There are several Republicans, and a few Democrats, running races in 2014 which will directly impact the playing field in 2016. This piece will examine a few of those races.

1. Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

Scott Walker was cruising to a fairly easy victory just a few months ago yet now finds himself nearly tied with his Democratic opponent. Walker’s name has been floated as a strong 2016 contender with a good record in his state and as a good compromise candidate to bring the establishment and Tea Party wings of the GOP together.

Even President Obama is swooping into Wisconsin hoping to oust Walker from 2016 contention:

President Barack Obama is making a rare appearance on the campaign trail just one week before Election Day in an effort to help a Democratic challenger oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office.

Walker is a top target of Democrats in the midterm elections after he angered organized labor by enacting a measure in 2011 that reduced the power of public sector unions in the state. Obama was scheduled to campaign Tuesday evening with Democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycles executive and state commerce secretary, who is running close against Walker, a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Polls show the race is deadlocked with very few voters undecided, which makes it even more important for Walker and Burke to get their backers to the polls.

Walker might still eek out a victory which would leave his credentials untouched for a possible 2016 run. However, if Walker loses, he’ll be off the national scene and will not have any momentum if he decides to run for President. A loss wouldn’t be career-ending, but it would put him behind Republicans who won re-election, like Chris Christie.

2. Governor Susana Martinez (R-New Mexico)

Unlike Walker in Wisconsin, Susana Martinez is cruising to an easy victory in a state which leans fairly to the left on most issues. Martinez is leading her Democratic opponent by 13 points on average. National Review is predicting that a resounding 10+ point victory will force Martinez on the list of 2016 contenders.

Martinez is winning 50 percent of women (38 percent for the Democrat, King) 40 percent of Hispanics, 52 percent of independents, and 28 percent of Democrats.

All of this is in a state with 600,540 registered Democrats (47 percent) and 401,377 registered Republicans (31 percent).

Susana Martinez is probably going to turn in the Republican party’s biggest win in the least GOP-friendly state in the entire 2014 cycle. A lot of Republicans will be hoping their 2016 nominee or ticket can emulate that ability. [Emphasis added]

I could see Martinez as a strong choice for Vice President. She’s had much more time in the spotlight than Sarah Palin meaning she’s much more battle-hardened.

3. Charlie Crist (D-Florida)

As you may know, Crist used to be the Republican Governor of Florida before switching to identify as an independent for the remaining years of his term until 2011. After a failed run for Senate against Marco Rubio in 2010, Crist is back running as a Democrat for his old job against incumbent Republican Rick Scott.

There are two scenarios here which both affect the 2016 election, specifically in Florida which is an important swing state.

If Crist wins the Governor’s race on Tuesday, he’ll be in a position to campaign heavily against either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio in 2016, perhaps both. Rubio will either run for President or for re-election to the US Senate. Jeb Bush is considering a presidential run. Both of them need Florida but with Crist as Governor, he’ll be working day and night to foil two of his main political foes in the Sunshine State.

On the other hand, if Crist loses, he might consider taking on Rubio for the Senate seat in 2016 which would create an interesting situation of Rubio decides to run for president.

Either way, win or lose, the future of Florida politics will still be going through Charlie Crist for several years to come.

There are more races that affect 2016, of course, please list and discuss others that I missed.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Nate Silver calls for a 63.3% chance of the GOP taking the Senate, with 18% chance of taking 52 seats, 16% chance of taking 53 seats, and 11% chance of taking 54 seats.

    Not so sure a Walker loss wouldn’t be career-ending. Nate Silver had him as a 75% likely winner just a few weeks ago. If he loses, I think he’ll be seen as a “loser.”

    Martinez would be a dream presidential candidate. Imagine how angry Hillary would be–to be out-minoritied again.

    • “Martinez would be a dream presidential candidate. Imagine how angry Hillary would be–to be out-minored again.”

      Good one!

  2. Shhhhh ! #2……….There seems to be no common core between the establishment wing and the Tea Party wing of the republican party. By that I mean a common sense of principles and direction for where the party is heading.

    Despite the hype from Speaker Boehner and the establishment republicans a while back about how out raged they were President Obama is ignoring Congrees with his Executive Action THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS STILL HAVEN’T SUED THE PRESIDENT. According to the Speaker this was a constitutional crisis and they have had enough. Or was it simply more RNC hypocrisy to quiet the right like their fake autopsy report until the election is over?

    The “Politico” article entitled: “Despite Hype , House Still Hasn’t Sued Obama”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/obama-lawsuit-house-republicans-112196.html?hp=t1_3

    • I always thought the lawsuit was a circus sideshow–a way to shut up the Tea Party, a way to derail any attempt at impeachment, a total distraction, and a way to keep the GOP from looking ridiculous. The impeachment of Clinton is not a happy memory for Republicans, except those who don’t care what the public thinks.

      • Goethe:

        You are absolutely right. Knowing him to be untrustworthy from dealing with him in the past I’m SURE NO MEMBER OF THE TEA PARTY took Speaker Boehner at his word to sue the President. Nor do we expect the autopsy to change the way the RNC does things, or the RNC Congress to repeal Obamacare. My post was an attempt to point out the hypocrisy and self serving aspect of the RNC leadership. If they have no intention of attempting legislation don’t lie to us simply to perpetuate your incumbents in office.

        To prove my point while campaigning today Speaker Boehner proclaims that President Bush would’ve punched President Putin in the nose if he invaded the Crimea during his tenure as President. What he fails to point out is in 2008 when George Bush was President he refused to do anything when Putin invaded the Republic of Georgia.

        The article entitled: “Boehner: Bush Would’ve Punched Putin In The Nose For Invading Crimea”

        http://news.yahoo.com/boehner-bush-punch-putin-in-nose-obama-crimea-georgia-105408340.html

  3. File Under Another Lying P.O.S.:

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (r-Ky) said that if republicans take the Senate in November they will “restrain and push back” against an Executive Order by President Obama giving work permits to illegals. This will be accomplished according to the Senator by “trying to control the amount of money allocated “. Hmmm ? Didn’t the Tea Party wing attempt something like this in October 2013 and HIS ESTABLSHMENT WING OF THE PARTY NOT ONLY WERE AGAINST IT BUT RIDICULED THEM IN PUBLIC?

    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/1406/1034/original.jpg

    The Senator then went on to say they also intend to “put Obamacare on the Presidents desk and make him take full ownership”. Pssst ! The Democrats have full ownership since there were NO REPUBLICANS who voted for it.

    From the Breitbart article entitled: “McConnell: We’ll Use Purse Power To Restrain Executive Amnesty”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/10/28/McConnell-Well-Use-Purse-Power-to-Restrain-Executive-Amnesty

    • Boehner & Mitch McConnell — a braggart and a liar.

      Poster scum for Neocons….and nothing else!

      p.s. you poster is so true — same excrement as Obama and Hitlery…all should be kicked out of American and sent to North Korea, where such scum belongs!

    • I thought the earlier funding approach was more wide-ranging, that the public would see as another shut-down. I think McConnell is talking about a very specific shut off of funding to that specific program. Of course, the question is, whether funding is “fungible,” in other words, whether Obama could use money from a different program.

      As for Obamacare, I think the idea of putting a repeal bill on Obama’s desk is what the House said it wanted to do with its 55 votes to repeal. Everybody knows it couldn’t be repealed as long as Obama is president, with or without Senate control. Those 55 votes were high theatre, knowing that nothing would come of it, but allowed them to waste a lot of time, avoiding voting on something else.

      • Cute ! Attempting to get in the last word by waiting and answering 12 days and 9 post later thus making it appear I can’t respond. I can’t be bothered following post this old and your childish strategy. Stay current or don’t bother .

        • Perhaps childish people like you have nothing else to do in life. I’ve been overloaded with work over the past week or two, so I did not open these postings until today. Apologies if you have the authority to set a statute of limitations on responses.

          And I don’t see anything in my post that a reasonable person would object to. First, I asked whether Obama could use funds as a “general fund.” It was just a question of process.

          Nixon tested the opposite of this question, by refusing to spend
          money that Congress had appropriated for a purpose. The question now
          is, if Congress has appropriated money, can they it control the
          execution of the funds, or is that the executive’s job?

          The other point is really just repeating what McConnell has said–that it would be impossible to overturn Obamacare, which our Nate has pointed out, too. Not a new idea here.

          And, that being the case, it’s obvious that those 55 votes were just political theatre. They feel safe to vote on lots of stupid things that couldn’t possibly pass. Your tax dollars at work.

          • On post addressed to me that “I” have to respond to YES I DO HAVE AUTHORITY to set a statute of limitations on. You aren’t the only person I have conversations with nor is this the only site I go on. I have better things to do than pick up a conversation that’s hasn’t been touched in two weeks. Stay current or don’t bother !

  4. Real Americans are waiting for republicans to win the senate so they can impeach Obama!

    When these neo-Cons do win, and fail to do this first thing in 2015 — come 2016 there will be a reckoning!

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