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The Week in 2016: What Mattered (And What Didn’t)

In today's rapid-fire political news cycle, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the different news out there. So here's a look back at the past week in the 2016 presidential contest, making sense of the developments and events that we think mattered – and those that didn't.

What Mattered

1. The Birthright Citizenship/"Anchor Babies" debate: This has become Exhibit A in how Donald Trump has moved the immigration debate in the GOP presidential race – even for someone like Jeb Bush. It all makes Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" remark in 2012 look tame by comparison, and Democrats believe it will have general-election consequences.

2. Hillary's Combative Presser on Her Emails: The reality for Democrats is that the tough kind of questions Clinton received on Tuesday about her emails won't go away until: 1) if/when the FBI gives her a clean bill of health, and 2) her October testimony before the House Benghazi committee. A lot is riding on what the FBI ultimately decides to do.

3. Jeb vs. Trump: Wednesday night's dueling Jeb Bush-vs.-Donald Trump town halls in New Hampshire highlighted the differences between the two Republicans (and their supporters). If Bush is to regain some political mojo, he'll need to do so by answering Trump's critique of his candidacy – that he's too passive for today's conservative movement.

4. So Much For Those Super PAC Dollars: National Journal's report that Super PACs are being forced to pay nearly 10 times the amount for a single TV ads that actual campaigns do is an important reminder that "hard" campaign dollars are MUCH MORE cost-efficient than Super PAC bucks.

What Didn't Matter As Much

1. The Increased Biden-For-President Chatter: Yes, polls look better for Joe Biden now than at almost any point in his vice presidency. And, yes, the Draft Biden effort pulled in a former top Obama strategist. But every day that Biden waits to set up a fundraising committee makes it harder for him to beat Bernie Sanders – let alone Hillary Clinton. A sitting vice president can't run on the cheap.

2. The General Election Polls: It's hard to reconcile how Hillary Clinton could be leading nationally in CNN's latest poll, while trailing in the battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania, per Quinnipiac. It’s a reminder not to place too much stock in general-election polling right now – 14-plus months until Election Day 2016.

3. Obamacare Politics: Scott Walker unveiling his plan to replace the federal health-care law (and Marco Rubio doing essentially the same) didn't resonate beyond a single news cycle. Evidence that immigration has more juice with conservative voters right now than Obamacare does?