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.
What We're Following See More »
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”