--DEBATE DAY COUNTDOWN: A new Quinnipiac University poll out this morning shows Donald Trump continuing to hold a commanding lead in the GOP field. According to Quinnipiac: "Trump's 20 percent is the largest tally for a Republican contender in any national poll by the independent Quinnipiac University. Behind Trump are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 10 percent. No other Republican tops 6 percent and 12 percent are undecided." Fox News, which is hosting the first presidential debate one week from today, says it will choose the top 10 candidates from the five most recent national polls, and middle-of-the-pack candidates are jockeying for the final spots on the debate stage, ABC's RYAN STRUYK notes. http://bit.ly/1IqPKUa
--THE TAKE ON TRUMP: According to today's poll, 30 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support Trump -- the largest share of any GOP candidate. "They love him and they hate him. Donald Trump triumphs on the stump so far, but do voters really want him? Maybe not so much," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
--ACCORDING TO AN ABC ANALYSIS OF FIVE RECENT NATIONAL POLLS, a post-announcement surge to 5 percent in this morning's poll has earned Ohio Gov. John Kasich the 10th and final podium, for now. Kasich bumped former Gov. Rick Perry from the stage, who had held the final spot before this morning's poll. New Jersey Gov. Christie watches his back: In danger of losing his own spot in the debate, Christie is hanging onto 9th place by just four-tenths of a percentage point.
--WHO'S IN: Trump, Bush, Walker, Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.
--ON THE BUBBLE: Christie, Kasich, Perry, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal.
--WHO'S OUT: Fiorina, Pataki, Graham.
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT IN THE NOTE: "DONALD TRUMP IS THE NICKELBACK OF GOP CANDIDATES." From FiveThirtyEight's NATE SILVER: "Despite what you may have read elsewhere - or heard from the man himself - Donald Trump is not all that popular with Republican voters. Sure, he's in first place in many polls. But Trump is near the back of the pack by another important measure." http://53eig.ht/1KCljOV
BERNIE SANDERS CLAIMS 100,000 INVOLVED IN MEGA-GRASSROOTS EVENT. Bernie Sanders held what he said was the largest grassroots campaign event of the 2016 president race so far Wednesday night, broadcasting a video message over his website to tens of thousands of people at gatherings around the country, ABC's MARYALICE PARKS and ALANA ABRAMSON notes. "Tonight really is an historic night," said Sanders. "To the best of our knowledge, there has never been a political online organizing event this early in the campaign which involved 100,000 people in 3,500 locations in every state in the United States of America. And that's pretty impressive." While those numbers could not be independently verified, there was a good deal of online chatter leading up to the live broadcast. The events were held in bars, backyards and basements. The number of people who RSVP'd to each ranged from four to hundreds of people. A few hundred people gathered at a downtown bar in New York City on 4th Avenue in what was hailed as one of the largest gatherings. Prior to Sanders' speech the crowd shouted out the reasons they were supporting Sanders, citing paid family leave, free college and overturning Citizens United. http://abcn.ws/1I35EXY
--WHAT BERNIE IS SAYING: "We never dreamed that this campaign would move as quickly as it has and in fact the problem that we are having is that the campaign is moving much faster than our political infrastructure," Sanders said after his video message. "We have been in this campaign all of three months. We started with nothing, zero."
HILLARY CLINTON CALLS PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEOS 'DISTURBING.' Hillary Clinton has staunchly defended Planned Parenthood in the wake of recently released videos that an anti-abortion group claims to show employees with the organization discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue. But, in a new interview, she calls the graphic videos "disturbing" and says there should be a national investigation into that practice, according to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ. "I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing," the Democratic presidential candidate told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Tuesday in regards to the videos, which were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. "Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions." Clinton, however, did not waiver in her overall support of the organization. http://abcn.ws/1gmvz3T
ATTORNEY, DONALD TRUMP TANGLE OVER BREAST MILK PUMPING CLAIMS. Donald Trump has responded to allegations he had a "meltdown" when a lawyer asked for a break from a deposition to pump breast milk for her newborn daughter by saying the attorney, Elizabeth Beck, wanted to pump in front of him. In an interview with ABC News, Beck called the claims "not true" and explained she had been pumping in a private conference room during the week of the deposition, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE reports. "They don't cite any support," Beck said. "I was, for example, not in a state of undress." Trump told CNN Wednesday, "She wanted to breast pump in front of me and I may have said that's disgusting, I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible." Beck said she instead gestured to her pump to explain why she needed to take a break, but stressed she was always going to "pump in private." It was then Beck said Trump had a "meltdown." "He completely lost it," she said. "And he left, ran out of there and the lawyers were just standing there with their mouths hanging open. He didn't return." http://abcn.ws/1OPcuCM
PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN ACCUSED OF RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY. The Department of Justice indicted Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah and four associates for their alleged role in a conspiracy that involved misdirecting funds for Fattah's and other's political benefit. In a statement Wednesday, the DOJ said they were charging Fattah, 58, his congressional district director, a lobbyist and two others with 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy and other crimes,ABC's ALI WEINBERG reports. The DOJ detailed several allegations, including that Fattah redirected a political contribution for his own use, tried to repay a campaign consultant by arranging the award of federal grant funds, used campaign funds to repay his son's student loan debt. http://abcn.ws/1I1SZ7v
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOP CANDIDATE #17 JIM GILMORE. Jim Gilmore, the former Virginia governor, filed a statement of candidacy yesterday with the FEC to become the 17th Republican in the race for the GOP nomination. Here's everything you need to know about Gilmore, courtesy of ABC's JILL ORNITZ: http://abcn.ws/1DbIwaJ
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
SENATORS USING EMOTICONS IN FLOOR CHARTS IS NOW A THING. The "shrug" emoticon is just a combination of punctuation marks, but for Senate Democrats like Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, it speaks volumes. Whitehouse brought a sign featuring little more than the now-universal signal for "I don't know" to the Senate floor, as he and some Democratic colleagues discussed what they said was the Republican Party's lack of a plan on climate change, ABC's ALI WEINBERG reports. "We've seen exactly nothing," he said. "That is to say, nothing but complaints." The use of a shrug emoticon is more than just a ploy for a senator to get people tweeting out C-SPAN screengrabs of their floor speeches (which it does) - it's part of an organized policy strategy, said Whitehouse's spokesman Seth Larson. http://abcn.ws/1Is4ruE
@AaronBlakeWP: Voters want someone honest and trustworthy in 2016. They don't think that's Hillary. http://wpo.st/KyrS0
@thehill: Pataki hits Trump on lack of political experience: http://hill.cm/FLFz9pp
@nickconfessore: Inevitable that w/Wall Street so leveraged on Bush, a GOP 2016er would go as populist bank-buster. Interesting that it was Perry, not Cruz.
@carenbohan: Some Repubs gleefully predicted Trump's implosion after his McCain comments. Instead, Trump is surging @jamesoliphant http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/30/us-usa-election-trump-idUSKCN0Q40CC20150730 ...
@SabrinaSiddiqui: "The party will ultimately be defined by the nominee, not by the equivalent of a trashy summer beach novel now." http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/55b7efc9e4b0074ba5a6a43d ...?