Reader polls

If there’s one takeaway from the 2019 fourth-quarter fundraising reports from the myriad candidates running for president it’s that it’s going to be expensive. 

President Trump led the way with a $46 million haul in the final quarter of the year and has more than $100 million in his war chest, but the Democrats aren’t far behind. 

Of course, Trump has the advantage of running virtually unopposed for the Republican nomination. 

“The president’s war chest and grassroots army make his re-election campaign an unstoppable juggernaut,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale in a statement.

The only problem with Parscale’s statement is that eight Democrats raised more than $141 million in the same quarter, and that doesn’t count the two billionaires in the Democrat field — Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. In fact, Bloomberg has spent an estimated $155 million since the end of November attacking Trump. 

So, what does all this mean? It means a lot of advertising, mudslinging and general nastiness over the coming months, especially here in Texas, where Democrats

think they can flip the state. Trump’s approval rating in Texas, according to Real Clear Politics, has either been flat or negative. 

The good news for the president is that he’s still got a large field of rivals who spend millions fighting each other in what figures to be a long and drawn-out fight in the primaries. 



We asked a lot of poll questions on Facebook last week and had some interesting answers from folks on a wide range of topics. We also think we had some very candid responses. 

We asked readers what their opinion was about President Trump’s decision to launch an airstrike to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and the response was overwhelmingly supportive of Trump’s decision. It also generated some strong reactions among those commenting. 

More than 400 people participated in the poll, with 76% saying they approved of the president’s decision. More than 100 people were against the decision. 

“Of course, he made the right call,” wrote Jim Lackey. “Haters gonna hate.”

That garnered this response from commenter Patrick McDaniel: “Of course, he made the wrong call. He simply knows that wartime presidents are more likely to get re-elected, plus he is trying to divert attention from the impeachment. He is more than willing to sacrifice the lives of our young soldiers in order to get re-elected.”



We appreciate the candid responses from many of our readers on Facebook. Quite frankly, we admire them. 

We asked folks if they were going to have a sip of champagne for New Year’s Eve, or go the non-alcohol route with a glass of sparkling cider. To our mild surprise and amusement, 57% of the 191 responses said they were going the non-alcoholic free path for the new year. 

We also asked if people were interested in walking, running, biking or pushing a stroller along the Guadalupe River Trail, and a majority of respondents said yes — in fact, 86% said yes. 

However, there were 30 brave souls, 14%, who responded: “Nope, no way.” 


When a Texas judge ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $100,000 for using his show to promote falsehoods that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax, we wondered if people here thought the judgment was fair. 

It turned out to be a heartily discussed item on the poll, including this take: “Freedom of speech? Judge is violating his oath of office,” wrote commenter Michael Groff. 

Jones is being sued for defamation in Austin, Texas, by the parents of a 6-year-old who was among the 26 people killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, attack.

In the poll, 66% of the 200 respondents said it was fair to impose the $100,000 penalty. 

Jones has since acknowledged that the Sandy Hook killings occurred. His attorneys have defended his speech in court as “rhetorical hyperbole” and deny it was defamation.

In June, the father of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, one of the Sandy Hook victims, won a defamation lawsuit against the authors of a book that claimed the shooting never happened.

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