Insiders to Trump: Drop out – By STEVEN SHEPARD 08/05/16 05:18 AM EDT

‘I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more,’ said a New Hampshire Republican.

Amid widespread chatter that Donald Trump could drop out of the presidential race before Election Day, Republican insiders in key battleground states have a message for The Donald: Get out.

That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states. The majority of GOP insiders, 70 percent, said they want Trump to drop out of the race and be replaced by another Republican candidate — with many citing Trump’s drag on Republicans in down-ballot races. But those insiders still think it’s a long-shot Trump would actually end his campaign and be replaced by another GOP candidate.

“I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more,” said a New Hampshire Republican — who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously.

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Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson courts disaffected voters in Cleveland – Published on Jul 21, 2016

With unprecedented numbers of Republicans and Democrats unhappy with their party’s nominee, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is pulling disaffected voters to the Libertarian party ticket.

Johnson could be a spoiler this election: He’s currently polling at 13 percent, just shy of the 15 percent needed to get on the debate stage with Trump and Clinton.

VICE News correspondent Michael Moynihan caught up with Gary Johnson during this week’s Republican convention.

Scott Walker in Iowa: Relentlessly on message – By KATIE GLUECK 7/19/15 6:16 PM EDT Updated 7/19/15 8:10 PM EDT

During his three-day swing across the state, the Wisconsin governor showed the kind of discipline and caution most candidates can only dream of.

Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at a fundraising event for Rep. Pat Grassley at the PIPAC Centre on the Lake Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/The Courier via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The outfits were nearly identical, the speeches repeated almost verbatim and even the intonations rarely varied. Over the course of Scott Walker’s three-day Winnebago trip across Iowa, the Wisconsin governor stumped with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker, exhibiting the kind of discipline that most candidates can only dream of.

In his first days as a presidential candidate in the state where he’s leading in the polls, Walker showed the consistency and attention to detail that propelled him to 12 victories back home — including three statewide wins. He sported the same campaign trail uniform (a blue-and-white checked, collared shirt, jeans and belt), and used the same prop (a rumpled dollar bill pulled from his pocket). He told the same anecdote about his thriftiness that’s become his signature (his shopping habits at retailer Kohl’s) and quoted whole paragraphs of his announcement speech from last Monday, almost word for word.

“I’m for high standards,” he said of his education stance at several stops, sweeping his arm upwards to accentuate his point. But standards should be set at the local level, he would follow up, theatrically lowering his arm for emphasis.

Even by presidential campaign trail standards, where the intense media scrutiny pushes candidates to adopt a more buttoned-up approach and White House hopefuls strive to hew closely to message, Walker stands out. On several occasions, when he used a slightly different word at one stop than he had at the previous appearance, he paused and then corrected himself.

In Cedar Rapids, when a voter asked him Friday during a town hall about what he would do to keep jobs in Iowa, Walker took that as an opportunity to dive into his five-point economic plan, making a few connections between Obamacare and her question, but generally sticking to a script that he used everywhere else.


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Meet the Press’ tracks Trump’s flip-flops By Mark Hensch July 12, 2015, 02:39 pm

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at Jul 13, 2015 1.51`

“Meet the Press” on Sunday aired a video documenting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s various changes of heart on campaign issues.

The clip – titled “Trump vs. Trump” – shows the New York business mogul shifting his stances on abortion, ObamaCare and even Hillary Clinton, his potential Democratic rival in 2016.

“One of the reasons Trump is breaking through this year thought is because people feel they know where he stands,” says “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd in the video.

“But do they?” he asks. “We’ve been looking at his positions through the years, and it’s fair to say he’s evolved quite a few times on some key issues.”

“I think Hillary would be a terrible president. She was the worst secretary of State in the history of our nation,” Trump says in a CNN clip from last week.

“I think Hillary is a terrific woman,” Trump says in an earlier Fox News clip from 2012. “I just like her. I like her and her husband.”


Voldemort is polling better than many Republican presidential candidates – By Christopher Ingraham June 9 at 9:45 AM

Photo by Flickr user mt 23 under Creative Commons license. Palin/Voldemort logo designed by Jason King, who tells us he’s rebooting for 2016.

Think about all the things you look for in a presidential candidate: a solid economic plan. Maybe some foreign policy experience. And how about insatiable bloodlust and multiple rows of serrated teeth?

As it turns out, the shark from the Jaws movies has better favorability numbers than any politician included in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey. Ditto for The Terminator. Same for Darth Vader.

You can see it all this chart, which tracks the net favorability of presidential candidates (the favorable ratings minus the unfavorable ratings). It plots favorability ratings from the latest Post-ABC News and Quinnipiac polls against a survey we did of Internet users about their feelings toward four of Hollywood’s favorite villains.

Results for movie villains are from a Google Consumer Survey of 1,000 Google users from June 5 to June 7, 2015. Questions written by Christopher Ingraham. Surveys are conducted with Internet users visiting websites that partner with Google and are asked to complete survey questions before viewing the site’s content.

The real-world surveys show that the overwhelming majority of presidential candidates are running negative favorability scores. Quinnipiac has Bernie Sanders at +1 overall, although that’s partly because 62 percent of Americans say they haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion. The closest Republican is Marco Rubio — the same number of Americans say they view him positively as those who view him negatively, meaning his score nets out to exactly zero. Clinton and Obama are tied at -4.

And it’s all downhill from there, all the way down to Donald Trump. Only 15 percent of Americans view him favorably, compared to 71 percent who have a negative opinion. That gives him a net favorability of -56, more than twice as bad as the next-lowest candidate, Chris Christie, with his -26 score.

To put some context behind these numbers, I ran a few Google Consumer Survey questions on famous movie villains. I worded them as similarly as possible to the Post survey for maximum comparability, although to be clear: We are comparing fictional people/robots/animals/wizards with real ones here, so let’s try not to take any of this too seriously.

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Bernie Sanders Could Curb Hillary’s Enthusiasm – By David Catanese April 30, 2015 | 4:36 p.m. EDT

Let us count the ways the senator from Vermont resembles comedian Larry David.

Comedian Larry David and newly announced presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders aren't alike in appearance only.

Comedian Larry David and newly announced presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders aren’t alike in appearance only.

Comedian Larry David and newly announced presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders aren’t alike in appearance only.

He’s a cantankerous, bespectacled, balding New Yorker who is inclined to see the glass half-empty.

Born to Jewish parents, he’s devoutly irreligious and fiercely liberal. He’s not one to engage in small talk, like the stop-and-chat. And his mood is perpetually sullen, with dashes of cutting humor.

Larry David isn’t running for president. But his political doppelgänger – Bernie Sanders – is.

One is a renowned comedian currently performing on Broadway. The other is a grizzled politician – a second-term senator representing Vermont – who will be putting on his own show in cities like Bedford, New Hampshire, and Bettendorf, Iowa.

But the similarities between the two – in likeness, demeanor and even substance – are uncanny.

First, there’s the appearance. Separated by just six years in age, there’s the wispy white hair split by a shiny cranium. And the trademark glasses, which do little to hide a face that usually looks either mildly irked or unimpressed.

Yes, Bernie dons the dark suit and white shirt required of male public officials, whereas Larry prefers khakis and a plain navy corduroy jacket. But there’s a striking simplicity to both men’s wardrobes. These are guys with bigger things to stew on than what they put on in the morning.

Bernie and Larry also share a prickly streak that places Larry in countless sticky situations on the HBO program “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and could prove fraught for Bernie in those mandatory warm-and-fuzzy moments on the campaign trail. Larry can be awkward, amusing and irritating all at once in daily interactions. And while Bernie is not expected to engage a potential supporter about the propriety of using a handicapped-accessible restroom stall, if he’s offered a house tour in an early primary state, as Larry found, it’s best to zip your lip and endure it.

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​Martin O’Malley: Presidency isn’t a “crown to be passed between two families” – By REENA FLORESCBS NEWSMarch 29, 2015, 3:53 PM

Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., wants a change in U.S. leadership come 2016, attacking presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) stands at the podium as former U.S. President Bill Clinton leaves the stage during the opening plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), on September 22, 2014 in New York City. JOHN MOORE, GETTY IMAGES


CBS News poll asks what Americans think of 2016’s potential candidates

“I think that our country always benefits from new leadership and new perspectives,” O’Malley said Sunday in an ABC News interview. “Let’s be honest here, the presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust that to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people.”

The likely presidential candidate has told reporters that he would decide on a 2016 White House bid by the spring. But O’Malley’s criticisms of Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee and Bush, the current Republican frontrunner, on national television could indicate that the former Maryland governor has already made up his mind.

“I believe that there are new perspectives that are needed in order for us to solve the problems that we face as Americans,” O’Malley said. “And I believe that new perspective and new leadership is needed.”

When asked if he supported Hillary Clinton as a candidate for the White House, he said he remained undecided.

“I don’t know where she stands,” O’Malley said. “Will she represent a break with the failed policies of the past? Well, I don’t know.”

50 percent think Clinton failed on Benghazi. But many of them still like her. BY AARON BLAKE June 8 at 8:00 am

But however they feel about her actions, it doesn’t seem to have much — if any — real impact on their views of her as a presidential candidate.


A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 50 percent disapprove of Clinton’s actions regarding Benghazi, while 37 percent approve. Not good, right?

Despite this, two-thirds of Americans say Clinton is a strong leader, a majority say she’s honest and trustworthy, and six in 10 say she has new ideas for the country’s future.

The combination of the data shows that about one in five Americans disapprove of Clinton’s actions on Benghazi but still think she’s a strong leader anyway.


Indeed, Clinton’s numbers are not only solid; they’re as good or better than when she ran for president the last time.

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Rand Paul tests youth appeal at Harvard University – Stephan Savoia/AP Apr. 25, 2014.

Rand Paul’s road to 2016 took him through Boston to tap two key groups he’ll need if he runs for the GOP’s presidential nomination: support from the party’s establishment donors and a fresh source of young voters.

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at Apr 26, 2014 4.54

The Kentucky senator tested his brand of “libertarian twist” Friday during with an event before students at Harvard’s Institute of Politics in Cambridge, Mass. Joking that Republicans likely accounted for only 5-to-10% of the audience,Paul found himself outside of his usual element: a posh, ivy-league setting compared to the grassroots base he’s built from the right-wing’s establishment outsiders.

But if his northeast visit wasn’t proof enough, Paul is clearly trying to bridge those two worlds. Though he hasn’t officially announced a 2016 presidential bid, the senator has said he is very seriously considering his options. Boosting that image, Paul reportedly met earlier Friday with the architects and top donors for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign who would prove crucial in building inroads with the party establishment.

So far, Paul has successfully tapped into the network of libertarian followers loyal to his father, a former Texas congressman and failed presidential candidate. While typically associated with the tea party wing of the Republican Party, his profile is starting to extend beyond grassroots circles to the party’s establishment as a likely presidential candidate down the road.

Trey Greyson, director at the university’s Institute of Politics and, coincidentally, the man Paul beat to the Senate by a near landslide in 2010, introduced Paul as the party’s best shot at grabbing young people. Paul is “without question the Republican who best connects with millennial voters across the country,” Greyson said, noting the “shellacking” Paul gave him when they met head-to-head in the Senate election.

Paul has frequently prodded Republican elites to make the party more inclusive – particularly to women and minorities. And though he voted against the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill last year, Paul didn’t rule out the possibility that Congress could pass at least something this year.

“The Republican Party will adapt, evolve or die,” Paul said Friday. “The Republican Party needs to look like the rest of America in order to have a chance.”

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