If Trump and Clinton came to Thanksgiving dinner … – CNN

Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast detailed reporting that suggests the session could be a little messy.

“Over the weekend, more have come out and said they’re absolutely not endorsing Trump,” Kucinich said. “One even blamed the Trump campaign for how they were marketing this event.”

“We don’t know who is actually endorsing Trump. We found one African-American minister who said he is. One thing is for sure, this meeting is going to be slightly awkward.”

2. Rubio to the airwaves — bigtime

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is about to enter the TV ad wars in a big way, and it could prove a critical test of his strategy to stand out in the crowded GOP field.

Matt Viser of The Boston Globe walked us through the newspaper’s analysis of TV ad buys at New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV, and how Rubio is about to make a statement.

“Rubio has more reserve time than anybody else for the next 2½ months up until voting,” said Viser. “And interestingly Donald Trump and Ben Carson have reserved no time so far.”

“And this brings out the question of, does it matter? There’s been no return on investment so far from candidates who are airing TV ads. So the question heading forward is, for Rubio — it’s going to test, can you move the needle on the air?”

3. Kasich goes after Trump, and hopes it creates a boomlet

Ohio Gov. John Kasich of late has been the most constant critic of Donald Trump within the GOP field, taking the front-runner on at his events and in frequent statements from his campaign team.

The Kasich team of course hopes the approach chips away at Trump’s polling numbers, especially in New Hampshire, where the Ohio governor is banking on a breakthrough.

Dan Balz of The Washington Post explained how Team Kasich’s hopes the strategy will expand its pool of supporters.

“Kasich has been aggressive in going after Donald Trump, as we know,” said Balz. “I think there’s going to be more of that both from the super PAC, in terms of advertising, and more from John Kasich.”

“But the goal is not necessarily to bring down Donald Trump, the goal is to really rev up people who might support Kasich. He’s still focused on that lane he’s in.”

4. Martin O’Malley looks for his moment

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has struggled, to say the least, to make a mark in the Democratic presidential race.

But as the year winds down he isn’t giving up on his long-shot hopes and is seeking some big-name help and advice.

Nia-Malika Henderson of CNN said the O’Malley plan includes a recent meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and a coming meeting with House Democrats.

“On Tuesday he’s going to meet with House Democrats on the agenda, policy discussions, whatever the legislative business of the week is,” said Henderson.

“I think what is interesting about him is, it’s unlikely he’ll win, but it is interesting in the context of this meeting to think about what Martin O’Malley does next. Sort of, what is his end game in this race? Who is he in the Democratic Party?”

5. If Hillary And Donald were coming to dinner …

Focus groups can be invaluable tools to get a deeper understanding of public opinion, and veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart is among the best at using these discussions to explore how voters view the candidates.

One Hart staple is to ask voters to imagine the candidate as a family member. How, then, did voters at recent discussions near Columbus, Ohio, view Hillary Clinton?

“In this exercise, women feel much closer to and more supportive of Hillary Clinton than do men,” Hart wrote in his summary of the findings “For some it is the favorable aunt whom you can enjoy, but to others she resembles the distant, intimidating aunt. Women are more likely to perceive her as a sister figure or as a mother. But for men, those choices are hardly mentioned.”

“Because she has to fight for everything, and she fights for what she has and what she believes in,” was the reason one woman in the group said she used the “mother” analogy. But a man in the group made a different association: “She is my wife’s sister: extremely opinionated, is graceful at times and total available to rip your head off at other times.”

And how did Trump fare when voters were asked to imagine him at the big family dinner?

“The crazy uncle,” was one description “The drunk, racist husband of your aunt,” said another. One called Trump a “smart-aleck teenager who thinks they have to tell you about everything and they are always right.”

Elsewhere in the Trump discussion, when asked about his character traits, some likened him to Archie Bunker, while others credited him with having a backbone of “steel” and “iron.” One independent male voter saw Trump this way: as the “very, very confident Buzz Lightyear who didn’t know he was a toy.”

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