Friday, September 25, 2015

It's Friday, and before...

...I run up to Lincolnshire for that Libertyville - Stevenson game, let's check in with my other favorite sport, the 2016 race for the White House.

The Huffington Post poll, which tracks 169 polls from 30 pollsters, and the RealClearPolitics poll, which also updates regularly, show essentially the same thing: Donald Trump is still in the lead, although losing altitude.

Trump is followed by Ben Carson, also falling in RCP, but not necessarily in HP; upticks for Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina (a big one for her in RCP); and Ted Cruz hanging in there at a little over six percent.

The rest of the field is well under five percent.

On the prediction and betting websites, Bush and Rubio share the top two spots on PredictWise, PredictIt and Paddy Power (where Rubio surpassed Trump for second place this week).

What does all of this mean? Well, it's still early, of course, but right now it seems that Trump may have topped out. Are people getting bored with his schtick? He needs a second act to continue moving forward. Does he have one? We should find out soon enough. (My guess is yes -- are you kidding?)

As for Carson and Fiorina, are they just flashes in the pan, or do they have legs? I'd say the former, which begs the question: where would their support go? Would it all go to Trump? If so, that would give him about 50 percent. Or would it scatter?

And what about Jeb and Rubio? Does the GOP have its "heir and a spare"? Or will they both stay in and split the establishment vote? (And might they split it further with Chris Christie and John Kasich, who are both banking on a decent showing in New Hampshire?)

And then there's Ted Cruz, who hopes (I think) to hang around long enough to pick up the anti-establishment vote. (Makes sense, doesn't it? He's kind of a bottom-feeder.)

As for the rest -- Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Jim Gilmore (and possibly Christie and Kasich) -- I guess the only question is who follows Scott Walker and runs out of money drops out next? (For the good of the party, of course.)

Where am I on all this? Hoo, boy. I'd still say it's Jeb's to lose, although he sure looks like he's trying awfully hard to lose it. (Did he really just say that?) Question: how long will the .01 percent that invested $114 million in Bush's campaign stick around? Forever? Or will they bolt to Rubio? (My dark horse.) And will it be sooner, or later?

I'll say Carson and Fiorina drop out sooner than people think (probably after Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively), although Carly will be on everyone's short list for running mate (but won't get it). Cruz will hang around longer, at least until the SEC primaries on March 1.

And Trump? Who knows? (Does he?) I predict the Donald sticks around until the convention, doesn't get the nomination (of course), and makes a lot of trouble for the eventual nominee.

The most likely GOP ticket as of today? Bush/Rubio. 

P. S. The Democratic race? Hillary

Bernie Sanders can't broaden his appeal beyond what used to be known as the "Brie and Chablis set," and even if Joe Biden gets in (and I'll say he doesn't) his best day would be the one on which he announces. Old Joe's numbers would almost surely drop from their already mediocre level.

P. P. S. Until further notice, Hillary beats Jeb

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