- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

That rumored coronation does not appear imminent at the moment. A new survey of likely voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia finds that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton actually trails the “Republican nominee” for the office by eight percentage points: That’s 50 percent for the generic GOPer and 42 percent for Mrs. Clinton, this according to a monthly Vox Populi tracking poll released Wednesday.

But wait. Another 34 percent of the respondents prefer Vice President Joseph R. Biden to Mrs. Clinton, 34 percent to 30 percent, respectively. The poll included 1,670 registered voters, evenly divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents.

“Despite three months of campaigning and trying to rehabilitate her image, Hillary Clinton continues to struggle in key battleground states. As rumors of Joe Biden’s entry into the race grow, Democrats should pay very close attention to Hillary’s glaring and irreparable weaknesses,” says Ian Prior, communications director for American Crossroads, the nonprofit political organization behind the survey. The poll also shows that 56 percent of those surveyed “do not trust Clinton.” More numbers at the Poll du Jour, at column’s end.

WALKER’S FIGHTING WORDS

Gov. Scott Walker is not holding back. The straightforward presidential hopeful speaks his mind, recently noting in campaign speeches, “I love America,” and “I’m a Harley guy, and I’m running for president.” His campaign materials are also feisty.

“After six and a half years under an imperial president who ignores the Constitution at nearly every turn, we need a battle-tested leader who can advance a conservative vision for the future. Obama, Clinton, and their liberal pals in Washington have weakened America’s reputation in the world, allowed terrorist groups to grow abroad, and created a culture of corruption at home,” Mr. Walker notes in an email outreach.

“From using the IRS to bully conservative groups to concealing the truth of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, this administration has done serious damage to our country. Conservatives must stand together and fight to get America back on the right track. And that all starts with nominating a strong conservative-minded candidate for president,” the candidate concludes.

Mr. Walker, incidentally, is in New Hampshire on Thursday before departing for Iowa for a three-day, eight-city campaign trip through Iowa in a Winnebago.

AND THE BUSH VERSION

“There are significant challenges ahead, and I need your support to win the fight. If we fail, we face four more years of the same failed leadership under a different name. We don’t need a continuation of the Obama playbook, we need someone who will put us on the right path. Our best years are not behind us, they’re in front of us,” fellow Republican hopeful Jeb Bush notes in his most recent campaign outreach.

BEN CARSON: ‘MORE THAN SICKENED’

“I, like many of you, was sickened when I saw the video of Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood secretly videotaped discussing selling aborted baby parts. I was more than sickened, I was enraged. Congress must act NOW! Please sign my petition to Congress demanding that they stop all public funds to Planned Parenthood. I spent my whole life caring for children. What I see in this video is barbaric. Congress must ACT!”

— From Ben Carson’s public petition to rein in the aforementioned organization, launched Wednesday. And Mr. Carson, incidentally, is in Iowa through Saturday.

LOOKING THE OTHER WAY

A new study from the Media Research Center has examined broadcast coverage of an undercover video revealing Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services referring to the practice of selling the body parts of aborted babies. The chilling account went public Tuesday but warranted little attention from the “big three” networks in the aftermath. ABC and CBS completely ignored the story, while NBC gave it just 39 seconds, omitting “damning quotes,” according to the analysis.

“How is it not news that [a] senior executive at Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions of taxpayer dollars each year, seems to be violating the law and selling aborted babies’ body parts apparently obtained through illegal partial-birth abortions?” asks Dan Gainor, vice president for culture at the conservative media watchdog.

“ABC and CBS are so outlandishly pro-abortion they passed on the news that a taxpayer-funded entity appears to have been breaking the law and trafficking human body parts. Journalists have refused to cover this story because it upsets the narrative they actively push — which is that Planned Parenthood cares about women’s health,” he adds.

THE PROGRESSIVES MOBILIZE

Of note: Young progressives appear ready to rumble. On Thursday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 10 other Democratic lawmakers are among those to have a say at Generation Progress’ 10th Annual Make Progress National Summit in the nation’s capital — an event covered by C-SPAN beginning at 9 a.m. EDT.

There’s more. Democracy for America’s noisy Netroots Nation also begins Thursday in Phoenix; the three-day event will focus on “immigration, our out-of-control police forces and issues around gender equality,” according to executive director Raven Brooks.

On stage in Arizona at one point or another: 90 speakers, 45 training sessions and yes, the busy Ms. Warren, plus Sen. Bernard Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley — those two men both also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Among other things, Planned Parenthood will present a “Sex, Cocktails and Karaoke” session at a local bar, and there will also be a rally against Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

BAIER TERRITORY

As moderator of the first officially sanctioned presidential debate Aug. 6, Fox News anchor Bret Baier will be in the national spotlight. It is not surprising, then, that he’s just signed a new multiyear deal with Fox News to continue as both chief political anchor and anchor of the daily “Special Report.” Good feelings abound.

“Bret’s work ethic and style have played an integral role in the leadership of our Washington bureau and the success of the network,” says Fox CEO Roger Ailes, who also praised Mr. Baier’s journalistic instincts and political expertise.

“I have been given many amazing opportunities and am incredibly grateful that Roger Ailes has put his trust in me again. With the political season now in full swing and the world news environment constantly changing, there is still no better place to be — to bring fair and balanced news to viewers,” the enthusiastic Mr. Baier reports.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of registered voters in six swing states say Hillary Rodham Clinton “will do or say anything to get elected”; 37 percent disagree.

58 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton is “hiding” something about the Benghazi attacks; 33 percent disagree.

54 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton does not share their values; 40 percent say she does.

53 percent overall have an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton; 38 percent have a favorable opinion.

48 percent say that Mrs. Clinton potentially being the “first female president” does not influence their vote; 31 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for her, 19 percent less likely.

45 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton represents the “past not the future”; 42 percent disagree.

Source: A Vox Populi survey of 1,670 registered U.S. voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia conducted July 7-8 and released Wednesday.

Weary sighs and agitated commentary to jharper@ washingtontimes.com

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