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Why I Support Marco Rubio

When this campaign started in what feels like an eternity ago, I remember looking at the wide range of candidates who were either prepping to run or had already announced their candidacy. For me the biggest factors early on were focusing policy issues and electability. After all, the right policies combined with an unelectable candidate would end up a sure loser in November. On the other hand, the right message with lousy policy would be exposed for what it is over the course of a campaign.

From that point I was able to narrow the field to three candidates who I thought gave Republicans a good chance to win in November. I watched speeches, I read more details on their policies, and I followed the polls to see who could actually defeat Hillary Clinton. It became fairly obvious to me as the field started to narrow that the best choice to win in November was Marco Rubio.

It wasn’t just the conservative policies that Rubio wanted to enact as president, but the message that he brought to voters that Hillary was the past and he was future. The contrast could not be more clear, and the idea of Rubio vs. Clinton match-up feels like a choice that this country needs to make. The thought of a Rubio/Clinton debate was particularly exciting due to the extreme differences in personality, and cemented my belief that Rubio was the best choice to win in November.

Over the last six months the polls have also shown that to be the case, as Rubio has consistently polled better against Hillary than either Cruz or Trump. In most cases he’s polled better than Hillary in swing states that Republicans need to win in November, and Rubio even makes states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin competitive while the GOP has struggled there for over a decade now.

I still feel strongly that Rubio is the best choice today. I believe his positive message and conservative values will make him the most viable challenger to Hillary Clinton. He has a way of bringing messages to voters that not only presents a stark contrast, but also conveys why his policies can help their families create better lives for themselves. It’s a message that the GOP often neglects – they often tell voters their policies without explaining why it will help them.

All of this is in jeopardy though if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. What at first felt like a passing fad, the Trump campaign has now become the frontrunner for the nomination with nonstop media coverage – often commercial free for an hour at a time in recent weeks.

Trump has received fifteen times the media coverage of Rubio due to rallies that focus on insults, negativity, and anger. These are not the values that make America great – they are the values of a salesperson trying to dupe voters into making a horrible decision. I am asking everyone to think twice about what a Donald Trump nomination would mean.

At the end of the day, this election is about what we want this country to be. It’s about who we are as a nation and what we value. This election isn’t just about what policies we want to see enacted, but about the character of those who we all look to for answers to complex problems in the world. We have spent the last eight years joking about how the Obama administration is run by children – are we any better if we nominate a person who calls anyone who questions him stupid or ugly?

I have a three year old child, and I would be embarrassed if he ever acted in the manner that Donald Trump does on a daily basis. If he had a friend with a father like Donald Trump, I would not want him spending time at that friend’s house because I would not want him to be around someone like Donald Trump. To those who are considering voting for Trump – is this a person you want your child to emulate themselves after?

This is a fight for the basic decency of our nation. It is a fight over what we value and what we aspire to be. I want my son to grow up in a world where we respect one another and treat each other with kindness even when we might disagree on any given issue. I need my son to grow up in a country where the first response to racism and hatred is absolute rejection, and that we always look to the best in each other and not judge them solely on where they came from.

Donald Trump has spent his entire career using his fame and fortune to further himself at the expense of others. During this campaign he has never shown respect towards the other candidates, throwing out insults like ugly, stupid, dumb, and of course calling everyone a loser. Can you imagine a country where our children see this kind of behavior on a regular basis? No one would ever want their kid around someone who teaches them that this is acceptable, so why are we considering hiring someone like this to be our president?

Policies and issues are always important, but even if you believe that Donald Trump will follow up with policies that he has opposed for most of his life, it is not worth risking the soul of our country to accomplish them. We are a compassionate country that has always found a way to come together for a greater purpose, not tear each other down with insults and hate at the slightest disagreement.

There is still a lot of time left in this primary season, and it is far from too late to make sure this country maintains the values and character we all want our kids to grow up in. I implore everyone who is going to be voting in the Republican primaries to resist the urge to vote out of anger and frustration, but to vote in the hope that our kids can grow up in a country that will bring out the best in them. Vote for opportunity that all Americans can create for themselves with hard work and dedication, not the type of leader that has made millions by using bankruptcy laws to leave small businesses scrambling to pay their employees after being stiffed on the bill.

One of the ideals that Republicans have always held so tightly to is that this is one of the kindest and most generous countries in history. It is in that belief that I hope we will be able to stop Donald Trump from ever being our nominee so that we can win in November with a message that brings this country together. I believe Marco Rubio can and will do that, and I strongly encourage you all to join me in voting for a future where conservative values can grow through opportunity and compassion for others.

With that out of the way – let’s get to work!

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2014 Senate Final Predictions

OK. So the last run at predicting the outcome didn’t go so well, but I’m definitely older now and hopefully a little wiser. We’ll find out if that last part is true tomorrow, but I set a low bar for myself two years ago so I’m thinking I can’t do worse.

And with that out of the way, here are my final Senate predictions for the midterms:

Currently the Democrats hold 55 seats and the Republicans hold 45 seats, so Republicans need to pickup six seats to take the Senate. I’m going to put the Senate races in a fairly loose order of certain to the ones you could have a two year pick and probably end up with about the same success.

West Virginia: This one is going to be a Republican pickup, and no one even talks about it because it’s been long gone for Democrats.

Montana: This one was never going to be close, and once Curtis came in and upped the crazy it drifted away from anyone’s radar for good. Republican pickup.

South Dakota: This race got interesting for a few days when multiple polls showed the race falling into single digits, but Rounds quickly rebounded back to where it has been all year. Republican pickup.

Kentucky: While a few thought this would end up a colossal embarrassment for Republicans, it was unlikely that Grimes was ever going to knock off McConnell. Although Grimes was unwilling to announce who she voted for to be president, Kentucky voters will be loud in reelecting McConnell to the senate. Republican hold.

Arkansas: This race stayed surprisingly close through September, but Cotton finally began to put Pryor away in the last two weeks. Republican pickup.

Alaska:  Alaska is notoriously difficult to poll, and as such is one that gives everyone pause because you just don’t know what to make of the poll numbers. Much has been made of Begich’s ground game, but Sullivan has led in 11 of the last 12 polls. If that’s not enough, Alaska polls tend to undershoot Republicans by an average of 7 points since 2000. Those two factors make it more likely than not that Sullivan will pull it out. Republican pickup.

Colorado: Gardner has run a great campaign. So great that Udall’s Press Secretary said “Gardner is quite possibly the best Senate candidate in the country.” Add to that the Republican strength in early voting and Gardner leading in 16 of the last 17 polls and it’s hard to imagine that Udall can pull off the miracle comeback. Republican pickup.

Louisiana: This race is tricky in that it is almost certainly going to a runoff. Cassidy and Maness are going to split the GOP vote enough that Cassidy will not be able to hit 50% tomorrow. Landrieu is polling around 40% and is not going to hit 50%, so the runoff is the most likely outcome tomorrow. From there Cassidy would be heavily favored as he led every poll since July, but his ultimate victory is unlikely to come tomorrow. It will be delayed, but Louisiana will end up a Republican pickup.

Georgia: Just like Louisiana, this race could very well be headed for a runoff election if neither candidate can hit 50%. Nunn surged into a brief lead in mid-October, but Perdue has reclaimed his lead and picked up about four net points in the past two weeks. While it’s far from assured he will get to 50% tomorrow, the odds are better than not he would win the runoff election if it came to it, and there is very little chance Nunn is going to be able to win outright tomorrow even with a 3rd party challenger. It might be delayed, but Georgia will end up a Republican hold.

Iowa: This has been one of the most interesting Senate races of the year. Joni Ernst was down by six points in March, and began pulling even with Braley around June. She didn’t get any real separation until October and still only leads by 1.8 on the RCP average. But the crown jewel of Iowa polling, the Selzer poll, has Ernst up by 7 which combined with early voting data that is not nearly as positive for Democrats as they would likely need makes Iowa a Republican pickup.

And here’s where you could pretty much flip a coin…

Kansas: You can call this is a fairly unprecedented situation, with Democrats bailing out of the race to make way for Greg Orman to run as an independent backed by Democrats. That makes it much more difficult to figure out what to make of the polls. Orman led by 8 points in mid-September but is now down to just a .8 point lead. The big question is whether or not Republicans will hold their nose and vote for Roberts, who needs about 80% of GOP votes to secure the win. Orman has lost about 90% of his lead in a deep red state, which makes me inclined to think Roberts is going to pull this off. Republican hold.

New Hampshire: Scott Brown has run about as good a campaign as you can when you’re switching states to run again for the Senate. Shaheen has led in 20 polls since September while Brown has led in just 6, but has seen her lead drop from 10 points in August to just .8 today. Just like Kansas, you could make an argument for both sides, but at the end of the day I’m leaning towards Shaheen. Brown could win this one, and if he does will be one of the prizes of a huge GOP night. Democrat hold.

North Carolina: The third and final seat in the trifecta of seats that could easily be pushed either way with turnout. In this race, Hagan has led Tillis since June, but has seen a 7 point lead in August fall to under a point today. Early voting numbers look good for Democrats compared to 2010, but Democrats lost that election by 12 points. Compared to 2012 they do not look nearly as good for Democrats, and Romney won that race albeit by a small margin. If I’m going on a limb between this and New Hampshire, I’d put my money on North Carolina for the biggest surprise of the night. Republican pickup.

That leads the GOP with a gain of 9 seats this midterms: WV, MT, SD, AR, AK, CO, LA, IA, NC. They will hold both KS and GA which are their two toughest holds this season. It will be delayed due to at least one runoff election, but the GOP very well might end up with 54 seats after tomorrow.

Final Result: GOP takes the Senate and wins nine seats, flipping the Senate to 54 GOP – 46 Dem/Independent.