Clinton beats four Republicans in Quinnipiac Poll of Iowa voters

Secretary of State Hillary ClintonIn head-to-head match ups in Iowa against Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton would be the winner by at least 10 points according to a Quinnipiac Poll released  Thursday. Iowa is important because it’s the first state to have a contest for delegates to the national Democratic and Republican conventions.

The Republican that scores best against Clinton is Paul. As of this month’s poll, she’s running 10 points ahead of him in Iowa at 49 to 39 percent. The others are listed as undecided, wouldn’t vote or wanting someone else.

Clinton polls 13 points ahead of Chris Christie at 48 to 35 percent. In December, Clinton trailed Christie by 5 points, according to Quinnipiac.

In a race between Bush and Clinton, Clinton would win by 14 points and attracts a majority of voters at 51 to 37 percent. In 1992, when Clinton’s husband ran again Bush’s father, Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush by less than 6 percent in the national election.

The final match up pitted Clinton against Cruz. In that poll, she won by 16 points at 51 to 35 percent. In a December poll, she was only 7 points ahead of the Texas senator.

Full results can be found here. There’s still two years before the Iowa Caucuses.

—  David Taffet

Does Congressman Pete Sessions agree with Rand Paul about the Civil Rights Act?

Gay activist Mark Reed of Dallas sent over a letter this morning he received from Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, in response to Reed’s apparent inquiry about Sessions’ position on the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. As Reed notes, the second paragraph of the letter sure makes it sound like Sessions doesn’t think any minority should be protected from discrimination — at least not by the government:

“I believe all people should have the same rights accorded to them under the Constitution,” Sessions wrote. “No one person or group of people should have an advantage or preferential treatment before the law. It is important that our nation does not disintegrate into a society of separate groups defined by certain characteristics. Moreover, the federal government should not sanction these differences.”

I’ve posted Sessions’ full letter after the jump.

—  John Wright

Kentucky Senate responds to Rand Paul by passing resolution affirming civil rights

Rand Paul
Rand Paul

The Kentucky State Senate has responded to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul’s suggestion that the federal government shouldn’t have the power to enforce the Civil Rights Act against private businesses.

In response to Paul’s comments, the state Senate passed a resolution calling any form of discrimination inconsistent with American values.

The resolution, SR31, is designed to “Affirm protections of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States requiring equal protection of the law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966, which protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from discrimination.”

Since he made those infamous comments about the Civil Rights Act on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, Paul’s campaign has been suffering, and last week he replaced his campaign manager, according to USA Today.

After his appearance on Maddow, he cancelled an appearance on “Meet the Press” and issued an announcement that, if elected, he would not seek to repeal the Civil Rights Act.

—  David Taffet

Rand Paul would turn back civil rights

Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky on Tuesday. He won with Tea Party support and called himself a “card-carrying member.”

Since his victory over the mainstream, party-backed candidate, Paul has come under fire for his opposition to the 1964 civil rights bill. He told Rachel Maddow that he doesn’t believe in any form of racism and that the government should ban all forms of discrimination in its institutions, but should not regulate business.

So he was saying that lunch counters in private stores should be allowed to remain segregated.

Paul said he believes in local solutions. Local solutions mean that gay and lesbian teachers are protected in Dallas Independent School District, but few other places in Texas, for example.

The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel, who writes the conservative blog Right Now, said, “Paul believes, as many conservatives believe, that the government should ban bias in all of its institutions but cannot intervene in the policies of private businesses.”

Time magazine reports that Paul now says he regrets going on Rachel Maddow — but he doesn’t say he regrets his comments.

—  David Taffet

Is the (anti-gay) Tea Party gaining momentum?

rand_paul
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul has Tea Party support

The Tea Party candidate for Texas governor, Debra Medina, peaked several weeks before the primary and  came in third. But in other places, candidates supported by the Tea Party are doing well, and many of them hold anti-gay views.

This weekend at the Utah Republican convention, three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett polled third and will not appear on the state’s primary ballot.

One of the reasons cited was Bennett’s 1993 vote for Roberta Achtenberg, a lesbian, to be an undersecretary at HUD under Bill Clinton.

In Florida, a candidate supported by the Tea Party, Marco Rubio, was polling ahead of Gov. Charlie Crist in a U.S. Senate race. So Crist left the Republican Party and is running as an independent. Now, donors are asking Crist for their money back.

—  David Taffet