South Carolina House Republicans apparently conducted their own poll and found Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential race with 35%, followed by Ted Cruz at 16%, Jeb Bush at 13%, Marco Rubio at 12%, John Kasich at 9% and Ben Carson at 5%.
“I never heard the really insulting language about so many different kinds of people. I never heard the kind of demagoguery and derogatory comments. I wasn’t around him that much but I never heard that. And so I can only conclude that, you know, he thinks this is what gets him the votes.”
— Hillary Clinton, quoted by Politico, describing her relationship with Donald Trump.
Jim Gilmore is ending his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination, USA Today reports.
“Gilmore suspended his campaign following a poor performance in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, which followed an even worse showing Feb. 1 in Iowa, where he barely campaigned and was the choice of only 12 caucusgoers. Fewer than a dozen people showed up at his New Hampshire election night party.”
Washington Post: “Long guarded by aides vigilantly limiting his exposure, Rubio has abruptly morphed into a freewheeling raconteur in front of a press pack that he has kept at a distance since launching his presidential run last April.”
“The Florida senator says he always planned to open up this way as the nomination battle moved beyond the more intimate early states, where his time was dominated by meeting voters one-on-one. But the shift feels more like a prescription for healing the deep wounds left by his devastating showing at the last GOP debate, where he was mocked for being too scripted and robotic after repeating the same phrase four times.”
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that if Bernie Sanders has a chance of drawing African-American voters away from Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27, his best opportunity will be among the young.
Key findings: “African Americans support Clinton by more than a 3-to-1 margin nationwide, but among young blacks 18 to 29 years old, that margin shrinks to 46 percent for Clinton versus 33 percent for Sanders… African Americans overwhelmingly back Democrats, but opinion polls show younger blacks more apt to reject an establishment candidate. They seem less inclined than their parents to reward Clinton for the outreach of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and more drawn to Sanders’ outspoken views on reducing income inequality, cracking down on Wall Street, and cutting the cost of college.”
“Donald Trump has a new line of attack against Ted Cruz — he’s a liar,” Politico reports.
“In just a little more than 24 hours, Trump has tweeted six times with some variation of the notion that the Texas senator is not truthful.”
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau drafted a Donald Trump victory speech for the Daily Beast.
“It’s not something I necessarily enjoyed doing, anymore than I would enjoy channeling the voice of Kim Jong Un or a Kardashian. But Trump’s victory in New Hampshire has vaulted him to the top of the delegate race. He’s leading in dozens of other states. And since the possibility of a Trump nomination is as real as it’s ever been, I want people to be prepared for what he might sound like in a general election.”
“After a debate performance in which she painted Bernie Sanders as a fringe candidate whose policies bordered on fantasy, Hillary Clinton and her allies intensified the pressure on the Vermont senator on Friday, burnishing her embrace of President Obama and seeking to solidify her support among blacks,” the New York Times reports.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) praised Donald Trump for speaking his mind, The Hill reports.
Said Reid: “You may not agree with his authenticity, but he’s authentic. People like that. He speaks his mind, which reminds me of me once in a while. I think that’s something that’s refreshing.”
He added: “He just says whatever he thinks is appropriate. I think some of the stuff is not so good but he does that. People identify with that.”
Sen. Ted Cruz is out with a creative ad that features children playing with a Donald Trump action figure.
First Read: “The Cruz ads stand out because so many of the other campaigns are running cookie-cutter formulaic spots.”