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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)

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.