04 February 2016

In-and-Out Update, 4 FEB,2016

As an update to THIS and of course, to THIS, here the current stats:

Between 23.03.2015 and 09.06.2015, 23 candidates officially declared for the two major parties in the USA:



That's 23 names. The orange highlighted data-fields indicate candidates who pulled-out of the race in 2015. The very light aqua highlighted data fields indicate candidates who pull-out of the race in 2016.
Here more specific data on their exit, including a data calculation of exactly how long their respective campaigns were:



Now, let's separate the lists out from each other. Here only the candidates who have now dropped-out:



And here the candidates who are still officially in the running:



So, of 23 original candidates (18R/5D), 11 officially remain (9R/2D). The GOP field has winnowed by 50%, while the Democratic field has winnowed by 60% - hard, cold, verifiable statistics, but they say nothing about the quality or the durability of any of these campaigns.

The record holder for the shortest campaign is Prof. Larry Lessig, whose campaign lasted 57 days.
Currently, the candidate who had the longest campaign but dropped out is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose campaign lasted 302 days. Of course, the candidates who make it through the Conventions will likely have the longest campaigns of all, so Rand's statistic is only a temporary one.

Of the 11 candidates remaining, one is on the radar-screen absolutely nowhere: Former VA Governor Jim Gilmore, who recieved all of 12 votes in the Iowa caucuses and usually polls quite literally at "0" in polling. And by "0", I mean, quite literally "0" voices for him at all. In fact, in most polling, his name is not even mentioned anymore. His campaign has raised all of about $200,000, which is less than a drop within a drop in the bucket. At least Jim Gilmore had enough sense to drop out of the 2008 race about one month after announcing. Maybe he's taking a long winter's nap this time, but who knows?  If he thinks that he can suddenly be a dark-horse candidate at the GOP 2016 Convention, well... I don't think so.

So, in reality, there are only 10 candidates remaining. It is possible that Jim Gilmore will never officially end his campaign and if he does, it's also possible that no one will notice. This is not meant as a sleight to him, but statistically, his campaign means absolutely nothing.

I predicted about a week ago that Rand Paul would probably pull-out before the March 15th WTA primaries, and yesterday, he pulled the plug. Interesting that both Rand Paul and Rick Santorum dropped out on the same day.

That leaves us with  former CEO Carly Fiorina at the very bottom of the statistical pile and the two most likely candidates to drop out next, either just before or just after New Hampshire. In Santorum's case, it's financial. He has almost no money left and even visited the Trump function on the night of the last GOP debate, a not-to-subtle sign that he is likely going to support Trump. Fiorina already spent millions of her own money once in California, only to lost by 10 points to Barbara Boxer. I doubt that she wants to burn through her own money again.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb! Bush just came in with 2.8% at the Iowa caucuses and will likely, according to polling averages, be lucky to get to 7% in New Hampshire. He just underperformed his polling average in IA and the same is likely to happen to him as voters who maybe could have supported him will likely flock to Florida Senator Marco Rubio in an anti-Trump attempt to stop the top guy in the race. I am very much convinced that Jeb Bush will drop out sooner than later, if for no other reason that to save his family-name from shame.

Just yesterday, in a surprise move, Ohio Gov. John Kasich very colorfully indicated that if he does not do well in New Hampshire, he would likely drop out. In other words, Kasich is not necessarily looking to his home-state of Ohio to be a firewall for him. Although he is more radically to the Right than most realize, I consider John Kasich to be the most competent of the entire GOP field.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears undaunted by his poor performance in Iowa and is perhaps hoping for a resurrection in New Hampshire and also in South Carolina. Wait and see.

Statistically, the GOP field is moving to a three-man race between national clear front-runner Billionaire Tycoon Donald Trump (outsider), Texas Senator Ted Cruz (outsider within his own party) and Florida Senator Marco Rubio (half establishment candidate), with both Kasich and Christie hoping for a decent 4th place in at least New Hampshire. And pundits are noticing that in this cycle, the Senators are faring better than the Governors. Conventional wisdom was at one point in time predicting the opposite. So much for conventionial wisdom.

On the Democratic side, for now, it's a real two-way dogfight between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The two had a virtual-tie in Iowa, with Clinton the bare-winner (+0.3 over Sanders), but Sanders is likely to tromp Clinton in New Hampshire by an easy double-digit margin and then Clinton is likely to tromp Sanders in South Carolina by an even larger double-digit margin. South Carolina is worth more delegates than Iowa and New Hampshire combined (at least on the Democratic side of things) and so after the SC primary, she will be ahead.  The dynamic of this is fascinating: in 2008, Obama was perceived as the more Left of the two candidates: he won Iowa, she won New Hampshire (+3), she also won solidly in Nevada (Latino vote) but he landslided in South Carolina (Clinton carried only one county). This time around, the more Left candidate is doing well in New Hampshire but bracing to lose big in South Carolina, where the overwhelming majority of Black voters who supported Obama in 2008 think very strongly that this is now Clinton's time. In South Carolina polling, she is doing better against Sanders than Obama did against her back in '08. So, by the end of February, Clinton will likely have won 2 of the 4 first in the national DEM contests, tied in one and Sanders will have only won 1, in the state with the least amount of delegates.

Bernie Sanders has, at least for now, a verifiable structural problem: he suffers badly in states with large minority voter blocks in the DEM primaries.  I suspect that after March 15th (with lots of southern states holding contests between March 1 and March 15), Sanders will be well behind Clinton.  So, the race looks exciting for now, but Clinton still has the better ground game and more imporantly, the overwhelming support of minority groups in big states where she can reap a bevy of delegates all in one fell-swoop. Plus, she already has the endorsements of a hypermajority of Democratic Senators and already, a huge amount of Superdelegates already behind her.  Facit: advantage Clinton, no matter how you try to bend the numbers. 

 Facit: advantage Clinton.

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I am pretty sure that by March 15th, even maybe by March 1st, the only five names we are going to be talking about are going to be Clinton, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders and Trump (alphabetical order)

That is the current state of things, as of  February 4, 2016.

EDIT:  Rick Santorum also just dropped out of the race and has endorsed: Marco Rubio. I changed the tables to this report to reflect that change


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