FROM Scott Keeter
Are Polls Trumping Political Reality? In a speech in South Carolina today, Donald Trump gave out the personal cell phone of Lindsay Graham, that state's US Senator and a fellow candidate for President. Trump also called Graham a "lightweight" and "an idiot." The Des Moines Register's editorial board has called Trump a "feckless blowhard" and asked him to drop out of the presidential primary. Today's Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump leading the field of 16 candidates—with 24%, the biggest showing any candidate has made so far this year. Yet the same survey shows that Republicans don't share Trump's views — even on immigration — and 54% say he doesn't reflect Republican values. Other surveys show the same contradiction. Is it all about saturation news coverage, or is something wrong with the polls? The question's especially important this year when the first debate will include only the ten candidates with the biggest numbers.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.