Presidential Primary Brief: 308 days until Election Day

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105 days until AL Presidential Primary
308 days until Election Day

Convention Dates: Republican July 18-21, 2016, Democratic July 25-28, 2016

Weekly Headlines:

Primary Brief_GOP Polls_4 Jan 2016 Primary Brief_Dem Polls_4 Jan 2016

Press Clips:

What 2016 holds in store for guns, the NRA, and the presidential election (Media Matters 1/2/16)

Following another series of horrific mass shootings in 2015 that captured the public’s attention, gun safety has emerged as a major campaign issue for the 2016 elections. It’s already clear how the National Rifle Association (NRA) will use the issue to try to swing the elections and hamstring any attempts at new legislation – after all, they’ve been using the same playbook for years. As U.S. gun deaths continue to tick upwards — now on par with automobile deaths — public interest in gun issues in 2015 rose to its highest level since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. This year, Americans watched news reports of public shootings targeting parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee, moviegoers in Lafayette, Louisiana, students and educators in Roseburg, Oregon, people visiting a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and attendees of a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.

Sold out crowd at Donald Trump’s Biloxi rally (WKRG News 1/3/16) 

Donald Trump’s second trip to the Gulf Coast attracted more than 14,000 people to the Biloxi Coliseum. Hours before the doors opened, the line wrapped around the building. One man said he traveled from Tennessee and showed up at 7:30 a.m. to earn a spot near the podium. “Did I mention this is my 15th Trump rally since August? You have to show up early,” the fan said. Ralph Cihall attracted a small crowd himself when he pulled up in a lime green stretch Hummer limousine adorned with Trump posters on the windows.

How the Bush camp plans to save his candidacy (Boston Globe 1/2/16) 

Jeb Bush and his supporters still have a pile of money to spend — remnants of $100 million raised when he seemed early last year to be a sure bet. They have an expansive ground operation in New Hampshire. And allies have just begun a new ad campaign in Iowa. But nothing they have tried so far has lifted Bush’s terrible poll numbers. And with just four weeks remaining until voting begins, Bush needs to do something to save his candidacy.

Ben Carson explains staff shakeup (CNN 1/3/16)

Ben Carson explained last week’s major staff shakeup Sunday by saying he’s now “in a different ballgame” and the campaign leadership he had in place was unable to execute its own plans. The retired pediatric brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate discussed the departure of his chief of staff, communications director and policy director on ABC’s “This Week.” “We have had very good people that had very good ideas and no one predicted that we would even be in the hunt,” Carson told host Martha Raddatz. “It really is quite spectacular what we were able to do. But the fact of the matter is now we’re in a different ballgame and we need the ability to execute and not just have good ideas.”

As Hillary Clinton prepares to unveil new tax plans, previous proposals have occupied a political middle ground (IB Times 1/3/16) 

Less than a month before Iowa voters head to the polls and officially kick off the long- awaited presidential primary season, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is preparing to unveil tax proposals designed to raise rates on the wealthiest Americans. “As president, I’ll do what it takes to make sure the super-wealthy are truly paying their fair share,” the former secretary of state said in a statement Saturday. “In the coming weeks,” she added, “I will be laying out additional proposals that go beyond the Buffett rule.”

Poll shows attacks on Bill Clinton may only help Hillary Clinton (12/31/15) 

Donald J. Trump made clear this week that nothing was off limits when it came to attacking the Clintons, dusting off names like Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones while calling former President Bill Clinton one of “the great abusers of the world.” Sexual indiscretions of the past, he said, are fair game in an election year. But the numbers show that Mr. Trump, the billionaire developer and Republican presidential hopeful, might not be dealing with a hand as strong as he thinks when he reminds voters of Mr. Clinton’s history of infidelity. Hillary Clinton’s popularity has had its peaks and valleys during her decades in the public spotlight, most recently rising to new heights when she was serving as secretary of state. Her other peak, according to polls, was in 1998 while her husband was embroiled in the Lewinsky scandal and facing impeachment.

Marco Rubio plans to reverse Obama’s planned gun limits (TIME 1/3/16) 

Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is promising that he would reverse President Obama’s executive action on gun rights on his first day in the White House, his latest play at New Hampshire’s deeply pro-gun Republicans. Speaking Sunday evening in the Granite State, Rubio cast the man he hopes to replace in the White House as someone trampling the Constitution. Rubio’s remarks came hours before Obama was set on Monday to announce new moves to strengthen background checks that would-be gun buyers face.

Rand Paul: Hillary will “take us back to war” (The Hill 1/3/16)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has a warning for war-weary Americans who often criticize the Bush administration for intervening in the Middle East. “It turns out that probably the most likely candidate to take us back to war is Hillary Clinton,” the Republican presidential candidate told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Clinton’s support for regime change in certain situations could pull the U.S. back into war, Paul argued Sunday morning. “The difference is President Obama and Hillary Clinton both supported arming the Syrian rebels, the Islamic rebels against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. I wouldn’t have done that,” Paul said. “They also supported toppling [Muammar] Gaddafi in Libya.”

Clinton and Sanders cash dash tells tale of 2 campaigns (Politico 1/3/16) 

The first 48 hours of 2016 highlighted an important distinction between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they ready their final pushes here and in Iowa: They are running for the same office, but not the same role. Clinton is seeking to be the Democratic Party’s standard- bearer. Sanders is attempting to lead a movement. The first evidence came in a news release barely 13 hours into the election year, when the front-runner announced she had raised the most presidential primary money of any non-incumbent in an off-year. Bringing in $38 million in 2015’s closing months, she raced past her $100 million primary goal for the year — all while bagging an extra $18 million for other Democrats along the way.

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