Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll shows Hillary Clinton holding onto a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa, 42% to 40%. The two-point margin has shrunk from a nine-point margin in December. Note the gap, however, between those who’ll “definitely” participate in the caucuses and those who’ll “probably” show up.
* The Sanders campaign says there’s a big upside to Clinton’s increasingly aggressive offensive against him: “As of now, we are at about $1.4 million raised since yesterday when the panic attacks by the Clinton campaign began,” the senator’s spokesperson told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
* The New York Times reported overnight that Ted Cruz, during his Senate campaign four years ago, did not disclose a loan from Goldman Sachs, where his wife works. The Republican’s campaign said yesterday it was an “inadvertent” bureaucratic mistake the senator was prepared to correct in revised filings.
* Jeb Bush’s team hasn’t always produced great TV ads, but his new anti-Trump spot struck me as effective.
* Speaking of ads, Bernie Sanders’ campaign had vowed to never run a classic comparative commercial, but this week, it launched just such an ad on the issue of Wall Street regulation.
* Donald Trump recently boasted he would invest $2 million a week in support of television advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire. As of yesterday, the Republican frontrunner is spending less than half that total.
* Jeb Bush took an unusually personal shot at Marco Rubio yesterday. Asked on MSNBC yesterday about the candidates’ boots, Bush said, “I don’t have a height issue.”
* Speaking of Rubio, the Washington Post’s George Will, in a bit of a surprise, wrote a column severely criticizing the Florida senator, questioning his judgment and record, and chastising Rubio’s “recurring penchant for ill-considered undertakings.”
* Rand Paul is blaming the Republican Party, not Fox, for his exclusion from tonight’s debate. “They have been saying for months they’re going to narrow the field, but I don’t think it’s the job of the establishment in the Republican Party to decide who is and who isn’t [in],” Paul told MSNBC yesterday.
* For reasons that are not yet clear, Donald Trump’s Texas state director, Corbin Casteel, is no longer part of the campaign. Note, Texas’ primary is March 1, making this a bad time for a candidate to lose his top aide in the state.
* And while Oklahoma is one of the worst states in the union for Democrats, a Dem easily flipped a state Senate seat this week that had been held by a Republican, shrinking the GOP’s legislative majority a bit.