American Enterprise Institute
On November 6, 2015, EPPC Senior Fellow Henry Olsen participated in the American Enterprise Institute’s “Election Watch” panel discussion.
A year before the 2016 elections, a bipartisan team of experts gathered at AEI to discuss the issues, groups, and rules that could shape the upcoming presidential and congressional contests.
AEI’s Karlyn Bowman opened with an explanation of what current polls can — and cannot — tell us about voters’ preferences and priorities this early in the race.
AEI’s Michael Barone discussed how recent presidential elections show a pattern of static partisan alignments, with only two states shifting their votes to a candidate of a different party between 2008 and 2012. Turning to intraparty dynamics, Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center described his theory that the Republican Party is divided into four factions that could influence the 2016 Republican primaries: liberals/moderates, evangelical conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and “somewhat” conservatives.
Looking at state-level races, AEI’s Norman Ornstein described the challenges Democrats face in running successful congressional campaigns. John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center identified possible opportunities for Democrats to win Senate seats in a number of swing states.
The panel also discussed how party delegate allocation rules could affect the primaries and how different candidates may fare, noting that it is difficult to predict outcomes at this stage.
Click here for more information on this event, and click below to watch a video of the discussion.