Poll: Donald Trump is underwater in Indiana

President Donald Trump's approval rating is upside down in Indiana, according to a new poll.Just 41 percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, compared to 45 percent who disapprove, according to the results of the Old National Bank/Ball State University 2017 Hoosier Survey.The negative approval rating suggests a significant decline in support for Trump since he won the home state of his vice president, Mike Pence, by a margin of 19 percentage points nearly a year ago.“These survey results add to the evidence that the president’s approval has slipped a great deal since January,” said Chad Kinsella, a political science professor at the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, which conducts the annual survey. ► Senate race: Poll shows GOP challengers to Donnelly not well known despite being congressmen ► House race: Greg Pence takes steps to seek his brother Mike Pence's old congressional seat Other recent polling by Morning Consult showed Trump's net approval rating in Indiana fell from plus-22 percentage points in January to plus-5 in September.  ”These results from October put his approval underwater in the state, with negative-5 approval," Kinsella said.But Trump's support among his base remains strong, Kinsella said, with 77 percent approval among Republicans.That's the group that Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer focused on in a statement responding to the poll."Hoosier Republicans proudly support President Trump and Vice President Pence because of their unwavering commitment to reform our broken tax code and rid us of Obamacare’s stranglehold on our economy all while keeping America and Americans safe," he said. But Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said the poll reflects growing discontent among Hoosiers. “Our president likes to make big promises. So far, he hasn’t delivered,” he said. “These polling numbers Continue Reading

Donald Trump as GOP nominee could be a ‘yuge’ liability for John McCain

John McCain's refusal to disavow Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has prompted a biting attack from the Democratic candidate for his U.S. Senate seat.Although McCain, R-Ariz., last year engaged in a bruising public feud with Trump, the celebrity billionaire who just swept up seven victories on Super Tuesday in what is looking like an unstoppable push to the 2016 GOP nomination, he so far has refused to say he wouldn't support Trump if he becomes the party's standard bearer.McCain has been dogged by questions from reporters about Trump, and earlier this week Ann Kirkpatrick, the U.S. representative from Flagstaff who is running for his seat, released a biting online ad splicing McCain's continued expressions of support with Trump's most controversial remarks.In an exchange Monday broadcast by NPR, McCain seemed exasperated by the continuing media questions about Trump."Hello? I said, 'I. Support. The. Nominee,'" McCain said.Larry Sabato, the political scientist who directs the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said Kirkpatrick got a jump start on what will be a central Democratic line of attack on incumbent Republican senators in this year's fight for control of the now-GOP-controlled U.S. Senate."It's a taste of what's to come," Sabato told The Arizona Republic. "It's going to be everywhere. There's good reason for distress in the Republican cloakroom."McCain and Trump are unlikely allies given the bashing that Trump gave McCain last summer.It started when Trump slammed McCain as incompetent and "weak on immigration" while campaigning July 11 in downtown Phoenix. That prompted McCain to lament to a national magazine that Trump had "fired up the crazies" in his home state. Then Trump attacked McCain as a "dummy," called for his defeat in his Republican Senate primary and, most memorably, mocked McCain's status as former prisoner of war in Vietnam.McCain, who is facing a handful of "tea party"-style conservative challengers in Continue Reading

Donald Trump woos black voters: ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’

DIMONDALE — On his second visit to Michigan in less than two weeks, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Friday blasted Democratic policies he said have destroyed Detroit and other urban centers and called for African Americans to support him, saying blacks cannot expect change otherwise.Speaking to a predominantly all-white audience of about 6,000 people, Trump appealed directly to blacks for votes."You live in poverty," he said. "Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. What the hell do you have to lose?"A Democratic state representative from Detroit said he was not impressed with Trump's broad-brush message."Anyone can tell you what the problem is," said Rep. Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit, who represents the 3rd House District. "The one you want to hire is the one who can tell you how to come in and fix the problem."Trump promised to bring back American jobs, build a wall on the Mexican border, cut taxes and improve education and health care. But he was short on details on how he would fix the last two areas, other than getting rid of the Common Core federal education guidelines and repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.Though Democrats and many former administration officials have said a President Trump would make the world a more dangerous place, Trump promised an almost idyllic America with him in the White House."We will love each other. We will have one country. Everyone will work together," he said as he was wrapping up his speech at The Summit, a sports and arena complex in the Dimondale area of Windsor Township in Eaton County, just outside of Lansing.Accusing his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton of preferring policies that would help refugees instead of blacks who have become "refugees in their own country," Trump promised job creation and a revitalization of manufacturing centers, saying Democrats are all "talk, talk, talk.""Only a change in leadership will produce a change in outcomes," he thundered Continue Reading

Right-wing Breitbart website leaks audio of Paul Ryan bashing candidate Donald Trump

A right-wing website Monday leaked audio of House Speaker Paul Ryan criticizing President Donald Trump in October — the latest move in a larger effort by some conservatives to derail the House GOP health care bill.The website Breitbart, which has been sharply critical of Ryan's Obamacare replacement bill, released the audio of Ryan criticizing Trump in the run-up to the November general election. The website explicitly linked the audio release to the health care bill, saying criticism of the legislation "calls into question whether Speaker Ryan ... really understands how Trump won and how to win in general."Ryan's rocky relationship with Trump was widely reported at the time, but the audio is new. In it, Ryan criticizes Trump in a conference call with other House Republicans shortly after the October release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged about groping women without their consent.“His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values,” Ryan told GOP representatives. “There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump — not now, not in the future."Breitbart's release of the tape is the latest move by conservatives to undercut Ryan and House GOP leadership as they attempt to pass a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. The House Republican bill has been criticized by some conservatives as "Obamacare lite" because the bill would provide tax credits to help people afford health insurance — an approach that some on the right see as continuing an entitlement program for health care. RELATED: 24 million more uninsured by 2026 in GOP bill, CBO says RELATED: Winners and losers under GOP health care plan RELATED:  Walker still not saying whether he supports Obamacare replacement In the audio released by Breitbart, Ryan tells his members Continue Reading

Donald Trump’s allies target Speaker Paul Ryan for failure of health care bill

Conservative media outlets friendly to President Donald Trump are blaming last week's collapse of the GOP health care overhaul bill on House Speaker Paul Ryan, but a spokesman for the Janesville Republican said Monday that the relationship between the speaker and president "is stronger than ever right now."Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, a longtime friend of Trump, railed against Ryan this weekend and called for his immediate resignation as speaker."Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the House," Pirro said Saturday at the beginning of her show. "The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his health care bill. The one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare. The one that he had seven years to work on. The one he hid under lock and key in the basement of Congress. The one that had to be pulled to prevent the embarrassment of not having enough votes to pass."Pirro's comments came the same day that Trump took to Twitter to urge people to watch her show, but White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the tweet and Pirro's call for Ryan to step down was "more coincidental."Ryan spokesman Ian Martorana echoed Priebus' comments and said the two men are eager to continue working together."The speaker and president talked for an hour Saturday about moving forward on the agenda and their relationship is stronger than ever right now. The two spoke again Sunday and the president was clear his tweet had nothing to do with the speaker," Martorana said in an email. "They are both eager to get back to work on the agenda."Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, another key friend and ally of Trump, also targeted Ryan — and distanced the president from the bill's failure — with a piece, "Trump Still the Winner After Ryan Plan Fails.""The House speaker failed to do any of the basic spadework necessary to get such important legislation passed," Ruddy wrote Sunday, calling the proposal "a damaged Continue Reading

Donald Trump’s ‘Day One’ will play out for weeks and months

WASHINGTON — During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump pledged to do all sorts of things on "Day One" of his presidency. But as that day approached, Trump and his aides now say that his opening agenda will play out over the next several weeks and months."He is committed to not just day one, but day two, day three, of enacting an agenda of real change," said Trump press secretary Sean Spicer. "What he's trying to do is to ensure a proper sequencing."It's possible that Trump could take time to sign executive orders during a busy day of inaugural festivities, Spicer said Thursday. But those orders are most likely to be administrative, dealing with issues of White House organization and protocol. "Monday is where I'd see that the focus should be in terms of some of the bigger issues," Spicer said.That means action on immigration, health care, trade or other policy priorities won't come until the first business day of the administration on Monday. Read more:After meeting with congressional leaders this month, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Trump's executive action would "literally begin on Day One.""Before the end of the day, we do anticipate that the president-elect will be in the Oval Office taking action to both repeal executive orders and also set into motion through executive action policies to implement promises that were made on the campaign trail," he said.One of those executive orders, Pence said, will be to enable an "orderly transition to take place even as the Congress appropriately debates alternatives to and replacement of Obamacare."But only Congress can repeal the law, so it's unclear what form that executive order could take. "All this talk about executive orders seems to be part of a communications strategy that will allow President Trump to claim credit for changes that the implementing agencies will ultimately have to make," said Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan.Some of Continue Reading

Donald Trump to Phoenix: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take our country back’

Donald Trump, the billionaire Republican presidential candidate, on Saturday took his anti-illegal-immigration message to Phoenix, delivering a 70-minute speech to a packed downtown ballroom that at times seemed more about needling his White House rivals and settling scores with his critics than public policy.Trump's at times undisciplined afternoon remarks at the Phoenix Convention Center veered into international trade, national security and foreign policy but always returned to the topic that has his candidacy climbing the polls: immigrants who commit violent crimes while in the United States without authorization. REACTION: Trump wins hearts of some in GOP, scorn from critics during Phoenix visit"I respect Mexico greatly as a country, but the problem we have is that their leaders are much smarter, sharper and more cunning than our leaders," Trump said. "And they're killing us at the border."Trump, one of 14 declared GOP presidential hopefuls, has claimed repeatedly that the Mexican government is deliberately sending criminals to the United States, and has vowed to build a border fence and force Mexico to pay for the construction.On Saturday, Trump said that as president he would charge Mexico $100,000 for every undocumented immigrant who crossed the border. And after the speech, he told reporters, without elaborating, that he believes "without question" that Mexican officials are complicit in sending undesirable immigrants to this country.About 20 minutes into Trump's speech, a group of protesters disrupted the speech, and the ballroom immediately erupted. Trump supporters shouted "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as the demonstrators were led out. MORE: Donald Trump visits Phoenix, talks immigration"I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so," Trump said to applause. "Because I'm telling you. I tell about the bad deals that this country is making. Mexico — I respect the country — they're taking our jobs, they're taking our manufacturing, Continue Reading

Where Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton – and third parties – stand on the issues

We get it: You're sick of presidential election coverage. It's all horse-race polling, name-calling and gaffes. No substance, all filler.Wouldn't it be nice to know where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — and their third-party opponents, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein — actually stand on important issues like the economy and immigration?Well, have no fear, gentle reader. We're tabulating it for you!Below are highlights from For the Record, USA TODAY's presidential election newsletter. Follow the links in the subheads below for more policy details.Why it matters: Scientists say rising global temperatures are producing more weather extremes: Bigger floods, drier droughts, hotter heat waves and rising sea levels, which over time can lead to water shortages, poor crop yields and costly storm damage.Where Trump stands: He doesn’t buy the science on climate change and has promised to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, which aims to rein in greenhouse gases, and nix the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which does the same for carbon pollution at American power plants.Where Clinton stands: She's said that climate change is an “urgent threat” and has promised to reduce greenhouse emissions up to 30 percent by 2025. Clinton says she’ll do that, in part, by defending the Clean Power Plan and boosting efficiency standards for cars, trucks and appliances.Where third parties stand: Johnson mostly buys the idea of climate change, but don't expect him to make mandates for solar panels or more efficient cars. Stein, by contrast, has made climate change a centerpiece of her campaign. She wants the country to rely fully on renewable energy by 2030, among other ideas.Why it matters: The Social Security trust fund is set to run out of money in 2035; Medicare in 2028. Absent any reforms, the Continue Reading

President Donald Trump’s budget plan could force Arizona to make the choice: Hurt the poor or raise taxes

If President Donald Trump has his way, hundreds of thousands of Arizona’s poor would either lose access to food and health care or the state’s taxpayers would have to fork over a lot more in taxes.The proposed cutbacks to programs like food stamps, welfare and Medicaid in Trump's proposed federal budget could complicate the tax-cutting agenda of Gov. Doug Ducey, who would be pressed to find significantly more cash to preserve the safety net in Arizona or face the reaction to abandoning the state's high poverty population.The $4.1 trillion proposed White House budget includes plans to hand states more of the bill for social programs. If the states can’t or won’t pay for it, the programs would face massive cuts.Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for Ducey, said the governor's team was focused on pending health-care changes in Washington, not the budget proposal. Both items would seek more financial resources from states, but they are in flux, which Scarpinato said makes it difficult to gauge their impact in Arizona.“He does not want to pull the rug out from people,” Scarpinato said of the governor. Ducey wants any federal-program changes to come with significant transition periods to help states manage the shifts, Scarpinato said.Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard also said it’s premature to respond to Trump's budget. He said alarms are sounding “fast and furious” even as it’s unclear how the proposal would fare in Congress.If state lawmakers started worrying now about how, or if, they would fill gaps left by Trump’s budget, “we’ll just drive ourselves crazy,” Mesnard said. “We’ll adapt to their moves.”Republicans on Capitol Hill have pushed back against the proposals, and Washington has operated for years without conventional budgets shaped by the president.As the pending Republican health-care bill shows, there is interest in letting states fashion more Continue Reading

Full transcript of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential announcement

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential run Tuesday. Below is the text of his speech: Last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product - a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero. Our labor participation rate was the worst since 1978. But think of it, GDP below zero, horrible labor participation rate, and our real unemployment is anywhere from 18-20%. Don’t believe the 5.6. Don’t believe it. That’s right - a lot of people up there can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs because there are no jobs because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have our jobs. But the real number, the real number, is anywhere from 18-19 and maybe even 21% and nobody talks about it because it’s a statistic that’s full of nonsense. DONALD TRUMP IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work. It came out recently. They have equipment that’s 30 years old and they don’t even know if it works. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television because boy does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us and they say ‘OK, that is a group of people and that is a nation that truly has no clue. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing.’ We have a disaster called the big lie - Obamacare, Obamacare. Yesterday it came out that costs are going, for people, up 39, 39, 49 and even 55%. And deductibles are through the roof. You have to get hit by a tractor, literally a tractor, to use it because the deductibles are so high it’s virtually useless. It’s a disaster.N NEW YORKERS WITH MEXICO ROOTS SLAM DONALD TRUMP And remember the $5 billion website, 5 billion Continue Reading