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Buzz Cut:
• Introducing The Edge: Debate scorecard shows winners, losers
• Trump’s birther background bubbles up with Muslim question
• Panic attack: Hillary hammers Biden
• Paul staffer says Rubio honcho punched him in the face
• No, but keep it up and there might be

INTRODUCING THE EDGE: DEBATE SCORECARD SHOWS WINNERS, LOSERS
Meet The Edge. It’s a one-of-a-kind measurement from the New Analytics Company that “scrubs” television, radio, print and online outlets as well as social media to gauge how much positive and negative attention the 2016 candidates are getting. The data are compiled into a single score, which has been provided exclusively to Fox News First.

It’s not a public opinion survey, but the team at New Analytics believes that The Edge provides a way to show changes in the race before polls can reflect them. That’s something that might be helpful if you were, say, trying to see who came out ahead in a presidential debate…

It won’t surprise many that the biggest gain from Wednesday’s debate was for Carly Fiorina, who climbed more than 3 points from her pre-debate score. But the others may surprise you. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee all had gains of more than a point. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gained, but only a third of a point.

As for the losers, no candidate lost even a full point from their pre-debate score. But some candidates did lose ground, most notably Fiorina’s sparring partner, Donald Trump, who registered a half-point decline and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, down a third of a point.

Treading water were Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. To see the charts, click here.

So, without further ado, here’s the inaugural edition of The Edge:

Donald Trump, 24.31, Jeb Bush, 12.67; Ben Carson, 11.70; Carly Fiorina, 9.36; Scott Walker, 6.99; Marco Rubio, 6.59; Rand Paul, 6.46; Ted Cruz, 6.43; Mike Huckabee, 5.70; John Kasich, 4.90; Chris Christie, 4.87

TRUMP’S BIRTHER BACKGROUND BUBBLES UP WITH MUSLIM QUESTION
Fox News: “Trump was kicking off a town hall event in Rochester, N.H. -- his first since Wednesday evening’s second Republican primary debate. ‘We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,’ said the first man Trump called on to ask a question. ‘We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.’ Trump, who was a driver of the ‘birther’ movement that claimed Obama wasn’t born in the U.S, first responded with feigned exasperation…Trump did not dispute the man’s assertions…After the exchange attracted widespread attention -- and criticism -- Trump released a statement saying the media want to make the issue about Obama.”

[You know who wasted no time in highlighting the issue? Hillary Clinton, that’s who.]


Trump ‘better than likely’ to meet with Putin next week - The Hill: “[Russian President Vladimir Putin] is scheduled to attend the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 27. ‘There’s a better than likely chance Trump may even meet with Putin when he comes here for the United Nations,” Michael Cohen, who is also executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said Thursday on Sean Hannity’s radio show.”

AUDITION DAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Greenville News: “[T]he candidate forum will be one of the biggest campaign events in South Carolina this election cycle — and a great opportunity for candidates to impress voters in the state’s biggest Republican county five months before its critical, first-in-the-South presidential primary. Scheduled to attend are 11 White House hopefuls: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. They’ll take questions from Gov. Nikki Haley and Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, a conservative group that organized the event, as well as conservative activists the group designates as ‘Sentinels.’ Co-moderating the event will be former Sen. Jim DeMint of Greenville, now president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank and sister organization to Heritage Action.”

[Watch Fox: Senior Political Correspondent Mike Emanuel has the latest from Greenville, S.C. today.]

An, ahem, high-energy video - The Bush campaign is releasing its video introduction for the candidate ahead of his speech to conservative activists in South Carolina today.

Paul staffer claims Rubio honcho punched him - Detroit Free Press: “A huge Republican political gathering on Mackinac Island got under way Thursday night with a barroom incident in which a top official for presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio allegedly threw a punch at a Michigan consultant working for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky…John Yob, a Grand Rapids political consultant who is national political director and chief Michigan strategist for the Rand Paul campaign, said on Facebook Friday morning that he was punched in the face inside the bar by Rich Beeson, who is deputy campaign manager for Rubio, a Florida senator.”

Walker says media would’ve called Carly winner ‘no matter what’ - Wash Ex: “During an interview with conservative radio host Glenn Beck Thursday, the Wisconsin governor panned the media for pushing a ‘narrative’ that the former Hewlett-Packard CEO was going to have a big night ‘no matter what’…‘I think going in, we knew the narrative no matter what was going to happen was that they were going to say Carly had a big night, no matter what, and obviously they said that,’ Walker [said.]”

Why did Cruz’s super pack throw a lifeline to Carly in July? - WaPo: “Long before Carly Fiorina was this month’s ‘it’ candidate, a super PAC backing Ted Cruz was hedging its bets on her… People were left scratching their heads in July when Keep the Promise 1, one of a conglomerate of super PACs funded by deep-pocketed Cruz supporters … revealed in its financial disclosures a $500,000 donation to Fiorina’s campaign. …The super PAC’s treasurer Jacquelyn James did not respond to our request for comment. Maybe the FEC will have better luck.”

Fox News Sunday: Carly exclusive - Riding high off her debate performance Carly Fiorina joins Mr. Sunday on where her campaign goes from here. Also, Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl previews Pope Francis’ busy itinerary in America. “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.

[Happy 1,000th! - RCP’s Tom Beven talked with Mr. Sunday ahead of this week’s 1,000th episode of Fox News Sunday. Host Chris Wallace discusses his already hall-of-fame career as well as what’s ahead.]

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz looks back at coverage of the second GOP debate and looks ahead to the coverage of next week’s papal visit. Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.

POWER PLAY: CLOSING TIME
With one candidate already out and more struggling to get attention in the wake of the second GOP debate, who is heading to the exits next? Democratic digital shaman Joe Trippi and GOP bench coach David Avella join Chris Stirewalt to discuss who’s at last call. WATCH HERE.

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
On this date in 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone for the U.S. Capitol. Architect of the Capitol: “Contemporary Masonic practice included the laying of an inscribed metal plate along with a cornerstone… The plate was handed to Washington, who stepped down into the foundation trench, laid the plate on the ground, and lowered the cornerstone onto it. With the president were Joseph Clark and three ‘worshipful masters’ bearing the corn, wine, and oil used to consecrate the stone. … Following the formal exercises, a 500 pound ox was barbequed and those in attendance ‘generally partook, with every abundance of other recreation.’ …In 1991, a search for the Capitol Cornerstone was conducted including use of a metal detector to locate the engraved plate—it was not found.”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 45.4 percent//Disapprove – 50.6 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 29.4 percent//Wrong Track – 61.4 percent

PANIC ATTACK: HILLARY HAMMERS BIDEN
Amid bad press and polling, Hillary Clinton and her team are escalating attacks on rivals, particularly Vice President Joe Biden.

Campaigning in New Hampshire on Thursday, Clinton defended her support for a 2001 bankruptcy bill much detested by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others. The Boston Globe reports that Clinton explained that Biden only agreed to not “hurt women and children” with the bill in exchange for Clinton’s support. Calling out Biden by name and accusing him of ransoming aid to women and children is pretty nasty stuff to drop on a guy who isn’t even in the race.

Here’s Clinton, via the Globe: “‘I said, ‘It’s really important to me that we don’t hurt women and children, so I will support it even though there are other things I don’t like in it.’ And it was Vice President Biden, who was the senator from Delaware, and the Republican cosponsor that I was talking with.’”

Meanwhile, the NYT reports that Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta dumped on Biden in a briefing to super PAC donors. An attendee told the Times that Podesta claimed Biden was in too weak a position to deny Clinton the nomination, citing Clinton’s firewall and Biden’s inability to build an early-state organization.

But attacking may not be the best option for the Clinton camp as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced he raised $1.2 million in the two days following an attack from a different Clinton super PAC.

POWER PLAY: LOST IN SPACE
Adrift and seemingly unable to reassert her dominance of campaign coverage, what can Hillary Clinton do to change the dismal direction of her campaign? Chris Stirewalt explores the options with Democrat Joe Trippi and Republican David Avella. WATCH HERE.

[Watch Fox: Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry is on the trail with Clinton today in New Hampshire.]

CRUZ AYOTTE-AH KNOW THIS WON’T BE EASY
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. wants fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to spell out his “strategy for success” as he risks a government shutdown in attempting to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

“It is abundantly clear that we lack the votes in the Senate to redirect these funds,” Ayotte says in a letter to Cruz, “Particularly when it appears there is no chance of achieving a successful result.” Ayotte, who may face a tough re-lection fight in November 2016, supports defunding the abortion provider. But in her letter she points to Cruz’s lack of endgame strategy two years ago when a shutdown resulted over his attempt to defund ObamaCare.

“I am again asking this question and would appreciate you sharing your strategy for success with all of us before any damaging government shutdown becomes imminent,” she wrote in the letter first obtained by the New Hampshire news station WMUR.

House set to vote today on abortion bills - Republican leaders hope passage today of bills targeting Planned Parenthood and limiting elective late-term abortions will mollify conservatives opposed to passing spending bill that forbids funding for the nation’s leading abortion provider.

NO, BUT KEEP IT UP AND THERE MIGHT BE…
The Oregonian: “An officer pulled over Salvador Sanchez-Buenrostro around 12:55 a.m. along Northeast Kane Street near Olvera Court in Gresham for a traffic violation, police said…While the officer was away from the Sanchez-Buenrostro’s car to write a citation, the driver called 911 and reported a shooting on Southeast 190th Avenue and Stark Street, police said. The driver gave emergency dispatchers a fake name. After the call was traced to the location of the traffic stop, the officer received the cellphone number the call was made from and determined it belonged to Sanchez-Buenrostro, police said. The driver later admitted to making the false report. Sanchez-Buenrostro was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on an accusation of improper use of 911. He has since been released from jail.”

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.