- It is early to take polls as honest predictors of the outcome
- Polls I read say many voters, while stating a preference, have not finally made up their minds, a key finding
- The electorate is angry and wants a change to what goes on in Washington. They are expressing that anger now. How that is expressed when votes are actually cast is another question
- Jeb Bush is falling further and further behind but don’t count him out
Trump and Carson are the flavors of the month(s) – although I think Dr. Carson has more staying power because the true evangelical voters in the party really like what he says. He has a “base” that he will keep for a while. Trump does not. As soon as folks see he is an empty vessel when it comes to what he wants to do as president, other than “make America great again,” be a marvelous negotiator and do “great things” for women, Hispanics and others, despite what he says about them, he will fade. Carson maybe not such since he does speak to an evangelical demographic, though he speaks in words and thoughts that offend so many other Americans.
Jeb has to get out of his apparent doldrums. Stop sounding like he wants to pick up his marbles and go home and show the electorate that he really wants to be president. If he does that, he’ll be the nominee. If he doesn’t, he will not be. In that case I look to Marco Rubio or John Kasich to be the nominee.
It’s three months before a vote will be cast. What’s going on now is preparation for the voting that will start in Iowa. You’re not seeing what is going on on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, where organizations matter to get your voters to the polls/caucuses. From what I read, Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz are putting together the best organizations. And don’t count on that Iowa vote to tell you how Jeb is doing either. He was never expected to do well in Iowa because he isn’t a hard-core conservative. His dad finished third in Iowa in his successful bid for the nomination in 1988, behind Pat Roberson and Bob Dole. His brother won in 2000 and/but he was considered a “true” conservative, important to that state's caucus voters . Organizations matter and Jeb has a good one, so does Sen. Cruz who is hoping to coalesce the right-wing vote especially with Scott Walker out of the race.
Trump makes for good copy and, more importantly in this day and age, he gets good ratings on TV, and Twitter, evidenced by the fact that he needs to spend little of his own fortune because he gets so much free publicity. It helps when you can get away with saying outrageous things. Jeb is not as good on TV, not as flashy or flamboyant, then again neither is anyone else in either party. And most of us don’t want a flamboyant president, we want a leader who is trustworthy and we can have confidence in.
It seems Hillary Clinton has a near-lock on the Democratic nomination – but she is capable of blowing up at any moment. She hasn’t performed well in the lead in her history but comes from behind well, as she has demonstrated yet again in the last couple of weeks. If she is the nominee, though, neither Trump nor Carson can beat her. Jeb can.
It’s still a long way from Tipperary and the Iowa caucuses.