Mike Flynn

Mike Flynn

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Top-Polling GOP Candidates Participate In First Republican Presidential Debate

Jeb! Has a Likability Problem

While certain segments of the Republican political establishment may see Jeb Bush as an obvious candidate for President, the majority of the voting public seems to have moved on. Bush’s current struggles in the polls aren’t simply a factor of the Trump phenomenon, but the inevitable result of the voters simply not liking Bush that much.

Cigarette-Packs_Reuters

Pennsylvania Hooked on Cigarette Taxes

Last year, Pennsylvania enacted a $2-a-pack cigarette tax in the City of Philadelphia to help bail out the city’s troubled school system. The tax came into affect on October 1st, but the state is already moving to increase cigarette taxes statewide. Sin taxes are the last fix for profligate legislators addicted to government spending.

REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS

IL GOP Official Funds Planned Parenthood Despite Lack of Budget

While the state has been dragged in and out of federal court over the past three months over its failure to comply with a consent decree reimbursing care for the developmentally disabled, the Republican appointed Comptroller, Leslie Munger, has authorized more than $1 million in grants to Planned Parenthood. The state payments were “grants,” according to the Comptroller’s records, so the money doesn’t appear to be tied to any Medicaid or other federal payment mandates.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

PPP Slips Into Campaign Messaging

PPP – Public Policy Polling – is unique, however, in that they use their polling, and their perceived record of accuracy, to actively push a Democrat agenda. On Tuesday, PPP made its first effort to try to affect the GOP primary contest, rather than simply measuring its state of play. It ventured into the world of messaging by also asking voters whether or not they thought Barack Obama was a Muslim or if they believed he was born in the United States.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Republican Voters To Go Nuclear in September

Keep in mind, much of this groundswell against the Republican establishment has occurred in August, while Congress has been in recess. Next week, however, Congress returns to tackle, among other items, Obama’s deal to lift sanctions on Iran and government spending for the year. Another replay of Republican leaders tendency to avoid confrontation with Obama will super-charge outsiders’ momentum.

SCOTT OLSON/Getty Images

In Iowa, Republican Politicians Need Not Apply

A new Monmouth University poll of likely caucus-goers in Iowa confirms what anecdotes suggest; base Republican voters have a serious problem with their own elected officials. The top four candidates in the Republican primary, three of whom have never held elective office, together win the support of 65 percent of Republicans in the state.

South Carolina

Dr. Ben Carson Gains Steam in Iowa

A new Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll finds Carson closing the gap with frontrunner Trump. Carson has 18 percent support among likely caucus-goers, while Trump has 23 percent support. Combining the first and second choices of voters shows the two men tied at 32 percent.

Hillary Vegas top

Hillary Collapses to 37 Percent in Iowa

The 2008 Democrat nomination was permanently reshuffled when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucus. Obama’s win surprised pundits at the time, but a new poll from Bloomberg/Des Moines Register suggests another Hillary defeat is possible. This potential upset is being broadcast five months early.

Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, John Kasich

Rubio, Paul, Walker Gasping for Oxygen

At the end of May, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio led the GOP field. He was followed closely by Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Walker and Rubio were close to tied, given the margin of error. Donald Trump was in the back of the pack, polling behind former New York Gov. George Pataki.

Mariachi musicians sing and play serenadas as they go from house to house to encourage people to come to vote on election day in the predominantly Latino Sun Valley district of Los Angeles on November 6, 2012. From Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans to Cuban Americans, the more than 12 million Hispanic Americans eligible to vote could hold the keys to the White House. AFP PHOTO /JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read

Republicans Chasing An Hispanic Unicorn

For almost a decade, the Republican party has interpreted losses at the ballot box as its inability to attract Hispanic voters. This, in turn, is blamed on segments of the conservative wing of the party whose rhetoric allegedly turns off Hispanic voters. When conservatives empower a Republican victory, as in 2004, 2010 or 2014, the win is dismissed as almost an aberration. Oh, that victory you have there is because Hispanics didn’t vote, Republican leaders imply.

Candidates For President Attend Iowa Democrat's Wing Ding Dinner

Independents Don’t Trust or Like Hillary Clinton

Hillary is still popular with Democrats and continues to post a strong lead in the race for the Democrat nomination. Less than 30 percent of Independents, though, have a favorable impression of Clinton. Just over 60 percent have an unfavorable view of her. Fewer than 1-in-10 Independents aren’t sure how they view her, meaning she will have to change voters’ minds about her to be competitive next November.

GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Campaigns In Iowa

The GOP’s Serious Political Problem

The unmistakable trend in current polling for the nomination is that the closer candidates are perceived to be to the GOP leadership, the less support they have from Republican voters. The top two candidates in the RealClearPolitics average of polls are Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, released Thursday, the two candidates command 40% of support out of a crowded field of 17 candidates.

Vice President Joe Biden arrives at the West Executive entrance for the Presidential Daily Briefing with President Obama at the White House on August 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. Biden has not yet announced whether he will enter the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by

Joe Biden Trumps Hillary Clinton Against GOP in New Poll

A new poll from Quinnipiac suggests the speculation about a possible presidential run by Vice President Joe Biden isn’t going away as we pass Labor Day. While Hillary Clinton still leads the race for the Democrat nomination, Biden performs better against potential GOP rivals than Clinton. The existential challenge for Clinton is that she is considered the least honest and trustworthy of any candidate running, in either party. Almost 70 percent of Independent voters don’t consider her honest.

Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, John Kasich

State GOP Asserts Control Over Nominating Process

The national political dialogue is centered on which candidate is up or down in various national, and specific state level, polls. Yet when voting begins in about 5 months, the path to the Republican nomination won’t be as simple as coming out on top in final polling, or even voting on election day. First, a candidate must survive a complex nominating process.

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange reads from his monitor August 24, 2015 in New York. US stocks finished sharply lower Monday, but far above the session's floor, following a bruising day in global financial markets sparked by mounting worries over the Chinese economy. US stocks have now dropped five straight days, but analysts warned of more turmoil possibly ahead. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read

Market Yields to Economic Reality

While the massive sell-offs in China may be the catalyst for the current turmoil, the market downturns are long overdue. Over the last 7 years, the markets have been driven higher by unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus. The underlying economy has never caught up to the historically high valuations in the stock market. As the economist Herb Stein dryly noted, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” A stock market separated from fundamental economic reality cannot go on forever. It is stopping.

A general view of the 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' marquee under construction on August 14, 2015 in New York City.

Jeb! Raffles Tickets to Stephen Colbert Show

Jeb’s raffle is a brutal reminder that the presumptive frontrunner doesn’t understand the party he is seeking to lead into the next Presidential contest. Colbert has played a significant role in dumbing-down political discourse in this country. His celebrity is based on his success skewering conservatives on his eponymous Comedy Central show. While his show was never a ratings success, it played a pivotal role in establishing media narratives against conservative politicians and conservative policy positions.

: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 24, 2015 in New York City. As the global economy continues to react from events in China, markets dropped significantly around the world on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly dropped over 1000 points in morning trading. (Photo by

2016 Will Be a Crisis Election

The 2016 election is very likely to be a crisis election, with voters looking for leadership in an anxious world. Another financial crisis, or a series of crises, seems certain to dominate the next Presidential election. The slowing of growth in China, the devaluation of its currency and the exhaustion of Central Bank printing presses will wreck havoc on world markets and lead to multiple bankruptcies.

Hillary Vegas top

Reuters: Hillary Clinton Below 50 Percent in National Dem Poll

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders registered his highest support ever in the Reuters poll, winning the support of 23 percent of Democrats. Vice-President Joe Biden, who isn’t a candidate (yet), earns the support of 12 percent of Democrats. Almost 10 percent of Democrats say they wouldn’t vote in the primary, given the current choice of candidates. In other words, “none of the above” is currently running 4th in the Democrat primary, just behind a candidate who isn’t running and ahead of three who are.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Hillary Clinton Funder: Pancakes, $5K a Couple

When she launched her campaign for President, Hillary made income inequality one of her central themes. “The deck is stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton said. “Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion.” Collecting almost a cool million for pancakes pretty much defines the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush Has Everything Except Voter Support

In Iowa, Jeb Bush is in 7th place. In New Hampshire, which was expected to be the strongest of the early states for him, he is in 3rd. In South Carolina he is in second, but with almost one-third the support of the frontrunner. Interestingly, the South Carolina polls were taken before the first GOP debate, when the Trump boomlet gathered steam.

Donald Trump

Flash: Donald Trump Used to Be a Democrat

Just a few weeks ago, professional Republican strategists predicted that Trump would already be heading for the exits. Almost 60 percent said he would bow out of the race before the end of the year. That hasn’t happened. So, on Wednesday, predicted frontrunner Jeb Bush launched his first direct attack on Trump. “He has given more money to Democrats than he’s given to Republicans.”

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Democrats Battle to Bail-Out Higher Ed

All the Democrat candidates’ plans quibble over how one pays for college, rather than looking at the higher education system itself. In many ways, the Democrats’ plans for college are similar to the party’s approach on any policy issues. Their debates, whether the issue is health care or housing, are over who will pick up the tab for the policy, not whether the underlying challenge itself needs reform or change.

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