Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The Values Voter Summit hosted a straw poll over the weekend, and Ted Cruz won – for the third year in a row. The far-right senator received 35% support, followed by Ben Carson’s 18%. Donald Trump, making his first VVS appearance, finished fifth in the straw poll with 5%.
* Speaking of Trump, the Republican frontrunner will unveil his tax plan today. The key details are not yet available, some initial reports suggest the Trump plan will be very good to the wealthy, his recent populist rhetoric notwithstanding.
* As recently as 2013, three years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Carly Fiorina supported the individual health care mandate. Though that’s a break from GOP orthodoxy, her campaign said last week that Fiorina supports a mandate “that would require high-deductible ‘catastrophic care’ insurance plans and use federal dollars to subsidize state-based high-risk pools” – which is far more in line with GOP orthodoxy.
* In North Carolina, an Elon University poll released over the weekend found Trump with a very narrow lead over Carson in the Republican presidential race, 21.5% to 20.9%. No other candidate reached double digits.
* Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, delivered remarks earlier this month in which he condemned Houston for approving a non-discrimination ordinance. “It is appalling that in a city like Houston, right in the middle of the Bible Belt, we have a homosexual mayor,” Cruz said, referring to Annise Parker.
* Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, perhaps best known for his leadership of Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign, isn’t on board with the chatter about Hillary Clinton’s “collapsing” support. “Has the political punditry class lost its collective mind?” Trippi asked in an op-ed over the weekend.