Categories

Archive for the ‘Marco Rubio’ Category

After reading this article, it’s clear that Jeb Bush’s campaign will insist that he’s picking up momentum:

A brand-new national NBC/WSJ poll finds Jeb Bush leading the crowded Republican presidential field, with 22% of GOP primary voters saying he’s their first choice. He’s followed by Scott Walker at 17%, Marco Rubio at 14%, and Ben Carson at 11%. While Jeb had a similar five-point lead in our April NBC/WSJ poll, you see his current position has strengthened when you look inside the numbers of this new poll. (It was conducted during the buildup and coverage of Bush’s official presidential announcement on June 16.) The latest survey shows him ahead among self-identified conservative GOP primary voters, when he was in third place in April behind Rubio and Walker. And as we unveiled on Sunday, 75% of Republican primary voters in our new poll say they could see themselves supporting Bush, up from 70% in April and 49% in March. Bottom line: While Jeb has plenty of potential problems to overcome (his last name, his positions on immigration and Common Core, his desire to run a general-election campaign instead of one aimed at GOP primary voters), this poll is very good news for him.

First, the poll’s sample is a tiny 236 likely primary voters. That’s less than half of a single night’s sample for Rasmussen’s polling. That makes this poll virtually junk in terms of its predictive value on that part alone.

Next, Jeb’s support has dropped a point since the April NBC/WSJ poll. In April’s poll, Gov. Bush had a 9-point lead over Gov. Walker and a 5-point lead over Sen. Rubio. Gov. Bush garnered 23% to Gov. Walker’s 14%. Now, it’s 22% for Gov. Bush, 17% for Gov. Walker. That isn’t great news a week after Gov. Bush’s official announcement. That means that Gov. Bush essentially didn’t get a bounce from his official entry into the race.

There’s another thing that’s worth noting. The NBC/WSJ poll is the only poll where Gov. Bush has topped 20%. If we exclude the NBC/WSJ poll and we take the last 5 polls, Gov. Bush has gotten 9%, 12%, 13%, 10% and 10% from Monmouth, Fox News, CNN/ORC, ABC/WashPost and Quinnipiac respectively. Given the predictive value of this NBC/WSJ poll, it’s more than justifiable to question this poll. Frankly, I don’t know how you take it seriously. Apparently, Allahpundit has taken it a bit too seriously:

Bush leads with 22 percent, then Scott Walker at 17, then Rubio at 14 — and remember, Walker hasn’t formally announced yet. Part of Jeb’s big bounce in this poll may be due to the positive buzz he got after finally declaring his candidacy; Walker may be the next to bounce as those now-tuning-in Republicans are formally introduced to him.

It’s difficult to take this NBC/WSJ poll seriously, especially in light of the fact that Gov. Bush has had difficulty getting into the last 5 national polls. Why should I believe that a poll with a microscopic sample that shows a candidate with twice his RCP average support?

Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.

But Scott Walker got more.

The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.

Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:

Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.

It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:

Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.

President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.

Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.

(H/T: Gateway Pundit) This weekend, Wisconsin Democrats sent a distinct message to Hillary:

The breakdown of the straw poll vote, which was conducted by the well-regarded politics website www.wispolitics.com, was:

Hillary Clinton 252
Bernie Sanders 208
Joe Biden 16
Martin O’Malley 16
Jim Webb 8
Lincoln Chafee 5
No vote 1
(Write-ins:)
Elizabeth Warren 4
Tom Vilsack 1

This isn’t to suggest that Hillary won’t win the nomination. The odds of that happening are miniscule. It’s to suggest that Hillary isn’t the beloved candidate that Barack Obama was in 2008. Getting 49% of the vote against this field should frighten Hillary. They’re sending her the message that she isn’t far enough left for their liking. The further that she gets pushed left, the more difficult it’ll be to win independents.

That’s terrible news for Hillary in light of this information:

But Clinton has lost support among independents. In March, 45 percent had a favorable view and 44 percent had an unfavorable view, for a net approval rating of +1 point. That has now fallen to -14 points (37 percent-51 percent). Craighill notes that the sample size of pure independents is small (86 in the March survey and 97 in the May survey). So take this trend with a grain of salt.

The margin of error on a sample that small is undoubtedly high. Still, 37% is terrible. If it’s even 43%, that means Hillary will need a massive turnout of the Democrats’ base. Because Hillary is a known quantity, the likelihood of Hillary gaining large numbers of voters isn’t high. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to think that Hillary’s numbers have a definite chance of dropping but little chance of improving.

That’s because a) she’s had 100 name ID and b) everyone has an opinion of her. Republican candidates like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio have room to grow as they become more well known. Considering the fact that they’re both within the margin of error in a head-to-head matchup against Hillary, she’s got every reason to panic.

Last fall, I wrote lots of posts and articles about Joni Ernst because a) she caught everyone’s attention and b) it was clear that she was a rising star in the GOP. Her Roast and Ride event will be bigger than the Iowa Straw Poll. It’s clear that Joni Ernst isn’t taking her foot off the pedal in terms of gaining notoriety. People are noticing:

BOONE, Iowa—It’s a newly created political event, hosted by a first-year senator who’s barely known outside her state. Yet seven presidential candidates and the national media horde has descended on this rural town 45 minutes from Des Moines because the significance of the first annual “Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride” is already clear: amid great uncertainty about which White House hopefuls will choose to compete in the state GOP’s embattled straw poll in August, this could end up being one of Iowa’s most important retail politicking events of the year.

The only modification I’d make to that paragraph is I’d eliminate the words “one of.” I wouldn’t be surprised if it was easily Iowa’s most important retail politicking event of the year.

According to this map, Sen. Ernst defeated her Democratic opponent 52.2% – 43.7%. She defeated Bruce Braley by 95,000+ votes in a state that cast 1,100,000 votes, which indicates that Iowa’s buying what she’s selling.

Iowa is a state that should flip into the Republicans’ column this time. The Republican Party of Iowa is strong. They’ve got a strong, diverse group of leaders, ranging from Chuck Grassley and Terry Branstad to Joni Ernst and Steve King. While lots of national pundits roll their eyes when they hear about Steve King, the truth is that he’s got a strong, ultra-loyal following. The presidential candidate that gets his voters will stand a good chance of winning Iowa’s electoral votes.

“I doubt the candidates will win any converts during their eight allotted minutes onstage — all of the activity is going to take place off stage, off the bikes, actually interacting with and talking to Iowans,” said Matt Strawn, a former Iowa GOP chairman who worked closely with Ernst during her 2014 Senate campaign. “What I’m watching for are, which candidates understand this is meant to be a fun, relaxing event designed for them to interact with Iowans? Most of the large events in the state have been forums in ballroom theater settings, not an opportunity to spend a lot of time personally interacting.”

Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry are all confirmed to speak, but Walker is the only one confirmed to ride a motorcycle with Ernst (though Perry has his own motorcycle event that day, and most of the other candidates are working other events before and after).

This is another opportunity for Scott Walker to win Iowans over. He’s already leading in Iowa but it doesn’t hurt to build on what’s successful. At this point, he’s the favorite to win the Iowa Caucuses. He’s got an advantage in that he appears to be cut from the same cloth as Sen. Ernst. It isn’t a negative when you’re seen as a kindred spirit to that state’s rising star.

UPDATE: Here’s the best tweet from the hashtag #RoastandRide:


Now that’s seriously a great shot at Hillary.

The Democratic playbook on Marco Rubio is thin. Their best argument against Sen. Rubio is that he isn’t Hispanic enough:

So far, Democrats who have combed over Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate have seized on his opposition to legislation raising the minimum wage and to expanding college loan refinancing, trying to cast him as no different from other Republicans. The subtext: He may be Hispanic, but he is not on the side of Hispanics when it comes to the issues they care about.

That’s incredibly defensive. If the Democrats’ biggest criticism of Sen. Rubio is that he opposed raising the minimum wage, that will last about a week, if that, before Sen. Rubio starts talking about restoring the American Dream again. Let’s remember that Democrats are frightened by Sen. Rubio’s personal story:

WASHINGTON — They use words like “historic” and “charismatic,” phrases like “great potential” and “million-dollar smile.” They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy.

An incipient sense of anxiety is tugging at some Democrats — a feeling tersely captured in four words from a blog post written recently by a seasoned party strategist in Florida: “Marco Rubio scares me.”

Sen. Rubio isn’t flawless. His participation in the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill is a definite sticking point with Republicans. That might hurt Sen. Rubio’s chances for winning the nomination. Still, that’s nothing compared with the cloud of scandals that Hillary will have to defend in the general election.

Defending a policy misstep isn’t difficult compared with convincing people that the series of disastrous decisions you’re associated with (the Reset Button with Russia, pulling the troops out of Iraq, which led directly to ISIS claiming functional control of Anbar Province and not stepping up security in Benghazi, which led to the U.S. Ambassador to Libya getting assassinated) aren’t proof that you’re the worst Secretary of State in the last 75 years.

John Hinderaker has an other observation that Democrats should be worried about:

The one who should really scare them is Hillary Clinton, as her ineptitude as a candidate becomes more palpable with every passing day.

If Hillary hadn’t been First Lady, she wouldn’t get taken seriously as a presidential candidate. When she was First Lady, she was a disaster, starting with her bombing with HillaryCare, then including her “vast right wing conspiracy” statement. After that statement, she disappeared from the stage for over a month.

When she started her book tour, she committed one gaffe after another, which led to cancelling the majority of the tour. Initially, it was thought that the book tour would serve as Hillary’s first step in her presidential coronation. Instead, it was cancelled because she botched things badly.

It’s established fact that Hillary isn’t good in settings where real people ask her important questions. That was determined last year during her God-awful book tour collapsed in infamy. That collapse guaranteed that Hillary wouldn’t wage a real campaign if she didn’t have to. That’s why we shouldn’t be surprise by this article:

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Here’s how Hillary Clinton campaigned for president this week: She took a private 15-minute tour of a bike shop that had closed for her visit. She spoke to four small business owners chosen by her staff in front of an audience of 20, also chosen by her staff. She answered a few questions from the media following weeks of silence. And after a little more than an hour, Clinton was off, whisked away by aides and Secret Service agents, into a minivan and on to the next event.

Members of the public who wanted to go inside the building to support her, oppose her or merely ask a question of her were left outside on an unseasonably cool Iowa day. Most didn’t bother showing up.

Rest assured of this: Hillary will lose Iowa if she doesn’t campaign amongst real people that are allowed to ask real questions. What’s most important is that she’ll deserve that thumping if she continues campaigning inside the bunker. Anyone who isn’t interested in representing all of America shouldn’t be the next president.

“I am troubled that so far in this caucus cycle she hasn’t had any public town halls,” said Chris Schwartz, a liberal activist from Waterloo, as he stood outside the bike store hoping to talk to Clinton about trade. “If she had a public town hall then we wouldn’t be out here. We would much rather be in there engaging with her.”

Let’s be blunt. This cycle, Hillary’s highest priority has been to minimize her chances of making a gaffe. That’s been an obvious decision on Hillary’s part. The problem with doing that is that she isn’t giving undecided voters a chance to get to like her.

That’s plain foolish.

Hillary can’t win this election with just a base vote, especially when a significant part of the Democrats’ base, young people, are disinterested at best. When Obama brought young people out in droves in 2008, they thought he was hip, he was cool, he had a cult following. Remember this?

Young people came out in droves in 2008 because Barack Obama captured their imagination. Hillary isn’t getting their attention in 2016. The Obama coalition isn’t dead but it’s dying a slow, painful death right in front of our eyes.

If Republicans nominate either Scott Walker or Marco Rubio, they’ll defeat Hillary with votes to spare. Walker and Rubio are fantastic in that they attract young people and they’re people with fresh ideas. Hillary’s freshness ran out circa the time of her talking about the “vast right wing conspiracy.” That’s back when I was young.

According to Quinnipiac’s latest polling, Scott Walker’s lead in Iowa appears to be solidifying:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the top dog with a big early lead in the Iowa Republican Caucus, with a four-way scramble for second place and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in seventh place with 5 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This table shows the state of the race:

It’s clear that Scott Walker is the frontrunner in Iowa. It’s equally clear that Iowans don’t like Jeb much. I wrote about that in this article back in early February. Nothing’s changed that’s helped Jeb since then. It’s likely that Jeb’s campaign has written Iowa off while emphasizing winning New Hampshire or South Carolina.

Last month’s announcements by Sen. Rubio and Sen. Cruz have lifted their support, with Sen. Rubio jumping from 4% to 13% and Sen. Cruz jumping from 5% to 12%. Sen. Paul, who also announced last month, stays stuck at 12%, just like he was at 12% in February’s polling.

Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants have a 69 – 9 percent favorable opinion of Rubio, the best score in the GOP field. The Florida senator’s positions on the issues are “about right,” 65 percent say, also the best in the field.

Walker gets a 59 – 11 percent favorability rating, with 62 percent of caucus participants saying his positions on issues are “about right.” Scores for other leading Republican candidates are:
Negative 39 – 45 percent favorability rating for Bush, and 36 percent saying he’s about right on issues, while 45 percent say he’s not conservative enough;
53 – 9 percent favorable for Carson, and 56 percent saying he’s about right on the issues;
Negative 32 – 56 percent favorable for Christie, and 52 percent saying he’s not conservative enough on issues;
59 – 19 percent favorable for Cruz, and 58 percent saying he’s about right;
64 – 27 percent favorable for Huckabee, and 59 percent about right on the issues;
59 – 23 percent favorable for Paul, and 51 percent saying he’s about right.

Looking at Walker, likely Republican Caucus participants say 69-11 percent that he is honest and trustworthy; 72-10 percent that he has strong leadership qualities and 72-11 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.

What that information tells me is that the activists generally think highly of this group of candidates. The only exceptions to that apparently are Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

Conventional wisdom said that the first polls from Iowa didn’t mean much, that it was early, etc. As we’re inching closer to the first debates, it’s clear that those first polls were fairly accurate.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

A.B. Stoddard’s article needs lots of refinements. Here’s how it starts:

Four months into the 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has all the money and none of the mojo.

Despite the financial juggernaut the former Florida governor has built — Bush said this week he had raised more than anyone else has at this point in a presidential campaign in history — he is failing to excite crowds, dominate polls or scare away competitors.

Bush comes in second or third in most polls, and when he has ranked first it hasn’t been by much. There is considerable enthusiasm for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as well as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many had believed would forgo the race if Bush were to make a White House bid. Bush has doubled down on his positions on education and immigration that are unpopular with conservatives, and as each young Republican contender labels Hillary Clinton “old news,” it only makes Bush seem more stale.

Here’s how it closes:

If Bush can attract unconventional support, he could defy the expectations for an establishment front-runner. And though many Republicans are swooning for Rubio, the widespread hesitation over electing another young, handsome, history-making first-term senator who listens to rap music and has a beautiful family still makes Bush the safer bet.

Bush can win the nomination just by surviving. Just ask Romney.

That’s pretty pathetic thinking. Romney survived because his competition wasn’t competitive. Jeb’s competition isn’t just competitive. There’s a question lingering about how competitive Jeb is. There’s no question about whether Jeb’s got the fundraising network. There’s tons of doubt whether he can win over conservative voters.

One of the rare things that Vice President Biden got right was when he said that “a leader without any followers is just a guy out for a walk.” I wouldn’t say that Jeb doesn’t have any followers. I won’t hesitate, though, is saying that his support is tepid considering how much money he’s raised and his name recognition advantage. He should be blowing his competition out of the water. The fact that he isn’t speaks volumes.

I wrote this article back at the start of February. It’s as pertinent today as it was then:

It wasn’t good news for Jeb Bush, though. Gov. Bush is the top choice of just 9% of caucus-goers in Iowa. He’s the second choice of just 6% of caucus-goers, giving Gov. Bush just 15% combined.

Then there’s this:

The best +/- rating in the GOP field is Scott Walker’s +48, followed by Rand Paul’s +39, followed by Rick Perry’s, Mike Huckabee’s and Ben Carson’s +38. By comparison, Jeb Bush’s +/- rating is +3 (46% favorable, 43% unfavorable.).

Bush can’t win the nomination by surviving because Walker and Rubio aren’t trendy flavor-of-the-month types. They have legitimate staying power because they’re appealing candidates.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

This article includes one of the strangest quotes I’ve seen. Check this out:

Former state Rep. Juan-Carlos Planas, who also worked with both men and now backs Bush, made a similar point. “There were always projects that were important to Marco’s constituents,” he said. “And they always ended up in the budget.”

Rep. Planas just accused Sen. Rubio of — gasp! — representing his constituents. Apparently, that’s a mortal sin with Rep. Planas. That’s weird thinking for normal people because most people think a politician actually representing them is a positive.

Jeb’s unleashed his supporters to criticize Sen. Rubio:

Rubio’s team declined to respond to those statements and hasn’t cast Bush or other rivals in a negative light.

Yet a prominent Rubio supporter, billionaire businessman Norman Braman, has been less diplomatic. “We have to look for the future,” Braman told CNN this past week in a round of interviews. “We have to go beyond the Bushes. We have to go beyond the Clintons.” He added: “We’re not a country that believes in dynasties.”

Repeating a campaign theme isn’t going negative. It’s a substantive point. Jeb’s supporters didn’t take that path. Jeb’s surrogates attacked Sen. Rubio in a personal, semi-substantive way.

This shouldn’t be taken as me saying I’m supporting Sen. Rubio. I’m personally supporting Scott Walker. It’s just me saying I wish Jeb’s surrogates would be more substantive. Still, it’s helpful since it’s a safe bet that Hillary’s campaign will be rude to whomever the Republicans pick as their nominee.

It was inevitable that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would weigh in on Marco Rubio’s presidential announcement. Here’s what she said:

Hours before his rally, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, criticized Rubio as just another establishment Republican with no new ideas. “He’s a follower, peddling the same tired Republican playbook,” she told reporters. “Marco Rubio has pandered to the Republican base throughout his whole career.”

You’d think that Democrats could find a more skilled leader of the DNC. Apparently, their bench for presidential candidates isn’t the only thin bench they’ve got. Apparently, their bench for DNC chairs is thin, too.

One thing that’s clear is that the DNC chair, like their presidential-nominee-in-waiting, isn’t particularly wedded to the truth. Saying that Sen. Rubio “has pandered to the Republican base” is a bit melodramatic. If Wasserman-Schultz wanted to be accurate, she could’ve said that Sen. Rubio holds views that many Republicans hold. That won’t work, though, if the goal is to vilify Sen. Rubio and turn him into a living, breathing Frankenstein.

As for Rubio’s beliefs, here’s what he rattled off as his agenda if he’s elected:

Now, the time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American Century.

If we reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace Obamacare, the American people will create millions of better-paying modern jobs.

If we create a 21st century system of higher education that provides working Americans the chance to acquire the skills they need, that no longer graduates students with mountains of debt and degrees that do not lead to jobs, and that graduates more students from high school ready to work, then our people will be prepared to seize their opportunities in the new economy.

If we remember that family, not government, is the most important institution in society, that all life deserves protection, and that all parents deserve to choose the education that’s right for their children, then we will have a strong people and a strong nation.

And if America accepts the mantle of global leadership, by abandoning this administration’s dangerous concessions to Iran, and its hostility to Israel; by reversing the hollowing out of our military; by giving our men and women in uniform the resources, care and gratitude they deserve; by no longer being passive in the face of Chinese and Russian aggression; and by ending the near total disregard for the erosion of democracy and human rights around the world; then our nation will be safer, the world more stable, and our people more prosperous.

That’s a lengthy, substantive agenda, one that will appeal to voters. If that agenda gets signed into law, job creation will accelerate, wages will rise and the economy will consistently grow at a 3.5% rate. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if it exceeded that.

This isn’t just Sen. Rubio’s agenda, either. Gov. Walker lists these things as priorities, too.