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With about 99.9% of the election done, we will know look to the future for our political news stories.  This section will mostly be dedicated to pure news and our take on it but will focus on news blurbs for the 2014 and 2016 electoral cycles.  See a candidate going to Iowa or New Hampshire?  Here is the place to go.

Now some stories will also get their own article, but for the most part we will just give quick blurbs to the news.  Right now, with everything so far away, this probably won’t be a daily occurrence but the day will likely come where it is.

So let’s see what is going on in the political world?

2016 Presidential News?
The feature part of each news dump will be those with Presidential aspirations.  Now, while 2016 is obviously further away than 2012, we do think that the race for the Presidency always takes precedent.

Let the jockeying begin.  As erroneously reported by some people in the news, this is actually Rubio’s second visit to the Hawkeye State with his first coming back in May.  Rubio this time around is the headline speaker at a birthday fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad.  Clearly this will kickoff not only talk of a Rubio ’16 bid but of Branstad possibly endorsing the young Senator before the Iowa caucus.  I’m fairly certain that Rubio will eventually end up running but he’s still very young and has a lot of time ahead of him.

This poll, done for Politico by Public Policy Polling, shows that the current Secretary of State as the overwhelming favorite amongst Iowa Democrats with Vice President Joe Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo falling behind.  If Clinton wants the bid, it looks like it should be hers for the taking.  However if she doesn’t run, Biden immediately becomes the favorite with Cuomo trailing and if neither run?  Cuomo leads Elizabeth Warren 30% to 13%.  Other polled candidates include Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Senator Mark Warner.

This poll does show, however, that Andrew Cuomo has done a solid job of earning some name recognition.  While it is very possible that a lot of that comes from the popularity of his father Mario, Cuomo has done what other candidates have been unable to do and that’s get their name out there.  Cuomo would probably be the best “moderate” choice of the group and his passing of marriage equality and the decriminalization of marijuana already smell like opportunism for 2016.  If Clinton, Biden, and Warren do not run; expect liberals/progressives to gravitate towards O’Malley or Patrick.

Following Public Policy Polling’s look at Iowa ’16, PPP (this time for Talking Points Memo) also dipped their toes in the water and polled New Hampshire.  New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary, usually tilts moderate on both sides of the aisle.

On the Republican side, 21% of voters favored the New Jersey Governor.  Following Christie is Rubio at 14%, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at 13%, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 11% and Vice Presidential nominee and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan at 10%.  Polling in single digits were 2008 candidate Mike Huckabee at 8%, 2012 candidate Rick Santorum at 5% and 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin tied with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 4%.

A couple surprising takeaways from this survey is how Jeb Bush is polling at only 11% and how Christie’s support amongst “somewhat conservative” and “very conservative” pollers was low.  Granted Bush’s brother, ex-President George W., didn’t run away with New Hampshire in 2000; you’d still think that Jeb would be a big front-runner right now.

Christie’s unpopularity amongst the far right might have something to do with his newfound “friendship” with Barack Obama aka, appreciating Obama’s help in the wake of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy.  Could this really hurt him?

Now for the Democrats, Clinton would overwhelmingly dominate if she ran.  New Hampshire Democrats gave her 60% of the vote with Biden trailing at 10%, Cuomo at 7%, Elizabeth Warren at 4% and Deval Patrick at 3%.  Clearly Clinton is the favorite in 2016 amongst the Democrats no matter how you slice it and NH’s close proximity to New York and Massachusetts appear to help the other candidates.

If Clinton doesn’t run?  Biden gaps Cuomo with a 26% to 15% lead with Elizabeth Warren in third at 11% and Deval Patrick in fourth with 9%.  If Biden also doesn’t take the plunge?  Cuomo wins with 22% to Patrick’s 18% and Warren’s 15%.

The other candidates barely crack 1% showing that O’Malley, Schweitzer and Warner need to really hit the trails hard if they intend to run.  This poll does not survey other potential candidates such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who could look at ’16 as the right time to run.

The main takeaway is though?  We are another day closer to finding out who runs and who does not.

2014 Senate Races

The hot news over the past couple days when discussing 2014 is the possibility that actress Ashley Judd would go head-to-head against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  McConnell has announced he will run for another term, though this would be the biggest recruit Kentucky Democrats had against him.  But surely, Judd would deny the speculation right?

No.  Judd said this:

“I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward,” she said.

Not exactly a denial at all, huh?  In fact; I’d venture that it’s almost a statement of wanting to examine her options.  Judd is a resident of Tennessee and would have to re-establish a residency in Kentucky but now the speculation is out there; so let’s see what happens next.

Tom Harkin, the longtime Democratic senator from Iowa, has been a mainstay in Senate for nearly 20 years.  His potential next challenger, however, might have more of a tea-influenced tint.

Steve King, a highly popular Congressman amongst the far-right, is teasing the potential of him running for Senate.  However would King really risk losing as there would be little way that he could swing independent voters to his side.  As a Democrat, I’m half rolling my eyes and half celebrating that King could make a potential swing state easier to win.

After his loss to progressive rockstar Elizabeth Warren, soon-to-be-former Senator Scott Brown may soon be able to earn his way back into the Senate.

John Kerry, the senior Senator and 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, has been mentioned as one of the top candidates to replace retiring SoS Hillary Clinton.  If Kerry is tabbed, Deval Patrick would pick a temporary Senator who would sit and vote until a special election was held later.  Famously, the Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s seat to Brown after Kennedy’s death, Paul Kirk’s appointment, and the horrible campaigning of Martha Coakley allowed Scott Brown to become a Senator.

Now he might find another way again.

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana may very well be one of the most endangered Senators in the 2014 cycle.  She’s a Democrat in the Deep South after all and Louisiana has a deep bench of Republican candidates looking to unseat her.

Rumors are swirling that Rep. Bill Cassidy, a three-term Congressman, might be inching his way to the race and Cassidy is not saying no.  Now with candidates such as Governor Bobby Jindal in the state, Cassidy would not be the #1 choice for Louisiana Republicans but still; this will be a hotly contested race.

For records sake, Cassidy had no Democratic opposition for his Congressional seat and in 2008 (a year in which Democrats had their best cycle ever), Landrieu beat State Treasurer John N. Kennedy by a 52% to 46% margin.

Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich, like Landrieu, is probably one of the top targets for the 2014 election cycle.  However, he seems to be really hitting the fundraiser trails hard and given how you don’t need too much money to hit the airwaves in Alaska; this could be a huge boon by him.

No high-profile Republicans have been linked to him yet, but I’d expect to see a very contested primary amongst the GOP; especially if Joe Miller throws his hat into the ring again.

Stay Tuned For More!

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