THE ‘BIRTHER’ QUESTION GETS REBORN
In another era, Donald Trump pursued the question of President Obama’s citizenship with gusto, wondering if the nation’s primary leader had been born in the United States — or elsewhere. Republicans, apparently, are still wondering. A wide-ranging new survey of GOP voters by Public Policy Polling finds that a mere 29 percent of them believe Mr. Obama was born on these shores; 44 percent say he was born someplace else, and 26 percent are not sure what to think. Another 54 percent of the Republicans say Mr. Obama is a Muslim; 14 percent say he is Christian, and 32 percent are not sure about his faith. Things are more intense among respondents who are fans of Mr. Trump, Republican hopeful: 21 percent say Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., while two thirds say he’s a Muslim.
That’s what’s out there. It’s interesting to note that the pollster chose to give an exclusive advance look at the survey results to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, presumably for commentary fodder. Yes, well. “Republicans have no freaking idea what they’re talking about,” Ms. Maddow noted in her on-camera analysis.
The poll also reveals that Mr. Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential field with 29 percent of the support, followed by a distant Ben Carson with 15 percent and everyone else clamoring for attention with 10 percent of the support and under. There are more numbers from the survey reflecting the Republican mindset in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump continues to draw attention from intrigued researchers touting “the science” of Mr. Trump’s persistent appeal. A new Bloomberg Politics analysis reveals his ability to “tell it like it is” remains the biggest draw, followed by the billionaire’s independent outsider status, and the feeling that “he’ll do what he says he’ll do.”
Late-night America also calls: Mr. Trump appears an NBC’s “Tonight Show” this week. Though the network and Mr. Trump have feuded this year, they are making up long enough to take a jab, say some analysts, at the newly reinvented CBS “Late Night with Stephen Colbert. It debuts with Jeb Bush as the very first guest, followed by Vice President and potential presidential hopeful Joe Biden. policy issues, and that Mr. Obama is going to endorse Mrs. Clinton in her quest for the White House.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 58 percent of voters say the pair still agree on policy, which is actually up by 6 percentage points since last year. Another 68 percent think the president will endorse Mrs. Clinton over her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Among likely Democratic voters alone, the number is 74 percent. and Republican hopefuls Donald Trump and Jeb Bush in the single word of their choice — and their choices were less than sterling. The words were ranked into the top 50 words for each candidate by how many times they were cited. Here are the top-25 words for each one:
Mrs. Clinton: Liar, dishonest, untrustworthy, experience, strong, Bill, woman, smart, crook, untruthful, criminal, deceitful, Democrat, intelligent, email, politicians, Benghazi, corrupt, crooked, capable, determined, good, leader, murder, qualified.
Mr. Trump: Arrogant, blowhard, idiot, businessman, clown, honest, ego, money, outspoken, crazy, rich, showman, strong, [expletive], joke, loud, leader, pompous, bombastic, egomaniac, loudmouth, racist, big-mouth, aggressive, buffoon.
Mr. Bush: Bush, family, honest, weak, brother, dynasty, experience, George, Florida, politician, Republican, moderate, governor, establishment, conservative, father, legacy, nice, trustworthy, decent, boring, competent, education, favorable, nepotism.
“We’ve asked voters this question periodically, and I’ve never seen words that are so severely critical,” assistant polling director Tim Malloy tells Inside the Beltway. “The voters have taken their gloves off. No one is restrained, and they say what they want. We are definitely in a new world of social media where everyone has an opinion, and everyone has their own form of an editorial page. All they need is a smart phone.”