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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At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.