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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Kneel at the feet of Hillary Clinton

For those who think there are too many candidates in the Republican presidential field, contrast it with the Democrats, who basically now have a one-woman race.

With Joe Biden’s announcement that he won’t be running against Hillary, Clinton is a virtual lock for the Bernie Sanders Hillary ClintonDemocratic nod. Not that Biden’s presence would’ve knocked Hillary off track – it wouldn’t have -- but it at least would have provided an alternative choice for Democrat voters.

Jim Webb left the contest a couple days ago, the Democrats’ only moderate spokesman. Now with Biden opting out, the only potential “voice of reason” is gone with him (and that’s not exactly saying much, considering Biden is a proven liberal – but at least he would concede a point every now and then).

And ‘ol lunch bucket Joe is a likeable guy, isn’t he?

In the remaining Democrat debates, Hillary will be trying to out-socialist Bernie Sanders to shore up support on the Left, which is the only viewpoint Democrats seem to tolerate these days. Sanders may draw crowds and money with his “I’m a proud socialist” routine, but make no mistake – he’s got no chance. He’s too “out there” even for most American Democrats.

Conservatives can only hope the recent polls showing Hillary as a very beatable candidate are true, because she’s going to be the one we’re running against next year.

We’ll need a principled conservative to oppose her, too.

Another poll shows Donald Trump way out in front

With Hillary in control on the D-side, the Republican race also seems solidly in Donald Trump’s hands. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Trump with a commanding 11-point lead – and The Donald registers an impressive one-third support in the survey.

John Hayward of Breitbart reports, “[The poll] has Donald Trump still firmly in the lead at 33 percent, Ben Carson ticking up a bit in second place at 22 percent, and Senator Sen. Marco Rubio likewise edging up a few points for third place at 10 percent.

“The second tier consists of Jeb Bush at 7, Senator Sen. Ted Cruz at 6, and Carly Fiorina coming out of a remarkable post-debate nose dive to land at 5 percent. None of the other candidates drew more than 3 percent in the poll.”

Hayward also notes 42% of poll respondents now believe Trump will win the nomination – and they see him as prevailing in the general election as well. The Donald also rates high in the “understands the problems of people like you” category.

“This drives home one of the things many political pundits can’t seem to grasp about Trump’s appeal, because he’s so flamboyant and ostentatious in his wealth: people identify with him,” Hayward writes. “They think he understands their anxieties and ambitions. They feel the same sense of identification with Carson.”

Like Mitt Romney, Donald Trump is a wealthy man. But unlike Mitt, Trump doesn’t appear to be uncomfortable around common folks. In fact, Trump doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable… well, ever. The media calls Trump’s persona “bombast,” but apparently Americans see it as confidence and leadership.

The ABC/WP poll gives Trump a bigger lead than the recent CNN and NBC surveys, but the difference isn’t striking. With polling the way it is, it’s conceivable there’s some variation depending on sample. The main point being all the polls agree The Donald is ahead – the only question is by how much.

Some are even asking whether it’s time to admit Trump is going to win.

I don’t think so, yet. The Republican race is far from a one-candidate coronation like the Democrats’ – but it certainly looks to be coming down to Trump versus Carson… and everybody else. This very unusual election finds people looking outside the system for candidates who look like they can change it. Until that belief fades, the “outsiders” will remain in the lead.

Should we be making real decisions based on shaky polls?

Not everyone is convinced the polls are legitimate.

Erick Erickson of Ericontheradio.com argues the sample size in the CNN poll, for example, is far too small to present a realistic picture of the national mood – at least when these polls are used to determine debate participation.

“What does not get noticed in the poll is that the Republicans surveyed nationally are just 298 self-described Republicans who are registered to vote. That is not likely voters.

“More so, there are an additional 167 independents who lean Republican and are registered to vote who make up the voter pool of Republicans in the poll. That portion of the poll has a margin of error of ±4.5%.

“This is not an indictment of the poll, but I think it has to be an indictment of the process. We’re going to include and exclude people on a debate stage based on a poll where someone at 5% could really be at 0.5% and where someone at 0.5% could be at 5%.”

Erickson thinks the polling isn’t presenting the real picture, especially since it’s been so off in recent years – at least where conservatives are concerned.

I’ve talked about the problems involved with getting large enough samples and the difficulty of finding poll participants, but we can’t forget that these surveys are put together by professionals who make a living out of sampling public opinion.

It’s hard to call a horse race strictly on poll numbers, but if they all agree on the total picture, something must be right. Some argue the polls aren’t reaching real voters and that many of Donald Trump’s supporters won’t end up voting.

We’ve heard it all before. Add the polls to the information soup we’re getting and digest what you think is real. It’s only a shame that a candidate like Bobby Jindal won’t be getting an opportunity to present his ideas face-to-face with the others, but there’s not much that can be done about it at this point.

Romney says as traditional media fails, “insurgents” rise

As if bashing polls wasn’t enough for one day, now we have a prominent Republican political figure lamenting the demise of “traditional” media – and how it’s led to “insurgents” taking over the parties.

That prominent politician is Mitt Romney.

Tony Lee of Breitbart reports, “Romney told David Axelrod on a recent ‘The Axe Files’ podcast that the ‘extremes within our respective parties are having a louder and louder voice and demanding more attention’ and ‘immediate action’ as opposed to more ‘collaborative action.’

“Romney said this phenomenon flows in part from the ‘change in the world of media.’”

Say again, Mitt? Romney is complaining that the mainstream media is failing? Or is he really singling out conservative media?

Romney argued people used to get the same facts from a similar pool of sources – TV networks and newspapers. Now Americans largely get information from the internet, which of course offers a vastly larger menu of choices. Mitt further said people only tend to read what they agree with.

That’s a pretty simple view – and I think it’s wrong for those who are truly informed.

As if Romney’s complaining to ultra-liberal David Axelrod wasn’t enough, he went on CNN’s State of the Union program on Sunday to commend the establishment candidates and their more moderate tone.

Again, Lee reports. “After praising presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Chris Christie on CNN, Romney said there are others who think that the ‘best approach is to see if we can’t find common ground with the people across the aisle. We have Paul Ryan, for instance, that’s willing to work with Democrats,’ Romney said. ‘I think that’s a productive thing.’”

Ah Mitt. If only the niceties of “working together” produced governmental actions that people want instead of being force-fed more liberal big government crap that’s always the end result of such collaborations.

George W. Bush, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have all “worked” with Democrats and look how that’s turned out.

The conservative new media – both online and talk radio – has allowed conservatives to bypass the whitewashing of information by the “traditional” media that Romney wistfully remembers.

If people are angrier these days it’s because we’re smarter and we know politicians can’t be trusted to tell us the truth. It’s not because we no longer have to depend on Walter Cronkite to declare “And that’s the way it is” anymore.

Sorry, Mitt. We don’t want half a loaf if the bread is moldy. Hooray for the insurgents.

Ben Carson’s unequivocal position on gay marriage

Finally today, Ben Carson uttered something that the “traditional” media is bound to jump on.

Al Weaver of the Washington Examiner reports Ben said during an interview with Glenn Beck (in a rapid-fire Q & A session) that June’s Supreme Court decision nationalizing the legalization of same-sex marriage was the “worst decision in 20 years.”

In June, Carson issued a statement saying the Court ruling was the “law of the land.”

There isn’t a contradiction there. Just because he said people should adhere to the will of the Court doesn’t mean it wasn’t an awful decision.

Obviously during a rapid-fire question and answer session, you don’t have a lot of time to equivocate. Carson could easily have answered “Obamacare” and it wouldn’t draw much attention. But bring same-sex marriage into the equation and the media’s sensitive politically correct warning buzzers go off.

Ben isn’t afraid to address cultural issues. It’s yet another reason why he’s doing so well this year.

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