Forecasting 2016 Presidential Race - The Bakersfield Californian
Forecasting 2016: Four
local observers handicap
2016 presidential race
December 26, 2013 Bakersfield Californian
Hilary? Yeah, we know
As for the GOP...
Well, it's anybody's race
Only New Jersey’s Christie
can stop the Hillary machine
November 2016, in political time, is a lifetime away. So much can and will
happen in 36 months. If the presidential election were to happen in
November 2014, predictions would be easier. So let's take a look at that
If the race were held next November, it would be for the Republicans to
lose — and for one reason only: Obamacare and “if you like your doctor,
you can keep him.” Even the president's base isn't buying it. They realize
that the cost is more, the deductible is higher and your doctor panel is
Then there are the possible candidates. Democrats first: The candidate
who has been running for nine years, Hillary Clinton, has better name
identification than any other candidate on either side of the aisle. As a
former first lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, she comes to the
table with a great game plan and solid ground plan in place. Most
importantly, she has the ability to raise a lot of money. The downside
would be the alleged "stand down” command from her office or other
U.S.officials during the 2012 Benghazi attack. Even with her political
baggage, however, Clinton is definitely the Dem frontrunner.
Vice President Joe Biden has the best current insight and knowledge of the
workings of the White House. Unfortunately, he has no ground game in
place and no real finance committee. Then there is California's own
governor. But Jerry Brown has no ground plan outside California and no
big potential donors. His chances are slim to none.
The GOP has so many potential candidates, it is hard to get a good handle
on things. There is a top tier and a second tier.
In the top tier are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Congressman Paul
Ryan of Wisconsin, who both have great name ID and are fiscally
conservative and socially moderate. Today Christie would have to be the
front runner. But Ryan, as a former veep candidate, has a tremendous
national following. He still has his ground game in place and has no
problem raising money. My guess, though, is that he is committed to the
fiscal stability of America. With that in mind, I would wager that he would
forgo a presidential run to be the chairman of the House Ways and Means
Committee. In that role, he would be the one person who can get our
government out of its spending spree and work endlessly to get us out of
On the second tier are Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, as
well as former Govs. Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. All have good
credentials, good name ID and the ability to put together a good campaign.
But Cruz and Rubio are mainly one issue candidates. I personally think
that Jeb Bush is the brightest star but feel America has had enough of the
Bush clan. Many are turned off by Huckabee’s strong religious stands.
Rand Paul is increasingly considered a loose cannon and somewhat radical.
I think it’ll be Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie, with Christie winning by a
Personally, however, I want to see more of Rand Paul. I want to see how
voters react to his ideas and messages and, more importantly, how he
conducts himself as a campaigner.
Republican political consultant Stan Harper runs a temporary-employee
Hillary, of course, but brace
yourself for a GOP shocker
Hillary Clinton is at that awkward stage in her quest to win the White
House in 2016. She holds all the cards to waltz into nomination on the first
ballot at the Democratic National Convention, but the only Democratic face
on the planet capable of beating her is the one she sees in the mirror.
Contradictions are everywhere for Hillary. She must be visibly invisible,
distancing herself from the overreaching ineptitude of the Obama
administration, while still appearing to support its increasingly unpopular
agenda. Hillary’s star rises with every White House crisis, as performance
comparison invites voters to think of the previous Clinton administration
as the good old days.
Many of the same factors that make Hillary Clinton the strongest
candidate for the Democrats will work in favor of the Republican nominee
— if the Republican Party learned its lessons from the Romney-Ryan
campaign of 2012.
Lesson One for Republicans is cutting the leash to political consultants
and media pundits who incessantly demand nomination of candidates who
don’t strongly advocate Republican values. Given a choice between
Democrat Clinton and a wishy-washy Republican moderate, Hillary wins.
It should be common knowledge by now that in nominating so-called
sensible moderates, the Republican Party generates a tremendous wave of
voter apathy. (See 2012 Presidential election results and GOP voter
The times and tides are changing, along with the demographics. But right
now the trends are shifting right and libertarian. By 2016 the millennial
generation that backed Obama will be three years older, wiser and still
largely underemployed. The economy, now in its fifth year of “recovery,”
but still not quite there yet, will continue to be a daily household concern,
and the world will be an ever more dangerous place.
Meanwhile, left and right are finding rare common ground in opposing the
Obamacare debacle, inept foreign policy and the alphabet soup of
government agencies from NSA to IRS violating American’s rights and
Any GOP nominee has to navigate the conservative base of the Republican
Party in order to prevail, making it tougher for a Chris Christie. Sen. Marco
Rubio of Florida has tried to refurbish his conservative credentials by
muting his immigration proposals. A fascinating nominee would be Sen.
Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose “get the government out of our pockets, our
businesses, our daily lives” philosophy would carry mass appeal across the
political spectrum in a general election.
My edgy prediction: Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton, with Paul prevailing.
Tracy Leach is the president of Providence Strategic Consulting Inc. and
Dagny Energy Group, public affairs and energy consulting firms.
Thanks to tea party’s negative
image, Hillary will win
The time has come for a woman to be POTUS. As long as the House of
Representatives is influenced by a group of do-nothings, I do not know why
anyone of sound mind would want to be president of the United States, let
alone run for the office.
But predicting America’s political future and fantasizing about who will
become president in 2016 is something that is always on my mind. I am
conflicted by who I would like to see run and who will actually run the
gauntlet and win on the left and on the right and then win in the general
election. This is what I actually believe is our political future.
Because of the influence of the tea party, Republicans have little chance of
winning the highest office in our country. Because their candidates have to
move so far to the political right to win their party’s nomination, they are
unable to reclaim the political center in the general election. Gov. Chris
Christie of New Jersey would have the best chance of beating the
Democratic nominee and becoming president, but it is impossible for him
to win his party’s nomination.
There are many Republican senators and governors who would make
excellent presidents — or at least excellent candidates for the office of
president. But they will have to run so far to the right to win the
nomination they’re likely to fall into the same trap that haunted Romney in
2012. It is very difficult for a congressman to rally national support and
raise the money needed for a partisan primary and to win the general
election. But the person I believe will win the delegates needed for the
Republican presidential nomination is a congressman. He is one of the
Young Guns who co-authored the book of the same title along with our own
Congressman, Kevin McCarthy.
Paul Ryan has a running start because he was the Republican vicepresidential candidate with Romney in 2012 and he is the chairman of the
House Budget Committee. He showed that he can work with Democrats
when he helped craft the budget compromise that will be signed by
President Obama this week and he appeals to the tea party platform. But
the tea party has doomed Republican national candidates in the 2016
The Democratic nomination path is much clearer. Hilary Clinton will win
the nomination. She has the deepest experience of any of the candidates:
U. S. Senator, Secretary of State, and a very active first lady. She finished
second for the nomination in 2008 and she has the best campaign
organization in place, three years before the 2016 election. And Hilary can
raise the millions of dollars needed to run a national campaign that will
appeal to voters across the spectrum.
It will be a very expensive and hard fought campaign to elect our next
president. But important political factors are in Hillary Clinton’s favor. The
tea party has marginalized the Republican Party and damaged its ability to
win a national election in 2016. The voters will favor a qualified woman in
2016. And that woman is Hillary Clinton.
Gene Tackett of Bakersfield is a former Kern County supervisor who now
works as a political and government consultant.
Dems have Republicans on
the run in Californicated US
In the general election, Republicans have an uphill battle regardless of
who wins the nominations of the two parties. Granted, only twice in 100
years has the same party won three consecutive presidential elections
(1940 and 1988) so the proverbial pendulum swing is destined to favor
Republicans. Right? Not so fast.
My argument is essentially that we are in the midst of a profound tectonic
plate movement in American civic life that will usher in a new era of
Democratic Party domination in presidential elections.
There are two hurdles that keep getting higher for the GOP: changing
demographics and the math of the electoral college. Republicans have
already lost the popular vote in five out of six presidential elections and
now the changing complexion of the American electorate represents a
swollen Achilles heel for Republicans.
Young voters largely view the GOP as rigid on social issues. At best,
Hispanics find Republicans unwelcoming on immigration policy and, at
worst, perhaps a bit nativistic. Most shrewdly of all, the Democratic Party
has successfully packaged the GOP as the party of patriarchy to the great
disdain of female voters.
As a Republican, I find these trends to be colossally upsetting because I
believe conservatism to be the superior governing philosophy. But facts are
Mitt Romney barely won 200 electoral votes (it takes 270 to win) and my
fear is that America is becoming California writ large, a state where
demographic reality trumps a party’s governing performance. No matter
how poorly California is run, however, the Democrats running the state
appear to be immune to defeat. The 2010 senatorial race between Barbara
Boxer and Carla Fiorina bears this out. In a year of Republican landslides
and a tarnished Democratic Party brand, a very liberal Democrat running
against a pro-choice, accomplished Republican woman should have been a
competitive race. And yet, by 8:01 p.m., the networks called the election for
Sen. Boxer (who won by a whopping 10 percent). Not only can Republicans
not win in a Republican year with a liberal Republican on the ballot — they
couldn’t even make it a single digit race! One is tempted, then, to believe
that in California, being the Republican candidate, ipso facto, is a
disqualification for victory simply because of the demographic reality of the
Is California a case study of what awaits Republicans on a national level
within a decade if things don’t change?
In summary, my prediction is that the Republicans will nominate Chris
Christie and the Democrats will nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton. The
2016 Presidential race will represent a paradigm shift in the way that
presidential campaigns are waged. No longer will the fate of the election
rest with the moderate, independent, much-beloved swing voter. Instead,
as the demographics of the American electorate turn from red and purple
to blue, the Democrats will propel Hillary Clinton to victory by engaging in
a strategy of micro-politics that targets the fasting growing and most loyal
Democratic voting blocks (minorities, young voters, single and urban
women). Thus, for the second time in American history, we will use the
term “President-elect Clinton.”
Jeremy Adams is a history and government teacher at Bakersfield High
School, an adjunct professor at CSU Bakersfield and the founder and host
of the Earl Warren Cup, an annual civics competition for students.