Presidential Campaign Swings Into Fall
Presidential Campaign Swings Into Fall

Trump reveals tax plan as Fiorina defends corporate career. Carson jumps in poll.

The leading candidates for president are entering fall with new enthusiasm and a new mission to sell themselves to the American voting public. Those with flagging campaigns and low poll numbers now are feeling the pressure to appear more relevant and to somehow stand out.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump rolled out his ambitious tax plan Monday. The billionaire businessman says the plan will reduce rates for lower and middle-income families and corporations, while increasing rates for some, like hedge fund managers who he asserts don't pay enough, the Associated Press reports.

One of the biggest beneficiaries appears to be families that draw the smallest paychecks. Individuals that make less than $25,000 ($50,000 for married couples) would pay no income taxes under Trump's plan.

"They get a new one-page form to send the IRS saying, 'I win,'" reads Trump's tax plan, referring to those households who will pay no federal income taxes, CNN reports. 

Trump told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that, regarding taxes, “Some very wealthy people are going to be raised. Some people that are getting unfair deductions are going to be raised. But overall it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money.”

Meanwhile, businesswoman Carly Fiorina is embracing a strategy of trying to sell her success as a CEO. That’s proving to be a tough mission as several people have lobbed criticism of her time at HP, including Yale Business School Senior Associate Dean Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and her rival Trump. 

Sonnenfeld, along with many others, say Fiorina's biggest misstep was the expensive and unprofitable merger with Compaq. He says the highly controversial, strategically misguided deal she pushed through dragged the company and its stock down, NPR reports.

“Stapling together the carcasses of ailing businesses is not a successful track record,” Sonnenfeld said.

Trump and Ben Carson are running neck and neck in the national Republican presidential horserace, while Fiorina is tied for third place with Marco Rubio, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s gap with Bernie Sanders has narrowed, NBC reports. She leads him by seven points with Joe Biden in the race, and 15 points without the vice president. That's down from Clinton's 34-point lead over Sanders in July and her enormous 60-point lead in June.

In the GOP race, Trump is the first choice of 21 percent of Republican primary voters, followed by Carson at 20 percent and Rubio and Fiorina tied at 11 percent each.

Jeb Bush is at 7 percent, John Kasich is at 6 percent and Ted Cruz is at 5 percent. No other Republican gets more than 3 percent, NBC reports.

Back in July's NBC/WSJ poll, Trump was in first place at 19 percent, Scott Walker, who exited the race last week, was second at 15 percent, Bush third at 14 percent and Carson fourth at 10 percent. Rubio was at 5 percent, and Fiorina didn't register at all in the poll at that time.

Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is insisting he will continue to pursue the Republican presidential nomination despite speculation he was considering dropping out of the race, his team told the Times-Picayune on Sunday.

Jindal's staff sought to discredit a story in Politico that Jindal planned to quit running, calling the report "B.S." Politico reported that Republican "activists, operatives and strategists" in Iowa had named Jindal and former New York governor George Pataki as the next likely candidates to bow out.