In case you missed our email from yesterday, please check it out and take our important endorsement process survey.
Here’s a quick look at the latest political news:
- Is the GOP headed for a contested convention?
The last time national convention delegates gathered without knowing in advance who would emerge as the GOP nominee was 1976, when Ronald Reagan’s challenge to incumbent (but unelected) President Gerald Ford went right down to the wire. Since then, GOP (and Democrat) conventions have been made-for-TV extravaganzas, four-evening long-form TV advertisements for their candidate and their party.
2016, in Cleveland? Maybe not so much.
That’s because the Powers That Be in the GOP are becoming increasingly worried about the possibility that the current front-runner for the party’s nomination, one Donald J. Trump, might actually win. And that thought scares the bejeezus out of them.
Monday evening, more than 20 of them gathered for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s regular monthly dinner. Veterans of previous campaigns, party officials, long-time consultants noshed as they gnashed (their teeth), and discussed potential rules changes that might allow them to take control of the convention in the event Trump arrives in Cleveland with a plurality but not an outright majority.
Reading the account of the meeting in The Washington Post on Friday, conservatives’ heads exploded.
Read more here:
- Jeb!’s Super PAC is in a spending frenzy … but to little effect.
Right to Rise USA Super PAC – the Super PAC supporting Jeb! Bush’s candidacy for president – entered the scene with a huge fundraising bang. Launched before Jeb! formally announced his candidacy, the group raised an astonishing $103 million in the first six months of 2015.
The goal was “shock and awe,” an attempt to scare away other potential GOP contenders. Funders of the Super PAC believed their financial juggernaut would convince other potential candidates that there was no point in challenging Jeb!
But the response from GOP primary voters, long fatigued with the GOP Establishment’s choices and weary of the Bush family, was a collective “Meh.” Despite the Bushioisie’s undeniably impressive fundraising, Jeb! just couldn’t gain traction with the Republican base. In fact, his polling numbers are on the decline, and he now hovers around 3 percent in national polls. Ouch.
So, with Jeb!’s numbers spiraling downward, the Super PAC has had to start spending earlier than it had planned, on ads it hadn’t planned on having to run. Instead of waiting until further in the process, and running pro-Jeb! ads, the Super PAC is spending money right now, on negative ads aimed at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.
So far, the Super PAC has spent more than half of the money it’s raised. The Washington Post has a must-read piece this week about Jeb! Bush’s PAC’s spending frenzy and how all of that money has yielded very little.
Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/jeb-bushs-super-pac-burning-through-money-with-little-to-show-for-it/2015/12/09/0baaa5fe-9df8-11e5-8728-1af6af208198_story.html
- The Supreme Court could change the way election districts are drawn in the future – and that could change the outcome of a LOT of elections.
Current law requires that electoral districts in the U.S. be drawn so that each district – whether federal or state – have approximately equal numbers of people residing therein. And, historically, that requirement has been met by counting people, rather than citizens. The result is that places with high concentrations of people who are non-voters – children, felons, illegal immigrants, for example – tend to be over-represented. Voters who live in areas that have low numbers, relatively speaking, of non-voters tend to be under-represented.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in a Texas case challenging the use of the count of people rather than the count of voters. The Supreme Court’s decision could have a dramatic effect on how election districts are drawn in the future.
A Los Angeles Times piece this week notes: “But the growing Latino population, particularly in states such as California, Texas and Florida, includes large numbers of people who are not citizens and cannot vote. That means in those states, election districts created to have equal numbers of people may not also have equal numbers of voters.”
A majority of the Supreme Court justices, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, appeared during oral arguments to agree with the plaintiffs in the case, who argued that the current system undercounts U.S. citizens and gives more weight to the votes of people living in districts with high populations of illegal immigrants who are ineligible to vote.
For more on this story: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-supreme-court-election-districts-20151208-story.html
- Trump’s latest immigration statements are drawing the ire of … just about everyone who’s not already supporting him.
In the aftermath of both the Paris and San Bernardino attacks by Islamic extremists, Donald Trump is calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” coming to the United States. Never one to shy away from a controversy, Trump is doubling down on his hardline stance on immigration and calling for the United States to halt Muslim immigration because of the underlying “hatred” within the Islamic faith.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.”
Other Republican candidates immediately weighed in. Ted Cruz said of Trump’s policy “that’s not my policy.” Jeb! Bush tweeted “Donald Trump is unhinged. His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious.” Chris Christie said of Trump’s position that it’s a “ridiculous view” and added that Trump has “no experience.”
For more on Trump’s remarks and the backlash to his comments, see this story in Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/donald-trump-shutdown-of-muslims-216504
- What Ted and Marco learned from George W. Bush.
Seems we can’t put together one of these newsletters without including at least one blurb on the Rubio v. Cruz battle. It’s not that we’re looking for these articles, they’re all over the place – in fact, we’d have to try hard not to find some to send your way.
One of the more insightful pieces showed up this week, authored by Ben Domenech at TheFederalist.com. Rather than just give us this week’s tit-for-tat, Domenech digs deeper, and reveals how the form the argument is taking shows an awful lot about just what these two contenders learned from the presidency of George W. Bush.
For more on this story, see: http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/09/what-did-ted-cruz-and-marco-rubio-learn-from-george-w-bush/
Jenny Beth Martin and the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Support Team