Friday, December 19, 2014

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 12:46 PM

At this point, the Republican 2016 presidential field is an undifferentiated mass with none of more than a dozen possibilities garnering over 10 percent support for the nomination, according to a national poll released Tuesday by Monmouth University in New Jersey.

The poll also finds that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012, and Mitt Romney, his running mate at the top of that ticket, are viewed most favorably by Republican voters among a list of party bold-faced names.

Contenders receiving support include Mitt Romney (8 percent); physician and pundit Ben Carson (7 percent); New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (7 percent); former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (6 percent); Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (5 percent); Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (5 percent); former Arkansas Gov. and minister Mike Huckabee (3 percent); Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (3 percent); Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (2 percent); Texas Gov. Rick Perry (2 percent); Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (2 percent); and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (1 percent).

Unlike many polls, respondents were asked to name their preference without being prompted with a list of options. Less than 1 percent of them chose Ryan, despite his top favorability rating. Thirty-seven percent of Republicans said they had no preference at this point.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 2:36 PM
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, File)

A national poll from Monmouth University released Monday finds that Hillary Clinton is the top choice of Democrats as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee, though a substantial number also think she should be challenged in a primary.

When asked who they’d like to see as the party’s candidate, 48 percent of respondents volunteered Clinton’s name, to 6 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and 2 percent each for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Vice President Biden.

“When nearly half of Democratic voters volunteer the name Hillary Clinton as their choice for 2016, it’s hard to deny that she is the clear front runner,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J.  “At the same, time Democrats do not want to the nomination process to be a coronation.”

POSTED: Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 5:27 PM
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, file)

No, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum did not actually announce his second campaign for president in an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post, aides said.

But the runner-up for the 2012 Republican nomination sure sounded like a man who’s all but certain to run.

“America loves an underdog. We’re definitely the underdog in this race,” Santorum told Karen Tumulty. He said his campaign would be better than the guerilla effort that gave him a filament-thin victory over Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses and enabled him to keep fighting into the spring. (In the end, Santorum one 11 nominating contests, finishing a distant second to Romney in the delegate count.)

POSTED: Friday, December 5, 2014, 8:41 PM
President Obama and Tom Wolf on the campaign trail. Wolf, along with six other newly elected state chief executives, met Friday with President Obama about jobs and the economy after a day of talks with cabinet members and other administration officials. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )

Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, along with six other newly elected state chief executives, met Friday with President Obama about jobs and the economy after a day of talks with cabinet members and other administration officials.

Wolf was joined by governors-elect from Alaska, Illinois, Texas, Maryland and Massachusetts- all Republicans - as well as fellow Democrat Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

As the incoming governors settled in around the Oval Office shortly before 5 p.m., Obama said they “represent a variety of states,” but have “a common interest" in promoting economic opportunity for their people, according to print pool reporter David M. Jackson of USA Today.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 1:28 PM

A member of the Pennsylvania Education Association has filed a complaint against the state’s largest teacher’s union for using her name in a mailer for Democratic governor candidate Tom Wolf in the closing days of the election.

Mary Trometter, of Williamsport, and the Fairness Center, a Harrisburg legal advocacy group for public workers at odds with the political activities of their union leaders, complained to the state labor-relations board Tuesday about a solicitation that urged her husband to “join Mary” in voting for Wolf Nov. 4.

She says she supported and voted for Gov. Corbett, and objects to the union’s use of a portion of her dues for political advocacy she does not condone. Her lawyer, David Osborne, said PSEA and its national parent violated a state law prohibiting public-employee unions from using dues money “directly or indirectly” to advocate for or against a political candidate.

POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2014, 9:25 AM
Lynne Abrahamon on May 5, 2009. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / Staff Photographer)

Lynne Abraham, former district attorney, said she would soon announce her candidacy for mayor of Philadelphia.

Now we know when, as Abraham Thursday announced the announcement: High noon, next Wednesday, at the Franklin Institute. Specifically in the Karobots Paviliion, underneath the Shimmer Wall.

Abraham will be the third mayoral wannabe to make an official announcement of candidacy. First was Terry Gillen, a key aide in the Nutter administration. Second was Ken Trujillo, a former city solicitor.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 8:49 AM
Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and current governor Tom Corbett meet Wednesday evening at the 44th Environmental Aprtnership Dinner in Philadelphia. Both outlined their environmental agendas for state geovernment. Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ( AP Photo / The Philadelphia Inquirer, Matthew Hal )

The race for Pennsylvania governor has tightened a smidgen entering the final six days, with Democrat Tom Wolf still enjoying a 13-percentage-point lead over Gov. Tom Corbett (R) among likely voters, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll released Wednesday.

Wolf has the support of 53 percent of voters who said they are very interested in the race and certain to vote, to 40 percent for Corbett, the poll found. Five percent said they “don’t know” whom they will back next Tuesday.

Disaffected Republicans are “coming home” and coalescing around Corbett, a month-to-month comparison of F&M polls shows. His job-approval among GOP voters increased from 39 percent in August to 56 percent in this latest survey. The percentage of Republicans saying Corbett deserved a second term increased from 46 percent to 63 percent over the same period.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 1:31 PM
Tom Wolf, of York County, is running for Pennsylvania governor. (Photo from wolfforpa.com)

Conventional wisdom says that any old Democrat could beat Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) this year, given his damaged political brand and an electorate convinced the state is on the wrong track.

A poll conducted for a third-party advocacy group shortly before the Democratic primary, however, calls that thinking into question.

The survey of likely voters, obtained by The Inquirer, tested two potential candidates against Corbett.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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