Chad’s Morning Brief: Cornyn Up Big, Post-Newtown School Violence, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of December 16, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Cornyn Up Big
Senator John Cornyn has a commanding lead in his re-election bid for U.S. Senate a new poll finds. According to Politico, Cornyn leads Congressman Steve Stockman big.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn starts out his 2014 primary fight a whopping 44 points ahead of his most prominent conservative challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman, according to private GOP polling obtained by POLITICO.
In a survey conducted by the Republican firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, Cornyn held a wide advantage over Stockman, leading 50 percent to 6 percent. Other candidates took 5 percent of the vote, and 39 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
Pollster Chris Perkins, who works for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, the presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee, said the poll was not paid for by any client.
“With less than three months until the Republican primary for United States Senate, John Cornyn is in a very strong position,” Perkins wrote in a polling memo.
The numbers illustrate the challenge ahead for Stockman, a flamboyantly pugilistic back-bencher who took the Republican Party by surprise this week when he announced his campaign to unseat “liberal John Cornyn.”
But despite having a presence in the conservative media, Stockman is a relatively little-known figure statewide and had only $32,000 in his campaign account at the end of September. Cornyn, meanwhile, has some $7 million on hand.
In order to have a shot at beating the Republican incumbent, Stockman will have to hope that the senator’s support drops below 50 percent and forces the race into a runoff, giving Stockman an opportunity to consolidate anti-Cornyn votes in his camp.
The WPA poll is the first survey of the Texas race since Stockman announced his campaign Monday evening. The live-caller poll tested 762 likely Texas Republican primary voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Stockman spokesman Donny Ferguson said in an email that the poll is “bad news for liberal John Cornyn,” arguing that it proves “Texans aren’t happy with Cornyn’s record.”
“Cornyn has been in office for over a decade, has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting himself and half of the party doesn’t want him back. Cornyn has nowhere to go but down,” Ferguson said.” We have three months to make our case, and then another three months in a runoff.”
Cornyn campaign spokesman Drew Brandewie countered that Cornyn has a solidly conservative record that he will be touting in the campaign.
“One thing Texans respect is a man who says what he means and does what he says. Senator Cornyn is proud of his strong conservative record and will continue to work hard to earn the support of Texans,” Brandewie said.
All spin aside, this poll isn't good news for Steve Stockman. Sure, 36% of Texans are unsure but that doesn't necessarily mean all of those people are upset with Senator Cornyn. While some might be, I believe that a large number of undecideds are people who aren't even paying attention to primary politics right now.
The bottom line for Stockman is that he has got less than 3 months to raise money and his profile. Stockman is no Ted Cruz so his battle will be very tough.
On Saturday President Obama observed a moment of silence for those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary a year ago. He then launched into an anti-gun push as the administration continues to push for gun control according to FOX.
President Obama on Saturday led a national day of remembrance for the victims of the fatal Sandy Hook elementary school shootings while renewing his call for tighter gun control and more focus on mental-health care, on the anniversary of the tragic event.
“We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds,” the president said in his weekly radio address, before he and first lady Michelle Obama remembered the shooting victims and their families in a moment of silence. They also lit a candle for each victim during a White House event.
“We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued and cared for,” the president said.
Twenty children and six adults were killed in the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre in Newtown, Conn. The shooter, Adam Lanza, who fatally shot himself after the shooting spree, had a history of mental illness.
The mass shooting and another months earlier at a suburban Denver movie theatre in which 12 people were also killed by a gunman with mental problems sparked calls for more spending on mental health and a renewed call for tighter gun control, including tougher background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
While Congress did not pass gun control measures and largely declined to increase spending on mental health, states including Colorado, Connecticut and New York have succeeded in such efforts.
The president on Saturday also called for the continued state-level efforts.
“From the very beginning, our efforts were led by the parents of Newtown -- men and women, impossibly brave, who stepped forward in the hopes that they might spare others their heartbreak,” the president said. "And they were joined by millions of Americans -- mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers -- who refused to accept these acts of violence as somehow inevitable. … We can’t lose sight of the fact that real change won’t come from Washington. It will come the way it’s always come – from you, from the American people.”
Of course what the President doesn't talk about though is that many of these deaths occur in places that have strict gun control. Kids in Chicago and Detroit are gunned down and those cities have traditionally had strict gun control measures. School's are "gun-free zones" and yet the criminal doesn't care. As the Daily Caller points out though, school violence remains low despite the media frenzy that would suggest otherwise.
In fact, violence in schools — like all violence — has fallen dramatically in the past two decades, and remains low by historical standards.
Recently released data from the Departments of Education and Justice found that violence in schools is not increasing. While the number of school shooting deaths varies each year, homicides at school account for just 2 percent of total youth homicides. And school suicides constitute just 1 percent of all youth suicides.
The data does not include the past year, and thus the Sandy Hook shooting was not factored into the report from the National Center for Education Statistics. But what happened exactly one year ago in Newtown is an ugly, tragic outlier, rather than part of a pattern of escalating violence, according to the report.
The psychologically disturbing nature of school shootings causes them to stick in people’s minds and falsely present themselves as a trend, said David Esquith, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, in a statement to USA Today.
“[The shootings] are so upsetting and traumatic, it reinforces a perception that schools are experiencing a spike in violence and victimization, when in fact they’re not,” he said.
The decline of violence in schools mirrors falling rates of gun violence, suicide and all types of assault over the last few decades. Violent crime spiked in the early nineties after inching upward over the middle part of the 20th century. Since then, violence has declined dramatically. Gun violence, specifically has fallen by 49 percent since 1993.
Even so, people are generally misinformed about the fact that all levels of societal violence are declining. More than half of Americans wrongly believe gun violence is ever increasing — and many of those people support stricter gun control to solve a problem that is only worsening in their own imaginations.
Other Top Stories:
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