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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jeb Bush is in!

The 2016 Presidential candidate selection process will be very exciting. Every day new Democrats and Republicans look in the mirror and ask themselves "Can I be President of the United States?"

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush did that today and decided the answer is "Yes. I should run and I can offer American voters something other Republicans can't"

Here is his announcement that he is now seriously looking into running

This is a decision that will change the dynamic of candidate jostling for a place in line. I describe this as the "Black Friday" of the Iowa caucuses. Just like the crowds of shoppers we have a huge number of presidential wannabes jamming the door of the political entryway. The door is now opening and we will see the contenders rushing in to make their case.

I was asked if Jeb Bush has a chance in conservative Republican Iowa "caucusland." My questionsare:

"Would the former Massachusetts Republican governor have a chance in Iowa?"
"Would a Republican governor who is socially moderate have a chance at winning the Iowa Caucuses?"
"Would a Republican governor who proposed and got passed a "universal" healthcare law passed in his state have a chance of winning the Iowa caucuses and getting the GOP nomination?"

Well you know the answer.


The name is Mitt Romney who was declared DOA - dead on arrival - as he declared his candidacy for President. He was too liberal, as Gov of Massachusetts he had no chance in conservative Iowa. 

Yet he tied for and won the Iowa caucuses and went on to get the party nomination for President in 2010.

Jeb Bush brings experience as governor of Florida, one of the largest and most dynamic states in the country. He is widely seen as being able to reach across the political isle to get support from independent (no party) voters. Of all the potential 2016 Republican contenders he is best positioned to appeal to Hispanic/Latino voters. That's a value the Republicans know can make a big difference in winning the White House as his brother George W. Bush proved.

So, the 2016 caucus and primary season will be more interesting with both a Bush and a Clinton running for President. It's almost like yesterday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Caucuses are Coming!


Rick Santorum has indicated that he’s setting up an exploratory committee for the 2016 race for the White House.

Exploratory!? What the heck! That basically means he is going to run for President.

I was asked by reporter Salena Vito of the Trib newspaper in Philadelphia if I though that the former PA Senator had a chance to do well in Iowa.

Of course I think that the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses is a natural to come back for a second or third try! He has a solid conservative Christian base in Iowa. he has a devoted campaign organization that can be quickly reactivated. He has an excellent chance of coming in 1, 2, or 3 in the 2016 caucuses, which is where you need to be to have a chance at the nomination. If the "other" winner of the caucuses and GOP candidate for President Mitt Romney can be the current frontrunner then surely Santorum has an excellent shot at the golden ring.

Also, since according to the national news media, big GOP donors want an early front runner to avoid the costly and bloody bash-fest of the last caucus season declaring early and going for the other contenders throat will be an advantage this political season.

The 2016 Iowa caucuses are an incredibly exciting proposition.

“In you're opinion, who would be the top three endorsements from Iowa for Democratic candidates and top three coveted endorsements for Republican candidates?”

My answers were:

Democrats. Tom Harkin because Dems still love him. Tom Vilsack because he is successful and still a "winner". Congressman Dave Loebsack. He's one of the only currently politically successful Democrats in Iowa so he has the "magic juice" which may be crucial to the Democrat who wants to get the nomination and also win the general election. Hillary needs to have lunch with David because she thinks she's the cat's meow but his advice would be helpful.

Republicans. Number one is Terry Branstad because "he da man", the most incredibly Teflon coated governor for life. But he will not endorse anyone!!  A second number one is Senator Joni Ernst who has charisma such as I have rarely seen in Iowa politics.  Obviously Congressman Steve King of Kiron. King represents a powerful Tea Party conservative wing of the party. This cycle  he plans to literally become a "kingmaker" with his candidate forum. I think AJ Spiker is the third guy to watch because he is so central to Rand Paul's bid for the White House.

As I said, the 2016 elections will be absolutely exciting because there is no incumbent running for President so it’s a free for all political dream for a political scientist like me.

I hope YOU will also get a scorecard or “brackets” and start following all the diverse people who think they can do a better job than Obama. Get information about my free Iowa Caucuses Internet class in the fall of 2015.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Breaking Iowa Caucus News!

This political season it seems there are new, exciting, and important changes happening even two years before the First in the Nation Iowa Political Caucuses.

First, the Iowa Republican Party has implemented a neutrality policy. Jennifer Jacobs of the des Moines Register writes, "

To ward off controversies over conflicts of interest, the Republican Party of Iowa's leadership committee members have pledged to stay neutral in the Iowa caucuses, party leaders said Wednesday.
"No member of the Republican Party of Iowa state central committee, its officers, or its staff shall publicly endorse a U.S. presidential candidate during the 2016 Iowa caucuses," says the pledge, signed by Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Co-chairman Cody Hoefert and all of the members at a meeting on Nov. 22."

 This is a very significant move intended to make the Iowa Caucuses fair and attractive to all Republican Presidential aspirants. That is crucial because "biased" caucuses discourage full participation.

Second, "No Labels, the non-partisan group aimed at breaking up gridlock in Washington, is advancing its effort to organize in Iowa with a plan to join the issues discussion surrounding the 2016 presidential caucuses," writes Kathie Obradovich.

Obradovich correctly asks whether a group that pushes non-partisan and bi-partisan dialog on the big issues facing the nation can expect a highly partisan event like the Iowa Caucuses to actually be a place for none partisan discussion.

She adds, "The group is hoping to get at least one presidential candidate to sign on to a national agenda built around goals related to a balanced federal budget, job creation and energy security. Along the way, the group wants to foster public discussions on how to achieve the goals. The group will hold town hall meetings and grill presidential candidates on the issues. The national strategic agenda would be unveiled in October 2015."

 Third, I was struck by the headline "Newt Gingrich Returns to Iowa." The former Speaker of the House and 2012 Presidential candidate has indicated that he is NOT interested in running for President in 2016. However, my experience is that if pushed, invited, and encouraged to do so he will say yes in a New York , or let's say a Cedar Rapids minute!

 "Gingrich said he wants to ensure that ideas for how to fight radical Islamists and stay competitive with China and Russia are part of the national debate in the 2016 presidential race — in both the GOP nomination battle and with the Democrats in the general election."

Stay tuned because I know that the 2016 Caucuses are going to be very interesting and in some respects different from previous events.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Sign up for our forthcoming Presidential Caucuses Internet class

We are planning a free Internet class on the 2016 Presidential Caucuses. Please go to this web site and we will put you down as interested. NO OBLIGATION.

The 2016 race for the White House will be one of the most exciting and tension-filled contests in decades. The Republicans have a field of at least 24 potential candidates. (see link below) 

The Democrats have a CLEAR front runner in Hillary Clinton.

How will this all shake out?

Will Clinton be challenged in the caucuses and primaries? If so who will be the most powerful challenger?

Mitt Romney is currently the GOP front runner. The problem is he has said he will NOT run!

If not Romney then which of the 23 or more other potential contenders will rise to the top?

In our FREE Iowa Caucuses MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Fall 2016 we will explore the origins and highlights of the Presidential Caucuses.  We will have a dynamic on-line discussion forum where we want your opinions and insights. Sign up here.