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Wake Up To Politics - February 11, 2016

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Thursday, February 11, 2016
9 Days until the NV Dem Caucuses/SC GOP Primary
271 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • New Hampshire Onward: DEM Bernie Sanders served up a 22-point defeat for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire this week, causing many in Clinton’s orbit to consider a chance in strategy for the Democratic frontrunner, to focus on young voters (particularly women) who have been captivated by Sanders.
  • The Democratic campaign now marches on to South Carolina and Nevada, two states where Clinton maintains large leads – and wide support among African-Americans and Hispanics, groups that could sway the results of the next two contests. Attempting to win over Clinton’s black supporters, Sanders traveled to Harlem on Wednesday for a meeting with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is set to endorse in the Democratic race in the coming weeks.
  • Meanwhile, Clinton will be endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus’ political action committee Thursday at 11am, before a number of African-American lawmakers decamp to campaign for her in South Carolina.
  • South Carolina and Nevada offer an opportunity for two big Clinton wins – something she has failed to pull off in the first two primary states – but if her support collapses in one or both, it will be extremely detrimental to her campaign.
  • With his huge New Hampshire win, Bernie Sanders has momentum on his side, and one thing is clear: even if he loses the next two contests, he’s not going away, as evidenced by his fundraising since Tuesday. In the 24 hours after New Hampshire’s results were announced, Sanders raised over $6 million, creating a war chest to threaten Clinton’s in the weeks ahead.
  • New Hampshire Onward: GOP South Carolina is also the next contest for Republicans, with all six presidential candidates left standing turning their attention to the Palmetto State.
  • Following a double-digit New Hampshire win, Donald Trump is favored in the first-in-the-south presidential primary, but the rest of the field hopes for strong finishes and the chance to steal Trump’s momentum. One candidate is seen as able to even beat Trump in the next contest: Ted Cruz, whose mass evangelical support will come in handy (the Palmetto State has more evangelical voters than Iowa, which Cruz won handily).
  • With Trump and Cruz attacking each other back-and-forth, the remainder of the candidates are essentially fighting it out for stronger-than-expected endgames, with the race to first effectively a two-man contest.
  • Jeb Bush hopes to come off a strong(ish) fourth-place placing in New Hampshire, and rebound to the top tier in South Carolina – with aid from his brother, former President George W. Bush, who is wildly popular in the state. Bush’s obstacle to South Carolina success: John Kasich, who may find difficulty in continuing his New Hampshire message (which won him second place) to the more conservative South Carolina. Nevertheless, Kasich will attempt to translate post-Granite State momentum into a similar Palmetto State showing.
  • Which leaves Ben Carson and Marco Rubio: who both need to flip the script on their fading campaigns to survive the remainder of the primary process.
  • Christie, Fiorina Quit Campaigns Two more Republican candidates left the race Wednesday, in light of poor New Hampshire showings: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
  • After staking his campaign on New Hampshire, and then finishing sixth, Christie ended his embarrassing presidential effort quietly.
  • “While running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed - that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation,” Christie said in a Facebook post Wednesday, announcing his suspension. “That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that’s ok.”
  • Christie continued: “Today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret. I’m so proud of the campaign we ran, the people that ran it with me and all those who gave us their support and confidence along the way.”
  • The New Jerseyan does not leave the presidential race without a mark, however: in the final days of his campaign, Christie’s attacks on Marco Rubio’s “robotic” tendencies, while failing to benefit Christie, sunk Rubio, and leaves the Floridian’s future in the air.
  • Once seen as a leading figure in the 2016 presidential race, Christie’s persona as the angry but effective, New York-area straight-talker was quickly captured by Donald Trump – relegating Christie to the bottom tier of the race.
  • Carly Fiorina joined Christie in suspending her campaign Wednesday, also announcing via Facebook.
  • “This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected,” Fiorina wrote, continuing: “I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.”
  • Fiorina entered the presidential race an unknown entity, but after a breakout performance in the first undercard debate, rose to prominence as an anti-Hillary Clinton – the only female candidate in the GOP field. In light of an attack by Donald Trump, Fiorina kept raising: until she didn’t, eventually dropping back down to undercard status and never returning to the top tier.
  • Clinton, Sanders to Debate in Milwaukee Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will meet for the sixth Democratic presidential debate Thursday at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
  • The debate, to be moderated by Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff and aired on PBS at 8pm Central Time, is expected to focus on race issues, as both candidates attempt to win over minority votes, and will be very interesting to watch as Clinton shows up aggressive in light of her recent loss and Sanders must defend his record and policies.
  • Electability will also be a chief issue, with Clinton painting Sanders as unelectable and calling his “political revolution” unrealistic. If Sanders can survive, and even thrive, in the heat of her attacks, the debate could be a game-changer going forward.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Barack Obama spends the day in California, raising money for Democrats and taping “The Ellen Show”. All times local (Pacific Standard Time):
  • At 11am, Obama will participate in a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) at a Palo Alto residence.
  • At 1:15pm, he will speak at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) event at a Atherton residence.
  • At 2:20pm, Obama departs San Jose for Los Angeles, where he arrives at 3:25pm.
  • At 4:25pm, the President will tape an appearance on “The Ellen DeGerenes Show” from the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank.
  • Finally, Obama will speak at two more DNC events: one in Hancock Park, California and another in Los Angeles.
  • The President will spend the night in Los Angeles.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today The upper chamber will continue debate of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which would reauthorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency in the Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Senate will also vote to confirm Leonard Terry Strand’s nomination to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa. Strand, who currently serves as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on the same district court, was first nominated for the promotion in July 2015 (for a seat vacated the month before), and was approved by the Judiciary Committee in November 2015, with his nomination lingering on the Senate floor ever since.
  • House: Today The lower chamber, meanwhile, will vote on the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would require the Treasury Secretary to appear before Congress whenever the debt limit is about to be hit, to report on the state of the national debt.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light