NEWS AND OPINION:
There are some new faith findings of note: Republican front-runner Donald Trump has more support from GOP Catholic voters than their Protestant brethren. According to a review of three Monmouth University surveys, Mr. Trump pulled 44 percent support in Iowa from Catholic caucusgoers compared to 24 percent from Protestants. The candidate garnered 30 percent of the Catholic vote and 26 percent of the Protestant vote in New Hampshire. In South Carolina he currently holds 42 percent of the Catholic vote compared with 32 percent of the Protestant vote.
And one more thing, says the exacting Patrick Murray, director of polling on the Monmouth campus, and the man who pored over all the numbers.
“A whopping 76 percent of Catholic Republicans said they favored building a wall across the Mexican border and 61 percent specifically said they approved of Trump’s immigration plan,” Mr. Murray noted in an analysis compiled for the New York Daily News.
‘I WENT BY THE LAW’
“I never thought to stay here without papers. I had a visa, and I traveled every few months back to the country, to Slovenia, to stamp the visa. I applied for the green card. I applied for citizenship later on, after many years of the green card. I followed the law. I went by the system, I went by the law. And you should do that. You should not just say let me stay here — and whatever happens, happens.”
— Melania Trump, in her first broadcast interview, explaining her attitude toward U.S. immigration protocols, to MSNBC.
She later reflected on her husband, Donald Trump, noting, “We have thick skin, and we know that people will judge him and people will call names. They don’t give him enough credit.”
Mrs. Trump added, “He wants to protect America. He wants to protect the people of America so we have a country, and to keep the country safe. That’s very important to him.”
The potential first lady is a native of Slovenia.
HEY BIG SPENDERS
How much have the White House candidates on both sides of the aisle spent on TV and radio campaign ads? From April 2015 through mid-February, here is the figure: $297,429,091. The source is the freshly updated Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard. The results are for broadcast ads only, and the analysis covers Donald Trump; Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bernard Sanders; Hillary Clinton; and Govs. John Kasich and Chris Christie.
RESULTS FROM THE DOG ELECTION
“For the 25th consecutive year, the family-friendly Labrador retriever is the most popular dog in America,” announces the American Kennel Club, which bases the conclusion on registration statistics for 184 dog breeds.
Second on the Rover roster: German Shepherds, followed by golden retrievers, bulldogs, beagles, French bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, Rottweilers and boxers.
Labs are also the top dogs in the nation’s capital, contrary to what the political parties may say. In New York City, Miami and San Francisco, it’s French bulldogs; in Chicago, labs rule; in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the bulldog reigns. The organization also notes that Max is currently the top name for male dogs and Bella for all the lady dogs, with Charlie and Lucy in second place, respectively.
ROMNEY PONDERS A BOMBSHELL
Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has a request for the three front-runners who have taken his place on the endless White House campaign trail this time around.
“I’d like to see their back taxes. I’d like to see where they filed their taxes in the last several years — I’m not talking about their taxes this year. I’m talking about the taxes that have already been filed with the IRS, and Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have not shown us their back taxes. This was an issue on my campaign, so I’m sensitive,” Mr. Romney told Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto, suggesting the trio reveal their returns from the last two years.
“This will give us a real sense on whether these people are on the up and up and if they have been telling us things about themselves that are true — or not. I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Mr. Romney observed.
SCOTT WALKER, CONTINUED
He’s long gone from the presidential race, now back at home in Wisconsin taking care of business. Gov. Scott Walker has just signed two bills that would cut $8 million in taxpayer funds for Planned Parenthood in his state. The legislation restricts how much the organization can be reimbursed for prescription drugs, and also prevents the state from passing federal Title X grant money to any organization or affiliate that provides abortions.
“Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the country, doesn’t deserve a dime of taxpayer money, and Gov. Walker’s blocking federal grants to the organization is a powerful example to other governors that this can and should be the model of both fiscal and moral leadership,” says Diana Banister, executive director of Citizens for the Republic, a conservative grass-roots lobbying group promoting ideas championed by Ronald Reagan — who founded the original group in 1977.
“We the people have the ability to control the destiny of our nation. We should never be in the position of giving up in despair.”
— GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson, in a tweet late Wednesday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 74 percent of Americans say potential presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg “slightly” represents the issues they care about.
• 63 percent say the media have “mostly balanced” coverage of Mr. Bloomberg; 16 percent say the media are biased against him, 13 percent say biased in favor.
• 59 percent say they “definitely would not vote for” Mr. Bloomberg; 29 percent say they would consider voting for him, 7 percent would definitely vote for him.
• 48 percent don’t know enough about Mr. Bloomberg to judge him; 31 percent have an unfavorable impression, 19 percent a favorable one.
Source: An AP/GFK poll of 1,033 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 11-15 and released Wednesday.
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