2016 Iowa caucus speculation thread

It’s never too early to start speculating about the next Iowa caucuses.  

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton would start the campaign as the overwhelming favorite, according to Public Policy Polling’s survey of 391 Iowa Democrats on November 3 and 4.

The PPP poll, which was shared exclusively with POLITICO, shows Clinton taking 58 percent of the Iowa vote in a hypothetical presidential run. Vice President Joe Biden trails far behind at 17 percent, followed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 6 percent and Massachusetts Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren at 3 percent.

None of the other Democrats tested – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner – cracked 1 percent in the poll.

If Clinton doesn’t run, Biden would jump into the lead with a less-commanding 40 percent of the vote, with Cuomo rising to 14 percent and Warren up to 9 percent. In the event that neither Clinton nor Biden runs, Cuomo draws 30 percent to Warren’s 13 percent, with 46 percent of voters unsure who they’d support.

If Clinton runs, she will clear the field, but if she doesn’t run, I think O’Malley has more potential here than Cuomo. The crowd at this year’s Harkin Steak Fry loved O’Malley. He even has an “Iowa connection” from his work for Gary Hart’s 1984 caucus campaign.

Of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, I think Amy Klobuchar is a more likely 2016 candidate than Elizabeth Warren.

The Republican side is truly wide open. Senator Marco Rubio is coming to central Iowa to headline Governor Terry Branstad’s birthday fundraiser on November 17.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Senator Rick Santorum did their part for the “No Wiggins” bus tour, and I’d be shocked if they don’t run for president next cycle.

Talk radio host Steve Deace is planning to lead the charge against anyone trying to push the GOP toward the center.

“He [Romney] killed us all over the country. Look at [same-sex] marriage. We’ve never lost the issue before, until it shared a ballot with Romney then we lost it four times on one day. Heck, we even won marriage in California on Election Day 2008 for goodness sake.

There will never be another establishment candidate like that. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie…those people will never happen. Heck, I think Christie will be driven out of the GOP and be the next Charlie Crist. Mitt just killed Republicans in my home state. People are angry, especially because Matt Drudge and Karl Rove told us it was all in the bag all along, after they got done smearing conservatives in the primary and dumping on Todd Akin.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.”

Deace sincerely believes Republicans need to “embrace the base” to start winning presidential elections.

The past two primary cycles have seen scores of Republican incumbents around the country lose to conservative upstarts. Social conservatives and an emerging generation of young libertarians are rebelling against the milquetoast party establishment. In no state is that more prevalent than my home state of Iowa, where social conservatives went with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum the past two caucuses over the strenuous objections of the party establishment. Ron Paul’s supporters now run the state Republican Party.

With yet another “Mitt McDole” establishment candidate losing a presidential election, the resolve of this new generation of upstarts to not give the GOP establishment the chance to blow another election will grow even stronger.

You only have to look at the exit polls for about 30 seconds to realize Obama would have won by an even greater margin had someone like Rick Santorum or Deace’s preferred candidate, Newt Gingrich, been the GOP nominee.

Iowa Republicans loved New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as recently as September, but he’s persona non grata after praising President Barack Obama so highly during the final week of the presidential campaign. I’m interested to see whether any of the major Iowa Republican donors who courted Christie to run for president will try to help him mend fences here. If Christie wants to rebuild relationships with Iowa GOP, Representative Steve King may be able to help. Christie headlined two fundraisers for King’s Congressional campaign–King helped him out years ago during a difficult Congressional hearing.

Spin your own 2016 Iowa caucus scenarios in this thread.

  • Don't you have something real to do?

    Good gosh, our tvs have just barely begun airing out the stench of the political commercials and gotten back to good old erection meds and corn herbicide commercials.

    Geeze, give us a week maybe, heh-heh.

    • don't you read this blog?

      It appears that I do not in fact have anything real to do. Although it’s a lovely day for a bike ride in central Iowa.

      • Bike ride sounds good

        Only decision is whether to get out the old Schwinn or the old Raleigh.

        As for ’16, hopefully some prestigious university might make Biden a lucrative offer of a serious ego-stroking position that would begin in February or March of 2017. It’s time for him to let go of his presidency aspirations.

        I would hope that we might nominate Mrs Clinton in ’16. Her resume is already of presidential calibre whereas Miss Warren’s not yet, altho 12 years may well make her’s so.

        The Democratic Party produced our first black president and I sincerely hope that we produce our first woman president.

        • Oh my!

          I just GOOGLED Miss Warren and see that it is apparent that I knew very little about her.

          She is an accomplished person and also is 10 years older than I was guessing.

          Presidential calibre indeed.

        • if Hillary doesn't run

          At least two if not three women in the Senate will take a shot at it, I think.

  • Steve Deace is the Democrats best friend

    Republicans of his ilk helped the Democrats to retain control of the U.S. Senate by nominating his kind of extreme candidates.

    Social conservatives and an emerging generation of young libertarians are rebelling against the milquetoast party establishment.

    That seems like an uneasy alliance since the social conservatives want more government control over people’s lives and libertarians want less.

    • I know

      It’s strange that they can’t see it at all. Without the extreme primary candidates the GOP would have won three more Senate seats in 2010 and at least two more this year.

  • In 2007, people thought Hillary would clear the field,

    But then some guy improbably named Barack Obama showed up.

    • she's in a stronger position now

      In 2007, many Democrats were afraid Clinton couldn’t win a general election. Who thinks that now? Nothing is guaranteed, obviously. We have no idea what the economy will be like in 2016 or anything else. But she clearly would have a decent chance to beat any of the Republican candidates I can see running. A lot of people who disliked the Clintons during the 1990s have a favorable view of Hillary now.

      • Count me in for Hillary

        I agree 100% with Desmoinesdem. I was a strong anti-Hillary Democrat in 2007-2008. At this stage in the game, I would be definitely favorable toward her candidacy and think she would make a formidable general election candidate. But it is very true, a lot can change before 2016 and we don’t know what the political landscape will be like then.

        • Facebook friend

          whom I knew in high school as a die-hard Reagan Republican (now a conservative-leaning independent, because she’s pro-choice) posted something incredible the night of Bill Clinton’s speech to the DNC. It was along the lines of, “Didn’t like him much before, but I’d vote for Clinton if he ran for president again, or Hillary if she ever runs.” I just about fell out of my chair.

    • I did not support Clinton and would not.

      She would get the old Bob Rubin Band back together and pick another Treasury Sec like Geithner who would coddle the banks the way Obama has at the expense of homeowners and taxpayers.  She was even more hawkish on Iran than Obama has been.  Bill is out shilling for cuts to Social Security even now.  Why do I want these people back in the White House?  No.

      I like Schweitzer and think he is a skilled politician, but when he came out for the Keystone Pipeline he lost me as a potential supporter.

      I am focused on helping Tom get reelected in 2014, if that is what he wants.  Rumor has it that King might take him on.  If so, I’m there, starting now.

  • I don't know

    Hillary would be a wonderful choice. But I really don’t think she wants to run.

    I would love to see Amy Klobuchar run.  

  • I might add....

    Rand Paul to the list.

  • I'll add Colorado Governor...

    Hickenlooper to the mix.

    great bio – small biz owner, brewer, battleground state governor, latino Lt. Gov., civil unions will pass now that the leg flipped to Ds, oh and add some weed to the mix. and ps. who wouldn’t want to see campaign signs that said, “Hick for Pres.”?

    Thoughts?

  • Candidates

    Amy Klobuchar doesn’t have the kind of fundraising connections that some of the other talked about candidates do.  I would be a Mark Warner supporter if he were to jump in unless Biden runs, so that shows how much I am on the outs with the Democratic Party.      

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