By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, January 30, 2014.
1. Hillary's huge lead. Hillary Clinton is the commanding frontrunner among Democrats for the 2016 presidential campaign, while there is no clear frontrunner among Republicans. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds the former Secretary of State crushing her potential primary rivals, capturing the support of 73% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Vice President Joe Biden is a very distant second with 12%, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is third with eight percent. On the Republican side, Rep. Paul Ryan tops leads potential candidates with 20%, while Jeb Bush is a close second with 18% and recently embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is third with 13%. This is all theoretical at this point, but an indication that the political world is already turning to the next presidential contest.
2. Speaking of Jeb Bush... The former Florida governor and first brother says he'll decide on whether to make a 2016 later this year. He told CNN Miami affiliate WFOR, "The decision will be based on 'can I do it joyfully' because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits. It's a pretty pessimistic country right now. And, is it right for my family?" Bush's mom, former First Lady Barbara Bush, has already make it clear - twice - that she hopes her son doesn't run for president, saying there are plenty of others not named Bush who should seek the office.
3. Dems: Forget the House. Top Democratic strategists and donors are all but giving up on regaining control of the House and focusing on maintaining their Senate majority. "Democratic donors such as myself are likely – I would say certain – to increasingly shift their attention and resources to Senate races,” Tin House magazine publisher Win McCormack told Politico. In 2012, McCormack gave $125,000 to help defeat Tea Party-aligned Republicans. “Unless we have a George Washington Bridge fiasco in the House, control is not going to change," said Democratic donor and San Francisco trial attorney Joe Cotchett, who is also a close friend of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Republicans need to pick up six seats to win control of the Senate, a realistic possibility with four Democrats up for re-election in red states. Democrats need to pick up 17 House seats to retake control of that chamber.
4. A Crist comeback? Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants his old job back and is leading the Sunshine state's incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott in a new poll. A Quinnipiac University survey finds the Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Crist beating Scott 46% to 38%. The poll also finds Crist leading Scott on most issues, and that most registered voters don't think Scott deserves a second term.
5. Death penalty sought for accused Boston bomber. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. "The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement announcing the Justice Department's decision. Tsarnaev, a Chechnya-born American, and his brother Tamerlan, who was killed during a police manhunt, allegedly planted two homemade bombs near the finish line of the April 15 race, killing three and injuring more than 250.