WASHINGTON (CNN) –– Likely Republican primary voters in Florida oppose making same-sex marriage legal but say abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday evening.
Less than 20 percent of the polled GOP voters said that abortion should not be legal under any circumstances, while 43 percent said it should be legal under "a few" circumstances. Nineteen percent said the procedure should be legal under all circumstances, and the remaining 15 percent said it should be legal under "most" circumstances.
On the question of whether same-sex marriages should be recognized as legally valid, 77 percent answered no while 19 percent answered yes.
The war of words between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has intensified in recent days.
(CNN) - Just a couple of weeks ago, Sen. Hillary Clinton said she wasn't interested in attacking her opponents - she was interested in "tackling the problems of America."
But with her lead slipping, things have changed, and the New York senator has found herself in a full out verbal war with Sen. Barack Obama.
"In politics, you can afford to ignore your opponents until you start to feel them breathing down your neck," said CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
Giuliani holds the lead in a new poll out of Florida.
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (CNN) - He may be trailing in the early primary states, but in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, it appears Rudy Giuliani is the front runner in the Sunshine State.
If the Florida Republican primary were held today, the former New York City mayor would finish on top with support of 38 percent of likely primary voters, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday. (Full poll results [PDF])
That's 21 points ahead of his closest rival, Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor received the support of 17 percent of those polled, with Senator John McCain of Arizona and former Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee tied at 11 percent.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is at 9 percent in the survey, followed by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 5 percent, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California at 1 percent and Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado at less than 1 percent.
The poll, involving telephone interviews with 300 voters likely Florida Republican presidential primary voters, was conducted November 25-26. The poll's margin of sampling error was plus-or-minus 5.5 percentage points.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
The Thompson family arrived in Florida Tuesday for the CNN/YouTube debate.
Somewhere over South Carolina (CNN) - I am in a coach middle seat, flying from Washington, D.C. to Tampa, Florida on US Airways Flight 1491, destined for the CNN-YouTube GOP debate in St. Petersburg.
The child cooing two rows in front of me is Samuel Thompson, potentially the nation’s future first toddler. Come inauguration time, the GOP presidential hopeful's youngest son would be about two years old. The pint-sized campaigner sports short blond hair and a giggly, camera-ready smile.
The whole Thompson clan is on board: Fred, Jeri, daughter Hayden, 4, some extended family, and of course, a few Thompson suits. The former Tennessee senator and wife fly first class, but it’s a far cry from private jets.
On the tram to the terminal, I ask the Law & Order star whether he’s reviewed all 5,000 YouTube questions in preparation for tomorrow’s debate.
He shakes his head and admits, “I didn’t know there were that many.”
- CNN Senior Producer Alex Wellen
PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire (CNN) - Seeking to blunt mounting criticism by rival campaigns of his foreign policy credentials, Sen. Barack Obama outlined his international vision Tuesday in New Hampshire surrounded by some of the biggest names in diplomacy – including several who served in the Clinton administration.
Speaking at the latest in a series of foreign policy-themed events designed to address those attacks, the Democratic presidential candidate never mentioned frontrunner Hillary Clinton by name. But he took a dig at the foreign policy record of longtime Washington veterans like Vice President Dick Cheney that seemed to serve as a swipe at the New York senator, who has emphasized her years of government experience: “Their experience has not led to good judgment.”
Clinton’s campaign responded to the remarks by re-stating their recent mantra: that Obama is just too untested for the presidency. Voters will have to decide whether Obama, who “would have less experience than any President since World War II, has the strength and experience to be the next president,” said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer in a statement. Clinton, he added, “is ready to lead starting on Day One.”
Kennedy is set for a big payout.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Ted Kennedy, who first entered the Senate as a 30-year-old in 1962, has signed a major book deal to publish his memoirs.
Hachette Book Group USA is reportedly paying the senior senator from Massachusetts more than $8 million to a pen a book detailing his life - one of the highest payouts in history, according to the Boston Globe.
In a statement announcing the deal, Hachette CEO David Young said the book will be "a valuable record for anyone who cares about our government, our politics, and our growth as a nation."
"It will also tell the story of a remarkable American family that contributed to some of the most significant historical events of the last century," Young added. "We are honored to be Sen. Kennedy's publisher and are certain that multitudes of readers around the world share our eagerness to read his story."
Kennedy said the book will be comprised of recent reflections on his personal memories.
"I hope my reflections can contribute to a deeper understanding of many events in the history of this great country and to a more in-depth picture of an American family," Kennedy said in a statement.
Neither Kennedy's office nor his agent would confirm how much the senator is being paid, but Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told CNN, “A large portion of the proceeds will be given to charity, including the JFK library where he will place his papers.”
The memoir is expected to hit bookshelves in the fall of 2010.
- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Dugald McConnell
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Does a good role model talk about using illegal drugs?
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama started the debate when he admitted to a high school audience in New Hampshire that he had experimented with drugs while he was in high school.
"There were times when I got into drinking, experimenting with drugs. There was a stretch of time where I did not really apply myself," Obama said.
He added that when he left for college he realized he wasted a lot of time using drugs.
"It's not something I'm proud of," Obama said. "It was a mistake as a young man."
What a change from Bill Clinton's 1992 admission that he had smoked marijuana a time or two and didn't like it. "And I didn't inhale and didn't try it again."
- CNN's Carol Costello
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton got a boost from a Hollywood legend Tuesday, in the form of an endorsement by noted actress and singer Barbara Streisand.
Streisand, a longtime Democratic activist, cited the historic nature of the New York senator's campaign, and her ability to bring about change, as reasons for giving her endorsement.
"Madame President of the United States...it’s an extraordinary thought," Streisand said in a press release. "We truly are in a momentous time, where a woman’s potential has no limitations, Hillary Clinton has already proven to a generation of women that there are no limits for success."
Streisand also said "our country will gain its respect within the global community," under a Clinton presidency.
–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Jackson is highly critical of the Democratic presidential candidates in an Op-ed Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a high-profile backer of Sen. Barack Obama's White House bid, says all the Democratic presidential candidates are ignoring African-American issues except former Sen. John Edwards.
"The Democratic candidates - with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans' Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign - have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country," Jackson writes in a Chicago Sun-Times Op-ed appearing in Tuesday's edition.
"The catastrophic crisis that engulfs the African-American community goes without mention," Jackson continued. "No urban agenda is given priority. When thousands of African Americans marched in protest in Jena, Louisiana, not one candidate showed up."
Jackson, who endorsed Obama's candidacy earlier this year, previously caused a headache for the campaign when he reportedly told a South Carolina audience in September that the Illinois Democrat is "acting like he's white."
Criticizing the Democratic candidates' response to the case in Jena, Louisiana, Jackson also said then Obama needed to be "bolder" in his stances if he hoped to do well in South Carolina - a state in which African Americans constitute more than 50 percent of Democratic primary voters.
Following those comments, Jackson later issued a statement reaffirming his support for Obama and commending him for "speaking out and demanding fairness on his defining issue."
But in Monday's Op-ed, Jackson writes, "it is no longer acceptable for candidates to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to entrenched discrimination and still expect to reap our votes."
In response to Jackson's comments, the Obama campaign notes the Illinois senator unveiled a $6 billion package of programs in July that aims to combat urban poverty.
The plan includes the creation of affordable housing and jobs, providing education and financial support for parents, and creating an institution modeled after the World Bank specifically for America's cities.
Obama campaign spokesperson Candice Tolliver told CNN, “We encourage Rev Jackson to closely examine the Senator’s platform and take another look”
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney