April 23, 2018

Matthews: 2016 Election Has Already Started

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Matthews: 2016 Election Has Already Started

The 2016 election will be key to defining the future of the Republican party because it will pit an establishment candidate, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, against the party’s Libertarian wing, which will almost certainly be represented by Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), says political commentator Chris Matthews.

Matthews shared his insights with a capacity crowd of REALTORS® Wednesday during the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

He said that Democrats will be in a decidedly different position in the run-up to 2016. If Hillary Clinton decides to run, she will have a practically unstoppable march to the Democratic nomination because almost 70 percent of her party’s voters already say they could vote for her.

“No one has ever been like this,” he said. “This is really strange; therefore it’s really eerie. Therefore, who knows?”

Republicans are well aware of her strong position, which is why they’re trying to keep the focus on Benghazi, possible health concerns, and other issues that could knock down her popularity. “The 2016 election has already started,” he said. “On every front, she’s a target.”

If she opts out, it’ll be an open field for Democrats. Matthews mentioned California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as possible rising stars in the party. Matthews said a governor who is slightly to the right on foreign policy could represent a sweet spot for Democrats. Similarly, a moderate governor such as Bush, John Kasich of Ohio, or Scott Walker of Wisconsin, could represent a smart choice for Republicans.

In the upcoming midterm elections this November, Republicans are likely to expand their majority in the House. He said that while the GOP will almost certainly gain power in the Senate, Democrats may yet hang on to enough seats to keep control of that chamber.

Because of the way congressional districts are drawn, Republicans nearly have a lock on suburbs and rural areas, giving them a majority of congressional districts. Conversely, Democrats’ strength in urban areas gives them a strong start on the race for the presidency, Matthews said.

–By Rob Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine

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