We’ll be responding to questions and comments all night — tweet @FIVETHIRTYEIGHT or leave a comment.
Well, that was fun. The undercard debate is over: check out our live blog of CNBC’s main-stage Republican debate.
Pataki says Uber is his favorite app. Among New Yorkers, he’s not alone — and it’s increasingly used by those in the outer boroughs of New York City.
Jindal has fairly traditional credentials for the nomination and was once considered a rising star of the party. So, you could make the best case for him. Still we were pretty skeptical when he entered the race given how crowded the field is.
Santorum’s interesting in that he’s a holdover from 2012 — and yet is doing quite a bit worse this year (although note that his surge came late four years ago). That argues against the idea that this is some sort of especially weak GOP field.
Nate, Are you surprised any of these candidates are here? Did you expect any of them to do better than they are?
In talking about Social Security, Lindsey Graham supported changing the program based on means testing. Today, retirement is a fraught space. The National Retirement Risk Index, based on data from the Federal Reserve, found that among people 50 to 59, the number of “at risk” households (for running low on cash during their golden years) rose from 35 percent in 2004 to 45 percent in 2013.
We’re making it through the JV debate, and for the most part candidates ignored Trump. The first mention of him came from Jindal, who contrasted his tax plan with Trump’s boast that he’d allow many Americans to pay nothing. Just now, Santorum fired back at both Trump and Jindal, saying their tax plans would wreak havoc on the deficit.
The candidates have spent more time attacking Trump on Twitter:
Bobby Jindal is defending his budget process in Louisiana. One of his controversial budget moves was called SAVE, or Student Assessment for a Valuable Education. It levied students $1,500 each but then granted them a tax credit to pay them back — in large part because Jindal took Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge.
George Pataki is saying he believes manmade global climate change is real. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. According to Gallup, more moderate Republicans (49 percent), like Pataki, believe that effects of pollution from human activity are responsible for the Earth warming than from natural changes (47 percent). The vast majority (70 percent) of conservative Republicans, on the other hand, think it’s natural changes in the environment.
Re: Jindal responding to a question about his minimum tax proposal even on lower-income Americans: The “47 percent” of Americans who paid no income taxes circa 2012 — a comment that helped torpedo Mitt Romney’s trajectory — is now 45 percent.
I didn’t think I would be this bored.
Anything stand out to you so far, Harry?
Stephanie: Bobby J.
Jody: Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Nate: I wouldn’t drink a fucking Coors light. Maybe a Fat Tire.
Rick Santorum is trying to explain why he has changed some positions from his 2012 campaign. What’s perhaps most amazing about Santorum isn’t that he’s polling so poorly nationally, but that he’s not that well liked in the state that launched his last bid, Iowa. In the latest Des Moines Register survey, Santorum ranks eighth in favorable ratings among Republicans. His favorable rating is 33 percentage points behind Ben Carson’s.
Jindal said the most important part of his tax plan is the 2 percent tax rate he’d impose on those Americans who currently pay no income tax, saying “everyone should pay something.” However, people who don’t pay income tax still often pay payroll tax, sales tax, and state and local tax. Citizens for Tax Justice estimated that in 2011, the poorest 20 percent of Americans had an average income of $13,000 and paid 12.3 percent of that to state and local taxes.
Don’t worry too much about a Fed rate hike — interest rates are going to stay low for a long while.
Lindsey Graham defended lower corporate tax rates. Most Americans are not on board with him. In an April 2015 Gallup poll, 69 percent of Americans said they think corporations pay too little in federal taxes. Just 9 percent believe they pay too much.
Nate, if you’d ask them why they’re polling at under 1 percent, I’d ask this: If recent politicians keep running against government — saying how much it’s broken — why should people vote for establishment candidates at all? That argues for churn. Shouldn’t, then, there be a return to a “Morning in America” rhetorical style?
Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum are talking about the need to curb or increase legal immigration. More Republicans (42 percent) believe we should decrease legal immigration than increase it (21 percent), according to a May Pew Research survey. Yet, a majority (55 percent) believe it should be kept at present levels or increased.
Lindsey Graham referenced the need to secure the border, and he’s hardly the only candidate to support that position. But as context, here’s a video of smugglers scaling the border fence with packages.
And American women scaling the fence in seconds as a test:
All of which raises questions about what “securing the border” means in policy and spending terms.
Nate, I agree generally that campaign strategy shouldn’t be a part of debates, but for these JV debates, it seems like there should be some pressure on the candidates to argue why they’re relevant.
I’m not much of a fan of strategy questions at debates. I suppose I’d ask them why they’re polling at under 1 percent of the vote if the rest of the field is as flawed as they say.
I’d ask Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum: You have focused more on Iowa than the other candidates. But if you win Iowa, then what? Do you have the campaign apparatus to actually do anything with a win in Iowa?
Harry and Nate, if you were allowed to join this debate and ask these candidates (or a candidate) one campaign strategy question, what would it be?
Rick Santorum implied that the U.S. lost 2 million manufacturing jobs under President Obama. But that’s not right. There are about 300,000 fewer manufacturing jobs since January 2009.
Jindal just took a swipe at Donald Trump’s tax plan. He could’ve also taken a swipe at Jeb Bush — Trump’s proposal is essentially a more extreme version of Bush’s tax plan. But why kick Bush when he’s down?
Farai, on my podcast I recently interviewed national security expert William Arkin about digital warfare, and asked him about the threat of cyber-attacks. I was surprised to hear him downplay the threat. In his view, countries are always spying on each other; cyber-hacking is no different.
Lindsey Graham and George Pataki just tied answers about cyber-security to Hillary Clinton. Why? Well, for one thing, there are few people more unpopular with Republican voters than Clinton. According to an October ABC News/Washington Post survey, Clinton’s unfavorable rating was 84 percent among Republicans.
Both Pataki and Graham responded to a question about cyber-attacks, which have been launched at the United States by actors believed to be affiliated with China. Former State Department Director of Innovation Alec Ross said one of the biggest threats to America would be a cyber Homeland Security Act, an overreaction to what he sees as an inevitable volley of cyber-attacks. Some of the cyber-espionage from China comes from “state-sponsored” hackers who are not direct government officials, making a response difficult.