Tonight’s GOP debate is at 8p ET on ABC, meaning that this is the first debate I’ll actually be able to watch. It will feature Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Kasich, Bush, and Christie. Here is an open thread to discuss the debate.
We will have coverage of the GOP debate tomorrow night; the debate airs at 8p ET on ABC. Until then, here are this week’s questions –
- What is your favorite and least favorite campaign ad so far this year? Which ad has been most effective?
- When do you think the nominations, on both sides, will be fully decided by? After NH? End of February? After Super Tuesday? End of March? June?
And because it’s the weekend, we give you this classic tribute to New Hampshire.
Finally, please take this week’s post-Iowa, pre-New Hampshire straw poll so we can see how (if at all) preferences have changed. Last week’s results were:
Rubio – 48%; Cruz – 16%; Trump – 10%; Clinton – 9%; Kasich – 6%;
Paul – 3%; Bush – 2%; Others – 1% or less
Only 4 days to the New Hampshire primary!!!!
Iowa Democrat Caucus: The Des Moines Register released a blistering editorial calling for a complete audit of the results of Iowa Democrat caucus which resulted in a virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Pointing to confusion and problems at numerous precinct sites the paper declared that “something smells in the Democratic Party.”
Hillary: During CNN’s town Hall in Derry, New Hampshire Hillary Clinton explained that she took $675,000 for three speeches to powerful Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs because “that’s what they offered” and that she wasn’t really thinking about running for president when she took Goldman Sachs’ money.
Sticker Kid: Sticker Kid clearly upstaged Hillary Clinton during her post Iowa caucus speech. Is he a symbol of the overwhelming indifference young voters have to Hillary’s presidential campaign? Hillary won just 14% of the vote of Iowa caucus goers under 30.
Sanders: Bernie Sanders should have no trouble getting on the April 19th New York primary ballot. His campaign turned in over 85,000 signatures to the Board of Elections. Candidates only need 5,000 signatures to make the ballot, with 500 from each congressional district.
Cruz: Ted Cruz’s super PAC needs a spell check. They misspelled “country” in their latest ad. Of course “counrty” could be the Canadian spelling.
Trump: Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize by a mystery patron. The Nobel Foundation will not release the name of the nominator but our guess is that it rhymes with Shmonald Drump.
Kasich: John Kasich’s super PAC New Day for America has a new attack ad out hitting the other candidates for throwing mud in attack ads. The anti-attack ad attack ad portrays Marco Rubio as a child chugging water.
Carson: Ben Carson’s campaign is in the process of downsizing as the fundraising juggernaut that fueled his campaign seems to be slowing down. Carson’s campaign will layoff more than 50 staffers and cut salaries across the board. The layoffs amount to about half his campaign’s paid staff. To save money Carson will also reduce his entourage and stop flying on private and return to travelling on commercial flights.
Gilmore: Conservative political commentator/satirist Jamie Weinstein explains how he ended giving a rousing Iowa Caucus precinct campaign speech on behalf of James Gilmore III. Despite Weinstein’s best efforts none of the 12 votes Gilmore received in the Iowa caucus came from precinct Weinstein spoke in.
AL-Sen: Sen Richard Shelby (R) has released another ad ahead of the March 1st Republican primary. He is facing tea party challenger Jonathan McConnell. McConnell has received very little help from outside groups and his campaign has just $293,000 cash on hand versus Shelby’s $17 million.
LA-Sen: New Orleans lawyer and unsuccessful 2010 Lt Gov candidate Caroline Fayard has become the first Democrat to enter the jungle primary for Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat. Fayard gained some notoriety during her previous campaign when she said Republicans are “cruel” and “eat their young”.
LA-Sen: Newly elected Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (R) is endorsing Rob Maness (R) for United States Senate. Maness who made an unsuccessful run in 2014 is running in a very crowded jungle primary for the seat of retiring Sen David Vitter (R).
OH-Sen: New Leadership for Ohio is out with a new ad on behalf of Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld. This is part of a $700,000 ad buy they are doing supporting Sittenfeld ahead March 15th Democrat primary with ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D). The winner of the Democrat primary will face Sen Rob Portman (R) in November.
NJ-3: The Democrats still have not found a challenger to freshman Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur. With New Jersey’s April 4th filing deadline fast approaching the DCCC is trying to recruit Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D) to run in this R+1 seat. Lampitt lives in Cherry Hill, NJ which is outside of the district.
PA-6: While national Democrats have turned their backs on Mike Parrish (D) in favor of 25 year old “Congressional kid” Lindy Li (D), local Democrats are still backing Parrish. Parrish just announced the endorsement of former Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and a whole bunch of local Democrat elected officials. The winner of the contentious Democrat primary will face freshman Rep Ryan Costello (R) who easily beat Manan Trivedi 56%–44% in the R+2 district.
TN-8: Ron Kirkland, who lost the Republican primary to Rep Stephen Fincher in 2010, has opted not to run for the R+19 seat Rep Fincher is retiring from. Six other Republicans have announced their candidacies for this seat.
WI-8: State Sen Roger Roth (R) has announced he will not seek the R+2 seat of retiring Rep. Reid Ribble (R). At least 7 other Republicans are considering a run. Democrat former state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber is also considering a run.
State, Local & Other:
NY AD-65: New York City Republicans have tapped businessman and naval reservist Lester Chang (R) to run in the April 19th special election for the now vacant seat of disgraced ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
The first Democratic debate of the Post-O’Malley Era (Tommy Carcetti lives on in our hearts) will take place at 9:00 ET tonight. Hillary and Bernie will go at it from the University of New Hampshire, and you can catch the debate on MSNBC or streaming at NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com. Feel free to discuss the leftward march here.
Cruz-Trump: Donald Trump (Himself) finally melted down and lashed out at Senator Ted Cruz (R) alleging Cruz stole the Iowa Caucus and there should be a revote. In case Trump you were wondering if Trump jumped the shark, this is the 354 time Trump has jumped the shark.
Bush-Applause: Former Florida Governor and worst campaigner of the cycle Jeb Bush (R) had to beg for applause in New Hampshire on Tuesday. When you think this 9 figure campaign cannot get more pathetic, you see this story. You would think for 9 figures you could buy a personality transplant or invent one.
Rubio-Bush: With his third place finish in Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio (R) is getting more attention from Republican establishment donors including some who have backed the Bush money burning extravaganza.
Paul: Senator Rand Paul (R) suspended his campaign and essentially endorsed beating Donald Trump. Paul will now focus on running for reelection to the Senate.
Clinton: In New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) said in New Hampshire that she will win the election by a landslide if people vote purely based on records. Clinton should know that voters don’t usually pick based on records from her experience in 2008.
Santorum: Former Senator Rick Santorum (R) has suspended his campaign and endorsed Senator Marco Rubio (R). Santorum praised the leadership talents of Rubio.
Rubio – Toomey: Senator Pat Toomey (R) plans to endorse Senator Rubio’s campaign as well.
Latest National Poll: The latest post Iowa national poll from PPP has the Trump 25%, Rubio 21% and Cruz 21% with Carson at 11% and no one else above single digits. Rubio is +8, Cruz +3 and Trump -9.
FL-5: Ex-State Sen. Al Lawson (D) kicked off his expected bid against Rep. Corrine Brown (D) for this revamped Tallahassee-to-Jacksonville seat yesterday. Lawson could be a formidable opponent as he has high name recognition in the Tallahassee area, which Brown has never represented.
FL-18: Palm Beach County commissioner Priscilla Taylor (D) has dropped out of this race, citing poor fundraising. This Democratic primary is down to just two candidates, businessman Randy Perkins (D) and attorney Jonathan Chane (D). Republicans have a crowded field for this light-red seat.
FL-26: Ex-Rep. Joe Garcia (D) is mounting a fifth bid for this seat which he won in 2012 and lost in 2014. He will face 2014 LG nominee and DCCC favorite Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) in the race to take on Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) in this slightly bluer re-redistricted seat. Garcia is widely considered a weak candidate, as he is 1-3 in bids for the seat. His one win came against scandal-plagued then-Rep. David Rivera (R), and Garcia was hit with ethical scandals of his own in his time in Congress. However, Garcia’s name recognition could allow him to beat Taddeo-Goldstein in the primary. It looks like the primary will remain a one-on-one affair, as Andrew Korge (D), son of a big Clinton donor, has decided to forgo a run and seek the State Senate seat of Anitere Flores (R) instead. Though Flores’s SD-39 has a D+1 PVI, it is also heavily Hispanic and it’s doubtful Korge is the best fit for the district.
IL-10: After endorsing Highland Park mayor Nancy Rotering (D), Sen. Dick Durbin (D) has cut an ad for her. Rotering faces ex-Rep. Brad Schneider (D) in the March primary to take on Rep. Bob Dold (R) in this medium-blue suburban seat.
LA-4: Cardiologist Trey Backum (R) will run for this open seat in the Shreveport area, becoming the first serious candidate in the race; he will likely soon get company though, as State Rep. Mike Johnson (R) is likely to kick off his bid next week. The field will likely grow significantly from there.
WI-8: State Sen. Roger Roth (R), who came in second to now-retiring Rep. Reid Ribble (R) in 2010, will surprisingly not mount a second bid for this open seat. No candidates have yet entered this race.
PA-AG: Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) is in a world of hurt financially as she has spent over $300,000 of campaign funds fighting off a frenzy of lawsuits, criminal actions, and removal attempts by
literally every faction of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Good Ole Boys Club a substantial portion of humanity. The Political Staffer/Consultant Industrial Complex took half of the amount in a PR campaign that has miserably failed. Kane still has funds in the bank, but owes a million dollar plus loan to her husband whose divorcing her.
More PA-AG: Ex-Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has given his backing to Montgomery County commissioner Josh Shapiro (D) in this crowded primary. Shapiro faces Kane, Allegheny DA Stephen Zapalla (D), and Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) in the primary. State Sen. John Rafferty (R) is the presumptive GOP nominee.
WATN: Ex-DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D), who was ousted in 2014 amid a corruption scandal, is running for his old city council seat in Ward 7, which covers DC’s poor eastern tip.
Iowa: A good article here about how Ted Cruz won Iowa, and how Marco Rubio’s late surge was just exactly as he planned.
Polling: The Iowa results represented yet another failure for polling, at least on the Republican side. Here’s how the pollsters got it wrong.
SD-Sen: Sen. John Thune (R) was re-elected in 2010 unopposed. It appears he could do so again this year, or at least not face a Democratic opponent. Nobody has filed yet to take on Thune, and although the state Democratic Party’s communication director claims there are multiple people that are potential candidates, no names were forthcoming. Democrats have until March 29 to find a candidate.
MD-4: Two candidates have dropped out of the Democratic primary race just ahead of today’s filing deadline. Ex-Prince George’s County Council member Ingrid Turner is dropping out and instead running for a local judgeship. State Del. Dereck Davis is dropping out as well. 6 candidates remain on the ballot for the Democratic primary, with ex-Prince George’s state’s attorney Glenn Ivey, ex-Lieutenant Governor and failed 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown, and state Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk seen as having the best chance.
PA-8: A surprise here as state Rep. Scott Petri (R) has dropped out of the race. Petri had been seen as the most likely successor to retiring Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R). But the recent unexpected entry of the congressman’s brother, Brian Fitzpatrick into the race changed the dynamics and Petri would have found himself in a tough race. Petri instead will run for re-election to the PA House leaving Fitzpatrick as the overwhelming favorite in the Republican primary against ex-Bucks County Commissioner Andrew Warren and former Bucks County Assistant DA Dean Malik.
TN-8: Add another name to the list of candidates who have already declared candidacies for this seat which just came open on Monday. State Rep. Steve McManus (R) joins 5 others in the race. Most of McManus’s district lies in TN-9 however, which may complicate him getting known particularly in the rural part of the district.
State & Local:
KY-House special elections: The Republican State Leadership Committee is buying digital ads in the state tying Democratic candidates in 4 upcoming House special elections to President Obama. It is said to be the first part of a “six-figure, multi-platform ad campaign” to influence the special elections, being held March 8 to replace ex-state Reps. Mike Harmon (R) and Ryan Quarles (R) who are now State Auditor and Agriculture Commissioner respectively, and 2 Democratic state representatives who took jobs in the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin (R). Democrats must win at least 1 of the 4 races to keep their majority in the state House; if Republicans win all 4, they will force a tie.
KY-SOS: What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes? How about a federal grand jury subpoena! A federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed the records of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) and her father Jerry Lundergan (D) in an investigation that relates to the finances of her political campaigns in 2014 against Sen Mitch McConnell (R) and her 2015 re-election campaign.
SC-LG: The State House has unanimously passed a bill that would allow gubernatorial nominees to pick their LG running mates after they win their party’ s nomination. A 2012 constitutional amendment changed the LG office from being elected separately from the governor to running with the governor as a team but did not specify whether gubernatorial nominees had to pick running mates before the primary and run as a team in the primary or choose their running mates after winning the nomination.
VT-LG: Garrett Graff (D) is dropping out of the race for Lieutenant Governor. Graff recently moved back to the state after a decade in Washington, DC as editor of Politico and before that Washingtonian magazine, and that raised questions about his residency and eligibility to run. Graff’s exit leaves state Reps. Kesha Ram and David Zimmerman and political newcomer Brandon Riker in the race for the Democratic nomination.
VA-AG-2017: A 2nd Republican has announced a run for AG next year. John Adams, a former federal prosecutor and naval officer who worked in the George W. Bush White House joins state Del. Rob Bell (R) in seeking to unseat incumbent AG Mark Herring (D).
In Modesto, Ted Brandvold (R) easily defeated incumbent Mayor Garrad Marsh (D) by a margin of nearly 20 points. In CT-LD-121, Joe Gresko (D) defeated Susan Barksdale (R). In MA-LD-12th Essex, Stephanie Peach (R) and Thomas Walsh (D) won their respective primaries. In MA-LD-9th Plymouth, Gerard Cassidy (D) won nomination. In MA-LD-3rd Worcester, Stephen Hay (D) and Dean Tran (R) will face off in the general.
Iowa Caucus Results: Iowa Made America Great Again by delivering a victory in the Republican primary to Senator Ted Cruz (R) over Donald Trump (Himself) with Senator Marco Rubio (R) coming in a close third. The Democrats are still trying to figure out who won, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) has declared victory over Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist) even though Sanders is disputing it.
Dropouts: Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley are both dropping out today. But #Gilmentum rolls on with a better-than-expected 12 votes last night.
FL-Sen: The fundraising numbers from Q4 are in, and it looks like Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) is cementing his status as the front-runner by default in this shadow-primary. DeSantis raised a respectable (if not particularly amazing) $772K, while his two rivals, LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and Rep. David Jolly (R) turned in utterly pathetic hauls of $318K and $112K respectively. If the latter two want to have any hope of being taken seriously in a state as expensive as Florida they’re going to need to seriously step it up on the money front.
MD-Sen: After some nine months of drawn-out consideration, just two days ahead of the filing deadline, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) finally decided not to run for the Senate and to seek re-election in MD-7. The winner of the competitive primary between Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Donna Edwards (D) will be the prohibitive favorite to take the open seat.
IN-3: Ex-Allen County commissioner Kevin Howell (R), a former staffer to Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R), is entering this race. Howell joins State Sens. Jim Banks (R) and Liz Brown (R), farmer Kip Tom (R), and ex-WI State Sen. Pam Galloway (R) in the primary for this safe seat.
IN-9: Businessman Trey Hollingsworth (R) wasn’t considered much of a factor in this open-seat race, but that is probably going to change as he has dumped just under $700K into his campaign. The cash could be useful in getting him traction in a field with three much bigger names, AG Greg Zoeller (R) and State Sens. Erin Houchin (R) and Brent Waltz (R).
NY-19: Livingston (pop. 4K) councilman Will Yandik (D) is officially running for this open seat. Yandik is an underdog in the primary to bold progressive favorite and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout (D). Ex-State Rep. John Faso (R) and businessman Andrew Heaney (R) are in the race on the GOP side.
NY-22: State Sen. Joe Griffo (R) has announced he won’t run for Congress. Ex-State Sen. Ray Meier (R) looks like the only major candidate who has yet to decide on whether to join front-running State Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) and Broome County commissioner George Phillips (R) in the primary. Democrats are still searching for a credible candidate for this light-red seat.
TN-8: Now this has to set some sort of record for fastest-developing congressional race of all time. Within six hours of Rep. Stephen Fincher’s (R) retirement announcement yesterday, not one, not two, but five (!) credible Republicans had already entered the race to succeed him. They are (deep breath) State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R), ex-US Attorney David Kustoff (R), Shelby County register of deeds Tom Leatherwood (R), Shelby County commissioner Steve Basar (R), and wealthy radiologist and 2010 candidate George Flinn (R). All are likely to be heavyweight contenders, and the field is likely to grow from there. All of the current five come from Shelby County, which could provide a major opening for a rural candidate to sneak through. On the D side, ex-State Sen. and 2010 nominee Roy Herron (D) is apparently considering the race, but he would face very tough odds in a district that has become significantly more Republican than the one he lost by 20 points to Fincher in 2010.
TX-15: EMILY’s List has endorsed realtor and Dem official Dolly Elizondo (D) in this crowded primary. The endorsement could be even more meaningful than usual as the entire six-person Dem field is little-known and has struggled with fundraising in this Rio Grande Valley seat, one of the nation’s poorest. Republicans are likely to nominate ex-Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villareal (R) for the long-shot (but on the edge of the playing field) race.
WI-8: Unlike the TN-8 race which developed with absurd speed yesterday, this open-seat race is unfolding at a normal pace after Rep. Reid Ribble (R) retired. Three GOP legislators are on the record as considering runs: State Sen. Roger Roth (R) and State Reps. John Nygren (R) and David Steffen (R). On the D side, Outagamie CE Tom Nelson (D) is considering, while ex-Rep. Steve Kagen (D) took his name out of the running. State Sen. Dave Hansen (D) denied any current interest but seems to be standing by as a backup option if Nelson declines.
VA-Redistrict: The SCOTUS has declined to issue a stay of the new congressional map ahead of this year’s elections. That means this year’s elections, at least for the primary, will proceed under the blatantly Bartlett vs. Strickland-violating plan a special master drew up that retrogresses VA-3 and makes a new Safe D VA-4. The incumbent Rep. from that seat, Randy Forbes (R), is now almost certain to run for the open R-leaning VA-2 instead. Forbes, who currently represents none of the new VA-2 but has strong name rec in the Hampton Roads media market, would likely face primary opposition from State Rep. Scott Taylor (R) and others, but he would start out with the endorsements of retiring Rep. Scott Rigell (R) and many local establishment figures.
Today’s Elections: Today we have an important municipal election and four legislative specials.
The first municipal election of the year is a runoff for mayor of Modesto. Modesto is easily overlooked as it sometimes gets lost in the vastness of California, being far from major media centers. But it’s a major city in its own right, with a population just shy of 200K. It is also an EVEN PVI city (though Democrats have historically been dominant in the region) and today’s mayoral election is likely to be highly competitive. This is an all-mail election, so results may not come quickly tonight. Incumbent Garrad Marsh (D) is a mainstream liberal seeking his second term. Marsh has become unpopular due to his push for a sales tax increase and a prickly leadership style, and was held to 39% in the first round by a field of three other candidates. Today he faces architect and zoning board member Ted Brandvold (R), who appears to be a fairly generic mainstream Republican and came in second with 29%. Most of the remainder of the vote went to a conservadem ideologically between the two. Since the first round, Brandvold has received the endorsements of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the police and fire unions, all mostly due to disagreements with Marsh rather than affinity for the somewhat unexciting Brandvold. There has been something of a dearth of information available on the race, but the dynamic of the race being a referendum on Marsh suggests Brandvold is a slight favorite.
We also have four legislative specials today, a general election in Connecticut and three primaries in Massachusetts. CT-LD-121 is a D+18 seat covering the southern half of Stratford. Stratford councilman Joe Gesko (D) should be a prohibitive favorite over school board member Susan Barksdale (R). However, Republicans are making a serious play for this seat and given the string of special election upsets we’ve seen over the last year or so I won’t count out the possibility of an upset. There are also three primaries in Massachusetts ahead of March 1 generals. MA-LD-12th Essex is a D+7 but formerly GOP-held seat covering most of Peabody; it seems like a D pickup is a strong possibility. Two Republicans are running, legislative staffer Stephanie Peach (R) and city council aide Jaclyn Corriveau (R); neither has a clear advantage. Dems have three candidates in their primary and no clear favorite between Peabody councilman and 80s-era ex-State Rep. Thomas Walsh (D), councilman James Moutsolas (D), and nonprofit exec Craig Welton (D). MA-LD-9th Plymouth is a D+30 seat in poor, heavily minority areas of Brockton. Three Brockton councilors, Shirley Asack (D), Shayna Barnes (D), and Gerard Cassidy (D), are all seeking the nomination. From what I can see there is no clear favorite. MA-LD-3rd Worcester is a D+7 seat in Fitchburg. Three Democrats are running. Fitchburg councilman Stephan Hay (D) has most labor support and is favored against social worker Kimatra Maxwell (D) and zoning board member Joe Byrne (D). No Republicans filed for the district, though councilman Dean Tran (R) has mounted a late write-in campaign; he needs 150 votes to make it to the general election ballot.
12:19 ET: The GOP race is now 99% in, with the results being 27.7% Cruz, 24.3% Trump, 23.1% Rubio, 9.3% Carson, 4.5% Paul. The D race is still within a single point, and might go to Lawyers or a recount.
11:37 ET: I’m going to call it here. We’ll probably have to wait until tomorrow morning for the official results, but it looks like they won’t change much. That was one hell of a way to start out the election season.
11:22 ET: Here’s something to chew on–Trump’s ~23% of the vote is exactly what Pat Buchanan got in Iowa in 1996.
11:04 ET: Reporting has either stopped or slowed to a crawl at this point, but right now it looks like Clinton will barely win Iowa and Trump will barely hold onto 2nd place. But let’s not start writing Trump’s Obituary just yet, as he has a much friendlier state coming up next week. Remember, if there’s one thing Trump is good at, its rebounding from embarrassing failures (how many times has he declared bankruptcy again?)
10:48 ET: Its amazing how someone can come in 3rd place and be the real winner of the night. Cruz shut up most of his critics by getting a small but sturdy win, Trump got a humiliating defeat and almost fell into 3rd place, and Rubio got exactly what he wanted out of the race, and now has a compelling justification for voters not currently supporting him to do so. Everyone else on the GOP is looking like an afterthought now.
10:40 ET: 88% of the GOP precincts are in, and Trump is still 1.4% ahead of Rubio.
10:31 ET: I’m going to call Iowa for Cruz now. Trump’s lingering dangerously close to 3rd place right now. Also, Mike Huckabee is suspending his campaign.
I wasn’t expecting to have to make a 2nd thread for just Iowa, but the nailbitter races for 2nd on the GOP side and 1st for the Dems is getting too intense.
10:27 ET: Moving to a 2nd thread!
10:20 ET: 81% in, and Trump’s leading Rubio by 1.4%. Rubio’s been cutting thousands off of Trump’s vote totals all night, but it might not be enough Linn and Dubuque counties are the laggers right now, both <5% Romney counties in 2012. On the D side, Clinton is up 1 point with 82% Counted. 10:11 ET: Trump’s down to a 1.7% lead over Rubio, or about 3,000 votes. With 78% of the precincts in, this will come down to the wire.
10:04 ET: Trump down to 24.7% to Rubio’s 22.6% with 72% of the precincts in. Trump is seriously looking at a 3rd place finish right now. Also, Rubio is close to the lead in Polk County, only .6% behind Cruz there
10:00 ET: We now have reports that Martin O’Malley is dropping out, after being dealt one of the most humiliating defeats in primary history. He is probably going to wind up with less than half the votes of any Republican not named Gilmore (who has reached double-digit # of votes now).
9:57 ET: Assuming Rubio continues to creep up on Trump (2.8% now), how do any of the Kasich/Bush/Christie/Fiorina group justify staying in the race? Their margins are probably all going to be enough individually to have put the Don in 3rd place.
9:53 ET: Trump’s 2nd place lead now down to 3.2% with 61% in. At this rate he’ll probably still be in 2nd but it’ll be close.
9:47 ET: Cruz winds Hardin County by about 10, close to Santorum’s margin over Romney there in 2012. Trump’s lead over Rubio is down to 3.8% . . .
9:44 ET: 53% in, and Trump’s 2nd place lead is down to 4%. Clinton’s lead is also down to 2 points, but 67% of the D precincts are in.
9:40 ET: And since I typed that, Trump’s 2nd-place-lead is now down to 4.4% with 48% of the precincts in.
9:39 ET: The Don is continuing to gradually slide away from Cruz and towards Rubio. He’s now behind Rubio in Polk County, and only up 5 on him statewide. A 3rd place Trump finish is not out of the cards yet, especially as it looks like Trump and not Cruz is the one under-performing in the bigger counties.
9:35 ET: Rubio is now over 20% of the vote, within 6 points of the Don, with 40% in. Cruz still leading by 3 points.
9:34 ET: Something I completely missed is that in the Microsoft Maps, if you click on the counties, they give you maps of that county’s precincts. We can actually zoom in to tell what parts of Polk County have already voted. I knew I was a PC guy for a reason!
9:31 ET: Most amusing result of the night so far is that Martin O’Malley is doing worse than almost every single Republican running, with .5%. He’s only saved from last place by Jim Gilmore’s 4 votes.
9:22 ET: Audubon County is now fully in for the GOP, and went 36-26-15 Cruz-Trump-Rubio. Western Iowa. For Reference, it was 24-22-18-14 Santorum-Romney-Paul-Gingrich in 2012.
9:17 ET: Clinton down to a 3 point lead with 45% in . . and Clinton’s counties are more in than Sanders’s.
9:14 ET: GOP race currently at 30% Cruz, 27.3% Trump, 18.7% Rubio, 10% Carson, everyone else irrelevant. 18% of Precincts in, but mostly the smallest ones, so could be unrepresentative.
9:09 ET: Sanders closing in on Clinton, now down only 4 points with 34% in. Don’t count him out yet.
9:03 ET: Reports are coming in that Gilmore has actually won 2 votes. I’d almost like to meet these people now.
8:58 ET: Taking a look at the D side now, CLinton is up 6 points on Sanders with about 23% in. Sanders could still win but it looks unlikely at this point.
8:52 ET: CBS has issued an updated Entrance poll, and Cruz is ahead 28-25-23 over Trump and Rubio.
8:48 ET: The results coming in are looking better for Cruz (who is narrowly ahead) and worse for Trump (in 2nd place) and Rubio (in a distant 3rd). Still barely anything in though.
8:39 ET: First results are starting to come in. Trickles now, but the point to a Clinton win and a GOP crapshoot.
8:26 ET: Both CNN and CBS have issued slight revisions to their entrance polls, both of which have now Rubio narrowly in 2nd place over Cruz.
8:19 ET: CBS Entrance poll has Trump at 28%, Cruz at 23%, Rubio at 22%, Caron at 10%, and Bush at 4%.
8:10 ET: CNN Entrance Poll Results here. Trump, Cruz, and Rubio form the top tier in the 20s, Carson is at around 10%, and no one else is above 4%. Bush could be looking at 8th place too, with only Kasich and Santorum placing under him.
8:06 ET: Reports coming in from he CBS entrance polls have the race approximately 30% Trump, 22% Cruz, 20% Rubio, no one else close. CNN is showing similar numbers.
8:00 ET: The 2016 Election has officially started! The Iowa Caucuses have officially kicked off, and we should be getting results between 1 and 2 hours from now. In the meantime, feel free to post the entrance poll results here as well.
Republican Rep Stephen Fincher has announced he will not seek re-election. Fincher was 1st elected in the GOP wave of 2010. He replaced 11 term Democrat Rep John Tanner. TN-8 is a R+19 seat that covers suburban Memphis and most of rural West Tennessee. This was hard-core ancestrally yellow dog Dem territory as little as a decade ago but has since converted to electing Republicans up and down the ballot. As such, the GOP should easily hold this seat.
There is likely to be an urban-rural divide in this seat; Shelby county casts by far the biggest chunk of votes but an urban Republican may be a tough sell to the rural parts of the district. However, since Tennessee doesn’t have a runoff, fragmentation could play to Shelby Republicans’ benefit. George Flinn (R), a wealthy radiologist and radio station owner who ran for the seat in 2010, served as a Shelby county commissioner, and become a bit of a perennial candidate through taking on a number of unwinnable races, should be almost certain to run and his name recognition could make him a factor. Fellow physician and 2010 candidate Ron Kirkland (R) could also try again. There are roughly 10 GOP State Reps. and 5 GOP State Senators (John Stevens (R), Dolores Gresham (R), Ed Jackson (R), Brian Kelsey (R), and Mark Norris (R)) who represent sizable parts of the district; we’ll wait for our native Memphians to sort out who the most likely contenders are. Most of Shelby county’s elected offices are GOP-held as well, including CE Mark Lutrell (R), who seems like the only person with the potential to be an obvious front-runner.