February, 2016

GOP Being Torn Apart by Trump Candidacy

“The implosion over Donald Trump’s candidacy that Republicans had hoped to avoid arrived so virulently this weekend that many party leaders vowed never to back the billionaire and openly questioned whether the GOP could come together this election year,” the Washington Post reports.

“At a moment when Republicans had hoped to begin taking on Hillary Clinton — who is seemingly on her way to wrapping up the Democratic nomination — the GOP has instead become consumed by a crisis over its identity and core values that is almost certain to last through the July party convention, if not the rest of the year.”

Chris Cillizza: Trump is remarkably dangerous to the Republican party.

First Read: “This is more than a mess for the Republican Party; it is the GOP potentially coming apart before our very eyes — no matter who ultimately becomes the party’s nominee or how long it takes.”

Trump Continues to Crush the GOP Field

A new Economist/YouGov poll finds that Donald Trump “is the only remaining Republican candidate that a majority of the public believes could win the general election. 63% of all Americans believe he could win in November, including 84% of Republican voters.”

As the GOP field shrinks, Trump’s support rises: He now leads nationally among Republicans with 44%, followed by Ted Cruz at 21%, Marco Rubio at 17%, John Kasich at 8% and Ben Carson at 7%.

In a three-way match up: Trump 49%, Rubio 27%, Cruz 25%.

In a two-way match up with Rubio, Trump leads 57% to 43%. With Cruz, Trump leads 58% to 42%.

Jeff Sessions Endorses Trump

Donald Trump “won another major endorsement Sunday, surprising the political world when he walked onto the stage for a rally in Madison, Ala., with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL),” Politico reports.

“His endorsement is a major blow to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose success may hinge on winning those Tea Party and evangelical voters and who has so often cited Sessions as an ally in his fight against the 2013 immigration reform effort.”

Trump Could Sink His Rivals on Tuesday

“Super Tuesday could cripple every Republican presidential candidate not named Donald Trump,” Politico reports.

“The best-case scenario for Trump would put him far ahead of his rivals in the race for delegates, and polls have him competitive almost everywhere that Republicans are voting. But even if he stumbles, Trump will leave Super Tuesday with enough delegates to remain at the front of the race.”

Rubio Places Super Tuesday Bet on Virginia

Washington Post: “As polls show Trump leading in nearly every state participating in the whirlwind of Super Tuesday Republican primaries and caucuses, Rubio is pouring resources into Virginia, a marquee battleground where he hopes to emerge as a measured alternative to the combative mogul.”

“Besides airing more than $500,000 in television ads in Virginia this weekend, Rubio plans four stops in the state on Sunday, including Leesburg, the type of affluent Washington suburb he needs to dent Trump’s momentum.”

Kasich Sees Path to Victory by March 15

John Weaver, chief strategist for Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign, dismissed the idea that Kasich was staying in the race in case there was a brokered convention, telling Politico that a path to victory will open by March 15.

“The scenario requires Ted Cruz to underperform on Tuesday, when seven Southern states, including his home state of Texas, go to the polls. It also requires Marco Rubio to lose his home state of Florida on March 15 and Kasich to win Ohio simultaneously. In that scenario, Weaver said Kasich would likely be the only candidate with a path to take on Trump.”race.

French Far Right Leader Endorses Trump

“Jean-Marie Le Pen, the controversial father of France’s far-right National Front, on Saturday voiced his support for billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump’s insurgent bid for the White House. The de facto endorsement insinuates an unflattering — and unsought — connection between Trump and Le Pen, a known racist who was expelled last year from the National Front for his inflammatory rhetoric,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Le Pen: “If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump. But may God protect him!”

Turnout Expected to be High on Super Tuesday

“If the early voting numbers are any indicator, get ready for a huge turnout on Super Tuesday,” Politico reports.

“In state after March 1 state, election officials are reporting increases in the number of voters who cast their ballot before election day. Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts — to name just a few — report upticks in absentee ballots and voter registration. In at least two of the 12 states voting Tuesday, Georgia and Tennessee, election officials report dramatic surges that have blown past previous records.”

“So far this year, the real action has been on the Republican side. The Iowa GOP caucuses blew through past records and the Nevada GOP reported more than twice as many voters participated in the caucuses Tuesday as in 2012. The New Hampshire and South Carolina GOP primaries also saw higher turnout this year than in 2012.”