South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has signaled Republicans that they had better get their act together if they want to avoid an electoral disaster with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket next November.
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices,” Haley said Tuesday night in the Republican response to Obama’s final State of the Union. The official GOP response usually critiques the speech, itself, but Haley’s comments were an obvious water balloon dropped directly on Trump.
Concern about Trump at the top of the ticket has given way to semi-panic in the party as Republicans gather for another debate Thursday in South Carolina. Many in the party are not convinced that Trump would be competitive in the general election once Democrats unleash what is certain to be a barrage of negative ads pointing out that the real estate mogul/reality TV star might not be the perfect fit to lead the free world. In parlance used often in casino security rooms, the Dems would say that Trump as president “just doesn’t look right.”
But, before Democrats can release the hounds on Trump, they have their own little problem to deal with – namely, that Hillary Clinton no longer appears as inevitable as she once did. Clinton seems to have lost the glow that surrounded her after she survived that 11-hour Benghazi grilling, and now she actually has to work a little (and spend some money) to keep Bernie Sanders from gnawing on the cuffs of her pantsuits. Polls have tightened, and Clinton must now consider the uncomfortable possibility that she might not win in either Iowa or New Hampshire.
The Dems are set to debate Sunday night, also in South Carolina, and with that race tightening, plenty of sparks could fly. Third-wheel Martin O’Malley will have a tough time getting any traction as Clinton and Sanders go at it in their final debate before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus.
Back in November, we set the odds on the general election. Now that we’re into the New Year, we’ll reset those odds and set the numbers for each party’s nominee.
2016 Presidential Election Odds
Odds to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016:
9/5: Hillary Clinton
4/1: Bernie Sanders
50/1: Martin O’Malley
Odds to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016:
3/1: Marco Rubio
4/1: Donald Trump
7/1: Ted Cruz
9/1: Jeb Bush
11/1: Chris Christie
15/1: John Kasich
20/1: Ben Carson
25/1: Carly Fiorina
35/1: Field bet (Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum)
Odds to win the 2016 presidential election:
5/2: Hillary Clinton
6/1: Donald Trump
6/1: Marco Rubio
6/1: Ted Cruz
10/1: Chris Christie
10/1: Bernie Sanders
12/1: Ben Carson
13/1: John Kasich
15/1: Jeb Bush
3/1: Field bet (Trump, Rubio, Cruz)
25/1: Field bet (O’Malley, Santorum, Fiorina, Huckabee, Paul)
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