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Improving Trend for Obama on the Economy

September 14, 2015 KID News

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit(NEW YORK) — Numerically more Americans approve than disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the nation’s economy, only the fifth time that’s occurred in ABC News/Washington Post polls since the second year of his presidency.

While the 49-47 percent division on his economic performance is within the poll’s margin of error, it’s a rare result: Obama’s been numerically in the black on this measure in just five out of 53 ABC/Post polls since 2010: that June, twice after his re-election in 2012, last March and now.

See PDF for full results.

The result reflects an easing of the public’s economic anguish, reflected by lower unemployment – from 10.0 percent after Obama took office to 5.1 percent now. It’s helpful to his overall job approval rating, now 49-46 percent, numerically positive for only the second time in two years.

Approval of Obama’s work on the economy is 14 percentage points higher than his career low, 35 percent in October 2011. His overall approval rating is 9 points above its low, in October 2014, and 16 points higher than George W. Bush’s at this point in his presidency.

This poll was conducted for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Two separate analyses have been released previously, one testing Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, here, and another taking a fuller look at the 2016 election, here.

Obama’s virtually even scores leave him slightly shy of majority approval overall and on the economy alike. And intensity of sentiment remains against him – 10 points more have “strongly” negative than strongly positive opinions of his performance. Bush’s overall rating at this point – in the throes of the Iraq war – was strongly negative by a 33-point margin.

Among groups, the gender gap in Obama’s overall approval rating is the largest of his career: He has 56 percent approval among women, his highest in this group since January 2013, vs. 42 percent among men, four points from his low in September 2011.

Other differences are even sharper, for instance, 58 percent approval in the Northeast and West alike vs. 39 percent in the Midwest, 63 percent among young adults vs. 35 percent among seniors; 91 percent among blacks and 70 percent among Hispanics vs. 35 percent among whites; and 60 percent in urban centers vs. 31 percent in rural areas.

The sharpest gaps, of course, are political and ideological. At the high and low ends, 88 percent of liberal Democrats approve of his job performance, while just 7 percent of conservative Republicans agree.

Methodlogy

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Sept. 7-10, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 33-22-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the …read more […]

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4 Things That Took Scott Walker From Frontrunner to Longshot Candidate

September 14, 2015 KID News

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — When Scott Walker entered the 2016 presidential contest, he was considered one of the most promising Republican contenders for the White House.

A governor with a record of conservative reforms in the purple state of Wisconsin, Walker launched to the top of the polls in Iowa following a fiery speech at January’s Iowa Freedom Summit and stayed there for the better part of the year. So when he officially entered the race in July, Walker seemed like a near shoe-in to win the first in the nation caucuses in the neighboring state.

But Monday, just two months after launching his campaign, the polls tell a very different story. Walker ranks near the bottom both nationally and in Iowa. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll ranks Walker with 2 percent support nationally, down from 11 percent midsummer. And in Iowa, Walker garnered just 3 percent in the latest Quinnipiac poll released Friday compared to 18 percent at the beginning of July.
While Walker’s campaign points out that his likability remains strong, such as Friday’s Quinnipiac poll giving Walker a 62 percent favorability rating, the narrative driven by polling has been a downward spiral for Walker’s White House ambitions. So what happened? Here’s a look at some of the factors that have contributed to Walker’s fall:

1. Trump’s Rise

Walker’s fall in the polls has coincided with Trump’s unpredictable rise.

Walker is not the only candidate to have taken a hit in the polls since Trump’s climb, but he has fallen the furthest. And it’s taken some of Iowa’s most seasoned political watchers, including the former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party Richard Schwarm, by surprise.

“Everybody including me fully expected him to be fighting it out in the top spot in Iowa and he still may,” Schwarm told ABC News. “He has a good organization and working hard, but the poll number collapse is mind boggling, and I don’t understand it.”

“The only thing that I can see is that when he made that speech in January that I felt was really inspirational,” Schwarm continued, referring to Walker’s speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, “Iowans hadn’t seen Trump on the stump yet and he changed the dynamic.”

But if it’s a Trump-like candidate that the Republican electorate decides it wants, it’s hard to imagine how Scott Walker will again find appeal. In many ways, Walker is the anti-Trump. The Wisconsin governor has a low-key Midwestern persona and almost exclusively wears clothes bought on sale at Kohl’s department store. By comparison, Trump flaunts his lavish wealth and has found success in applying his brash style of doing business to the campaigning.

2. The First Debate

Walker’s lackluster performance in the first Republican debate on FOX News did not help his candidacy.
While Walker didn’t have a major stumble in the first debate, he also wasn’t able to break through and stand out on the crowded stage. Part of the problem of course was that he found himself standing beside Trump, but taken on its own merits, Walker’s performance came across to …read more […]

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Today on the Trail — 9/14/15

September 14, 2015 KID News

ABC News(NEW YORK) — On the heels of an ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows Hillary Clinton losing her advantage among women, the Democratic frontrunner heads to the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa for two events with Democratic women Monday afternoon in Cedar Falls and Decorah.

The Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will be in the spotlight again Monday night with a rally in Dallas, Texas at a sold-out American Airlines Center.

And Bernie Sanders, who leads Clinton in New Hampshire and has eliminated her lead in Iowa, according to polls last week, is now turning his attention to Virginia, wading into normally conservative territory with an event at Liberty University and then a rally later that night.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, who has now faded into the background of the GOP race, holds as town hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, while canceling events in other states this week to return to Iowa and New Hampshire in an effort to win back the spotlight.

Chris Christie is in New Hampshire for two events.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Clinton’s Support Drops by a Third as Trump, Carson Surge in GOP Race

September 14, 2015 KID News

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Damaged by increased doubt about her honesty and empathy, Hillary Clinton has lost a third of her support for the Democratic presidential nomination in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, while non-politicians Donald Trump and Ben Carson have surged on the GOP side, commanding more than half the vote between them in a crowded field.

The results are remarkable, particularly in the Republican contest: Even as Trump’s lead for his party’s nomination has grown, six in 10 Americans see him as unqualified to serve as president and as many say he lacks the personality and temperament to succeed in the job. His rating for empathy is far worse than Clinton’s; for honesty and trustworthiness, slightly worse.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

That said, Trump –- and to some extent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side – has capitalized on an anti-establishment streak in political sentiment. Trump also has better ratings among Republicans than from the public at large, and he continues to draw particular support from those who favor his controversial positions on immigration.

All told, among registered voters, 33 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now favor Trump for the nomination, with 20 percent for Carson –- up 9 percentage points and 14 percentage points, respectively, since July. Jeb Bush has crumpled to 8 percent, down from a field-leading 21 percent in March and his first single-digit result in ABC/Post polls this cycle. Among others, Scott Walker’s tumbled to 2 percent, down 11 points since midsummer.

In the Democratic contest, Clinton’s drop is dramatic, yet not enough to threaten her clear lead. She’s supported by 42 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, down from 63 percent in July, while Sanders has gained 10 points, to 24 percent, and Joe Biden’s up by 9 points, to 21 percent. If Biden doesn’t run, most of his support moves to Clinton, boosting her to 56 percent – exactly double Sanders’ support in this case.

Even if still in a strong position, Clinton’s trajectory leaves no question that she has trouble. Just 39 percent now see her as honest and trustworthy, matching her career low; that has dropped by 14 points since last summer. At 46 percent, her rating for empathy –- understanding the problems of average Americans -– is at a career low (albeit by a single point). Her support in the primary has tanked in particular among women, previously a mainstay of her candidacy, from 71 percent in July to 42 percent now.

The e-mail imbroglio is part of it. Fifty-five percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, disapprove of Clinton’s handling of questions about the matter, 54 percent think she’s tried to cover it up and 51 percent think she broke government regulations by using a private server for work-related e-mail during her time as secretary of state.

That said, Clinton may have hit a landing pad on the issue: Disapproval of …read more […]

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Bernie Sanders to Speak to Liberty University Students

September 14, 2015 KID News

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images(LYNCHBURG, Va.) — Bernie Sanders is headed back to college.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will speak to Liberty University students on Monday during a short visit to Lynchburg.

The independent Vermont senator’s trip to the Christian university is expected to gain media attention, according to the Lynchburg News and Advance, given the mostly conservative crowd.

According to a press release from Sanders’ campaign, the Democratic presidential candidate will discuss criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform, college affordability, and more.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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In Church, Hillary Clinton Learns to be ‘Nicer to the Press’

September 13, 2015 KID News

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton is looking to scripture to change her tune with the press.

During remarks Sunday morning at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., where Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton were celebrating the church’s 200th anniversary, the Democratic presidential candidate said she got some blunt campaign advice from her former pastor.

“I got some advice from Dr. Wogaman just earlier this morning, which I promise I will put into effect,” Clinton, a lifelong Methodist, remarked from the pulpit, referring to former pastor J. Philip Wogaman. “Basically he said, if you’re going to read and listen to Romans 12 you got to be nicer to the press.”

Clinton, who is often criticized for her tense relationship with the media, added: “So, to my friends in the press, I will certainly take that to heart.”

Later in service, the church’s current pastor, Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, offered a gloss of the Bible verse.

“You heard Romans 12,” she said. “Be nice.”

The Foundry United Methodist Church is where the Clintons worshipped during President Clinton’s two terms in the White House. Both Hillary and Chelsea Clinton were guest speakers at its bicentennial celebration Sunday.

The former president made an unexpected appearance at the service as well — his third public appearance with his wife since she announced her candidacy for president. He did not speak, however, and was introduced by the church’s pastor as “Hillary’s husband” and “Chelsea’s Dad” — a remark that drew some laughter and applause from the churchgoers.

During her speech, Hillary Clinton, who described herself as a “Methodist both by birth and by choice,” thanked the church for being a place where the Clintons “could worship, study, contemplate, be of service, get some good pastoral advice and step outside all the commotion of life in the White House in Washington.”

“That was very, very precious to us,” she said. “Here we were not the first family. We were just our family. And we relished and cherished that time.”

Chelsea Clinton offered similar gratitude during her own remarks —- thanking the church for the “nurturing and supportive” community it provided her when she first moved to Washington as a pre-teen, and for instilling values in her that she said she hopes to pass along to her daughter, Charlotte.

“I could not think of a greater gift than I would like to give my own daughter, who is turning 1 in a couple of weeks, that same rootedness in her faith and in her traditions,” she said.

Chelsea, whose husband Marc is Jewish, then discussed how her daughter is being raised in an inter-faith home.

“It is a different challenge, but also equally a bless opportunity in our family, because my husband is Jewish. So, as much as I raced down here this afternoon, I’m actually rushing back this afternoon because it’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year,” she said. “So, we’re thinking about faith a lot in our house right now.

“We hope that our daughter will find her own faith, and all we can do is support her in …read more […]

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Ben Carson Says He Fears for Future of US Without Change in Direction

September 13, 2015 KID News

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Surging Republican presidential Ben Carson, who has been feuding with rival Donald Trump this week, expressed his concern for the future of the United States on Sunday, saying he fears the country “may not survive the future” without a change of direction.

The retired neurosurgeon said his comments were not directly aimed at supporters of Trump, but rather voters all across the country. Carson is second to Trump in several polls in national and early-voting states.

“I’m going after everybody in American because, you know, we live in very perilous times,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Our country is in grave danger and if we don’t begin to change out direction and change our attitude, I think we may not survive the future.”

Carson’s feud with Trump began earlier this week when he attacked the real estate mogul’s faith. He later apologized for the comments.

“It wasn’t meant as an attack,” he said Sunday. “It wasn’t my intention and I’m certainly not going to allow it become my intention subsequently, regardless of how anybody reacts to it.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Insider vs. Outsider Matchup Finds Clinton, Trump Near Even

September 13, 2015 KID News

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump run essentially evenly among registered voters in a head-to-head matchup for president in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, testament to the strength of party loyalty as well as to Trump’s anti-establishment profile and anti-immigration views.

The hypothetical contest stands at 46-43 percent, Clinton-Trump, a gap that’s within the survey’s margin of sampling error. That compares to a clear Clinton lead among all adults, 51-39 percent, indicating her broad support in groups that are less apt to be registered to vote, such as young adults and racial and ethnic minorities.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

The close result in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, says as much about partisanship as it does about the candidates. Registered voters divide 45-40 percent between identifying themselves as Democrats, or leaning that way, vs. Republicans or GOP leaners. And 82 percent of leaned Democrats say they’d support Clinton, while 76 percent of leaned Republicans say they’d back Trump, were they the party nominees.

That said, Trump also is tapping factors including discontent with the political system, anti-immigration attitudes and dissatisfaction with the Obama administration. He leads Clinton by a broad 64-25 percent among registered voters who prefer a candidate from outside the political establishment and by 49-38 percent among those who strongly distrust politicians.

Trump also leads Clinton by 73-14 percent among those who favor his controversial views on immigration, 74-13 percent among those who disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, 68-22 percent among political conservatives and 52-36 percent among whites, a broadly pro-GOP group in recent years. (They favored Mitt Romney over Obama by 20 percentage points in 2012.) Among evangelical white Protestants, a core GOP group, Trump leads Clinton by 67-22 percent.

This analysis is the first slice of a new ABC/Post poll on the 2016 election. More detailed results on the primaries, views of candidate attributes and attitudes about the political system overall will be released Monday morning.

There are some important provisos in evaluating these results. Early polls are not predictive. They seek to measure preferences if the election were today, but the election is not today, and if it were, voters would have had a full campaign’s worth of information on which to base their choices – including whether to vote in the first place. Campaigns clearly do matter; front-runners have failed in past elections and single-digit candidates have surged to victory. Polls at this stage, then, are best used to understand attitude formation, not eventual election choices.

Statistical analysis shows which factors best predict Clinton vs. Trump preferences, holding all else equal. The biggest by far is whether or not registered voters support Trump’s positions on immigration. That’s followed by partisanship, preferring experience vs. a political outsider, ideology, race and gender.

Groups

Notably, in the general election matchup, Trump leads by 52-37 percent among men, while Clinton leads by 55-34 percent among women. Fifty-three percent of women in this survey say they’re Democrats or lean that way, compared with …read more […]

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5 Stories You’ll Care About in Politics This Week

September 13, 2015 KID News

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Here’s a glimpse at some of the stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead:

DOCTOR IS IN

Dr. Ben Carson enters the second Republican debate as one of the frontrunners so established that he’s even fighting with Donald Trump now. Trump’s assessment of Carson’s record as a neurosurgeon notwithstanding, this will be Carson’s first time at the center of a GOP stage, making this testing time for an untested candidate. Carson’s comments about his own faith, in comparison to Trump’s, offer a window into his appeal. His support, built less on campaign stops than social networks and virtual organizing, has been vexing to some in the GOP establishment, though less so than Trump’s rise. His challenge will be to show command of the issues and control when he comes in for inevitable attacks.

BEING BIDEN

He looks like a candidate, but he just doesn’t sound like one. The political world is getting glimpses of all facets of Vice President Joe Biden — the anguish as well as the energy that make him a unique political personality. As always, Biden is putting it all out there, whether that means sprinting down a parade route and hugging firefighters, or describing in riveting, raw terms the emotional journey he’s been on since the death of his son. The one thing he’s still not putting out there is whether he’s running for president, though aides and advisers insist it’s because he truly hasn’t made up his mind. His decision could still be weeks away, though Biden will be in southern California midweek — conveniently or not, rather close to where Republicans are gathering for their second debate.

NEW, NEW HILLARY

Welcome to another new phase of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, complete with more planned spontaneity and reminders that, yes, she’s a woman. Clinton is trying to put a damaging storyline about her personal email use behind her, after finally and belatedly apologizing and saying it was a mistake to have her own private email server while serving as secretary of state. Now, she’ll be leaning on her family — both Chelsea and Bill Clinton are stepping up their campaign pace — to help make the next campaign turn. But it comes as she hears louder footsteps from Bernie Sanders, whose campaign crowds are turning into polling numbers, nationally and in early-voting states. A multi-candidate gathering next weekend in New Hampshire will take the temperature of a restless Democratic Party and its related Biden buzz. Clinton, though, still is the frontrunner, and has a far bigger platform to get out any new messaging.

TRUMP VS. WORLD

The most appropriate way to kick off the second Republican debate, on CNN on Wednesday at the Reagan library, might be to have the candidates raise their hands if they’re not in a fight with Donald Trump. Trump might again be alone on that one, after picking a fight with Carly Fiorina and engaging in one with Ben Carson. Few top-tier candidates are likely to go …read more […]

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Donald Trump Talks Immigration and Taxes in Iowa

September 12, 2015 KID News

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(BOONE, Iowa) — Donald Trump talked tough on immigration and more in Iowa on Saturday.

At a campaign rally in Boone, Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump emphasized his plan to build a wall against illegal immigrants while also ridding the country of them, including criminal gang members.

“I tell you what, before I even get the wall started, they’re gone,” said Trump. “The first day. One of the first things: they’re gone!”

Trump also discussed taxes saying he wants to lower taxes for the middle class.

“We’re gonna lower taxes, especially for the middle class,” said the Republican presidential candidate. “We are going to make sure that my friends in the hedge fund business who make a fortune and pay virtually no tax: they are gonna start paying taxes, they’re gonna start paying taxes…”

He told supporters he would have a tax plan in the next three or four weeks.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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