Testing Evan McMullin

Last week, Wednesday evening found me in the ballroom at the historic Provo City Library at Academy Square, doing something I had never done before: listening to an independent presidential candidate speak. The candidate was Evan McMullin. The crowd included infants, children, youth, middle-agers like me, senior citizens, and countless late millennials and early post-millennials, that is, college students. We were only a few blocks from BYU, after all. I already had a mixed bag of first impressions. In press appearances, Mr. McMullin sounded like an intelligent guy with a fine…

This Week in Presidential Polls – 5/10/16

Here’s a few things that have been bouncing around in my head as I look at presidential polls and observe the political landscape. 1. TRUMP COULD ACTUALLY WIN – It defies expectations how he got to this point, but now is the time for Democrats to not get cocky. This week’s Quinnipiac poll showed that it’s close between Trump and Clinton in three crucial swings states – Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Florida, Clinton leads Trump by only 43%-42%. She leads with women 48-35, but he leads with men 49-36.…

Why I’m on board the Marco Rubio train

There’s a few things about me that are very well-known. One, I’m a big Ron Paul fan and enthusiastically supported him in 2008 and 2012. Two, I have no problems voting outside of partisan affiliation, even going so far as to pick none of the above if I don’t feel that any candidate deserves my vote. (Jason Williams has gone so far as to call me a “true independent” on more than one occasion.) I will gladly and sometimes too gleefully rake the Republican Party (with which I am affiliated)…

Evaluating the candidates for President (Part 6): Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz isn’t running for office; he’s applying for a new job. At least, that’s the sense I get from his campaign. Rather than spending his time talking about what he will do, his message is “here are my values – the things that drive my decision making process – and here are the actions I have taken based on those values.” The message to voters is, “if you like the values I believe in and the way I’ve defended them please give me the opportunity to do so as…

Evaluating the candidates for President (Part 5): George Pataki

George Pataki seems to be running for president simply because there was no clear front-runner for the GOP nomination. His campaign website doesn’t even talk about issues so I’m left to conclude that his platform is “as a former governor of New York my name has been in the media much more than the governor of Idaho so I may as well give this campaign a shot since my name has been floated as a potential presidential or vice presidential candidate in previous election cycles.” If voters want to know…

Why Most of the GOP Candidates Should Drop Out

There are 17 GOP candidates for president. There are many good options in there, but it’s hard to tell because Donald Trump is getting all the attention, and the sheer quantity of options is causing them to blur together. So let me offer some helpful reasons so that some of these candidates will stop wasting our time. I’ll put these into three tiers. TIER ONE – DROP OUT NOW, YOU HAVE NO CHANCE Jim Gilmore – Served one term as governor of Virginia (1998-2002). Army veteran. Served as RNC Chair…

A Tale of Two GOP Debates

Yesterday, the top 17 candidates for the Republican nomination held two debates on Fox News. The earlier afternoon GOP debate felt like a true punishment, performing in an empty auditorium and with the B-team moderators of Bill Hemmer and Martha McCallum. The prime-time debate between the top 10 candidates had a packed house, the A-team of Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly (and the B+ tag-along Bret Baier), and the star-power curiosity of Donald Trump meant record ratings. The afternoon debate featured former Texas governor Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania senator Rick…

Election 2016 GOP Power Rankings – July 2015

We still have the first Fox News debate looming where only those who finish in the top ten in the last five national polls. I took the two most recent national polls and the latest Iowa poll and averaged them to give an idea how these candidates are doing. 1. Donald Trump – 16% 2. Scott Walker – 15% 3. Jeb Bush – 11.67% 4. Ben Carson – 6% 5. Ted Cruz – 5.67% 5. Rand Paul – 5.67% 5. Marco Rubio – 5.67% 8. Mike Huckabee – 4.67% 9.…

The FortyFive Podcast, Episode 3: Ken Ivory, guest Norm Thurston and Healthy Utah

In episode 3 of the FortyFive politics podcast we talked about the frivolous fraud allegations leveled against Representative Ken Ivory and Senator Todd Weiler’s pro-Medicaid expansion op-ed. We also spoke with Representative Norm Thurston (R-Provo) about Healthy Utah, the House compromise bill, and more. 00:00-01:18 – Intro 01:19-10:32 – Fraud allegation against Rep. Ken Ivory 10:33-22:05 – Senator Todd Weiler Healthy Utah Op-Ed 22:06-1:05:43 – Special guest Representative Norm Thurston 1:05:44-End – FortyFive Roundup From the FortyFive Roundup: Swallow waives preliminary hearing; lawyer says no plea deal in works (Salt Lake Tribune) Final…

Who Should Be the Ten Republicans at the First Fox News Debate?

The first Republican presidential debate for Election 2016 will take place on Fox News on August 6. They have stated that they will only allow the candidates who finish in the top ten on average of the five most recent national polls. This means that some credible candidates who don’t happen to be polling well in summer could miss the stage while more unserious challengers would get the air time. It’s difficult to keep track of who has officially declared they’re running vs. those we know will, but they need…