Just days before the Nevada caucuses, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight race while Donald Trump remains poised to run away with an easy win, recent polls show.
On the Democratic side, Planned Parenthood is launching an advertising campaign in hopes of boosting Hillary Clinton, who has fallen into a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders in the latest poll of Democratic caucusgoers there.
Beginning Wednesday, the group — which formally endorsed Clinton last month — is expected to air three 15-second television spots featuring women talking about why they support the former secretary of state’s presidential bid.
Clinton speaks during a women’s health meeting at the University of Nevada on Monday. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
“Remember, there’s a lot at stake in this election,” Reyna, a Mexican-American single mother, says in one of the ads. “Hillary Clinton is a champion for women’s health care. That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed her.”
The ads do not mention Sanders by name.
According to the results of a new CNN/ORC survey released Wednesday, the Vermont senator has pulled to within one percentage point of Clinton in Nevada, with the Democratic frontrunner leading the self-described democratic socialist 48 percent to 47 percent. (The same poll conducted in October showed Clinton with a comfortable 16-point lead on Sanders — 50 percent to 34 percent — in Nevada.)
Factoring in the poll’s sampling error (plus or minus 6 percentage points), the candidates sit in a statistical tie just three days before the caucuses.
A different poll conducted earlier this month found Clinton and Sanders in a flat-footed tie (45 percent each) among likely Democratic caucusgoers.
The poll results, though, come with a large caveat: Nevada is a notoriously difficult state to poll.
Sex workers at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch have endorsed Clinton’s candidacy. (Photo: Hookers4Hillary.com)
Not surprisingly, Team Clinton appears to be taking no chances. According to Jon Ralston’s Ralston Reports, the former secretary of state’s campaign is now outspending Sanders on TV ads in Nevada, including $1.5 million for ads this week compared with $1 million for Sanders. (Each campaign has spent a total of roughly $4 million on TV ads there this cycle.)
That doesn’t include the free advertising Clinton has been getting from an unlikely ally: the sex workers at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, who have been campaigning as “Hookers for Hillary” — even drafting a four-point platform to explain their endorsement.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump (45 percent) has a commanding 26-point lead over Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (19 percent) among likely GOP caucusgoers, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (17 percent) in third place, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (7 percent) a distant fourth.
That hasn’t stopped the brash billionaire from spending $400,000 on TV ads in Nevada ahead of Tuesday’s Republican caucuses.
The anti-Trump PAC Make America Awesome has countered with several TV ads, including this one, titled, “Not For Us.”
Trump also maintains a double-digit lead in South Carolina, which will hold its Republican primary on Saturday. The real estate mogul — who will participate in an MSNBC town hall moderated by “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in Charleston later Wednesday — holds a 16-point advantage (38 percent to 22 percent) over Cruz in the Palmetto State, the CNN/ORC survey found.
And the results of new Quinnipiac national poll, released Wednesday, show Trump with 39 percent support among GOP voters — a high-water mark for the poll-obsessed businessman — followed by Rubio at 19 percent, Cruz at 18 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 6 percent.
“Reports of Donald Trump’s imminent demise as a candidate are clearly and greatly exaggerated,” Quinnipiac pollster Tim Malloy said in a statement accompanying the survey’s release. “Like a freight train barreling through signals with his horn on full blast, Trump heads down the track towards a possible nomination.”
President Obama, though, doesn’t buy the Trump hype.
“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president,” Obama said on Tuesday. “And the reason is that I have a lot of faith in the American people, and I think they recognize that being president is a serious job.”