GOP Insiders See Trump Winning Several Early States

Republican insiders tell Politico that Donald Trump “could take two of the first four early voting states, though they caution his hold on Iowa is weak.”

“Roughly three-in-four GOP insiders in New Hampshire and South Carolina, many of whom have been repeatedly and consistently skeptical of Trump’s chances, now say he would win their states if their primaries were held today… But his hold on Iowa and Nevada is more tenuous, according to insiders who note those states’ caucuses require significant organizational muscle to produce a win.”

The Hill: “The Republican establishment is nearing full-blown panic about Donald Trump.”

Trump Wants Apology from Reporter He Mocked

Washington Post: “A day after he was widely rebuked for mocking a reporter with a physical disability, business mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump on Thursday denied that he had done so and accused the reporter of ‘using his disability to grandstand.’ Trump also demanded an apology from the New York Times, the reporter’s employer, which earlier in the week issued a statement condemning Trump.”

Two Trend Lines in Political Polling

Nate Cohn: “One is the rise of online polling. The other is the decline of telephone surveys because of rising costs and possibly declining quality, tied to the fact that fewer Americans are willing to participate in a telephone poll. Many public opinion researchers have thought that Internet polling would eventually overtake phone polling, but they hoped it would not happen before online polling was ready.”

“Ready or not, online polling has arrived. Political analysts and casual poll readers now face a deluge of data from new firms employing new, promising, but not always proven methodologies. Nowhere is the question of the accuracy of the new online polls more evident than in the survey results for Donald Trump. He fares better in online polls than in traditional polls, and it’s not clear which method is capturing the public’s true opinions.”

Not All Candidates Will Make the Ballot

Politico: “Barring a major organizational misfire, there’s little doubt that the top-tier Republicans with big money operations – Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump – will be on the ballot nationwide. But for everyone else – including Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul, whose campaigns say they are on track to be on the ballot everywhere – ballot access is an expensive challenge.”

“While it’s true mathematically that candidates need not compete in every state to win the nomination, the political reality is that each failure to appear on a ballot undermines a candidate’s credibility as a national figure.”

How Lobbyists Gets What They Want

Bloomberg: “Lobbyists around Washington have more than a handful of tactics to combat legislative threats to their clients. Some are as basic as meeting with lawmakers to explain their position. Others involve mustering seven-figure efforts that include a full deployment of public relations, consulting, grassroots, and legal pros.”

“But what happens when an industry’s revenues unexpectedly come under fire in a piece of legislation that is likely just months away from the president’s desk? The banking industry just laid out the lobbying roadmap.”

Carson to Visit Syrian Refugees

“Ben Carson, who is facing increasing scrutiny over his grasp of foreign policy, is traveling to Jordan on Friday to visit Syrian refugees, in order to gain an understanding of the pressing issue and to polish his candidacy,” the New York Times reports.

Said Carson: “I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression.”

Wonk Wire: Explaining the Syrian refugee vetting process

McConnell Would Remove Limits on Party Spending

“Senate Republicans plan to insert a provision into a must-pass government funding bill that would vastly expand the amount of cash that political parties could spend on candidates,” multiple sources tell Politico.

“The provision, which sources say is one of a few campaign-finance related riders being discussed in closed-door negotiations over a $1.15 trillion omnibus spending package, would eliminate caps on the amount of cash that parties may spend in coordination with their candidates.”

Trump Embraces Roughness at Rallies

New York Times: “And while Mr. Trump’s heated language on surveillance of Muslims, accepting Syrian refugees and illegal immigration is firing up his crowds, it is also drawing more protesters, resulting in physical clashes.”

“At recent Trump rallies, supporters have spit in protesters’ faces, tackled demonstrators in Miami, and shoved and punched a Black Lives Matter activist in Alabama… Mostly, he has embraced the scuffles as a new and action-packed dimension of the Donald Trump experience.”

Said Trump: “Isn’t a Trump rally much more exciting than these other ones?”

Politico: “Trump has added a new item to his growing list of presidential campaign firsts: mocking a person’s physical handicap.”

Introducing: Political Wire Memberships

As a loyal Political Wire reader over the years, I wanted you to know about our new membership program.

It’s just in time for what promises to be a very exciting and possibly crazy election season!

Political Wire will always be freely available, but members will also receive:

  • Exclusive content. I’ve decided to stop nearly all writing for other publications to focus entirely on providing the best for Political Wire readers. This content will be available only to members directly on the site.
  • A direct channel to me. I want to make sure Political Wire serves your needs. I will work hard to earn your continued support by making it the best site on the web for following politics.
  • My deep and sincere thanks. It’s not easy to run an independent digital media property. Web advertising no longer aligns the interests of publishers, readers and advertisers. My ultimate goal is to reduce the number of ads and make the reader experience even better.

Other benefits will be added in the future.

Become a member for just $5 each month or $50 annually. You can easily cancel at any time.

Your support will make Political Wire even better!

Monthly Membership – $5 per month   Annual Membership – $50 per year

A special message below for members: Sign in to your account.

Politicians Can Now Say Anything They Want

Matt Taibbi: “Politicians are quickly learning that they can say just about anything and get away with it. Along with vindication, apology and suffering, there now exists a fourth way forward for the politician spewing whoppers: Blame the backlash on media bias and walk away a hero.”

“Trump, meanwhile, has been through more of these beefs than one can count, even twice blabbing obvious whoppers in live televised debates… In all of these cases, the candidates doubled or tripled down when pestered by reporters and fact-checkers and insisted they’d been victimized by biased media.”