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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Donald Trump got some more big, huge news this week: Some polls putting him in first place among the very wide field of Republicans.

In The Economist’s new YouGov poll, a U.K.-based firm that conducts surveys of selected Internet-based panels, Trump gets 15 percent among Republican voters, followed by his nemesis Jeb Bush tied with Rand Paul at 11 percent each, plus Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Mike Huckabee at 9 percent each.

However, most Republican voters still don’t expect Trump to actually be the nominee. That honor goes to Jeb Bush, to whom 29 percent of GOP voters appears to be the most likely nominee, followed by Paul at 12 percent, Rubio and Walker at 8 percent each — Trump gets only 7 percent.

YouGov’s Democratic poll has Hillary Clinton at 55 percent, way ahead of Bernie Sanders at 24 percent, Joe Biden with 8 percent, Jim Webb at 1 percent, and Lincoln Chafee rounded down to 0 percent. In a direct two-way race, Clinton leads with 64 percent to Sanders’ 29 percent.

Additionally, a telephone survey of North Carolina by Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling has Trump in first place among Republicans there with a plurality of 16 percent, followed by Bush and Walker at 12 percent each, Huckabee with 11 percent, Rubio and Ben Carson at 9 percent, and the whole rest of the gang trailing off from there.

On the Democratic side, Clinton leads in North Carolina with 55 percent, followed way behind by Sanders at 20 percent, then Webb at 7 percent, and Martin O’Malley and Chafee at 4 percent each.

Over in Iowa, a poll by Monmouth College (based in Monmouth, Illinois, not to be confused with polls from Monmouth University in New Jersey) has Walker first among Republicans with 18 percent, then Bush at 12 percent, Huckabee and Paul at 10 percent each, and Rubio with 9 percent.

On the Democratic side in Iowa, this poll gives Clinton an enormous lead with 63 percent support, followed way back by Sanders at 20 percent,  O’Malley with 5 percent, Webb at 3 percent, and Chafee, 1 percent.

Donald Trump speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Feb. 27, 2015 in National Harbor, MD. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)


Twitter has restricted access to a tweet posted Monday by Rep. Matt Gaetz, in which the Florida Republican called for what commenters described as extrajudicial killings of protesters.

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" Gaetz tweeted, joining Donald Trump and other Republicans in blaming anti-fascists for the violence across the country at protests over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, even as Floyd said he could not breathe. Autopsies have found that Floyd died of asphyxia.While Gaetz's tweet is still up, users have to click on it to see its contents. It's covered by a box that reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Democratic lawmakers called out Gaetz in response to the tweet and urged Twitter to remove it from the social media platform.

"Take the Gaetz tweet down right now @twitter. RIGHT NOW," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Monday night. "The survivors of mass shootings are lighting up my phone. They are scared to death this will inspire someone to start shooting into a crowd tonight. They are right."

After Twitter took action against his tweet, Gaetz said, "Their warning is my badge of honor."

"Antifa is a terrorist organization, encouraging riots that hurt Americans. Our government should hunt them down. Twitter should stop enabling them. I'll keep saying it," Gaetz said in a tweet that he pinned to the top of his profile page.

Donald Trump has demanded that the antifa movement be labeled a domestic terrorist organization.

However, as factcheck.org noted, "There is no such official federal designation for domestic terrorism organizations." Even if such a designation existed, the site said, it would be "difficult or questionable" to categorize antifa in that manner because it is not an organized group with a hierarchy and leadership.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.