Debates, Candidates and Polls

The third Republican Debate is coming soon on October 28th on CNBC. The amount of candidates still in the running will force a JV debate to occur once again. I came across a few interesting pieces on FiveThirtyEight. One of these highlights who might be in the JV debate or who may not make it. It seems that Lindsey Graham may not make it to the debate stage at all.

CANDIDATE CNBC’S POLL AVERAGE FOR THE DEBATE
Donald Trump 23.8%
Ben Carson 18.7
Carly Fiorina 9.5
Marco Rubio 9.3
Jeb Bush 8.3
Ted Cruz 7.2
Mike Huckabee 3.5
Chris Christie 3.2
John Kasich 3.2
Rand Paul 3.0
Rick Santorum 0.7
Bobby Jindal 0.5
George Pataki 0.3
Jim Gilmore 0.0
Lindsey Graham 0.0

These are the polling numbers as averaged by CNBC. The rules for this debate are that you need to have at least one percent in of the national polls.  Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham both have big zeros. I have never heard of Jim Gilmore. So who cares? However, Lindsey Graham seem to perform strong in the last debate.  So I am a little surprised that he might fall off the debate stage. (Not literally) I just want to comment on how interesting this chart actually is.  It shows a good rundown of each candidate is doing. Of course, Trump is leading with Carson trailing by about 5 points.  My horse (candidate) in the race is doing good old 3 percent. Typical for a libertarian conservative.  Unfortunately, the best candidates aren’t even close to the top. Moving on…

I found another interesting piece on fivethirtyeight call “Stop Comparing Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders”. I recommend reading it. The quick summary of it is that Trump will not have staying power or experience to win a republican nomination. Meanwhile, Sanders is a veteran of politics and has a better staff and more experience. They also point out that Trump is going up against a large field of candidates. Bernie only has one to two opponents, one being Hillary Clinton. If Joe Biden were to run then he would have two. It’s a really interesting narrative to look at despite the vast differences.

I think that the author, Nate Sliver is correct in saying that they should be compared. However, despite their huge differences in one-one political experience, they are microcosms of their respective parties. Let’s first take Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a self proclaimed Socialist. He votes democratic on nearly on bill. He is a Washington insider being a senator since 1991.  He has been in politics his whole life. The democratic offers much of the same with each candidate. If you look at Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or even some of the other candidates they all have years of political experience. This is what the democratic party is basically brought to the election. Now contrast their candidate profiles against the profiles of the leading Republican candidates.  Donald Trump is a business man. Never run an election campaign. Trump has never been in politics. He is an outsider. The same could be said for second place Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. All the candidates with political experience like Jeb, Cruz, Rubio, and Paul are all failing to get voter traction.

Of course, this a generalization of all candidates so its bound to have inaccuracies. But my point is that each party is aiming something different with the candidates put forward. It seems to me that typically the parties will go against in each other or in the opposite direction. Republicans want an outsider to win the Presidency. Democrats want an insider to win the Presidency. As a libertarian, I see that their both after the same thing, control. It doesn’t matter who becomes President from what party because either way its given that congress will be elected mostly in the opposite party.

I have talked about Congress and their ability to stop bills from making any progress. Congress also makes the government seemingly non-productive. People always wonder why President Obama turns to executive actions? Congress refuses to help him pass anything. So in a way I can’t blame Obama for using executive orders. (although I may disagree with the laws that are passed) I think that regardless of who wins this election, we should really look at congress. I can only hope that if an republican gets elected that their will be a republican controlled congress and vice versa. Otherwise I believe that things will continue to be as they are.

Let’s face the reality that comparing Sanders and Trump may be futile as many doubt they will get the nomination. Not to say that Sanders cannot overcome Clinton. Also not saying that Trump could gain staying power. Stranger things have happened in elections.

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I always look forward to these debates. I remember last election watching Obama and Mitt Romney debate. I thought it was the most intellectually entertaining event. Right now, I feel like the Republican debates are just a circus because of sheer number of candidates. So I’m hoping that maybe a few will drop out between now and next year. Its hard to make good predictions and comparisons with so many candidates. Its also hard to gauge who is doing good and bad. I found that with the dem debate it was easier to see who was doing well and who was falling on their face. Also a smaller number of candidates means more focus on issues. (With Republicans this is a shaky point)

***

Looking to do a historical piece about an past election. Obviously it will require some research. So keep on the look out for it. I want to see if theres any historical precedent for this election. With 44 presidents there has been a lot of races. If you have any suggestions on what I should write then drop me a line gsmit006@plattsburgh.edu.

Thanks for Reading!!!!

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