Let Me Start: CPAC straw poll suggests fractured party

Updated

GOP CIVIL WAR: “As conservative activist groups stirred up trouble for establishment Republican Senate candidates in 2010 and 2012, party leaders in Washington first tried to ignore the insurgents, then tried to reason with them, and ultimately left it to primary voters to settle the matter.” (NY Times)

NO CLEAR CANDIDATE:Today? No chalk horse. Wide open. Christie was, but clearly isn’t anymore (by the way, Clinton leads him by 10 points—in New Jersey). Those who think Jeb Bush can step in and play this role are going on name and history, but they obviously aren’t looking at the numbers—Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee do just about as well against Clinton as Bush does. Establishment money might chase Bush if he got in, but there’s no evidence that votes would.

So this time it really could be almost anyone. The CPAC straw poll results suggest as much. It doesn’t mean much that Rand Paul won going away with 31 percent. He’s engineered to win CPAC straw polls. They’ll always overstate his support, although he is certainly among the front rank of aspirants right now. But look at the other numbers: Cruz, 11; Christie, 8; Rick Santorum, 7; Scott Walker, 7; Marco Rubio, 6.” (Daily Beast)

WHAT RUSSIA WANTS:The question can be risky. When a Moscow historian who compared Putin to Hitler for invading Ukraine posed it in a newspaper column last Sunday, he was fired from his job at Russia’s most prestigious university. Elsewhere, however, many now believe it has become reasonable to ask. Has Vladimir Putin lost his grip on reality?” (Global Post)

VANISHED:Flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing at 00:41 local time on Saturday (16:41 GMT on Friday). But radio contact was lost at 17:30 GMT, somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam. Officials say they still have no idea what went wrong.” (BBC)

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Let Me Start: CPAC straw poll suggests fractured party

Updated