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Is the GOP no longer the party of big business?
Donald Trump vs. Macy’s. The battle over the Ex-Im bank. Conservatives decrying the same-sex marriage ruling, immigration reform and normalization of relations with Cuba. A lot of stories in the past week have demonstrated how the Republican Party just isn’t a reliably comfortable home for big business anymore. A big part of that has to do with the fast-changing landscape on social issues. Big brands raced to find catchy ways to embrace the same-sex marriage decision last week even as the 2016 Republican candidates denounced it. As we’ve seen with the spectacularly quick race of businesses like Macy’s and now professional golf organizations away from Donald Trump, companies had no interest in being associated with anti-Latino statements. This is all for financial reasons, by the way; businesses have decided that they don’t want to offend customers and they don’t want to be boycotted. That’s a cynical way to look at, we know. But it also shows just how influential groups like Latinos and the LGBT community have become – not just politically, but when it comes to purchasing power as well.
But Democrats won’t become the party of big business anytime soon, either
As much as social issues or purely policy ones (like the conservative push to nix the Ex-Im bank) complicate businesses’ relationship with the GOP, we’re not suggesting that Chamber of Commerce types are leaping into the arms of Democrats wholesale either. Whether it’s tax policy, the EPA or regulatory reform, there are plenty of reasons that Democrats are still foes when it comes to policies that directly affect the bottom line for big business groups. But as we saw with TPA, the biz community might be realizing that it’s going to take a coalition of pro-business Democrats AND establishment Republicans to get their agenda items addressed. After essentially pulling for one party over the other, don't be surprised if key business groups go back to assessing their political agenda on a case by case basis.
Feel the Bern, again
Two pieces of news are fueling another round of headlines about a Bernie Sanders surge today. One: He drew a crowd of a whopping 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin last night, the largest of the 2016 race so far. And two,a Quinnipiac poll in Iowa shows that Sanders has cut into Clinton’s lead with Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, going from 15 percent support in May to 33 percent support now. We’ve noted the enthusiasm for Sanders plenty of times before, but we’ll add this: Unlike the Trump bump, the surge for Sanders comes to a candidate who’s going about campaigning the old-fashioned way, camping out in early primary states and talking about the kind of policies that really resonate with the base. While Republicans are doing everything they can to grab attention, build name recognition and get on the debate stage, Sanders is plodding along – and reaping some dividends for it. By the way, as we’ve said before, the person hurt the most by these Sanders stories is NOT Hillary Clinton right now. It’s Martin O’Malley, who looks less and less like the Clinton alternative with every Sanders headline.
More on Clinton’s $45 million haul
As we wrote yesterday, Hillary Clinton will announce an impressive $45 million-plus fundraising haul. And this morning, POLITICO reports that the trio of super PACs backing her will announce a $20 million total, including about $12 million from Priorities USA Action. There’s been plenty of hand-wringing on the Dem side that Clinton isn’t going to be able to compete with Republicans on the super PAC front, but here’s one reminder: Unlike GOP candidates, she’s not going to burn super PAC cash on the primary. The Hillary super PAC story is most worth revisiting once we get to the general election.
Rubio’s big ad time cache
Marco Rubio has now poured about $10 million into reserved TV air time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, with nearly $5 million in Iowa, according to WMUR’s John DiStaso. It’s smart, and we’re surprised that we haven’t seen other campaigns talking about doing the same thing. The early buys give Rubio a competitive advantage over other candidates, since he’s been able lock down good time slots for ads – not to mention at a cheaper rate. With a combined 20 or so candidates of both parties running for president – and at least one super PAC for each of ‘em – there could be as many as 40 different political committees jockeying for ad time. There’s only so much advertising time between 6am and 11pm in Iowa and New Hampshire, and candidates who reserve late are simply going to get stuck airing ads in the dead of night. Sooner or later, you’re going to see a panicked run on the available time that’s left.
Scott Walker to file FEC paperwork for 2016 run this morning
Aides confirm to NBC that Scott Walker will file paperwork with the FEC this morning to formally jump into the race, with an announcement event planned for July 13 in Waukesha.
Tune in to our Facebook Q&A
Starting this week, "Meet the Press” and Facebook are collaborating on "Meet the Candidates,” a series of 2016 interviews. Today, one of us will hold a Facebook Q&A at 2pET to talk 2016. One thing we’ll be asking fans: What questions we should ask Sen. Ted Cruz during an interview that will air Sunday on the show? Tune in.