Democrat Division

 By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate

While the divide in the Republican Party has been discussed at length over the years, we could be witnessing an emergence of a divide in the Democratic Party as well.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has long been the presumptive nominee, but a combination of factors has led to her falling poll numbers, where she is currently underwater by 20 points in honesty and 11 points in favorability, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. Her competitors, while not all polling well, are attempting to distance themselves from Clinton. However, recent fundraising numbers have her more than quadrupling the rest of the field.

Her closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, doesn’t even run in his home state as a Democrat – he’s an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Sanders has experienced a recent boom in support, which has resulted in a Franklin Pierce/Boston Herald poll that has him beating Clinton 44-37 in New Hampshire. Only 35 percent of those polled are “excited” by a Clinton candidacy, in addition. In the same poll in March, Sanders trailed Clinton 47-8, a remarkable turnaround spurred by a meteoric rise.

Recent events hosted by Sanders have reached rather spectacular crowd levels, attracting some of the largest crowds of any candidate in this stage of the primary season. Between three stops in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, the Vermont Senator had over 70,000 attendees, with the maximum topping out at 28,000 in Oregon. The majority of Clinton’s events are limited to smaller crowds, perhaps in a move to get the events to take on a more personal level. Sanders boasts over $15M in donations to his campaign, none of which are from PACs. Meanwhile, Hillary raked in roughly that amount through only her super-PAC in the first six months of 2015.

Vice President Joe Biden has been garnering poll numbers hovering around 10% for most of the summer, not quite the level of support Sanders has been receiving. However, should Biden enter the race, one could expect his numbers to spike, especially since he has higher favorable ratings than Clinton. Recent reports have said that Biden was encouraged to run by his late son, Beau, along with his other son, Hunter. Should he jump in the race, the most important endorsement, President Obama, may have to decide between his running mate and the “inevitable” nominee.

The one area where Clinton is experiencing consistent support is from the African-American community. While two of her rivals, Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, have experienced backlash from them, Clinton has kept her nose clean, expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement routinely. Her favorability among African-Americans is far and away the best in the Democratic field, but could be threatened by a Biden entry into the race.

Recent news about Clinton’s top secret emails on her private server is yet another hill that her campaign will have to climb to get above water in the honesty and trustworthiness polls. With her server now in the hands of the Justice Department, the e-mail scandal has the potential to get worse before it gets better. No other candidate on the Democratic side has had as many battles to fight as the Clinton campaign, and she seems to be taking a hit with her poll numbers as a result.

The dawn of a split in the Democratic Party could be upon us, but only time can truly tell.

The Biden Factor

By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate

One of the few that can derail a Clinton cruise to the Democratic nomination for President is seriously thinking about jumping in.

Over the weekend, it was reported that one of Beau Biden’s dying wishes was for his Dad, Joe Biden, to run for the presidency. He believed that the Democratic nomination shouldn’t be a cakewalk for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and America would be better off with Biden values than another Clinton. Not to mention that his other son, Hunter Biden, wants his Dad to jump into the race as well.

Draft Biden, a group put together independentof Biden, is today boasting the addition of former Beau Biden advisor Josh Alcorn. Recently, the group has sold out of their “Ridin’ with Biden” bumper stickers. As the group continues to grow, the likelihood of Vice President Biden declaring increases.

This all comes as Biden’s poll numbers have increased, with him now polling at 13% and in third place in the latest Fox News poll in spite of the fact that everyone else in the poll has formally declared. He only trails Clinton (51%) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (22%), both of whom have been in the race for months now. Over the past two months, Clinton’s numbers have dropped 10 points.

Favorability and other similar factors could put Biden over the top should he declare any time soon. A recent Quinnipiac poll put Biden at 49% favorability, while 39% view him unfavorably, with 82% of Democrats holding a favorable opinion of him. Compared to Clinton, who’s 11% underwater in the same poll, Biden looks to be in good shape. In addition, Biden does just as well against the leading Republicans as Clinton, with the matchup against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush going 43-42% for Biden. Biden ties Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 43% in the same poll.

Honesty and trustworthiness are a big plus for the potential Biden campaign, as well. Among registered voters in the same Quinnipiac poll, 58% said the Vice President was honest and trustworthy, with only 34% saying the opposite. Also, when voters were asked if Biden cared about “the needs and problems of people like you”, 57% said he did, while only 35% said he didn’t. Meanwhile, former Secretary Clinton garnered only 37% with honesty and trustworthiness, along with 45% saying she cared about their needs and problems.

While some within the party claim the Clintons have had a sense of entitlement to the nomination, Biden can come off as more authentic and emotional than his would-be competitor. With that authenticity comes its risks, however. It’s been well-documented how Biden can be gaffe-prone when going off script. If he ends up running for the nomination, he will have to avoid gaffes like “put y’all back in chains” and the comment of “this is a big (expletive) deal” in Obama’s ear after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

Perhaps in the political climate where a straight-talker like Donald Trump has risen to the top of the Republican polls, Biden could gain momentum rather quickly. While he isn’t Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the one person experts tabbed to present a really tough challenge to Clinton, he can certainly gain some momentum among voters.

Catching Clinton, between her organizational work and grassroots organization, is a tough proposition for anyone seeking the Democratic nomination for President. But Joe Biden is one of the few that can upend the “inevitable” nominee.

Baier Tracks: A view from the ground in Iraq

Largely overlooked in the back and forth about what is being said and done (and not done) on the strategy for dealing with ISIS are the thoughts of the U.S. troops being deployed to Iraq.  Rarely do we get a glimpse into their thoughts, but I received an email from a friend – a special operator who is in contact with his fellow soldiers who have been deployed to Iraq – that provides some insight. My friend said it would okay to pass along what he’s hearing anonymously:  ‘I'm getting notes from the guys over in these operations centers in Iraq. Frustration and confusion reign.  Their commander in chief has deployed them back into harm’s way with a defensive mission to only defend US facilities against ISIS, that it's not a US problem to solve, and the Iraqis must get their act together politically.   Now today he says we are going to destroy and degrade ISIS, and in the same sentence that we are going to only manage them.  Then we have our Vice President in a Howard Dean moment.   My favorite quote of the day from an operator downrange ‘Chase them to the Gates of Hell?   How the F$&k are we going to do that when we can't even leave the front gate of our base!?’”

Interesting perspective from someone redeployed to Iraq.

Race for 2016: The Biden Factor

FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES OF VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SAY THEY ARE ALL BUT CERTAIN HE WON'T RUN AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON IF SHE DOES IN FACT DECIDE TO RUN IN 2016. 
 
POLLS SHOW THE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE AS THE CLEAR FRONTRUNNER ON THE ROAD TO THE 2016 DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, BUT PARTY ANGST ABOUT THE CLINTON JUGGERNAUT COULD PAVE THE WAY FOR AN ENTIRE FIELD OF ALTERNATES --INCLUDING MASSACHUSETTES SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN, MARYLAND GOVERNOR MARTIN O'MALLEY, NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, AND VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN. 
 
TRADITIONALLY IN AMERICAN POLITICS IF THE PRESIDENT IS NOT RUNNING AND THE VICE PRESIDENT WANTS THE PARTY NOMINATION IT IS HIS FOR THE TAKING. FORMER VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY OPTED NOT TO RUN IN 2008 BUT STILL REMAINS A KEY FIGURE IN THE POLITICAL ARENA. 
 
AT SEVENTY ONE, BIDEN IS FIVE YEARS OLDER THAN HILLARY. HE HAS ALSO RUN FOR PRESIDENT TWICE BEFORE, FIRST IN 1988 WHEN HE DROPPED OUT FOLLOWING PLAGIARISM ALLEGATIONS AND AGAIN IN 2008 WHEN DESPITE NOTABLE ENDORESMENTS HE WITHDREW FROM THE RACE AFTER CAPTURING LESS THAN 1% OF THE VOTE IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES.  
 
A BIDEN RUN MAY NOT BE APPEALING ON THE LEFT--ANXIOUS TO BREAK ANOTHER BARRIER.

Vice President Joe Biden's old Cadillac for sale...

In the market for a new vehicle? A 2005 Cadillac with 110,000 miles? Well look no further, because this beauty is described as the "total package" with heated seats and push start speakers. Perhaps even a bonus..it was once owned by Vice President Joe Biden.

A man in Wilmington, DE is selling the Vice President's former vehicle for $15,000. Jeff Finkle says he bought the car when Biden became VP, but he didn't know the vehicle history at first. He discovered the Bluetooth in the Cadillac had Biden's sons--Beau and Hunter--and wife Jill's contact numbers still stored in the system. 

Finkle told Delaware Online that he was tempted to call Jill Biden's number, but opted against it. He also noted that information on the warranty and the dealership confirm the link to the VP.

And the ad says the car needs to go by the end of the month..so who knows..maybe you can make an offer and drive away in style for a real deal--

 

Costco Joe!

Vice President Joe Biden stopped by the grand opening of the Washington, D.C.. Costco store this morning! What did he buy? Children's books, fire logs, a 32-inch TV and an apple pie! He also met with Costco CEO Craig Jelinek and co-founder Jim Sinegal-- both who spoke at the Democratic National Convention this year.


What's our favorite part? That he stopped for the samples!



Photo: Getty Images



Photo: AP



Photo: AP


Bret previews the VP debate

Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan will face off in the vice presidential Debate Thursday evening at Centre College in Danville, KY.  Both Biden and Ryan have taken time off the campaign trail to prepare for Thursday's debate--Biden in his hometown of Wilmington, DE where he has held mock debates with Congressman Chris Van Hollen (playing the role of Ryan) and Ryan has been practicing and watching old debate tapes, including Biden-Palin debate from 2008.


 


So what can we expect from this debate? Well...after Governor Romney's strong performance in the 1st presidential debate in Denver, the pressure is on Paul Ryan to maintain the momentum. We do not really know what to expect from Congressman Ryan in a debate setting on a national stage-- an unknown variable with high expectations. Even without previous debate experience we do know that Ryan has years of experience selling conservative ideas to voters who are not predisposed to liking them. His congressional district in southeastern Wisconsin is one of the most politically balanced in the country, but he has won re-election easily over the past 14 years.


 


And don't expect VP Biden to go into this debate unprepared-- President Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, has been spending time in recent debate sessions with him. He is expected to be on the attack and is under pressure to help the Obama campaign after the Denver debate. He has also been "studying up on Congressman Ryan's positions on the issues."


 


"Obviously, what we expect is the vice president's going to come at me like a cannonball," Ryan said. "They said he won every single primary debate in 2008. So believe you me, I understand that this man is extremely experienced."


 


Both sides view this debate as critical and we will have to wait to see what happens. Who will come out on top? Will there be any gaffes from Biden? Or a gaffe from Ryan perhaps? Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly will bring you live debate coverage beginning at 8:55pmET on Fox News Channel and we hope you will tune in to watch! Follow along on Twitter @bretbaier and @megynkelly and let us know what you think!

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As his back-and-forth battle with real estate mogul Donald Trump reaches a fever pitch, GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush returns for a barnstorming tour of New Hampshire Thursday.

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