The biggest news this week was the Democratic debate held on Tuesday, October 13. Hillary Clinton expanded her lead in the Democratic primary both by looking strong herself and her strength dampening the spirts of Joe Biden supporters. On the Republican side Marco Rubio continued to hold tight and slightly surpass Jeb Bush at the top, while Ben Carson jockeys with Donald Trump in the second tier.
The Democratic debate did a few things at once. First, Clinton looked strong and progressive, quelling many Democratic fears that she could not step up and get the base to coalesce around her. It is hard to defend the DNC’s insistence of just four Democratic debates, with only one weekday debate, when it appears to have given so much strength to their front-runner. Second, while the likeness of a Biden run has increased over the last few days, it dipped sharply on the strength of Clinton’s performance. He may run, but likeliness of winning is no longer as compelling of reason. Third, Martin O’Malley showed himself to be viable backup. Without debates he has gotten very little attention, but he took advantage of his limited opportunity. This both makes Biden less useful, should Clinton stumble O’Malley could do fine, but it also leads to a good start for his Vice Presidential considerations.
Sources: Betfair, Hypermind, PredictIt, http://twopointoh.predictwise.com/politics/2016DemNomination
There are two key storylines on the GOP side, with Rubio continuing to fight it out with Bush, and Carson almost reaching Trump. The two establishment candidates are now basically tied for the most likely GOP nominee. Rubio was a little weakened last week with poor fundraising, but he continues to match Bush’s poll numbers. Meanwhile, Bush is not gaining traction with his new advertisement buys and is burning through money. And there are rumors that Sheldon Adelson will back Rubio soon; he could eliminate any fundraising gaps personally. On the second tier (first tier if you are poll watcher!) Carson continues to gain ground on Trump. I would not be surprised to see Carson and Trump collide at about 10% likelihood to win within the next week or so. Trump is having trouble staying fresh and Carson continues to rival him in the polls.
Sources: Betfair, Hypermind, PredictIt, http://twopointoh.predictwise.com/politics/2016RepNomination
No debates this week, but the GOP takes the stage on October 28. Bush is going to need to figure out by then how to answer questions about his brother, George W. Bush. Rubio is going to have to find a way to break out of the pack.