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New poll says 42% of Republicans expect Donald Trump to be their presidential nominee

Donald Trump leads the GOP presidential field in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday. That’s not unusual, as he’s dominated the race since July.

What is noteworthy is how many Republicans — 42 percent — believe he will be the party’s nominee at their convention next summer in Cleveland. The next best choice is Ben Carson, with 15 percent support, followed by Jeb Bush at 12 percent and Marco Rubio at 5 percent.

And given a list of six potential nominees, 43 percent pick Trump as having the best chance to win the general election. The rest? Carson 16 percent, Bush 13 percent, Rubio 11 percent, Cruz 4 percent, Fiorina 3 percent.

In terms of where the party is now, Trump leads with 32 percent nationally, 10 percent more than the next best candidate, Carson, who is at 22 percent. Marco Rubio is at 10 percent. Jeb Bush is at 7 percent. Ted Cruz at 6 percent, and Carly Fiorina at 5 percent.

The poll was conducted between October 15-18 in English and Spanish, among a random sample of 1,001 adults, including 423 leaning Republicans. There is a sampling error of 3.5 percent among all adults, and 5.5 percent among leaning Republicans.

House Dems slam Marco Rubio for immigration vote — his first since Sept. 24

In recent weeks, Democrats (and even some opposing Republican presidential candidates) have relished attacking Marco Rubio for missing votes in the Senate as he campaigns for president.

But on Tuesday, three members of the Democratic Progressive Caucus were attacking the Florida senator for a bill that he actually voted on (his first since September 24) — a bill that would force sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal immigration officials. The measure lost on Tuesday when it failed to get the 60 votes needed. (It received 55 votes, vs. 45 who opposed the measure.)

“Here you go again, Marco Rubio,” said Los Angeles-based U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra on a conference call. “You miss a third of all votes that you’re supposed to cast in the Senate, but you show up for this political one, and people have to question what drives you, and why are you doing this?”

Sanctuary cities have existed in the United States for decades, but Republicans have vowed to penalize such cities after a tragedy occurred in San Francisco last July that made national headlines. That’s when local resident Kate Steinle was fatally shot at a tourist location by an undocumented immigrant who had been previously deported five times.

Conservatives argue that San Francisco is one of hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions that don’t follow federal immigration law, including not complying with requests for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold undocumented immigrants until federal officials can take them into custody.

Under the legislation sponsored by Louisiana Republican David Vitter and co-sponsored by Rubio, undocumented immigrants would face a minimum of five years in prison if they re-enter the United States after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony or twice re-entered the country illegally.

Arizona U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva took Rubio to task for abandoning comprehensive immigration reform, saying he and all of the other GOP presidential candidates have been intimidated by Donald Trump’s success at the polls. Trump’s rise is said to have begun after his controversial comments regarding undocumented immigrants being “rapists.”

“Here we see Marco Rubio in the Senate floor, talking about work ethic, obviously it’s not present in his record, and chiming in and (using) the rhetoric of Donald Trump,” said Grijalva.

That was a reference to Rubio’s comments on the Senate floor earlier on Tuesday, where he attacked employees at the Veterans Administration who didn’t do their jobs.

“All we’re saying in this bill is,” The Washington Post quotes Rubio, “if you work at the VA, and you aren’t doing your job, they get to fire you. I think people are shocked that that [doesn’t] actually exist in the entire government, since there is really no other job in the country where if you don’t do your job, you don’t get fired.”

He continued: “In this instance, we’re just limiting it to one agency. This should actually be the rule in the entire government. If you’re not doing your job, you should be fired.”

“One of the reasons Marco is campaigning hard to be the next president is so he can finally bring accountability to the VA,” Rubio spokesperson Brooke Sammon said.

San Jose area U.S. Rep. Mike Honda alluded to how Rubio had missed 60 percent of his votes since June, including measures like the Keystone XL pipeline, keeping the government open and funding U.S. troops. “Voters should make a mental note that Rubio will ignore those critical issues, but he will rush back to D.C. if there is an opportunity to stick it to the immigrants.”

Regarding today’s vote, the Obama administration has threatened previous efforts to block funding to sanctuary cities, citing a 2014 executive order from Obama that directs federal officials to focus deportations on convicted criminals.

Patrick Murphy slams Alan Grayson as ‘two-faced’

While addressing reporters Wednesday afternoon during the formal presentation at the AP Florida Legislative Planning Session in Tallahassee, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy pointed out the major difference between himself and Alan Grayson, his main challenger in next year’s Senate contest.

“Style, first and foremost.”

“Congressman Grayson prides himself on being the bomb throwin’, name calling, finger-pointing … you know, calling the President a sellout a few weeks ago, calling members of Congress ‘Taliban Dan’ and KKK members (a reference to Grayson’s description of GOP U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster),” Murphy said. “That’s no way to get something done with people.”

“You’ve got to find some common ground with people and move the ball forward,” he added. “So, I’m not going to be calling people names, I’m not going to be accusing them of things that aren’t true.”

But a few moments later, after finishing his scheduled 30-minute appearance before the press corps,  Murphy was asked about Grayson’s boast that he has passed more bills and amendments than anyone else in Congress in recent years. He said he wasn’t going to get into “bad mouthing my opponent.”

But then Murphy did exactly that, referring to his opponent running two hedge funds.

“Furthermore, you’re going to see the hypocrisy, and someone who claims to be this true progressive, turns out to have a hedge fund? In the Cayman Islands? Right, with billions of dollars as using carried interest loopholes? That to me is not what the voters want. Voters are tired of that double talk. They’re tired of this two-faced nonsense, right?”

Grayson has come under fire recently for the relatively recent revelation that he has created three hedge funds, including two based in the Cayman Islands. Last month, he changed the names of two of them that had his name in the title.

Grayson appeared right before Murphy at the AP session, but was not asked by reporters (including this one) about them.

On policy issues, Murphy also criticized Grayson for his opponent’s opposition to renewing the Export-Import Bank, saying his opposition puts him alongside Tea Party Republicans and the Club for Growth.

Regarding his own vote going against the mainstream of the Democratic Party — support for the Keystone XL pipeline — Murphy gave an elaborate explanation for supporting the controversial plan that would carry heavy crude oil mixture from Western Canada to the United States. The proposal has been delayed for years pending a review by President Barack Obama and the State Department.

“Because of the reality of the situation, I would rather this go through America’s regulatory structure — through our strict regulations to ensure that this is as clean as humanly possible,” he said, adding  he was hopeful it would never come to fruition.

Murphy would prefer that the U.S. gets all of its energy from alternative sources, but acknowledges that the country isn’t at a stage yet where it can rely on solar, wind and other green technologies.

Donald Trump and Ben Carson in statistical tie for 1st in new Fox News poll

Donald Trump leads nationally in a new Fox News poll released on Tuesday with 24 percent support, but Ben Carson is right behind him at 23 percent.  Ted Cruz is third with 10 percent.

Marco Rubio is next with 9 percent. Jeb Bush is in fith place with 8 percent. Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee are down at 5 percent, and Rand Paul is at 3 percent.
Ben Carson is the only Republican who beats Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match-up — defeating her 50-39 percent.
The poll shows that Trump is neither gaining or losing ground, but standing steady with so many candidates still in the race. The man with the mojo is Dr. Carson, who has climbed 11 points in the past six weeks.
The poll also shows that despite all the hype, Carly Fiorina is only about half what it was after the September debate, in which she was widely hailed the winner.
The survey shows that more Republicans are getting used to the possibility of a President Trump. Eighteen percent of GOP primary voters would “never” vote for Trump.  That’s down significantly from the 33 percent who said so in August and the 59 percent in June.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,004 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 10-12, 2015. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and five points for both Democratic and Republican primary voters.

News that Ben Carson only became Republican a year ago isn’t really news

Dr. Ben Carson has been getting hammered in recent days for some of his outlandish comments on the campaign trail. Both the New York TimesCharles Blow and the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson have slammed the GOP presidential candidate for his comments on what he would do if confronted by a mass killer who wanted to shoot him, as well as his invoking Nazi Germany when talking about gun control.

Carson has dismissed such complaints, and on The O’Reilly Factor on Monday night, host Bill O’Reilly defended him, saying, “There’s something about you that really annoys the secular-progressives.”

But it’s not just liberals who are scrutinizing the retired pediatric neurosurgeon, who has remained in the top tier of GOP candidates right behind Donald Trump in most national and statewide polls in the Republican presidential contest.

On a conservative website called the The American Mirror, blogger Kyle Olson breathlessly reports that Carson never affiliated with the Republican Party until he changed his voter registration in Palm Beach County on October 31, 2014. He goes on to writes that Carson was previously affiliated with the Independence Party of Florida, and prior to moving to Florida, he had been registered as an independent in Maryland since 2001 and had not voted in any primaries through the next 10 years.

However, Carson has never been shy about admitting that, though he was once a Republican, he left the party decades ago before registering again with the GOP  last October in Palm Beach County, where he currently lives.

“It’s truly a pragmatic move because I have to run in one party or another. If you run as an independent, you only risk splitting the electorate,” Carson told The Washington Times in an interview last fall before he made the change. “I clearly would not be welcome in the Democratic Party, and so that only leaves one party.”

Carson says he grew up as a Democrat but switched his party affiliation to Republican in the 1980s after listening to Ronald Reagan. However, he left the party and switched to being an independent about 15-20 years ago after getting a “sour taste” watching Republicans go after Bill Clinton regarding the Monica Lewinsky affair. “I just saw so much hypocrisy in both parties,” he told the Times.

The story was picked up and ran online by conservative news sites like, WorldNetDaily and the DailyCaller.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.13.15 — Martin O’Malley’s moment?

So, after the Republicans (led by Donald Trump) have seized the country’s attention with their presidential contest so far in 2015, the five Democrats (sans Joe Biden) running for president get their shot in a two-hour debate from Las Vegas on CNN at 9 p.m. Eastern.

There will be some intriguing things to watch for — such as how Bernie Sanders will make his pitch for the black vote.

A CNN/ORC poll in South Carolina released yesterday  was very troubling for the Vermont independent socialist — he gets just 4 percent support from blacks there, which is a problem where the majority of Democratic primary voters are black.

The fact of the matter is, though Sanders is doing well in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton is dominating him in South Carolina and Nevada, and nationally in the polls. This contest isn’t really that competitive if you take a broad look at it, so not only does Sanders need to break out tonight, but obviously, so do the other three white guys that most of America is barely aware that they’re running.

This is Martin O’Malley’s time, though whether the 52-year-old former Maryland governor can seize it is obviously up to him. O’Malley has seemingly spent half of his time that the national media accords him to complain about the lack of debates — and that’s a legitimate concern, especially the way that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has handled the situation. But there’s no more time to whine — O’Malley is going to have plenty of time to make his case before the nation tonight.

Before the campaign began, he was the guy considered to be the possibly anti-Hillary candidate. But then Freddie Gray and Baltimore happened, and O’Malley’s policies on crime that had earned him plaudits in the late ’90s and early aughts went up in smoke — a serious problem when allegations of egregious police actions against blacks have become a major story in the country.

Averaging probably around 2 percent, you can bet he’ll take shots at Clinton and Sanders, and  he needs to score a lot of points to get in the game — if it’s not too late.

Jim Webb has barely surfaced on the campaign stage, but he’s a fascinating man with some unorthodox views from your average Democrat. You might expect him to hit President Obama harder than any of the other candidates when it comes to talking about foreign policy.

And Lincoln Chaffee? Well,  there is the metric system that he wants the U.S. to adopt. And he’ll undoubtedly criticize Clinton for her vote on the Iraq war, something that she’s repeatedly apologized for.

And Joe Biden? It’s somewhat shocking that he hasn’t announced what he’s going to do yet; now the story being peddled is that he believes he has until the end of this month, but that’s ludicrous. He really does seem to be watching to see how Hillary does tonight and at her Benghazi hearing net week before making his ultimate decision.

Although everyone wants to see sparks in this debate (and in every debate), there will be many issues in which the candidates probably all agree, which will make it not as exciting. Trump’s ability to insult and not fear being politically correct has made the GOP debate must-watch TV, and that simply ain’t going to be the case tonight. But that should be okay, though. The point of this whole process is to determine, after all, who is the best person to lead this country (and the world) in 2017-2021.

In other news..

Or in related news — there’s a couple of debate parties we can tell you about taking place tonight on both sides of Tampa Bay.

Over the past month or so, rumors have percolated that Bob Buckhorn was having second thoughts about pursuing a run for governor in 2018. But the Tampa mayor says he’s still “looking at” the possibilities of taking a shot at higher office.

How effective are body cameras for law enforcement agencies? According to a new study published by USF and the Orlando Police Department, the results say they are very effective.

Rick Homans has been selected to succeed Stuart Rogel as the head of the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Sad news — Jeb Bush’s top campaign strategist, David Kochel, has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Avik Roy now working for Marco Rubio campaign

Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and opinion editor of Forbes, has joined the Marco Rubio presidential campaign.

 Welcome to the team! Glad to have you on board,” Rubio tweeted on Monday morning.

Earlier, Roy tweeted to his followers that he was now on Team Rubio.

“No candidate expresses—and embodies—the American dream better than . I’m honored to be advising Sen. Rubio on policy. .”

Roy became a frequent face on cable news four years ago, when he served as a healthcare policy adviser to Mitt Romney. He is the founder of Roy Healthcare Research, an investment research firm, and previously was an analyst and portfolio manager at Bain Capital and J.P. Morgan.

Roy is the principal author of The Apothecary (the Forbes blog on healthcare policy and entitlement reform), as well as author of Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency (2014) and How Medicaid Fails the Poor (2013). His research interests include the Affordable Care Act, universal coverage, entitlement reform, international health systems, veterans’ health care, and FDA policy.

Roy had been working on Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. Perry dropped out of the race last month.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.12.15 — Does Joe Maddon have the mojo this post-season?

Good morning….Well, it’s Columbus Day, one of those weird federal holidays which most people in the private sector don’t enjoy (similar to next months’ Veterans Day). In typical fashion, our Congress is not only taking the day off to make the holiday, but the entire week. This, despite the fact that the House GOP is supposed to be in crisis because they don’t have a leader in the pipeline ready to replace John Boehner.

Any baseball fans out there? I have to admit that in recent years, the grand ‘ole game has lost a lot of its luster – not because of the steroid era, but what’s come afterwards – a sport in which pitching dominates, with more shutouts, no hitters and strike-outs than ever before (Actually, I subscribe to the theory that the removal of allowing players to take amphetamines has had a bigger negative affect). But there is something about October playoff baseball that still excites the pulse. And so if you’re a fan, you better relish today, where for the last time in 2015, will include four games with meaning throughout the day, starting at 1 p.m. eastern in Houston. That’s where Lance McCullers Jr., the Jesuit High grad from Tampa, takes the mound against the Kansas City Royals.

But let’s face it for local baseball fans – it’s a very mixed deal watching the Chicago Cubs in their series with the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s because the iconic Joe Maddon is just two games away from leading his Cubbies to the National League Championship Series, the first time the Cubs will have advanced that far in 12 years.

Watching the Cubs over the weekend with one major Tampa Bay Rays fan, one hears about the conflicting emotions about watching the former Rays skipper in blue pinstripes. It’s been less than a year from when the popular manager exploited a loophole in his contract when executive Andrew Friedman took off to L.A. to run the Dodgers that  Maddon seized the day to advance his career.

It’d be great to see Maddon and Friedman’s teams face each other in the next round of the playoffs – and what a series the Dodgers-Mets already has become in just two days. Will Chase Utley win his appeal on being suspended for two games after his tough (but in my eyes, fair) slide into second base on Saturday night that broke the leg of the Mets shortstop and dramatically changed that game?

Back to Maddon: The Cubs are America’s team this post-season, with those who don’t have an affiliation with any other squad in the playoffs rooting hard for the longtime losers. What a story it would be if it were to happen this year, and why not? If you’re a Rays fan, however, it’s hard not to be wistful about what could have been.

And since we’re doing a quick wrap-up of sports, it was another big weekend of college football here in the Sunshine State. The Florida Gators are one of the stories of the year with their 6-0 record and number eight ranking in the AP top 25.

And even USF finally won a game, defeating Syracuse.

Both local dailies are featuring the Bucs victory over lowly Jacksonville. Can you imagine the headlines if they had lost that game? My respects to any Jacksonville readers.

In other news,

David Jolly is being aggressive in advocating the virtues of his Florida colleague Daniel Webster as the GOP House conference waits on what Paul Ryan will decide to do.

And he waited until late on a Friday afternoon to do it, but Sam Rashid finally tendered his anticipated resignation from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. In an update to our initial post, we should note that Rashid was not the first minority to serve on the agency. Florida Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner earned that distinction back in 1991.

David Jolly ramps up his advocacy for Daniel Webster as next House Speaker

Seemingly every House Republican wants Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

However, Ryan is playing coy, telling his colleagues on Friday that he wanted to consult with his family this weekend and watch his beloved Green Bay Packers before making any decision.

If Ryan won’t pull the trigger, David Jolly really, really wants his colleagues to consider Daniel Webster, his colleague in the Florida House delegation, and a man already deemed the choice of the House Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party wing of the Republican conference.

“Dan has the experience, temperament and judgement to make the House work again, where every member, from the most junior to the most senior, commands a seat at the table,” Jolly writes in a letter to his fellow House Republicans to be issued on Monday.

Referring to Webster’s former stint as Speaker in the Florida House of Representatives back in the mid-1990’s (when he became the first Republican speaker in 122 years in Florida) while Democrat Lawton Chiles was governor, Jolly writes that, “Dan successfully delivered conservative results for our state, as well as major reforms within the House.”

However, Webster may not even be in the House of Representatives after next year after Judge Terry Lewis’ ruling on Friday in the state redistricting case. In choosing a map preferred by the League of Women Voters, Webster’s CD 10 seat would move from having a 4-percentage-point advantage for Republicans over Democrats among registered voters to an 18 percentage-point Democratic advantage.

Nevertheless, clock is ticking, as Boehner is scheduled to leave Congress at the end of this month (though he now says he’ll stay on until House Republicans choose his successor). And instead of just tooting his own horn, Webster now has an active advocate in Jolly to make his case.

Lawrence Lessig pounds Marco Rubio in his first TV ad

Harvard Law professor and Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig is up with his first television ad, and in it he slams Marco Rubio’s alliance with major corporations that are backing his candidacy for president.

Lessig’s odds of capturing the nomination may be more remote than Martin O’Malley’s, but because he began raising money this summer before he officially became a candidate, he already has a war chest of over $1 million that he collected from 10,000 donations. Running as a “referendum president,” he vowed to run if he raised $1 million by Labor Day.

Though he may not be recognized by the Democratic National Committee to participate in the party’s first presidential debate next week, his financial prowess allowed him to spend $150,000 to air the 15-second ad in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The ad begins with the question, “Who owns Marco Rubio?” before segueing to a picture of the Florida senator adorned with logos of contributors including Wells Fargo, Honeywell, Goldman Sachs, KKR and other financial services companies.

Watch below:

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