**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
• Carly’s momentum keeps growing
• Southern Man: Trump heads to Mobile for mega rally
• New doubts about Hillary email claims
• Iran deal doubts grow
• Be the bear
CARLY’S MOMENTUM KEEPS GROWING
No candidate in the Republican field has had a better two weeks than Carly Fiorina. Gallup polling out today compares views of the Republican contenders before and after the Aug. 6 Fox News debate in Cleveland. Favorable views of Fiorina are up an eye-popping 15 points, 3 points more than the two other debate winners, Ben Carson and John Kasich.
“I went into the debate thinking this was an opportunity. An opportunity to introduce myself to Republican people,” Fiorina said in an interview on “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt.” “It was an opportunity I was going to take full advantage of.”
But there were others who hoped for (and needed) standout showings. They saw sentiment collapse. Gallup shows Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham took double-digit nosedives. Other, mostly better-known candidates saw little change. Donald Trump (17 percent net favorability) and Jeb Bush (27 percent net favorability) were essentially unchanged.
Fiorina shot past Trump and Bush to a net score of 37 percent, but along the way earned the enmity of Trump, whom she whacked for his post-debate comments. Trump has made attacking Fiorina a standard part of his speeches and interviews since then, often complaining about the sound of her voice.
“We’re not actually solving problems when we just hurl insults each other’s way,” Fiorina said in the interview. “I think we need a leader who will actually honor citizens by reengaging them in the political process and in their government…”
The poll shows Fiorina still has room to grow.
After the debate, an all-time high of 51 percent of Republicans expressed familiarity with her name. That brings her near top-tier contender Scott Walker, who is still a relative unknown to 40 percent of his party. But she is still less known by 20 points than Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, 30 points less than Bush and 40 points less than Trump.
‘It was my personal relationship with Jesus Christ that saved me’ - In her interview, Fiorina also responded to those who have questioned her faith and resolve to fight Islamist militants because she once spoke in praise of the enlightenment of the medieval Ottoman Empire: “No one needs to question or tell me about my faith. I’ve been through some hard times in my life. I’ve battled cancer. We’ve lost a child to the demons of addiction. So I understand in deeply personal terms, that it was my personal relationship with Jesus Christ that saved me, that saved my family. So it’s unfortunate when people throw stones at anyone, but politics has sort of become that, hasn’t it? And we have candidates who encourage it.”
SOUTHERN MAN: TRUMP HEADS TO MOBILE FOR MEGA RALLY
In what is set to be a scorcher down South today, Donald Trump plans have his biggest rally yet. After moving venues to the University of South Alabama’s 40,000-seat stadium, Trump is looking to solidify summer support into something that will last through the winter.
The Kingfish or the King? - AL.com: “‘I had an older woman call me the other day asking how I can get tickets ... she didn’t have Internet and she couldn’t get tickets,’ [Jonathan Gray of Strategy Research] said. ‘I asked her, ‘Why do you want to go?’ I asked her, ‘Are you backing Donald Trump?’ She said, ‘I don’t know think so.’ She said that she regretted ‘all my life that she didn’t see Elvis’ and didn’t want to regret the opportunity to see Donald Trump.’”
Trumped in their home states, except Walker, Kasich - A slew of recent polls in the home states of many 2016ers show they are losing ground to Donald Trump. In Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio split potential voters to trail Trump by 4 points and 10 points, respectively. More significantly, Trump also maintains a major lead in Texas over home state guys Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry. Trump bests Cruz by 8 points and Perry by a dozen points, with 24 percent support - up from 2 percent two months ago. But holding their ground are Scott Walker, who maintains a 25 percent to 9 percent advantage over Trump, and Gov. John Kasich, who tops a poll in his state, beating Trump by 6 points.
Cruz shifting to meet Trump? - Wash Ex’s David Drucker takes a look at the differing immigration policies between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Is Cruz shifting his position to meet Trump’s hard line? Drucker writes, “‘It shouldn’t be surprising that there’s some commonality between Trump’s plan and Sen. Cruz’s previously expressed positions,’ Cruz campaign senior spokesman Rick Tyler told the Washington Examiner in a telephone interview.”
Jeb cites Rubio, Cruz in birthright citizenship - National Review: “Bush reminded voters that some popular Republicans have benefited from birthright citizenship. ‘If people are here legally, they have a visa and they have a child who’s born here, I think that they ought to be American citizens,’ he said today in New Hampshire. ‘People like Marco Rubio, by the way, that’s how he came. So to suggest that we make it impossible for a talented person like that not to be a candidate for president, or Ted Cruz? I think we’re getting a little overboard here.’”
[Back off, eh - Cruz’s campaign was quick to point out that the candidate’s automatic American citizenship at birth in Canada derived from his mother’s status as a natural-born citizen, not the provisions of the 14th Amendment.]
Eurozone? - Federalist Ben Domenech asks whether Trump’s popularity reflects a turn toward European-style politics in America.
POWER PLAY: CADDYSHACK CAMPAIGN
Jeb Bush engaged in a political donnybrook with rival Donald Trump this week. Is this smart strategy or a potential minefield for Bush? Republican Ford O’Connell and Democrat Brad Woodhouse join Chris Stirewalt to hash out the pros and cons. WATCH HERE.
#mediabuzz - Are media watchdogs taking Donald Trump more seriously? Is Hillary Clinton’s testy relationship with the press adding to her woes? Host Howard Kurtz and guests dive in. Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.
Dubya raises cash for little bro - USA Today: “Former president George W. Bush jumped into the 2016 presidential race Thursday with a fundraising letter on behalf of brother Jeb. ‘This is a consequential time in our nation’s history, and we need a strong leader,’ the 43rd president said in the missive. ‘Jeb took on tough challenges as Florida’s Governor and delivered results. I know he will do the same as President.’”
[Bush is in Columbus, Ohio today for an Americans for Prosperity summit. Other speakers for the weekend event include Rubio and Cruz.]
How Walker would run - Scott Walker’s campaign previewed the kind of ObamaCare attack ad he would run against Hillary Clinton as the Republican nominee. It’s rough stuff.
[Walker announced today the backing of Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed as his state chairman ahead of Walker’s weekend visit to the Yellowhammer State.]
Rubio says Black Lives Matter movement cannot be ignored - Reuters: “Republican senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio said on Thursday the issue cannot be ignored. ‘It’s a reality that in many communities in this country the relationship between minority communities and the police and law enforcement agencies is terrible,’ Rubio told the Detroit Economic Club.”
[Rubio holds a town hall meeting in Valley View, Ohio.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Patsy Cline’s iconic recording of the song “Crazy” was made in Nashville on this day in 1961. The song was written and first recorded by a 28-year-old Willie Nelson but came to national attention when rising star Cline did her rendition later that year. Cline did not like the original demo version and told her husband Charlie Dick, who brought home the recording for her, that she wasn’t impressed. Cline decided to do the song, but due to a car crash months prior, could not record the song as Nelson intended. Her ribs had been damaged in the crash and she could not reach the high notes. After a multi-hour recording session, the country-pop tune was one of the biggest hits of the year. The album produced another enormous hit for Cline: “I Fall to Pieces.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.0 percent//Disapprove – 50.3 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.4 percent//Wrong Track – 62.6 percent
NEW DOUBTS ABOUT HILLARY EMAIL CLAIMS
Reuters: “While the [State Department] is now stamping a few dozen of the publicly released emails as ‘Classified,’ it stresses this is not evidence of rule-breaking. Those stamps are new, it says, and do not mean the information was classified when Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential election, first sent or received it. But the details included in those ‘Classified’ stamps — which include a string of dates, letters and numbers describing the nature of the classification — appear to undermine this account, a Reuters examination of the emails and the relevant regulations has found. The new stamps indicate that some of Clinton's emails from her time as the nation’s most senior diplomat are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.”
Trust issues - How bad is it? Chris Cillizza put it well “Only one in three voters in the three largest swing states in the country think that the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination is honest and trustworthy.”
Joe gets cash jolt - NY Post: “The Draft Biden organization had raised just under $79,000 through June 30, but now momentum for Biden has been so ‘tremendous’ that the super PAC is well on its way to raise $2.5 million to $3 million by the end of September, a senior adviser for the PAC told The Post. The email list has also grown from a few thousand to more than 200,000 in recent weeks. ‘We’ve seen a tremendous boost,’ said adviser Josh Alcorn, a former Biden presidential campaign staffer who was a close friend of Biden’s late son Beau.”
Fox News Sunday: Biden time? - Shannon Bream heads the show this Sunday with a focus on the Democrats. Draft Biden movement advisor Josh Alcorn talks Biden run, and why he thinks the vice president has a shot. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey breaks down the legal fallout of Hillary Clinton’s continued email server problems. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” airs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Fox News. Check local listings for air times in your area.
POWER PLAY: A GO FOR JOE?
A recent boost in the polls adds to the drumbeat as Joe Biden mulls over a run for the White House. Republican Ford O’Connell and Democrat Brad Woodhouse join Chris Stirewalt to discuss the implications of a Biden bid. WATCH HERE.
O’Malley squeezes Hillary on Social Security - Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., is trying to put the heat on Hillary Clinton to back big expansions of Social Security benefits. Politico got the deets from the campaign.
IRAN DEAL DOUBTS GROW
Following U.N. agency and Obama administration pushback of an initial report by the AP…“A draft document exclusively obtained by Fox News supports reports that Iran would play a major role in inspections at its controversial Parchin nuclear site, by providing U.N. inspectors with crucial materials. The so-called side deal, labeled ‘Separate arrangement II,’ says Iran will ‘provide to the [International Atomic Energy Agency]’ photos and videos of locations and environmental samples, ‘taking into account military concerns.’…The agreement also provides that the agency would ensure the ‘technical authenticity’ of activities -- in other words, ensuring nuclear work was not meant for weapons development -- but the IAEA would use Iran's ‘authenticated equipment.’ This would be followed by a visit from the IAEA director general.”
[No sale - A CNN/ORC poll released Thursday shows 56 percent of Americans now say they think Congress should reject the deal with Iran -- up from 52 percent less than a month ago. In a recent Fox News poll respondents said they would reject the deal 58 percent to 31 percent if given the chance to vote on it.]
Webb steps up opposition - Free Beacon: “Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. Jim Webb (D., Va.) said Friday that he opposed the Iran nuclear deal for, among other reasons, giving the rogue regime a greater balance of power in a fragile region. “The danger in the Iran agreement is in what it does not address, other than nuclear issues, that allows Iran to continue to gain a greater balance of the power in a very fragile region,” Webb said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “It affects Israel. It affects the Sunni countries.”
“Anybody who trusts the Iranians really needs some time on the couch with someone to give them serious, serious therapy. Putting the Iranians in a position to self-inspect…this is like putting a mass murderer in charge of a gun store.” – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., from “Fox and Friends”
BE THE BEAR
Did you know that there are only two more Fridays left in the summer of 2015? That’s a lot of pressure. You were supposed to do so many things this summer – topiary gardens or extreme mountain biking or alpaca encounters or preserving your own organic gooseberries or whatever form of ambitious torture you devised for yourself three months ago. But you know who doesn’t read stupid “summer bucket list” articles or worry about people silently judging them on social media? Bears. Bears don’t care what you think about their summer plans. Bears don’t check Pinterest. Bears are not worried about their fantasy football draft. Bears do not know what FOMO is. So please watch these five bear cubs and their mom have the best time ever in a New Jersey family’s above-ground swimming pool and just chillax.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.