US Campaign Update, 20/01/16: Top 10 Stories

1. In Huffington Post, Willa Frej reports that Human Rights Campaign endorses Clinton.


HRC chose Clinton because "leading Republican candidates for president have threatened to halt progress as well as revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains made during President Obama’s two terms."
The group added that Clinton has presented the "most robust and ambitious LGBT plan any candidate for president has ever laid out," including her desire to drop the ban on transgender military service and fighting for equal rights through legislation like the Equality Act.



2. In Huffington Post, Paige Lavender explains why Sarah Palin endorses Trump.


Palin is a longtime supporter of Trump, and even backed his controversial call for a "complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States. Back in August, Palin raved about the businessman, praising him for "crushing it in the polls."
In July, Trump said he'd "love" having Palin work in his administration if he were elected president.
"Like me, she's got people that don't exactly love us and we understand who they are and sort of forget about that," Trump told host Kevin Scholl on "The Palin Update," an online interview show. "But she has a tremendously loyal group of people out there for her."



3. In CNN, MJ Lee reports that Iowa governor wants Ted Cruz defeated.


Branstad's attack on Cruz is an extraordinary intervention in the caucus campaign. The state's caucuses take place on February 1.
"I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that Ted Cruz is going to win this state," Branstad told CNN afterwards. "Because as Iowans learn about his anti-renewable fuel stand, and that it will cost us jobs, and will further reduce farm income, I think people will realize that it's not in our interest."
He added: "I don't think that Ted Cruz is the right one for Iowans to support in the caucus."


4. In CNN, Manu Raju reports thatRubio is becoming the choice of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill.


As Rubio is quickly becoming the choice of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, he also is methodically trying to position himself as an anti-establishment hero with deep social conservative values -- not unlike Cruz.
In his stump speech, the Florida senator says his campaign is a repudiation of a GOP establishment that told him to "wait in line" in 2016 -- just like in his 2010 Senate race when he took down the party leadership's favorite candidate, Charlie Crist. He leans heavily into his religious views and anti-abortion stances in TV ads, a direct pitch to the evangelical voters who dominate the caucuses here and are a source of support for Cruz.


5. In Boston Globe, Matt Viser talks about Trump’s unconventional campaign at New Hampshire.


It all has longtime watchers of New Hampshire worried a Trump victory would undercut the argument that New Hampshire’s primary should remain first because the state’s small size lets voters really get to know the candidates, so they can cast more informed votes.
“The argument has always been that we do the hard work and look the candidates in the eye so the country knows who the best person is,” said Ryan Williams, a Republican operative who has worked on several New Hampshire campaigns. “But Trump has been able to build support in the state without having to do any of the town hall meetings, the activist meetings, the stops at local coffee shops that most primary candidates have to do.”


6. In The New York Times, Jonathan Martin reports that Clinton’s supporters are now focusing on Sanders’ socialist perspective.


Democrats backing Hillary Clinton, nervously eyeing Senator Bernie Sanders’s growing strength in the early nominating states, are turning to a new strategy to raise doubts about his candidacy, highlighting his socialist beliefs to warn that he would be an electoral disaster who would frighten swing voters and send Democrats in tight congressional and governor’s races to defeat.


 7. In Bloomberg, Arit John talks about Sander’s campaign in South Carolina.


While wins in the first two states in the Democratic nomination race would give Sanders momentum, losses in more diverse states would call into question his ability to recreate the coalition of white liberals, young voters, and people of color that elected Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Sanders is still an unknown quantity for many African-Americans in South Carolina, which will hold the south's first Democratic primary on Feb. 27. Palmetto State voters who have heard of the Vermont senator may like him, but, so far, they know and like Clinton better.



8. In Huffington Post, Amanda Terkel reports Flint Mayor’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton.


Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D) endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, repeatedly thanking her for the work she and her campaign have done on the water crisis facing the Michigan city.
"We want a friend like Hillary in the White House," Weaver told reporters in a conference call organized by the Clinton campaign Tuesday morning. "That's exactly what we need to have happen."
Weaver didn't necessarily intend to make endorsement news Tuesday. After she praised Clinton, a reporter told the mayor that her comments sounded like she was backing the former secretary of state.


 9. In The Daily Beast, Rick Wilson argues why Cruz’s political strategy sucks.


It’s not a secret that Ted Cruz isn’t my first choice for the Republican nomination for president. His smug Poindexter affect, his smarm, sanctimony, and general derpiness all grate on me. There’s no doubt he’s smart, but while smart is necessary, it’s not necessarily sufficient.
That said, I’d rather Ted Cruz serve as leader of the free world for eight years than have Donald Trump in that role for eight minutes. Yet the inevitable, bloody conflict between Cruz and Trump that broke to the surface after the last Republican debate raises real questions about Cruz’s political judgment that Republican voters need to examine.



10. In The Des Moines Register, Charly Haley reports about Carson’s campaign volunteer died in car crash.


Braden Joplin, 25, of Lubbock, Texas, died Tuesday afternoon following an icy highway collision that also sent a Carson campaign staffer and two other volunteers to Cass County Memorial Hospital.
“I had the opportunity to get to know (Braden) and the thing that impressed me the most is how compassionate he was and how caring he was about the feelings of other people,” Carson said at a brief press conference after meeting Joplin’s family at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.