Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential race nationally with 19% support, followed by Scott Walker with 15% and Jeb Bush at 14%. Ben Carson is the only other candidate to reach double digits in the poll with 10%, though Ted Cruz is close with 9%, good enough for fifth place.
* And speaking of national polls, a new Monmouth poll also shows Trump leading the national pack, this time with 26%, followed by Bush at 12% and Walker with 11%. Everyone else is at 6% or below. Note, this poll shows Trump’s support higher than Bush’s and Walker’s support combined.
* Starting tonight at 7 p.m. eastern, New Hampshire’s Union Leader will host a forum for the GOP presidential field, featuring 14 of the 17 candidates. The only three who won’t participate are Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Jim Gilmore, though it’s worth emphasizing that Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio will appear via satellite, because of Senate votes later today.
* The Marist Institute for Public Opinion has decided to “temporarily suspend” national polling of Republican presidential candidates, citing “concern that public polls are being misused to decide who will be in and who will be excluded” from upcoming debates.
* Hillary Clinton’s campaign is making its first ad buy of the year, investing $2 million in Iowa and New Hampshire - $1 million in each state – in support of two biographical ads, titled “Dorothy” and “Family Strong.”
* Sam Nunberg, a political adviser to the Trump campaign, was fired late last week after racist comments on social media attributed to Nunberg came to public light.
* When Scott Walker isn’t mentioning Marco Rubio as a possible running mate, he’s pointing to other 2016 rivals – Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina – as possible members of his future cabinet.
* And it appears to be official: the total number of candidates in the Republican presidential field will remain at 17, with former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) announcing over the weekend that he will not be a national candidate this year.