This seems like a slightly awkward topic to write about, but ultimately good news given today's longer life expectancy and improved presidential security.
Today (October 27) is 18,967 days since president John F. Kennedy died in office. This marks the longest such interval in U.S. history. The previous gap of 18,966 days occurred between George Washington's inauguration as the first president on April 30, 1789 and the death of William Henry Harrison, just one month into his term, on April 4, 1841.
The shortest such period was the 3,383 days after John Tyler took over for Harrison; Zachary Taylor died on July 9, 1850.
Eight presidents have died in office; 4 by assassination, 4 by other causes.
It's just one poll, and the result is within the margin of error, but Ben Carson comes out on top in the latest CBS News / New York Times poll of 2016 Republican candidates. Carson received 26%, while Trump saw 22% support. Aside from one poll at the beginning of October (that was an outlier compared to others at that time), Trump has led every national poll since the middle of July. The real estate investor maintains a 4.8% lead in the 270toWin polling average.
Is this new poll another outlier, or a start of a shift? Only time will tell. Carson has taken a more definitive lead in recent Iowa polls, but is not making much headway against Trump in New Hampshire polling. We may be seeing a voter split between states, depending on the composition of the population. Iowa has a much larger percentage of evangelical voters. Given that, it is worth pointing out, as we have done before, that while the national polls are interesting, they are irrelevant in that the choice of a nominee will emerge from individual state primary and caucus events. Iowa and New Hampshire kick off the 2016 election calendar next February.
Returning to the CBS/NYT poll, no other candidate saw over 10% support, with Rubio, Bush and Fiorina filling out the top 5 at 7-8%. Interestingly, Ted Cruz received only 4% support in the poll; he's usually a few points higher. Given their appeal to many of the same voters, it is possible that at least some of Carson's gain could be coming at the Texas Senator's expense.
The third sanctioned Republican presidential debate will take place this Wednesday in that hotbed of conservatism, Boulder, Colorado*. The two-hour debate will be hosted and telecast by CNBC at 8PM ET. As befits that network, the debate will focus on jobs and the economy.
This article recaps what each candidate needs to do to succeed in the debate.
Ten of the fifteen remaining Republicans will participate; listed in order of the latest 270toWin Polling Average: Trump, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Fiorina, Huckabee, Paul, Christie, Kasich.
An earlier forum will include Graham, Jindal, Pataki and Santorum, all polling under 1%. Gilmore was not invited.
* Just kidding on the conservative part; Boulder is one of the more liberal places in the country. Obama defeated Romney in Boulder County by 70-28% in 2012 vs. 51-46% statewide).
Separately, it was announced today that CBS and Twitter will team up for the second Democratic debate, to be held November 14th in Des Moines, Iowa. CBS will telecast the debate, hosted in conjunction with the Des Moines Register. Twitter will provide CBS will real-time data and insights during the debate, as well as questions from voters. This is the first debate where Twitter will have an official presence.
Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee withdrew from the 2016 presidential race today. He made the announcement during a speech at the DNC Women's Leadership Forum.
Chafee was polling poorly and was widely panned for his performance in last week's Democratic debate.
This is the third departure from the Democratic 2016 race this week. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb also withdrew, noting he could return as an independent candidate. Vice President Joe Biden opted not to run.
This leaves 4 declared candidates:
Clinton is well ahead nationally, averaging close to 50% in recent polls. After a drop-off, she has seen her lead increase again over Sanders, who is averaging about 25%. These numbers include the influence of Biden, so they will likely increase for both candidates in the weeks ahead. Both O'Malley and Lessig are polling at less than 1%.
Vice President Joe Biden's announcement that he has decided not to run in 2016 leaves us, at least for the moment, with two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination.
Biden has been polling in the 15-20% range in recent weeks. Where will that support go? We decided to take a look back at recent polls, most of which (conveniently) ask people to make a choice both ways --- if Biden is in, and if he is not.
The table below shows the results:
The short answer is that Clinton picks up much of Biden's voters. Her lead over Sanders moves up 5%, from 21 to 26 points.
Of course, there's a difference between asking people who they would support if Biden wasn't running and actually having to make a choice now that he isn't. We'll need to wait and see if polls taken after today's announcement show the same results.
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb announced the end of his bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination today, while leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.
Webb, the most centrist of the declared Democrats was unable to get much traction, generally polling at 2% or less.
While an independent bid would be unlikely to succeed, Webb could still be a major influence on the general election. His home state of Virginia is one of only four to be decided by 5% or less in 2012, and is widely considered to be a battleground again in 2016.
For more, read this statement from Jim Webb.
Following a solid debate performance, Hillary Clinton is back over 50% support in a new Democratic poll from ABC News & The Washington Post. Clinton's 54% was 12 points better than this same pollster's September survey. Bernie Sanders was at 23%, little changed from September, while Joe Biden lost 5 points and now sits at 16%. As noted yesterday, we expect Biden to run, but his seeming inability to decide may be wearing thin, particularly if Clinton is being perceived as past her recent difficulties.
While not seeing majority support, Clinton's numbers have been ticking up in most recent polls. The 270toWin average now shows her at 48.2%, almost double that of Sanders. The table below shows national polls since the beginning of October. Click or tap the graphic for full details, as well as links to polls from individual states.
The other 4 declared Democratic candidates continue to see miniscule polling numbers. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, unhappy about the time afforded him to speak in last week's debate, has scheduled a news conference for 1PM ET today at the National Press Club. Webb is expected to announce that he is considering leaving the Democratic race and running for president as an independent.
While it is unlikely this would increase his near-term visibility, given the focus on the nomination process, Webb could eventually be influential as it relates to the swing state of Virginia, where he served as Senator from 2007 to 2013. Virginia was one of only 4 states to be decided by 5% or less in 2012.
Vice President Joe Biden will finally announce his 2016 presidential plans in the next 48 hours, sources tell NBC's Kristen Welker. She discusses with Peter Alexander in this video from earlier today (Monday) on MSNBC.
By announcing prior to Thursday, Biden would get out in front of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the Select Committee on Benghazi this Thursday at 10AM*.
This is not the first time news of an imminent announcement has come, so it remains to be seen if this time will be different.
* The hearing will be telecast live on CSPAN-3
Our opinion (270toWin) continues to be that Biden will run. He has long wanted to be president; age makes 2016 his last real opportunity. Unlike his prior campaigns, he now has nearly 100% name recognition. In addition, there's no incumbent (from either party) to run against, which makes this a good year to run even if one has no chance, which is clearly not the situation the Vice President is in. Hillary Clinton will be tough competition for the nomination, but unless you are an incumbent, that would always be the case.
If we're wrong, we're wrong, but running seems like the path of least resistance.
Third quarter fundraising numbers are out, as reported by Politico. Three candidates topped $20 million, including Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ben Carson was the only Republican to surpass that total in a much larger Republican field, while frontrunner Donald Trump's numbers reflect the fact that he is self-funding his campaign.
Republicans raised $77.4 million in Q3, per the Politico article. More than half of this was raised by Carson, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. Carson, Bush, Cruz and Rubio all had over $10 million cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Most of the candidates that raised less than $3 million spent more during the quarter than they took in. As noted earlier, Trump is a bit of an outlier as he is primarily self-funding. Trump raised and spent roughly $4 million.
Democrats raised $59.1 million during the quarter, 95% of it to frontrunner Clinton and her closest challenger Sanders. Those two candidates had over $25 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
After three Republican debates (the fourth is scheduled for October 28), the Democrats vying for the 2016 presidential nomination will take the debate stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas Nevada. CNN and Facebook will host the event, which will be moderated by Anderson Cooper. CNN will telecast the debate, beginning at 8:30PM eastern time.
Five declared candidates have been invited, based on achieving at least 1% in three recognized polls. Candidates will be positioned based on position in the polls. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be at center, flanked by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley. The final two spots will be occupied by former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb. Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig, the sixth declared candidate, did not meet the polling criteria to be included.
Vice president Joe Biden has qualified for the debate, but is not yet a declared candidate. A 6th podium is on-site should Biden decide to join the race and participate.
Looking at the Democratic polls, Clinton remains the strong frontrunner, although Sanders has provided a larger challenge than many expected when he entered the race. None of the remaining invited candidates has gained any traction of note with Democratic primary voters. The debate will provide the first real opportunity for these candidates to connect.
This is the first of six debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, a limited schedule that has caused some controversy. The next two debates will be in the first two primary/caucus states. The first will be November 14 in Des Moines, followed by a December 19 event in Manchester, New Hampshire.
What the Candidates Need to Do
USA Today has a nice summary of what each candidate needs to accomplish for a successful evening.
Clinton: Reintroduce herself and her rationale for running/wanting to be president to reverse the torrent of negative publicity surrounding her in recent months
Sanders: Try to expand his appeal beyond core liberal base; appear electable
O'Malley: He's been more willing to go after Clinton than Sanders; needs to find an opportunity to do that on stage
Webb: Highlight his centrist views as contrast to others on stage; highlight opposition to Iraq War in contrast to Clinton
Chafee: Highlight his broad political experience
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