As the three remaining Democratic candidates make final preparations for tonight's debate in Charleston, SC (9 PM ET on NBC), a new poll from that network, in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal shows Hillary Clinton with a commanding national lead over her closest challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
While recent polls indicate a very competitive start to the election calendar, the states after that are currently looking much more favorable for Clinton. This is borne out by the 25 point lead she has over Sanders in today's poll. In fact, Clinton's lead has grown 6% from the last NBC/WSJ poll:
As noted, the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire are much closer, with Sanders leading in most recent New Hampshire polling. The challenge for the Sanders campaign will be to close strongly and outperform expectations in those two early states, hoping that the added visibility this will bring will begin to move the needle in his direction. As of now --where polling is available -- Clinton has a large lead in Nevada and South Carolina, as well as the many states that will vote on Super Tuesday March 1st.
Nearly two in three respondents to the overnight 270toWin straw poll said Donald Trump had won the Fox Business Republican debate. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were roughly tied for second, far back at around 10%. The remainder of the seven participants were selected by fewer than 5% of respondents.
A recap of some media voices:
CNN: Trump gave his best debate performance of the campaign while Christie delivered the strongest among the establishment candidates. Bush may have 'won' on policy points, but nobody seems to care.
Politico: Cruz 'out-bullied' Trump while Carson surgically removed himself from contention.
New York Times: Cruz outmaneuvered everyone on stage, establishing that his surging candidacy is not a fluke.
Los Angeles Times: Trump sailed above the other candidates who often acted with visible desperation to attract attention.
Fox News: While the GOP field still has 12 candidates, the debate showed it's down to Trump vs. Cruz in, the first tier, with Rubio, Bush, Christie and Kasich in tier two, competing for the establishment slot coming out of February voting.
Who do you think won the January 14, 2016 Fox Business Republican debate? Vote now in our straw poll.
As the Republican candidate (except for Rand Paul) gather for tonight's Fox Business-hosted debates in Charleston, national polling continues to show Donald Trump well ahead of his nearest challengers. In an NBC News / WSJ poll out this afternoon, Trump had 33%, a 13 point lead over Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson were also in double digits.
Trump has gained 6 points since the prior NBC News / WSJ poll last month, while Cruz, Rubio and Bush each lost 2 points. Ben Carson gained a point, a rare bit of good news in recent polling.
Seven candidates will take the stage in the main debate tonight at 9 PM Eastern. That's two less than last month's CNN debate. Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul didn't make the cut.
The undercard debate starts at 6PM. Carly Fiorina will be joined by Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
An NBC News/Marist Iowa Poll out this morning shows Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders just 3% behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; within the poll's margin of error. This is the first Iowa poll of 2016 and comes just three weeks prior to the state's February 1 caucuses. Clinton remains well ahead in our Iowa poll average, so it remains to be seen if this latest poll is an outlier or a shift toward Sanders.
O'Malley to miss next debate?
The next Democratic debate, hosted by NBC, is scheduled for next Sunday, January 17 at 9PM ET in Charleston, South Carolina. To qualify, candidates must reach 5% nationally or in one of the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina in the five most recent polls recognized by NBC as of January 14th. CNN reports O'Malley is at exactly 5% in Iowa but missing the mark in the other states and nationally. (We show O'Malley averaging 6.4% in Iowa; NBC doesn't use Gravis Marketing polls in its average).
Working in O'Malley's favor: he averaged 5% in today's NBC Iowa poll (out after the CNN article) and the fact that the network has indicated they will round up from 4.5%. It's not like the Democratic debate stage is crowded; we suspect he'll be included.
Our new interactive Senate map is now live. This three-part map will let you view the current Senate, create and share your 2016 forecast and see the impact on the 2017 Senate.
Check out these features and tips for more informaton on the functionality of the map.
Please take a look and use the comment section below to let us know what you think.
Happy Presidential Election New Year! There are 312 days until the 2016 presidential election. This year will also see contests for all 435 House seats as well as 12 gubernatorial contests. Republicans currently hold the House with 246 seats (218 needed for control) and control 31 of the 50 state executive chairs.
Republicans also control the Senate, with 54 of the 100 seats. Unlike the House, where Republicans will most likely hold power, the Senate is once again up for grabs. Republicans gained control in 2014, when most seats up were held by Democrats. The situation is reversed this year, with 24 of the 34 elections held by Republican incumbents. Outside the presidential election, this will be the most interesting area to watch and forecast.
To that end, we've been busy upgrading our interactive Senate map. The new map, which we hope to launch in the next couple weeks, will be three maps in one. You'll be able to look at the current Senate, make your forecast for the 2016 Senate elections and then view the composition of the 2017 Senate based on your predictions.
It will also be easier to share the map via social media or embed an image into a web page.
Former New York Governor George Pataki, who struggled to gain traction in a very crowded Republican field, is reportedly going to end his campaign.
If true, this will leave 12 candidates vying for the party's 2016 nomination.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, running a distant third in the Democratic presidential field, drew just one person - a man named Kenneth - to an event in Iowa on Monday, the Hill reports.
Despite the one-on-one time, O'Malley was unable to convince Kenneth to vote for him at the Iowa caucus, although he did have some nice things to say about the candidate.
A snowstorm had other candidates cancelling their events.
According to Politico, Fox Business will announce qualifying criteria for the next Republican debate on Tuesday. The main stage could see as few as six participants. Those who place in the top 6 nationally based on the 5 most recent recognized polls as of January 11 will qualify. If any other candidate is in the top 5 in New Hampshire or Iowa based on recent state polls, they will also qualify.
Once again, there will be a preliminary debate. In this case, those with 1% in one or more of five recognized polls will qualify.
As of now, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie would qualify based on the 270toWin average of recent polls. Note that these may not be the same polls used by Fox.
The debates will be held January 14 in North Charleston, SC.
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