Friday, February 12, 2016

POSTED: Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:39 PM
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks at her primary night party Feb. 9, 2016, at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, New Hampshire. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

NASHUA, N.H. – Voters in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary decided that the “L word” applies to Hillary Clinton.

No, not “liberal.” It’s the one that rhymes with “fire” and denotes a problem with honesty.

Just over a third of the voters (34 percent) in the primary said that honesty was the most important character trait in their decision on whom to support. Of that group, Sen. Bernie Sanders won 92 percent of their votes, to 6 percent for Clinton, according to exit polls.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 5:05 PM
“Chris Christie, we have you surrounded,” Vermin Supreme (left) said. “Come out with your hands up and your pants down, Chris Christie!” (Getty Images)

DERRY, N.H – The man with the thick prophet’s beard and an upside-down rubber wading boot on his head yelled through a bullhorn at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign bus.

“Chris Christie, we have you surrounded,” Vermin Supreme said. “Come out with your hands up and your pants down, Chris Christie!”

There was no reaction from the governor or his entourage. “Chris Christie’s a chicken,” said Mr. Supreme, a political prankster who has run for president every four years since 2004. He added clucking noises as a local police officer shooed him back toward the public sidewalk. If elected president, Mr. Supreme says, he will give every American a pony.

POSTED: Thursday, February 4, 2016, 9:51 AM
In this photo taken Jan. 19, 2016, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with voters in Greenfield, Iowa. Santorum said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, that he is suspending his second bid for the White House. ((AP Photo / Evan Vucci))

HOOKSETT, N.H. – About 12 hours after he dropped out of the Republican presidential race and backed Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum flopped Thursday in his first big assignment as a campaign surrogate.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the former Pennsylvania senator said Rubio “can work together with people.” But Santorum had difficulty naming even one accomplishment by the first-term Florida senator.

“He’s been in the Senate for four years,” host Joe Scarborough said.  “Can you name his top accomplishment in the Senate - actually working in the Senate doing something that tilted your decision to Marco Rubio?”

POSTED: Monday, February 1, 2016, 5:44 PM
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling supporters of Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders and giving them a pitch for Hillary Clinton. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

DES MOINES – Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, has been campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses, but he hasn’t set foot in the state.

Instead, Casey said, he’s been telephoning a “targeted list” of Iowa Democrats, many of them identified as supporters of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, as well as some who are backing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the socialist who is in a tight race with Clinton, and others who were undecided.

 He asked voters what they were thinking, gave a pitch for Clinton, and asked them to consider the former secretary of state as a second choice.

POSTED: Saturday, January 30, 2016, 8:49 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa - Donald Trump has elbowed his way back into the lead of the Republican race for president in Iowa, where the first votes for the 2016 nomination are about to be cast, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg  Politics poll released Saturday evening.

Trump stands at 28 percent in the Iowa Poll among those likely to caucus on Monday, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 23 percent, down two points from earlier this month. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been surging in the state, clocks in at 15 percent. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is running fourth at 10 percent.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul polls at 5 percent, and none of the rest of the candidates, including the establishment-friendly governors, has more than the 3 percent who support New Jersey Gov. Christie.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 2:44 PM
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, speaks as Donald Trump looks on during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are pounding down the stretch in Iowa attacking each other on multiple fronts as they grapple for the lead with six days to go before the Republican caucuses, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday.

Trump has the support of 31 percent of likely caucus-goers, to 29 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. No other candidate breaks 7 percent, the poll found. Two percent told interviewers they were undecided, but 39 percent of those who chose a candidate say they may change their minds before the caucuses next Monday.

The picture was much the same in Quinnipiac’s last poll Jan. 11.

POSTED: Sunday, January 24, 2016, 6:27 PM
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addresses a legislative luncheon held as part of the "Road to Majority" conference in Washington on June 19, 2015. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Four years ago, Rick Santorum was darting around the state in an aide’s Dodge Ram pickup, and something was happening out there: voters were moving his way in a wave unseen by polls.

Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, won the Iowa Republican caucuses in 2012, and wound up the last challenger to Mitt Romney for the party’s nomination.

Now, he is running 11th of 11 candidates with a week to go to the 2016 caucuses, and Santorum admitted Sunday for the first time in public that he soon may have to consider ending his campaign.

POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2016, 2:37 PM
Republican Presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump participates in the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox Business and the Republican National Committee at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in Charleston, South Carolina on January 14, 2016. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Republican front-runner Donald Trump took the ritual boasting about his own political performance to a new level Saturday, joking that there is nothing he could do that his supporters would not forgive.

“Everybody says my people are so loyal. I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters," Trump told about 1,600 people at Dordt College here during a rally. “That’s how loyal they are.”

 Trump, who has been battling Ted Cruz for the support of Iowa’s crucial evangelical Christian voters, spoke at the school affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, which says on its web site that it is a “biblical Christ-centered” institution.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
Thomas Fitzgerald Inquirer Politics Writer
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter