Presidential Primary Brief: 252 days until Election Day

2016 Presidential Primary Brief_29 Feb 2016

1 day until AL Presidential Primary
252 days until Election Day

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

Weekly Headlines:

Primary Brief_GOP Polls_29 Feb 2016

Primary Brief_Dem Polls_29 Feb 2016

Press Clips: 

Senator Jeff Sessions endorses Trump (Politico 2/28/16)

Donald Trump won another major endorsement Sunday, surprising the political world when he walked onto the stage for a rally in Madison, Ala., with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. Two days ahead of Super Tuesday when 11 states will cast votes, Trump continues to dominate the national airwaves and demonstrate growing support from Republican elected officials. While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who threw his support behind Trump on Friday, is a pillar of the GOP establishment, Sessions is a tea party idol who helps validate the New York City billionaire with the conservative grassroots. Sessions’ endorsement is a major blow to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose success may hinge on winning those Tea Party and evangelical voters — and who has so often cited Sessions as an ally in his fight against the 2013 immigration reform effort.

Trump vs. Clinton: The election no one wants (CNBC News 2/26/16

Math is easy. Eight months of polling, two caucuses, and two primaries have made it clear that roughly one-third of Republican voters are enthusiastic about Donald Trump’s presidential bid; according to RealClearPolitics, national polls taken over the past week peg his support between 31 percent and 36 percent. The other two thirds are appalled that Trump may be their party’s nominee. In a five-person (or seventeen-person) race, one third of the votes is impressive, often a plurality. In a two-person race, one third of the votes is a dismal, distant loss. Trump is thus extremely vulnerable in any two-person race, and quite likely to win anything bigger.

Chris Christie slammed for Donald Trump endorsement (USA Today 2/28/16)

Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and a top supporter of Chris Christie’s failed presidential bid, on Sunday sharply criticized the New Jersey governor’s endorsement of Donald Trump as “an astonishing display of political opportunism.” “Donald Trump is unfit to be president,” Whitman, who served as Christie’s national finance co-chair, said in a statement to NBC. “He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears.” Whitman called on Christie’s donors and supporters to “reject the governor and Donald Trump outright.” “I believe they will,” she added. “For some of us, principle and country still matter.”

Sanders: I can still win the nomination (Politico 2/28/16

Sen. Bernie Sanders, dealt a heavy loss in South Carolina on Saturday, said he still has a path to the Democratic nomination and that Saturday’s defeat was “about as bad as it’s going to get.” “On Tuesday, we’re going to have over 800 delegates being selected. I think we’re going to win a very good share of those delegates,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “You’ve got major states coming up. And I think the important point is that people throughout this country are resonating to our message.”

Cruz, Rubio reveal tax info, Cruz hints Trump tied to mob biz (Fox News 2/28/16)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday pushed the call for front-running GOP rival Donald Trump to release his tax returns, suggesting the IRS documents might show connections to “mafia” businesses, donations to Planned Parenthood and other items that would ruin his White House bid. “Maybe those business deals are more extensive that reported,” Cruz told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Primary voters deserve to know before the nomination because Hillary Clinton will.” Cruz, who has released five years of returns and two-page summaries for the past four years, repeated 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s suggestion last week that Trump’s returns could include a “bombshell.”

Trump declines to condemn KKK (Politico 2/28/16

Donald Trump on Sunday morning refused to condemn actions taken and comments made by the Ku Klux Klan and one of its former leaders, claiming he needed to do “more research” before taking a position. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Trump was asked by Jake Tapper to respond to recent comments made by white supremacist David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke and other white supremacist groups have supported Trump’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Lamar Alexander endorses Rubio (Politico 2/28/16) 

Marco Rubio has earned the endorsement of yet another member of the U.S. Senate: Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. The endorsement is the most recent in a long list of sitting senators supporting Rubio. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced his support of Rubio last week. Alexander, himself a former Republican presidential contender, told NBC News that Rubio is “the conservative candidate who can inspire us, win the election and lead our country.”

Florida will play key role in GOP presidential race (USA Today 2/28/16) 

If Republicans opposed to Donald Trump’s presidential nomination can’t slow him down by mid-March, they’ll have one final, desperate card to play. It’s called Florida. By the time the Sunshine State holds its GOP primary March 15, Trump still won’t have the 1,237 delegates needed to lock up the nomination. Even if he wins every nomination contest over the next two and a half weeks — in 19 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia — he’ll be more than 200 delegates short. Florida is the largest of five prizes up for grabs on March 15. (Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio also hold primaries that day.) A total 358 delegates are at stake that day, with Florida accounting for 99. Whichever GOP candidate finishes first gets all 99. “March 15 could be the last stand,” Miami lawyer and conservative Republican activist Al Cardenas said.



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