2016 Presidential Primary Update: 6 Weeks Until Iowa
December 23, 2015
Southern Torch (3854 articles)

2016 Presidential Primary Update: 6 Weeks Until Iowa

By Tyler Pruett


With less than six weeks until the Iowa Caucuses and seven weeks until the presidential primaries in New Hampshire, the race for campaign cash and endorsements is coming down to the wire. Polling released this week shows that the front-runners for each party remain the same, but the numbers show noticeable change after each party held debates last week. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton lost ground to Bernie Sanders, and on the Republican, Donald Trump remains the strong front runner. However Sen. Ted Cruz has shown a meteoric rise in support, jumping to 24 percent according to Rasmussen. In post-debate news, sparring between the Clinton and Trump campaigns has turned ugly, with vulgar comments and unsubstantiated claims from both sides. The broad Republican field also narrowed slightly, with Sen. Lindsey Graham dropping out, telling CNN that, “we’re going to have to start consolidating as Republicans.”

In last Tuesday’s Republican debate, much of the issues revolved around national security, surveillance, and immigration. Though most of the two hours were spent either criticizing Trump or Trump defending his own positions. While he faced criticism from virtually all his competitors on his controversial views, the real estate mogul conceded none. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led most of the attacks against Trump without seeing any significant gain in post debate polling. His campaign has experienced a steady decline in support throughout the last few months as it has struggled to maintain visibility among establishment Republicans while attacking anti-establishment candidates. Gov. Chris Christie, though maintaining low support, experienced a significant jump after a strong debate performance. Senators Cruz and Rubio sparred on the issues of immigration and national security, with Cruz seeing an increase in support after the debate.

Saturday night’s Democratic debate displayed much of the same issues brought up by the moderators, but the candidates themselves steering the conversation in a different direction. While questions were asked about national security, which has been foremost in importance to Americans, candidates addressed issues of income inequality, their own campaign financing, and also criticised the Republican front-runner over recent statements regarding barring Muslims from entering the United States. In her most memorable debate comment, Clinton stated on Trump, “They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims to recruit more radical jihadists.” The real estate mogul responded at a rally this week that, “she’s a liar and everyone knows that,” along with remarks that aren’t fitting to include in this article that many see as sexist. Although no evidence of the Islamic State using Trump’s comments exist, the Clinton Camp doubled down this week, but provided no evidence to substantiate her claims.

Quinnipiac released national polling this week showing not only support for candidates in their respective primaries, but also potential head-to-head matchups for the general election in November. While Trump has recently claimed that he’s beating Clinton in national polls, this new data shows him a full 7 percent behind the former Secretary of State. Other Republicans fare much better, with Cruz tied with her at 44 percent and Rubio trailing her by 1 percent, at 44 to 43. When the same candidates are compared to Sanders, Trump trails him by an even higher 13 percent, while both Cruz and Rubio best the Vermont Senator within the margin of error. Fox News announced the final Republican debate, which will be taking place on January 28 at 8 p.m. Central Time, a mere four days before Iowa. The two-hour debate will undoubtedly be the most important, as the Iowa Caucuses will be held the following Monday.

Southern Torch

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