Marco Rubio has been criticized for dabbling in many important primary states, without aiming to win any specific one. Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi committee that investigated Hillary Clinton, has thrown his weight behind Rubio. Gowdy is expected to help Rubio in South Carolina, and is also a conservative pillar attractive to Iowa caucus-goers.
There is a strong chance that Sen. Rand Paul will not make the prime-time field at the next GOP debate. If that's the case, he announced he would not participate in the under-card debate, a stage for the second-tier candidates. He likened the under-card field to the “kids table,” adding: “You’re not considered to be a competitor.”
Ted Cruz’s daughters, 5 and 7, were included in a political editorial cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes. The cartoon has since been taken off The Washington Post site. Telnaes drew the two girls as monkeys on leashes. Other GOP candidates have come to Cruz’s defense, showing their disgust in the cartoon and the use of Cruz’s kids.
A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday shows Democratic contender Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump by 13 points head-to-head. The same poll also has Clinton beating Trump by 7 points. With both Democratic candidates polling so well against the Republican front-runner, the GOP will be inclined to start thinking about who could actually take on the Democrats in a general election.
Announced on Tuesday, the Fox Business Network, host of the next GOP debate on Jan. 14, has released the criteria for making it into their prime-time debate. The rules prescribe that the top six candidates in national polls and anyone in the top five in Iowa and New Hampshire polls make it to the prime-time stage. We may see the likes of Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Rand Paul get muscled off the main stage.
A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday shows Ted Cruz in a statistical tie with front-runner Donald Trump in the Republican primary race. Trump still leads with 28%, but Cruz has now risen to a strong 24% in a poll that has a four point margin of error. Cruz was already ahead in Iowa, a trend that now seems to have pervaded national polls. In the poll, Marco Rubio comes in with 12%, and Carson with 10% support.
Politifact announced its “Lie of the Year” on Monday. They couldn’t pick just one, but they were sure who the lie would come from. Of 77 Donald Trump statements analyzed by PolitiFact, 76% were deemed to be "mostly false" or worse. Writers at PolitiFact wrote that, “No other politician has as many statements rated so far down the dial.” Since they couldn’t pick just one lie, they have named Trump’s “campaign misstatements” as the “2015 Lie of the Year.”
David Axelrod, Democratic heavyweight, former chief campaign strategist and senior advisor to President Obama, believes the DNC treated the Sanders campaign unfairly in the aftermath of the data breach debacle. In a tweet, he wrote: “Looks like DNC is putting finger on scale” for the Clinton campaign. While making it clear that he condemned the Sanders campaign for looking at Clinton data, Axelrod alluded to what many have been thinking -- the DNC has already made its choice for Democratic nominee.
After spending the debates in the under-card group, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has decided to throw in the towel. Polling at 0.5%, the Graham campaign decided to make the announcement today -- the last day to remove a candidate’s name from the South Carolina primary ballot. Despite being well respected in the Senate and with strong under-card debate performances, Graham was not able to break into the prime-time pack. On a Monday conference call, he said: “One of the biggest problems we’ve had was to get our voice on equal footing with others.”
The DNC restricted the Bernie Sanders campaign’s access to a national voter database after it was reported that a staffer for Sanders looked at firewalled modeling information from the Clinton campaign. The breach happened due to a technical glitch at NGP VAN, the group that runs the database. The staffer that peeked at Clinton data has since been fired.