Well, the tone of Election 2016 has shifted dramatically following the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13. It almost makes any of the polls and discussions at the forefront of the political news irrelevant because in a month and a half, unless there is another significant terrorist attack in the West, the raw emotions and high drama being manipulated by the GOP nominees will have subsided.
Terrorist attacks bring about the most irrational part of people's fears. Blatant xenophobia, racism, and religious discrimination suddenly seem acceptable. And the blowhards run with it. You have Donald Trump, King Media Opportunist of the crowd scoring touchdown after touchdown with his base. Marco Rubio referred to the attacks as a "positive development", thinking of how it could be spun to get people scared and thinking in fear once again.
After all, it was the post-9/11 fear that led to the ill-informed invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act and other things that people a decade later were really scratching their heads about.
So, it's no surprise that Hillary Clinton loses every head to head matchup with most Republican candidates right now. So does Bernie Sanders. It's the age-old adage that Republicans are better to deal with terror and war (although I would say look at Obama's Presidency; no major attacks on the homeland under his watch). This too shall pass. It's a snapshot in time that more than any other thing, does not reflect where things will be later.
Hillary still has a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders. NO, this is NOT where Barack Obama was at this time in the race with Hillary Clinton in 2007/2008. They were maybe 10 points away nationally and 5ÔÇô8 percentage points in most of the early states. It was not as distant as this one is.
Hillary remains solid in Iowa. Bernie has weakened in New Hampshire, but a win there still seems very possible. The Real Clear Politics average has Hillary ahead there but there is a weird Gravis Marketing poll in there that had Clinton 21 points ahead of Sanders. I've no idea where that comes from, it is not in the ballpark of any other poll done in the Granite State. I think it's that poll that is making Clinton average a lead in the polls for N.H.
As I've said before, there is no clear path to the nomination for Bernie Sanders, but at least he is still around keeping things a little interesting.
The Ben Carson sleepy first place rise seems to be diminishing, and Donald Trump can thank the Paris attacks for that. A lot of the media has been focusing on Trump and Carson, but as I look at poll after poll in the last 2 weeks of November, I see a trend.
The trend that is happening is that if you add the percentages of candidates support OTHER than Trump and Carson, it equals or exceeds Trump & Carson's support TOGETHER.
Here are some examples:
A November 22nd Fox News poll showed the break down like this:
A November 19 Bloomberg Poll broke down like this:
November 19th PPP poll:
The OTHER thing is, what happens if/when Fiorina, Christie, Pataki, Santorum, Graham, Paul. Kasich, and Huckabee finally throw in the towel? Where do the supporters go? Probably not to Donald Trump. Donald Trump has his base. And even more interesting would be what if Ben Carson finally says that final dumb thing that make people realize he's not quite ready for prime time. Where would his followers go?
It's real easy to fall for the media obsession over Trump as the defacto nominee, but all it takes is the supporters of the other candidates to be rearranged and you have a new situation. This could happen as soon as New Hampshire. That's when this race gets real interesting, around February. Who will still be standing then? How long does Ben Carson stay in?
That's it for this monthÔÇªI'll be back before the end of December for my monthly analysis of the polls and media cycles for Election 2016.