--BATTLE OF THE SENATORS: After Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign gloated yesterday that they are poaching Rand Paul and Ron Paul supporters, Rand Paul attacked Cruz. In an interview with Fox News Radio, Paul took issue with Cruz's behavior on the Senate floor and his attacks against House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ABC's JESSICA HOPPER reports. "Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the senate, and as a consequence he can't get anything done legislatively," Paul said. "He is pretty much done for and stifled and it's really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem. I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing , I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it's just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result."
--WORD FROM TEAM RAND: When asked by ABC News earlier about reports that Cruz was taking Paul supporters, Rand Paul's campaign spokesman, Sergio Gor, responded: "No one represents the values of Liberty better then Senator Rand Paul. While others tout a handful of supporters, the vast majority remain committed to Senator Paul and his fight to restore liberty in 2016."
--MORE TROUBLE BREWING FOR RAND PAUL SUPER PACS: Just weeks after the leader of a Super PAC supporting Rand Paul was indicted, it was revealed that another Super PAC supporting the Kentucky senator and presidential hopeful has been dormant since June. Politico first reported today that Purple PAC, a Super PAC founded by Ed Crane, has not been actively fundraising for Paul. "We haven't really been actively soliciting money until we feel the Purple PAC and Rand are on the same page," Purple PAC leader Ed Crane told ABC News. Crane said that the Super PAC hasn't shut down, but other than a $10,000 contest, the PAC hasn't raised or spent any money to help Paul since June. More details from ABC's JESSICA HOPPER: http://abcn.ws/1OFez6U
--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: Did the takeaways from Pope Francis' visit just change? Should they? A trip marked for its liberal bent, with the pope urging action on climate change and a more welcoming environment for immigrants and the poor, also had a personal visit between the pope and Kim Davis squeezed in, at least according to Davis' lawyer. The Vatican's no-comment might mean the pope doesn't want observers to read too much into such a meeting. It's little surprise that this or any pope would stand up against gay marriage. But having spent time with this particular county clerk - the very public face of outright defiance of the US Supreme Court - has specific ramifications that surely the pope and those around him are aware of. Maybe that was the point - in which case conservatives have every bit as much of the right to cite this papal visit's political message as their liberal friends.
POLLING NOTE: DIVISIONS MARK TRUMP'S POPULARITY. A growing gender gap, sharp racial polarization and a less-educated base of support all pose potential limits on Donald Trump's popularity -- challenges largely avoided by Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, the two lesser-known figures in the triumvirate of non-traditional GOP contenders, ABC's GARY LANGER and GREG HOLYK note. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll also finds Trump with no clear ideological home and very weak popularity outside his political party. Carson and Fiorina are better positioned on these, as well. While Trump's better known, their support profiles are much broader. Americans overall see Carson favorably rather than unfavorably by an 18-point margin, 45-27 percent. (The rest have no opinion). There's a closer division on Fiorina, 35-30 percent, +5. Trump, by contrast, is seen favorably by 35 percent of Americans but unfavorably by 60 percent -- a 25-point net negative score. http://abcn.ws/1VpeoeX
DIGGING INTO THE DETAILS: Trump does far better among Republicans, 62-34 percent, favorable-unfavorable; that +28-point rating within the GOP is similar to Fiorina's +20 points (47-27 percent). But both are surpassed by Carson, seen favorably by 68-14 percent among Republicans, +54 percentage points. It's outside the party that Trump falters in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Independents see him unfavorably by a 29-point margin, Democrats by a vast 64 points. Carson and Fiorina, by contrast, are +23 and +6 points, respectively, among independents, and -14 and -9 among Democrats. http://abcn.ws/1VpeoeX
TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: It's a jam packed day in the Granite State with Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush all in the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire. This morning in Manchester, Bush will hold a drug recovery community roundtable and a town hall tonight in Bedford. It will be just 30 minutes before Trump's own town hall in Keene. Carson holds a town hall this afternoon in Durham and this evening holds a meet and greet with doctors in New Castle. Meanwhile, both John Kasich and Bobby Jindal are in Iowa. Kasich holds a noon town hall in Davenport. In the afternoon he stops by House of Hope, a social services organization in Cedar Rapids. In the evening, he holds a town hall also in Cedar Rapids. In the afternoon, Jindal holds a meet and greet in Sigourney and in the evening he holds a town hall in Iowa City.
HAPPENING TODAY: The State Department releases the next batch of Hillary Clinton's e-mails. State will drop approximately 6,000 pages of new emails this afternoon. This batch will represent 12 percent of all the 52,000 pages in its possession and will bring the total percentage of her email released to 37.
ABC's RICK KLEIN AND ESPN's ANDY KATZ LAUNCH POLITICAL SPORTS SHOW FOR SIRIUSXM. ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and ESPN Senior Correspondent Andy Katz, will launch a new limited-run show exclusively for SiriusXM. Inspired by their ESPN podcast Capital Games, the duo's new SiriusXM show -- The Arena -- will invite some of the biggest names from the sports and political worlds to examine how sports-related topics can drive the agenda in D.C. The one-hour weekly series will begin its 6-show run on October 2 on SiriusXM's non-partisan political channel, POTUS (124). The Arena's inaugural guest will be former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The presidential candidate sat down with Klein and Katz to discuss the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins team name and the challenges faced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
with ABC's PAOLA CHAVEZ and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES GET CREATIVE -- AND DESPERATE -- IN LAST-MINUTE FUNDRAISING PITCHES. As the Super Moon cast its blood orange glow across the night sky the other night, some religious leaders said it was a sign of a looming apocalyptic deadline. Back on earth, in the depths of campaign headquarters across the country, fear of a different date was nigh -- the stroke of midnight tonight, also known as the third quarter Federal Election Commission filing deadline, notes ABC's MEREDITH MCGRAW. You're "running out of time" wrote Ben Carson's campaign. "There's so much on the line" emailed George P. Bush on behalf of his dad Jeb. The "deadline is approaching" said Lindsey Graham's campaign. And "friend," wrote Sen. Cory Booker on behalf of Hillary Clinton -- "she needs us." Midnight marks the close of books for the October quarterly financial reports, which cover campaign disbursements and donations from July 1 to Sept. 30. And as is the case right before every big fundraising deadline, staffers and surrogates have been reaching out to supporters with increasing frequency, warning them of what is at stake for their candidate. Their reputation! Their competitive edge! The fate of the entire campaign! Many of the breathless pleas for cash struck notes of near desperation, while others pitched less doom and gloom. http://abcn.ws/1QKDDan
WHAT MAKES BEN CARSON SUPPORTERS TICK? More Republicans want Ben Carson in the White House than ever. Over the weekend Carson pulled neck and neck with Donald Trump in the latest NBC/WSJ national poll -- his highest polling numbers yet. In recent days, he also surpassed Trump in Facebook followers by more than 50,000. And that's not an isolated incident -- Carson gained 966,430 Facebook followers in the week after the Sept. 16 GOP debate alone. Carson sparked controversy Sept. 21 when he declared that he didn't believe a Muslim could be president of the United States. Nevertheless, Carson is on the rise. ABC News reached out to six Carson supporters and asked why they were so committed to seeing him in the White House. Here's what they told us, courtesy of ABC's MADISON JAROS and PAOLA CHAVEZ: http://abcn.ws/1iKDGHW
TOM BRADY WALKS BACK SUPPORT OF 'FRIEND' DONALD TRUMP. Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady isn't ready to stand behind his friend, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump. In an interview Monday with Boston sports radio station WEEI, Brady said his comments about Trump were blown out of proportion. "It's just a different world than when I started in professional football," Brady said, ABC'S JOHN SANTUCCI notes. "Even an off-handed comment like that, like you said, that people may run with. And I understand why people do run with it because you get the clicks and that type of stuff. It's just people doing their job. A comment like that, I try to have fun with certain things." http://abcn.ws/1NZruz0
NOTED: TRUMP SAYS HE HAS FALL BACK PLAN. With summer over, so might be the "Summer of Trump" -- and now the man himself appears to be accepting it might not be a kind fall. "This is going to be an ebb and flow, how can I continue to lead by such wide margins?," Donald Trump told NBC's "Today Show" Tuesday. According to ABC'S JOHN SANTUCCI, the GOP front-runner's once dominant lead in the polls has been shifting. http://abcn.ws/1QJWyBX
AFTER AVOIDING TRUMP ALL SUMMER, MARCO RUBIO STRIKES BACK. While other GOP candidates this summer were busy calling Donald Trump a "fake conservative" or saying they'd "beat his brains out," Marco Rubio was keeping his head down at times even avoiding to utter Trump's name. Not anymore. After months of playing coy, Rubio is fighting back. ABC'S INES DELACUETARA has more. http://abcn.ws/1KOV98K
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
CRAFTY 2016 CAMPAIGN GEAR SEEMS TO LEAN LEFT. The political season is heating up, and so is the sale of candidate- and campaign- inspired merchandise. On the website Etsy, featuring handmade items and local vendors, a quick search for "Bernie Sanders" yields 708 results. "Hillary Clinton" gets 723 hits, including 284 items under "clothing" alone. ABC'S MARYALICE PARKS reports, unlike standard campaign-issued paraphernalia, these homemade and specialty items are designed by local artists, often without the knowledge or approval of the campaigns whose candidates they feature. http://abcn.ws/1O09jcy
@mkraju: Good @BresPolitico @apalmerdc on the GOP glass ceiling. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/gop-glass-ceiling-remains-unbreakable-214226 ...
@ZekeJMiller: Rubio "Guest Skimms" today: " I'm obsessed with football at every level." http://www.theskimm.com/skimm-your-candidate/marco-rubio ...
@realDonaldTrump: Rubio is totally owned by the lobbyists and special interests. A lightweight senator with the worst voting record in Senate. Lazy!
@rebeccaballhaus: Clinton Global Initiative struggled to attract some top names this year amid controversy surrounding foundation: http://wsj.com/articles/signs-of-fatigue-set-in-at-clinton-global-initiative-1443607201 ...
@ThePlumLineGS: .@TomSteyer writes memo to CNN, demands first Dem debate focus on climate. Here's why he's right: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/29/voters-dont-care-that-much-about-climate-change-democrats-should-talk-about-it-anyway/ ...