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Friday, September 11, 2015

Handicapping America! The 2016 election.

Seems like as good as any to do some fun handicapping of the Presidential race, despite the fact that, as John Oliver pointed out a few weeks back, there will be babies born on Election Day, 2016, to parents who haven’t even met each other yet, so why should we even start discussing it yet.

But since there will be babies born 9 months from now to parents who will meet at a bar somewhere around 1am tonight, I won’t wait to be interested in the election…or to needlessly blog about it.

Just pontificating (if you live near Philly, you cringe any time you see the word “pontif” in a sentence, or even as part of a word, so I apologize to local readers).

So, as of yesterday’s CNN poll, here is the breakdown for the current Republican Presidential Nomination:

Trump 27
Carson 19
Bush 9
Cruz 7
Walker 5, Huckabee 5
Rubio 3, Fiorina 3, Paul 3
Kasich 2, Christie 2
Santorum 1, Jindal 1, Graham 1, Perry 0

First, the easy ones to eliminate:

Cruz, Huckabee, Christie, Santorum, Jindal, Graham, Perry

Somewhat sadly for Chris Christie, who I like on some levels, and not all of them related to our mutual love of Bruce Springsteen, ever since he walked arm in arm with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy, his chances of winning the republican nomination went to zero. Sadly, that would help him hugely in the general election, but he and we will never know for sure. And Ted Cruz at 7% and Mike Huckabee at 5% have no shot either.

I will eliminate them without second thought, but it isn’t obvious based on the above poll:

Ben Carson – if we are this far along and the only thing I know about him besides his, ahem, physical appearance is that he is a neurosurgeon and a born-again, well that tells me that most Rs don’t know much either. But he’s not a politician, and this year, that seems to be the #1 qualification…or lack thereof…that attracts potential voters.

That leaves these guys, who I’ll list in inverse order of their likelihood of being the eventual nominee:

Scott Walker – he is at 5% and fading fast. I was totally on board with him even just a month ago. He interviews so well and even gives good speeches, but he has fallen bigtime in Iowa, where he was leading not long ago. So he is no longer a top-runner.

Carly Fiorina – If I had done this list a month ago, she would have been in the first category. She has done well lately after the first debate and I think she will continue to climb, but I’m going to go ahead and agree with Donald Trump, even though he has since walked back his comments. And I sincerely believe that most Americans would say he exact same thing: 'Look at that face!' I’m sorry, but American voters are not willing to elect someone who is hard to look at, male or female. And to be blunt, she is not easy on the eyes.

Marco Rubio – there are people who still think he is one of the top 3 contenders and I just don’t see it. He looks and sounds more like the captain of the debate team than a President. That said, if he isn’t the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, I’ll be shocked. Either him or Carly Fiorina. We can have a funny-looking VP, because we have just come SO far as a people in the 2010’s!

Donald Trump – I know – most people would have seen him way earlier on this list, and I would too a month ago. But I’m just starting to believe he even has an outside shot, unlike every one I’ve listed before him, though I’m still struggling on giving up on Walker. I just think voters of both parties are in a weird enough mood that it could possible happen, but still very unlikely, despite his big lead in every poll, in every state and even in the country.

John Kasich – Thought I forgot about him, didn’t you? I dunno – maybe it’ just wishful thinking that R voters will come to their senses on this guy. He is definitely not a moderate…but he is the most moderate, and frankly, the most electable, from my perspective.

And finally, the most likely, and you probably know how much I hate picking the guy everyone else says the same thing about:

Jeb! Bush – there are a LOT of Rs who don’t like him, and I can see why. Too thoughtful, too open-minded, too related to his brother. But he has the cash and is more electable than many of the others.

But seriously – Bush vs Clinton again? Like I said in the title above...with that choice, American will surely be handicapped for (4) years to come.

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