Posts Tagged Nevada

Hillary Clinton Assumes Control After Dominant South Carolina Victory over Bernie Sanders

HIllary South CarolinaHillary Clinton is now in firm command of the Democratic race for president after a loud statement of a victory in South Carolina.

Clinton leaves the state with a growing delegate lead that she is increasingly unlikely to ever surrender. Bernie Sanders leaves with neither momentum nor math on his side, and without a clear path to capturing the nomination.

“Tomorrow, this campaign goes national,” Clinton said tonight in her victory speech.

Indeed, she’s better positioned for a national campaign. She also has a regional advantage that’s likely to become evident on Super Tuesday, where seven of the 11 states with Democratic contests are in the South.

The first four contests give Clinton three wins and one lopsided loss. They also answer some of the broadest questions about her ability to turn out Barack Obama’s old base answers that are starting to break in Clinton’s favor.

African-American voters constituted a larger share of the electorate in South Carolina this year than they did in 2008, despite the obvious historic nature of Obama’s candidacy. Clinton carried black voters by more than 70 percentage points on Saturday, a week after winning African-Americans in Nevada by north of 50 points.

Just days before the Super Tuesday “SEC” Democratic contents, Hillary Clinton holds at least a 20-point lead in three of the key states Georgia, Texas, and Virginia. Majorities of Democratic primary voters in these states have made up their minds as to whom to vote for.

As the race shifts to the South, the Democratic contest will now feature states with larger percentages of African American voters especially in Georgia, where they made up just over half of those voting in the Democratic primary in 2008. This year, while white voters are somewhat divided between Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders in these three states, three in four black voters are supporting Clinton.

Sanders maintains his a large lead among voters under thirty, but Clinton is beating him among voters between 30 and 44 in all three states, an age group that Sanders won easily in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Clinton has an even larger lead among voters 45 and older. Men are divided between the two candidates, but Clinton has a strong lead among women.

Most voters think both candidates understand people like them, but they have more confidence in Sanders when it comes to favouring regular people over big donors, and Sanders is generally seen as the more principled candidate. Honesty is an even bigger concern when it comes to Hillary Clinton: though two-thirds of Democratic voters say Sanders is honest, just over a third of voters say the same for Clinton. Even among black voters, less than half describe her as honest.

But Clinton is generally seen as more qualified to be president — particularly in Georgia, where less than half of Democratic voters view Sanders as qualified. As a result, Clinton is seen as better able to handle a number of issues, including improving race relations in America, gun policy, being commander-in-chief, health care, and standing up on to a Republican Congress. In Texas and Virginia, Sanders does better on fixing income inequality, but in Georgia with its higher proportion of black voters Clinton wins on this issue as well.

Clinton and Sanders supporters have different priorities: most Clinton supporters are backing her because they think she gives the Democrats a good chance to win in November, while Sanders supporters are more concerned with accomplishing a progressive agenda. Clinton supporters tend to want to continue the policies of Barack Obama, while Sanders supporters overwhelmingly want to switch to more progressive policies than that of the current administration.

Looking ahead to the general election, Clinton may have some trouble garnering the enthusiasm of Sanders supporters should she win the nomination. Sanders supporters are more likely than Clinton supporters to say the Democratic Party doesn’t represent them, and less than half of Sanders supporters are even somewhat enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton, though most would still vote for her.





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Trump and Clinton Scores Impressive Wins in South Carolina

Trump and ClintonDonald Trump scored a resounding victory in South Carolina’s Republican primary Saturday, deepening his hold on the GOP presidential field as the race headed into the South. “Let’s put this thing away,” he shouted to cheering supporters.

Out West, Hillary Clinton pulled out a crucial win over Bernie Sanders in Nevada’s Democratic caucuses, easing the rising anxieties of her backers. At a raucous victory rally in Las Vegas, she lavished praise on her supporters and declared, “This one is for you.”

The victories put Clinton and Trump in strong positions as the 2016 presidential election advanced toward the March 1 Super Tuesday contests, a delegate-rich voting bonanza. But South Carolina marked the end for Jeb Bush, the one-time Republican front-runner and member of a prominent political family, who withdrew from the race.

“I firmly believe the American people must entrust this office to someone who understands that whoever holds it is a servant, not the master,” Bush told supporters in an emotional speech.

South Carolina marked Trump’s second straight victory this one by 10 points and strengthened his unexpected claim on the GOP nomination. No Republican in recent times has won New Hampshire and South Carolina and then failed to win the nomination.

“There’s nothing easy about running for president,” Trump said at his victory rally. “It’s tough, it’s nasty, it’s mean, it’s vicious. It’s beautiful when you win it’s beautiful.”

Marco Rubio edged out Ted Cruz for second place, according to complete but unofficial results. Bush and others lagged far behind.

“This has become a three-person race,” Rubio declared.

Cruz harked back to his win in the leadoff Iowa caucuses as a sign he was best positioned to take down Trump. He urged conservatives to rally around his campaign, saying pointedly, “We are the only candidate who has beaten and can beat Donald Trump.”

For both parties, the 2016 election has laid bare voters’ anger with the political establishment. The public mood has upended the usual political order, giving Sanders and Trump openings while leaving more traditional candidates scrambling to find their footing.

Trump’s victory comes after a week in which he threatened to sue one rival, accused former President George W. Bush of lying about the Iraq war and even tussled with Pope Francis on immigration. His victory was another sign that the conventional rules of politics often don’t apply to the brash billionaire.

He was backed by nearly 4 in 10 of those who were angry at the federal government, and a third of those who felt betrayed by politicians in the Republican Party.

For Cruz, despite his confident words, South Carolina must have been something of a disappointment. The state was his first test of whether his expensive, sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation could overtake Trump in a Southern state, where the electorate seemed tailor-made for the Texas senator.

Florida’s Rubio used his top-tier finish to bill himself as the mainstream alternative to Trump and Cruz, candidates many GOP leaders believe are unelectable in November.

South Carolina was the final disappointment for Bush, who campaigned alongside members of his famous family, which remains popular in the state. Though he was once considered the front-runner for the GOP nomination, new fundraising reports out Saturday showed that donations to his super PAC had largely stalled.

Also in the mix was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had low expectations in South Carolina and was looking toward more moderate states that vote later in March. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson vowed to stay in the race, despite a single-digit showing.

The crowded Republican contest was a contrast to the head-to-head face-off among Democrats. Clinton has emerged as a favorite of those seeking an experienced political hand, while Sanders is attracting young voters and others drawn to his call of a political and economic revolution.

The Nevada results highlighted Clinton’s strength with black voters, a crucial Democratic electorate in the next contest in South Carolina, as well as several Super Tuesday states. The Hispanic vote was closely divided between Sanders and Clinton.

According to the entrance polls, Clinton was backed by a majority of women, college-educated voters, those with annual incomes over $100,000, moderates, voters aged 45 and older and non-white voters. Sanders did best with men, voters under 45 and those less affluent and educated.

The former secretary of state captured the backing of voters who said electability and experience were important. But in a continuing sign of her vulnerability, Sanders did best with voters looking for a candidate who is caring and honest.

Sanders congratulated Clinton on her victory, but then declared that “the wind is at our backs. We have the momentum.” With a vast network of small donors, Sanders has the financial resources to stay in the race for months.

Clinton’s win means she will pick up at least 19 of Nevada’s 35 delegates. She already holds a sizeable lead in the delegate count based largely on her support from superdelegates, the party leaders who can support the candidate of their choice, no matter the primaries and caucuses.

Trump won a majority of the delegates in South Carolina and he had a chance to win them all. With votes still being tabulated, he was projected to win at least 38 of the 50 at stake.

Democrats and Republicans will swap locations in the coming days. The GOP holds its caucus in Nevada on Tuesday, while Democrats face off in South Carolina on Feb. 27.


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Team Rubio Look to Increase Size and Scale of Operation

Marco  RubioFor months, Marco Rubio’s campaign team in South Carolina operated out of a staffer’s garage, plotting strategy for the first-in-the-South primary from freshly painted yard sale furniture and tiny classroom desks.

The shoestring budget setup was a point of pride for the Republican presidential candidate’s team. Now, with Rubio enjoying a burst of momentum as the early voting contests edge closer, the Florida senator’s campaign is moving beyond its lean and mean roots.

Rubio’s South Carolina team officially moved out of the garage and into a proper campaign headquarter, though they brought some of the yard sale furniture along with them.

“This election could very well be decided in this state,” Rubio told the crowd gathered at the office in Columbia, South Carolina’s capital.

Rubio’s team also opened offices in Nevada a few weeks ago. His staff grew by about 30 percent in October, with more than 70 people now on the campaign payroll. The new hires include communications and digital advisers, as well as field workers to boost voter contact and advance staff to help set up larger and more frequent events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the first four states to vote in the nomination contest.

Whether Rubio can effectively build up his campaign infrastructure in those states may determine whether he can turn his natural political talents and easy appeal with GOP voters into primary victories.

While Rubio’s advisers say they’re simply executing the next phase in a carefully crafted campaign blueprint, there’s no doubt the team’s early penny-pinching was driven in part by necessity. The senator’s fundraising has been underwhelming and his money totals trailed several rivals through summer and fall, including a lackluster $6 million haul in third financial reporting period of the year.

But buoyed by strong performances in the last two GOP debates, Rubio has been attracting more high-dollar donors, including billionaire investor Paul Singer and New York hedge fund manager Cliff Asness.

With more cash in the pipeline, Rubio is expected to spend more money on travel to early voting states and on larger events aimed at putting him in front of as many voters as possible. Rubio communications director Alex Conant pointed to a 450-person event in New Hampshire last week and a similar sized event in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday as examples of the type of settings the candidate will appear at more regularly.

Rubio’s more robust travel plans are welcome news to some Republicans in early voting states who have griped for months that the senator wasn’t spending enough time on the ground meeting with donors and wooing important backers. While some candidates have all but taken up residency in Iowa and New Hampshire, Rubio has been a more sporadic presence.

“He’s recognizing that in order to win in New Hampshire, you need to be available to voters, not just once or twice but more often than that,” said Donna Sytek, a prominent New Hampshire Republican. She called Rubio an “attractive candidate” but said she’s also still considering Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

Rubio’s backers believe the campaign’s fiscal caution has already been validated by the early money woes of other candidates. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly built a large and expensive operation, but was forced to withdraw from the race after just two months when his fundraising stopped covering his bills. And despite raising more than $100 million for his super PAC, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush slashed payroll spending by 40 percent after campaign fundraising slowed.

To be sure, the Rubio team’s tales of cheapness have helped the campaign define the Florida senator as a scrappy underdog taking on wealthier rivals. Campaign manager Terry Sullivan has bragged about sticking Rubio on budget airline Frontier, which he called “a special kind of hell,” and touted his rule of personally approving expenses over $500.

At one of the campaign’s Nevada offices, staffers tried to do their part to live up to the less is more mantra. After noticing a pizza place next to a campaign office had free wireless internet that required a password, a staffer walked over and bought two pieces of pizza and asked for the internet access code.

But the cost-cutting measure was short-lived. After about three weeks, the pizza place caught on and asked the Rubio team to stop.


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Trump Dominates in Latest Polls Despite Media Claims of a Slump

donald trump make america greatDonald Trump holds double-digit leads over Ben Carson in both South Carolina and Nevada, the third and fourth states scheduled to hold nominating contests in next year’s race for the presidency, with Trump widely seen in each state as the best candidate to handle a range of top issues, according to new CNN /ORC polls.

Trump holds 38% support in Nevada, with Carson in second with 22%, and in South Carolina, Trump doubles Carson’s support, 36% to 18%. No other candidate comes close to those top two in either state; the third-place candidate in each case has less than 10% support.

Trump’s backing in both states outpaces his support in most recent national polling, where he tends to draw around a quarter of Republican voters.

In Nevada, where more than half of likely caucus participants say they have made up their mind or are leaning toward someone, Carly Fiorina takes third place with 8%, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 7% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 6%. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are next at 4% each, with the remainder of the field at 2% or less.

Trump’s supporters in Nevada are more committed than others: Among those likely caucus-goers who say they have made up their minds or are leaning toward someone, 53% support Trump, 21% Carson, 7% Rubio and everyone else is at 5% or less. Those who say they are still trying to decide whom to support break 21% each for Carson and Trump, 12% for Fiorina, 10% for Bush, 9% for Huckabee and 6% for Rubio.

Among all likely voters in South Carolina, Rubio takes third with 9%, followed by Fiorina at 7%, Bush at 6%, Cruz at 5% and the state’s senior senator, Lindsey Graham, also at 5%. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul follows at 4%, with Huckabee at 3% and the rest at 2% or less.

Fewer South Carolina Republican voters say they have made up their minds about whom to support than among Nevada Republicans: 60% say they are still trying to decide, and the difference in candidate support between the two groups is not large enough to be significant.

Trump’s lead rests on widespread perceptions that he’s the best candidate to handle the economy (67% say so in Nevada, 59% in South Carolina, while no other candidate hits double-digits) and illegal immigration (55% in Nevada and 51% in South Carolina, topping the other candidates by 40 points or more). About 6 in 10 in each state say Trump is the candidate most likely to change the way things work in Washington (60% in Nevada, 58% in South Carolina). Furthermore, nearly half — 47% in Nevada and 44% in South Carolina — view Trump as the candidate with the best chance of winning the general election next November.

Trump’s strength fades somewhat on foreign policy, handling ISIS and social issues. Although Trump tops all other candidates by significant margins when voters and caucus-goers are asked which candidate would best handle foreign policy (he’s up 21 points in Nevada, and 13 points in South Carolina) and ISIS (he tops Rubio by 33 points in Nevada and tops Graham by 27 points in South Carolina), his advantages are smaller than those he’s built on the economy and immigration.

Trump is also slightly less dominant on which candidate best represents the values of Republicans like themselves. In Nevada, 34% say that’s Trump, 19% Carson, 10% Cruz, 9% Rubio and 7% each Bush and Fiorina. In South Carolina, 25% say it’s Trump, 19% Carson, 10% Bush, 8% Rubio, 7% Graham, 6% Cruz, and 5% each Fiorina and Huckabee.

On social issues, Trump runs about even with Carson as most trusted in both states, 25% Trump to 23% Carson in Nevada and 26% Carson to 22% Trump in South Carolina.

Among white evangelical protestants in South Carolina, who made up about two-thirds of South Carolina Republican voters in the 2012 GOP primary and are far more likely than other Republicans to call social issues their top concern (15% among white evangelicals vs. 1% among all other likely GOP voters), Trump tops Carson by 8 points, 32% to 24%, with Rubio at 11%.

In both states, the economy was the top issue for those who say they’re likely to participate in the nominating contests, with 39% of Nevada Republicans and 41% of South Carolina Republicans calling it the most important issue in deciding their presidential vote.

The CNN/ORC polls were conducted by telephone October 3-10. A total of 1,009 South Carolina adults were interviewed, including 521 who said they were likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary. In Nevada, interviews were conducted with 1,011 adults, including 285 who said they were likely to participate in the Republican presidential caucus. Results among likely Republican voters in South Carolina have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points; for Nevada Republican caucus-goers, it is 6 points


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Governor Scott Walker Expected to Enter Republican Race

Scott WalkerScott Walker jumps into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, needing to prove he has learned from early missteps and can appeal to voters beyond the conservatives who dominate the first nominating contest in Iowa.

The Wisconsin governor, who becomes the 15th Republican to formally announce a presidential candidacy, has a resume that appeals to conservatives, helping put him among the top contenders for his party’s nomination in poll after poll.

Walker’s advisers say he will portray himself as a “fighter who can win” at a 6:15 p.m. EDT (2215 GMT) campaign launch in Waukesha, just outside of Milwaukee.

The 47-year-old Republican has won three statewide elections in four years, including his defeat of a 2012 recall effort over his challenge to the collective bargaining process for most public unions in Wisconsin. He won his first gubernatorial election in 2010 and was re-elected last November.

Walker has cultivated an image as a fresh-faced alternative to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who leads many polls of Republican voters.

“I think people like Scott Walker’s strong record of leadership, what he’s done in Wisconsin,” said Jonathan Burkan, a Walker fundraiser who is a financial services executive in New York. “They want a fresh face with executive experience. That’s why he has such a huge following.”

Walker’s inexperience in international affairs, however, has shown through on occasion. He said his battle with labor unions had prepared him to take on militant groups like Islamic State, a comment that spurred criticism. While on a trip to London, he dodged a question about whether he believes in the theory of evolution.

David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, said Walker will need to prove he has learned more about foreign policy and national security, which many Republicans see as critical issues in the 2016 election.

“He will have to answer questions about Iran and nuclear weapons and Afghanistan and the size of the (U.S.) military and all those things,” Yepsen said.

In recent months Walker has shifted to the right in a way that will give rise to attacks from his rivals about his authenticity.

He no longer supports a legal pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. And he backed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, after saying during his re-election campaign last year that a decision whether to have an abortion should be between a woman and her doctor.

Those positions may help him solidify his support among Republicans in Iowa ahead of a Feb. 1 nominating contest in the state, which traditionally holds the first major electoral event in the race for the White House.

Walker will get a chance to see whether his strategy is translating into support in other early voting states during an initial week of campaigning that will include stops in Nevada, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa.

“He’s on his way to being president of Iowa. The issue is, can he carry that forward,” Republican strategist Scott Reed said.

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Rubio Marks Birthday With Nevada Fundraiser

Marco RubioSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) kicked off his first presidential campaign visit to the key early nominating state of Nevada on Thursday with a promise: You’re going to be seeing a lot of me.

After touring the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with Rick Harrison, star of the TV show “Pawn Stars,” Rubio told reporters he plans to be back “quite often” as he sought to localize his “New American Century” campaign theme.

“Nevada is a state that in many ways embodies some of the challenges we have in the 21st century,” Rubio said

Rubio is the youngest 2016 candidate, though he’s just half a year younger than fellow presidential contender Texas Senator Ted Cruz, also a freshman lawmaker. But he’s 18 years Jeb Bush’s junior and more than 20 years younger than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Harrison said during a Fox and Friends appearance that he isn’t concerned about the first term senator’s age, however.

After chatting with him over lunch in Los Angeles recently, Harrison said he was convinced that Rubio was the best candidate for the job.

‘A governor is a politician, a senator is a politician. What you need is a very strong leader,’ Harrison said. ‘Someone who’s willing to speak his mind and put the right people in charge of things and if they do a bad job, fire them.’

What impressed Harrison most about Rubio was that he didn’t mention ‘the party’ during the meeting.

‘Which was a really big deal to me,’ he said. ‘This guy honestly cares about American people and free enterprise.’

Rubio, he said, truly ‘wants to make it easier to do business. It will bring people out of poverty. It will do things for the economy, so I’m behind him.’

The Democratic National Committee mocked the union of Rubio and the Pawn Stars clan with a series of graphics depicting ‘Mario Rubio’s Pawn Shop.’

‘This is a fitting theme for Mr. Rubio, as his entire campaign is pawning off old, failed GOP ideas as new,’  it said in a blog post.

It hit him for backing ‘the old, rejected GOP policy of ending Medicare as we know it,’ opposing comprehensive immigration reform, ‘marriage equality’ and so-called equal pay for equal work legislation.

‘Dusting off these old ideas and trying to pawn himself off as something new isn’t going to work,’ it said.

Rubio, notably, does support comprehensive immigration reform and was a sponsor of the bipartisan Senate bill formed by a group of lawmakers known as the Gang of 8.

He’s since said that he’d be open to a piecemeal approach that also shuts down a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants if that’s what it takes to get legislation passed – but that’s not his preferred option.

‘I still believe we need to do immigration reform,’ he said earlier this month during a Fox News appearance. ‘The problem is we can’t do it in one big piece of legislation.’

That’s because ‘the votes aren’t there’ in the House of Representatives, he explained.

Harrison’s support could give Rubio a boost in Nevada, a state that is important to both the nomination process and the general election.

He also has the backing of the state’s Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison. Hutchison, the campaign has already announced, will serve as state chair of his campaign there.

But Rubio has other, familial ties to the state, as well, that may help him.

Rubio’s family lived in Las Vegas for a six-year stretch during his formative years before ultimately returning to Florida, the state the U.S. Senator still calls home.

Politics runs in his family’s blood. His cousin, Mo Denis, is a state senator in Nevada.

Though, he and Rubio come from the same family tree, they do not share the same political beliefs. Denis is a staunch Democrat.

When his cousin Marco came to town in 2012 to headline a fundraiser for that year’s GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, Denis parked himself outside and gave a rebuttal speech.

Rubio’s walk down memory lane won’t end with his birthday party today at Harrison’s pad tonight.

He’ll talk to tech startups tomorrow morning at Nevada’s Switch Innevation Center and meet with GOP activists in the afternoon in Reno at the home of Kim Bacchus, a registered lobbyist and the chair of the Washoe County Republican Women’s Club.


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Former Senator Jim Webb to Visit Iowa and New Hampshire

 Jim WebbPotential presidential and former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., Webb will be back in Iowa on Wednesday, he is due to stops in Sioux City, according to a news release.

The Democrat, who also served as secretary of the Navy, visited Iowa for several days in April, including a trip to the Iowa Capitol.

Webb has set up an exploratory committee to determine whether to run for the White House. He previously said he plans to make a final decision “in good time.”

Webb will also make his first visit of the year to New Hampshire on May 15 when he attends the annual dinner of Veterans Count, hosted by the New Hampshire-based organization committed to providing last-resort financial relief to needy veterans. The dinner will be held at the Service Credit Union in Portsmouth.

Webb keynoted the Veterans Count dinner in May 2014 and set up an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run in November 2014.

Also on May 15, Webb is scheduled to meet with Seacoast business leaders at a private lunch hosted by Portsmouth businesswoman and Republican activist Renee Plummer.

The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that it will sanction six debates among candidates for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

The schedule has not been determined but the debates will begin this fall and the four early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will each host a debate.

As yet, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the only two announced candidates for the Democratic nomination.

Webb is stressing in public appearances and on Twitter that he has long discussed the plight of African-Americans in U.S. cities and that he specifically used Baltimore as an example in a September speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

“We live indisputably in the greatest country on earth. The premise of the American dream is that all of us have an equal opportunity to succeed,” Webb had said during the Washington speech.

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