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• Voters tune in, turn off Dems
• Obama gets back to slicing and dicing
• Dems push cash in S.D. squeeze play
• Tightening in the Tar Heel State
• Hey Gandalf, you talkin’ to me?
VOTERS TUNE IN, TURN OFF DEMS
The latest batch of Fox News polls reveal that as voters tune in to midterm contests they’re flipping past Democratic candidates as President Obama’s dire unpopularity takes its toll. In Kansas, where the president sits at 63 percent disapproval, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is turning his race around. Roberts leads independent Greg Orman 44 percent to 39 percent. A mid-September Fox News Poll had Orman leading 48 percent to 42 percent.
[After a slew of unfavorable polls, Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has also rebounded, leading Democrat Paul Davis 46 percent to 40 percent.]
Chill warning - In Alaska, the anti-Obama tide is working to Republican Dan Sullivan’s advantage where 42 percent of Republicans compared to 29 percent of Democrats say they are “extremely” interested in November’s midterms. Sullivan leads Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, 44 percent to 40 percent. After being forced to pull an advertisement accusing Sullivan of being soft on rape and murder, the damage lingers. 53 percent of respondents in the Frontier State say Begich’s attacks have been unfair.
Not even Bubba - President Obama’s 61 percent disapproval rating in Arkansas is translating to a 7-point advantage for Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Cotton leads Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., 46 percent to 39 percent.
All uphill - The unpopularity of ObamaCare could sink Sen. Mark Udall’s, D-Colo., re-election prospects with 52 percent saying the law “went too far.” While Obama held a 54 percent approval during Fox News 2012 exit polling in the state, he now holds a 57 percent disapproval. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Ky., now tops Udall 43 percent to 37 percent.
Can’t ditch Mitch - Independents appear to be giving Senate Minority Mitch McConnell the edge in Kentucky over Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes by a two-to-one margin. McConnell bests Grimes 45 percent to 41 percent.
-- 26 days until Nov. 4 --
OBAMA GETS BACK TO SLICING AND DICING
WaPo: “President Obama is launching a new push Friday to reach out to millennials, the first of several core Democratic constituencies he will try to mobilize in the run-up to next month’s midterm elections. The president will visit a tech incubator in Los Angeles to tout some of his policies that have had the most direct impact on the generation of Americans born between 1978 and 1997, such as the Affordable Care Act and reforms in the student loan program. A senior White House official, who asked not to be identified in order to talk in advance of Thursday’s event, said Obama would focus on some specific demographic groups, including not just millennials, but women, African Americans and Latinos, ‘making the positive case for progress made’ under his tenure as well as pointing out that ‘many of the Republican positions run contrary to the best interests of this general population.’’’
[How bad are things for the president these days? This bad. The headline, the publication and the author combine to a very damaging assist effort.]
Deploy the emoticons! - BuzzFeed: “The White House is preparing a new emoji-based social media campaign to make it’s economic pitch to young people… Starting Thursday, White House social media accounts will blast out charts, graphs, and yes, emojis, aimed at catching the eye of young voters weeks before the November elections… Younger Americans have traditionally been a Democratic base group, and Obama’s team has done a masterful job of turning them out in his presidential campaigns. But college aged voters have much lower turn out rates in non-presidential election years, and the White House is hoping to prop up those numbers during next month’s crucial election that will determine control of the Senate.”
[Washington Examiner: “A new Gallup poll suggests voter turnout will be low in November, with higher Republican turnout predicted… Gallup found enthusiasm higher among the GOP, a result that suggests Democrats may have a more difficult time on get-out-the-vote efforts needed to support their candidates. Among those motivated to vote, 44 percent were Republican and 28 percent were Democrats.”]
BOEHNER: OBAMA ‘CONSCIOUSLY UNCOUPLING FROM REALITY’
House Speaker John Boehner is borrowing a line from Cold Play’s Chris Martin in reference to his separation from actress Gwyneth Paltrow who is hosting a fundraiser for President Obama today. Obama is also making a speech about the economy on what is being labeled an official visit to California. In a post titled “Consciously Uncoupling Rhetoric From Reality,” Boehner smacks the record Obama will try to tout today in California. The Speaker writes, “The American people’s confidence in the president’s economic leadership has sunk to a new low. So what’s he doing about it? According to the White House, he plans to give a speech in California about ‘the progress our economy is making.’ Hmm. That may strike many Californians as odd, given that their state’s unemployment rate has been stuck at 7.4 percent – well above the national average – for the last three months. As a matter of fact, in Los Angeles County, where the president will attend ‘an intimate dinner’ at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, average wages dropped by 1.9 percent last year – one of the biggest drops among the nation’s big counties. … So if anything, California is a microcosm for what a letdown the president’s policies have been, and why so many are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’”
JUST 509 DAYS UNTIL THE TEXAS PRIMARY!
Former President Bill Clinton made a fundraising plea for Texas Democratic Lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Leticia Van de Putte in an e-mail to supporters Wednesday. In the e-mail Clinton writes, “The eyes of the nation are on Texas…This race will be close but we can win it if we fight tooth and nails.”
[First Lady Michelle Obama cut a radio ad Texas Democratic gubernatorial contender Wendy Davis urging supporters to vote “for the children.”]
Hillary hedges - WaPo: “Hillary Rodham Clinton [was] in her hometown Wednesday for a mix of business and politics. She started with the business: a paid speech to a conference of medical device manufacturers. A declared supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Clinton skirted the issue of whether she opposes efforts by the Advanced Medical Technologies Association to repeal the law’s new tax on medical devices. Clinton said she was ‘well aware’ of the group’s position, but that she did ‘not know what the right answer is.’”
[Ummm… - “I have a history with charismatic, attractive men, they just wear me out.” – Hillary Clinton addressing Chicago’s Economic Club Wednesday.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
One pollster did not trust people to honestly answer his poll questions, so he actually went to their homes and observed their behavior. What did he find? He concluded that people want frivolous celebrity news instead of serious news, like stories in which they could see themselves and advertising that appeared to be part of the content. Who was the pollster? It was George Gallup himself in 1928. The Atlantic takes a deep dive on Gallup’s 1928 thesis on the future of news and how many of his predictions have come to fruition.
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 42.9 percent//Disapprove – 52.7 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.4 percent//Wrong Track – 64.1 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 43.2 percent// Republicans – 44.8 percent
[Always Election Day: Early voting begins today in Arizona ]
ROBERTS CRACKS THE WHIP IN KANSAS DEBATE
Kansas City [Kan.] Star: “Sen. Pat Roberts [R-Kan.] escalated his war of words with independent opponent Greg Orman on Wednesday during their second scheduled debate…‘Trying to get Greg Orman’s position on an issue, any issue, is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall,’ Roberts said. ‘Kansas needs someone in the Senate with conviction and backbone. My opponent has neither.’ For the most part, Orman did not return the rhetorical fire. Instead, he continued his criticism that Democrats, Roberts and the incumbent’s fellow Republicans contribute to Washington gridlock. ‘Both parties are failing Kansas,’ Orman said. ‘I’m running as an independent to reject the false choices that the two-party system has presented us with’…Roberts repeatedly referred to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, accusing both of stalling progress on tax reform and enforcing immigration laws. Orman said he had supported Republicans in the past but eventually decided neither party was fully committed to fixing the country. Orman also repeated his pledge to oppose both Democrat Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, if either seeks election to a leadership position next year. Roberts called Orman’s refusal to pledge to either Senate party ‘rather ridiculous.’’’
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel joins Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on his campaign bus to get the latest on the race.]
New Super PAC pumps Orman’s independence – A new group, Committee to Elect an Independent Senate is hitting the air in Kansas to tout Orman as “true independent.” The group’s treasurer, Thomas Layton, is a founding member, along with Orman, of the Common Sense Coalition, that is also backing South Dakota Independent Larry Pressler.
DEMS PUSH CASH IN SOUTH DAKOTA IN SQUEEZE PLAY ON ROUNDS
Argus [S.D.] Leader: “Outside money is pouring in to South Dakota's Senate race as Democrats see a chance to win an election long led by Republican nominee Mike Rounds…A day after outside Super PACs announced plans to spend $2 million on behalf of Rick Weiland, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it would put $1 million of its own money into the state. That's a lot of money for South Dakota, where Rounds had $1.1 million in the bank for the final month and has spent less than $800,000 on television ads all year. All this comes as polls show Rounds' support in the 30s, with independent Larry Pressler and Weiland each in striking distance of victory.”
[Washington Examiner’s David Drucker digs into national Republicans concerns over Rounds’ lackluster campaign: “Republicans monitoring the race told the Washington Examiner that they trust internal surveys being conducted by GOP pollster Glen Bolger. Bolger has a good track record in South Dakota and counts Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., as a client, including during his competitive Senate campaigns in 2002 and 2004… Those internal polls, Republicans say, show their nominee, former Gov. Mike Rounds, with a low double-digit lead of 11 to 14 percentage points over independent Larry Pressler and Democrat Rick Weiland… Republicans concede that they are concerned with the recent trend and confirmed that party strategists are working on a strategy to shore up support for Rounds. Thune is expected to hit the campaign trail for Rounds between now and Election Day, a potentially important asset if the race stays close.”]
LANDRIEU DUMPS LONGTIME CAMPAIGN MANAGER
New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Facing the toughest battle of her political career, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is replacing her campaign manager and bringing in experienced hands from her previous three successful Senate runs to help with the final push for the Nov. 4th open primary. Campaign staffers confirmed the changes on Wednesday. Adam Sullivan, who had been campaign manager, is leaving that role but continuing as an advisor to the campaign. He has been replaced as campaign manager by Ryan Berni, who ran Mayor Mitch Landrieu's successful February, 2014 re-election campaign and previously served as the mayor's communications director. Mitch Landrieu is Sen. Landrieu's brother. Berni also served as chief of staff to [Fox News Contributor] James Carville, the Democratic consultant and currently Tulane University political science professor. Norma Jane Sabiston, Landrieu's former chief of staff, who was a key player in her three previous Senate races, is joining the current campaign team as a senior advisor.”
Louisiana - Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will try to pump up long-shot Republican challenger Rob Maness tonight in a debate as part of a bid to weaken the frontrunner in the race. The Times-Picayune reports “leading Republican challenger Bill Cassidy declined an invitation to the debate. He will be campaigning in Alexandria instead.” Tonight’s debate is set for 6 p.m. EST and can be seen live here.
North Carolina - Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., squares off with Republican challenger Thom Tillis and Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh, in a final televised debate tonight at 7 p.m. ET. WNCN will stream the debate live.
Illinois - Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill., and Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner meet for a debate at 7 p.m. ET tonight. The debate will air live on WSIU-TV and radio.
Colorado - Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper faces Republican Bob Beauprez. KUSA-TV will air the one hour debate slated for 8 p.m. ET.
BROWN BRINGS MORE BUCKS THAN SHAHEEN
N.H. Journal: “[N.H.] Republican Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate campaign raised more than $3.6 million in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 30, a campaign adviser told the New Hampshire Journal. At the end of the second quarter, on June 30, Brown’s campaign had reported raising a total of $2.38 million since he became a candidate. With $3.6 million raised from July 1 through Sept. 30, Brown raised a campaign total so far of about $6 million…He raised about $100,000 more than Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s [D-N.H.] campaign in the three-month period but she has far out-raised him in total. Shortly after the Brown fund-raising disclosure, the Shaheen campaign announced it raised $3.5 million in the third quarter and also had $3.5 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.”
[The latest WMUR Poll has Shaheen leading Brown 47 percent to 41 percent. A similar August survey had the two tied.]
COTTON BOASTS RECORD CASH HAUL
National Journal: “…Rep. Tom Cotton [R-Ark.] raised $3.8 million for his Senate bid against incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor in the third quarter of 2014, Cotton's campaign told National Journal, setting a state record and putting the GOP challenger in a good financial position for the last four weeks of the campaign…The Cotton campaign did not disclose its cash-on-hand figure; Pryor's campaign has yet to release its fundraising figures for the third quarter. Last quarter, Cotton outraised Pryor by almost $800,000: Cotton brought in $2.28 million from April to June, compared with $1.5 million for Pryor.”
Army training, sir! - In his latest ad Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., points to his military background saying, “In the Army, they trained us that leaders don’t sit quietly on the back bench and hope someone else solves their problems. Real leaders do their duty, they take responsibility, and they tackle problems head on.”
UNDEBATABLE: NO FACE OFF FOR PETERS AND LAND
WXYZ: “It appears the people of Michigan will not get a debate between the candidates for U.S. Senate. Both [Democrat] Gary Peters and [Republican] Terri Lynn Land are announcing they’ve accepted a debate that would have been moderated by WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. The problem is they’ve both accepted different debate terms. Neither camp has been able to come to an agreement on what kind of debate they will do together. As a result, no debate currently exits.”
TIGHTENING IN THE TAR HEEL STATE
The latest USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll puts the North Carolina Senate contest in a statistical tie. According to the survey, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., leads Republican Thom Tillis 46.8 percent to 45.4 percent with Hagan dragging a 42 percent job approval rating, just one point better than President Obama’s in the state.
Hagan hits back over military attack - Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., has released an ad blasting Republican Thom Tillis for his ad attacking her over commitment to North Carolina’s military. Hagan appears in the spot stating, “Speaker Tillis should be ashamed for running an ad that says I would let our soldiers die in vain. That is outrageous. North Carolina’s military family is my family. My husband served and I have two nephews on active duty.”
PICK SIX: A TURN AROUND FOR TILLIS?
Republicans need to gain six seats to take control of the Senate. Which six Democrat-held seats are the most vulnerable? Based off of your e-mails and tweets, here are the top picks of Fox News First readers: Arkansas (13.7%), Montana (13.2%), West Virginia (12.4%), South Dakota (12%) , Louisiana (11.8%), and Alaska (8.7%). Reader Jack Burnish feels Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., will hold on writing, “[time] for [Republican Thom Tillis] to turn it around, but unlikely.”
FRIENDLY FIRE: CENTRIST DEMS DITCH PELOSI
The Hill: “Facing tough election contests in November, a handful of centrist Democrats are targeting Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in hopes the message will resound with voters put off by the polarizing House minority leader…Rep. John Barrow (D), for instance, is running ads in Georgia's 12th District designed to trumpet his independence from Democratic leaders, particularly Pelosi. ‘I voted 54 percent of the time with Speaker [John] Boehner [R-Ohio] … and I voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker,’ Barrow says in one ad.”
[A shorter take on the Politico piece touting late Dem efforts in the House: “Give us more so we can lose less.”]
PLANT CLOSURES COULD JOLT DEM CAMPAIGNS
A report out today by the Institute for Energy Research may not be welcome news for vulnerable Democrats in coal states. The report finds the EPA’s latest regulations against carbon emissions will close plants generating nearly 72.7 gigawatts of power with Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia being hardest hit. “President Obama's plan, written by the NRDC and blessed by the Sierra Club's 'Beyond Coal' campaign, will needlessly pick the pockets of hard working Americans in the form of higher electricity prices.” said IER President Thomas Pyle.
[Listen to Fox: Claims of voter irregularities in Georgia, fight night in Colorado and the magic number in Louisiana are all part of this weeks “Balance of Power” podcast.]
THE JUDGE’S RULING: UNLIKELY STORIES
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano examines the legal maneuverings to justify warrantless spying: “what happens when the spying uncovers ordinary criminal behavior unrelated to national security? In order to keep its hands clean, so to speak, the NSA sends that evidence to the DOJ, whose lawyers and agents in cahoots with the NSA then concoct an explanation as to how the DOJ came upon the evidence. Of course, that explanation curiously and carefully omits the mention of domestic spying.”
HEY GANDALF, YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?
As if there weren’t enough weird people on the subways of New York, an estimated 130,000 science fiction, comic and cartoon enthusiasts are expected for New York Comic Con starting today. That means a lot of adults dressed up in costumes, some intended to be appealing, others just confusing . Adding extra buzz is that finally, the community of grownups in rubber suits will be combined with the world of philatelists as the USPS debuts a Batman stamp in honor of the hero’s 75th anniversary. If there has ever been a moment for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to pay a visit like this one, the time is now. Your city needs you, Triumph!
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Maybe [President Obama will] get a second Nobel Peace Prize for that.” –Charles Krauthammer on “The Kelly File” on agreement between former President Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Dick Cheney on Obama’s failure to confront Islamists in Iraq and Syria soon enough. Watch
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.