Election 2016: Weekly Rundown

Audrey Bowler ‘16 – EI Campus Communications Team

As the modern world of politics and government evolves, campaigning has become a permanent fixture in social and political culture. As potential candidates prepare for the 2016 presidential election, here’s what made headlines this week:

4.) Clinton’s Feuding Factions

Drama erupted between two super PACs – Priorities USA and American Bridge – over the resignation of a top executive, creating tension within Hillary Clinton’s campaign team. David Brock, a longtime Clinton supporter and founder of American Bridge, left the board of Priorities USA after sending a scathing email accusing his colleagues of “specious and malicious” attacks on his integrity. Both organizations had publicly pledged their support to the Clinton campaign, and Brock’s sudden resignation stirred speculation that party infighting had begun before Clinton has even announced her candidacy.

Republican operatives viewed the clash as a positive sign for the GOP. Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short expressed his outlook, saying “If they can’t keep it together 20 months out and before Hillary has even officially announced, one has to seriously wonder how they’re going to hold up in the heat of a national campaign.”

3.) Walker Open for Business in Iowa

Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor and potential Republican presidential candidate, is the first potential contender to claim office space in Iowa, a key battleground state during electoral cycles. Our American Revival, Walker’s political organization, has leased office space that previously belonged to Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney during their campaign efforts in Iowa.

According to surveys conducted by Bloomberg Politics last week, Gov. Walker has surged to the front of the Republican pack in Iowa, leading a pack of candidates with 16 percent of the estimated Republican vote. Walker is closely followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 15 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 13 percent of the vote.

Securing office space in Iowa is the latest sign that Walker is taking steps to run for the presidency. The governor has won three statewide races in Wisconsin during the last four years, and could want to continue his winning streak in 2016.

2.) Democrats Choose Keystone State

The Democratic National Committee has announced that Philadelphia will be the site of its 2016 nominating convention. The convention will be held during the week of July 25, 2016, one week after the Republican National Committee meets in Cleveland.

“In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering,” DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement released Thursday.

Party nominating conventions are held to choose presidential candidates after a long and grueling state primary process. While the candidates are formally announced at these conventions, the race has usually narrowed to a single person long before the they take place.

“We’re all delighted to make history again, here in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement released by the DNC.

1.) GOP Fundraisers Fight for Immigration Reform

On Tuesday, February 17th, leading figures in Republican fundraising will participate in a teleconference calling for a reform of U.S. immigration policy – a tactic that could put significant pressure on the growing crop of GOP presidential hopefuls as they compete for donors.

The event, moderated by Grover Norquist, prominent political advocate and supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, will include Mitt Romney’s former finance director Spencer Zwick; fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder; and billionaire health care executive Mike Fernandez.

The call demonstrates the growing tension between high-powered GOP donors, who often support more lenient immigration policies, and conservative activists, who favor stricter measures. The teleconference will be hosted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of business leaders and mayors.