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Making News Today…
Poll: Iraq war opposition at record high
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Opposition to the war in Iraq has reached an all-time high, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Thursday morning.
Support for the war in Iraq has dropped to 31 percent and the 68 percent who oppose the war is a new record.
Despite the drop in violence in Iraq, only one quarter of Americans believes the U.S. is winning the war. There has been virtually no change in the past month in the number of Americans who believe that things are going badly for the U.S. in the war in Iraq.
The public also opposes U.S. military action against Iran. Sixty-three percent oppose air strikes on Iran, while 73 percent oppose using ground troops as well as air strikes in that country.
Overall, 56 percent, of Americans are dissatisfied with progress in the war on terrorism.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation telephone poll of 1,024 American adults was carried out over the weekend. The sampling error for the full sample was plus-or-minus 3 percentage points; some questions were asked of a half sample of approximately 500 respondents and carry a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points.
– CNN Political Desk Assignment Editor Katy Byron
McCain visits the birthplace of the GOP… again
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain is covering all of his bases.
Last month, the Arizona Republican visited Crawfordsville, a small Iowa town that claims to be the birthplace of the GOP. On Thursday, McCain stops in Jackson, a Michigan town that just so happens disputes Crawfordsville’s claim. Why? Because, Jackson claims the same historical distinction.
So, what town is the true place of the Republican Party? Well, maybe neither because yet another town has also staked a claim.
"Ripon, Wisconsin is considered by most scholars to be the real birthplace of the Republican Party," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The real birthplace is one of those things that’s been lost in the midst of history and there will never be a definitive answer."
According to the Republican National Committee, the first informal GOP meeting took place in Ripon. But on July 6th, 1854, the first official Republican meeting happened in Jackson.
As for McCain, a spokesman for the presidential hopeful said he is a history buff.
“John McCain loves history and enjoys visiting these important landmarks in the founding of the Republican Party,” the spokesman said.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
New York Times: Superdelegates for Clinton (Undecided’s No. 1)
In an early indication of where Democratic Party leaders are leaning, a survey of the party’s superdelegates — elected officials and other leaders who vote at the party’s convention but are not selected in primaries — found they are favoring Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
USA Today: Poll: Clinton Lagging In Quest For Male Voters
More than eight in 10 Republicans and more than half the married men in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll say they definitely wouldn't vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.
New York Times: Rubin Is Reported Set to Back Clinton
Robert E. Rubin, Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and new chairman of Citigroup, has overcome early misgivings about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential candidacy and will support her publicly in the fight for the Democratic nomination, people close to both of them said yesterday.
Wall Street Journal: Poll Suggests Clinton Is Vulnerable
Democrats enter the 2008 election campaign with powerful political advantages but face a tough and unpredictable battle because of the vulnerabilities of front-runner Hillary Clinton and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
New York Times: In a Surprise, Pat Robertson Backs Giuliani
They could compete for strangest bedfellows of 2008. But there they were Wednesday morning, Mr. Robertson endorsing Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, as “an acceptable” Republican “who can win the general election.”
Quad City Times: NH Could Turn GOP Race Upside Down
New Hampshire is known for turning Republican presidential primaries upside down. It could happen again this year.
LA Times: Giuliani Embraces Tough Love
Next to a crackling fire in a picturesque mountain lodge, in the wooded and lightly populated north country, Rudolph W. Giuliani met some of the people who might help him become the next president. What he gave them was a dose of New York.
Boston Globe: Skills At Ready When Crisis Struck
For many of those with Giuliani, the long march six years ago that transformed Giuliani into an iconic figure began years earlier.
Washington Post: For Candidates, Web Is Power And Poison
Candidates use the Internet to generate buzz, draw grass-roots support and raise record amounts of money. But in the intense, round-the-clock world of online presidential campaigning, the good comes with the bad.
Chicago Tribune: Obama Promising "Change" 24/7
As Sen. Barack Obama kicked off his "Change You Can Believe In" bus tour here, he wasn't kidding. The Illinois Democrat used "change" or some version of the word at least 21 times during a speech today that lasted only about 28 minutes.
Quad City Times: Obama Irritated by Internet Photo
Barack Obama complained on Wednesday about an Internet photo that claims the Democratic presidential candidate didn't hold his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Washington Times: Halting Hillary brings together '08 Democrats
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" may be the new campaign motto for the two Democratic presidential hopefuls simultaneously working to topple Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Politico: Edwards Immigration Stand Muddled As HRC's
Former Senator John Edwards (N.C.) has been accusing his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) of double-talk for a week, since she refused to say clearly whether illegal immigrants should get driver's licenses – but his own position on the issue is also incoherent, experts say.
New York Times: On Campaign Stump, Romney Preaches the Importance of Optimism
Each of the leading Republican contenders has sought to channel in some way the shiny optimism that helped make Ronald Reagan, who famously campaigned on the slogan that it was “morning again in America,” so popular. But it is Mr. Romney who has most thoroughly incorporated such sunbeamy phrases and anecdotes into his repertory on the stump.
The State: Endorsements Don't Discourage Romney
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was not discouraged that two leading social conservatives announced they were endorsing rival candidates for president today.
Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Clinton Tunes Out Of 'Today' Appearance?
It looks like Hillary Clinton is backing out of a sit-down on NBC's "Today" this week, according to sources (not with the Clinton campaign) who claim knowledge.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Ruling Stymies Michigan Primary Date
The law that pushed Michigan's presidential primary to Jan. 15 was ruled unconstitutional by a court yesterday, at least temporarily jeopardizing the state's plan to leap to the front of the 2008 nomination contests.
AP: Thompson's Diet: Skip the Grits, Goodies
When Republican White House hopeful Fred Thompson heard he was going to a country-style restaurant in South Carolina, he said his eyes lit up, knowing a good Southern breakfast awaited. "But doggone, they brought me in a fruit plate," Thompson said to laughs at Tommy's Country Ham House.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: John Distaso's Granite Status: Presidential Campaigns Had Trial Run In City
Manchester mayoral election gave presidential campaigns a trial run at the most important part of New Hampshire elections: getting out the vote.
Washington Post: Democrats Confident Despite Low Approval
One year out from the election, congressional Democrats are increasingly confident they can tighten their hold on the House and Senate.
Roll Call: New Ethics Plan Already Under Fire
More than six months past their deadline, leaders of a special task force established to overhaul the House ethics process remain coy about the group’s work, even as reform advocates consider attacking a forthcoming proposal as too weak.
New York Times: Tax Proposal From Rangel Could Benefit His Donors
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has proposed legislation that would effectively halt some current tax audits of people who get a tax break for living and operating a business in the United States Virgin Islands.
The Hill: Issa’s Letter Cites Racism
In an unusual plea for campaign funds, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) recently evoked images of racism against Arab- Americans, criticized a congressional colleague by name, and reminded potential donors of a 2001 bomb threat to his office.
Roll Call: Leaders Become Targets
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is playing defense against Democrats looking to knock him off in 2008…Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing a challenge from the left…Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) is similarly losing ground with Nevadans…And even the electorally safe House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) isn’t winning any popularity contests nationally.
LA Times: Reagan Library Can't Fully Account For 80,000 Artifacts
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is unable to find or account for tens of thousands of valuable mementos of Reagan's White House years because a "near universal" security breakdown left the artifacts vulnerable to pilfering by insiders, an audit by the National Archives inspector general has concluded.
Roll Call's Heard on the Hill: French Kisses
The days of “freedom fries” and pouring champagne into the gutter are long over, as witnessed by the amour shown on Wednesday to visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson deliver major foreign policy speeches at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has coffee with local residents in Fairfield and Chariton, Iowa. Obama holds town hall meetings in Ottumwa and Knoxville.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will take questions from reporters at the Dubuque County Courthouse in Dubuque, Iowa to start the day. The Republican candidate will then hold town hall meetings at the Cedar Falls campus of the University of Northern Iowa and the Ames campus of Iowa State University. Giuliani will then fly to Las Vegas to deliver remarks at the Keystone Corporation Annual Dinner at the Venetian Resort.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, attends a roundtable on energy and the environment with undecided voters and holds an "Organizing for Change" event in North Conway, New Hampshire. Later, she holds a campaign event at Flanagan Community Center in Somersworth.
* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will meet with local supporters at the Crowne Plaza in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Huckabee will then head to Owosso, Michigan for a private fundraiser at Steve's Place in the Comstock Hotel.
*Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will hold a town hall event under the Oak Tree in Jackson, Michigan, a town that claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party. Afterwards, McCain will take questions from the press.
* Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, holds a "Results Matter for Veterans" forum in Coralville, Iowa.
* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson holds a meet and greet in Manchester, New Hampshire. Later, he signs copies of his new book, “Leading by Example,” in Concord and participates in an energy forum in Portsmouth.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
Gov. Huckabee On Hardball, MSNBC, 5pm ET Today