Friday, October 23, 2015

How Long Will Trump Stay In The Race As He Tumbles Down The Polling Charts... And That SuperPAC Of His?


Yesterday everyone was so obsessed with the clowns like Pompeo, Roby, Westmoreland and, of course, Gowdy, trying to demonize Hillary Clinton, that the poll of Iowa Republicans that Quinnipiac released in the morning was nearly overlooked. But it shouldn't be because it may mean something... something special. Trump, whose most primal fear is being looked at as "a loser," talks (and tweets) far more about his gargantuan poll numbers-- less than a third of GOP likely primary voters, a very unrepresentative sliver of the electorate... and not very gargantuan-- than he does about any substantive policy agenda. Wednesday no one much noticed that Trump was relegated to #2 in a poll of Wisconsin Republicans. No one took much note... Maybe people thought that nothing matters but the early states anyway, which Wisconsin is not among, or that the poll was an outlier or that Badger State Republicans are angry that Trump humiliated their hapless governor. Trump isn't just at number 2 in Wisconsin, he's tied with Rubio for number 2. Talk about humiliating! (Although not as humiliating as poor Jeb's position, tied with Huckabee and Kasich for 6th place with 3%!)

And that's where Quinnipiac comes in. Iowa Republicans... important. And Trump has been #1 there for as long as anyone alive can remember. No more. Today he was tweeting-- a tweet he later removed (UPDATE: scroll to the bottom of the post to see the actual retweet that Trump removed and then refused to take responsibility for)-- about how Iowa Republicans have breathed in too much Monsanto fertilizer to think straight. (When he took down the tweet, he blamed "a young intern." Do young interns use Trump's twitter account? You would have guessed?) The problem for Trump in Iowa is that even Republican women are disgusted with him and they put Carson, who actually wants to abolish Medicare, in the lead with 28%, up 7 points over all since mid-September. Trump fell down 7 points to 20% (second place)-- and with only 12% for Trump among Republicans with a college degree. Rubio's at 13% and Cruz has 10%. The rest of the field is as pathetic as ever-- Rand Paul at 6%, Jeb tied with Fiorina at 5%... everyone else at 3% or wishing they were at 3%.
Carson tops Trump 33 - 13 percent among women. Men are divided as 25 percent back Carson and 24 percent go with Trump.

Trump tops the "no way" list as 30 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants say they "would definitely not support" him for the GOP nomination. Bush is next on this "no way" list with 21 percent.

For 28 percent of Republican Caucus-goers a candidate who shares their values is most important, while 23 percent most want a candidate who is honest and trustworthy.

Carson shares their values, 84 percent of Republicans say, and 89 percent say he is honest and trustworthy, topping the GOP field for both qualities.

"It's Ben Carson's turn in the spotlight," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"As they've been pondering for six months, many in the political world still are trying to understand Carson's appeal and how someone who seems to be operating outside the traditional news media/political environment is doing so well among the most conservative GOP voters."

"Today's results show his appeal is especially strong among the state's sizeable white, evangelical Christian community, among whom Carson is receiving 36 percent, twice Trump's 17 percent," Brown added.

"Those who know Carson seem to like him. He has an almost unheard of 84 - 10 percent favorability rating among likely Republican Caucus-goers, compared to Trump's 53 - 43 percent rating. To borrow the line from Madison Avenue, 'Almost no one doesn't like Ben Carson.'"

Carson cares about their needs and problems, 87 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants say, the highest mark among any GOP candidate.
And it wasn't only women who did Trump in. White evangelicals, a very key vote in Iowa, gave Carson a big boost. 36% of them are backing him, while only 17%-- less than half of Carson's share-- back Trump. A few more polls like this and he's out of here. The Republican Establishment may not even have to unleash their murderous plans against him! Remember, he's not a masochist.
"If [polls] changed, and that went in a different direction and if I thought that I wasn't going to win, like there are numerous people running, they’re not going to win, okay? I would certainly want to get out. I'm not a masochist. I'm not somebody that needs to do this for other reasons. Right now, I'm loving it. I’m having a lot of fun."

Less fun will be the on-going breaking news about the shady SuperPAC that was supporting his campaign. Here at DWT we've been yelling about this for months. It was obvious since August that there was something fishy going on with the Make America Great Again SuperPAC and, with the release of the third quarter financial numbers, it looked like something had to give. What's giving is Trump's SuperPAC, which he always kind of hinted didn't exist anyway, even though he was illegally rounding up contributions for it. Late yesterday, Eli Stokols, writing for Politico, reported that it's "shutting down amidst increasing scrutiny of its ties to Trump’s campaign."
Mike Ciletti, a Republican operative based in Colorado, reportedly used contact information obtained from a top Trump aide to reach out to prospective donors.

Ciletti told Politico that his decision Thursday to shut down the organization, which he launched in July in an effort to boost Trump’s candidacy, is an attempt “to erase any questions as to whether he has a super PAC.”

“Mr. Trump has said he doesn’t have a super PAC,” Ciletti continued. “So to honor his wishes, I’m shutting my organization down.”

Ciletti declined to say how much money he was able to raise in roughly four months or whether anyone specifically asked him to shut the organization down. He plans to refund contributions after making sure existing contractual obligations to various vendors (mostly related to voter targeting and advertising) are met.

Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, has insisted that Trump has never blessed or worked with a super PAC, although recent FEC filings revealed that the campaign directed hard dollars to two Colorado-based companies both affiliated with Ciletti.

The campaign paid $33,000 to DC Connect, an Aurora-based company Ciletti founded, for telemarketing from May through July; and it paid $56,000 to WizBang Solutions, a Commerce City-based printing company where Ciletti is the director--both payments first reported by the Washington Post.

"This suggestion that we're doing something wrong is a double-standard," Ciletti said. "I know there’s a common vendor clause, but Jeb Bush has a common fundraiser," he said, referring to the fact that both Bush's campaign and his separate Right to Rise super PAC have made payments to an LLC registered to the address of Bush's campaign fundraiser.

UPDATE: And Yet Another Poll Paints A Grim Picture For Trump

This morning the Des Moines Iowa Poll was released and the headline was that Trump was the biggest loser. Carson had 28%-- up 10 points-- and Trump just 19%-- down 4 points. Everyone will be waiting to see how he can handle being branded a loser; probably not well.

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At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

After Trump's WICKED Monsanto Iowa crack, I heard GOPer heads exploding. Awesome sauce.


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