Despite an almost unyielding tide of criticism following some of Donald Trump’s most controversial campaign trail statements to date, the billionaire candidate still enjoys his converted spot at the top of the GOP primary heap. In national and state polls, Trump appears to have defied the odds by staying alive and even surging as two of the country’s most significant primaries are less than two months away.
USA Today reports that Donald Trump now stands at 35 percent in national poll by CBS News/New York Times. His closest rival is Senator Ted Cruz at 16 percent. Jeb Bush, who was once a heavy favorite for the GOP nomination, slid all the way to 3 percent in the aforementioned poll.
Donald Trump also leads in polls of voters from Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.
New Hampshire, which will hold primary elections on February 9, was a focal point of the Trump campaign on Thursday night. As reported by Boston.com and other news outlets, the candidate made an appearance at an event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hosted by the New England Police Benevolent Association, publicly receiving the endorsement of that organization. The group has a membership of around 5,000 members throughout the New England region. During his remarks, Trump declared that as president, he would mandate the death penalty for individuals who kill police officers.
”I said that one of the first things I’d do in terms of executive order if I win will be sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing policemen, police woman, police officer, anybody killing a police officer, death penalty is going to happen, okay?” Trump said.
Although Donald Trump enjoyed a warm welcome inside the New Hampshire venue, the reception on the streets was considerable less hospitable. NBC affiliate NECN noted that hundreds of protesters demonstrated against Trump’s comments and his candidacy outside the Portsmouth Sheraton, spurred to action by Trump’s recent call for a temporary ban on Muslim’s entering the United States.
Concern regarding Donald’s Trump’s incendiary rhetoric is not confined to the prospective voters of New Hampshire as that state’s primary draws closer. On Monday, New Hampshire Republican party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn offered a stern rebuke of the real estate mogul’s campaign trail comments.
“There are some issues that transcend politics,” the prominent New Hampshire Republican declared in comments transcribed by New Hampshire station WMUR.” While my position (as party chairwoman) is certainly political, I am an American first. There should never be a day in the United States of America when people are excluded based solely on their race or religion. It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American.”
Other high-ranking New Hampshire Republicans have expressed their support for Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants and tourists. The Trump campaign’s New Hampshire chairman, Steve Stepanek, has called on Horn to resign. He has also mounted a campaign to force Horn out of her position, according to Bloomberg News. Stepanek has indicated that he believes he can persuade the New Hampshire Republican Committee to vote on Horn’s ouster before the end of this year.
For her part, Jennifer Horn has not indicated she is considering resignation at this time. Through a spokesperson, she declined to make any comment to Bloomberg News regarding the flap.
The New Hampshire primary elections will be the second primary contest in the present election cycle as the Iowa caucuses are scheduled for February 1, 2016. Following Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will hold their primaries shortly thereafter.
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