When it comes to picking candidates for president, summer is for dating and winter is for mating. The question is not so much why Donald Trump and other anti-establishment candidates like Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders are gaining traction this summer. Instead, the question is whether voters’ affection will stay with these candidates as the summer suns fades and the cold of the February primaries and caucuses descends. The summer before a presidential election year is a lot like dating in your early 20s. You are unattached and care-free. You want to connect with someone passionately and fall hopelessly in love. You aren't thinking about building up a 401(k) or home equity, you are plotting romantic weekend getaways and writing over-the-top love letters. Meanwhile, your parents want you to meet a guy like Jeb Bush. He's a nice boy from a good family. He'll be a good provider and a good father to your kids. Hillary’s such a nice girl too. And so smart! But, ugh, you don't want to get dating advice from your parents. They are so boring

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics
AW