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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The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”