For political reporters and everyone else who wants to keep the excitement of the 2015-2016 presidential election cycle going strong, you’ve got to be pulling for Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to exceed expectations in the Super Tuesday contests.
Otherwise, we’re staring at an eight-month slog of Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump in the general election.
That matchup could likely be the most negative in U.S. history.
Think otherwise? Then I suggest you dip into the reporting that The New York Times Amy Chozik and Patrick Healy have unearthed Tuesday morning in a piece called, “Inside the Clinton Team’s Plan to Defeat Donald Trump.”
The strategy is laid out in detail, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective for the Democrats. Or wouldn’t Rubio, Cruz or any other Republican already be doing better if all it took were making ads highlighting the too many to count insane things that Trump has already said now, or in his history that would doom any other candidate?
As former George W. Bush pollster and now ABC analyst Matthew Dowd says, “Hillary has built a large tanker ship, and she’s about to confront Somali pirates.”
In addition to the Clinton team, Democratic super PACS will also join in on the fun:
The plan has three major thrusts: Portray Mr. Trump as a heartless businessman who has worked against the interests of the working-class voters he now appeals to; broadcast the degrading comments he has made against women in order to sway suburban women, who have been reluctant to support Mrs. Clinton; and highlight his brash, explosive temper to show he is unsuited to be commander in chief.
Back to Super Tuesday: How many states can Sanders win? He’ll do well in a couple for sure, and could win at least four states, out of the dozen up for grabs.
Hawaii Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard, one of the up and coming stars in the party, endorsed him on “Meet The Press” on Sunday, specifically pointing to Sanders’ position on military intervention as part of her endorsement reasoning.
But the math is not in Bernie’s favor. Two weeks from Florida’s Presidential primary, it doesn’t look like much of a contest between Clinton and Sanders, with the former secretary of state taking a commanding, 30-point percentage lead.
The killer money quote in the Times story about Trump vs. Clinton comes from David Plouffe, the Svengali of the Obama victory in 2008.
“Hope and change, not so much,” he tells the Times. “More like hate and castrate.”
In other news …
Meanwhile, though it’s a small sample, CNN says that Donald Trump has almost 50 percent support nationally from Republicans.
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Marco Rubio’s Super PAC went hot and heavy Monday regarding Trump’s failure on Sunday to dissociate himself from famed KKK member David Duke.
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FSU students want Joe Gruters to leave the college’s Board of Trustees because of his association with Trump. Gruters is managing his campaign here in the Sunshine State.
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Jim Lange (not the late “Dating Game” host) is a first-time candidate running in the CD 15 contest vs. Republican incumbent Dennis Ross. Learn a little more about him from our recent interview with him.
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And Cyril Spiro is in the hunt to succeed Lisa Montelione when she steps down from her Tampa City Council District 7 seat to run for the legislature this year.