Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As Rachel explained on last night’s show, Ted Cruz fired his high-profile communications director, Rick Tyler, yesterday, following a series of controversial tactics targeting the senator’s rivals.
* Speaking of the Texas senator, Cruz argued last night, I believe for the first time, that he supports deporting the roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States. “We should enforce the law … federal law requires that anyone here illegally that’s apprehended should be deported,” Cruz told Fox News, demonstrating Donald Trump’s success in shaping the Republican agenda.
* Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), a former Jeb Bush supporter, became the latest in a legion of GOP establishment figures to throw his support to Marco Rubio yesteday. He added, however, that if Trump sweeps Super Tuesday states, “then I think you start printing the inaugural invitation.”
* The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office released the official delegate count yesterday as a result of the recent Republican presidential primary. As it turns out, Trump won 11 delegates, one more than the Associated Press’ previous estimation, while Rubio won two, instead of the three delegates we thought he’d won. (Rubio’s net delegate gain since the New Hampshire primary: -1.)
* And speaking of delegates, there was one outstanding delegate following the Democratic caucuses in Nevada, and yesterday, NBC News reported that it’s going to Hillary Clinton. The statewide count is 20 for Clinton, 15 for Sanders.
* The Ohio primary isn’t until March 15, but a new Quinnipiac poll suggests it’ll be a close contest, with Trump ahead with 31%, followed by Ohio’s own John Kasich at 26%, and Ted Cruz at 21%. Rubio is fourth with just 13%.
* Speaking of the Ohioan, Kasich is under pressure to exit the race to help Rubio, but the governor continues to find new supporters: billionaire mega-donor Julian Robertson Jr., a hedge fund titan, is now backing Kasich.
* Rep. Alan Grayson (D), in a tough Senate primary in Florida, was confronted yesterday with news that probably won’t help his campaign: the House Ethics Committee confirmed it’s investigating Grayson, following allegations he violated House rules “by operating a hedge fund while serving in Congress.”
* And Glenn Beck, one of Ted Cruz’s most enthusiastic backers, called on the senator’s supporters to fast yesterday in the hopes of improving Cruz’s odds of success.
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Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.23.16