August, 2015

It May Take a Long While for Trump to Fade

Paul Krugman notes that while Donald Trump “doesn’t exude presidential dignity, he’s seeking the nomination of a party that once considered it a great idea to put George W. Bush in a flight suit and have him land on an aircraft carrier.”

“The point is that those predicting Mr. Trump’s imminent political demise are ignoring the lessons of recent history, which tell us that poseurs with a knack for public relations can con the public for a very long time. Someday The Donald will have his Katrina moment, when voters see him for who he really is. But don’t count on it happening any time soon.”

Massive Batch of Clinton Emails to be Released

“The roiling controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state looks likely to intensify Monday with the State Department set to release the largest batch of her messages made public thus far,” Politico reports.

“The sheer size of the planned posting on the State Department’s website—at least 6,106 pages, according to a recent court filing—should give Clinton’s critics and her defenders a lot to digest.”

Sanders Has a Nevada Problem

National Journal: “Bernie Sanders has rapidly gained support in the first-in-the-nation voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, creeping up on Hillary Clinton and raising the possibility of mounting a real challenge to the Democrats’ primary front-runner. But in Nevada, the third state on Democratic primary calendar, Sanders faces a challenge that thus far has been the principal sticking point of his campaign: moving past a core supporter base that is largely white, and winning favor among minority voters.”

“Unlike the first two states on the map, in Nevada, minority voters are poised to play a major role in picking the Democrats’ winner. Nonwhite voters make up just less than half of the state’s population, while white voters are much more dominant in New Hampshire (92 percent) and Iowa (88 percent).”

Trump Says He’ll Get Rid of Gangs

Sharpening his pitch to what he calls “the silent majority,” Donald Trump presented himself as the “law and order” candidate in the 2016 presidential race, pledging to “get rid” of gangs and give more power to police officers, the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “We’re going to get rid of those gang members so fast your head will spin. One of the first things I’m going to do is get rid of those gang members.”

Clinton Gets Key Endorsement in New Hampshire

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), “the popular Democrat from New Hampshire and the first woman to be elected senator and governor in the state, will publicly endorse Hillary Clinton next Saturday,” the New York Times reports.

“Ms. Shaheen is the latest high-profile endorsement in the early nominating states for Mrs. Clinton whose favorability numbers have softened in some recent polls as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has gained ground.”

Scott Walker Supporters Want a Campaign Reboot

Washington Post: “Walker’s backers see a campaign discombobulated by Trump’s booming popularity and by his provocative language on immigration, China and other issues. They see in Walker a candidate who — in contrast to the discipline he showed in state races — continues to commit unforced errors, either out of lack of preparation or in an attempt to grab for part of the flamboyant businessman’s following.”

“These supporters say what is needed now is a return to basics, a more disciplined focus on the issues Walker long has championed in Wisconsin. They say there also needs to be a clear acknowledgment inside the campaign that the governor has yet to put to rest questions about his readiness to handle the problems and unexpected challenges that confront every president.”

Kudlow Says He Might Run for Senate

Conservative economist and media figure Larry Kudlow says he’s talked to national Republicans about running for Senate in Connecticut, Roll Call reports.

Said Kudlow: “Maybe I’m speaking out of school but if Sen. Richard Blumenthal votes with Obama on Iran, I’m going to run against him. I’m going to run against him for the Senate. The national Senate campaign committee has come to me and talked to me about it. They polled. I’m not a political guy, I’m an economist. I’m a broadcaster by profession, but I am so angry at this issue, among others.”

Walker Would Consider Building Wall on Canadian Border

Gov. Scott Walker says it’s “legitimate” to discuss building a wall separating the United States from Canada, CNN reports.

Said Walker: “Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

Can Donald Trump Actually Win the GOP Nomination?

Wall Street Journal: “First, look at the share of voters who have said they won’t consider voting for Mr. Trump. That number had been high, suggesting that Mr. Trump had little room to grow his support. But now, more GOP voters see him as an option… The number saying they could not see themselves supporting Mr. Trump dropped from 51% in May to 33% in August.”

“The second consideration: Where might additional voters for Mr. Trump come from?… Mr. Trump’s three highest candidate correlations were with Mr. Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Voters backing those candidates also seem to be aligned with Mr. Trump. The good news for Mr. Trump: Messrs. Carson and Cruz are doing well in the polls, suggesting that Mr. Trump could draw from a large pool of voters if those other candidates abandoned the race.”

Quote of the Day

“I think we need to move away from hyphenated Americans. We’re not African-Americans or Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, rich or poor Americans: We’re all Americans. And the reason this is so important: immigration without integration is not immigration; it’s invasion.”

—Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, in an interview on ABC News.

Trump Takes Lead in Iowa

A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll in Iowa finds that Donald Trump leads the GOP presidential pack with 23%, followed by Ben Carson at 18%, Ted Cruz at 8%, Scott Walker at 8%, Jeb Bush at 6%, Marco Rubio at 6%, Carly Fiorina at 5%, Mike Huckabee at 4% and Rand Paul at 4%.

Most interesting: “In the last Iowa Poll, in May, Trump had the highest unfavorable rating of all the Republicans, back when he was tied for ninth place with 4%. Trump has almost completely reversed his rating. Then, 27% had positive feelings about him and 63% negative. Now, it’s 61% positive, 35% negative.”

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “Trump definitely has upside potential. All the talk about a ceiling was a little premature.”