And They’re Off!

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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55 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I’m running for both nominations. I consider myself the only person who can beat me in the general.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Chris says:

      Now that I’m done futzing around with the table headers in HTML code, I’m fully ready to support your bid to impose Chrisocracy.Report

      • I know I’ll regret admitting this… When I want a straightforward academic-looking table, I jump over to a command line, use a text editor to build the simple input file, run the file through groff and pic (GNU versions of 30yo UNIX software), run it through a command-line image manipulation toolkit (that’s 20 years old) to get a compact trimmed JPEG image, then embed the image. The software gets padding and alignment right without futzing. I know what people are going to see, as opposed to what the table might look like after it runs through WordPress’s display width limits for OT and the reader’s browser settings forcing 24-point Comic Sans font.

        But I digress. Yes, Chrisocracy!Report

  2. nevermoor says:

    Just a quick note that these numbers omit SuperPAC fundraising. Also, the NPR chart there is pretty solidly informative work with the same SuperPAC caveat.

    Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise superPAC, for example, has reported that it raised $103 million, which means Bush has $114 million in his corner — 10 times the $11.4 million his campaign raised, and enough to dwarf the total raised by the Clinton campaign plus the $15.6 million her Priorities USA PAC has reportedly raised.


    • Burt Likko in reply to nevermoor says:

      Yeah, I just used FEC numbers for the designated “principal campaign” for each candidate (except for Biden, who has none, and Kasich, who has yet to formally declare). Both for ease of research, and to avoid having to dig up how many SuperPACs and other third-party groups were out there under Gods-only-know how many different names, holding money for the ostensible benefit of one or another candidate.

      But you’re dead-on to note that a money picture isn’t complete without knowing where SuperPAC funds are. Unless I’m quite mistaken about this, SuperPAC money can be used for other candidates if so directed by the candidate. So if Bush were to drop out of the race for some reason (which I doubt he’d do until at least after the Florida primary), he’d have massive dough available to lend to whatever other candidate he chose to endorse, enough money to make a big difference on the future race (and maybe secure a VP or Cabinet designation).Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Bloomberg has similar numbers to report, however: notably showing that Clinton and Sanders have each raised more money than any individual Republican; combined, these two Democrats have raised more money than the five leading Republican fundraisers (in order, Cruz, Bush, Carson, Rubio, and Paul) combined.Report

      • gingergene in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Am I confused- I thought SuperPACs were forbidden from coordinating with the candidate? Although if you can differentiate between “directing a SuperPAC to spend on another candidate after you leave the race” and “dropping out and endorsing a candidate still in the race”, you’re a better man than I.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to gingergene says:

          Oh, there you go talking about “law” and “ethics” and “freedom from corruption.”

          So don’t play all innocent with us. This is politics we’re talking about here!Report

        • Morat20 in reply to gingergene says:

          Ah, you see, that’s why you wait so long to announce. Because BEFORE you’re an announced, official candidate — you can coordinate all you want. Set up PACs, staff them with close friends and confidantes, trusted political allies, people who you have a history with.

          And you can game out all sorts of things.

          So even without breaching the law an iota, you can announce with a PAC already existing that — while not allowed to coordinate with you — is packed full of money, people who know your gamebook and who are staffed entirely with loyalists.

          Jeb did his real fundraising before he announced.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

            Someone needs to do a post about that weird problem that the FEC is running into that it’s illegal for PACs to use candidate names if they’re not affiliated with the candidate…but, what, exactly, is the different between affiliation and coordination?Report

            • Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

              If only the FEC or Congress had thought all this out when the made law enabling all this money…

              Oh wait, that was a SCOTUS decision. And, of course, given the names in the majority “activist” can’t possibly be correct. Those five would never, ever, ever think of overturning law and precedent…

              Seriously, the flood of money has — to my shock — bitten the GOP on the butt. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.Report

      • nevermoor in reply to Burt Likko says:

        if so directed by the candidate

        Candidates cannot direct SuperPAC spending! That would be illegal!

        But yes, the PAC can do literally whatever it wants with the money. So if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and assume that Bush has some ability to influence Right to Rise, he could certainly be a kingmaker.

        Incidentally, preparing for the election season is always a good time to go back to the Colbert archives on this stuff.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    I remember when Pataki was considered a big deal in Republican politics because he unseated the hated-liberal Mario Cuomo in 1994. This is the same year Bush II beat Ann Richards. Cuomo and Richards did an adorable Doritos commercial together. Pataki is now considered too moderate for the GOP and this is a mere 21 years later. Though is there anyone besides Lincoln, Nixon and Reagan who won the Presidency after spending many years out of office? FDR was out of office for most of the 1920s but became Governor of New York for a few years before winning the Presidency in 1932. Eisenhower was in the public eye because of WWII. Nixon might have been the only one to sink back to being a private practice lawyer after his defeats in 1960 and 1962. Reagan was out of office for most of the 1970s but kept himself in the public spotlight.

    I think the GOP nom goes to Jeb! or Walker. I’ve seen Kaisch floated as a dark candidate. I’d bet the Rubio gets the Veep nod. Though if Jeb gets the nod, I can see him picking Walker.

    Unless something interesting happens, HRC is almost certainly the Democratic nominee. Sanders does seem to be pushing her to the left. Our North thinks she will revert to DLC triangulating-centerist once the nomination is in but I have my hopes that she will stay liberal.Report

    • Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Sanders is doing exactly what Hillary wants him to do — letting her pander to the Democrats while the rest of the country is still snoozing.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Kim says:

        That’s some serious fifth-dimensional chess you’ve got going there. Seems to me Clinton would much, much prefer to have the field essentially to herself to occupy the center right from the start, and Sanders’ intrusion and consequent leftward tug is considered very much unwelcome at Camp Hillary.Report

        • Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

          The Kabuki that is Bernie is for a couple of factors, really…
          1) People really, really liked being asked for their votes when it was Obama versus Hillary. If no one credible is running, Hillary can’t do that.
          2) Democrats are understandably asking if Hillary can do better than Mark Penn, and can run a competent campaign. Running against Bernie shows that.
          3) Hillary gets a free test to see what the Kossacks (and others) really care about. Bernie can run left on everything, and Hillary can run left on what the lefties like.

          Hillary wanted Bernie — Webb would have run in any case, but… he runs right. At least we don’t have Lawn Gnome running this year!! (and yes, without someone credible running on the left, we do risk someone like Kucinich).Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Eisenhower was in the public eye because of WWII.

      You are overlooking several others that come into the presidency the military route, including Grant and Taylor (and, for that matter, Washington: he was in the Virginia House of Burgesses for a few years, but that was decades earlier).Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      She will stay where her polling suggests the votes are I would expect. That’ll probably be slightly to the right of where she is during the nomination process but definitely to the left of the previous Clinton campaign since A) there’s the ACA to protect and B) neocon thinking is utterly discredited so she’ll be having to lay low on her hawkish impulses.Report

  4. Richard Hershberger says:

    If I were a betting man, I’d predict Scott Walker to win the Republican nomination against the still-seemingly-inevitable Hillary Clinton nomination.

    I’d put my money on Jeb! on the grounds that he seems to be the most establishment candidate, and the establishment usually gets its man in the end. But I’d want some odds before I placed the bet.Report

  5. gingergene says:

    Holy cow, the Dems have a ton of money, and seemingly not just because it’s more concentrated. Clinton alone has nearly as much money as the combined accounts of the 11 (R) candidates with FEC filings.

    The race as a whole is just swimming in money. This gives me a bad, bad, feeling. At this rate, I’ll never be able to buy myself a city councilman, much less anyone at the federal level.Report

  6. Will Truman says:

    Things are really starting to fall into place for Jeb until the last couple of months, who I have been skeptical about. Walker is the next most likely, followed by Rubio and then less likely Perry then Cruz.

    None of the other candidates have a chance. If all of the above blow it spectacularly or otherwise fail, Mitt Romney will be the nominee.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

      I’m truly taken aback most by the amount of money that Carson and Cruz have raised. It may well be that their success is what’s causing the Establishment to rally ’round Jeb! so quickly — although now, they may want to give Walker a try-it-before-you-buy-it-test-drive.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I’m taken aback by the amount of money Carson has *SPENT*.

        Not that I’m necessarily in his target audience, mind, but Colorado Springs has his target audience and you’d think that he’d have had *SOME* visibility here, if only to do some light fundraising.Report

  7. North says:

    Burt, sir, you included Trump in a list of “serious candidates”. Seriously Burt, surely this is a typo?

    My money is that Trump runs until he can get into the first debate and bloviate a lot but bails before he is forced by election regulations to disclose his finances (which would demonstrate that he’s a millionaire, not a billionaire).Report

    • Glyph in reply to North says:

      You think they’ll let Trump into a debate?Report

      • North in reply to Glyph says:

        If I recall correctly the first debate has to let in the top polling candidates. If Trump can stay atop the charts that long they should in theory have to let him in. If they don’t then he’ll pitch a very public fit which would also serve his purposes.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

        They f’ed up, and they have to let him in.Report

        • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

          I think it’s possible he will choose not to debate more than once.

          Like Cain, I have the sense that Trump is using his candidacy as marketing for his other potential business interests. Unlike Cain, at least at the moment that seems to be backfiring for him. I predict he will debate on August 9th, throw out a few headline stealing lines, and then have reasons not to do any other debates and instead focus on getting free interview time on TV and radio… and then bow out before the end of the year.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            That’s entirely possible. OTOH, I didn’t actually think he would make it this far. I’m actually leaning a bit towards the notion that he is really an egomaniac. I’m less than 100% certain he won’t genuinely explore a third party run.

            But hell if I know. All I know is that I have never seen a candidate do more in service of another candidate (Jeb) since I’ve been following politics.Report

            • North in reply to Will Truman says:

              As I understand it there are financial disclosure rules that Trump will take to like a vampire takes to garlic and crucifixes. He’ll raise a stink at the first debate then bail before the FCC forces him to admit he’s a piker millionaire instead of a big fish billionaire. I’m presuming this is an ego run and thus it’ll be quashed when his larger ego play is threatened.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to North says:

                I didn’t expect him to get this far, though. I was sure that he was going to toy around with it and toy around with it and never formally announce. Then, much counter to his own self-interest, he did. He’s off the rails. That’s why I’m thinking egomania, and maybe not in a way that will have him leave the stage in a timely and prudent manner.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

                As we know, Trump doesn’t really do “leave the stage in a timely and prudent manner” so much.

                Instead, he has his entity file Chapter 11.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

                He did so in 2012, in his own way, which is why I figured he would do so again. Then he didn’t. It’s like a movie where someone goes back in time and everything is supposed to happen a certain way and then something DOESN’T and the time-traveler is like “Crap! Now what?!”Report

    • Kim in reply to North says:

      *nods* Trump controls a lot more money than he actually owns.
      Somehow stupid people give him much money.

      I know smarter businessmen than Trump (though, actually, I think they blow up more stuff…)Report

    • Don Zeko in reply to North says:

      He’s about as serious as Carson, and only marginally less likely to win than Lindsey Graham, Patacki, etc.Burt is just a generous soul, I suppose.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Trump is currently polling 13%, and calling the shots on the issues.

        Carson has induced people to give him eight figures’ worth of money.

        Do I believe, even for a nanosecond, that either of them are going to be nominated? I may be a “generous soul,” to use @don-zeko ‘s polite euphemism, but I’m not stooopid. But those two facts merit their inclusion in the game as actual players.

        We wouldn’t look back over the 2008 Presidential campaign without discussing Rudy! Giuliani’s bid for the nomination — he got lots of early money, got lots of early endorsements, was the front-runner for quite a lot of the early polls, and called a lot of the shots on what the other candidates talked about. Now, when the rubber hit the road, he splattered like a water balloon, but that was his own damn fault.

        So yeah, I think we need to talk about Trump and Carson, at least right now. They’ll eventually fade into irrelevance and become comic footnotes, as we all know.Report

        • Don Zeko in reply to Burt Likko says:

          @burt-likko Oh, I didn’t mean that as a criticism, per se. Just because they won’t win doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Sanders will most assuredly not win the Democratic nomination, but his level of success will have an effect upon the rest of the race, policy after being elected, etc.Report

  8. Tod Kelly says:


    Someone needs to do one of those Time Capsule Prediction posts, like Jaybird did back in 2011.Report

  9. Damon says:

    Yawn, nothing new in any of these candidates. Same old same old. Is there any other reason why the % voting is so low?Report