Between Rand Paul’s chainsaw tricks, Ben Carson’s flawless performance in children’s game “Operation” and now Ted Cruz’s use of a firearm to cook bacon, we’re starting to wonder if the next GOP debate will just be retitled “America’s Got (Bizarre, Mostly Useless) Talent.”
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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND
Here’s the number we’ve been thinking about all weekend since the will-he-won’t-he Biden flurry began: Thirteen. That’s the percentage of Democrats who said in a Quinnipiac poll last week that they would favor Joe Biden over Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the 2016 Democratic field. In comparison, Clinton got the backing of 55 percent of Democrats, and Sanders won support from 17 percent. With all the caveats about polls being fickle, if this survey gets close to reflecting reality, Biden could START in THIRD place -- not second -- if he was to jump into the presidential contest.
And that is on top of the reporting we’ve seen (including from NBC’s own Perry Bacon) that shows Democrats overwhelmingly respect Biden, but are hesitant to advocate for him to enter the race. As one Democrat said, “Joe Biden by every measure should consider running for president.. But my support for Hillary Clinton and the support that she has on the grassroots level is a very deep, personal commitment."
NERD ALERT: We’ll be releasing a LOT more from our NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll tonight at 6:30pm ET.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Donald Trump has said he’ll win the Latino vote, but a survey of Latinos showed that 75 percent have a negative view of him.
- NBC’s Perry Bacon gauged Democrats about the potential of a Joe Biden 2016 run. Many, he found, are skeptical.
- The public is divided over the Iran deal -- and there’s a sharp partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans, NBC’s Mark Murray reports.
- President Obama on Monday announced an ambitious plan to drastically reduce carbon pollution from U.S. power plants in an effort to address what he called the greatest threat facing future generations, one of us wrote.
- Chris Christie told CNBC’s John Harwood: “Some people are feeling the pressure to try to be outrageous to get on the news. If you think you've got the best product, you've got to be patient. Slow, steady progress. So I'm not going to get into the hyperbole."
- Former President Jimmy Carter had a small mass removed from his liver on Monday, his presidential center said.
CAMPAIGN QUICK READS
CRUZ: The Texas senator made machine-gun bacon with the IJReview.
WALKER: The governor got fooled a bit when two 20-somethings posed to take a photo with him and a fake novelty sized $900 million check made out to him from the Koch brothers, the Washington Post reports.
CLINTON: The Democratic frontrunner released a video attacking Republicans for efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
JINDAL: He has cancelled a contract that provides Planned Parenthood with state Medicaid funds.
FOR THE RECORD…
“It's like a full moon.”
- Walker campaign manager Rick Wiley to the Washington Post after a campaign stop filled with protesters and counter-protesters.
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio appear before the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville.
Hillary Clinton travels to Denver for a grassroots organizing meeting.
Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rick Santorum all campaign in New Hampshire.