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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President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution today to fund the federal government through Friday, December 22.
Bloomberg called the maneuver “a monumental piece of can kicking,” which is no doubt the case, but at least you’ll be able to visit your favorite national park over the weekend.
Here's to small victories!
The Republican tax cuts won’t do much for economic growth, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan told CNBC Wednesday, but they will damage the country’s fiscal situation while creating the threat of stagflation. "This is a terrible fiscal situation we've got ourselves into," Greenspan said. "The administration is doing tax cuts and a spending decrease, but he's doing them in the wrong order. What we need right now is to focus totally on reducing the debt."
“The U.S. economy is running at its full potential for the first time in a decade, a new milestone for an expansion now in its ninth year,” The Wall Street Journal reports. But the milestone was reached, in part, because the Congressional Budget Office has, over the last 10 years, downgraded its estimate of the economy’s potential output. “Some economists think more slack remains in the job market than October’s 4.1% unemployment rate would suggest. Also, economic output is still well below its potential level based on estimates produced a decade ago by the CBO.”
The New York Times editorial board took to Twitter Wednesday “to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation's fiscal health.”
Using the hashtag #thetaxbillshurts, the NYT Opinion account posted phone numbers for Sens. Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, James Lankford, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Jerry Moran. It urged readers to call the senators and encourage them to oppose the bill.
In an editorial published Tuesday night, the Times wrote that “Republican senators have a choice. They can follow the will of their donors and vote to take money from the middle class and give it to the wealthiest people in the world. Or they can vote no, to protect the public and the financial health of the government.”