By ALEX ALEXIEV
The Republican Party – The past week in the presidential race was relatively quiet due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. GOP front runner, Donald Trump, maintained his lead overall, though Senator Ted Cruz continues to lead the polls in Iowa with 25 days left before the Feb. 1 caucus vote. Trump also picked another fight, this time with Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill, whom he accused of sexual improprieties. In response, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of ‘sexism,’ whatever that means. Among other GOP contenders, it’s become undeniable that Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign is in serious trouble if not facing a collapse. Two of Carson’s key aides, Barry Bennett, the campaign manager and Doug Watts, the communications director resigned abruptly last week, throwing the struggling campaign in further turmoil. Marco Rubio, who is in third place, but seemingly struggling in the polls, received the endorsement of influential republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.
The Democratic Party – There has not been much change on the democratic side with Hillary Clinton maintaining her overwhelming lead over Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who has been low key throughout the campaign so far, may be becoming more aggressive as testified by an attack on Clinton for her vote in support of the U.S. war in Iraq. In other interesting news, major democratic donor, George Soros, is now regretting that he backed Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton in the primary struggle between the two back in 2008. Soros has already donated $2 million to Hillary’s campaign and is expected to chip in a lot more. On the subject of money raising, Hillary has again proved her ability to bring in cash in announcing that her campaign raised $37 million in the 4th quarter of 2015 for a total of $102 mln for the year. On the negative side, as ordered by the court, the state department has released another batch of e-mails from her private server. This brings the total of her e-mails considered classified to 1274, a subject that will definitely become an issue in the general election campaign.
Latest Polls – National poll averages from realclearpolitics.com
GOP national: Trump – 35%, Cruz – 19.5%, Rubio – 11.5%, Carson – 8.8%, Christie – 4.8%
GOP Iowa: Cruz – 31%, Trump – 27.4%, Rubio – 11.6%, Carson – 9.2%, Bush – 4.8%
GOP New Hampshire: Trump – 26.3%, Rubio- 13.3%, Cruz – 12%, Christie – 11.3%, Kasich – 9.7%
Democrat national: Clinton – 53.8%, Sanders – 31.2%, O’Malley – 4.6%
Democrat Iowa: Clinton – 49.8%, Sanders – 37%, O’Malley – 6%
Democrat New Hampshire: Sanders – 49%, Clinton – 44.7%, O’Malley – 2%