Report: Trump Benefited from Media Coverage, Clinton Suffered

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A blitz of both positive and negative media coverage played a large role in propelling Donald Trump to capture the Republican nomination, according to a new Harvard study out of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. The study analyzed the coverage of both print and broadcast sources, reaching the conclusion that “Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories.” Had Trump spent money on advertising equivalent to the amount of free media coverage he got, he would have spent roughly $55 million, the study found. Trump’s next closest competitor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, got just $36 million in free time by comparison.

Most of Trump’s media coverage (34 percent) had to do with his campaign activities and events, while 21 percent of it had to do with polls, and 27 percent of it was other miscellaneous coverage.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, independent Senator Bernie Sanders enjoyed the most positive coverage during the money primary, the report notes, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the most unfavorable media coverage, with over a quarter of her reporting time spent on the issues and over 80 percent of that time spent on negative coverage. Trump, Ted Cruz, and Sanders had issues-related coverage 12, 9, and 7 percent of the time, respectively, and Trump had negative issues-related reporting 43 percent of the time, while both Cruz and Sanders had negative issues-related reporting less than one-third of the time.

With the primaries now over, will the media continue to bolster Trump and damage Clinton? Continue Reading

Trump Trails Clinton in Popular Vote, Leads in Battleground Counties

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Donald Trump suffered a setback last week as new national polling revealed that he fell outside the margin of error in his quest to defeat presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and take back the White House for the Republicans. However, according to a report released on Friday by consulting firm Axiom Strategies, Trump leads Clinton in several “battleground counties,” areas that determine how electoral votes are apportioned in a state, polling much more favorably in these swing counties than former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney did against incumbent President Barack Obama in 2012.

In fact, in the seven battleground counties examined in the report, Trump leads Clinton in five, meaning that, if historical precedent holds, he would win those states if the election were held today. The seven counties examined in the report tilted the results in those battleground states for each of the past four election cycles. The accuracy of these results is difficult to ascertain, though, partially because no margin of error is given in the report, and, in counties where Trump leads Clinton, he does so by a margin of five points or fewer, with the exception of Luzerne County in Pennsylvania and Washoe County in Nevada.

Still, if these numbers hold true, they represent positive news for the Trump campaign, which prides itself on uniting not only the Republican Party but also the entire country on a pro-worker, “America first” message. Time will tell whether these predictions pan out, but if current trends hold, it is clear this will be a much closer election than that of 2012. Continue Reading

Trump Tries to Win Over Social Conservatives at Major D.C. Conference

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump sought to broaden his appeal with conservative Christians, speaking at the annual Faith and Freedom Caucus and Concerned Women for America-sponsored “Road to Majority” Conference in Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon. Following a speech by former Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, Trump blasted Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State and called Clinton “crooked,” a common nickname he has used for the presumptive Democratic nominee throughout the 2016 race.

Trump also laid out several socially conservative goals for the country, among them “[upholding] the sanctity and dignity of life” and “[protecting] the right of people of faith to freely practice their faith.” Trump further accused the Democrats of dividing the country on the basis of race and religion and emphasized his ability to unite the country. When Trump condemned the allowance of Syrian refugees into America, however, several groups of loud protesters chanted “Stop Trump!” Trump supporters loudly chanted back “Build that wall!” and “USA!”

Trump continued speaking after the disturbance, calling the protesters “very rude,” touting his “pro-life” picks for the Supreme Court, and emphasizing his tough stances on issues of law and order, particularly with regard to immigration law but also relating to the right to keep and bear arms. Clinton, Trump said, “wants to abolish the Second Amendment.”

More broadly, Trump said that he would “turn things around” and accused Democrats of being on the wrong side of trade, education, poverty eradication, and religious liberty. Trump also gave credit to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), to scattered applause, who accused Clinton of being in Wall Street’s pocket, saying that the allegations were “true” and that Trump is “spending his own money.”

“I care about [putting America first],” Trump said. Continue Reading

Poll: Clinton, Trump Deadlocked in Pennsylvania

From left: Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (credit: Gage Skidmore/Marc Nozell)

Donald Trump continues to gain ground on Hillary Clinton, particularly in states which have not gone Republican in a presidential election in many years. According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, Trump and Clinton are tied at 44 percent support each in Pennsylvania, a state in which Trump hopes that pro-worker economic message will resonate with working class voters.

While a generic Democrat and Bernie Sanders still enjoy leads in a general election scenario against Trump, concerns remain about Clinton’s popularity, even within the Democratic Party, and many are openly questioning whether enough Sanders supporters will back Clinton in the fall to turn the battleground state blue. As it stands currently, just 72 percent of those backing Sanders in a general election scenario versus Trump would support the former Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Sanders leads Trump 51 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania, and a generic Democrat leads the billionaire 45 percent to 41 percent in the state.

Still, such numbers represent a miraculous turnaround for Trump, who just less than two months ago was losing to Clinton by as many as fifteen points.  Perhaps the larger story, however, is how well Trump does even with Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson included in the polling. Though Clinton takes the lead in the state by one point, 41 percent to 40 percent, Trump is still well within the three point margin of error, with Johnson and Stein polling at six and three percent, respectively. Continue Reading

The Story of “Reagan’s Lost Campaign Ad”

Jeff Bell, Policy Director for the American Principles Project and occasional contributor to The Pulse 2016, recently sat down for an interview with The Daily Reckoning’s Brian Maher to discuss the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

One interesting story from the campaign detailed by Bell involved a pro-gold standard TV ad which Reagan appeared in — and the intriguing reason why the ad never ran:

Brian Maher: … Gentlemen, we talk a lot about gold here at The Daily Reckoning. I don’t know how many people remember today, but Reagan wanted to return to a gold standard. In fact, I believe you shot a commercial of him calling for a return to gold. But it never ran, correct?

Jeff Bell: That’s correct. And no, it never ran. Reagan believed in the gold standard. He was very interested in it. It was an issue for the first year or two on his administration, when he conducted a Gold Commission. The majority of the Gold Commission recommended against returning to the gold standard. Reagan was able to fix the economy and stop most of inflation without one, but he was very interested in it.

What he said in the ad, which is something I think he always believed, was that we’ll never have stable prices until we get back to some form of gold backing for the dollar. He didn’t blame labor for inflation. He blamed the government.

Reagan said, “We’re never going to get price stability until we return to some form of gold.” He didn’t say that it was only inflation that was a problem.

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New Poll: Trump, Clinton Statistically Tied in Florida

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has significantly narrowed the gender gap in Florida, with both men and women supporting him over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 45-44 percent, according to a new survey released yesterday by Public Policy Polling. Overall, Trump holds a narrow one-point lead among the 737 likely voters surveyed, though this puts Clinton well within the margin of error of 3.6 points.

Still, this represents positive news for Trump, who, in previous polling, has trailed Clinton by as many as 13 points and has not led her in a poll since early March. The survey also reveals continued weaknesses in the Democratic Party, split by the scorched-earth-style campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, who, after losing California, was denied the Democratic nomination last night. Only 77 percent of Democrats surveyed said that they would back Clinton, while 14 percent said that they would back Trump. Meanwhile, 83 percent of Republicans said that they would back Trump, while just 9 percent said that they would back Clinton.

Despite Sanders losing the nomination, polls have suggested that he would do better in key swing states against Trump than Clinton. However, this poll shows Sanders would only be tied with Trump when including Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson in the survey, suggesting that third party candidates may be hurting Democrats more than Republicans, especially with a weak nominee in Hillary Clinton.  Only time will tell, however, whether Republicans and Democrats can unify around their presumptive nominees. Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Violated Federal Law, House Panel Says

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a damning new report yesterday showing that Planned Parenthood violated federal law by releasing confidential patient records as a pretense to facilitate fetal organ sales to procurement firm StemExpress.

Panel Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) subsequently released contracts between StemExpress and the abortion clinics in question and called for an investigation from the Department of Health and Human Services. In a letter sent to the department Wednesday, Blackburn wrote, “The key to understanding the HIPAA and consent violations that we’ve referred to HHS is that there’s a business contract between StemExpress and the abortion clinics…[and that that] contract changes the way both entities view the young woman: her baby is now a profit center.”

The letter alleges that StemExpress illegally obtained medical records by fax from three California abortion clinics mentioned by name, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, and the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group.  The letter further states that StemExpress employees appeared to negotiate fetal tissue sales with clinics “before they obtained informed consent to procure [it].” Blackburn’s revelations come on the heels of an undercover investigation conducted by the pro-life advocacy group Center for Medical Progress during which secret video recordings showed the fetal organs transactions taking place.

CMP founder David Daleiden said in a statement that he applauds Blackburn’s letter and that “StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood to break the law…[and both organizations] engaged in a five-year-long scheme to profit off aborted baby body parts using unprotected confidential information and disregarding normal patient protections, in direct violation of HIPAA and other federal laws.”

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the nation and the first affiliate to enter into contracts with StemExpress, beginning in April 2010. Continue Reading

Gov. Haley Makes S.C. Latest State to Protect Unborn After 20 Weeks

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Fierce pro-life advocate and two-term South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a measure Wednesday afternoon which seeks to ban abortion in the state after the first twenty weeks gestation, except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened. Haley signed the bill after it was passed by a margin of 79-29 late Tuesday in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Mounting medical evidence shows that fetuses are capable of feeling pain after just twenty weeks in the womb and that fetal viability has now, in the majority of cases, exceeded the Supreme Court’s threshold set at 24 weeks during its landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. According to a recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, 60 percent of premature babies survive at 22 weeks gestation, and an even higher 70 percent of preemies survive at 23 weeks.

Nationwide, nearly two-thirds of all Americans would support a twenty-week ban, excepting cases in which the life of the mother was in danger, while just under one-third said that they would be opposed, according to a recent poll conducted by The Polling Company.

Given this strong public support and new research, as well as the growing number of states — now at 17 — which have enacted this measure, it has become an issue which can no longer be ignored by presidential candidates, a point emphasized today by Susan B. Anthony List president, and occasional contributor to The Pulse, Marjorie Dannenfelser:

“The pain-capable bill is a line we have set in the sand, and a line GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has agreed to,” Dannenfelser said.

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Jimmy Kemp Endorses Daria Novak in U.S. House Race

U.S. Capitol building

Connecticut GOP candidate for Congress and longtime gold standard proponent Daria Novak has just received the endorsement of Jimmy Kemp, son of the late Jack Kemp, former HUD secretary and New York Congressman who also ran alongside Bob Dole in his 1996 bid to defeat former President Bill Clinton. In a statement reprinted yesterday by the Novak campaign, Kemp reiterated Novak’s reputation as “a relentless fighter for the growth policies that Jack Kemp advanced…to create 40 million new jobs in the 80’s and 90’s” and called Novak, “a champion of the classical gold standard.”

Novak is just the latest Republican to actively address what is emerging as popular issue in the 2016 campaign. The top two candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and New York billionaire Donald J. Trump, have both spoken positively of returning the United States to hard currency, as have other congressional candidates. By making the gold standard a centerpiece of her campaign, Novak is hoping to ride the “hard money tide” all the way to the House of Representatives, stating on her campaign site, “The classical gold standard is Constitutional money and it made America great.”

Kemp’s endorsement also comes on the heels of oft-cited business leader and economics expert George Gilder’s, after whose ideas Reaganomics was modeled, as well as that of two-time Republican presidential candidate and businessman Steve Forbes, who referred to Novak as “a ‘Prosperity Heroine.’” Novak will face four-term Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney in the general election contest this fall. Continue Reading