Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
On the Democratic side, Clinton and Bernie Sanders will square off in Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska on Saturday and in Maine on Sunday.
Minimal polling has been conducted in these states making it difficult to project who will dominate the weekend.
Here’s a breakdown about what to keep an eye on as results roll in on Saturday and Sunday:
Sanders has spent a considerable amount of time and resources ahead of the Kansas, Nebraska and Maine caucuses and has appeared on the air in all three states, according to MSNBC.
His campaign hopes to pick up some wins this weekend that can help catapult him into Tuesday’s Michigan primary, which has 130 delegates.
The Vermont senator has sought to draw contrasts between him and Clinton over trade. Sandersoutspent Clinton on TV ads in the Great Lakes State, according to the Detroit News.
Still, recent polls show Sanders trailing behind Clinton in the double digits.
A strong showing by Sanders this weekend — and during the Sunday debate in Flint — could blunt some of Clinton’s momentum coming out of Super Tuesday and position him well ahead of the Michigan primary.
Clinton upset Sanders in Massachusetts, a neighboring state that the Vermont senator was hoping he could add to his handful of wins on Super Tuesday.
The former secretary of State edged him out by less than 2 points in a state tailor-made for Sanders.
Now, the Sanders campaign is eyeing another liberal-voter stronghold as the race shifts to Maine.
Following Super Tuesday, Sanders rallied voters in Portland and touted that he took on the Democratic establishment after winning Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado. He said high voter turnout will benefit him in the Pine State.
Despite a narrow loss in Massachusetts, Sanders hopes to replicate his wins in New Hampshire and Vermont and pocket another New England victory.
It’s not a critical victory for the Clinton camp, but a win on Sanders’s home turf could deal a blow to his campaign and extend her massive delegate lead.
Ben Carson officially ended his quest for the White House on Friday. Earlier this week, the retired neurosurgeon said he didn’t see a “political path forward” and skipped out on Thursday’s debate.
His departure signals the chase for his loyal supporters by the remaining GOP hopefuls.
Carson’s appeal to evangelicals is widely seen to benefit Cruz, who attracted many of those voters when he won the Iowa caucuses.
But Cruz isn’t the only candidate hoping for the extra boost. The day before he dropped out, Trump also sought to court Carson’s base, tweeting that he hopes “all of Ben’s followers will join the #TrumpTrain.”
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have both laid out the case for why they are the best anti-Trump alternative.
But to stop Trump, who’s won 10 of the first 15 primary contests, both senators must prove that they can win states and not consistently finish in second and third place.
Cruz, who has won four states, continues to drive home the narrative that he’s the only candidate who can — and has — beaten Trump. But the terrain going forward will only get tougher for the Texas senator as the contest moves away from the southern states.
Thus, this weekend’s contests are critical for Cruz with southern states Kentucky and Louisiana up for grabs. as well as Kansas, which borders Oklahoma where he won on Super Tuesday.
Rubio had a rough Super Tuesday, but eked out a late-night victory in Minnesota. The establishment has rallied around him, but some express doubts in his ability to be the designated Trump takedown candidate.
Victories this weekend could temporarily stop the bleeding and give Rubio a much-needed boost going into Florida’s winner-take-all primary on March 15, where he trails by double digits in his home state.
He dropped scheduled appearances in Kentucky and Louisiana on Friday to concentrate on Kansas and he’s traveling to Puerto Rico a day ahead of the Sunday primary. Now, the question will be whether his gamble pays off.
Polling has been scant in the weekend contests, but recent polls show Trump leading the pack in most. Rubio and Cruz will need to net some of these states to convince voters they have a path toward the nomination.
Kentucky switched from a primary to a caucus for the first time in more than 30 years.
Former White House hopeful Rand Paul instigated the change last August so he could simultaneously run for president and reelection to the Senate.
Now that the Kentucky senator has suspended his presidential bid, state party leaders are left scrambling at the last minute to get the vote out and expect low voter turnout.
The remaining GOP hopefuls have spent little time in the Bluegrass State. But Trump’s Louisville rally on Tuesday might have brought Kentucky voters a much-needed reminder about its weekend caucus.
And that’s a good thing for all of the candidates.
“I have real concerns that the Republican Party has been doing an abysmal job getting the word out,” Scott Hofstra, Ted Cruz’s Kentucky volunteer chairman told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
And former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, Rubio’s Kentucky campaign chairwoman, told the publication, “We have been trying to engage the press because we don’t want it to come and go and for people who live very busy lives with family and work and other activities to go, the next day, ‘Oh, I missed it.’”
A late February poll found Trump with a double-digits lead over the GOP field.
Image Credit: AP
For seven months, businessman Donald Trump held the mantle of Republican presidential frontrunner, confounding widespread expectations that his support would collapse well before GOP voters cast their first ballots.
But after his loss to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in Monday’s Iowa caucuses — a loss Trump asserts was due to “fraud” on Cruz’s part — the real estate tycoon has lost his command of the GOP race, according to the first national poll conducted entirely after the caucuses shows.
Trump remains the nominal leader in the survey, from Public Policy Polling. But at 25% support, he’s locked in a statistical tie with Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who each claim 21% support. Rubio exceeded expectations with a robust third-place showing in Iowa, finishing just one percentage point behind Trump.
Rounding out the Republican field are retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 11%; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who ended his bid Wednesday, at 5% each; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and businesswoman Carly Fiorina at 3% and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore at 1%.
For Trump, the result marks a dramatic comedown from December, when he lead Cruz, his nearest rival, by a 34% to 18% margin in the PPP survey. Trump is now at his lowest mark in the PPP poll since July, when he led the field with 19% support.
Trump has a chance to reset the narrative in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, which most recent polls show he’s favored to win. But with mainstream Republican support increasingly accruing to Rubio and Cruz showing strength with very conservative GOP voters, Trump now finds himself at his most vulnerable point since entering the race in June.
The New York Daily News has come out swinging against Donald Trump, depicting the GOP presidential frontrunner as an ISIS terrorist beheading the Statue of Liberty:
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 9, 2015
“When Trump came for the Mexicans, I did not speak out — as I was not a Mexican,” the cover says. “When he came for the Muslims, I did not speak out — as I was not a Muslim. Then he came for me…”
The writing is a variation on “First They Came,” a quote from anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller who spent seven years in a concentration camp:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
The Daily News also has a guest column by Max Paul Friedman, history professor at American University and author of “Nazis and Good Neighbors,” denouncingTrump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Friedman said Trump’s proposals are not as extreme as many of the restrictions the Nazis forced on the Jews.
“However, by saying on Monday that all Muslims overseas, even U.S. citizens who are abroad for business or pleasure, will be refused re-entry to the United States, he would effectively deny them their citizenship rights,” he wrote. “Like Jews in Germany, they would be rendered stateless.”
For reasons hard to fathom, the Republicans seem to have made up their minds: they will divide, degrade and secede from the Union.
They will do so with bullying, lies and manipulation, a willingness to say anything, no matter how daft or wrong. They will do so by spending unheard of sums to buy elections with the happy assistance of big business and wealthy patrons for whom the joys of gross income inequality are a comfortable fact of life. By gerrymandering and denying the vote to as many of the poor, the elderly, struggling low-paid workers, and people of color as they can. And by appealing to the basest impulses of human nature: anger, fear and bigotry.
Turn on your TV or computer, pick up a paper or magazine and you can see and hear them baying at the moon. Donald Trump is just the most outrageous and bigmouthed of the frothing wolf pack of deniers and truth benders. As our friend and colleague Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch writes, “There’s nothing, no matter how jingoistic or xenophobic, extreme or warlike that can’t be expressed in public and with pride by a Republican presidential candidate.”
Like the pronouncement of the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984, ignorance is strength, whether it’s casting paranoid fantasies about thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering 9/11, or warning about terrorists in refugees’ ragged clothing and Mexican rapists slithering across the border.
Just four-and-a-half years ago, Washington mainstays Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein shocked the inside-the-Beltway establishment (especially the press, with its silent pact to speak no evil of wrongdoers lest they deny you an interview) when they published their book, It’s Even Worse than It Looks. The two esteemed political scientists wrote, “The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
In the years since, an ugly situation has only gotten increasingly dire, with right-wing radicals whipped into a frenzy by a Republican establishment that thought it could use their rage, only to find it running amok and beyond their control. In a recent interview with Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg View, Norman Ornstein said, “The future still looks pretty grim.” And Thomas Mann noted, “The burden is on the GOP because they are currently the major source of our political dysfunction. No happy talk about bipartisanship can obscure that reality. Unless other voices and movements arise within the Republican Party to changes its character and course, our dysfunctional politics will continue.”
The fever is pandemic not only among the party’s presidential candidates but throughout the House and Senate right down to our state governments. Witness erstwhile GOP presidential candidate and current Wisconsin governor Scott Walker cutting off food stamps for the hungry and possibly bankrupting food pantries in his state just in time for Christmas – because many of those on the lowest rung of the ladder haven’t yet found a job.
And here’s multimillionaire Bruce Rauner winning the governorship of Illinois after spending some $65 million — half of which came from himself and nine other individuals, families or the companies they control. Now he’s calling once again on his wealthy friends and allies around the country who, The New York Times reports, “are rallying behind Mr. Rauner’s agenda: to cut spending and overhaul the state’s pension system, impose term limits and weaken public employee unions”– even though a majority of ordinary citizens in Illinois are opposed.
Meanwhile, with just a few weeks until they adjourn for the holidays, Republicans in the US Congress will try to cram in as much pettiness and vituperation as they can before they head back to their states and districts, no doubt to lead the home front in the fight against “the war on Christmas” launched this time every year by the Republicans’ propaganda arm (Fox News) and its shock troops on talk radio.
Congressional Republicans have vowed to free Wall Street from oversight and accountability and to prevent children fleeing the Syrian inferno from coming ashore on US soil. And yes, they will once again be in full throat against gun control (despite the latest tragedy in San Bernardino, California). They’re on constant attack against the science of climate change, with the latest salvo two House bills passed December 1 that undermine Environmental Protection Agency rules (the president will veto them). And believe it or not, once again they’ll try to scuttle Obamacare, as in Kentucky where the self-financed, wealthy Republican governor-elect has vowed to cut loose hundreds of thousands of people from health insurance.
Take a look at some of their other plans, including the riders congressional Republicans are contemplating for inclusion in the omnibus spending bill that must be passed by December 11. The whole mess is a Bad Santa’s list of loopholes benefiting High Finance, tax cuts for the rich, and budget cuts for everyone else, even as they drive the nation deeper into debt and disrepair.
All of these sad examples are but symptoms of a deeper disease – the corruption and debasement of society, government and politics. It is a disease that eats away at the root and heart of what democracy is all about. Remember the opening phrase of the Preamble to the Constitution committing “We, the People” to the most remarkable compact of self-government ever – for the good of all? The Republicans are shredding that vision as they make a bonfire of the hopes that inspired it and, in the process, reduce the United States to a third-rate, sorry excuse for a nation.
Why? For an analogy and an answer we have to go back to the slave-holding Democrats of the 1840s and 50s who were prepared to destroy the Union if necessary to protect and expand the brutal system of human slavery on which their economy and way of life were built. The extremism and polarization engendered made it impossible for politics peacefully to resolve the moral dilemma facing our country. If the Republicans – and the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln — had not championed and fought to preserve the Union and its government, the United States would have been no more.
Now it is the Republicans who are willing to wreck the country to maintain the gross inequality that divides us – inequality which rewards the party leaders and their donors, just as slavery rewarded white supremacists. They would tear the Republic apart, rip to pieces its already fragile social compact, and reap the whirlwind of a failed experiment in self-government.
A Fox News poll released on August 16th, showed Donald Trump continuing to enjoy a dominant lead in the Republican race for the 2016 presidential nomination. Trump polled at 25 percent in the 17 candidate field, well ahead of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson who was in second place with 12 percent support. Ted Cruz was in third place at 10 percent, with no other candidate in double digits.
Trump’s commanding lead is no longer surprising, given that he has been comfortably ahead in several recent national surveys, released from multiple different polling firms. What makes the Fox News poll so frightening for GOP strategists, however, is that Trump’s nearest competitors are not establishment favorites like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. Instead, if Trump falters, Ben Carson or Ted Cruz appear to be next in line to ascend to the top of the GOP pack.
Pundits have long argued that Donald Trump will eventually fade as voters take a more sober look at the Republican options and cease their reckless flirtations with candidates on the fringe. However, that “conventional wisdom” is predicated on the notion that Republican voters both want to win in 2016, and that they recognize that choosing a more moderate candidate is their path to victory.
However, the Fox News survey suggests that GOP voters are disinterested in choosing one of the Republican establishment candidates with extensive experience governing. In fact, given their preference for political outsiders like Trump and Carson, Republican voters may even see elected experience as a liability. “If you’re part of the government, you’re part of the problem”, they reason. The notable exception to that adage is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose main accomplishment as senator has been as an obstructionist who keeps the U.S. Senate from getting things done.
Republican party leaders have spent the better part of the last two decades stirring up their base with anti-government rhetoric. That strategy has helped them win victories over Democrats, but not without consequences for establishment GOP politicians, who are now facing the wrath of the anti-government voters they helped cultivate. With GOP voters looking at Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz as their potential saviors, its pretty clear that the angry mobs are not just upset with Barack Obama.
They have grabbed their pitchforks and torches to go after the Republican establishment as well. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker may not have noticed yet, but Republican voters aren’t looking for somebody with executive experience as governor. Instead, they are looking for a candidate with little or no experience, because they have been conditioned to virtually reject the idea of governing at all.
Frankly, I totally enjoy watching Donald Trump expose his ignorance…
During the March 26th edition of Fox’s On the Record, Donald Trump called PresidentObama’s comments about concerns over a nuke in Manhattan “absolutely the dumbest — I guess I have to say one– but maybe I can say the single dumbest statement I have ever heard a president make.”
Of course, The Donald had probably just returned from his high-rise laboratory where he gauges stupidity based on the rate at which his fingers gravitate toward Greta Van Susteren’s contact information. Sigh, it’s hard to argue with science.
But let’s give it the old college try. Here are some presidential quotes that out-dumb President Obama’s attempt to articulate his genuine fears concerning homeland security:
Of course, dumb comments aren’t just silly, as Trump implies. How about quotes with grave and aloof implications:
Now, Trump made no distinction between countries either, saying “I don’t mean just the president of this country.” There really only needs to be one example here (with apologies to Chávez and Putin):
Hmmm, let’s finish off this experiment with American business moguls, shall we? Ah, what luck, we only need one for this too:
Donald Trump is as ignorant as he looks…
On Tuesday, the Pentagon released a report about the rampant sexual assault taking place within the United States military. The figures the report laid out were shocking to read. From the Associated Press:
The Pentagon report says that the number of sexual assaults reported by members of the military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012, while the department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted, based on anonymous surveys, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the report.
Politicians from President Obama on down condemned the findings. For noted military theorist Donald Trump, however, the study sent a different message:
26,000 sexual assaults or rapes reported in military last year-and that is just the number that is reported (many do not want to report).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2013
The Generals and top military brass never wanted a mixer but were forced to do it by very dumb politicians who wanted to be politically C!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2013
It’s quite the classy response! Is Trump saying that men are all prone to rape? Or that women shouldn’t be allowed in the military because they’ll inevitably be assaulted? This seems like a very dark view of the world. Trump has threatened to run for president in the past, but it’s possible that he just lost the women’s vote. And men’s. And military families. And everyone, everywhere.
Score another win for the good guys…
Donald Trump has withdrawn his sensational lawsuit against Bill Maher — at least for the moment.
Trump filed a lawsuit against Maher in February, arguing that the political satirist did not fulfill his end of a very public bet. While appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in January, Maher joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice — “Hair Club for Men” and “the Institute for Incorrigible Douchebaggery” were among Maher’s suggestions — if the real estate mogul and prominent birther could prove that he’s not the “spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”
Trump’s lawyers evidently filed a request with the L.A. County Superior Court on March 29 to dismiss the $5 million lawsuit. But Michael Cohen, special counsel and executive vice president for Trump, told TMZ that the legal fight is not over and the withdrawal of the case was only temporary.
“The lawsuit was temporarily withdrawn to be amended and refiled at a later date,” Cohen said.
Maher, for his part, never seemed to take the case too seriously. During an interview with late night host Conan O’Brien in February, Maher compared his dispute with Trump to “having a spat with J.R. Ewing.”
“He’s not even a real person,” Maher said of Trump. “It’s just like a pop reference from the 80′s.”