Trump solidifies lead among GOP

Donald Trump occupies his strongest position yet in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, yet nearly two-thirds of American voters say they are concerned or frightened about the prospect of a Trump presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News nationwide poll.

The poll was taken largely before his statement on Monday proposing to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S.

On the Democratic side, the poll found Hillary Clinton is maintaining her 20-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The possibility of her winning the presidency is only marginally more palatable to voters than that of Trump.

Trump commands the support of 35 percent of Republican primary voters, leading his closest competitors, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (16 percent) and Ben Carson (13 percent) by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida's support stands at 9 percent, with the rest of the candidates at 4 percent or less.

new york times

Trump scraps plan to visit Israel

Trump has scrapped a planned trip Dec. 28 to Israel, saying he will reschedule "after I become President." The trip had become problematic for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Associated Press

Trump lashes out at British petition

Trump has lashed out at a petition seeking to bar him from entering Britain on the basis of laws against hate speech, saying that politicians there should thank him rather than "pandering to political correctness." The petition had garnered more than 400,000 signatures as of Thursday morning, easily passing the threshold of 100,000 supporters that requires Parliament to consider debating the issue.

new york times

Iowa evangelical endorses Cruz

A prominent evangelical leader in Iowa has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. Bob Vander Plaats, head of the conservative Family Leader, said he will back Cruz.

Washington post

Clinton wins a union endorsement

The largest union representing federal employees endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling her a "a powerful ally in the ongoing fight to raise wages, create good jobs, expand benefits, and preserve workplace rights." The American Federation of Government Employees said it made a choice after interviewing Clinton and rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Washington post