Tag Archives: RealClearPolitics

For Bernie, the going only gets tougher

Bernie Sanders has gotten farther in this presidential race than anyone this side of Tad Devine ever believed. I am among the happy throng that has tried to glass-ceiling the Bernie Insurgency, only to see him smash right through. And I’m prepared to be wrong again, but I firmly believe what I’m about to write.

Bernie Sanders has reached his high point.

And I have the numbers to back that up.

Yes, he finished a strong second to Hillary Clinton in Nevada. Yes, he has one strong win and two narrow losses so far. But when I look at the upcoming primary calendar, I see a lot of bad news in Bernie’s future.

Let’s start with South Carolina, where Clinton has a decisive edge — and Bernie’s own campaign appears to be waving the white flag. They deny it, naturally; but his schedule argues otherwise. South Carolina Democrats vote on Saturday, but Sanders is spending almost the entire week in states that vote on Super Tuesday and beyond.

When asked about his Palmetto prospects, Bernie put on a happy face.

“We came to South Carolina, and, if you look at the polls, we were at 7, 8, 9 percent in the polls. We were 50, 60, 70 points behind. We have waged a very vigorous campaign. We have closed the gap very significantly,” he said.

He said the same thing after losing in Nevada. And it’s true; but it sounds a lot like Marco Rubio claiming victory after the latest loss. At some point, you have to start winning.

Beyond South Carolina, you look at the upcoming contests, and the odds against Bernie become crystal clear. (Like a glass ceiling, heh.)

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Tweeting past the graveyard

Gee, what’s on my Twitter feed this morning? Ah, a fresh bit of puffery from VTGOP Chair David Sunderland!

Fact-checking time!

RealClearPolitics’ average of the top national polls: John Kasich in 10th place with a measly 2.5%.

If that’s a surge, he must have started from negative 10.

Now, if Sunderland is talking New Hampshire specifically, he’s got a bit more ground to stand on. In RCP’s average of NH polls, Kasich is in third place with 10.3%. And he has legitimately “surged” in the Granite State; two months ago, he was down in bottom-feeder territory.

That’s a creditable figure. And a testament to the relatively clear-thinking nature of the NH Republican electorate, which is more interested in frugal, responsible government (and less interested in fact-free, over-the-top rhetoric) than Republicans nationwide.

In short, Sunderland got it right if he meant a very localized surge. But nationally? Kasich’s going nowhere.

The evidence of things not seen

Several Republican presidential candidates, previously characterized as “top-tier,” have been withering away under the reflected glare of the Donald Trump campaign, or whatever it is. One of those unfortunates is Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky. Previously, he looked like someone who could bridge the chasm between the GOP’s nuttier precincts and the mainstream. Now, he looks like someone who’s fallen into that chasm, his poll numbers barely above Rick Perry/Bobby Jindal territory. (RealClearPolitics’s averaging of recent polls: Paul in 10th place with 2.6%. He’s been on a steady downward trajectory since late June, when he briefly topped the field at 13.8%.)

But have no fear, Aqua Buddha fans: State Rep. Paul Dame is here to tell you differently.

It’s no secret that the Republican Party is in need of revitalization. … And while a number of candidates talk a good game about building a “big tent” party, it has been largely empty rhetoric. Everyone agrees that we need to do more – but I only see one candidate for president who is actually DOING it. And that is Rand Paul.

Dame, one of three Vermont lawmakers to endorse Rand Paul, paints an astoundingly rosy picture of his candidate heroically venturing into Democratic* strongholds and converting the unenlightened (read: liberals) to his Libertarian-Lite banner. He is “winning support from minorities” and “young people” and “many independents and even some Democrats.” His recent appearance at a VTGOP fundraiser attracted “nearly 100 people who attended their first-ever Republican fundraiser.” Dame praises Paul’s “boldness” for daring to visit Vermont, as though he had to smash through a Liberal Police checkpoint to get in.

*Well, Dame uses the pejorative “Democrat” formulation, as do most Republicans. It’s “Democratic,” boys.

Reading Dame’s piece, you can see Rand Paul as the contemporary embodiment of the Ayn Rand hero: the granite-jawed Braveheart inspiring the benighted commonfolk with his steely boldness and plain-spoken wisdom.

Yeah, but then you look at those pesky polls and face the fact: Rand Paul is not leading a movement. He is tanking, big-time.

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Failing LiberPublican Settles for Vermont

Wow, what a get.

The Vermont Republican Party today announced that U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul will keynote a fundraiser on Monday, August 31, 2015.

Well, well. Acqua Buddha himself will grace our verdant land. Gosh, I hope he brings his chainsaw.

The VTGOP press release strangely promises “more details on the event… in the coming weeks.” Hey guys, you’ve got less than three weeks ’til go-time. Found a banquet hall yet?

Party Chair David Sunderland praised Senator Paul for coming to Vermont “even though we are not an early primary state.” Which, yeah, but that’s less about Paul’s graciousness and more about his desperation. After entering 2015 as a solid contender, the good Senator has faded badly. RealClearPolitics’ national polling average gives Paul less than six percent support. He’s not disappearing like Rick Perry, but he’s stuck in limbo behind Tea Party-oriented candidates like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and of course Donald Trump.

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