Friday, July 15, 2016

Donald Trump's VP pick of Mike Pence could boost his campaign, for now

In a normal U.S. presidential election, the choice of vice-presidential candidate usually has only a minimal impact on the race. Vice-presidential candidates can help deliver their home state and provide a short-term boost to his or her running mate's campaign, but elections are rarely decided by who the "Veep" will be.

But this is not a normal election.

Donald Trump, Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency, announced Friday that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana will be pick for vice-president.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, will make her pick before the party's convention in Philadelphia later this month.

Vice-presidential candidates are often chosen to fill a gap in the presidential candidate's resumé, be it geographic, demographic, or political. With Pence as Trump's running mate, it would give his ticket much-needed political experience, as well as a figure outside of the U.S. Northeast.

But vice-presidential picks normally do not have a significant impact on the race. The choice may help a presidential campaign at the margins, but the first rule of a vice-presidential candidate is often cited as "do no harm." Vice-presidential picks are at greater risk of dragging down a campaign than boosting it to new heights.

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The Pollcast: Tony Clement in, Jason Kenney out of Conservative leadership race

The Conservative leadership race has been shaken up by the departure of Jason Kenney for a bid at provincial leadership in Alberta. But a new name was added to the list of candidates this week when Tony Clement threw his hat in the ring.

So what do this new entry and high-profile exit mean for for the leadership campaign?

You can listen to the podcast here or subscribe to the podcast to automatically download future episodes here.

Alberta MP Jason Kenney has opted to head back home to try to win the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives, unite the right in that province, and defeat the New Democrats in 2019. It's a tall order.

But his decision to leave federal politics has made winning the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada a little easier for the contestants already in the race: Ontario MPs Michael Chong and Kellie Leitch and Quebec MP Maxime Bernier.

And now Tony Clement. The Ontario MP has been here before — he ran for the party leadership more than a decade ago after the merger of the federal PCs and Canadian Alliance. He also ran for the leadership of the Ontario PCs in 2002. Both attempts were unsuccessful.

So will it be third time's a charm for Clement? And with Kenney out, who thinks they can fill the space Kenney would have occupied had he run for the federal party's top job?

Joining me on this week's episode of the Pollcast are Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy to break it down.

You can listen to the podcast here or subscribe to the podcast to automatically download future episodes here.

Liberals made big gains, but NDP still won the First Nations vote in 2015, data shows

Turnout among Indigenous Canadians increased dramatically in the last federal election, and an analysis of Elections Canada data suggests that the Liberals picked up most of these new voters. But overall, the New Democrats remained the top choice of First Nations voters living on-reserve.

According to Elections Canada, turnout in on-reserve polling divisions (defined as those completely or partially contained within an on-reserve community) in the 2015 federal election increased to 61.5 per cent from 47.4 per cent in 2011, a historic increase similar to the one seen among young Canadians.

An analysis of these polling divisions by CBC News also reveals how these First Nations voters cast their ballots.

You can read the rest of this article here.