Latest South Carolina Poll

The latest South Carolina polls show Donald Trump with a substantial lead. He comes in at 36%; Cruz at 19% and Rubio at 15%.

The Last Refuge from Breitbart has the details:

A Southern Political Poll released today conducted for the Augusta Chronicle and Fox5 is exceptionally interesting. The poll data itself is deep, extensive, succinct and well presented. Good sample size, low MOE and few assumptions.

The top line results, show remarkable consistency with the previous NBC/WSJ and Maris polls conducted in January. With the exception of a modest bump for John Kasich, the latest polling shows almost no change – and most of the SC electorate have not only made up their mind, but their decision has been settled for quite a while:

A close review of the poll internals, shows some remarkable and consistent insights when contrast against ground reports, alternate polling and field data. What many political junkies might find remarkable is the dominance of the Trump coalition.

After reviewing the poll data, the current decisions of the Trump campaign’s approach in South Carolina make VERY good sense.

When you review the poll data take note of what the pollster calls Horse Race #1, and Horse Race #2, the first preference and second preference of the SC electorate.

Only Donald Trump extends well beyond 50% when both first and second choices are combined. That’s an important factor.

Additionally, the shallow appeal of the Cruz campaign jumps out when you deduct Donald Trump from the race.

Despite Cruz’s near 20% second place status, if you remove Donald Trump, Marco Rubio is the leading candidate in the race. Ted Cruz gains little support from Trump’s massive coalition. This statistical fact affirms all of the previous analytics which warned Cruz’s narrow focus on evangelicals and faith-based voters was self-limiting.
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Even more affirmation is noted in Donald Trump actually beating Ted Cruz with staunchly evangelical and moderate evangelical voters. Trump’s support is actually larger than Cruz within the identified target audience of Ted Cruz’s campaign. THAT is a remarkable statistic.

Another rather revealing take-away is the scope of Donald Trump’s lead with both men and Women voters. Trump has double the support of women voters in South Carolina (35%), when compared to second place Cruz (17.2%). Again, this is more affirmation that a highly attune electorate is able to see through the short-sighted Cruz attacks and view Donald Trump as the leading candidate to actually solve problems.

The only two South Carolina demographics where Donald Trump is not dominating the field are young voters (18-29), where Marco Rubio slightly edges him out – and “very liberal” republicans where John Kasich does best. However, even when he loses the sub-category, he is the second place candidate.

When you drill down the data to the section where you can remove Donald Trump, you find most of the Trump voting coalition prefers Rubio as the ‘next best’ option, and do not support Ted Cruz. This is absolute confirmation that Cruz has painted himself into a very narrow corner of the electorate.

Much can change in the next week. However, that concern angle would seem to be unsupported when you consider the actual polled support is almost identical to January, even before the Iowa and New Hampshire results.

When all factors are considered, it certainly appears South Carolinians have made up their mind. Absent of some unforeseen seismic political shift, things look increasingly optimistic for Donald Trump.

So Cruz has gone negative on Trump and Trump has decided to be positive. We’ll find out the results a week from today.

Random Thoughts on New Hampshire

John Sununu do you still think Trump’s win is a loss?
Steve Doocey interviewed Trump before his victory speech. Interesting to watch his daughter, Ivanka, in his retinue. She scrutinized everything he said. They say she is his main campaign advisor and that he listens to her above all others. She was watching to see if he covered all his points, which he did. So much for that “war on women.”

Enjoy your second place victory John Kasich. It’s not going to happen in South Carolina. You have very little appeal in the South.

Ted Cruz, this is what a blue or purple state battle would look like for you. You’re not going to be able to get a one of them, such as Virginia, Colorado or Ohio.

Dana Perino commented last night that Jeb Bush was asked whether he thought Marco Rubio was a robot. Dana remarked on his denial of it, commenting that he’s a gentleman. Except, his campaign people sent others dressed in cardboard robot costumes to scuttle Rubio. He had to have been behind the dirty tricks.
By the way, two words that won’t work for you in South Carolina: Common Core.

Chris Christie says he’s going home. I think South Carolina is a bridge too far.

Carly Fiorina did better than Ben Carson. Time for Carson to throw behind Trump.

Hillary will take some people to the woodshed. Just watch out for flying vases and pots as she spouts expletives. Wouldn’t want to be in that room.

Democrats, if a Communist is your nominee, it should be easier for the GOP than Bush vs. Dukakis.

Megyn Kelly, what’s with the black dress? Were you in mourning at Trump’s win? Lots of downcast faces at Fox.

Next up: debate in South Carolina Saturday. Hope Nikki Haley can keep her mouth shut.

When a Win Is a Loss. Seriously.

When is a win a loss? It’s a loss if Donald Trump wins, even by 12 points, according to the GOP establishment.

They should know as they are experts in making defeat out of victory.

From DC Whispers:

For those of you who have been paying attention to national politics for some time you will likely recall the name John Sununu. Mr. Sununu, a former George H.W. Bush White House Chief of Staff and before that, New Hampshire governor, is the epitome of establishment politics and remains one of the most influential New Hampshire power brokers.

He was one of the primary reasons the Republican Party chose Mitt Romney as its nominee in 2012, and John McCain in 2008. (In 2008 it was New Hampshire that the “McCain the Campaign” effort was by then fully underway.)

Now in 2016, Sununu is appalled at Republican voters who have turned their backs on his chosen candidate, Jeb Bush, in favor of New York billionaire and political upstart, Donald Trump.

Here is video from this morning that has John Sununu attempting to explain how if Donald Trump wins New Hampshire by double digits, he actually loses. One must then assume that Mr. Sununu would also state that if Donald Trump won the presidential election by say, 10%, with about 12 million more votes than his Democrat rival, that Trump would actually have lost that election as well?

The Establishment is pulling its hair out over Trump’s campaign successes and is quite literally losing its sanity over it. This video is a depiction of delusion piled atop yet more delusion and how sad to see Fox News so eager to promote it:

Now if Jeb Bush wins by one point, would he consider that a loss, too? I doubt it

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

The Cruz-Carson dust up is still causing controversy. Don’t miss the last line of this story.

From Breitbart:

A lot has been made about a CNN report that claimed Dr. Ben Carson was going to suspend his campaign immediately following the Iowa caucuses, one that was pushed by the Ted Cruz team.

Both Cruz and Carson talked about the ordeal in length at the eighth GOP debate.

Now it’s being said that Cruz asked Carson for a private meeting during a break in the action to discuss the situation in further detail.

“He said he’s sorry that this happened and he wants to sit down and talk,” Carson said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He wants to discuss the whole thing and clear the air.”

The retired neurosurgeon said he mostly listened when his Republican rival approached him on stage but did agree to hear Cruz out in the coming days. They did not set a date.

“To be determined,” Carson said when asked where they may meet. “Doesn’t matter.”

I’m sure the two men will be discussing the CNN story, but what else could they possibly talk about?

Interesting.

Something to keep in mind: all of Carson’s paid Super PAC staffers in New Hampshire quit his campaign and joined up with Cruz.

Really!

Who Won the Debate?

How important are these debates that are held on a Saturday night? Probably not very. Die hard sports fans are watching their teams and people are going out. And it was too long. Three hours? The attention span of even the most absorbed of us begins to lessen after an hour and a half. Plus, we’ve had so many of them it’s painful to have to watch another. The Super Bowl is tomorrow and that will be the topic for most Americans today and tomorrow.

Perhaps the people of New Hampshire are listening, but most may just take the word of the Sunday show hosts and vote accordingly.

I always feel it is better to go to the source and judge yourself than to rely on pundits.

Writing that probably disqualifies the impressions I am about to share, but here goes.
We had to put up with 15 minutes of chit chat before the debate with the likes of Bill Cristol (ugh), Matthew Dowd (whaat?), Cokie Roberts (hasn’t her expiration date been hit years ago?), Donna Brazile (why?), George Stephanapoulus (Clinton’s pal) and Jonathan Karl (hmm).

What was the matter with ABC? The candidates were announced, but evidently couldn’t hear their names. They didn’t do it alphabetically, so what gives? It left Dr. Carson standing there, waiting to be called. Trump was called, but stood by Carson, which was a decent thing to do. He got more face time that way, too. They almost skipped John Kasich. ABC are you that unprofessional or totally skewed?

The first hour set the tone. The first question was asked of Trump, concerning presidential temperament. Trump managed to be calm and deliver all his talking points – that he brought up immigration, the Chinese and that he had good relationships with people he deals with.

Cruz got the same question and he went off on a tangent. Trump nailed him for not answering the question. Cruz kept tapping on his desk which was an annoying habit. He still didn’t have an answer.

Then moderator David Muir queried Carson about the Iowa shenanigans regarding the caucuses and the Cruz people broadcasting that Carson was out. He finessed it, first by referencing his name not being called out on stage a few minutes before, then referenced Ronald Reagan and his 11th commandment Thou Shalt Not Attack Other Republicans. He looked classy.
Cruz got asked about it and apologized. He threw the blame on CNN being the one to announce that Carson was quitting. Carson disputed that, saying there was only one minute’s difference in CNN’s announcement and the Cruz tweet to precinct captains. Cruz was not believable. Some say it threw him off his game and he never recovered.

Then Muir asked Rubio what his accomplishments have been, since new endorser Rick Santorum had been unable to name some – twice. Amazingly Rubio launched into this tirade against Obama wanting to transform the U.S. He had obviously rehearsed this answer, but it was a poor one. Chris Christie called him on it and shot him down. That’s the difference between governors and senators, he said. Rubio hadn’t had to make tough decisions. It’s not leadership, it’s truancy, Christie said, zinging him well.

Rubio then attacked Christie, saying New Jersey’s debt had led to downgrades for the state and returned to bashing Obama. Rubio looked abashed. It wasn’t a good night for him. He looked particularly young and inexperienced.

Jeb Bush got a few questions, but he looked like Mr. Super Establishment Guy. Trump reinforced that with this exchange:

It was an important moment. Quite a few have commented on it, reflecting this sentiment from facebook, “most importantly he (Trump) did point out something that a lot of people watching at home didn’t know – these debate audiences are most often filled with donors, lobbyists, special interest groups, RNC-approved tickets are given out, etc. I recall someone asking me why a Jeb Bush polling in single digits seems to always have so many supporters at these debates. Now you know. Trump actually tried to get tix for some of his regular folks supporters and the RNC told him no.

It’s been that way for years and has always p*ssed me off. The RNC should give up a 100 tix or so in a lottery style for local voters in the location the debate is taking place. It won’t do that though for fear it can’t control the tone of the debate audience.”

Agreed.

I wonder why we are doing this again. Have any of their views changed since the first debate? Do they have anything to add? You can’t do it in a one minute reply. Better to look at their websites.

Supporters will find something good about their candidate no matter what they said or the pundits say. However, it was pretty clear Rubio looked green and Christie may have helped himself. He came on strong as did Trump. Cruz and Carson didn’t distinguish themselves, although had Carson been given more questions, he might have done better.

Tuesday the people of New Hampshire will vote and we may have a clearer view then of the state of the race, particularly since Iowa does it caucus thing and that was subject to some oddities.

Debate Tonight

Even though the RNC told us it would cut back on debates this presidential cycle, they keep rolling on. No one know if they matter or if they only serve to batter our candidates and provide ammunition for the Democrat opponent. I believe the latter.

So we’ll have another one tonight on ABC.

There have been interesting developments since the last one, which, incidentally, Fox News crowed about but which was down 50% from their first one.

Donald Trump will be there tonight, and he should have ample ammunition with which to attack his rivals. Cruz should get hit big time for his underhanded dirty tricks at the precincts. Perhaps both Trump and Dr. Carson will get mileage out of it.

Cruz will probably say he didn’t know anything about it. The gullible will believe that. Of course he knew! He probably planned it as he is not a stupid man. Plus, he had to win Iowa or he would erode his support.

Rubio will come in for some beatings, too. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, who helped him get elected to his Florida senatorial seat, has publicly flayed him. She told World Net Daily: “Once he got elected, he betrayed us all. He said he was against amnesty and against the establishment. And once he got in, right away, he became an agent of the establishment. And now, of course, he’s big for amnesty and letting all the illegal immigrants in. He betrayed us a number of times on that issue.”

Schlafly said she was startled at the magnitude of Rubio’s “betrayal” on amnesty.

“It was so public.”

Rand Paul has unloaded on him and Rick Santorum, who bowed out of the race has endorsed him. However, he didn’t do the Florida senator any good by appearing twice on TV unable to list a single accomplishment Rubio has had in the Senate.

I might question Cruz on the same topic.

Sorry, Mario, but like Schlafly, many of us don’t have selective amnesia.

Chris Christie has gone a bridge too far with his latest remarks, threatening New Hampshire. The Washington Times reports: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a stark warning here Friday, telling New Hampshire voters that their beloved first-in-the-nation primary status will be in jeopardy if they make the wrong choices in Tuesday’s contest.

“Mr. Christie has invested more time in New Hampshire than most of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, but he is running near the back of the pack in polls — stoking speculation that his campaign would be derailed by a poor showing here.

“’I will tell you this, if you reward people who don’t spend time here, no one is going to spend any time here, and the first-in-the-nation primary could be at risk,’ Mr. Christie said. ‘I am telling you right now.'”

Is he making them an offer they can’t refuse? I doubt that will go over well.

Jeb Bush has faded in the debates when Donald Trump was present. He’s recently been reduced to dragging his 90 year old mama on the campaign trail. He’s also been using brother W in his efforts. Probably a mistake, as that just reinforces the public’s problem with dynastic government.

Reports say Trump has been preparing for this debate more than the others. That could be a good or bad thing. He needs to let his inner Trump prevail as that is what people most respond to.

I ignore Kasich and Fiorina, who just never caught on. They will probably equip themselves well, unless Kasich brings up his populist post man padre topic.

We’ll see.

For all of us the best thing is to watch the debate ourselves and turn off all the commentary. Not a one of them knows the outcome and each one has a candidate to promote. It’s just a big waste of time.