Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The new national PPP poll shows Hillary Clinton expanding on her national lead over Bernie Sanders, and the race now stands at 59% to 26%. The news for Sanders was far better in New Hampshire, where a Fox News poll shows him with a one-point advantage, 45% to 44%.
* Speaking of the Democratic contenders, it’s a big day for both candidates, with Clinton speaking this morning about her plans to combat ISIS, and Sanders speaking this afternoon in defense of socialism.
* In Louisiana, where the gubernatorial race is nearly over, a PAC supporting John Bel Edwards (D) has a new ad insisting that Edwards opposes taking in Syrian refugees. The issue has quickly become the centerpiece of David Vitter’s (R) pitch.
* Donald Trump has a new, 60-second radio ad in which he assures voters, “I will also quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS. We’ll rebuild our military and make it so strong no one, and I mean no one, will mess with us.”
* Social conservatives and the religious right movement was not pleased with Ben Carson recently dismissing the Terri Schiavo matter as “much ado about nothing.” In damage-control mode, the Republican said this week, “I am steadfastly opposed to euthanasia. I have spent my entire career protecting life, especially the life of children. I regret that my recent comments about Teri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted.”
* Jeb Bush called for the deployment of U.S. ground forces in the Middle East to combat ISIS. He apparently intends to be the third President Bush to send troops into war in the region.
* By some accounts, Martin O’Malley’s Democratic presidential campaign is “perilously close to financial collapse.”
* In New Jersey, the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University poll shows Donald Trump leading the GOP field with 31%, followed by Marco Rubio’s 18%. Ben Carson is the only other candidate who reached double digits – he’s third with 11% – while Chris Christie is fourth in his own home state with 9%.
* The same poll has Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders among Garden State Democrats, 64% to 27%. Martin O’Malley is a distant third with 2%.
* And Marco Rubio picked up another congressional endorsement yesterday, as well as receiving support from another Republican mega-donor, Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot.