“Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment are preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention as” real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) “continues to sit atop the polls. … More than 20 of them convened Monday near the Capitol for a dinner held by” RNC chairman Reince Priebus. As Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) “listened, several longtime Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative.” (Washington Post)
In response to the story, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (R) threatened to leave the Republican Party.
Carson said in a statement: “If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in the Washington Post this morning.” He went on to say that if the article is accurate, “I assure you Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving the party.” (Politico)
DEBATE CLUB. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “will likely be pushed off the debate stage next week.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), “however, has clawed back in the polling thanks to a rebound in New Hampshire, virtually ensuring he will be promoted to the main event in Las Vegas on Tuesday. … Based on national polls, only five candidates are at 3 percent or higher in surveys conducted since late October:” Trump, Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). But Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R) are likely to join them “because of CNN’s decision to consider both national polls and surveys in either Iowa or New Hampshire.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), “who was relegated to the undercard last time, is virtually certain to be there again next week.” (Politico)