Posts

The Rushmore Report: New Poll – Dems’ Top Choice for 2020

Rasmussen Reports has just released a fresh survey of 1,000 likely Democratic voters to see who they like for president in the 2020 election. The Democratic youth movement continues. Whereas the top five Democratic leaders in Congress are age 75, on average, the leading choice for the White House would be 78 upon his inauguration.

Democrats’ leading man is former Vice President Joe Biden, garnering the support of 41 percent of those surveyed. The next three candidates are all about the same age: Bernie Sanders (20 percent), Elizabeth Warren (11 percent), and Hillary Clinton (nine percent).

Party leaders who are touting their “strong bench” have no answer for the simple facts. A full 82 percent of the preferred candidates have been around since the days when a CD was a banking term, Blackberry was something you ate, Gunsmoke was a radio show, and Al Gore had yet to invent the Internet.

Waiting in the wings, should Democrats decide to nominate a candidate not yet on Medicare, are the following: New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (five percent) and outgoing Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (two percent). Let us know if you can pick either out of a lineup.

To summarize, 82 percent of Democrats want someone close to 80, seven percent want someone in his 50s, and the other 11 percent don’t know what they want.

For his part, Biden is traveling the country to promote his new book. He has not ruled out a run in 2020. He says he is “not considering a run at this time,” and “there are plenty of other good candidates out there.” Both statements are code for “I’m running.”

What’s interesting – but not surprising – is that the media has not said a thing about his age. I’m talking about the same media who said Ronald Reagan was too old to run in 1980. Never mind, Biden would be older on his inauguration than Reagan was when he left office – after eight years in the White House.

The 41 percent who support Biden is up 15 points since February. Self-proclaimed moderates prefer Biden (34 percent), to Sanders (15 percent).

There are four take-aways from the new Rasmussen poll.

  1. Democrats have no new candidates.
  2. Democrats love Joe Biden.
  3. Joe Biden is running in 2020.
  4. The election is too far out for any of this to mean much right now.

The Rushmore Report: President Trump’s Surprising New Poll Numbers

According to Real Clear Politics, President Trump’s approval rating is 38 percent. Some polls have his numbers even lower than that. But the most reliable and recent poll brings good news to the White House – news you won’t hear in the mainstream media. As opposed to the other polls considered by Real Clear Politics, Rasmussen only considers likely voters. And their poll – out Tuesday – brings shocking news.

Tuesday’s Rasmussen survey of 1,500 likely voters found Trump’s approval rating at 46 percent, which is in line with other presidents’ numbers – presidents who went on to win reelection.

The president quickly tweeted: “One of the most accurate polls last time around. But #FakeNews likes to say we’re in the 30s. They are wrong. Some people think numbers could be in the 50s. Together, WE will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

The poll also found that the number of Americans who believe the country is headed in the right direction is just 33 percent. But many of them blame Congress, not the president. Meanwhile, their confidence in the jobs market reached a new high.

From this new survey, we draw three conclusions.

1. President Trump’s approval is higher than the media wants you to know.

2. President Trump’s approval rating is still below water, well under 50 percent.

3. Poll numbers in November, 2017, have virtually no bearing on the 2020 election, which is three years away. Remember, President George H. W. Bush had the highest approval rating in the history of polls – 91 percent – at this point in his presidency, but garnered only 37 percent of the vote three years later, in his bid for reelection.

I love polls because I love numbers. While the new numbers by Rasmussen are interesting, especially given they only survey likely voters, and while the new numbers bring comfort to Trump supporters, these poll numbers will be long forgotten by the time the 2020 election cycle begins. But considered within the context of Trump’s recent poll numbers, and within the context of 24-hour attacks by most media outlets, a 46 percent approval rating for President Trump will be met with great enthusiasm among his supporters.

The Rushmore Report: Three Democrats Who May Run for President in 2020 – Who You’ve Never Heard Of

With the 2016 election just 11 months old, the 2020 election is already making news. President Trump filed re-election paperwork on Inauguration Day. And now several Democrats are making noise about running, as well. With Trump’s approval ratings mired in the 30s, there will be almost no limit to the number of Democrats who will jump into the race. There will be the usual suspects: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and yes, Hillary Clinton. But let’s consider some others who may surprise. Here are three Democrats who may run for president – who you’ve probably never heard of.

1. John Delaney

At this point, Rep. John Delaney of Maryland is the only serious declared Democratic candidate for office. Elected to Congress in 2012, Delaney announced his intent to run for president in July. For most outside his district or immediate family, they had not heard of Mr. Delaney. His district stretches from the D.C. suburbs to western Maryland, which is a more conservative area of the state. In announcing his candidacy, Delaney said, “To do this work with the commitment it deserves, I will not be running for re-election to the House of Representatives. No games, no cat-and-mouse, no backup plan at the 11th hour if a focus group goes badly.”

2. Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is another contender whose name has been floated for both California governor and U.S. president. His term doesn’t end until 2022, but in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last week, he didn’t rule out the possibility of running for either. He said only that he is “committed to the people of Los Angeles.”

3. Seth Moulton

Just 38 years of age, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts would be the youngest Democratic candidate. He would be 41 on Inauguration Day of 2021. A former Marine Corps officer and graduate of Harvard Business School, Moulton serves on the House Budget Committee and is a ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Moulton has said he wants to see new Democratic leadership before the 2018 elections. While some insiders have already approached him about running, he says he probably won’t run. Which means he probably will run.

The Rushmore Report: John Kasich Threatens to Leave GOP – Who Cares?

Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich is troubled with the nomination of Roy Moore as Senator from Alabama. Because he sees Moore as a fringe candidate, and because of the rhetoric coming out of the White House, Gov. Kasich says he wants to “fix the party,” and if it can’t be fixed, he may pull out altogether. Forgive my skepticism, but I think there may be more to the story than Kasich is saying.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Kasich said he is still holding out hope the GOP can shift back to what he sees as a more centrist party. He said, “If the party can’t be fixed, Jake, then I’m not going to be able to support the party. Period. That’s the end of it.” He continued, “I mean, I’m worried about our country and my kids’ future. But have I given up? Of course not.”

Kasich then criticized the party for its stance on immigration. “If the Republican Party is going to be anti-immigration, if it’s not going to be worried about the debt, if it’s going to be anti-trade, this is not where our party can be.”

First, being for border security and simply enforcing current federal immigration laws is not “anti-immigration.” And one could argue that voters didn’t want Trump to tackle the debt since he campaigned on not touching Social Security. As for trade, both parties have increasing numbers of voters within their own base who are skeptical of free trade.

So what is Gov. Kasich’s real agenda? As I have said before – on this platform – he enjoys poking his finger in the eye of party conservatives. He earned the condemnation of party leaders when he decided to jump on the Obamacare bandwagon and expand Medicaid in his state – a move that has cost his state dearly.

Call me a skeptic, but Kasich’s plan seems pretty clear to me. Since being denied his party’s nomination for president or vice president in 2016, he has been edgy about all things Republican. So here it is. John Kasich still has his eye on the big prize. He wants to be president. And he knows that won’t happen as a Republican. So he is positioning himself as the right-leaning common sense Independent who can try to siphon off votes from both sides. He hopes some on the left will support his soft positions on Obamacare and immigration, while attracting fiscal conservatives at the same time.

It’s really no gamble at all. He is term-limited in Ohio. It’s president in 2020 or bust. He has run out of political options. So expect this kind of rhetoric to continue. Expect to see Mr. Kasich on CNN more than Fox News. Expect him to form an exploratory committee in late 2018. Expect Gov. Kasich to try to become President Kasich.

Will it work? Probably not. But I said the same thing about that Trump fellow a year back.

Stay tuned . . .

The Rushmore Report: 20 Possible Presidential Candidates for 2020

Now that the 2016 presidential election is on the books, it’s time for the next one – 2020. Sure, after an especially divisive and vitriolic election, many Americans are looking for a break from politics. But for the ambitious, as well as those aggrieved by last November’s results, the next presidential election is around the corner. We have whittled down the crop of contenders. Here are our top 20 candidates, in alphabetical order.

Democrats

John Bel Edwards – Louisiana governor

Bill de Blasio – New York City mayor

Cory Booker – New Jersey senator

Sherrod Brown – Ohio senator

Julian Castro – former secretary of housing and urban development

Andrew Cuomo – New York governor

Russ Feingold – former Wisconsin senator

Tulsi Gabbard – Hawaii U.S. representative

Kamala Harris – California senator

Tim Kaine – Virginia senator

Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota senator

Joe Manchin – West Virginia senator

Thomas Perez – Democratic Party chair

Bernie Sanders – Vermont senator

Tom Steyer – San Francisco billionaire

Jon Tester – Montana senator

Elizabeth Warren – Massachusetts senator

Tom Wolf – Pennsylvania governor

Republicans

Ted Cruz – Texas senator

John Kasich – Ohio governor

About the Author

James Pindell writes for The Boston Globe.

The Rushmore Report: Kasich (Rep) and Hickenlooper (Dem) – 2020 Dream Team?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Republican), and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (Democrat), have reportedly discussed the idea of forming a “unity” presidential ticket to run for the White House in 2020. Kasich and Hickenlooper would run as independents, with Kasich at the top of the ticket. The concept is to bring the country together behind two centrists to represent the broad middle ground. Could it work?

In a word, no.

A source close to both men said, “What they are trying to show the country is that honorable people can disagree, but you can still solve problems together. It happens in business and it happens in families. Why can’t it happen in Washington?”

That’s easy. Because Washington is neither a business nor a family.

Two weeks ago, Kickenlooper told Politico, “I don’t think Kasich would ever do that. I don’t think it’s in the cards. But I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.”

Could this be that point?

Yes, it could be, except for one thing – it won’t work.

The two governors are working together on major policy issues such as healthcare and immigration – a rare, bipartisan alliance at a time of deep-seeded acrimony between the two political parties. The next steps for the men would be more policy than politically focused.

The source continued, “Watch on the policy front as they expand beyond healthcare and also include other governors in the coalition.”

So why won’t it work? I mean, President Trump has historically low poll numbers. And Congress is polling at even lower numbers. The vast majority of Americans don’t approve of either party or their leaders. The current face of the Democratic Party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is taken less seriously than new episodes of The Gong Show.

So why won’t this centrist, come together strategy work? For four reasons.

1. Kasich and Hickenlooper don’t agree on much.

That’s why one is called a Republican and the other a Democrat. Other than their rhetoric – which is commendable – the only things the governors have in common is the same first name and two last names no one quite knows how to spell. Kasich is pro-life, while Hickenlooper is pro-choice. Kasich is in agreement with 90 percent of the Republican platform; Hickenlooper supports 90 percent of the Democratic platform. The vice president pretty much needs to support the president’s agenda. And Hickenlooper is on record as opposing most of what Kasich supports. That makes sense – he’s a Democrat.

2. Few would vote for them.

Those who think a “centrist” ticket can win need only consult Presidents Perot and Anderson. It’s like the fellow who couldn’t decide if he was for the Union or the Confederacy, so he wore gray pants and a blue shirt. He got shot by both sides. The deal is, many people say they want a centrist, but when you drill down, at least 80 percent agree mostly with either the left of the right. So when it comes time to vote, they will vote for the man and party which represents their views. The muddled middle just isn’t that large. That’s why, in most elections, less than ten percent vote for one party for president, but another down ballot.

3. They can’t raise money.

People give money out of passion. And few people are passionate about being in the middle. Seeing Congress “work” doesn’t stoke passion, let alone financial contributions. Both political parties will be flush with cash. That means advertising. And that is critical for any election.

4. The Trump factor will make it impossible for them to win.

In 1992, most of the 19 percent who voted for Perot knew they were taking votes away from either Bush or Clinton. But they didn’t care, because people weren’t that passionate about Bush or Clinton. But that’s not the world we live in today. No one is undecided about President Trump. Those who support him would never slide to the middle. And those who oppose him would never divide their votes between the Democratic nominee and the centrist ticket.

So can a Kasich-Hickenlooper ticket win in 2020? On a scale of 1-10, the chances are 0.

The Rushmore Report: Four Reasons Trump Will Likely Be Reelected in 2020

President Donald J. Trump has historically low approval numbers. He gets bad press – every day. Many in his own party have abandoned him. He has failed to get passage of healthcare or tax reform. The number of officials who have quit his administration or been fired is breathtaking. But Trump will most likely get reelected in 2020. Why? There are at least four reasons Mr. Trump is in good position to win a second term.

1. Great things are happening – we just aren’t hearing about them.

More Americans have work today than at any time in American history. The unemployment rate after six months of Trump’s Administration is lower than it was at any point in President Obama’s entire eight years. ISIS is losing for the first time. Retirement accounts are flush, with the Dow hitting 29 all-time records in six months. A great Supreme Court nominee has been successfully seated. So when 2020 comes around, while the left attacks President Trump, expect a replay of Reagan, 1980 – “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” For most, the answer will be “Yes.” And that bodes well for the incumbent.

2. The opposition is a train wreck.

At no point in American history have Democrats had less control in Congress and state houses. Only six – yes six – states are under Democratic control (governor, senate, house). And their party is divided between the liberal wing and the more liberal wing. The three Democrats in the highest level of leadership are all over 70. To say this is not a forward-looking party is to understate the obvious. Democrats’ agenda of “Just block Trump” has already grown tiresome, with over three more years to come. You can’t beat someone without someone to beat them. And so far, the Democrats have no one to beat Trump. They can’t even hold onto who they have now, having just seen the West Virginia Governor switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

3. Popularity is overrated.

President Trump is unpopular. That is beyond debate. But what is debatable is whether or not it really matters. Case in point – Richard M. Nixon. Nobody every really liked Nixon. They liked Ike, but only tolerated Nixon. He had a demeanor that made used car salesmen look like comedians. He was insecure, abrasive, vulgar, and humorless. Other than that, he was fun to be with. So having seen Nixon up close – for eight years as Vice President and four years as President – what did the American people do? They reelected him in 1972 with a 49-state landslide. Popularity is overrated.

4. The numbers are better than they appear.

Sure, Trump’s approval ratings are in the 30s. Sure, those are historically low numbers. And no, he can’t be reelected with those numbers. But keep a few things in mind. First, a recent poll shows that about 38 percent will vote for Trump no matter what. Second, he won the White House with 48 percent of the vote. So, he doesn’t need to convince 50 percent to vote for him – just ten percent. If he can turn ten percent of the 62 percent that are currently not on his side, he will win. I did the math. That means that of all the people who are currently opposed to Trump, he only needs to convince 17 percent of that group to change – in the next three years. And third, Trump remains more popular than Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi, who will appear on more Republican ads than Republicans themselves.

George H. W. Bush had the highest approval rating of any president ever – at 93 percent. That was at the start of the Gulf War. Do you remember what happened a couple of years later? He lost his bid for reelection. In politics, three years is a lifetime. President Trump’s low poll numbers in 2017 matter about as much as a first quarter field goal against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

Will Donald Trump win the 2020 election? Maybe not. But at this point, he has a better chance than anybody else.

The Rushmore Report: Mark Zuckerberg in 2020?

The photos on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook feed the last few months make him look less like a Silicon Valley CEO and more like an Iowa Caucus contender. He’s certainly crossing some candidate rituals off the to-do list, like posting pictures of himself eating local fare with some residents in early voting states, and even shooting hoops with North Carolina’s beloved NCAA coaches, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski.

“For an engineer and business tycoon to, all of a sudden, be hanging out with regular people, it does send a lot of political messages,” said Matt Schlapp, President George W. Bush’s former political director. “This is clearly political activity. Is it just to further popularize Facebook? Or is there a more personal goal here?”

But the summer vacation itinerary that closely resembles a Super Tuesday swing isn’t the only reason political watchers think the social network pioneer may try his hand at politics.

Zuckerberg also recently hired former Clinton pollster Joel Benenson to work at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charitable foundation the CEO runs with his wife, which already has former Obama campaign guru David Plouffe on the payroll.

“You don’t tend to hire pollsters unless you want to know what people are thinking,” Schlapp said. “So my guess is the pollster is helping him understand the American people.”

If Zuckerberg decides to run for president, some on the left already forecast some hurdles. Published reports say he’s not registered with either party, but some experts say he’s likely to run as a Democrat.

“To survive the Democratic primary, the first thing he is going to need to do is appeal to women more than he has been able to do as a corporate leader so far,” explains Democratic strategist Pablo Manriquez. “One of the big criticisms of Facebook, Inc. is that they don’t hire women, women aren’t elevated, and women’s voices are suppressed internally.”

Just more than one-third of Facebook’s workforce is female, according to newly released company data. The 35 percent of women working at Facebook represents an increase over last year.

“He’s looking at running against people like California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris or Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a lot of people who are just not going to give him a pass on that, the way he gets in the tech sphere,” Manriquez said.

None of this means primary success is impossible for Zuckerberg, though.

“Donald Trump has shown that the American people have a great appetite for getting rid of the experts in politics, and trying new things,” Schlapp said. “I don’t think it’s implausible for the idea of a Mark Zuckerberg candidacy to really take fire.”

About the Author

Peter Doocy is an on-air commentator and writer for Fox News.

The Rushmore Report: Dem 2020 Presidential Hopeful Says Surprising Things about Impeaching Trump

Several Democratic lawmakers have begun to openly call for Congress to open impeachment hearings amid accusations that President Trump has attempted to obstruct an investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia. But one leading contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 has just spoken out. And while he has not hesitated to criticize President Trump, his comments are interesting.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) isn’t hoping to impeach President Donald Trump anytime soon, he revealed Sunday. In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, the senator said, “I’m not going to rush impeachment. I think we need to deal with this in a very sobered way. This can’t be relitigation of an election that is now past. This has to be about an objective assessment about the facts that are going on right now.”

Why is Booker pulling back on impeachment talk while others are heating up the discussions every day, with the aid of a complicit media? The reason is simple. By seriously pushing impeachment (which they can’t pursue against the will of the Republican majority anyway), Democrats would risk ostracizing voters they need to win seats in the midterm elections.

The only president impeached since the mid-1800s was Bill Clinton. And for those who say, “Yeah, but he didn’t really do anything wrong; it was a Republican majority that impeached him,” remember that his license to practice law was revoked. Clinton was guilty of unsavory actions with young women – in the White House. Then he lied about it to Congress. For that he was impeached.

And what happened to President Clinton’s approval ratings after his impeachment? They hit all-time highs.

Cory Booker gets it. Making a victim out of an opponent whose popularity is already low makes no sense. For Democrats, even if they were successful in seeing Trump removed from office, the result would be a very popular President Mike Pence. And for them that makes even less sense.

So whether you agree with Sen. Booker’s liberal policies or not, give him credit. He’s no dummy.

The Rushmore Report: Donald Trump – Who I’ll Likely Face in 2020

Donald Trump became the first president to address the National Rifle Association in over 30 years. That alone made news. But it was a statement about the 2020 presidential election that caught his audience off guard. Mr. Trump delivered the kind of raw meat NRA members expected. His stance on guns remains undeniable. But then the president named the Democrat he believes he is most likely to face in his re-election bid in four years.

Trump said he thinks his 2020 presidential opponent will be liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts. In his speech, he referred to the senator by a nickname he gave her last year – a name many say is racially insensitive.

“It may be Pocahontas,” Trump said before the Atlanta crowd, noting that Ms. Warren is not a big fan of the NRA.

Warren has been discussed as a potential 2020 candidate before and was considered to be one of the most effective foils for Mr. Trump in the 2016 campaign. Before Hillary Clinton even won the Democratic nomination last year, Ms. Warren had stood up to make a name for herself as a tough opponent to Mr. Trump.

She has not warmed to the man who has become her president since. The former Harvard professor who has positioned herself largely as an anti-Wall Street and pro-banking regulations senator frequently characterizes Mr. Trump as a billionaire false populist who is taking advantage of working class voters.

When asked, Warren has generally ducked questions of a potential 2020 run, which has fueled some speculation that she may have plans to announce a bid after her re-election to the Senate. She also recently published a new book. That book, titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, has led some to wonder if she intends on using it as a launching pad for a White House bid.

Mr. Trump, who is well known for coming up with nicknames for his political foes on the campaign trail, started calling Warren “Pocahontas” after he learned that she has some Native American heritage. While her heritage has been disputed since then, Ms. Warren contends that she has never furthered her career by using that heritage to her advantage in any way.

About the Author

Clark Mindock writes for The Independent.