Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* In the new Fox News poll we talked about earlier, Hillary Clinton enjoys a 40-point lead over Bernie Sanders among Democrats nationwide, 59% to 19%. Last month, the margin was slightly larger, 61% to 15%.
* Though this week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll found Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating improving since the early summer, a new poll from the Associated Press found the opposite.
* Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Donald Trump traded barbs yesterday, with the former governor arguing, “What Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.” The former reality-show host responded that Perry “should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”
* Trump is also apparently feuding with John McCain, following the senator’s critical comments this week. Trump called for McCain to be defeated in a primary, adding that the senator is a “dummy” because he graduated “last in his class” at the Naval Academy. (I get the feeling Trump cares a little more about college transcripts than he probably should.)
* For a while, Florida Republicans couldn’t find anyone to run in the open U.S. Senate race, but now, the party has too many candidates. The latest entrant in Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R), who kicked off his campaign on Wednesday, just a year and a half after getting elected to statewide office.
* Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) told CNBC’s John Harwood this week, “When I look at the Old and the New Testament, there’s one thing that is clear in there. And that is, it does depend on how we help people who are downtrodden, down on their luck, the widowed, the poor.” This is the sort of rhetoric that tends to annoy his Republican critics, since it serves as a rationale for Medicaid expansion.
* And Chris Christie, campaigning yesterday in New Hampshire, said Donald Trump wouldn’t like being president. “You cannot look at the Speaker of the House and say, ‘You’re fired’ – as much as you might like to you can’t look at Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell and say, ‘You’re fired’ if you don’t get what you want,” Christie said. The New Jersey governor apparently didn’t appreciate the irony of seeing him, of all people, argue that chief executives can’t simply rely on bluster and heavy-handed tactics.