Presidential Primary Brief: 293 days until Election Day

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41 days until AL Presidential Primary
293 days until Election Day

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

Weekly Headlines:

Primary Brief_GOP Polls_19 Jan 2016

Primary Brief_Dem Polls_19 Jan 2016

Press Clips:

5 takeaways from the Democratic debate (Politico 1/18/16)  

Hillary Clinton, facing an unexpectedly stout challenge from Bernie Sanders, threw diplomatic dignity to the wind in the fourth Democratic debate, attacking the senator even if it reinforced his characterization of her as an establishment politician so desperate she’d say anything to win. Sanders’ stunning gains in New Hampshire and Iowa have put a jolt into a Clinton campaign that had grown increasingly confident at the end of 2015 and forced her to take risks she might have avoided with a firmer grip on her party’s loyalty. In the three previous debates, Clinton adopted an attitude of pre-presidential diffidence, but on Sunday night she was brawling like a Republican, slamming Sanders on guns, health care reform and taxes.

Fact checking the sixth round of GOP debates (The Washington Post 1/14/15) 

Fox Business News aired two GOP presidential debates on Jan. 14: a prime-time event starring seven candidates and an earlier debate featuring three second-tier contenders, based on an average of recent polls. Not every candidate uttered statements that are easily fact checked, but following is a list of 14 suspicious or interesting claims. As a bonus, we also fact-checked comments by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who boycotted the second-tier debate and instead appeared on “The Daily Show.” As is our practice, we do not award Pinocchio’s when we do a roundup of facts in debates.

Jeb Bush invokes MLK as he unveils education plan (Politico 1/18/16)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered a sweeping school choice-centric education plan Monday with proposals that would allow parents to spend government dollars on the pre-K program of their choice and give college students a $50,000 line of credit to pay tuition.

Bush unveiled his plan on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as he Eights to stay relevant in a GOP race dominated by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, invoking education as a civil rights issue. His plan also includes allowing federal dollars for schools with many low- income students to follow a child to a new school and doubling federal support for charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. His campaign said the plan is budget neutral, and it would cut the federal Education Department by 50 percent, but much of what he wants would likely require congressional approval.

Christie vs. Rubio heats up in GOP debate (USA Today 1/15/16) 

The growing rivalry between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio spilled into Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate. The two are battling to become the top so-called establishment alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Rubio hit first. “I like Chris Christie, but we cannot afford to have a president of the United States that supports Common Core. We cannot afford to have president of the United States that supports gun control,” he said. “Chris Christie wrote a check to Planned Parenthood,” the Florida senator continued, adding the nation can’t afford to have a president supportive of Barack Obama’s agenda.

Clinton dodges question on Obama’s Syria red line (Politico 1/17/16) 

Hillary Clinton dodged a question at Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate about whether President Barack Obama erred by not taking military action in Syria in 2013 after he laid down a “red line,” vowing to act if chemical weapons were used there.

Asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell if Obama should “have stuck to his red line once he drew it,” the former secretary of state did a verbal tap dance, saying that the situation worked out for the best since Syrian President Bashar Assad ended up relinquishing his chemical weapons stockpile.

Ben Carson back in South Carolina for a week of events (WRDW 1/18/16)

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson is back in South Carolina this week for a few events, including a discussion on law and the Constitution. The retired neurosurgeon is participating in a forum Monday evening sponsored by the Conservative Leadership Project. At the Brookland Baptist Banquet and Conference Center, Carson is sitting down with state Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Fiorina likens Hillary Clinton to Mexican drug lord El Chapo (CNN 1/15/16)

Carly Fiorina said Friday that Hillary Clinton is “more qualified for the Big House” than the White House and compared her to the recently captured Mexican drug lord El Chapo. “Hillary Clinton has spent her entire life on a quest for power. She has avoided prosecution more times than El Chapo. Honestly. We’ve run out of ‘gates,'” Fiorina told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” Fiorina added, “Once again, she wants to be in the White House.

The truth is she is more qualified for ‘the Big House.'” That is why I am continuing to talk about the reality of the political establishment – of which Mrs. Clinton is example, exhibit A — the political establishment does not serve the interest of the American people.”

How Bernie Sanders’ “political revolution” would change the nation (The Washington Post 1/18/16)

What is Bernie Sanders talking about when he says he wants a “political revolution”? The answer is a series of policies that would offer vast new government-funded benefits to individual Americans, including health insurance, paid maternity leave and free tuition at public colleges. To make those things possible, Sanders — a Vermont senator, “democratic socialist” and Democratic presidential candidate — would impose a variety of new taxes on the wealthy, on corporations and on Wall Street trade. He also would give the federal government a new level of control over the college experience, the price of prescription drugs and child care — by making these sectors of the economy far more dependent on federal money.

Martin O’ Malley wants “just 10 seconds” (USA Today 1/17/16) 

When you’re struggling to gain traction in a presidential campaign, every vote counts. And so does every second in a nationally televised debate. So it must’ve been particularly frustrating for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley when, seeking to be heard in a discussion of the drug epidemic, NBC moderator Lester Holt wasn’t having it. After Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders gave their responses, Holt started to take the debate to its first commercial break.

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