Great news for people who like 2016 polls comically far-out from Election Day: New poll! With a new Republican front-runner! And it’s that guy who just said that thing that made all the outrage!
A new poll from CNN/ORC shows that former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is now leading all other possible GOP presidential candidates with 14 percent of the Republican vote. That lead is followed up closely by Sen. Rand Paul, who carries 13 percent support. Further behind is Chris Christie, who is tied with Jeb Bush for 10 percent of the GOP-leaning vote.
This must be pretty exciting — for Mike Huckabee. Just under two weeks ago at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, the governor created a bit of a stir when he went off on Democrats for making women “believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the government.”
Now, he’s leading in his second 2016 poll in the span of a week.
The downside for Huckabee? According to CNN’s poll, Hillary Clinton is just romping the opposition. In a head-to-head with Christie, CNN finds that Clinton has a 55-39 advantage among registered voters. And that’s the most competitive possible outcome. Against Huckabee, Clinton would have a 56-39 lead. She trails no Republicans in any of CNN’s head-to-heads.
All of this carries the most important caveat: It’s still wildly early to get a real sense of who’s going to win a party nomination in 2016, to say nothing of the White House itself. But Clinton is in a historically strong position if she decides to run, no matter whom she winds up going up against.
What We're Following See More »
Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."
One of the main reasons for the recent Obamacare premium hikes is that many potential enrollees have simply decided to pay the tax penalty for remaining uninsured, rather than pay for insurance. More than 8 million people paid the penalty in 2014, and preliminary numbers for 2015 suggest that the number approaches 6 million. "For the young and healthy who are badly needed to make the exchanges work, it is sometimes cheaper to pay the Internal Revenue Service than an insurance company charging large premiums, with huge deductibles."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that "there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices—appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election." Speaking to reporters in Colorado, Cruz said: "I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have.”