happy hanukkah pic.twitter.com/CWJZ4d4EdZ
— Oliver Roeder (@ollie) December 13, 2015
This time, in Las Vegas. There were rumors that Little Prince Rand would quit if denied his spot on the main stage, but a last-minute Fox News poll out of Iowa allowed CNN to retain the optics of a flame-haired Trump at center stage setting his fellows alight.
Staying on theme, Politico gives “British political gambler” Paul Krishnamurty a chance to “predict the entire 2016 election”:
… As a gambler, I’ve noticed that Americans might also be obsessed with predicting their presidential races, but they often rely on pundits whose name recognition far outstrips their accuracy. Gamblers can’t afford to be wrong that often: Political prediction is a genuine game of skill, with serious research going into the effort—and serious rewards for the gambler who gets it right.
I’ll cut to the chase: my current prediction is for Hillary Clinton to become president, in line with Betfair’s ratings, at about 54 percent. But my main focus—and where the greatest potential profit lies—is predicting the winner of the GOP nomination. In gambling terms, this race is the perfect political market: one that’s wide-open, and in which momentum (and therefore the betting), swings regularly between candidates. Right now I have positions on a raft of outsiders, including Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina—and my biggest bet, on Ted Cruz…
… I expect a better motivated, high-turnout anti-Trump contingent to coalesce around the candidate best placed to beat him. Given that Carson and Trump together add up to over 40 percent of poll share, their decline or withdrawal would utterly transform the race. Their former backers would prove decisive. Where would these voters go next?
Both candidates represent hostility to conventional politicians: Trump’s bid has been fueled by extreme rhetoric on immigration—now the third most important issue as of last month, behind the economy and national security—while Carson is thriving among evangelicals. So the beneficiary of their decline should be anti-establishment, immigration hardliner, popular among evangelicals and well-resourced to withstand a long race.
I’ve felt for months that this mystery candidate is Ted Cruz, as only he can convincingly tick off all four of these boxes. He appeals to social conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists and immigration hardliners. His candidacy has immeasurably greater potential than a damaged Gingrich or under-resourced Santorum. Wrecking ball tactics in Washington effectively make him the outsider the base seems to want. Cruz has avoided criticizing Trump and is openly chasing his voters. And as far as evangelicals are concerned, who better than the winner of the Values Voter Straw Poll for the past three years?…
Me, I doubt that the Great American Common or Low-Info Voter will chose to risk four years of watching Ted Cruz’s smug mug emitting horrible nasal noises on their teevees, but since B-movie actor Ronald Reagan got elected I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to Rethug taste (or the lack thereof).
Apart from horserace journalism (lowest of the low!), what’s on the agenda for the start of the new week?