- The Washington Times
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A certain former first lady would sweep the current Democratic presidential standings if she chose to run for president in 2020 — and we’re not talking about Hillary Clinton here.

“Former first lady Michelle Obama would enter the 2020 Democratic New Hampshire primary race as the front-runner, a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll has found — though so far she’s insisted she won’t,” reports pollster R. Kelly Myers.


The poll, conducted Oct. 9-13, has Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden tied in the lead of the current Democratic field in the Granite State primary, with Sen. Bernard Sanders slightly behind.

“Today, the Democratic race is a statistical dead heat between Warren (25%), Biden (24%) and Sanders (22%). If Michelle Obama were to enter the race, it would change things dramatically. Twenty-six percent of Democrats would vote for her, making her the new front-runner. Under this scenario, Obama (26%) would lead Warren (20%), (Biden (20%) and Sanders (15%). She would take away four points from Warren, four points from Biden and seven points from Sanders,” Mr. Meyers said.

And while we are mulling this possibility, consider this bumper sticker should the two former first ladies join forces and go for broke: “Obama/Clinton 2020.”

And while we are mulling that possibility, consider that the tabloids have been buzzing about Mrs. Obama and former President Barack Obama, with less than promising news.

“$150 million at stake: Barack hires divorce lawyers. Livid Michelle’s revenge: Running for president,” trumpets a new headline from The Globe, a gossip tabloid.

“The tabloid’s only proof was Barack not wearing his wedding ring during a speaking engagement in Germany on Sept. 29,” counters International Business Times in an analysis of the untidy possibilities.

A CONSTITUTIONAL SURGE

Since President Trump took office, print edition sales of the Constitution have never been higher, a major industry group reports. Popular printed versions of the founding document have risen by double digits since 2016, according to The NPD Group, a global information company that tracks sales of books and other products.

“Regardless of your political affiliation, there is no doubt that our current political climate has done wonders for constitutional engagement,” says Kristen McLean, a book industry analyst for NPD BookScan.

Some 275,000 print editions of the Constitution were sold in 2016, the year Mr. Trump was elected president, which is the greatest number of print edition sales of the Constitution sold since NPD BookScan began tracking U.S. book sales in 2004. Average monthly sales of the Constitution have increased 60% in the Trump era, with an average of 19,800 copies sold each month during his first 33 months in office. By way of comparison, the monthly average was 7,500 in Barack Obama’s first term and 5,600 in George W. Bush’s second term.

“Current year-to-date sales are more than 50,000 units higher than at any point in the terms of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and we still have more than two months left in 2019,” Ms. McLean noted.

Constitution print edition sales tended to spike around key news events during Mr. Trump’s first term, such as his nomination and inauguration. The most recent sales spike is occurring now, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s push for formal impeachment hearings, the group said.

PICKY DEMOCRATS

Well, the fourth Democratic presidential debate has come and gone — perhaps leaving some potential collateral damage among the dozen hopefuls who duked it out on a crowded stage.

A new survey has detected dissatisfaction among voters who will ultimately choose the final nominee.

“Even Democrats aren’t overly thrilled about their party’s presidential debates so far, but one-in-five who’ve followed the debates say they’ve switched candidates since they began,” reports a Rasmussen Reports survey, which shows that eight out of 10 likely Democratic voters have closely followed the debates so far.

While 53% still favor the candidate they liked before the debates, 19% have already switched their support to someone else because of the debates, the poll found. Twenty-eight percent remain undecided.

“Only 42% of Democrats, however, think their party’s debates have done a good job of narrowing the field to the best candidates. Nearly as many (40%) say they have not done a good job. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure,” the poll said. The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted Sunday and Monday.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

The March for Life has revealed the theme for its 2020 rally in January: “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” This huge annual event in the nation’s capital is the world’s largest pro-life gathering, and has drawn as many as 650,000 people according to a New York Times account.

“Pro-lifers should be inspired by the early suffragists who understood the true dignity of women, and that every person, born and unborn, deserves equal rights,” says Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life.

FOXIFIED

For the 40th consecutive week, Fox News remains the most-watched basic cable network of all throughout the day, according to Nielsen Media Research — besting such non-news competition as ESPN, HGTV and TBS. As it has for over 17 years, Fox News continues to be the top cable news network, garnering 2.8 million prime-time viewers, compared to 2 million for MSNBC and 963,000 for CNN. Presentations of “Hannity,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “The Five” made up 16 of the top 40 cable telecasts in total viewers last week.

It was a good week, in fact, for prime-time anchor Laura Ingraham, who drew her highest ratings of the year last week, as did Shannon Bream, who anchors “Fox News @ Night” at 11 p.m. nightly. Ms. Ingraham drew 4.6 million viewers, Ms. Bream had 2.5 million.

For comparison, CNN’s much-vaunted five-hour long town hall during prime time last week drew 1.1 million viewers; Fox News in the same time slot averaged 3.7 million viewers.

POLL DU JOUR

29% of U.S. voters would be “much less likely” to vote for their representative who favored impeaching President Trump; 61% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

29% overall voters would be “much more likely” to vote for their pro-impeachment representative; 9% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.

18% overall say the impeachment vote would not influence their decision; 14% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.

11% says the issue is “somewhat more likely” to influence their vote; 2% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.

8% overall don’t know; 6% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

5% said the issue is somewhat less likely” to influence their vote; 9% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 11-13.

Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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