The powerful gun lobby is gauging enough support in Congress to block a law that would ban assault weapons, despite promises from the White House and senior lawmakers to make such a measure a reality.
Charles Drew: Nobody knows how Trump will do when the votes are tallied in November, but we do know from polling data how Trump is doing right now – and, to the surprise of many inside the Beltway, he’s not doing that bad. Recent polls show Trump pulling ahead in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada. Former GOP nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney lost all of these states in 2008 and 2012, with the exception of North Carolina in 2012. If these numbers hold, Trump is only a state or two away from cobbling together the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House; and there’s fertile ground for more Trump pickups all over the map. In many purple states where Hillary Clinton is leading, Trump is running ahead of where Romney was in 2012; in Maine, Trump is besting Romney’s numbers by seven points; in Michigan, it’s four points, and in New Mexico and Wisconsin, it’s two points. To the shock of some, Trump is also doing better among Latinos than Romney did in 2012. A Bloomberg politics “poll decoder” – which is an average of several national surveys – found Clinton ahead of Trump among Hispanics by 38 points. Which seems bad, until you consider that back in 2012, President Obama won them by 44 points. Trump’s numbers among Latinos in the battleground states are even stronger. In Nevada, President Obama won them in 2012 by a whopping 47-point margin; but now, according to a recent NBC News poll, Clinton is ahead by only 35 points. A Univision poll has Trump running ahead of Romney in Colorado among Latinos as well. If you’re going just by the numbers, there’s no question that Trump is a stronger general election candidate than was Romney. The same is true for Republicans running in competitive U.S. races. Democrats recently pulled aggressive advertising campaigns out of Florida and Ohio because the GOP candidates are too far ahead, while extremely vulnerable Republican incumbents running for re-election in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and North Carolina have topped their Democratic opponents in recent surveys. Republicans are now even in line to pick up retiring U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada.