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Boris Johnson TV debate: Why is Boris Johnson NOT at Tory leadership debate tonight?

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BORIS JOHNSON is ahead in the Tory leadership race but the frontrunner won’t take part in a live Tory leader TV debate tonight. Here’s why Mr Johnson has said he won’t appear.

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Polling shows solid growth in support of legal abortion

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Abortion is always a tense issue in American politics, but this spring it has become a major topic of discussion after several states – Alabama, Georgia, Missouri – tightened restrictions around the procedure. And, judging by the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, those new laws and the conversation around them may be shifting and hardening attitudes on the issue as 2020 approaches.

A look at the long-term numbers shows solid growth in the number of Americans who say the procedure should be legal or legal most of the time. Overall, the number of Americans saying that has climbed seven points since 2008, to 56 percent in the latest poll from 49 percent in September of 2008.

The percentage of men saying abortion should be legal all or most of the time has climbed two points in that time.

But the consistency of the movement is more remarkable. The percentage of men saying abortion should be legal all or most of the time has climbed two points in that time. Among women it has climbed 11 points. It’s climbed 13 points among Democrats and four points among Republicans.

In a country where growing divisions have become the main uniting principle, that kind of unidirectional movement is noteworthy.

But the Data Download team looked closer at the numbers and we noticed another trend: a hardening of views.

The poll asks a question on abortion that walks respondents through a list of options: “Which comes closest to your view on abortion: Abortion should always be legal, should be legal most of the time, should be made illegal except in cases of rape incest and to save the mother’s life, or abortion should be made illegal without any exceptions.”

In the current poll, 34 percent of Americans say they want abortion to always be legal. And that number represents an all-time high in the poll, a three-point climb from the 31 percent who held that view in March of 2018 and a nine-point jump from the 25 percent that held that view in 2008.

But there was also movement at the other end of the abortion continuum.

There was also movement at the other end of the abortion continuum.

The number of people who said abortion should be illegal without any exception stands at 12 percent in this poll, that’s five points higher than where the number was in March of 2018, 7 percent.

The drops in the poll came in both of the answers that sit between those ends – abortion “should be legal most of the time, should be made illegal except in cases of rape incest and to save the mother’s life.” On the whole, the number of people giving either of those answers dropped by eight points.

You can probably guess what’s driving some of that movement. The partisan divide on abortion is nothing new and it shows up in this hardening of views.

Among “core Democrats” (those that strongly back the party) 58 percent say they want abortion to always be legal.

Among “core Democrats” (those that strongly back the party) 58 percent say they want abortion to always be legal. That’s a move up eight points from March of 2018. And among “soft Democrats” 45 percent say they want the procedure to always be legal, up four points from March 2018.

The numbers are reversed on the GOP side. Among “core Republicans,” 27 percent say abortion should be illegal with no exceptions: up nine points from 18 percent in 2018. And 16 percent of “soft Republicans” say they want abortion to be illegal with no exceptions. That’s up nine points from seven percent in 2018.

But the moves extend beyond simple partisanship. One of the biggest groups showing a hardening of their views on abortion is women and the moves are coming on both ends of the continuum as well.

One of the biggest groups showing a hardening of their views on abortion is women and the moves are coming on both ends of the continuum as well.

In the poll, 39 percent of women say abortion should always be legal. That’s up from 35 percent who held that view in 2018. But the percentage of women who say they want abortion to be illegal with no exceptions has also climbed to 13 percent, up from just 6 percent in 2018.

Again, the drops with women in the poll came in the middle answers that call for some restrictions and exceptions on abortion.

To be clear, the latest NBC News/WSJ poll shows a solid majority of Americans believe abortion should be completely or mostly legal. The 56 percent saying holding those views in this poll is a record high for the survey and the second consecutive NBC/WSJ poll where that group has been above 50 percent. That’s significant.

But underneath, these numbers offer a look at a larger trend that can be seen across the board in U.S. politics in 2019, a falling away of the middle. And as both sides dig in on the opposite ends of the abortion debate, 2019’s legislation and conversation may simultaneously be contradictory impacts.

The numbers in the latest poll suggest Americans may be moving toward more of a consensus position in favor of abortion rights, but the movement toward more absolute views on both ends of the debate may mean an increase in tensions on one of the nation’s most divisive issues.

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Trump campaign cutting ties with pollsters after internal numbers leaked

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is cutting ties with some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in critical 2020 battleground states.

The move comes after NBC News obtained new details from a March internal poll that found Trump trailing Biden in 11 key states.

Portions of the campaign’s expansive March polling trickled out in recent days in other news reports.

But a person familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign shared more details of the data with NBC News, showing the president trailing across swing states seen as essential to his path to re-election and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have looked to gain traction. The polls also show Trump underperforming in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in presidential elections.

A separate person close to the Trump re-election team told NBC News Saturday that the campaign will be cutting ties with some of its pollsters in response to the information leaks, although did not elaborate as to which pollsters would be let go.

The internal polling paints a picture of an incumbent president with serious ground to gain across the country as his re-election campaign kicks into higher gear.

While the campaign tested other Democratic presidential candidates against Trump, Biden polled the best of the group, according the source.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan — three states where Trump edged Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by narrow margins that proved decisive in his victory — Trump trails Biden by double-digits. In three of those states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — Biden’s leads sit outside the poll’s margin of error.

He’s also behind the former vice president in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points.

In Texas, where a Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t won since President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Trump leads by just 2 points.

Portions of the internal Trump polling data were first reported by ABC News and the New York Times. The Times reported earlier this month that the internal polling found Trump trailing across a number of key states, while ABC News obtained data showing Trump trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida and holding a small lead in Texas.

The president denied the existence of any negative polling during comments last week in the Oval Office, saying his campaign has “great internal polling” and saying the numbers reported were from “fake polls.”

“We are winning in every single state that we’ve polled. We’re winning in Texas very big. We’re winning in Ohio very big. We’re winning in Florida very big,” he said.

“Those are fake numbers. But do you know when you’re going to see that? You’re going to see that on Election Day.”

His campaign staff downplayed the results as old news in statements to NBC News. The polling was conducted between March 13 and March 28.

Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s campaign pollster, dismissed the data as “incomplete and misleading,” representing a “worst-case scenario in the most unfavorable turnout model possible.”

He added that a “more likely turnout model patterned after 2016” with a defined Democratic candidate shows a “competitive” race with Trump “leading.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s criticism focused on the poll’s age.

“These leaked numbers are ancient, in campaign terms, from months-old polling that began in March before two major events had occurred: the release of the summary of the Mueller report exonerating the President, and the beginning of the Democrat candidates defining themselves with their far-left policy message,” he said.

Parscale also claimed the campaign has seen “huge swings in the President’s favor across the 17 states we have polled, based on the policies espoused by the Democrats.” As an example, he said that a “plan to provide free health care to illegal immigrants results in an 18-point swing toward President Trump.”

The Trump campaign subsequently provided another quote from Parscale that echoed the president’s comments from last week.

“All news about the President’s polling is completely false. The President’s new polling is extraordinary and his numbers have never been better,” the statement said



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