Presidential Primary Brief: 329 days until Election Day

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126 days until AL Presidential Primary
329 days until Election Day

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

Weekly Headlines:

Primary Brief_GOP Polls_14 Dec 2015

Primary Brief_Dem Polls_14 Dec 2015

Press Clips:

Americans are worried about terrorism, and that could help the GOP (FiveThirtyEight 12/9/15)

The terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, California, have reshaped the 2016 presidential campaign: Terrorism is now a top concern.1 All else being equal, that could help the Republican nominee if it continues through November. Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle terrorism, 44 percent to 34 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey from July, and — not surprisingly — there has been a strong link between who Americans trust on their top issue and who they vote for.

Fox Business Network to host additional Republican presidential debate (Reuters 12/8/15) 

Fox Business Network said on Tuesday it would host another Republican presidential debate next month, following one it held in November that earned praise from candidates and the party’s national committee. The debate will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 14, the network said in a statement. The event, which has been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, will fall two days after Democratic President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address. The network said it would announce further details, including moderators, entry criteria and the lineup, closer to the event.

Hillary Clinton leads in 2016 match-ups as Ben Carson, Marco Rubio run closest (NBC News 12/7/15) 

Hillary Clinton leads the Republican presidential field in hypothetical general-election match-ups, with Ben Carson and Marco Rubio running the closest to her, according to a new national MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll. And with just one exception, the margin of Clinton’s lead among Latino voters determines just how competitive each match-up is.

Clinton’s biggest lead is against current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump: She’s ahead of him by 11 points among all voters, 52 percent to 41 percent, and a whopping 42 points among Latino voters, 69 percent to 27 percent.

Presidential race was most-discussed topic on Facebook this year (The Hill 12/9/15) 

The 2016 presidential election was the most-discussed topic on Facebook in the United States this year, joined by a number of other closely-watched political issues. The election led the pack, according to end-of-year statistics distributed by the company, but other top topics included flying the Confederate flag, the marriage rights of same-sex couples and Planned Parenthood. The election’s standing may reflect the fact that the race began much earlier this year, when the first candidates announced their intentions to run in the primaries.

Democrats’ biggest vulnerability in 2016: National Security (National Journal 12/7/15)

The disconnect between President Obama and the American public on the urgency of the ISIS threat is a problem for his party in 2016, especially for Hillary Clinton. Democrats are at risk of politically marginalizing themselves on national security in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, catering to a base that seems disconnected from the growing anxiety that the public feels over the threat from Islamic terrorism. During a month when a horrific terrorist attack killed 130 in Paris and a homegrown, ISIS-inspired attack killed 14 in San Bernardino, California, the Democratic Party’s major focus has been on climate change and gun control.

Bernie Sanders unveils climate plan (NBC News 12/7/15) 

Democratic presidential Bernie Sanders rolled out an expansive climate plan Monday that aims to cut U.S. carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and create 10 million clean energy jobs. To accomplish these goals, the 16-page plan takes a kitchen sink approach, including everything from a tax on carbon to a ban on fracking to a push for more walkable cities. And beyond the environmental goals, the plan has a political one, too – to enfeeble the fossil fuel industry, whom Sanders says has “bribed politicians into ignoring [climate]science” “Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet,” the plan states. But it hasn’t been solved because “a small subsection of the one percent are hell-bent on doing everything in their power to block action.”

Republicans fear Trump could jeopardize control of Congress (Politico 12/9/15)

 Republicans have spent many years and hundreds of millions of dollars wresting control of the House and Senate from Democrats. Now they say Donald Trump is putting it all in jeopardy. With the Iowa caucuses just 55 days away, Republicans are beginning to see Trump as a dire threat to their majorities on Capitol Hill. And they’re warning that the GOP poll leader, who this week called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, will cause irreparable harm to the party.

Rand Paul remains on main debate stage (Politico 12/13/15)

Rand Paul will be on the main stage at Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas after CNN tweaked its rules at the last minute to add a ninth podium for the Kentucky senator, the network announced Sunday. The candidates who will be on the main stage: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and Paul. The top five candidates qualified as a result of their standing in national polls. Kasich, Fiorina and Christie – who was in the undercard debate last month – made the cut due to their poll numbers in New Hampshire. Candidates qualified if they achieved an average of 3.5 percent in national polls conducted since late October – or 4 percent in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

Ted Cruz to barnstorm the South in Super Tuesday sweep (Politico 12/11/15)

Ted Cruz will embark next week on a splashy swing through many of the states that vote on March 1, an effort to lock down support in those mostly Southern states before turning full attention to the first four voting contests of the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

The Texas senator, flying with staff and his family on a chartered plane, will do 12 events in 12 cities in one week, flying from Las Vegas to St. Paul, Minnesota, on Dec. 17 after the next presidential debate, and wrapping up on Dec. 23 in Oklahoma City. The fly-around tour, dubbed “Take Off with Ted,” will feature rally-style events in states including Minnesota, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The tour will be a highly produced endeavor apparently designed to help voters envision Cruz as a general election contender.

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