Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment are now preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention as Donald Trump continues sit atop the polls and the presidential race.
More than 20 of them convened Monday for a dinner held by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, where the prospect of Trump nearing next year’s nominating convention in Cleveland with a significant number of delegates dominated the discussion, according to five people familiar with the meeting.
Considering that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight, in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.

Political reporters have been yearning for a brokered convention for as long as I’ve been alive, so expect to see a lot more discussion of this.

Some 57% of survey respondents objected to the proposed Muslim ban—most of them saying they objected strongly—while 25% favored it.
Among Republican primary voters, 39% opposed and 38% supported the idea, which has been the subject of heated debate since Monday, when Mr. Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims’ entry into the country.
Although the poll found that nearly two thirds of Americans have a favorable view of Muslims, anti-Muslim sentiment among Republicans is strong: Half of GOP primary voters have an unfavorable view of Muslims.

Gosh, what could explain the source of Trump’s appeal to Republican voters? It’s really puzzling. — gs

* Ted Cruz voted today against a resolution affirming that there should be no religious tests for entry to the United States, because you never know when you’re going to be asked to be Donald Trump’s running mate. As we keep saying, keep an eye on the ways that Cruz is sidling up to Trump’s Islamophobia while pretending not to.

Congressional leaders are still ignoring calls for a war authorization vote. But the slow trickle of support for a vote continued Thursday as three more lawmakers introduced bills to put parameters on the military campaign against Islamic State terrorists.
Reps. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) unveiled an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that would ban the use of “significant U.S. ground troops in combat,” except to protect U.S. citizens. It would expire in three years, and it includes a clause stating that it is the sole authority for U.S. military action against ISIS — an attempt to get away from 2001 and 2002 AUMFs still on the books.
“We must not fear ISIS, nor should we fear the debate about how to defeat ISIS,” Rigell said at a press conference. “I think the leadership of the House, and indeed the Senate, needs to trust the members who are representative of the people and allow us to go through the process of debating this.”

If they can get their acronym staffers to work and figure out a way to name it the OBAMA IS WEAK Act, it might have a chance in this Congress.

* You’ve heard a lot of hype, including from certain very well respected newspapers, about how Marco Rubio supposedly delivered a hideously destructive blow to the Obamacare “bailout.” Now go read Jonathan Cohn’s balanced, well-researched take on what this is really about and what it means. — gs