Thursday, April 2, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 4:40 PM

Mitt Romney’s decision to forgo a third run for president has scrambled the field in the early going of the 2016 Pennsylvania Republican primary, with three contenders bunched together at the top, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has the support of 12 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans polled, to 11 percent for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 10 percent for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Rick Santorum, who represented the state in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, stood at 8 percent, tied with conservative activist and author Ben Carson, a Baltimore neurosurgeon. No other candidate hits the 8 percent threshold in the poll, which finds 22 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans undecided.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 11:16 AM
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Chris Christie. (Getty File Photos)

Hillary Clinton has a strong early grip on Pennsylvania, with an 11-point lead over her closest potential Republican opponent in the state, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, according to Quinnipiac University polls of three swing states released Tuesday.

Clinton was tied with Gov. John Kasich (R) in his home state of Ohio, and also was running even in Florida with that state’s former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, the polls found.

Since 1960, no candidate has won the White House without carrying at least two of the three states.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 6:11 PM

Now it’s Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s turn.

Walker announced on Tuesday he had formed a federal 527 political committee to boost him in a possible 2016 run for the Republican presidential nomination. The tax-exempt group, Our American Revival, was established Jan. 16.

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and his backers unveiled a federal political committee called Leadership Matters for America, an official step toward launching a presidential campaign.


POSTED: Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:38 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa - It was late, getting on midnight Friday, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrived, purple tie loosened, collar open, a leather garment bag hanging on his shoulder in the lobby of the downtown Marriott here.

Journalists – Christie’s Greek chorus, his foils and his inquisitors – gathered around and he bantered. First he ripped WNYC’s Matt Katz (a former Inky colleague) for remarks he made on NJTV before the governor’s state of the state address recently. “You’re pre-game was terrible,” Christie said. “Pathetic.”

“What are you going to say tomorrow?” somebody said, referring to Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit where Christie, a likely candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign, was scheduled to speak.


POSTED: Monday, January 19, 2015, 9:26 AM
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf added to his cabinet Saturday. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff)

On the eve of Democrat Tom Wolf’s inauguration as governor, a new Mercyhurst University poll finds most Pennsylvania voters optimistic about his ability to solve the state’s problems, with broad support for his policy agenda.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents to the survey by the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics say they have confidence in Wolf’s leadership ability, and 65 percent express confidence in his ability to solve the problems of the state – a smaller majority, 52 percent, says Wolf will be able to effectively work with the Republicans who control both houses of the legislature.

Fifty-eight percent favor a progressive state income tax, with those who make more money paying at a higher rate; 35 percent are opposed. Wolf advocated the change during his campaign. The income tax rate is currently a flat 3.5 percent for all income groups. Pennsylvania’s constitution has a uniformity clause that mandates sameness in tax levies.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 5:19 PM

In this political environment, it almost doesn’t seem natural: A Democrat and a Republican working together, as partners. By choice.

Former Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman T.J. Rooney and former Republican Chairman Alan Novak, partisan antagonists in other times, Wednesday announced they were joining together in a new government-relations enterprise.

RooneyNovak Group LLC will help clients navigate divided government in Harrisburg and Washington, the two men said in a news release.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 4:06 PM
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, file)

Former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum met with top state Republicans and supporters in Harrisburg Tuesday to discuss a possible 2016 campaign for the White House, the latest sign that he wants another shot after finishing second to GOP nominee Mitt Romney three years ago.

The private conclave at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association was arranged by Frederick W. Anton, the advocacy group’s president and a pillar of the state Republican establishment.

In a letter inviting attendees, Anton wrote that Santorum and his “senior team” would lay out what a 2016 campaign could look like. “His message of fighting for working Americans, manufacturing, and our conservative values resonated – and still does – with voters all over the country,” Anton wrote, adding that he was urging Santorum to run.

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.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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