Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama’s landmark Iran nuclear agreement will survive congressional review.

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, has announced her support for the Iran nuclear deal, becoming the 34th Democratic senator to back the president, and giving Obama the numbers in the upper chamber to sustain his promised veto of the resolution of disapproval of the deal.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal. However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel,” Mikulski said in a statement.

Congressional opponents of the deal would have needed a two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to override Obama’s veto of the Resolution of Disapproval, which would have prevented the administration from lifting some Congressional sanctions on Iran.

But Mikulski’s announcement means opponents will not be able to reach the 67-vote threshold needed to override the veto.

The Maryland senator, who has served longer in Congress than any other woman in history, is retiring after this term, indicating it was less politically toxic for her to be the so-called “decisive” vote in favor of the deal than some of the other Senate Democrats who have not yet announced their position on the agreement.

There are 10 remaining Senate Democrats who have not yet made their opinion public, including some who are facing difficult re-election races and others who have large anti-deal constituencies.

But if the White House can get seven of those 10 holdouts to support the deal, they will not only be able to prevent the resolution of disapproval from going into effect but also be able to sink it upon the first Senate vote, which is expected to happen shortly after Congress returns from its summer recess on Sept. 8.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he is not surprised by the recent attacks by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Well, I think he had no choice,” the real estate mogul told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Wednesday morning on Good Morning America.

“It seems to be backfiring, based on the polls. It seems to be somewhat backfiring on Jeb,” Trump added. “So far everyone that has attacked me has gone down. Let’s see what happens.”

Bush’s new video, released Tuesday on his Twitter account @JebBush, entitled “The Real Donald Trump,” is almost entirely comprised of old interview clips that Trump participated in.

It begins with Trump speaking these words [from 1999], “I lived in New York City, in Manhattan all my life so my views are a little different than if I lived in Iowa.”

You then hear Trump say “I am very pro-choice” and proclaim that he thinks Hillary Clinton would do a good job in Iran negotiations.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asks he if identifies more as a Democrat or a Republican. Trump responds, “you’d be shocked if I said that, in many cases, I probably identify more as a Democrat.”

Trump told Stephanopoulos Wednesday that when he was solely focused on business, he had to play nice. “That was my obligation, they termed me a world-class businessman,” he said.

The GOP front-runner also responded to one portion of the Bush ad in which he says he doesn’t know why he is a Republican. “They [Republicans] had some ideas that were different than my ideas, and many Republicans were saying [then] they didn’t know why they were Republican.”

Trump is still at the top of all the most recent national polls. He tied with neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in a new Iowa poll released by Monmouth University earier this week. Trump said he was “surprised” by the poll but added that he “likes Ben very much” and would not attack him, for now.

Trump is off the campaign trail this week before the long Labor Day weekend. Next week, he flies to Washington to join fellow GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in protesting the Iran nuclear deal. Trump said he does not support the deal, telling GMA it was negotiated by “stupid, incompetent people. There is something wrong with them.”

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Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Negative views of Hillary Clinton have jumped to nearly their highest on record in ABC News/Washington Post polls, while Donald Trump’s personal popularity has grown more polarized along racial and ethnic lines.

Clinton’s favorability has burbled back under water: 45 percent of Americans now see her favorably, down 7 percentage points since midsummer, while 53 percent rate her unfavorably, up 8. Her unfavorable score is a single point from its highest in ABC/Post polls dating back 23 years; that came in April 2008, in the midst of her last presidential campaign.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Trump is much farther under water than Clinton, rated favorably by 37 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 59 percent. That reflects a slight 4-point rise in favorability since mid-July, entirely among whites, +6 points. Nonwhites see Trump negatively by a vast 17-79 percent, unchanged among Hispanics and more negative among blacks, by 16 points, since midsummer.

That said, whites are the majority group –- 64 percent of the adult population -– and they now divide evenly on Trump, 48-49 percent, favorable-unfavorable. Clinton, by contrast, is far more unpopular than Trump among whites, 34-65 percent. So while racial and ethnic polarization is on the rise in views of Trump, it remains even higher for Clinton.

Given their support profiles -– Clinton’s more popular in groups that are less likely to be registered -– the difference in her and Trump’s popularity narrows among registered voters. In this group Clinton’s favorable-unfavorable score is 43-56 percent (-13 points); Trump’s is 40-58 percent (-18). Negative views of Clinton among registered voters are up by 10 points from July, while Trump’s ratings in this group are essentially unchanged.

Two others were tested in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates:

Jeb Bush, even while generating far less controversy than Trump, is seen almost as negatively, by 17 points overall, 38-55 percent. Bush’s favorable rating is flat while his unfavorable score is up 8 points since July, including 9-point increases among Republicans and independents alike. He’s also lost ground among conservatives, and is especially weak among strong conservatives, a group in which Trump far surpasses Bush.

Joe Biden lands an even score, 46-46 percent. He hasn’t announced candidacy, a move that can sharpen divisions as candidates start staking out positions on controversial issues, catching flak and aiming some of their own.

Favorability taps into a public figure’s basic overall image; a negative score indicates thin ice. Clinton’s has been especially uneven, from as high as 67 percent favorable during her tenure as secretary of state to as low as 44 percent in spring 2008 and 45 percent now.

Clinton was somewhat better rated at roughly this time in the 2008 cycle: In November 2007 she had a 50-46 percent favorable-unfavorable rating. Barack Obama’s was 51-36 percent, John McCain’s 43-42 percent. All, then, were better off than Clinton, Trump or Bush today. Among other factors –- including increasing partisan and political polarization – this was before the economic collapse of 2008 that pushed public frustration into a deep trough from which it has yet to recover in full.

More Race/Ethnicity

Hispanics divide about evenly on Bush, 43-46 percent, a much less negative rating than Trump’s but still a 15-point increase in unfavorable views since July. That said, Bush’s negative rating is up among whites as well, by 9 points.

Clinton is seen far more positively by Hispanics than are Trump, Bush or even Biden; she’s also highly popular among blacks. But, after a period of missteps chiefly focused on her handling of e-mails as secretary of state, her unfavorable rating is up by 14 points even among blacks. Her main trouble, regardless, rests in the fact that she’s so broadly unpopular among whites.

Party ID

Clinton is particularly strong in her party, seen favorably by 80 percent of Democrats. But her unfavorable rating has increased by 10 points among independents since midsummer, moving from an even split in July to a 20-point net negative score in this group now. Only Bush does worse among independents.

Trump and Bush alike continue to be seen more favorably than unfavorably within their party, by 59-38 and 57-39 percent, respectively. But that’s far behind Clinton’s intramural score, as well as Biden’s (70 percent favorable among Democrats). While negative views of Bush have gained among Republicans and independents, Trump’s held steady within the party, and his +6 in favorability among independents, while not statistically significant, is directionally opposite from Bush.

Other Groups

Among other groups, Bush’s unfavorable rating has increased by 14 points among conservatives since midsummer, he’s at 44-50 percent favorable-unfavorable in this group, while Trump’s held more or less steady at 52-44 percent. The gap is especially wide among strong conservatives -– a 39-57 percent score for Bush, negative by 18 points, vs. 61-37 percent for Trump, positive by 24 points.

Additional trouble for Clinton, meanwhile, is reflected in 11-point increases in her unfavorable rating among women and liberals. And among Trump’s challenges is a decidedly poor rating among young adults; 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds see Trump unfavorably, up 12 points since midsummer.

Strength of Sentiment

Strength of sentiment is more negative than positive for all these figures. While 21 percent of Americans see Clinton “strongly” favorably, more, 39 percent see her strongly unfavorably, an 18-point gap. It’s an 11-point gap for Biden (15 percent strongly favorable, 26 percent strongly unfavorable) and 22 points for Bush (just 7 percent strongly favorable, 29 percent strongly unfavorable).

But the gap is biggest for Trump: Sixteen percent of Americans see him strongly favorably while 43 percent see him strongly unfavorably, a 27-point margin for strongly negative sentiment.

See additional data tables here.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone Aug. 26-30, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) — In an op-ed for the Union Leader, Hillary Clinton announced a plan to establish a $7.5 billion fund to support federal-state partnerships in fighting substance abuse.

The plan will also call for increasing funding to the existing Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program. Clinton notes that on her first trip to New Hampshire after announcing her candidacy for president, one voter said that a big concern in the state was heroin addiction. “In state after state, this issue came up again and again — from so many people, from all walks of life, in small towns and big cities,” Clinton writes.

“This is not new,” the op-ed continues, “we’re not just now ‘discovering’ this problem.”

“Plain and simple, drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, not a moral failing — and we must treat it as such.”

Clinton says that her plan sets five specific goals: giving communities the power to prevent drug use among teens, ensuring that all addicts can receive comprehensive treatment, making sure that first responders carry naloxone, the so-called overdose antidote, requiring health care providers to receive training to help recognize substance abuse disorders and to prioritize treatment for low-level and non-violent offenders instead of prison sentences.

“There are 23 million Americans suffering from addiction,” Clinton writes, “but no one is untouched. We all have family and friends who are affected. We can’t afford to stay on the sidelines any longer.”

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Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DES MOINES) — Every four years, presidential candidates descend on the Iowa State Fair to meet with voters, spread their vision for the country and eat and grill pork.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association “Pork Tent” is the place to be seen on the state fairgrounds outside Des Moines. Whether you’re Donald Trump or Jeb Bush, candidates fill-in as a “guest chef” to show their appreciation for the leading pork-producing state in the United States.

“The way they one-on-one with you makes a big difference,” tent volunteer Dana “Spanky” Wanken said. “You ask a question, they take time to answer it. Just don’t come for the photo-op. Be your normal self.”

The Pork Tent hosted 17 presidential candidates and served over 50,000 pounds of pork at the 11-day 2015 fair that ended Aug. 23.

“It’s a very happening place,” Iowa Pork Producers Association president Dave Struthers said. ”We sell a lot of pork, get a lot of publicity, and everyone wants to show that they’re a real guy or a real lady, down to earth and can hang with the Pork Producers.”

“When candidates arrive, they receive an apron with their name sewn into it and head straight for the grill cooking the fair’s most popular treat, pork chop on a stick.

“It’s tender and juicy and you eat it like you would carry it around like a drum stick, like a turkey leg, or a chicken leg. It’s a nice good, tasty and healthy piece of meat because it’s low in fat,” said Struthers, who has been a pork farmer for over 30 years.

Volunteer Wanken said it’s his job to help the candidates grill because many of them don’t have time to do it.

“You ought to be able to flip a burger,” he said. “I don’t know what it says [if they can’t]. Just says somebody else does all the cooking, in my book.”

On the final Saturday of the State Fair, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brought his whole family to the Pork Tent and Wanken greeted them by the gas grill.

At one point, with a spatula in one hand and a pork chop on a stick in the other, Christie asked for pork patties. Wanken said he was impressed by Christie’s cooking skills.

“He knew what he was doing. …He wanted to stay and help finish them, but he had to go. When you’re on a time schedule, you’re on a time schedule,” he said. “Nothing you can do about it.”

Iowa produces one-third of the nation’s pork, thanks to the state’s ideal weather conditions, which allow farmers to grow corn and soy beans to feed the pigs.

“It’s basically the whole circle-of-life kind of thing,” Struthers, the pork association president, said. “Raise the crops, feed the animals, and the animals produce fertilizer for the crops, which feed the hogs again.”

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(SEWARD, Alaska) — President Obama had an adventurous day in Alaska on Tuesday.

The president – who’s visiting the 49th state to address global warming – went for a hike before taking a tour of Kenai Fjords National Park, witnessing Alaska’s natural beauty.

Heading out into the bay, past Godwin Glacier, the president saw Dall’s porpoises, Steller Sea lions and black-legged kittiwakes, a type of gull.

Obama, riding in Coast Guard Cutter “Viewfinder,” yelled to the nearby press, explaining an option for his post-White House plans: “After the presidency you might see me in one of those little cabins over there,” he said.

Throughout Resurrection Bay, he saw Bear Glacier — the longest glacier in Kenai Fjords, despite retreating 2.2 miles in the last 15 years. He also saw three cirque glaciers, which are no longer connected to an ice field.

On the bow of the boat, the president said the view was “spectacular.” He highlighted the melting of the glaciers along the way.

“The iceberg is sitting in a lake,” Obama said. “Periodically the icebergs break off from the glacier. Each one is the size of a Costco.”

Earlier, at Exit glacier, the president walked past brown and white signs that denote the year the glacier reached that point. The glacier has receded 1.25 miles in the past 200 years, and is the only glacier accessible by car and foot in Kanai National Park.

Pointing to the signs, the president addressed the speed at which glacier retreats is accelerating.

“It is spectacular, though,” he said pausing to glance back at the view. “We want to make sure our grandkids can see it.”

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — CNN is amending their GOP debate criteria, likely allowing former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to join the other top-tier candidates on the prime time debate stage.

The news –- announced Tuesday evening –- comes after Fiorina waged a personal and public war against the network and the Republican National Committee over their previous debate rules, which served to bar her from the main event.

“A lack of national public polling following the August 6 debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup for the Regan Presidential Debate,” according to a CNN statement. “As a result, CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August, the network announced [Tuesday].”

Under the previous rules, CNN would consider polls stretching all the way back to mid-July, meaning that most of the polls included in Fiorina’s average place her in the low single digits before her much-heralded performance in the FOX News undercard debate last month.

But now, CNN says that any candidate who was in the top 10 in polls from Aug. 6 to Sept. 6 will be included on the main stage.

A new poll from Monmouth University out Monday shows Fiorina placing third in the essential, first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, behind only Donald Trump and Ben Carson. She has also garnered a solid 5 percent of the vote in each of three national polls since the first debate.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus applauded the amended debate criteria. “I applaud CNN for recognizing its historic nature of this debate and fully support the network’s decision to amend the criteria,” Priebus said in a statement.

But the stage is still not set. The polling cutoff will ultimately decide Carly Fiorina’s fate, however her chances are now much better.

Prior to CNN’s rule change, Fiorina was averaging at 1.9 percent, but with the new debate criteria, Fiorina now averages at 5 percent, according to an ABC News analysis on who’s in and wo’s out for the next debate.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — In the feud between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, embattled former Rep. Anthony Weiner – Abedin’s husband – is stepping into the line of fire.

In a radio show appearance Monday, Weiner called Trump’s suggestion that Abedin may have shared state secrets with him both “wrong” and “outrageous.”

“I think it’s absurd and frankly insulting, not only to my wife, who, when she worked at the State Department, had a pretty high security clearance, a higher clearance than even some of the candidates running for president, but it also reflects very poorly on apparently what Mr. Trump thinks about government employees who have high security clearances, that they are talking about things,” the New York Democrat said on “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

During a campaign event in Massachusetts Friday, Trump said it was likely that Abedin had divulged classified information to Weiner, who is now an adviser for a New Jersey public relations firm.

“Do you think there’s even a 5 percent chance that she’s not telling Anthony Weiner — now of a public relations firm — what the hell is coming across?” Trump said, while also slamming Weiner as a “perv” and a “sleazebag.”

“Do you think there’s even a little bit of a chance? I don’t think so.”
The Clinton campaign also responded forcefully to what it characterized as Trump’s “patently false” and “bizarre” attacks.

Weiner, who stepped down from his congressional position after a sexting scandal four years ago, stood by his wife, saying she has served the country well in her role.

“Not only didn’t she do that [leak information], but even further, she worked in government for 20 years. She’s got a reputation that is completely stellar, and anyone in Washington and anyone in New York who’s ever worked for her knows that,” he said on the “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump, apparently assuming he will secure the White House, tweeted on Monday evening that he would reverse the decision announced by President Obama to change the name of Alaska’s Mount McKinley back to the traditional name Denali, saying it is an affront to the Buckeye State.

“President Obama wants to change the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali after more than 100 years. Great insult to Ohio. I will change back!” read the tweet, issued from the account of the real estate mogul.

The decision by the president to change the name of the mountain named for President William McKinley, who was from Ohio, has divided lawmakers, and not necessarily along party lines.

Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said he was “deeply disappointed” in a statement while GOP Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski offered her praise for the change.

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ABC/Randy Sager(NEW YORK) — Chris Christie made his first appearance as a presidential candidate Monday night on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

When the New Jersey governor came out fired up, saying he was ready to lip sync battle, Fallon denied the stunt. But Christie kept going.

“Jimmy, when I say we’re going to lip sync, we’re going to lip sync,” Christie said.

Christie jumped up and started mouthing the opening lines of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.,” but Fallon cut him short and the interview continued.

Fallon said he’s been expecting Christie to be the guy “to go out and yell and say stuff,” but instead Trump is doing a better job at that than he is. Christie went on to say that he’s not worried about Trump and the other candidates.

“It’s a long way away, there’s a lot of work to do, that’s what campaigns are all about, campaigns are to go out and convince people. I’m not worried about Donald or anybody else. I’ve got to worry about me. I’ve got to be myself, I’ve got to do what I do, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Fallon finished by talking about Christie’s quiet performance in the last debate.

Christie responded, “Stay tuned for September 16th, I may be changing tactics. If I go 15 (questions) in a row, they’re going to go, uh oh, he’s going to go nuclear now.”

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