Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In New Hampshire, a new Monmouth poll shows Donald Trump with a surprisingly large advantage in the Republican presidential primary, leading Jeb Bush by a two-to-one margin, 24% to 12%. No other candidate reaches double digits, though Scott Walker and John Kasich are tied for third with 7% each.
* Asked about Mike Huckabee’s offensive Holocaust rhetoric yesterday, Jeb Bush positioned himself as the grown-up in the GOP field. “The use of that kind of language is just wrong,” he told reporters. “This is not the way we’re going to win elections and that’s not how we’re going to solve problems. So, unfortunate remark – not quite sure why he felt compelled to say it.”
* Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker will be in Southern California this week, presenting themselves “to the Koch brothers and hundreds of other wealthy conservatives planning to spend close to $1 billion in the run-up to the 2016 election.” Carly Fiorina will also be there, and while Rand Paul was invited, his attendance appears unlikely.
* Who’ll be eligible to participate in next week’s GOP debate? NBC’s First Read team believes John Kasich, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki will fail to make the cut.
* In Florida, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows two wide-open Senate primaries. On the Democratic side, Alan Grayson has a small lead over Patrick Murphy, 33% to 32%, though “undecided” leads them both. On the Republican side, David Jolly appears to have the early edge, though he only has 16% support in the crowded GOP field.
* In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie (R) has an unfortunate habit of giving “plum state positions, including judgeships,” to his friends from high school.
* Karl Rove’s Crossroads operation, despite its 2012 failures, has raised “a combined $12 million during the first half of 2015 and has nearly $14 million in the bank.” That’s considerably better than the position it was in at this point four years ago.
* And Rand Paul is undeniably desperate for attention, but he told a radio host last week, “I’m drawing the line at self-immolation, none of us are going to set ourselves on fire.” We all have our limits, I suppose.