Despite his commanding lead at this early stage among GOP candidates, the 2016 nomination is anyone’s game.
It is risky to put too much stock in the latest findings, including the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. That’s because the national telephone survey of 1,000 adults included only 252 registered voters who said they would vote for a Republican, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.17 points.
There are plenty of downsides to Trump’s candidacy – including his threat to mount a third-party campaign if he is denied the Republican nomination -- which has alarmed GOP leaders who are looking down the road to the general election.
Trump has the highest negatives of any of the top tier candidates, and a majority of Americans in the survey said they think Trump is hurting the Republican Party. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Democrats interviewed said Trump was harming his party’s image, but nearly half the Republicans interviewed said the same thing.
Political analyst Nate Silver notes that Trump ranks just 13th in overall favorability among Republicans in a series of national polls. “If you’re going to imply that a candidate is popular based on their receiving 20 percent of the vote, you ought to consider what the other 80 percent thinks about him,” Silver wrote recently in his FiveThirtyEight blog. “Most Republicans who don’t plan to vote for Trump are skeptical of him instead.”
What’s more, about three in four Latinos said they have a negative view of Trump – and that more than half consider his comments about lawless Mexican immigrants to be racist or highly inappropriate, according to a separate NBC News/Wall Street Journal Telemundo poll released today.
The survey of 250 Hispanic-American voters revealed widespread hostility towards Trump, with only 13 percent saying they have a positive view of him.
The Republican presidential frontrunner has said repeatedly that many Latino voters “love” and support him, and that he would win the majority of that vote if he ends up as his party’s nominee. There is little evidence in this poll to suggest Trump is dealing with reality.
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Budget deficits normally rise during recessions and fall when the economy is growing, but that’s not the case today. Deficits are rising sharply despite robust economic growth, increasing from $666 billion in 2017 to an estimated $970 billion in 2019, with $1 trillion annual deficits expected for years after that.
As the deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget point out in a blog post Thursday, “the deficit has never been this high when the economy was this strong … And never in modern U.S. history have deficits been so high outside of a war or recession (or their aftermath).” The chart above shows just how unusual the current deficit path is when measured as a percentage of GDP.
About 4.2 million uninsured people could sign up for a bronze-level Obamacare health plan and pay nothing for it after tax credits are applied, the Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday. That means that 27 percent of the country’s 15.9 million uninsured people could get covered for free. The chart below breaks down the eligible population by state.
Vox’s Ezra Klein says that retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy can be summed up in one number: $343 billion. “That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018— that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired.”
Klein writes that Ryan’s choices while in office — especially the 2017 tax cuts and the $1.3 trillion spending bill he helped pass and the expansion of the earned income tax credit he talked up but never acted on — should be what define his legacy:
“[N]ow, as Ryan prepares to leave Congress, it is clear that his critics were correct and a credulous Washington press corps — including me — that took him at his word was wrong. In the trillions of long-term debt he racked up as speaker, in the anti-poverty proposals he promised but never passed, and in the many lies he told to sell unpopular policies, Ryan proved as much a practitioner of post-truth politics as Donald Trump. …
“Ultimately, Ryan put himself forward as a test of a simple, but important, proposition: Is fiscal responsibility something Republicans believe in or something they simply weaponize against Democrats to win back power so they can pass tax cuts and defense spending? Over the past three years, he provided a clear answer. That is his legacy, and it will haunt his successors.”
Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wants the agency to be known as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the name under which it was established by Title X of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Mulvaney even had new signage put up in the lobby of the bureau. But the rebranding could cost the banks and other financial businesses regulated by the bureau more than $300 million, according to an internal agency analysis reported by The Hill’s Sylvan Lane. The costs would arise from having to update internal databases, regulatory filings and disclosure forms with the new name. The rebranding would cost the agency itself between $9 million and $19 million, the analysis estimated. Lane adds that it’s not clear whether Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s nominee to serve as the bureau’s full-time director, would follow through on Mulvaney’s name change once she is confirmed by the Senate.