Election Day
November 8, 2016
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Three sitting Republican senators, all facing competitive re-election campaigns in 2016, are among those mentioned as potential running mates for the GOP presidential nominee. RollCall.com reports that Senators Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rob Portman (OH) and Marco Rubio (FL) are in the vice-presidential mix.
GOP operatives have often mentioned Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; Rob Portman of Ohio; and Marco Rubio of Florida, as potential running mates for the eventual GOP nominee in 2016. Here's the problem: The trio is up for re-election in competitive states in 2016. If one of them is selected for the No. 2 spot, Republicans would risk losing the Senate seat - and possibly, control of that chamber.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, former National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman, doesn't believe that will happen.
Sen. Ayotte and Sen. Portman and Sen. Rubio are great senators who are highly regarded, respected and very supported by their voters at home," [..] Moran [..] told CQ Roll Call Thursday. "It would be unlikely for the presidential candidate to choose someone, a Republican senator, if that senator was going to be replaced by a Democrat."
Even though Republicans hold 55 seats in the upper chamber - a 5 seat majority - the difficult political landscape they face next year makes every seat critical if they are to retain their control in 2017. Picking a senator from a vulnerable state does seems like a foolish choice - but that doesn't mean it's a choice that won't be made. In electoral politics, it wouldn't be the first time a Republican chose poorly.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:58pm 02/09/15 :: link
Today's news that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would forego a third run for the White House caused me to recalibrate Election Projection's first preliminary presidential projections of the 2016 election cycle. Since the Republican and Democratic candidates in these early projections are based on who is leading their respective primary fields, my initial matchup was Romney vs. Hillary Clinton.

Romney's announcement rendered those numbers impossible. The new GOP poll leader is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and the first numerical look at the 2016 Presidential Election features a Bush-Clinton contest (deja-vu?).

As I mentioned last weekend, Clinton's poll numbers are overwhelming in both the Democratic nomination race and against all GOP competitors in general election tests. Clinton's lead in my first projections, therefore, is substantial. She is projected to win 15 more electoral votes than President Obama in 2012 for a commanding 347-191 EV advantage over Bush. She is projected to add North Carolina to the list of states carried by Obama 4 years ago.

You might be wondering how I came up with these projections. Well, let me explain. Obama's margin of victory in the popular vote last time around was 3.8%. So far this year, Hillary Clinton is polling 9.0% ahead of Jeb Bush, an increase of 5.2%. To arrive at these new season's preliminary projections, I simply shifted the popular vote in each state by 5.2% in Clinton's favor. The ratings you see on the summary page reflect that shift.

As the polls change, of course, the numbers will too. But here at Election Projection, if another candidate takes the lead in their party's primary polls, the general election contenders will also change.

Filed under:  2016 Presidential Election 
posted by Scott Elliott at 9:59pm 01/30/15 :: link
I wanted to post a quick update on my progress as I continue crunching the numbers and developing pages for the 2016 Presidential Election. The polls at this obscenely early juncture in the next year's race for the White House favor Hillary Clinton from top to bottom. Much to my own chagrin and that of my conservative friends, that fact will be more than evident in the upcoming revelation of Election Projection's first preliminary projections.

If you followed EP for long, you'll know that the intent of my projections is to identify how the election would turn out - if it were held today. And the truth is that the polls indicate a major Clinton landslide if the election were to be held in late January, 2015. We all know, however, that the election is still 21 months away.

I'm still a few days away from completing the 2016 Pesidential Election summary page, but I will be working diligently to publish it as soon as possible.

Filed under:  2016 Presidential Election 
posted by Scott Elliott at 3:13pm 01/24/15 :: link
Program note: I'm working behind the scenes to build all the pages EP will need for the 2016 election season. This will be an ongoing process over the next several weeks. During this period you may encounter broken links or incomplete or stale information as I bring all the pages online. I will publish the state-by-state summary page for the presidential election first, hopefully tomorrow evening. Other summary pages will come next followed by individual state pages.
Filed under:  Website Administration 
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:04pm 01/21/15 :: link
In 2008, Hillary Clinton, former senator and first-lady, began the primary season as the odds on favorite to win the Democratic nomination. With George W. Bush's approval in the 30's and Republican fatigue at high levels, Clinton's primary victory promised to provide an easier than normal path to the White House.

Then came Senator Barack Obama, and before long, Hillary faded into the background amid a sweeping rush of Obamamania. Now, approaching 8 years later, Clinton again dominates the Democratic primary discussion. Polls have her way out in front of all comers on the Democratic side. CNN/Opinion Research's latest put her lead at 57 points of other potential candidates, none of which could even break out of single digits.

Despite doubts among some observers - including The Blogging Caesar - signs point to Hillary getting into the race. Some are looking for a March announcement noting that she has paid speeches on the schedule up to March 19. If she does run, I can't imagine anyone coming close to wresting the nomination away from her. Moreover, she clearly has, in my opinion, the best chance for victory in the general election of any of the Democrats mentioned as possible candidates.

But, for the sake of completeness, let's consider who would be in the running should Hillary surprise and decline to run. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice-president Joe Biden are two who seem to be most attractive to Democratic voters at this early stage. The rest appear to be the type of candidates who run for a while, run out of money and support, and drop out. These include Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

With the possible exception of Cuomo's, the campaign of none of the latter list should gain much traction. And if Hillary runs, look for the entire Democratic nominating process to be but a formality on the way to her selection.

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:43pm 01/12/15 :: link
The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held next year in Cleveland, Ohio, a staunch Democratic city in a pivotal battleground state. Republican leadership is looking at a late-June, early-July timeframe, thinking an earlier conclusion to primary season would afford their nominee more opportunity to focus on the Democratic opponent.

But who will be their nominee? The field is expectedly unsettled with a plethora of potential candidates mulling runs. Big names, such as Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, are all in the early discussion. Others, like Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and John Bolton seem long shots at the moment but are nevertheless on some people's radar.

Larry Sabato has the early handicapping story over at the Crystal Ball. He recently elevated Mr. Bush - yes, the son of POTUS 41 and the brother of POTUS 43 - to very wobbly frontrunner status. Sabato remarks that a third Bush presidency in just over a generation would be unprecedented in American history.

It would also be highly unlikely to occur in my view. The challenge of getting Americans to vote for a third Bush would be too daunting. The GOP will be much better served to pick someone - anyone - other than a member of the Kennebunkport clan. But who that might be is anyone guess.

Next up, I'll take a first cursory look at the 2016 Democratic nomination possibilities. Then, we'll look more in depth at the individuals assembling to grab their parties' endorsement for the next President of the United States.

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:27pm 01/08/15 :: link
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Election Projection opens 2015 with promises of earlier and more frequent posts about the 2016 elections. Tracking will begin much earlier than in previous years - what off-season? - so stay tuned for a steady stream of politics and election news for the 2016 election season.
Filed under:  Website Administration 
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:00pm 01/04/15 :: link
After a very close result on Election Day that required a mandatory recount, Republican Martha McSally can now rest easy. She did indeed defeat incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and earn the GOP's 16th official pickup in the House against just three lost seats. This result means the balance of power for the upcoming session of Congress will be 247 Republicans, 188 Democrats. No congress has had more Republicans since 1930.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:09pm 12/18/14 :: link
The recount in the razor-close race between incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally is winding down. The only remaining item is a sample hand recount in 5% of polling places scheduled to begin on Monday, December 15 at 9AM. Once that is complete, we'll still have to wait until the Arizona Secretary of State's office certifies the results before knowing if McSally has kept her advantage and sealed her victory. The first vote count gave her a 161-vote margin over Barber, an edge that remained unchanged after the machine recount concluded.
posted by Scott Elliott at 3:26pm 12/13/14 :: link
Despite her performance in last month's general election in which Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu won a plurality of the vote, the incumbent's prospects for retaining the seat for Democrats look mighty dim. Republican challenger Bill Cassidy enjoyed a small pre-election lead in polls testing a two-way race between him and Landrieu, but that lead has ballooned to double-digits in the run up to the runoff.

Election Projection's final calculation projects the Louisiana Senate runoff will go to Cassidy by 15.7%, a Solid GOP Gain. A Cassidy victory would be the GOP's 9 takeover in the upper chamber and finalize their newly-earned majority at 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Looking ahead to 2016 and the difficult environment which will face Republicans in two year, this race could be critical in determining who holds the majority in the Senate come 2017. It will be much easier for the GOP to hold the majority with a 3-seat cushion than with just 2 seats to give. For this reason, I'm surprised Democratic operatives and special interests did not throw more money into Landrieu's defense.

Check back later this evening for a link to the returns.

Update:  You can track the returns here as they come in this evening. Polls close at 9PM EST.

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:59pm 12/06/14 :: link
As election night came to a close, Republican challenger Martha McSally held a very thin lead over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber in the Arizona 2nd District Election. On November 5, her lead was just 36 votes. The trickle of votes in the days following Election Days favored McSally at first, but then Barber began to cut into her expanded advantage. With all votes counted, McSally continues to lead, but by a very tenuous 133-vote margin.

That advantage, finalized on December 1, remains despite a suit filed by Barber to allow a small number of additional votes to be added. The next step, since McSally's edge is far too small to declare her the winner, is an official recount, the first ever for an Arizona congressional election. Election officials foresee the recount concluding by December 16. But the drama of this nail biter might not be over then.

The counties told Bennett they would likely be able to have all the ballots counted by Dec. 16. When they finish, Bennett's office will send the results to the Maricopa County Superior Court judge, who will verify the end of the election and announce the final count results.

That may not be the end of the process, because the candidates, political parties or individual voters could file suits in court challenging the results, or the ballots that were or were not counted in the election. This could delay final results.

If McSally holds on, the GOP will earn its 13th and final net gain in the House. Otherwise the final House count will be Republicans +12. Election Projection's 2014 House election numbers projected an 11-seat Republican gain.
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:40pm 12/02/14 :: link
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