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    Reader Poll Tag

    Last week,  Quinnipiac reported poll results for Iowa that showed Ted Cruz surging to 23%, only 2 points behind Donald Trump. The Wall Street Journal reported:
    A new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican caucus goers showed Mr. Cruz with 23%, behind only New York real estate developer Donald Trump, with 25%. That is more than double Mr. Cruz’s showing of 10% in the university’s October poll. Mr. Trump gained five points from October.
    Today, Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, tweeted the following: https://twitter.com/RichLowry/status/673236631231533056 More Twitter responses:

    I think we saw this movie before. It's called Scott Walker. A near total collapse in polling support in a short period of time with no obvious explanation. This time it's happening to Carly Fiorina. She gained a lot of attention after the Fox News undercard debate, making it into the CNN primetime debate. Fiorina was the near unanimous choice for winner of the debate, and she had a surge in the polls into the teens. Her confrontation with Trump was a winner for her. That support is gone now: Carly Fiorina's time near the top of the Republican polls may have come to an end, as another national CNN/ORC poll out Tuesday suggests. Just 4 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters said they would cast their votes for her in a primary election, down from 15 percent in September. The CNN poll is similar to other polling, as this Real Clear Politics table of all recent polls shows:

    When we kicked off this election cycle, many pundits (including myself) asserted that it would be the "foreign policy election" we've all been waiting for. Our prediction has played out, but with a twist: Americans want to know what the candidates think about ISIS, asylum, and the military, but we're increasingly interested in what the political "outsiders" have to say about them. In fact, we're interested in what they have to say about everything. Whether it's because we crave a fresh perspective, the novelty of the moment, or merely to watch them eventually stumble, the polls show that when Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina---the top 3 outsiders currently charming their way into the inner circle---speak, Americans like what they're hearing. It's not exactly shocking; disenchantment with Beltway politics and political insidership has spread beyond the conservative base and into the broader demographic of primary voters. It's not a matter of those candidates who have more political experience being bad---although you're free to disagree with me about one particular candidate or another---it's just that a candidate who comes from somewhere other than the Beltway seems so much more appealing. Even tea party favorites like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (although Rubio's poll numbers have increased dramatically since the last debate) haven't quite cracked through the wall separating those with an official connection to Washington politics from those who offer a different perspective.

    Last week's CNN debate stirred the pot in what has been a roller coaster of an early primary season. A post-debate CNN poll showed Carly Fiorina surging into second place behind Donald Trump (a 12% jump since early September,) followed closely by Ben Carson. Right now, it's an outsider's race---but how long can it last? The tendency to wax and wane has been a hallmark of the GOP's "outsider" candidates. Their bumps and slides have had less to do with their budding policy plans, and more to do with how they've handled themselves under the extreme pressure of the national spotlight. Trump (for all his faults and foibles,) Fiorina, and Carson have all found their niche in the conversation, and if that was all it takes to become president, we could vote tomorrow and eliminate the primary state middlemen. Alas. As time wears on, primary voters (who are on the whole completely different animals compared to general election voters) will increasingly demand more and more substance from these candidates, and some pundits cite this as the reason the "outsiders" will become supplanted by more politically experienced candidates.

    When the Hillary Clinton email scandal first broke, Hillary's claims that she conducted her entire job as Secretary of State without classified information being transmitted through her private server and email account did not seem plausible to me. I said at the time that there was a Bigger Question: Did Hillary use unsecured email for Classified Info?:
    As Secretary of State, Hillary presumably received classified and other protected information via email at least on occasion, since it was her only email account. That distinguishes her from predecessors, who at least had government email accounts. We need more facts on her usage, but if Hillary maintained classified documents (including emails) on an unclassified computer device and email account, that could raise much more serious issues than the records violation.... As Hillary heads towards the presumptive Democratic nomination for President, we need to know what Hillary did with her email account, and when did she do it.
    Initially, the press accepted at face value Hillary's claim that there was no transmission of classified information from her private server/email account. https://youtu.be/uNgsze5yjG0?t=360 Slowly, it has been revealed that Yes, Hillary’s emails did contain classified information.

    In the past day, things seem to have changed in the Brian Williams story. The investigation of possible lies about being in a helicopter taking fire crossed two rubicons. First, the scope expanded to reports about his claims during Hurricane Katrina. Second, and more important, the mainstream media took up the call, with the NY Times and other outlets doing investigations, including NBC itself. From Twitter to Facebook to blogs to The Grey Lady, everybody seems to want a piece of Brian Williams. It has become internet sport at this point, a piñata onto which everyone is letting go their unrelated frustrations. Under other circumstances, I'd say he'd weather the storm. But this time it's different. Williams now is hurting his peers in the mainstream media, calling into question the honesty and integrity of the mainstream news industry. Brian Williams now is a liability to those who still manage to control so much of the narrative. Will he stay or will he go? UPDATE 2-7-2015 4:20 p.m. Eastern -- Williams announced he is removing himself from the daily broadcast for a few days. Not sure this changes our poll question. He hasn't resigned or been fired. Could just be strategic, hoping a week from now this has all blown over, like the vapor trails from the rocket fired, er, at his helicopter. (Poll open until Midnight Pacific Time, Saturday, February 7)
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