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“The Sunday Political Brunch”—February 28, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016


In sports you often hear talk about the “home field advantage,” meaning that when you play in your own backyard, you have a better chance of winning. Sometimes that proves true; sometimes not. But some upcoming primaries feature the home states of candidates, and the possible "home court advantage" bears investigation. Let’s “brunch” on that this week.

“Cruz/Texas” – Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas needs a win badly. Yes, he won Iowa; but subpar finishes in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada put his prospects in doubt. His home state of Texas offers the biggest delegate prize this coming Super Tuesday, March 1, with 155 delegates being awarded. A Monmouth University poll out this week has it: Cruz, 38 percent; Trump, 23 percent; and, Rubio, 21 percent; with Kasich and Carson "in the weeds." Texas is a “must win” for Cruz, or his campaign is over.

“Rubio/Florida” – Senator Marco Rubio (R) Florida, is also in desperate need of a win. Like Cruz, whenever Rubio finishes second or third, he oddly claims some semblance of victory. That claim might have had some validity in the first few states, but not anymore. In the latest Quinnipiac Poll from February 25, it was: Trump, 44 percent; Rubio, 28 percent; and Cruz, 12 percent. Former Governor Jeb Bush (R) Florida polled at 4 percent, but even if he successfully threw all of his support to Rubio, the home state senator is still 12 points behind. A devastating loss in Florida on March 15 may end Rubio’s campaign.

“Kasich/Ohio” – The prospects are much brighter for Governor John Kasich (R) Ohio. He could even lose the Ohio primary on March 15, and still remain in the race. In the latest Quinnipiac Poll, it is: Trump, 31 percent; Kasich, 26 percent; Cruz, 21 percent; and Rubio, 13 percent. Here’s why Kasich is still viable even if he loses. The same Quinnipiac Poll pondered potential GOP match-ups against Hillary Clinton in November, and all Republicans won - Kasich by 17 points; Rubio by 5; Cruz by 3; and Trump by 2. To me, this signals that Kasich has a lock on the Vice Presidential nomination. The GOP never wins the White House unless it carries Ohio!

“Paul/Kentucky” – Yes, I know Senator Rand Paul (R) Kentucky dropped out of the race, but his home state still holds a caucus next Saturday, March 4, which I will be covering. In fact, the early primary was held just so Paul could run in the Presidential primary in March and also in the U.S. Senate primary in May. Paul is an “outsider” in the Republican Party; and you would think that would appeal to the Trump crowd, since Trump is an outsider, too. The truth is that the two men can’t stand one another – as witnessed by the early debates. Paul led all home state polls in 2015, but is now out of the race. It will be fascinating to see where his supporters go.

“Sanders/Vermont” – Super Tuesday will provide a slam dunk win for Bernie Sanders in his home state. Vermont is one of the most liberal states in the nation. The thing to watch is whether that helps carry Sanders to victory in the neighboring, liberal state of Massachusetts, which would be a huge blow to former Bay State resident Hillary Clinton. Sanders is likely to do well in liberal bastions such as Colorado and Minnesota on Super Tuesday, as well.

“Clinton/Illinois, Arkansas, et al.” – The Clintons have seemingly lived everywhere, but Hillary is an Illinois native. Right now, the Simon-SIU poll has her leading Bernie Sanders there, 51 to 32 percent. The Public Policy Poll in her adopted home state of Arkansas has her leading Sanders 57 to 32 percent. But Clinton is in trouble in Massachusetts, where she attended college and is in a statistical dead-heat with Sanders. It’s not a nomination-breaker; but - given her history - Clinton should be polling much better in the Bay State.

“Why All of This Matters” – If you want to win the White House, you really must win your home state. The last President who won the job without winning his home state was James K. Polk, of Tennessee, way back in 1844. There must be a “Tennessee Curse” because Al Gore lost Tennessee in 2000, and had he not, that one single state would have made him President. Yes, we are only in the primary season right now, but whether it’s in the winter, spring, summer, or fall, the home field advantage is critical in politics.

Who are you supporting this primary season, and why? Just click the comment button at http://www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.


Related Slideshow: Presidential Candidate’s Social Media - 2016

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Trump Facebook

5.73 Million

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Trump Twitter

6.19 Million 

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Trump Klout

88 Score 

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Cruz Facebook

1.9 Million 

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Cruz Twitter


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Cruz Klout

89 Score

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Rubio Facebook

1.28 Million 

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Rubio Twitter

1.17 Million 

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Rubio Klout

81 Score 

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Kasich Facebook


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Kasich Twitter


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Kasich Klout

87 Score 

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Bush Facebook


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Bush Twitter


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Bush Klout

80 Score

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Carson Facebook

5.07 Million

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Carson Twitter

1.13 Million

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Carson Klout

80 Score 

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Clinton Facebook

2.46 Million 

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Clinton Twitter

5.4 Million 

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Clinton Klout

94 Score 

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Sanders Facebook

3.10 Million 

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Sanders Twitter

1.44 Million

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Sanders Klout

84 Score 


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