GOP loyalty oath proposal in Virginia may signal trouble for Donald Trump

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump is winning over women in key primary states, polls show.

RICHMOND — The Virginia Republican Party is considering requiring a loyalty oath from presidential primary contenders — a move widely considered an early sign of GOP skittishness about Donald Trump’s campaign. According to a report in Extra TV, genealogy experts say Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton — the front-runners for the Republican and Democratic presidential nomination — share a common ancestor from England 18 generations ago.Pollster Frank Luntz was left in absolute astonishment Monday night by the results of a focus group who espoused support for Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, despite watching a series of video clips which some might use to undermine his campaign.

New polls conducted in the key early-primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina show the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump not only with large leads over the rest of the GOP field, but with robust support among groups that had not previously shown strong backing for him, such as evangelical Christians and women. State party officials are debating whether to require candidates to pledge their support to the eventual nominee and promise not to run as a third-party candidate — as Trump has hinted he might do. Citing MyHeritage.com’s genealogy site Geni.com, the common ancestors are John of Gaunt, the duke of Lancaster, and third wife Katherine Swynford at the end of the 14th century — a century before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Patty Murray (Wash.), an influential member of Democratic leadership, endorsed the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday in a lengthy statement that voiced some doubts of the plan’s efficacy but gave a strong overall backing for the outline.

The numbers arrived just as Trump let loose with fresh attacks on Republican rivals, including the former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and on media figures, including Fox News host Megyn Kelly. The group was made up of 23 white people, three black people and three Hispanics — mostly college educated and financially comfortable. “You guys understand how significant this is?” Luntz reportedly asked the press, who observed the polling, after the results were in. “This is real.

Murray became the 29th Democrat in the Senate to back the plan, with only two Democrats declared in opposition, putting the White House on the cusp of ensuring President Obama can fully implement the pact lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear development. In a continuation of a feud with Kelly that began at the first presidential debate, when she asked him about his past “disparaging comments about women’s looks”, Trump disparaged Kelly’s appearance on Twitter on Monday night, retweeting a post that said Kelly had returned to her show after a hiatus “looking like Nancy Grace”, the legal commentator.

But it also is being debated cautiously by Republicans who worry that it could backfire and breed resentment among activists who are suspicious of attempts by the GOP establishment to control the party. One big reason: They are drawn by the bravado of a can-do tycoon more than policy, which helps explain why out-of-the-box comments that analysts have predicted would sink him so far have instead made his brand stronger. Obama’s opponents need to win over 11 of the remaining 15 Senate Democrats who have not declared their positions on the deal, or else those opposed to it will fall short of the two-thirds majority they need to override the president’s veto of their legislation disapproving of the agreement.

A poll of “usual Republican voters” in New Hampshire by left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) found Trump attracting 35% support, well beyond that of the runner-up, John Kasich, the Ohio governor, who was on 11%. Most of all, the idea — which began to circulate the morning after the first GOP debate, when Trump indicated that he wouldn’t rule out an independent run — signals growing concern about the businessman, who has electrified the Republican field with his flamboyant and controversial candidacy.

This is not going away,” said Frank Luntz, a longtime consultant to Republicans, independents such as Ross Perot and the news media, which questioned the 29 voters for more than two hours. “This isn’t Perot. If a veto override fight is not even required — which I still think is unlikely, but possible — that would be a very big victory for the deal’s supporters, and a big loss for AIPAC and its opponents. In South Carolina, a Monmouth University poll of likely voters found Trump with a 30%-15% lead over neurosurgeon Ben Carson, his nearest rival in the state. Be part of the team.” “I don’t know anything about pledges,” he said. “A lot of people have ideas about pledges and most of them don’t get followed through, like a pledge of ‘no new taxes, read my lips’ ” — a shot at candidate Jeb Bush’s father, George H.W. Their half-siblings and their descendants included several kings of England. “Their 19th great grandfather is King Edward III [John’s father] so there is precedent for ruling a country, it’s in their genes,” A.J.

This is so much stronger than Perot,” added Luntz, who ran the focus group. “He’s doing better than anyone acknowledges.” The voters from Maryland, Virginia and Washington – 23 of whom still support Trump and six who have moved on but appeared to still like him – used words such as “leader,” “tough,” “bombastic,” “rash” and “not politically correct” to describe him. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” Luntz continued, according to Time. “Donald Trump is punishment to a Republican elite that wasn’t listening to their grassroots.” “We love our country and we love what our country stands for,” one woman told Time. “I look at where we are now as a country where entitlements are just totally out of control. Evangelical Christians in the poll backed Trump over Carson 33%-15%, and women backed Trump 25%-18%. “Congrats @LindseyGrahamSC,” Trump tweeted gleefully at the senior senator from the state, who is also running for president and who has been a lacerating Trump critic. “You just got 4 points in your home state of SC—far better than zero nationally. Opponents of the Iran deal aren’t expecting the Congressional vote next month to go their way, but they are already planning for the day after their loss. You’re only 26 pts behind me.” Graham responded sharply in a CNN interview Tuesday, accusing Trump of “demagoguery” and saying that he would best Trump in a head-to-head matchup. “The way he attacks women is going to be a death blow to the future of our party,” Graham said. “Come to South Carolina and I’ll beat his brains out.

I know my state.” Early polling in presidential elections – election day is 441 days away – has in the past been weakly predictive, with other factors such as party support being more important. Every time you shoot at him, he just keeps getting bigger and stronger — it doesn’t affect him,” said Steve Albertson, a member of the Virginia GOP’s governing board. “There’s some risk if we do something like this, some of the folks aiming directly at Trump may regret it.” According to Politico, which first reported the loyalty oath story, Ken Cuccinelli II, a former Virginia attorney general who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2013, has been shopping the idea to party activists.

Trump, who has said that he might switch from running as a Republican to running as an independent if he fails to win the GOP nomination, has not attracted wide support among Republican officials, elected or unelected. One man said he really wants someone to change the way Washington works, and that he’s disappointed after twice voting for President Barack Obama. “I really thought he could change things,” the man said. “Now I’m really skeptical about politicians.” Several did say they were concerned about Trump’s comments, most notably about women. In a local television interview last week, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, said of Trump’s run: “I don’t think it’s a very serious candidacy, frankly.” Trump also came under fire on Monday from Bush, who performed shabbily in the most recent polls. I support the Virginia sore-loser law that prevents candidates that lose a primary from running third-party.” Republicans have recently sought to expand rather than restrict access to the presidential ballot. After several candidates did not make the Virginia ballot in 2012, the state legislature cut in half the number of signatures they must collect to do so, said Mike Thomas, vice chairman of the state GOP.

Another, a military wife, said she likes Trump but stopped supporting him, at least for now, because he hasn’t said how he would do all the things he promises. “I find him exciting,” she said. “But I want to see actual policies. During a visit to a Texas border town, Bush said Trump’s plan on immigration was “unrealistic” and recommended that the developer read a book that he, Bush, had written on the subject. He has called for doing away with the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to any child born in the U.S. regardless of the parents’ legal standing. None of the campaigns have complained to date.” Less clear is how far party leaders are willing to go to stop Trump from participating in the process, or whether the national GOP is willing to step in at some point to ensure that he is allowed to move forward.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus recently told a Wisconsin television station that Trump is a “net positive” who “brings a lot of interest in the Republican field.” In Virginia, rules already may prevent an independent bid. The state Department of Elections requires all candidates to sign a form promising their “name will appear on the presidential general election ballot only if I am nominated by the political party in whose presidential primary I am participating.” In addition, state election law says that if a candidate running for any level of elected office is defeated in the primary, his or her name will not be printed on the ballots for that office’s general election.

Notwithstanding existing law, Whitbeck said he put discussion of a pledge on the agenda for next month’s meeting in the interest of transparency — and not to incite Trump. Yes, she took her husband’s last name and generally muted her feminism in Arkansas after his shocking re-election defeat in 1980, and gave up her public-interest law career to make ends meet (Arkansas governors were the worst-paid in the country).

But one Republican insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic, said the party is highlighting the rule to box in Trump, whose swipes against illegal immigrants have been an “unmitigated disaster” for a party trying to expand its outreach to minority voters. Soon after, Wall Street soared, sustaining a years-long hot streak, at which point the right quickly decided the major indexes weren’t important anymore. The intensity of support for Trump stunned Luntz as he emerged from the two-hour session. “My legs are shaking,” he told reporters. “He’s not going away. . . .

Carson had the best favorability among the GOP candidates; 62 percent said they have a favorable impression of him and 17 percent said they have an unfavorable impression. He leads with Tea Party voters (44%), men (39%), independents (36%), conservatives (36%), voters who are most concerned about electability (35%), both younger voters and seniors (at 34% with each), evangelicals (32%), women (30%), and moderates (29%).

Of course, Sanders isn’t also leading nationally and in multiple other states, as Trump is. * And Trump picks up the much-coveted endorsement of David Duke. According to the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, Trump is “saying what no other Republicans have said.” And in this case, that’s an attribute!

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