hampshire get to have their say.

    The veto of Mr. Christie by CPAC, which represents a relatively broad coalition of conservative and Republican interest groups, is an ominous sign for him. Candidates who have won the CPAC straw poll in the recent past include Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani, other Republicans with whom some conservatives have had considerable disagreements. So the fact that Mr. Christie has not even been invited to the conference this year says something.

    Mr. Christie was in good graces of CPAC as recently as last June, when he was the headliner at a regional conference the group sponsored in Chicago.

    So what has changed? Is it Mr. Christie, or is it CPAC?

    In fact, I’m not sure that either has. Instead, what seems to have changed is the salience of different issues, as driven by major news events over the past year.

    Mr. Christie has long been an advocate of gun-control policies, for example. But that issue has become far more relevant since the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

    Mr. Christie has also taken moderate positions on immigration. Immigration was an issue in the 2012 campaign, but it seems to have grown in importance now, after the poor performance of the Republicans with Hispanic voters November, and the push by President Obama and by some Republicans in Congress for immigration legislation.

    Of course, there was Hurricane Sandy, which yielded Mr. Christie’s literal and figurative embrace of Mr. Obama, and his later criticism of Congressional Republicans for failing to pass a disaster-relief bill. This is an important symbolic issue, but would Mr. Christie have behaved differently if the storm had hit in 2010 or 2011?

    And on Tuesday, Mr. Christie became the eighth Republican governor to announce that he will accept Medicaid expansion under the president’s health care law, in spite of his party’s general opposition to the law.

    Contrast this to the political climate in late 2011, when Mr. Christie was winning praise from conservatives for his statements toward teachers’ unions — an issue that was then in the news because of the protests against efforts by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin to curtail benefits for public-sector unions in that state. Mr. Christie also takes relatively conservative views on gay marriage and abortion, social issues that had the stage more to themselves in 2011, but which may have to compete more against immigration and gun control in the next political cycle.
    So far as I can tell, Mr. Christie hasn’t changed his positions on any of these issues very much. Rather, it’s that Mr. Christie had a number of relatively moderate positions to begin with, along with some conservative ones.

    Does that mean there could be a reconciliation between Mr. Christie and conservative groups later on? It’s certainly possible. Surely the news cycle will shift again. And Mr. Christie could shift his stances to the right, especially once he secures re-election in New Jersey next year, as he is heavily favored to do.

    But my premise when I wrote about Mr. Christie in 2011 was that conservatives had been underrating how moderate Mr. Christie was — perhaps because they were so desperate at that time to find alternatives to Mr. Romney and their other candidates. Now that he’s been “outed” as a moderate, it may be hard to close the closet door.

    Mr. Christie, meanwhile, will need to consider whether to compete for the Republican nomination in 2016. While the mainstream media tends to chronically overrate the likelihood of a viable independent bid for the presidency, Mr. Christie would be better positioned to seek one than most, with very high favorability ratings among independent voters and the access to money and news media attention that comes from being a prominent politician in the Northeast. Or he could shoot for another office. Because of the ethical cloud surrounding Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic incumbent in New Jersey, the Senate race in New Jersey could be very competitive in 2018.

    Mr. Christie’s relationship with conservative Republicans, however, may have been doomed from the start.



  5. #5

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    CPAC: Crazy People Acting Crazy

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    ^
    It may have more to do with Clinton's popularity, rather than Christie's, among Democrats.

    The poll found that NJ Democrats approve of Christie 56-38.

    At the national election level, Clinton would be a formidable opponent. A recent PPP poll indicates Texas would be in play.
    Understood, against a slightly less popular Dem he might well take NJ.

    And I also saw an article about people within Texas feeling Hillary could turn the state blue. It's a couple of years away and much can happen, and I still feel she won't run, but if it was all the same players and stories in 2 years or so...Clinton would be unbeatable I feel.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the PPP link BTW, where I was surprised (but than again not) to see this:

    Support for secession in the state has increased since President Obama's reelection. 20% of voters say they'd like to leave the country to 67% who support staying in the union. That's up from 14% who wanted to secede when we polled on the issue in September of 2011. 35% of Republicans support exiting.
    This is a state that receives far more in federal spending and support than they pay out in federal income taxes. How do these people propose to make up the difference? Do they think they can go it alone, support their current lifestyle, and not see an increase in taxes? Do they expect the rest of us to provide defense?

    I think we should let them go. More money in my pocket.

  8. #8

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    I don't know if Jeb Bush is prepping for a presidential run in 2016, or looking for a job right now.

    If it's the former, I think it would have been better if he just shut up and waited.

  9. #9

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    I am trying to understand the motivation for his new-found immigration policy, but for the life of me, I am not getting it. At a time when many in the GOP are moderating their positions in order to broaden the party's appeal, he is hardening his, presumably to appeal to the far-right base. I think most GOPers have reached the conclusion that the influence of the far right wing is waning, at least on social if not economic issues, but apparently not Bush.

  10. #10
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    In order to remain "far right" you need to, ironically, accept some of the newer influences.

    If you do not embrace the Roman Catholic Hispanic influx, you will not have many others coming out to support you.

    I mean, Mormons ARE procreative, but......

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    At a time when many in the GOP are moderating their positions in order to broaden the party's appeal, he is hardening his, presumably to appeal to the far-right base. I think most GOPers have reached the conclusion that the influence of the far right wing is waning, at least on social if not economic issues, but apparently not Bush.
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    For all their talk of "rebranding" the GOP, the policies haven't really changed. It's like they think the problem isn't what they say, but how they say it.

    And whatever the national Party in Washington is trying to do, it's completely undermined by local politics. They are still purging House members that lack sufficient Conservative Purity. That means the Primary process will remain the same. Move far right, or don't survive the gauntlet.

    At any rate, Bush's other problem is that he has no platform from which to run; he's been out of elective office for six years. I guess he figured the Bush name was poison in 2012 (can't argue with him there), but he's waited too long.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    And whatever the national Party in Washington is trying to do, it's completely undermined by local politics. They are still purging House members that lack sufficient Conservative Purity. That means the Primary process will remain the same. Move far right, or don't survive the gauntlet.
    I think that is an excellent observation.

    Some of the more strategic thinkers in the party have likely come to the conclusion that the hard right GOP stance on social issues is clouding the more important battle, and interfering with their ability to win the public discourse, on fiscal policy I think they realize that over the medium and long term, the hard right stance on social issues is a loser for them. But I think they still think they can win the fight on small government, lower taxes and reigned in entitlements.

    To these folks, social issues represent obstacles. They can't get fiscal conservatives into office, it they keep nominating these unelectable, out-of-step, socially right wing, religo-facist nut jobs who rail about abortion, gay rights, "legitimate rape" and so called family issues. It is clouding the agenda of the more intellectual wing (and I use that phrase liberally so to speak) of the party who want to shift the focus to economic policy.

    I read recently where Karl Rove is involved with a superpac whose mission is to promote more socially moderate GOP candidates. Expect a battle over the very soul of the GOP.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ngerous-model/

    Meanwhile, Arkansas recently enacted legislation to restrict abortions to within 12 weeks, overriding a Gubernatorial veto. Back to the Supreme Court we go.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...n-ban/1968579/
    Last edited by eddhead; March 8th, 2013 at 09:27 AM.

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  14. #14

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    Well it's March. Aside from college hoops, it's time for...

    Crazy People Acting Crazy.

    Embarrassing enough to be invited to the annual confab, but for those who seem to fit right in with the lunacy, it must be torture to be shunned.

    Governor Bob Ultrasound of Virginia has the perfect nickname for CPAC, but he raised some state taxes last year, so he's out. So is our favorite bovine, Pamela Geller, which prompted her to accuse CPAC of “enforcing the Sharia” and “blasphemy laws” as a result of “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.”

    The VIP list and their allotted time:

    Ted Cruz..............33-minute keynote speech
    Sarah Palin..........16 minutes
    Donald Trump......14 minutes
    Bobby Jindal........13 minutes
    Rand Paul............13 minutes
    Rick Perry............13 minutes
    Scott Walker.........13 minutes
    Marco Rubio.........11 minutes
    Paul Ryan.............11 minutes
    Rick Santorum........7 minutes

    So a racist/birther who never ran for anything; and a governor who quit her job to make money on TV, is such an idiot that even the loons at Fox News had to give her the boot - get more speaking time than actual senators.

    Yes, I know it's Marco Rubio et al, but still.

  15. #15

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    One person let lose in that room with an assault weapon could have ended most of this nations problems with one sweep!

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