Elections 2014

Why is anyone thinking about 2016 right now?

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, Rare Contributor

A weekend removed from the Conservative Political Action Conference, and people are still buzzing away that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the CPAC presidential straw poll. He got a third of the vote and nearly triple the votes of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — man, he’s got the momentum!

Why is anyone thinking about 2016 right now?

There are a wide array of potential candidates for 2016. Sens. Paul, Cruz, and Marco Rubio are on the list. Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Mitt Romney (wait, what?) are also being talked about.

Even Sen. Rick Santorum is on the list. Gov. Jeb Bush? He’s on the list whether his mother likes it or not. And let’s not forget Gov. Nikki Haley, Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Susanna Martinez, potential women nominees.

Winning the CPAC straw poll may be nice, and might help you generate a few more campaign contributions, but it’s meaningless. How do I know? Because if Sen. Paul’s father had been on the ballot, he would have won the CPAC Straw Poll! He did in 2010 and 2011. Romney won it in 2012, along with 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Nice indicator of things to come.

If the conservative movement (that is, to say, everyone in America joined in the one basic truth that Obamacare is awful and has to be fixed/changed/eradicated) is going to be a serious movement, than it must engage an exemplary amount of focus over the next nine months — all of that focus being on winning the Senate.

Republicans need to win six seats to control the Senate and make Sen. Harry Reid go truly nuclear. Political analyst Larry Sabato, at his Crystal Ball website, has it 49-48 in favor of Republicans, with three toss-up states — North Carolina, Louisiana and Alaska.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) is getting destroyed in the polls, and there’s no end in sight. Why? She, too, told the Obamacare line of “like your plan/keep your plan.” The people of North Carolina are pretty upset with that clear and blatant lie. A recent poll has her at 33 percent approve/49 percent disapprove of her job performance.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has the same Obamacare woes. Luckily for her, she was just named Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That’s a big fancy title for a senator in a state where energy (see oil and gas) make up the bulk of the jobs and $60 billion to the Louisiana economy. Too bad she’s a progressive, and progressives hate oil and gas. Better she was Chairman of the Bird-killing Windmill Committee.

But, the senator does have a history of voting in favor of energy independence, including voting for Keystone XL. Are we sure she’s a Democrat? Oh, that’s right — Obamacare. Yeah, we’re sure.

Alaska has Sen. Mark Begich (D), who also sees a tough road ahead with his vote for Obamacare. According to Americans for Tax Reform, Sen. Begich’s Obamacare vote will cost Alaska 6,000 jobs. Left-leaning Public Policy Polling, Begich has 43/44 favorable/unfavorable rating in the state. President Obama has a 35/58 rating. Those are not numbers one wants to be associated with.

Even with all the attacks she has taken over the last six years, Sarah Palin has a better favorable rating than the President. Fifty percent of respondents also said they voted for Mitt Romney instead of Barack Obama.

Of the 49 seats Sabato says are Republican, three are actually “leaning” Republican — Montana, Arkansas and West Virginia. So, there’s your six seats to focus on. Six seats to change the course of America’s push towards obscurity. Six seats that should, if your serious about winning, have all of your attention.

Or we can talk about straw polls. Because, after all, they mean so much. Right, Rep. Bachmann?

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