THE IOWA CAUCUS AND
NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY HEAT UP
The presidential campaigns in both major parties are moving
out of low gear in the two states which will vote earliest next
year. Until now, most of the candidates have relied on free media
and the televised debates to promote their causes, but both Iowa
and New Hampshire traditionally require “retail” campaigning
by the candidates themselves with shaking hands, local
appearances, and town meetings. Success in polling until now has
been precipitated by name recognition and news media coverage.
Already a certain volatility in polling has been provoked by those
campaigns whose candidates are both showing up and effective.
TV, cable and radio advertising also now begins in earnest, and
as initiated in 2008 and 2012, nomination campaigns are relying
more and more on social media and GOTV technology. This is
also the time when campaign cash, strategy and organization
begin to count more and more.
FOREIGN POLICY TO COUNT
MORE IN 2016?
Events in the world and domestic terrorist threats are enabling
foreign policy and security issues to become much more important
in the presidential election than is traditional. Perhaps not since
1956 when a takeover of the Suez Canal by the British and French,
and the Soviet invasion of Hungary, occurred just before the
election, will foreign policy issues play such an important role in
NOT SO SAFE SEATS?
It always happens that just before the national elections, certain
U.S. house and U.S. senate seats, earlier thought completely “safe,”
become surprisingly competitive. This naturally occurs when there
are unexpected vacancies and surprise retirements, but often
incumbent gaffes and political blunders enable this to happen.
Although it seems extremely unlikely that Republicans would lose
control of the U.S. house, conventional wisdom about senate seats
could be upended by unpredicted circumstances. In any event,
six to none months from now, the list of “safe” Republican and
Democratic incumbents is likely to change.
Latest polls from New Hampshire show New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie rising to double digits and fourth place among his rivals.
Mr. Christie’s rebound is no accident; he has been campaigning
heavily in the first-in-the-nation primary state, appearing at town
meetings and performing “retail” politics. His favorables are now
the highest among GOP candidates in the state.The governor has
just opened a campaign office in Iowa where his poll numbers have
also previously been low. He is now almost certain to be back on
the stage at the next main Republican debate. Three other GOP
candidates also have made recent gains, including Donald Trump,
Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.