May the Force be with you

If you have watched any television in the past month you probably know that the new Episode 7 of the Star Wars series, The Force Awakens, is in theatres today. You may have also noticed the extraordinarily large number of product tie-ins in commercials, from Subway to automobiles, which have been connected to the release of the movie.

As a matter of full disclosure and in order to maintain our objectivity to comment on political matters, please note that Politics and Other Stuff has declined all offers for placement of ads by the Disney Corporation, the Empire or the Order of the Jedi.

Bringing you important political news is our goal. So we are therefore presenting the results of the first intergalactic presidential poll of the 2016 campaign. The poll was conducted by Ipsos, an independent market research company. Between December 10-14, 2015 “a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.”

Here are highlights of the poll:

  • Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi would defeat all current American presidential candidates
  • The Order of the Jedi is more popular than either the Republican or Democratic parties
  • Among Millennials, Darth Vader (formerly known as Anakin Skywalker) runs ahead of Donald Trump, 27 percent to 18 percent
  • Hillary Clinton would defeat Darth Vader by a two-to-one margin, 32 to 16 percent
  • Also among Millennials, Yoda would defeat Hillary Clinton 50 percent to 26 percent
  • Among the full poll sample the results would be somewhat closer, Yoda runs ahead of Clinton 41 percent to 25 percent
  • Among the general public, Jedi Master Yoda would defeat Trump 42 to 24 percent
  • Chewbacca is in a statistical dead heat with Trump, leading to the conclusion that hair is hair

Ipsos notes that Star Wars took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. They point out that “none of the [Star War] characters meet the Constitutional requirement of being born in the United States of America, potentially highlighting a weakness in the ‘birther’ argument.” Of course Ted Cruz was not born in the United States of America either, and he is running second in recent Republican presidential polls.


Which Democratic and Republican candidates will remain after the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina contests?

Speaking of things long, long ago, I raised the question in a March 28th post about which presidential candidates will still be in the race after the Iowa caucuses (February 1), the New Hampshire primary (February 9) and South Carolina primaries (Republicans February 20th, Democrats February 27).

Here are my current projections for the Democrats:

  • Hillary Clinton – will still be in
  • Bernie Sanders – will still be in
  • Martin O’Malley – gone after New Hampshire

O’Malley has never caught on. Sanders has enough money and organization to hang on for a while, but finding states where he can actually win will be difficult.

For the Republicans:

  • Donald Trump – will still be in, and is likely to win one or two of the first three contests
  • Ted Cruz – will still be in and well positioned for the southern or SEC set of March primaries
  • Marco Rubio – will still be in and moved into the position of favored Republican establishment candidate
  • Mike Huckabee – gone after Iowa
  • Chris Christie – gone after New Hampshire
  • Jim Gilmore – gone after New Hampshire
  • John Kasich – gone after New Hampshire
  • George Pataki – gone after New Hampshire
  • Jeb Bush – gone after South Carolina
  • Ben Carson – gone after South Carolina
  • Carly Fiorina – gone after South Carolina
  • Lindsay Graham – gone after South Carolina
  • Rand Paul – gone after South Carolina

Huckabee’s likely poor finish in Iowa, where evangelical voters dominate, will end his campaign.

Christie will get some momentum from New Hampshire but he lacks money and organizations elsewhere and his more moderate views on some issues will hurt him in the March southern primaries. The best chance for Kasich, Gilmore and Pataki would be in New Hampshire, but they will not do well there. Kasich has not caught on at all.

The demands for money, momentum and organization all pick up substantially after South Carolina. Three poor showings by Bush, Carson, Fiorina, Graham and Paul will force them to wrap things up.

An a final word from Yoda

untitled (2)If there is one general impression from this week’s Republican debate, it is that we should all be fearful. So here are some parting words from Yoda: “Fear is the path to the dark side … fear leads to anger … anger leads to hate … hate leads to suffering.”