Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Donald Trump with a big lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, enjoying a double-digit advantage over Ben Carson, 32% to 22%. Marco Rubio is third with 10%, followed by Jeb Bush at 7% and Ted Cruz at 6%.
* In the same poll, a remarkable 42% of GOP voters now say they expect Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination next year.
* The latest national Monmouth poll offers similar results, with Trump leading Carson by 10 points, 28% to 18%. In this survey, Cruz is third with 10%, followed by Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina tied at 6% each. Jeb Bush is running sixth in this poll with just 5% support.
* Who’s ahead among New Hampshire Democrats? It depends entirely on which poll you believe. The latest PPP results show Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders, 41% to 33%, while the latest Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm Poll shows Sanders leading Clinton, 41% to 36%. In both cases, Vice President Biden is a rather distant third.
* Among New Hampshire Republicans, PPP found Trump way out in front with 28%, followed by Marco Rubio’s 12% and Ben Carson’s 11%. John Kasich, with 10%, is the only other candidate in single digits.
* A national AP poll of Democratic voters found that rank-and-file Dems like Hillary Clinton quite a bit, “with strong majorities viewing her favorably and more saying she can win the White House than any of her rivals.” This probably won’t offer any encouragement to Biden or his backers.
* And this may be nothing or it may be something, but Karl Rove’s campaign operation is spending nearly $800,000 on a media “blitz” in Missouri, of all places, where Sen. Roy Blunt (R) is up for re-election. Blunt, a long-time fixture in Missouri politics, might seem like a safe incumbent in a red-ish state, but the incumbent isn’t particularly popular, and he’s likely to face Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D), a war veteran considered a rising star in Democratic politics. The race isn’t getting much attention yet, but Rove’s operation wouldn’t be spending $800,000 this early unless the Republican establishment were feeling antsy about Blunt’s chances.