Hidden in a new NBC News/Marist poll on Chris Christie are some pretty bleak numbers for Sen. Ted Cruz.
The poll asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who, if they were voting today, they’d support in a 2016 GOP presidential primary. Christie came in first with 16 percent support, followed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (12 percent), Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. (9 percent), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (8 percent), and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (7 percent).
You’ll notice Cruz — who was in the top five in distant December, 2013 — is missing from that list. That’s because the Texas Republican, who briefly led the GOP pack in at least one poll following his 21-hour September Senate floor speech, dropped from 10 percent support in December to 5 percent support in January. If Chris Christie doesn’t run, Ted Cruz is still not a top five choice, being beat out by the likes of Rick Santorum. The poll does have a 5 percent margin of error among Republican voters though, so good news for Cruz is, he could really be back up at 10. Or, you know, all the way down to zero.
This bears repeating: 2016 polls so far out are really, really silly for trying to get a good sense of who is going to win come Election Day. In the NBC News/Marist poll, a quarter of GOP voters are undecided. But these new numbers do show just how fleeting political crushes can be.
Definitely don’t bet against Cruz regaining some of that fall 2013 fire ahead of a possible presidential campaign. But right now, he seems to be drifting away from the radar.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."