Charlie Cook Bets on 2016

Veteran political analyst and prognosticator Charlie Cook is out with his latest prediction of what the 2016 presidential landscape may hold for us, and it comes with few surprises.

Despite the latest Clinton scandal du jour over her use of a private email account, Cook expects that there’s a 90% chance Hillary gets the Democrat nomination. But this isn’t so much because of her bonafides as it is that there’s little competition.

On the Republican side, Cook approaches his analysis as a sort of March Madness basketball bracket in which the candidates are seeded based on the base of Republican support to which they appeal. The analysis results in a final four match-up which he believes best predicts what we may see as we enter into the thick of the primaries.

Among all the candidates, Cook predicts that the final four would most likely result in Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, and either Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum (both of whom have won the Iowa Caucuses).

Though with no clear criteria for measurement, Cook estimates that Bush and Walker both have roughly a 35% chance of winning the Republican nomination with Rand Paul (or perhaps Ted Cruz) with 20%. All other potential candidates dice up the remaining 10%.

Assuming both parties’ ultimate nominees have an equal shot at the White House, a Hillary candidacy means that she commands a resultant 45% chance at the prize while both Bush and Walker command 17%. But much will change between now and the beginning of the debates which could make all of these numbers irrelevant.