Are the GOP’s 2016 presidential hopes dying out?
No matter how many GOP candidates enter the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, it will be an uphill climb for any Republican to secure the White House. That’s not simply because Democratic voters outpace Republicans by a four-point edge, according to Gallup. It’s because the GOP is dying — literally —according to an analysis published Sunday in Politico.
Seems 2.75 million Republican voters will be dead by the time the 2016 election rolls around, Daniel J. McGraw claims in what he calls his “back-of-the-napkin” math. By comparison, roughly 2.3 million Obama supporters will have died by the time the 2016 election rolls around. McGraw is right, of course, that Republicans tend to be older than Democrats, and that the surge of millennials (about 78 million) tends to vote Democratic. They’re young, energetic, tilt left on social issues like gay marriage and believe women are underrepresented in the boardroom as well as the White House.
Republicans could still connect with millennial voters on economic issues, but on the whole, the demographic trends will only make it harder for the GOP’s eventual nominee.
McGraw’s estimates can only go so far, though. They can’t fully account for state-by-state differences that could tilt the Electoral College, and they don’t factor in specific candidates and how they might appeal to various age groups, or not. Can a youthful Marco Rubio, for example, find a way to draw younger voters? Will Hillary Clinton trip over her political baggage, packed in part by her husband?
In the end, regardless of who is nominated by the GOP, the election will rest on the 43 percent of Americans who identify themselves as independents. Including independents, Democrats had a three-point edge as of last year. But if McGraw is right, that edge could widen before long.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”