FROM Maggie Haberman
Long Shots Are Changing the Short Game for 2016 Rank and file voters won't be heard from until January of next year, but Hillary Clinton is already getting an unexpected challenge from Bernie Sanders — and others as well. Earlier just an annoyance, the Vermont senator now is becoming a real threat to Clinton's "coronation" by the Democrats next year. Bernie Sanders Photo: Peter Stevens On the Republican side, it’s a political free for all. Donald Trump is hitting the top ten just in time to make the first debate next month as Republicans pick their way through a multitude of candidates. Donald Trump Photo: Gage Skidmore Controversial issues are piling up for both parties, from immigration to income inequality, and the early going is being shaped by unlikely contenders.
The Southern Primaries and the GOP Rick Santorum won both Alabama and Mississippi yesterday. Newt Gingrich took second place in states even he said he needed. Santorum is claiming he's now the real, conservative alternative to Mitt Romney , who came in third. If Romney can't capture the Southern conservative base of the party, why is he still the likely GOP nominee?
The 'Solid South' Isn't So Solid After All Mitt Romney is lucky there were two other candidates in Mississippi and Alabama, even though he lost to them both. One alone would have swamped him. But, including Hawaii and American Samoa, he got more delegates yesterday than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum , who won both primaries and is claiming to be the real, conservative alternative to Romney. Even though Romney's a loser with the conservative base of his party, he's still the favorite to win the GOP nomination. Does that mean the South doesn't matter? Will Santorum's double win push Gingrich out of the running? Does Romney still have a chance to prevail before the convention in Tampa?
Romney under Attack before New Hampshire Primary Mitt Romney 's ahead in the polls in New Hampshire, where voters will choose the first Republican convention delegates tomorrow. He's also leading in South Carolina and Florida, which are coming up before the end of this month. But many Republicans are still looking for an alternative. Will Independents, who make up 40 percent of tomorrow's vote, help Jon Huntsman emerge from the pack? Will they set the stage for a single anti-Romney candidate in South Carolina or Florida? Websites of (other) Republican presidential candidates: Rick Perry Rick Santorum
Romney under Attack before New Hampshire Primary The day before New Hampshire will chose the first convention delegates, Mitt Romney is still the man to beat. He's leading in South Carolina and Florida too, which are coming up before the end of this month. But many Republicans are still looking for an alternative. The rest of the field is hoping that, "anything can happen," and the lack of enthusiasm on the far right indicates it just might. We hear about this weekend's debates, Jon Huntsman 's gain in the polls and the scathing attack documentary circulated by Newt Gingrich supporters. Can Romney hold on with the carefully calculated rhetoric of campaign consultants? Is it already too late for an anti-Romney consensus? Websites of (other) Republican presidential candidates: Rick Perry Rick Santorum
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.