Boston Globe Political Newsletter - Ground Game August 11

By James Pindell, Globe Political Reporter

Months ago there were some, including me, who argued the Fox debate, including the process of who made the main debate stage, would serve as a de facto Iowa Straw Poll.

In previous presidential races, the straw poll, which was canceled for the first time since 1979, mattered because the media covered it. The media covered it because it was a key exercise of Iowa organization, and that's what matters in the Iowa caucuses. If a campaign couldn't bring cetain people to a certain place at a certain time to vote on a Saturday in August, then how could they do it on a frigid Monday night months later? 

Often times after the straw poll, the candidate who competed hard but didn't meet expectations would drop out. In previous presidential contests, this list of candidates included Dan Quayle, Lamar Alexandar, Elizabeth Dole, and Tim Pawlenty

But last week's Fox debate has already proven more pivotal than a straw poll would have been. True, no one is testing their organization in Iowa, but nationally the Republican presidential race has entered a new phase. The blob of 17 candidates without a frontrunner is beginning to form into clusters of ideology and viability. 

The field is taking form because of Fox's highly-criticized debate rules that used national polling to determine the top 10 candidates for the network's debate stage. Other than Carly Fiorina, the candidates in the 5 p.m. debate are struggling to hold on. 

Which candidate might be the first to call it quits? After the Fox debate, former Texas governor Rick Perry's campaign told his staff that he cannot pay them and they are free to seek other employment. And if the longest-serving governor of Texas cannot pay the bills, who might be next in the field of 17 Republicans?

Days after the Fox debate, the race is shifting, and people could be on the cusp of dropping out. Added bonus: 24 million viewers of the debate got to see it themselves -- compared to maybe 10,000 voters in Iowa and C-SPAN viewers who would have witnessed the dust-up in the straw poll.
New Hampshire
Here today: Hillary Clinton, John Kasich, Rand Paul
In N.H., Clinton proposes $350 billion college affordability plan from the Associated Press: "Calling for a ‘new college compact,’ Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday unveiled a $350 billion plan aimed at making college more affordable and reducing the crushing burden of student debt.

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the state with the highest average student debt in the country, Clinton proposed steps to reduce the cost of four-year public schools, make two-year community colleges tuition-free, and cut student loan interest rates, according to campaign aides."

Former US representative files paperwork to challenge Frank Guinta from me in The Boston Globe: "Last fall, in New Hampshire’s First District, insiders deemed the race between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta the 'three-match.' The two of them had battled in every general election since 2010. There might be a four-peat in 2016.

On Friday, Shea-Porter filed her declaration of candidacy with Federal Election Commission, allowing her to take on Guinta — and anyone else running for the seat — next year."

Advocates Push for State House Portrait of N.H. Suffragist on N.H. Public Radio: "In 1870, Marilla Ricker, an attorney from Dover, attempted to cast a ballot in an election, but she was turned away. She tried again every year for the next five decades and was either refused or had her ballot destroyed. Ricker died in 1920, shortly after women won the right to vote. 

Recently the state of New Hampshire authorized the hanging of a portrait of Ricker in the State House. Now two groups—the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association—are raising money to actually do so." 
Here today: Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee
Republicans Battle for the Right in Iowa in the New York Times: "The Republican right, which feels it has been brushed aside in recent presidential elections, is fielding its strongest contingent of candidates ever for 2016. Iowa should be the perfect venue for determining the most formidable contender in this group.

One illustration of the strength of “movement right” aspirants in this election is that the winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, looks like an also-ran, and the victor four years earlier, the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, is struggling. Others vying for a chunk of the Christian conservative/Tea Party bloc include Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the former Texas governor Rick Perry and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who has veered more to the right in this contest.

Poll: Trump maintains lead in Iowa; Fiorina catching fire in the Cedar Rapids Gazette: "Donald Trump is leading the field in Iowa, but Carly Fiorina is the Republican candidate with momentum, according to Public Policy Polling’s newest Iowa poll.

Trump tops the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination as the first choice of 19 percent of Republican primary voters, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 52 to 25 percent in Iowa, PPP said.

But the biggest winner, according to PPP President Dean Debnam, is Fiorina, who has broken into double digits to put her in the top five in the GOP race, and her favorability ratings are up from 30 favorable/15 unfavorable percent in April to 56/15 percent."

Rand Paul No ‘pertinent’ remarks about indictments in the Des Moines Register: "U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Monday he didn’t have any 'pertinent' comments about last week’s federal indictments of three staffers from his father’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Jesse R. Benton, John M. Tate and Dimitrios N. Kesari were indicted in U.S. District Court in Des Moines on charges stemming from analleged conspiracy to woo former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Milo, to former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign with $73,000 in illicit payments and to hide those payments from public disclosure."

Branstad defends Megyn Kelly against Trump’s criticism in the Des Moines Register: "Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is defending Fox News TV host Megyn Kelly against criticism by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, suggesting the brash billionaire shouldn’t be complaining about his treatment at last week’s GOP debate."

South Carolina
Here today: No one
Rick Perry Stops Paying South Carolina Staff in the National Journal: "Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign team in South Carolina is no longer being paid by his presidential campaign, National Journal has learned.

'Pay is only one reason people do this,' Katon Dawson, Perry's South Carolina state director, said in an interview. 'We'll be able to live off the land for a while.'

It is not clear if or when paychecks will start backing up for Perry's team in South Carolina. Dawson said that Perry staffers in the state 'have been paid up to two weeks ago.'

Dawson said core members of Team Perry, including himself, will continue to work, even if unpaid. He said Walter Whetsell and Le Frye, two top Perry operatives in the state, are among those still working."

Donald Trump won’t be appearing at Tim Scott town hall in the Charleston Post and Courier: "Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday turned down an invitation to appear with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott at one of the senator’s candidate town halls, the only candidate to do so.

Scott had hoped to host all of the Republican candidates in a series of intimate town halls around the state this election season, but a statement from his office said it won’t happen with Trump.

Trump’s South Carolina campaign said the issue is one of scheduling, saying the dates that Scott’s camp offered conflicted with previously scheduled Trump events on the primary trail."

South Carolina Attorney General ordered to pay same sex couple $135,000 in the Associated Press: "A federal judge has ordered South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson to pay more than $135,000 in legal fees for a couple who challenged the state ban on same-sex marriage.

According to the order filed Monday, Wilson must reimburse seven attorneys a total of $130,600 for 390 hours of work. That's $17,400 less than the attorneys requested. Judge Richard Gergel also awarded them the full $4,700 they sought in other court costs and fees."
National Headlines
NY Times: Lawrence Lessig to Explore a Run for President as a Democrat
Associated Press: Group backing Clinton gets $1M from untraceable donors
Bloomberg: Bernie Sanders' Eye-Popping West Coast Swing: 3 Days, 70,000 Cheering Supporters
Politico: Bernie Sanders' Black Lives Matter problem
National Journal: 'The Republican Party Created Donald Trump'
Buzzfeed: Megyn Kelly Responds To Donald Trump: “I Certainly Will Not Apologize For Doing Good Journalism”
Bloomberg: Sanders Gets 1st Big Labor Endorsement From Nurses Group
National Review: Fiorina Fundraising Spikes after Debate
Washington Post: Hillary Clinton starts taking some risks — and landing some punches 
Wall Street Journal: How Donald Trump May Benefit Some Other Republican Contenders
Washington Post: Origins of Trump’s luxury empire lie in his father’s more blue-collar buildings
NY Times: All Emails Were Provided, Hillary Clinton Says in Statement
Washington Post: No, Donald Trump's candidacy is not over
CNN: Jeb Bush explains why he went on 'Paleo diet'
Follow @BostonGlobe's 2016 team: @JamesPindell, @Akjohnson1922, @JOSreports, @MViser, @AnnieLinskey, @TracyJan, @GlobeRowland, @GlobeKranish, @ShiraCenter and @FeliceBelman.