Well it's January and the presidential races are about to get real. I've sort of ignored the whole fiasco since mid November but I can no longer in good conscience continue to do so.
So where are we?
The biggest surprise has been on the Democratic side where Bernie Sanders is now apparently making it a race. The last national poll (IBD/TIPP) shows Clinton's lead having shrunk. The latest numbers were:
Clinton - 43%
Sanders - 39%
I am a bit suspicious of these numbers however because they show double digit shifts in the Northeast and West yet it's difficult to account for why this should have happened in the last month. It sounds like too great a shift without any clear driving factor. Vut, IBD/TIPP has a pretty good track record for accuracy.
On the Republican side the same poll shows:
Trump - 34%
Cruz - 18%
Rubio - 9%
Carson - 8%
However the poll has a 4.9% margin of error on the Republican side and a 5.1% margin of error on the Democratic side.
So do I still think Bush and Clinton? Yes I do and here's why. I don't think Sanders can win a national election and the powers that be in the Democratic party know that. Look for Sanders to get swamped down the road.
On the Republican side Trump's support is coming from the least educated portions of the Republican Party. He polls highest among people in the $30,000 to $50,000 income range and evangelicals are at best lukewarm to him.
Rubio could have been a good establishment compromise but his financial skeletons in the closet are too much of a liability. Cruz is a nutcase. So that still leaves Bush for the money to eventually solidify behind. If not Bush, then look for Paul Ryan to emerge late.
But now here's a second question? Am I as confident as I was? Oh, not even close. I'm beginning to think this might all be wishful thinking on my part.
I have to admit that I'm wondering what a Trump vs. Sanders election might look like? I was always concerned that a Trump vs. Clinton election could well degrade into a national disgrace but Sanders head to head with Trump might even be worse.