1. In Bloomberg, Matthew Campbell explains why Trump is losing the Davos primary among his fellow billionaires.
The collapsing center of U.S. politics poses a growing threat to global business, according to Davos delegates who say they’re watching anxiously as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders ride a populist wave in the presidential election.
“Trump is right now busy chasing the Mexicans,” T.K. Kurien, the chief executive officer of Indian information-technology services firm Wipro Ltd., said in an interview at the Swiss mountain resort, where the World Economic Forum meets this week. “But after he finishes with the Mexican story, I am pretty sure he’ll train his guns on us.”
2. In CNN, Dan Merica writes about the messages Clinton can't deliver.
The Clinton campaign has dispatched 34 different surrogates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada as of this month, with many making multiple trips. These surrogates, according to a list provided by the Clinton campaign, include six U.S. senators, 14 members of Congress and three governors.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus blanketed the Charleston area earlier this month around the fourth Democratic debate, stumping for Clinton in barber shops, beauty salons and church services. On Sunday, the day of the debate, 14 African-American politicians visited churches on behalf of the Clinton campaign.
3. In Huffington Post, Natalie Jackson explains why Trump’s lead is not as solid as it looks.
Late last week, NBC News released a poll declaring, “Trump More Than Doubles National Lead.” Similar headlines across the national press made it seem inevitable that businessman and entertainer Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination for president. Despite warnings that these national primary polls are meaningless, Trump’s dominance should be worth something, right?
Maybe not. Numbers deeper in the same poll paint a much shakier picture of the race. NBC and The Wall Street Journal, in addition to asking respondents to pick their favorite candidate, have been asking a much more interesting question since last March -- whether respondents could see themselves supporting each individual candidate.
4. In CNN, Eli Watkins talks about Carson’s lack of political experience according to his former political campaign.
"He's also a 64-year-old African-American male, who culturally is what he is right? He's not comfortable with homosexuality, right?" said Barry Bennett, Carson's former campaign manager, at an event at Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service.
"And there was nothing we could do to make him talk about it in a lexicon that is much more modern," he said.
When asked about the comments from the former staffers, Carson's communications director Larry Ross said the campaign is "moving forward in a positive direction."
5. In The Washington Post, John Wagner talks about Sanders political strategy against Clinton.
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is preparing for a protracted battle with Hillary Clinton by hiring staffs and laying groundwork in more than a dozen contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two nominating states.
Sanders has deployed about 50 paid campaign aides apiece to Nevada and South Carolina, the next two states on the calendar, according to advisers. Paid staffs are on the ground in all of the 11 “Super Tuesday” states that have contests on March 1, a presence that appears to at least match that of the Clinton camp.
6. In CNN, Tal Kopan talks about the latest Monmouth University poll.
A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday finds the real-estate mogul leading the Republican primary with 36% support among Republican voters, a 19-point edge over the Texas senator, who is second at 17%. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has 11%, and all other candidates are in single digits.
The poll also asked voters if they believe Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother, is a natural-born citizen and thus eligible for the presidency. While two-thirds said he was, 12% said he was not and 24% weren't sure.
7. In Associated Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar writes about Sanders health plan.
But with full coverage for long-term care, most dental care included, no deductibles and zero copays, the Sanders plan is considerably more generous. Think of it as Medicare on growth hormones.
Setting aside ideological issues, the scope of Sanders' plan and its lack of detail have raised questions about its seriousness. Some health care experts see it mainly as a political document to distinguish Sanders' revolutionary ideas from Hillary Clinton's incremental approach.
Last Sunday, the Vermont senator released an 8-page outline of his "Medicare For All" plan, an idea he's long advocated. The campaign estimates it would cost $1.38 trillion a year, paid for with new taxes that would take the place of private health insurance premiums.
8. In USA Today, Josh Hafner explains why Dole characterized Cruz as “extremist.”
Dole characterized Cruz as an "extremist" unwilling to work with his own party. The Times' Maggie Haberman notes that Dole's comments reflect a larger tension that establishment Republicans feel with Cruz, who portrays himself on the campaign trail as their antithesis.
Last month, Dole told MSNBC that he might oversleep and not vote next November were Cruz the Republican nominee.
Dole also lamented Wednesday that Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor he supports for president, still "needs to break out," and that moderate Republicans seem to have had a tougher time reaching voters this cycle.
9. In MSNBC, Jane C. Timm reports that Biden would run if Clinton will be indicted.
Trump is relying on quite a bit of speculation here – that Clinton could be criminally prosecuted for her use of a private server while secretary of state and that Biden might run instead – and portraying Democrats as a wrecked party.
Biden has made it clear he has no plans to run: after much speculation, he said last year he felt there wasn’t enough time for both his family to mourn the loss of Biden’s son, heal, and for him to mount a successful bid.
10. In CNN, Eric Bradner reports about the latest CNN/WMUR poll.
The Vermont senator leads Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by 23 percentage points. He also tops Ohio Gov. John Kasich by 21 points and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 18 points.
Clinton, meanwhile, faces tighter races in hypothetical match-ups against the same Republican candidates. She trails Rubio at 45% to 44%, and ties Kasich at 43%. She leads Christie 45% to 42%, beats Cruz 47% to 41% and tops Trump 48% to 39%.