Yesterday’s Rasmussen Number of the Day on Ballotpedia observed that it’s been forty years “since the last meaningful national convention.” That was a reference to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, in which incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a convention floor challenge from Senator Teddy Kennedy. Carter had enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but Kennedy challenged the convention rules in an attempt to force a floor vote.
Good old Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Dayobserves that King John signed the venerable Magna Carta 805 years ago today. The beleaguered king signed the great charter essentially at sword point, as his barons had him cornered at Runnymede on 15 June 1215.
The Magna Carta’s history is a fascinating one. King John challenged the document’s legitimacy almost immediately, but his son reaffirmed it. Essentially, the Magna Carta was not a sweeping guarantee of the rights of all Englishmen; rather, it was a guarantee of the rights of a narrow band of English nobility (the aforementioned barons), and that the king was subject to his own laws. No taxes could be levied on the nobility without their consent.
It took another four hundred-odd years, during the events leading up to and following the English Civil War, for the Magna Carta to be applied more broadly. The Stuart monarchs sought to aggrandize the monarchy, turning it into a form of absolute monarchy in the mode of the French kings. Parliament—jealous of its prerogatives—dug up the Magna Carta and used it in its legal case against absolute monarchy.
After all the anticipation, it’s finally here—the proper beginning of the 2020 presidential election. The Iowa caucuses kick off tonight, and there’s no telling how it’s all going to shake out (although it looks like Bernie is on track to have a good night).
The Iowa caucuses work differently than the primaries in other States. Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day today explains the process succinctly. Essentially, if a candidate does not receive 15% of the votes at a precinct, his or her supporters must recast their votes for one of the remaining candidates. That means that, while a candidate always wants to be a voter’s first choice, being the second choice can still work well. It also makes it possible to see where support will go if a candidate drops out.
Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen is a poignant 9/11 memorial: 204 New York City firefighters have died due to illnesses from that fateful day. That’s in addition to the 343 NYFD firefighters who gave their lives on September 11, 2001 (the NYFD maintains a list of “line of duty deaths” dating back to 1865; deaths 809 through 1151 were the result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks). Rasmussen also notes that 2977 people died in the attacks.
When breaking that number down by partisan affiliation, it’s not surprising that 90% of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is bad. What is somewhat surprising is that 63% of Democrats believe that illegal immigration is bad. That suggests that opposing illegal immigration and border control continue to be winning issues.