What Fox News Just Did Is A Game Changer For The Republican Presidential Field

There’s been a ton of speculation recently about which GOP candidates would make the cut for the first presidential debate to be hosted by Fox News on August 6. Some have even wondered whether certain candidates have tried to up their game and increase their chances by sharpening their rhetoric — witness Lindsey Graham’s repeated shots at Donald Trump, referring to him as a “wrecking ball” who is “selling fear and prejudice.”

Now, thanks to a big change just announced by Fox News, Graham and other low-ranking Republican contenders for the nomination will have a chance to make their case on TV in just about a week. Politico reports that the cable network will have an early debate that’s open to all contenders who haven’t polled high enough to qualify for the prime-time event.

“The change amounts to an insurance policy for candidates who were in danger of being disqualified from the vital first debate based on low polls — Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).” Politico notes that this change means all 16 announced candidates will get important TV time on the debate stage in Cleveland. Based on current polling, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would also be in the lower-tier of debaters appearing in the earlier time slot on Fox News.

Prior to the rules change, the network was reserving the stage for only those candidates tallying at least 1 percent in national preference polls.

According to a Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, the current top 10 for the Fox News prime-time debate would likely be:

Donald Trump, former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.), Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), Sen. Rubio (Fla.), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.), Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.), and Gov. John Kasich (Ohio).

The early debate is scheduled to last an hour, the later one closer to two hours.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Our Hope Is In God; Wouldn’t You Agree, Senator Cruz?

Despite being founded on the principle of limited, enumerated powers derived from the will of the people and subject to the transcendental Will of the Creator God, the current government in Washington D.C. is now a corrupt corporation acting as an organized criminal enterprise. Departing from its roots, wherein it acknowledged the God of the Bible as the Creator and Lawgiver, it has become Godless and grasping and now has its tentacles in virtually every aspect of our lives.

This situation has been created by the calculated collaboration of both major political parties and will not be solved by any electoral victory by the Republicans. The GOP is not America’s savior.

Recently, I heard an impassioned speech from Texas Senator Ted Cruz, stating: “There is a profound disappointment among the American people because we keep winning elections, and then we keep getting leaders who don’t do anything they promised.”

The Senator from Texas went on to explain: “We’ve had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress now for about six months. What has that majority done? First thing we did, in December, is we came back and passed a $1 trillion ‘cromnibus’ plan filled with pork and corporate welfare. That was the very first thing we did. Then this Republican majority voted to fund Obamacare, voted to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. And then leadership rammed through the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general.”

He then asked the question: “Which of those decisions would be one iota different if Harry Reid were still majority leader? Not a one. Not a one. This Senate operates exactly the same — the same priorities…”

This dilemma is nothing new; it is a byproduct of state worship, commonly known as statism. The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah warned: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes man his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come…” Contrasting this is the promise: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water…and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The urgent need now is to return to the fixed standards found in the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God. Unless this Godly American agenda lives in the hearts of the people, we are at the mercy of evil and ruthless men.

I love the Constitution, but my work is worthless unless our foundation is the God of the Bible.

President John Adams insisted: “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand…(The people) may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.”

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

How Will Donald Trump Do In A Meaningful California GOP Primary?

California’s presidential primary election comes at the very end of the selection process – June 7, 2016; and almost always, the national candidates have usually been chosen by then, rendering California’s presidential primary election meaningless. There have been efforts to move the primary to an earlier date, but the tinkering hasn’t seemed to take hold; and we are back to a late primary again this presidential election cycle. California’s Presidential primary has not always been meaningless, however. In 1968, Robert Kennedy won a hard fought Democratic primary election against sitting Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, but was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan immediately after making his victory speech and uttering the words “On to Chicago” (the location of the Democratic Convention) at the old and long gone Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Blvd., near downtown Los Angeles. In 1976, Ronald Reagan was not contested in California by sitting President Gerald Ford; but the primary was not meaningless because of the huge load of delegates Reagan won in the state’s primary (I was one of them), that when combined with a big victory in Texas’ winner-take-all primary, gave Reagan the encouragement to keep up the fight to the convention with just shy of the total number of delegates needed to win the nomination that year.

Today, California’s GOP presidential primary delegates are not exactly distributed “winner take all.” A small portion of the delegates to the Republican National Convention are selected by the candidate who wins the state as a whole, but the majority of delegates are selected by who wins in a Congressional District. And a Democratic-dominated Congressional District, such as Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s in San Francisco, will send as many delegates to the GOP convention as a Republican-dominated Congressional District, such as Congressional Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s district in Kern County.

I really wonder how Donald Trump will do in a California primary if the Republican Party has not settled on a nominee by next June. Trump has done well in the national polls over the last two weeks, despite what many pundits consider a number of gaffes, and has even taken the lead in a number of polls. His support looks like it may now be peaking at around 20% to 25% of the vote nationally – enough to be at or near the top in the current crowded GOP field of 16 candidates. But we don’t really know what Trump’s support is today in California. Last March, I tested opinions of likely voters in next year’s California Republican primary in my own poll; and Scott Walker walked away with the lead at 20%, followed by Ben Carson with 10.7% and Jeb Bush at 10.5%. But at that point, Trump hardly made a showing, with just less than 1% of the vote matched against 15 other potential candidates.

It seems likely that Trump has greatly lifted his support in California by now. But where is he today in the polls in the Golden State? And if the Republicans are still deadlocked with a load of candidates by next June, could California become the “make-or-break” state for the GOP?

All three major polling organizations in California certainly aren’t helping us with an answer. The USC/LA Times poll has not publicly published a survey of California voters since last April according to their website. The Public Policy Institute of California’s last survey was in May, and it did not include any questions about Presidential candidates. And the venerable Field Poll has not measured California GOP public opinion on a Presidential candidate since last May. Field’s results in May confirmed my own poll’s results two months earlier showing Trump with less than 1% support at that time, with Bush, Rubio and Walker in virtual ties at around 10-11% each.

I think testing Trump’s support in California matters, as I will explain below; and I also think the major polling agencies are intentionally soft-peddling GOP presidential polling not only because of California’s well-known blue state status and late primary, but also because they don’t want to contribute to the Trump road-show. My sense is that Trump has likely captured much of the imagination of California’s “tea-party” voters, those independents and Republicans who can sway around 25% of the GOP vote in a primary. This is the same voter bloc that gave tea-party oriented Gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly a third-place finish with 643,236 votes (14.8% of all candidates in the “open” primary) to Neel Kashkari’s 839,767 votes (19.4%) against Jerry Brown.

Tim Donnelly is no Donald Trump. Yet he really did make an impact capturing a strain of California voters, angered over illegal immigration, with a greatly under-funded campaign. Moreover, highly unreported is the fact that Donnelly was THE leading GOP vote-getter in the Governor’s primary in many counties throughout the state that will be sending delegates to the Republican National Convention. Donnelly did not best Kashkari in all the hard-core conservative southern California counties near the border with Mexico, but he won San Bernardino and Imperial counties; and he scored big in North State counties, around Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s district where dissatisfaction with government runs high, namely Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Lake, Lassen, Nevada, Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, Sierra, Shasta, Plumas, and Modoc. He drew to a tie in the central valley county of Merced, won nearby Mariposa, and took the central valley prize of Kern County (in Congressional Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Congressional District no less); and Donnelly surprisingly even topped Kashkari in a clean-sweep of the state’s top wine country counties of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. Donnelly beat Kashkari, who was considered the GOP establishment’s candidate, in the central coast counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and San Benito, the Bay Area counties of Alameda and Contra Costa and even won most of the handful of GOP voters in San Francisco, in Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional District!

Therefore, since California assigns its GOP delegates mostly by who wins in one of the state’s 53 Congressional districts, if Donald Trump was able to capture just the “Tim Donnelly” vote in California, scattered as it is in deep pockets throughout the state, it is quite possible that Trump could emerge from the primary with a huge cache and perhaps even the majority of delegates, even if he narrowly lost the statewide total to a Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. Imagine that number skyrocketing if Trump could put together a better campaign and message than Donnelly did, and with even just 25% of the vote sweep all the state’s delegates in a crowded field. Like Ronald Reagan did in 1976, Trump might surely be encouraged with a big late victory to go on to the Cleveland convention and see his campaign on to whatever ending it has in store there.

This commentary originally appeared at CaliforniaPoliticalReview.com.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

SHOCK: What Cruz Just Said On The Senate Floor Could Be Declaration Of GOP War (Video)

He’s been referred to as the “Cruz missile,” and today the senator from Texas took dead aim at a top GOP colleague often associated with the Republican establishment that conservatives distrust.

Solemnly saying that “today is a sad day for this institution,” Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz took to the floor of the upper chamber on Friday and delivered a verbal broadside to his own party’s leadership, accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.

“The Senate operates based on trust,” said Cruz, who then went on to claim the high-powered Kentucky Republican lied to him repeatedly about having agreed to a deal involving votes for the recently passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and an attempt to revive the lapsed authorization for the controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

Cruz was unabashed and relentless in his accusation that McConnell falsely denied there was no back-room arrangement regarding support gathered for TPA and the pending move to restart the currently dormant bank. The Ex-Im Bank is billed as an independent federal agency that helps U.S. companies expand their overseas sales.

The Texas senator even went so far as to charge that McConnell has engaged in “the same procedural abuse” that his predecessor, Harry Reid, “did over and over and over again.”

A Politico piece on the extraordinary Cruz floor speech says that the GOP senator’s outburst was a rare and stunning break with the “traditions of the usually decorous chamber.” Publicly calling out a colleague in such a direct and accusatory fashion is generally considered a no-no.

In a scathing floor speech, the Texas firebrand accused the Senate majority leader of breaking his word to him and the rest of the GOP conference over McConnell’s plans for the controversial Export-Import Bank, the country’s chief export credit agency. In Cruz’s telling, McConnell privately promised him and other Republicans that “there was no deal” with a handful of senators who were seeking to revive the bank in exchange for their votes to advance a major trade bill in May.

While Ted Cruz is often considered a firebrand known for speaking his mind and not worrying about ticking off the GOP establishment, for him to go in front of his fellow senators as well as the C-Span audience with this kind of harsh accusation could be called a “shocker” by a lot of people, even Cruz fans.

Some might wonder if Cruz — lagging far behind his GOP rivals in most presidential polls — could be taking a cue from the wildly outspoken Donald Trump, who has certainly gained attention and popularity of late with his bold and brazen accusations. Of course, contrary to the style in which Trump tends to shoot from what you might call “the verbal hip,” Sen. Cruz was more measured and methodical in laying out his argument that Mitch McConnell is a scheming, manipulative liar.

By clicking on the video above, you can see for yourself what Ted Cruz had to say that has caused such a media stir on a Friday afternoon and could prove to be “the shot heard round the Senate” in a new battlefront between staunch conservatives and the power-wielding establishment.

What do you think? Was Cruz out of line or on the mark in his criticism of Mitch McConnell? Join the conversation by leaving your comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: This Stunning Plot Against Donald Trump Was Brewing In The Republican Party

Members of the GOP establishment floated a plan over the weekend to keep presidential candidate Donald Trump from the debate stage in Cleveland on August 6.

The New York Times reports that there is a lot of frustration with the billionaire candidate and his bombastic ways. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Trump in early July to ask him to dial back his rhetoric regarding illegal immigrants, after he suggested the Mexican government was sending “rapists” and other criminals into the United States.

Trump grabbed headlines again last week when he called into question Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said at an event in Iowa.

The RNC denounced these remarks in a statement: “John McCain is an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period…There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”

Trump has clarified his remarks since, saying he believes John McCain is a good man and a war hero.

A new Quinnipiac Poll of swing states published this week finds Trump with the worst favorability ratings for any Democrat or Republican presidential candidate: 31 – 58 percent in Colorado, 32 – 57 percent in Iowa, and 32 – 61 percent in Virginia.

The New York Times reports:

One idea that came up was to urge three leading candidates — Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Mr. Walker; and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida — to band together and state that they would not participate in any debate in which Mr. Trump was present, using his refusal to rule out a third-party bid as a pretext for taking such a hard line. The thinking, according to a Republican involved in the conversations, was that the lesser-funded prospects who have been eclipsed by Mr. Trump would follow suit, and the TV networks airing the debates would be forced to bar Mr. Trump in order to have a full complement of candidates.

But none of the campaigns have shown any appetite for such solidarity, for reasons ranging from their strategic interests and not wanting to make Mr. Trump a martyr, to fear of making an enemy of Fox News, the preferred cable network of conservatives and the host of the first debate.

Regarding a third party run if he is not the Republican nominee, Trump told The Hill that “so many people want me to, if I don’t win.”

“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump said. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, if he were to run as a third party candidate and Jeb Bush became the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton would win with 46 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent and Trump coming in at 20 percent. The results would be similar to when Ross Perot ran in 1992, taking 19 percent of the vote, which many believe allowed Bill Clinton to prevail over George H.W. Bush.

“The RNC has not been supportive,” Trump said. “They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy. The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.”

“I’m not in the gang. I’m not in the group where the group does whatever it’s supposed to do,” the candidate stated. “I want to do what’s right for the country — not what’s good for special interest groups that contribute, not what’s good for the lobbyists and the donors.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth