Thursday, November 19, 2015

Good morning everyone! Happy Thursday to you.

Joining today's show are Katty Kay, Cokie Roberts, David Ignatius, Jim Miklaszewski, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Sam Stein, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Jeff Flake, Andrea Mitchell, Stephanie Gosk, Sen. Joni Ernst, Kasie Hunt, Jeremy Peters, Phil Mattingly, Michael Scherer, Sara Eisen and more

It is another sad day in The Cove off the coast in Taji, Japan. The Hunters captured many animals including two pods of pilot whales which they piled into one area within the nets. The estimate is that another 40 to 50 of them were captured today. Two sets of boats came back in formation again today. These people are having a great season of captures and killings of many Dolphins so far this year. I would have to say a good 400 to 500 Dolphins have been captured or killed this season in Taji, Japan. One group had been held outside harbor while boats go back for more. A large family of pilot whales now netted into the Cove. 2 banger boats that drove in the 1st pod of pilot whales have now gone back to sea to help the other hunters with the other pod, or could be the rest of this pod. Large family of pilot whales huddle together for comfort as more are brought in. 2nd part of pod now inside the killing nets. We reckon about 40 or so pilot whales of all ages. This poor pod. They won't leave each others side. They are all huddled tightly together protecting the younger ones. They are spy hopping and terrified. Matriarch just swam through pod like she was checking on them all. Shocking. Cynthia and Ric O' Barry are sitting at the cove tonight with the pilot whale pod. They are netted right into the killing cove. They say that they "wish nothing more than to swim in and cut the nets', but that they would be 'arrested then deported, and never allowed back in again'. All they can do is show the world this is happening and be their voice. They and my 'heart(s) is/are desperately heavy and sad this evening'.

Take the Pledge NOT to buy a Ticket to a Dolphin Show:

Ted Cruz is an idiot. His words about Obama telling him whatever to his face is adolescent. Donald trump does not know what he is talking about and i am not a great Obama fan, but the disrespect towards him must stop once and for all. These GOP primary candidates are like children. The last thing any of them should e doing is being in any office position let alone be running for the POTUS. There is not one person in the GOP primary that has a clue about anything in the broad schemes of their lives. All they do is pop off saying any catchy thing with the hope it catches. There is never any thing behind it. Even their stances on the refugee issue is not even real and it is 100% politicized. 

France Unsure If Attack Planner Is Still on the Loose. A police raid on an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis led to an hours-long standoff early Wednesday morning in which "terrorists fired 5,000 rounds," according to Paris prosecutor François Molins. At least two suspected terrorists were killed, including a woman who may have detonated an explosive vest, and seven people were arrested.

Neither Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged architect of the Paris attacks, nor fugitive attacker Salah Abdeslam were among those arrested, Molins said in a press conference on Wednesday. However, he left open the possibility that either or both of the men could have been killed in the raid. 

The dead have not yet been identified, and the names of those arrested have not been released. A source told Reuters that the militants holed up in the apartment were planning an attack on La Défense, a business district in Paris. Later on Wednesday, Molins said that the group had been "ready to act."

Molins added that he was not in "a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died," according to the Associated Press. 

The operation began at 4:25 a.m. local time, when police laid siege to the apartment about a mile away from Stade de France, one of the sites of Friday's terror attack. The six terror suspects returned fire, lightly wounding five police officers and killing Diesel, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog. 

The raid was reportedly spurred by an investigation of phone records and additional surveillance. On Tuesday, French authorities found a cell phone in a trash can outside the Bataclan, according to Le Monde. It contained a map of the concert venue, and a text message, sent at 9:42 p.m., that read, "Let's go, we're starting." The target of the raid was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian man suspected of planning the attacks in Paris. None of the suspects have been identified, so Abaaoud's fate — and whether he was even in the apartment — is unclear. DNA testing will be conducted to see if Abaaoud died in the raid. The woman who died may have been Abaaoud's 28-year-old cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen.

French and American intelligence officials said on Tuesday they believed Abaaoud was with other militants in Syria. If he was at the scene, that means a well-known ISIS operative was somehow able to make his way into France.

The operation began on Rue de la République, near the center of town. Police shut down the surrounding neighborhood, pointing guns at onlookers and telling them to move along. As reinforcements poured into the area, residents were instructed to stay indoors and away from windows. Other residents who were too close to the raid were told to follow police to safety in their pajamas — or underwear. The mayor of Saint Denis, Didier Paillard, told a local radio station, according to the New York Times, that he was surprised that the terrorists had been hiding in his city of around 118,000 people. “We were not prepared for this discovery. This is a city that has 130 different nationalities, including people who come from war zones. We are a population that needs serenity.”

Heavy gunfire was heard in the neighborhood as the suspects inside the apartment traded volleys with police. The apartment reportedly had a reinforced door that made it difficult for police to enter — especially because they were being fired upon the entire time. According to The Wall Street Journal, the woman initially shot at police with an AK-47-like weapon, then appeared to blow herself up. Molins later said that "this point needs to be verified by an analysis of the body and human remains as well as by all the forensic police operations that have to be carried out."

One witness told Le Parisien what happened after the woman blew herself up: "The windows shattered. Lots of objects from the apartment were thrown into the street, pieces of human flesh as well. They are still there. You can see a bit of the head, of skin, of ribs.” A shop owner in the neighborhood told the Washington Post, “There was blood all over the place, people were injured. It seemed like real war.”

The other suspect was reportedly killed after injuries caused by a grenade and police sniper. 

Residents said the first round of gunfire lasted about 20 minutes. There was intermittent gunfire for the next few hours, followed by a series of explosions around 7:30 a.m. Reporters said it sounded like grenade blasts.

Military reinforcements were deployed to secure the perimeter.

Around 10:30 a.m., police confirmed that the raid was over. The building, which investigators were eager to search for evidence, is near collapse. Around 110 police officers took part in the raid; Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve noted that they endured "gunfire for many hours, in conditions that they never encountered up until now.”

French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve arrives in a security perimeter set in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. Photo: FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images

A man arrested on Wednesday told AFP that he lent the apartment to the terrorists as a favor to his friend. "I said that there was no mattress, they told me, 'It’s not a problem,' they just wanted water and to pray," he said as he was being handcuffed. 

In the days after the attacks, it was reported that seven of the perpetrators were killed and an eighth had likely made his way to Belgium. On Tuesday, video footage revealed there may have been a ninth attacker, and French police confirmed that they are searching for two suspects, as well as many others who may have been involved in planning the violence that took the lives of 129 people — who have now all been identified. Hundreds more were sent to nearby hospitals for treatment, where they were greeted by medical personnel who had just gone through a mass-shooting emergency drill on Friday morning, according to Bloomberg. 

At least 33 Islamic State militants have died in Raqqa after the multiple rounds of air strikes conducted by France since Sunday. In France, authorities have conducted at least 414 raids over the past three nights — 25 additional arrests were made Tuesday night. French authorities sent a bulletin around Europe warning police to keep an eye out for a Citroën Xsara that fugitive Salah Abdeslam may be using to evade capture. 

Later on Wednesday, a teacher at a Jewish school in Marseille was stabbed by three people. One of the attackers was wearing an Islamic State T-shirt. "The three people insulted, threatened and then stabbed their victim in the arm and leg," a local prosecutor told Reuters. "They were interrupted by the arrival of a car and fled." The victim's injuries are reportedly not severe.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the decision to cancel a soccer game in Hannover, where there had been a "concrete threat" of a bomb attack on Tuesday. Merkel was scheduled to attend the game; no explosives were found at the stadium after an evacuation and lengthy search. "I was just as sad as the millions of fans that the match was cancelled. But the security officials took a responsible decision," she told reporters on Wednesday, according to Reuters. "These are difficult decisions, perhaps the most difficult given the conflicting priorities of freedom and security. But yesterday it was right to decide based on security."

Other parts of Europe started to ramp up security on Wednesday. The terror alert in Sweden has jumped up to a level four after authorities received "concrete information" that was apparently alarming enough to put everyone in the country on alert. At the Vatican, the police presence is far more noticeable. Pope Francis's security detail has doubled. 

There was a brief bomb scare at Terminal 3 in the Copenhagen international airport; according to the Associated Press, "an overheard conversation about a bomb" and a suspicious bag led to a quick evacuation. All public transport heading toward the airport was briefly stopped. The terminal has opened back up, but delays are expected. 

In the U.S., the federal government just announced that it is offering a reward of up to $5 million for any information about Abu-Muhammad al-Shimali, who the State Department believes has helped ISIS converts travel from Australia and Europe to Syria. 

Paris is also looking ahead to next month's U.N. climate talks, which will bring many world leaders — and undoubtedly mountains of security — to the city. The diplomatic negotiations about the environment are still on — but many of the more jubilant or defiant events associated with the meetings are being canceled. On Wednesday, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius announced that two big marches planned for December have been canceled. “This is a tough decision that will no doubt disappoint some who were planning to participate,” he said, “but in the current situation, the demand for security requires it.” The story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

France, Russia join forces, strike Islamic State targets in Syria. France and Russia engaged in unprecedented joint strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Tuesday, the latest in a flurry of diplomatic and military fallout from the deadly terrorist strikes in Paris last week.

The joint operation began as Russian intelligence officials acknowledged that an Islamic State bomb brought down a Russian airliner this month over Egypt, killing all 224 aboard, and President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, currently in the Mediterranean, to start cooperating with the French in Syria.

This Father and Son Took the Same Photo 28 Years in a Row, and the Last One Is Absolutely Amazing
Separately, details emerged in an international manhunt surrounding Paris, where seven of Friday’s attackers detonated suicide vests. A suspected eighth assailant has been on the run since, French authorities said Tuesday, and they are now also searching for a second fugitive thought to be directly involved in the attacks.

The French government also invoked a never-before-used European Union “mutual defense clause” to ask its partners to provide support for its operations against the terrorist group in the Middle East.

“France cannot act alone in these theaters,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a meeting Tuesday with fellow defense ministers in Brussels shortly before the 28-nation bloc unanimously agreed to the request.

President Obama responded to the pleas by inviting French President Francois Hollande to visit Washington for talks next week, for what the White House said will be a discussion on deepening French cooperation in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State and to “reiterate our shared determination to confront the scourge of terrorism.”

The Obama administration, which has struggled to keep up with events and come under criticism at home, faced fears that Russia’s stepped-up influence in the international battle against the Islamic State would complicate U.S.-led efforts to contain the extremist group.

While the strikes aimed to punish the Islamic State for the attacks on Paris and the bombing of the Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Franco-Russian action failed to calm European jitters, highlighted Tuesday by the sudden cancellation of a German-Dutch soccer match after authorities cited a “concrete” threat of an explosives attack at a stadium in Hannover, Germany.

Members of the German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, were not at the stadium but had arrived in the city to attend the game in what was supposed to be a signal that Germany wouldn’t bow to terrorism in the wake of the attacks on Paris.

There were also reports that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the attacks, was previously monitored and targeted by Western airstrikes in Syria. Officials have said Abaaoud, born in Belgium to Moroccan parents and in his late-20s, is believed to still be operating with the Islamic State in Syria.

U.S. military officials said they were given discreet notice before Russian forces launched a “significant number” of strikes targeting the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province in northeastern Syria. But the officials insisted that the former Cold War foes were not coordinating military efforts against the extremist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

The strikes on Raqqa signaled a shift by the Russians, whom the Obama administration has repeatedly accused of targeting U.S.-backed opposition rebels in Syria rather than Islamic State extremists since beginning their military campaign in late September.

Over the past year, France had been a member of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State. Now, the notion that Paris may coordinate more closely with Moscow could push Washington to the sidelines in any serious debate over Syria’s political future.

Mr. Putin ordered naval forces, capable of launching missiles at Raqqa, to “cooperate with a French naval group” on Tuesday, according to the Russian government-owned Sputnik International. Oleg Krivorog, who heads the Russian naval unit hosting Moscow’s fighter jets in Syria, said it is “necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies.” The Sputnik article appeared hours after Mr. Hollande publicly appealed to Washington and Moscow to join a grand international coalition to crush the Islamic State.

U.S. officials have been eager to support the embattled Mr. Hollande, but the administration has balked at the prospect of a Paris-Moscow alliance within the coalition. U.S. officials have long held the position that Syrian President Bashar Assad must go, something that Russia and Iran, Syria’s other main ally, have rejected.

“We’re all opposed to ISIL. That’s different from being on the same side,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in an interview with ABC News on Tuesday. “You cannot settle the war with Assad there because Assad is the magnet for all of these terrorists.”

Mr. Kerry argued that the Paris attacks increased “cooperation between France and the [U.S.]” and maintained that the Obama administration was “steadily ramping up” its own efforts against the Islamic State even before last week’s assault.

But key Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been sharply critical of Mr. Obama’s prosecution of the campaign against the Islamic State, saying private frustration with the White House among top Pentagon officials is at its highest level in decades. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, cited frustration in the ranks during interviews with The Washington Times this month.

Mr. Obama has steadfastly resisted sending ground troops into Syria or deploying a large number of special operations forces to direct the fight against the Islamic State. The president did recently approve sending 50 special operations troops to meet with and train U.S.-supplied rebels whose major objective is to isolate the city of Raqqa. Dave Boyer contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.

Russia, US may find common ground in fight against ISIS

Terror attacks against Paris and a Russian airliner, coming less than two weeks apart and both believed to be the work of ISIS, could trigger new cooperation between Russia and the United States.

Terrorists from the bloodthirsty caliphate in Syria and Iraq have been linked to both the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai on Oct. 31 that killed 224 people, including at least 25 children, and a gun-and-explosives rampage in Paris that left 129 civilians dead and wounded about 350 more.

"It increases the chances of greater U.S.-Russian cooperation, since Moscow can provide the direct military engagement Washington is unwilling to provide," Donald Jensen, senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations.

"The Obama administration, though divided on how to deal with Russia, is likely to welcome greater Russian involvement on the ground and in the peace process. For the past few months, the U.S. has already eased its position on easing out Bashar al-Assad and including the Russians in the talks," Jensen said. President Barack Obama reiterated on Monday that the United States will not deploy significant numbers of ground forces in areas controlled by ISIS, which also goes by the name Islamic State.

Omar Lamrani, military analyst at private intelligence firm Stratfor, said there has been an increased push by both Russia and the U.S. to work through their differences to deal with the common threat. 

"The Russians have been seeking a strategic dialogue with the United States that diffuses the sanctions placed on them and normalizes the situation (including their gains in Crimea)," Lamrani said.

"Moscow will therefore push for increased cooperation with the U.S. against (Islamic State), but on their terms. The U.S. will be very hesitant to give that full recognition to Russia, but will be willing to work with the Russians on specific issues such as the fight against IS."

On Monday Obama, in Turkey for the G-20 summit, said without naming Russia specifically that there are disagreements with countries about the fate of Assad, whose strong-arm tactics are generally agreed to have triggered the Syrian civil war; however, he underscored that "what's different this time is that for the first time all major countries agree on a process that is needed to end this war."

Some, though, remain only cautiously optimistic.

"I think it may force cooperation, but only the very lowest common denominator, mainly ensuring efforts in Syria don't actively undermine one another," the director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, Matthew Rojansky, told CNBC. "To the Kremlin, the main objective has always been to preserve what remains of its ally, Assad's regime, and that hasn't changed."

Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer echoed those sentiments, saying that although Russia will focus more on ISIS given the recent attacks, Moscow's priority remains to "first shore up the Assad regime."

"We will see more effective efforts at deconflicting attacks and intelligence-sharing, but there's not enough trust or overlapping interest to bring the coalitions together," Bremmer said.

Moscow's Cosmos Hotel was evacuated the day after the attacks in Paris following a false bomb threat and just days after ISIS had vowed further revenge on Russia in a video "soon, very soon."

ISIS on Monday threatened attacks on Washington, D.C.

Russia, no stranger to terror attacks in its own territory, now has to deal with a shift in which the Islamic Caucasus Emirate has also aligned itself with ISIS.

Monday's headlines in the Russian media highlighted that Russia is "ready to support the efforts of the armed opposition in Syria" and that the U.S. has called on Russia to join forces in the coalition to fight ISIS.

"Certainly I think the demands that Assad must go will to take a back seat to defeating ISIS in Syria," Helima Croft, CNBC contributor and global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC.

"No one is going to come out and say Assad must stay, but is policy going to shift more to the Russia position? I think so," Croft said.

John Kerry Walks Back Charlie Hebdo ‘Rationale’ Commentsecretary of State John Kerry is walking back his suggestion that January’s Charlie Hebdo massacre had “a rationale” that was absent from the ISIS-backed attack on Paris last week. “There are no grounds of history — religion, ideology, psychology, politics, economic disadvantage, or personal ambition — that justify the slaughter of unarmed civilians, the bombing of public places, or indiscriminate violence towards innocent men, women, and children,” Kerry said during a speech in Washington D.C. Wednesday. “And such atrocities can never be rationalized, and we can never allow them to be rationalized. 

There’s no excuse. They have to be stopped.” Kerry’s comments were an implicit retraction of his remarks to U.S. embassy staff in Paris yesterday, in which he attempted to distniguish between the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Friday’s attacks, drawing immediate criticism from congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates. 

On Wednesday, he may also have bolstered lawmakers who want the State Department to recognize Christians and Yezidis as victims of genocide. “Daesh doesn’t have a platform, folks,” Kerry said, using an alternative term for ISIS. “They kill people because they — they kill Yazidis because they are Yazidis. They kill Christians because they are Christians. They kill Shia because they are Shia. 

And people need to understand this: There is no negotiation. There’s nothing to negotiate when you license rape as a form of daily life and call it the will of God.” RELATED: John Kerry Is a Disgrace State Department officials are expected to designate Yazidis —​ a religious and ethnic minority in Iraq — as victims of genocide, while leaving Christians off the list. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) introduced a bill earlier this month calling for both groups to earn that designation.

Ashton Carter On the U.S. Strategy to Defeat ISIS: US ground, air raids key to new strategy in Syria, Iraq.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that raids such as the one that killed Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler will be at the center of a revamped U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Carter told a Senate panel that more direct raids on the ground and from the air will be accompanied by renewed support for local forces to take Ramadi and Raqqa, two of the front lines in the stymied war against the Islamic State. However, he said the DOD does not support a no-fly zone to protect allied rebels in Syria from Russian bombing, despite calls for it from some lawmakers, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Pentagon officials.

President Barack Obama’s administration is rethinking its campaign after a year of setbacks including the failure of a train-and-equip program in Syria, a lack of progress in taking back territory from the Islamic militants in Iraq, and the recent entry of Russia on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against (the Islamic State), or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter said during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

More ground raids mean higher risk for American servicemembers and will no doubt raise questions over mission creep more than one year into the new war in the Middle East. 

The White House has maintained troops are not in combat in Iraq and Syria. Instead, it says the United States is running special operations, counter-terrorism, training and advisory, and humanitarian missions.

Wheeler, a special operator, was killed last week in a joint U.S.-peshmerga raid to rescue 70 Iraqi hostages who were slated for execution by the Islamic State. Special operations raids are typically secretive and the DOD acknowledgement that it will conduct more signals a more aggressive and public approach for the United States.

“The death of Master Sgt. Wheeler might not be the last death of an American servicemember in this war against (the Islamic State),” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said.

Carter confirmed the danger to troops, telling senators that the military is adapting with a more effective strategy than in the past.  

“They are in harm’s way in this fight against (the Islamic State), no doubt about it,” he said.

In Raqqa, moderate Syrian allies are within 30 miles from the Islamic State’s seat of power and the United States will provide more equipment and stepped up air strikes to assist in an assault. Meanwhile, Iraq has now deployed American-made F-16 fighter jets and more capable military commanders as it works to retake Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.

“As we see more progress toward assembling capable and motivated Iraqi forces under Baghdad’s control and including Sunni elements, we are willing to continue providing more enabling capabilities and fire support to help our Iraqi partners succeed,” Carter said.

The new strategy drew fire from some senators who want a stronger approach to the Assad regime and Russia.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pressed Carter on creating a no-fly zone in Syria to protect allied rebel forces on the ground that have been targeted by forces under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A no-fly zone, similar to zones created over Iraq in the 1990’s, have been suggested by Clinton as she runs for president as well as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus. The DOD has analyzed the possibility but believes it would inevitably draw the United States into a direct conflict with Assad — a move the Obama administration has avoided despite waging war within Syria against the Islamic State.

“What you are saying is the strongest nation in the world, the most capable, cannot establish a no-fly zone to protect people from being barreled bombed from Bashar Assad … Of course we can do it. This is an embarrassing moment for the United States,” McCain said. 

Trump leads polls in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Florida.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is the leader in three new statewide polls in New Hampshire, Florida and New Jersey that were released on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the three polls on the GOP race for the White House.

New Hampshire
Trump takes 22 percent in Boston WBUR News’s poll in New Hampshire, well ahead of Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who tie for second at 11 percent. 

The numbers amount to a slight rise for Trump and Rubio and a slight decline for Carson since the organization's last poll earlier this month. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) is in fourth place with 8 percent, followed by former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) who are tied at 7 percent. Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) finish with 5 percent of the vote. 

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is Feb. 9.

Carson's favorables have dropped 8 percent between the two WBUR polls, with most of the other top candidates staying relatively consistent. 

WBUR did not survey any Democratic voters, but its poll includes 405 likely Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. 

New Jersey 
Trump win a whopping 31 percent support in Fairleigh Dickinson University's poll of the Garden State, well ahead of Rubio's 18 percent.

Carson is the only other candidate to score in double digits, with 11 percent.

Christie, the state’s governor, earns just 9 percent. That puts him in fourth place in his home state, with half the support he garnered in June. 

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton wins 64 percent compared to 27 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Clinton has increased her lead by 12 percentage points since June.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has 2 percent of the vote, down 1 percent from June. 

The poll includes 830 registered voters and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent. 

Trump beats Rubio and Bush in Florida, winning 36 percent support in Florida Atlantic University's new poll.

He doubles up Rubio, 36 percent to 18 percent, with Carson following at 15 percent, Carson with 15 percent, Cruz with 10 percent and Bush with 9 percent. Rubio's share has dropped about 1 percentage point since FAU's September poll, while Bush's share dropped 2 percent. Cruz is the largest gainer, jumping from 6 percent in September to 10 percent in November. 

Clinton wins two-thirds of the Democratic electorate, compared to 22 percent for Sanders and 4 percent for O'Malley, in the poll conducted immediately after Saturday’s Democratic debate. 

FAU polled 297 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of 5.6 percent  and 355 likely GOP primary voters with a margin of error of 5.2 percent


Trump leads Rubio 36/18, Bush in fifth place. What’s the Jeb Bush path to the nomination again? Donald Trump was supposed to fade, then Ben Carson, leaving Bush as the most electable man in the field — especially in the critical state of Florida, where Bush served two terms as a highly popular governor. Instead, it looks like Bush is doing the fading in the Sunshine State, as Adam Smith reports for the Tampa Bay Times:

A newly released poll of likely Florida Republican primary voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative shows Donald Trump with a two-to-one advantage over everybody else and former Gov. Jeb Bush in fifth place, behind Ted Cruz.

“Despite conjecture that Donald Trump has plateaued, his support in Florida remains very strong and could be growing,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative.
The report from FAU (available on their site in PDF form) notes just how little traction Bush has left in his home state:

It appears the GOP primary fight has left all the candidates popularity upside down. Trump holds a 41 percent favorable and 51percent unfavorable impression among all voters but that is reversed among likely GOP voters with a 63 percent to 32 percent favorable opinion. Similarly, Rubio’s name recognition is also underwater at 42 percent to 47 percent but improves to 67 percent to 23 percent among GOP primary voters. Carson has seen his numbers drop from a 53 percent favorable rating in September to 41 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable in November but among GOP primary voters he improves to 63 percent to 26 percent.

The poll appears to be bad news for Bush with 34 percent of respondents having a favorable opinion and 51 percent have an unfavorable. Among likely GOP primary voters his numbers improve to 46 percent favorable and 41percent unfavorable. Among Hispanic GOP Primary voters Rubio leads both Trump and Carson 34 percent to 19 percent each. Bush receives 13 percent of the Hispanic vote.

The breakout of support by ethnic demographic is actually pretty good for Donald Trump. Among white voters, he leads 39/16.3 over Rubio. Trump comes in second among African-American voters to Rand Paul, 31.6/21.1, with Ben Carson tied with Jeb Bush for third at 15.8% — and Rubio getting no support, as in zero. Rubio leads among Hispanic voters with 34%, but Trump and Carson tie for second at 19.1%, and Bush trailing at 12.8%. That certainly puts an interesting spin on the conventional wisdom that Trump is alienating Hispanics.

Trump has actually picked up a little more momentum rather than showing any signs of fading. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson have also moved up, and in Carson’s case past Bush. Rubio is essentially unchanged since September, but still good enough to stay firmly in second place. The former governor of the state has dropped back a little over two points in the same period — within the MOE, but not in a direction that would boost confidence in his future in the race.

The only candidate doing a slow fade over this point in time is Bush, who has fallen almost four full points in his home state in the RCP average since October 19th, a period that spans two prime-time debates. He’s running fifth, so even if Trump and Carson stumble, Bush would have to push past Rubio and Cruz to take Florida’s delegates in its winner-take-all primary. How likely are Trump and Carson’s voters to choose Jeb as their fallback position? Not likely, not even in Florida.

Bobby Jindal withdrew yesterday, saying it was not yet his time. The data so far in this primary is that Jeb Bush may be past his time, even with the huge donor backstop. Voters simply aren’t buying Bush stock, and if he can’t be competitive in Florida, he isn’t going to do better in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina.

Bipartisan Support for Obama’s Military Campaign Against ISIS.
Dems Concerned about ‘Going Too Far,’ Reps ‘Not Far Enough’
Majorities in Both Parties Back Obama’s Plan for Military ActionPresident Obama’s plan for a military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria is drawing public support. And, in a rare display of bipartisanship, majorities of both Republicans (64%) and Democrats (60%) approve of the president’s plan.
Greater Concern over U.S. Military Action in Iraq and Syria …The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 11-14 among 1,003 adults, finds that overall, 53% approve of Obama’s plan, while 29% disapprove; 19% do not offer an opinion.
However, as many say their greater concern is that the U.S. will go too far in getting involved in the situation in Iraq and Syria as that it will not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants (41% each). That represents a shift in opinion since mid-August, when by 51% to 32%, more said their bigger concern was that the U.S. would get too involved in the situation in Iraq.
Despite bipartisan support for Obama’s military campaign against ISIS, Republicans and Democrats differ in their concerns for U.S. military action: Most Republicans worry it will not go far enough (66%); by contrast, 54% of Democrats say their bigger concern is that it will go too far.
The survey finds that relatively few Americans believe that the military campaign against Islamic militants will make the United States safer from a terrorist attack. Just 18% think it will decrease the chances of a terrorist attack in this country, while nearly twice as many (34%) say it will increase the chances of an attack; 41% say it won’t make much difference.

Age, Gender Differences in Views of Obama’s ISIS Plan

Young People, Women Less Supportive of U.S. Military Action in Iraq and SyriaWhile support for military action in Iraq and Syria crosses party lines, there are significant difference in opinion across demographic groups.
Men approve of the military campaign against Islamic militants by a wide 62%-25% margin. By contrast, women are much more closely divided: 44% approve of the plan, while 33% disapprove.
Across age groups, young people offer the least support for military action. Just 43% of those under 30 approve of Obama’s plan, while 37% disapprove. Among older age groups, half or more approve of the plan, including 61% of those 65 and older.
Those with a college degree (60%) are more likely to approve of the military campaign in Iraq and Syria than are those with no more than a high school diploma (48%).

Concerns about U.S. Involvement

More Express Concern over ‘Not Going Far Enough’ than in Mid-AugustWhile Democrats generally support Obama’s plan for a military campaign against ISIS, they continue to express concern that the U.S. will become too deeply involved in Iraq and Syria.
Twice as many Democrats say their greater concern is that the U.S. will go too far in getting involved in this situation as not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants (54% vs. 27%). That is changed modestly from mid-August, when 62% of Democrats expressed similar concern (the question in that survey asked only about U.S. military action in Iraq).
Republicans continue to say their greater concern is that the U.S. will not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria (66% now, 57% in mid-August).
Independents have become less concerned about U.S. involvement in the situation going too far. In mid-August, 56% of independents said their greater concern was the U.S. getting too involved in the situation compared with 28% who were more concerned the U.S. would not go far enough to stop militants. In the current survey, about as many say they are more concerned the U.S. will not go far enough to stop the militants (40%) as go too far getting involved in the situation (42%).
The gender and age differences in views of Obama’s plan are evident in concerns over U.S. military action: more women (46%) than men (35%) say their greater concern is that the U.S. will go too far in getting involved in the situation in Iraq and Syria. Young people are more likely than older adults to express concern over getting too involved in this situation.

Few Say Campaign Will ‘Decrease’ Chances of Terror Attack in U.S.

Impact of Military Action on  Terrorism Risk in the U.S. The U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria is not seen as reducing the chances of a terrorist attack in the U.S. In fact, somewhat more say the campaign against the militants will increase the chances of a terrorist attack in the U.S. (34%) than decrease them (18%); a 41%-plurality says U.S. military actions in Iraq and Syria won’t make much difference on the chances of a terrorist attack in the U.S.
Nearly four-in-ten Democrats (38%) say the chances of a terrorist attack in the U.S. will increase as a result of the military campaign in Iraq and Syria, compared with 15% who say they will decrease. Among Republicans, roughly as many think the chances of a terrorist attack in the U.S. will increase (28%) as decrease (23%).

The Week’s News

Most Interest in ISIS News; Reps Following Midterms Closer than DemsThe public most closely followed news about ISIS last week, as 37% say they tracked reports “very closely.” By comparison, 23% closely followed news in mid-August about airstrikes in Iraq. Last week, Republicans were 15 points more likely than Democrats to closely follow ISIS news (52% vs. 37%).
Two other stories received modest attention from the public. Nearly one-in-four (23%) closely followed the situation involving Russia and Ukraine, similar to early August (24%). And 21% paid close attention to news about the NFL’s suspension of Ray Rice after a video showed him punching his then-fiancée.
Just 14% are closely following the midterm congressional elections, which will take place in seven weeks. This is less interest than at a similar point in 2010 (22%), but similar to 2006 (16%) and 2002 (17%). Today, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats (23% vs. 11%) to be closely following news about the midterms.

About the Survey
The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted September 11-14, 2014 among a national sample of 1,003 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States (502 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 501 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 282 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source, MKTG and SSI under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who is now at home. Interviews in the cell sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was an adult 18 years of age or older. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see:

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and region to parameters from the 2012 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and population density to parameters from the Decennial Census. The sample also is weighted to match current patterns of telephone status, based on extrapolations from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size among respondents with a landline phone. Sampling errors and statistical tests of significance take into account the effect of weighting.
The following table shows the unweighted sample sizes and the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:
About the Survey
Sample sizes and sampling errors for other subgroups are available upon request. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
And, yes, Dr. Ben Carson campaign redraws map of U.S. They are a crack up. They lie so badly that just merely leave out states on a U.S. map as its way to make its points. 

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see there is something very wrong with this picture.

In a series of social media messages posted Tuesday, Ben Carson's campaign used a U.S. map that has problems with the New England states, appearing to cut out, misshape or misposition Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Carson on foreign policy learning curve

The mess of a map, which had been posted to the campaign's Facebook page, was deleted overnight. On Wednesday, the campaign put up a fixed map accurately picturing the states.

It was part of the candidate's effort to express solidarity for the 31 governors currently saying they do not want Syrian refugees resettled in their states.

Connecticut and Vermont have said they will follow federal guidelines and accept refugees, while Massachusetts will not. Rhode Island is still on the fence.

Regardless of it all today, please stay in touch!