Now that we’re all filled with Thanksgiving cheer, it’s time to drop the pretenses and get back to the messy business of politics. We’re just about sixty days out from the first votes being cast in the Iowa caucuses and the race will start to kick into high gear in December. As it stands now, Hillary Clinton is still running away with the Democratic nomination while the Republican establishment seems bent on knocking Donald Trump off the top spot on the GOP side.
Here’s a little calendar of debates in December to bring you back into the political swing:
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
CNN Republican Debate from Las Vegas
Saturday, December 19, 2015
ABC News Democratic Debate from New Hampshire
Report on the Democratic standings in Iowa from CNN:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leads her competition among Iowa Democrats, but likely caucus-goers believe Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for the economy, a new poll says.
About half of likely Democratic caucus-goers — 51% — said they support Clinton, compared to 42% for Sanders and just 4% for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
The results mark very little change from a similar survey released October 23.
Most of those surveyed said they believe Clinton (85%) has a better shot than Sanders (54%) at defeating a Republican candidate, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement accompanying the poll results.
About 47% of the Democrats polled said Sanders would best handle the economy, while 42% said they believed Clinton would.
The interesting number there is that 47% of Democratic caucus voters agree with Sanders on the economy, yet they don’t think he really has a shot in the general election. Hillary is still on very solid ground though she has drifted a little further left during the process than she had likely originally planned on.
Report on the Republican side in Iowa from KCCI:
Ben Carson has fallen to third place in Iowa, allowing for Sen. Ted Cruz to sail past the former neurosurgeon to become Donald Trump’s primary rival.
A Qunnipiac University poll shows Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, is leading the pack with 25 percent support among likely Iowa caucusgoers.
Cruz, who is visiting Iowa this weekend, trails the business mogul by two points.
Cruz said his conservative credentials will lure Republican voters to the poll come November 2016.
The Texas senator said he plans to work “to bring together conservatives and evangelicals and libertarians, to bring together young people, Hispanics” and “to bring together African-Americans, women and Reagan Democrats.”
Ted Cruz is starting his run in Iowa with a strategy to boomerang into South Carolina and several other southern states. New Hampshire is where he’ll struggle, especially considering that the New Hampshire Union-Leader, an influential newspaper in the state, endorsed Chris Christie last week.
For Trump and Cruz to be separated by only two percent tells me that the real estate mogul is losing a little ground in Iowa, perhaps from evangelical voters who see Cruz has having strong credentials when it comes to faith and social issues. It’s going to be a tight race and the mood could shift at the upcoming GOP debate on December 15.