The power brokers who could decide the 2016 election–58Jh. ., B58
While the Vermont senator and real estate mogul have defied all pundit predictions, there are power brokers on both sides of aisle who will play major roles in deciding who will advance to the general election. Some are fans of the grassroots movements that have catapulted Trump and Sanders; some are not.
The following is a list of major power players who could alter the 2016 election.
Matt Drudge, Trump has attracted a lot of attention from the Drudge Report, which plays a major role in what cable-news shows cover. The media-savvy Trump has said he “loves Drudge.”
The GOP establishment Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned Trump’s controversial policies on Muslims while the celebrity businessman has ripped the budget deal the GOP leaders struck late last year.
Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus — at least publicly — has warmed to Trump being the GOP standard bearer. That hasn’t stopped Trump from criticizing the RNC and continuing his threat to run as a third party candidate.
Fox News Channel Trump has repeatedly clashed with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, but he hasn’t shut out the influential network that is favored by conservatives. The businessman is a regular on various other Fox broadcasts, including shows hosted by Greta van Susteren and Bill O’Reilly. The bottom line: The Trump-Kelly drama is a big storyline of the 2016 election and Fox is in the middle of it. That’s not a bad thing.
GOP megadonors Sheldon Adelson and the Charles and David Koch haven’t picked a favorite horse in the GOP race, but they could. And that could change the equation because the Koch brothers are vowing to spend $889 million this cycle. Adelson, who dug deep in his pockets for Newt Gingrich in 2012, donated to Cruz last year. But he is reportedly deciding between Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Cruz. The endorsement could mean tens of millions of dollars in support.
Mark Levin Never underestimate the power of conservative talk radio. Talk-show host Glenn Beck has endorsed Cruz and Levin has repeatedly praised the Texas senator while ripping Trump’s position on federal subsidies for ethanol.
President Obama Will Obama endorse in the Democratic primary? That’s a question a lot of Democrats are asking though many insiders say it is clear who Obama wants to succeed him. In an interview with Politico earlier this year, Obama clearly came across as a Clinton fan.
Elizabeth Warren Every female Democratic senator has endorsed Clinton, except Warren. The Massachusetts progressive is a force on the left and her endorsement would be a tremendous get for Clinton or Sanders. The Hill recently reported that Democratic senators are leaning on Warren, but she has give no indication she will back either candidate in the primary.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Wasserman Schultz heads the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which recently changed its donation rules in what could be a boon for Clinton. The committee has eradicated an Obama rule that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees. This will allow K Street to give to a joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Sanders has a similar committee, but it has been largely inactive. Sanders has called on Clinton and Obama to condemn the DNC’s move, but they have not.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Jr, . Clinton and Sanders have both recently met with Sharpton, who has said he hasn’t yet decided who he will back in the race.
Jim Comey and Loretta Lynch
Comey, who heads the FBI, is being briefed regularly on the agency’s investigation of Clinton’s email server controversy. He is known for his independence, having taken on President George W. Bush when he was deputy attorney general. That independence helped convince Obama to tap him to lead the bureau. Comey’s finding could upend the 2016 race, though Lynch, Obama’s attorney general, will have the final say on any possible prosecutions.
source-the hill, bob cusack, ian swanson,