It’s pretty stunning to think that in ninety short days we’ll already be a month into 2016 and ready for caucus voting to begin in Iowa. A lot has changed since the start of 2015, I doubt few if any would have predicted Donald Trump would be fighting Ben Carson for the top spot on the Republican side, but, here we are. On the Democratic side, things are going nearly according to plan for Hillary Clinton who has continued to maintain high poll numbers against her Democratic rivals despite a few dips here and there.
Report from The Hill:
With just 90 days left before the Iowa caucuses, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is wide open — and the party appears to be losing control of the process.
The last 48 hours have been characterized by efforts from the campaigns to negotiate new rules for future televised debates, with dissatisfaction being voiced against the Republican National Committee (RNC) almost as much as against the media.
The complaints about the RNC are another manifestation of the restless mood that has catapulted businessman Donald Trump and retired surgeon Ben Carson to the top of the polls, despite the fact that neither man has ever held elected office.
Many in the party believe that both are destined to crash and burn before winning the nomination. If they do not do so, skeptics warn, either candidate is a near-certain loser to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a general election.
But critics of Trump and Carson have been predicting their demise for months.
The fluidity of the race was underlined Monday when Florida Sen. Marco Rubio surged into third place in New Hampshire in new polls as his competitor and onetime mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, slid to sixth place. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is also on the rise, taking third place in a recent poll out of Iowa.
It’s true, the Trump campaign has “collapsed” a dozen time since June, each time the predictions never seem to pan out. Carson is on a similar trajectory, seeming to have built a strong floor in polling which only seems to keep growing. Rubio is beginning to make a move, as is Ted Cruz, and they’ll begin making waves in the next couple debates I’d imagine.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue trading leads in New Hampshire, however, the former Secretary of State has taken the top spot in the latest, from CNN:
With the Democratic presidential field narrowed to three, Hillary Clinton is back at the front of the pack in New Hampshire — but has just a 3-point lead.
A new Monmouth University poll of New Hampshire Democrats released Tuesday shows Clinton edging out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders if the election were held today, 48%-45%. A September survey by Monmouth showed Sanders leading Clinton 43%-36%, but it also included Vice President Joe Biden, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb in the survey — all three of whom have since announced that they were either dropping out or not running.
The new numbers come as Sanders prepares to formally file for president in New Hampshire on Thursday. The state, adjacent to his Vermont home base, was one of the first to register the summer surge for Sanders and expose signs of weakness for Clinton. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey taken October 14-15 was the first since August to show Clinton re-taking the lead in New Hampshire.
At three points, it’s basically a statistical tie. However, the fact that it’s so close probably doesn’t bode well for Bernie Sanders. If he’s going to win, he’s going to have to have a sizable lead and a tie is probably going to cut towards Hillary as voters come home to the presumptive nominee.
It’s been an interesting ten months, and as Election Day 2015 comes to a close, we look ahead to a year from now when America selects a new president. We’ve got a good ride ahead of us, buckle up.