Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* According to a new Monmouth poll, Hillary Clinton has opened up an enormous lead over Bernie Sanders among Iowa Democrats, 65% to 24%. This is the first major statewide poll since last week’s Benghazi hearing, though no other recent Iowa polling shows Clinton with this kind of massive advantage.
* At a closed-door event in Houston, former President George W. Bush made a joint appearance with Jeb Bush. The elder brother assured donors, “It’s one reason Jeb is going to win because he’s a fierce competitor.”
* Reflecting on his drop in some recent polling, Donald Trump said on MSNBC this morning, “I don’t get it.”
* The former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party told the Boston Globe this week that the 2016 GOP field has a “lousy” ground game in the Granite State. “All the Republicans put together don’t have as good of an organization as Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders,” Fergus Cullen said.
* Ben Carson has a new television ad, which has already aired in South Carolina, in which he stands alongside an empty cardboard box labeled “Washington political class.” He tells viewers, “I’m very much outside the box.”
* In response to concerns from Black Lives Matter and immigration-reform advocates, Hillary Clinton will no longer “accept donations from PACs and lobbyists working on behalf of private prisons.”
* Former Sen. Jim Webb says he’s interested in possibly running for president as an Independent, and he’s “been talking to a number of people” about possible financing.
* Add Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to the number of Republican officials urging Rand Paul to scale back his presidential ambitions and focus on his 2016 Senate re-election bid.