–Hillary Clinton did not start the birther movement: Hi there. Have you been hearing this talking point recently? Like a lot of us recently, you’ve been led to believe that it was actually Hillary Clinton who started the whole “Obummer was born in Kenya” movement”. Oh, what’s that? You knew it was total B.S. when you first heard it? Join the club. Anyway, so Dave Weigel at WaPo took a look at the history of birtherism and came up with the same answer that we all did. Sure, it’s true that a pollster who worked for Clinton during her 2008 campaign warned Democratic voters how electing someone with Obama’s background (i.e. the whole growing up in Indonesia thing, which was only for a few years of his early life) might have been too far of a reach for Democrats at the time. But this man, Mark Penn, did not say Obama was born in Kenya or deny he’s really a christian. Furthermore, there is absolutely no record of Clinton herself (nor her campaign) endorsing any theory that Obama is not an American citizen whop was born in Honolulu. Unless you can find some proof that Orly Taitz or Larry Klayman work for Hillary Clinton, it’s time to drop this obviously false talking point. As for me, I’ve always maintained that this was purely a story manufactured by the conservative movement who was (and still is) determined to make Obama look unfit for their criteria as to what it means to truly be an American. I have yet to see any evidence that proves me wrong.
–Jonah Goldberg, false and “pretty accurate”: The infamous conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg says liberals are right to point out that Carly Fiorina’s Planned Parenthood rant was based on false evidence (because it was), but still believes that Fiorina’s description was “pretty accurate.” Gary Legum at Salon already commented on how this is a conservative editorial strategy to give their supporters rhetorical pats on the heads to reinforce what they are so sure is happening, if only the “liberal media” would cover it properly. After assuring us that the Planned Parenthood videos have not been discussed on the nightly news, even though NBC News has, Goldberg believes that liberals are harping on Fiorina’s inaccuracies as a distraction “…to conceal the fact that late-term abortions offend the conscience when discussed or displayed with anything like journalistic accuracy.” While Goldberg has a point that many Americans are troubled by the videos and late-term abortions, the notion that a majority of Americans want to ban abortion or even defund Planned Parenthood is ludicrous. And in the response I linked to above, Legum states what we all know that only “…about 1.2 percent of all abortions performed yearly are late-term.” I would suggest that it is Goldberg who is creating a distraction to cover Firorina’s behind for stretching the facts while he attempts to prevent the latest Trump challenger from self-destructing (Goldberg, like the rest of the NRO crew, hates Trump).
–The latest polling: First we have a poll of Florida voters, brought to us by Matt Wilstein at Mediaite. The poll, conducted by Florida Atlantic University, came up with the following results: Donald Trump is at 31.5%, Rubio is at 19.2%, and Jeb Bush is at 11.3%, while Carson and Fiorina follow the top three. Now, the more obvious headline here is that among the “Establishment” vote, Rubio is beating Jeb Bush. Rubio receiving more votes may also be a consequence of Walker dropping out of the race. The more subtle headline is that Carson’s appeal is probably limited to states with a more conservative (and religious) Republican primary voter base. Carson is still second in New Hampshire, but after the second debate it seems his numbers are waning there, too.
On the Democratic side of things, Hillary’s in the lead with 59.5% of the vote in Florida, followed by a recently surging Joe Biden at 15.9%. Bernie Sanders continues to see his normal second-place spot decline, albeit only slightly (15.2%). It should be noted that this poll is only based on Florida voters. A significant amount of Florida Democrats are of Latino descent, and along with Black voters, this is the base that Sanders has struggled with the most. And as I stated a week ago, the only real way that Sanders can seriously challenge Clintion is to perform better in bigger states with more ethnically diverse populations. Based on the evidence from some of Sanders’ Twitter supporters, this may prove difficult. As for Biden, there is no question he would do better than Sanders with Latino and Black voters. But would he do better than Clinton in this area? Too soon to tell.
Second, a new Reuters poll is out and it shows that Trump is still in a commanding lead at 30%, while Carly Fiorina’s numbers have only bumped up to 8%. To be clear, that is an improvement for Fiorina (last time she had 6% in this poll). But with Carson still at 18% and Bush still at 10%, it’s clear she has a way to go before making a real dent in the race.
Hillary also comes in first with Democratic voters in this poll, standing at 40 percent. Sanders does come in at 30% in this poll, but it’s not clear if Joe Biden was one of the options available for Democratic voters. I’m also of the opinion that these polls will mean more after the first Democratic debate, which takes place on October 13th. Will Joe Biden be in that debate? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be in the second Democratic debate.