Watercooler 2/23 Open Thread: Nevada, Endorsements, Donor Wars & Word Salad


Welcome back to theWatercooler. If it’s Tuesday, it must be election day somewhere and all eyes will be on Nevada today where the caucus sites open at 5pm. Here’s what’s at stake in the closed primary that awards delegates proportionally, with a minimum threshold of 3.33%:

30 Delegates: 15 At Large; 12 Congressional Districts; 3 Bound RNC

The Endorsement Primary

Donor Wars

The battle for donors between Rubio and Cruz is on given that Jeb had most of the largest donors. Many assume that Rubio will get most of his support but not so fast. With the Bush family ties to Texas, Cruz is also hoping to gain some of their support. From TheHill.com, the money may stay on the sideline until at least Super Tuesday:

Freed from their obligations to the Bush family, many of these wealthy donors will likely gravitate toward Rubio, given his closer attachment to the establishment wing of the GOP. But sources in the Bush donor network caution that some will stay on the sidelines, while others will be drawn to Cruz, either through Texas connections or because of an admiration of his ground game.

Speaking of donors, Bernie can add new fuel to his claim that Hillary is backed by millionaires and billionaires and is the queen of Big Donors. Who says money can’t buy favors? From the FreeBeacon.com:

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign has cashed more checks from America’s CEOs and corporate presidents than every other presidential candidate combined.

The secretary of state and former first lady has received about $5 million from donors who listed “president” or “CEO” as their occupation, according to finance data supplied to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Self-described CEOs and presidents contributed $2.7 million and $2.3 million, respectively, making them the 6th and 7th largest class of donors to Hillary for America. [snip]

Republican candidates Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and John Kasich along with Democrat Bernie Sanders have received $3.9 million from those self-described donors. Clinton collected more than three times as much money from these occupations as her next closest competitor, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who narrowly edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with about $1.3 million in such donations.

Word Salad

No, it’s not national salad day but candidates might want to know what words voters use to describe them at a proverbial salad bar.

A new Gallop poll showsthat “dishonest” and “socialist” are the most common American reactions to Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

For Clinton, the leading words coming to mind were “dishonest/liar/don’t trust her/poor character” (21 percent) and “dislike her” (9 percent). Another 7 percent thought of “crooked/criminal/thief/belongs in jail.” Overall, 29 percent offered a positive observation versus 51 percent expressing a negative view.

For Sanders, the most common reactions were “socialist” (12 percent) and “older/aged” (6 percent). Another 11 percent found him to be either communist (3 percent), crazy (4 percent) or unfavorable (4 percent).

One other Gallop poll from Feb 5th caught my eye, which may explain why Trump and Clinton lead in their races…maybe. “In 2016, Issues Trump Electability in Choosing a Nominee”:

  • Six in 10 in U.S. prefer candidate who agrees with them on issues
  • One in three prefer candidate with best chance of winning
  • Democrats, Republicans share these preferences about equally

Americans are about twice as likely to prefer that their party nominate a candidate who agrees with them on almost all the issues they care about but does not have the best chance of winning, rather than one who has the best chance of winning but doesn’t agree with them on the issues they care about. Republicans and Democrats have similar preferences.

This Day in History

Politics today is quite mild compared to the 1800’s when fist fights broke out in Congress and murder was on the minds of some over hatred of a candidate. Before his planned travel to Baltimore, he received a lot of hate mail.

“His mail was infested with brutal and vulgar menace, and warnings of all sorts came to him from zealous or nervous friends,” Nicolay wrote. “But he had himself so sane a mind, and a heart so kindly, even to his enemies, that it was hard for him to believe in political hatred so deadly as to lead to murder.” It was clear, however, that not all the warnings could be brushed aside.
How did he avoid assassination? Well capitalism played a big part and for the rest of the story, click here.

Today’s Celebrations

If you’re hungry, today is National Banana Bread Day and for your fido, it’s National Dog Biscuit Day. And after the election results, you may want to indulge in National Spa Day.

As always, The Watercooler is an open thread for you to opine about what’s on your mind. We’ll stay open late tonight to cover the Nevada caucuses and your reactions. And please, if you see any breaking news out there, share it here. Happy Election Day!