Aug. 7, 2015 — Over the past few weeks, VermontUniversity of New Hampshire has drawn great crowds on the presidential campaign trail while basking in nonstop media attention. But the increased activity and notice had not translated into meaningful ballot test movement against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
A new Granite State Poll release from the University of New Hampshire and the state’s top television news station (WMUR-TV channel 9; July 22-30; 722 New Hampshire adults; 276 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters) suggests that Sanders may now be closing the polling gap. Climbing to within six points of Clinton, the Vermont Senator trails her 42-36 percent, suggesting a further possible erosion of the front-runner’s status.
In the past month or so things have continued to trend downward for the former Secretary of State and First Lady, particularly relating to her favorability index. With Sanders now potentially securing a foothold in New Hampshire, directly adjacent to his Vermont political base, the race has the appearance of becoming more precarious for her.
Aug. 5, 2014 — The first joint 2016 presidential event occurred Monday night at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH. Managing a record-high 14 candidates, the forum was well organized and brought more policy discussion than we see in most programs of this type. All Republican contenders but Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and ex-Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore participated.
As publicized, Trump did not attend because of his anger at the main sponsoring organization, the Manchester Union Leader, for what he described as their unfair treatment toward him. It was reported at the end of the debate that Huckabee was not included because he responded after the inclusion deadline. Ex-Gov. Gilmore, who just announced his candidacy last week, became a candidate too late to be invited to this particular forum.
Each candidate was separately interviewed, and then given a short amount of time to speak about whatever subject they desired. The moderator, local New Hampshire radio host Jack Heath, was strong because he simply asked the question and backed away, thus giving each candidate a chance at providing unencumbered answers.
Aug. 4, 2015 — Just after the first two 2016 presidential debates, the media coverage will undoubtedly center on the candidates and the plethora of public polls that will test public response. But, there is another important process facet that won’t receive any attention: the voting schedule and delegate allocation.
As the campaign now begins to unfold in earnest, it is clear that the Democratic nomination is headed Hillary Clinton’s way. Though she has serious flaws as a national candidate, her weaknesses are not a particular factor before her own party’s electorate.
National polls consistently show her barely ahead of several Republican candidates, and having major problems convincing the general electorate of her honesty, trustworthiness, and whether she cares about the average voter. Yet, these negatives do not appear to be dissuading the Democratic primary voters.
July 31, 2015 –Public Policy Polling surveyed the Illinois electorate (July 20-21; 931 registered Illinois voters; 409 likely Illinois Democratic primary voters; 369 likely Illinois Republican primary voters) and found each party spinning the Senate numbers very differently.
According to the data, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-8) scores a 42-36 percent edge over incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R). Democrats obviously are claiming that Kirk is one of the weakest of GOP senators standing for election next year since their challenger already holds an outright lead. The data indicates that Duckworth and the Democrats are taking advantage of a series of gaffes that the first-term incumbent recently uttered. Republicans, on the other hand, point to the fact that Kirk is only six points down. They argue that his negatives from the controversial statements will only have a short-term effect.
Kirk also finds himself in upside-down job approval territory, notching a poor 25:42 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. Rep. Duckworth, on the other hand, records a 34:23 percent positive score. Though the non-responding/refused to answer factor (43 percent) is high for the Duckworth question, her total name identification is strong for a lone House member in a large population state.
July 30, 2015 — In the past few days, media analysts have been talking up the idea that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could actually overtake and defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. There is no doubt Clinton is free falling while Sanders moves upwards — some say he’s surging, but that is an overstatement – yet, the former Secretary of State and First Lady’s lead remains secure. One only needs to check Democratic Party nomination rules for verification that she is still the prohibitive favorite.
An article from Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin for Bloomberg Politics suggests that Sanders could actually win the nomination, providing seven specific reasons to support his argument. Yesterday, Gallup released their new data (July 8-21; 2,374 adults, 966 adults who identify with the Democratic Party) that finds Clinton’s favorability index moving into upside-down territory (43:46 percent positive to negative) while Sanders is doubling his positive ID based upon a comparison from their previous survey.
Now, let’s return to earth. Halperin argues that it would be a defeat for Clinton to only top Sanders 2:1 in the early states. Such a result would allow the self-described socialist to continue his campaign, because the media will write this scenario as a Sanders’ win. But, the writer overlooks one fundamental point in building for a nomination victory: the delegate count.