**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
• Shorter Obama: Don’t worry, distancing Dems are lying
• Shaheen shifts stance on Ebola ban
• New PAC ties Obama golf to national security blunders
• No Labels: Manchin in ad that calls Republican a ‘prostitute’
• You gotta start somewhere
SHORTER OBAMA: DON’T WORRY, DISTANCING DEMS ARE LYING
If you didn’t know better, you’d think that President Obama was actually trying to hurt red-state Democrats. First he contradicted the candidates in a dozen Senate races from Alaska to Georgia who claimed his policies weren’t on the ballot. “Make no mistake,” the president said at a campaign stop on Oct. 2, “[his] policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” The message: A vote for a Democrat is a vote for his agenda. Pretty bad when the president’s policies are consistently unpopular, right? And viewers are already hearing the line repeated in campaign ads. But Democrats were at least still free to disagree with him and highlight their disagreements. Back in Chicago on Monday, though, Obama closed off even that line of retreat.
In an interview with Al Sharpton, an MSNBC host who is also an adviser to his administration, the president defended the Democrats who were disrespecting him on the campaign trail, including one who even refused to say that she voted for Obama over Mitt Romney, in 2012. Sharpton wondered how Obama felt about hustling to raise big money for candidates who won’t even be seen with him. “The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress,” Obama said. “So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. I tell them -- I said, ‘You do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.’” Can you imagine a politician saying that? If you really did encourage your fellow Democrats to publicly scorn you but privately support you, why would you tell?
The answer is in the phrase “making sure that our voters turn out.” The president and his party are trying to reprise the 2012 election in 2014, but the atmosphere is wholly different. First, except in Georgia and a couple of other races, Democrats have not yet succeeded in suppressing turnout among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. The focus in most of the races remains on Obama policies, and especially on the dominant issues of the past several weeks, that has been bad news. With Republicans mobilized and independents breaking against the majority party, a base-pumping drive is of marginal value. The president, evidently concerned that black voters and other parts of his 2012 coalition were sitting out the election in deference to his feelings, wanted it known that dissident Democrats had his permission to badmouth him.
DEMS NOT TURNING UP TURN OUT?
NYT: “Early voting is underway in Nevada, and the numbers look bad for Democrats. Republicans and Democrats have voted in nearly equal numbers in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, where Democrats have a 13-point registration advantage. Only 10,000 voters have turned out, compared with 17,000 who turned out on the first day of 2010. Nevada isn’t alone. The early voting numbers, a possible indicator of overall turnout, also look bad for Democrats in Ohio… The big drop-offs highlight that, even in 2010, Democrats were mobilizing large numbers of voters who wouldn’t have participated in a less competitive contest. Or put another way: There’s nothing about new Democratic voters in Iowa that proves the Democrats are better at mobilizing voters in the battleground states than they were four years ago.”
[WaPo looks at how the GOP is stepping up its ground game in crucial battleground Senate contests.]
SHAHEEN SHIFTS STANCE ON EBOLA BAN AHEAD OF DEBATE
WaPo: “Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said through a spokesman Monday that she is open to a temporary travel ban from countries fighting Ebola, the latest Democrat to recalibrate their position on the issue… more and more Democrats are warming up to the idea of a temporary travel ban to prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States, an idea some Republicans have been pushing for weeks. Last week, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn endorsed the idea after their Republican opponents came out in support of a travel ban.”
[Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown are slated to debate tonight in New Hampshire.]
Maybe he’s getting fitted for a hazmat suit - Fox News: “America’s newly appointed Ebola ‘czar’ is not yet in the House — at least not the ones on Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill. Ron Klain, appointed last Friday by President Obama to direct the nation's response to the Ebola crisis, sent his regrets Monday to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which had invited him to testify this Friday, a committee aide told Fox News.” But Politico reports today that Klain may have other things on his mind: He is said to be getting groomed as a new senior adviser to the president after John Podesta moves on to a full-time role on Planet Hillary.
[The Hill: “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) plans to introduce legislation banning travel between the U.S. and three West African countries hardest hit by the deadly Ebola virus, his office announced Monday…]
Part of Sheriff Joe’s posse - Lloyd Green looks at the rise of Ron Klain and the growing influence of Vice President Joe Biden in the turmoil of the Obama White House.
KASICH: OBAMACARE CAN STILL BE REPEALED
WaPo: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is pushing back on reports that he'd said Obamacare was here to stay, saying Monday night that he opposes the federal health-care law and believes it could be repealed and replaced under a Republican president and GOP-controlled Congress. ‘I don't back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed,’ he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. Kasich added, ‘If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced.’ The Republican's remarks came after the Associated Press reported earlier Monday that the governor said he did not think the health-care law could be repealed. Kasich and his spokesman denied that the governor was referring to the Affordable Care Act. He was talking about Medicaid expansion, they said.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Rule, Britannia! On this day in 1805, Lord Horatio Nelson, Vice Admiral of the White and commander of the British fleet, took on combined French and Spanish forces off the coast of Spain’s Cape Trafalgar. Nelson, his fleet the only obstacle standing in the way of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s desire to invade England, would give his life that day in a sea battle that is the stuff of legend. Eyewitness to History recounts: “From his perch in the upper rigging of the Redoubtable, a French sharpshooter took aim at a prized target on the deck of the Victory, fired and sent a musket ball into Nelson’s left shoulder…Nelson was carried below decks while the battle raged on. He lived long enough to hear the news of the Redoubtable's surrender and of his fleet’s victory after four and one-half hours of combat” After the battle, Nelson’s body was encased in a large casket called a leaguer which was then filled with brandy as a preservative for the trip home. The hero of Trafalgar was given a state funeral and laid to rest in the crypt at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Lord Nelson’s coffin was made from the timber of a French ship he defeated in battle.
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.4 percent//Disapprove – 53.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 26.7 percent//Wrong Track – 63.7 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 43.2 percent// Republicans – 46.6 percent
-- 14 days until Nov. 4 --
NEW PAC TIES OBAMA GOLF TO NATIONAL SECURITY BLUNDERS
The conservative group B-PAC juxtaposes images of golf with President Obama’s foreign policy shortcomings in a new ad supporting Colo. Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner. “The time for playing games is over. Vote for Cory Gardner, ” the ad says. B-PAC will release a version of the spot in Iowa in the coming days and is spending $350,000 to back spots in each state. The group, which says a “Republican Senate can break through Washington gridlock” has run ads in Iowa and Michigan this cycle.
Hillary tries Rocky Mountain rescue - Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton will headline a get-out-the-vote rally for embattled Sen. Tom Udall, today in Colorado. The rally marks Clinton’s second appearance in recent weeks for Udall who is locked in a close contest with Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. First Lady Michelle Obama heads to the Centennial State Thursday to stump for Udall in Denver and Fort Collins.
SHAHEEN IMPORTS WARREN TO BATTLE BROWN
Boston Globe: “The leaves are turning. [New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate] Scott Brown is driving his pickup truck. And [Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,] is on the attack against him. But it’s not 2012. Warren, who unseated Scott Brown two years ago, is set to go after an old nemesis this weekend, when she will campaign for Senator Jeanne Shaheen [D-N.H.]”
Back and forth over energy - Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has released an ad ripping Republican Scott Brown for being beholden to the interests of big oil and Wall Street as Brown hits Shaheen over failing to deliver on her promise to lower energy costs in the Granite State in a new ad.
Vets group blasts Shaheen over reform boasts - Concerned Veterans of America is putting six-figures towards a campaign hitting Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for airing advertisements in which she touts her record on veteran’s reform. The conservative group’s ad points to Shaheen’s unwillingness to meet with the group, not being on the committee that wrote the reform legislation and refusing to co-sponsor key reforms until after the VA scandal broke. “We are trying to correct the record about things Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has been saying about how she has been leading the charge on veterans issues,” says the group’s CEO Pete Hegseth in a video. “While Sen. Shaheen has been good on a lot of veterans issues, it’s just not true that she led the fight for the recent reform that passed Congress.”
[Boston Herald: “U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen clings to a tenuous 3-point lead over GOP challenger Scott Brown but falls short of the magic 50 percent mark… an exclusive new Suffolk University-Boston Herald poll reveals. With just a little more than two weeks before Election Day, the Democratic incumbent leads Brown by a 49-46 percent margin… Brown's support has increased by 7 points since June.”]
HAGAN’S HUSBAND BACK IN HEADLINES
Washington Free Beacon: “Just a week after Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) recommended a North Carolina judge to President Barack Obama for a seat in the U.S. District Court, the judge ruled in favor of a company partially owned by Hagan’s husband. The senator’s husband, Charles T. ‘Chip’ Hagan, was a managing member of Hydrodyne Industries LLC when it sued a regional water authority for drawing water out of a river that had one of its hydroelectric dams built on…. Superior Court Judge Calvin E. Murphy ruled the case in favor of Hydrodyne … Murphy’s ruling was made on Oct. 23, 2009, just nine days after Sen. Hagan sent his name to Obama to be nominated for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina. Hagan withdrew her recommendation to Obama after North Carolina’s News and Record contacted her office about the apparent conflict of interest, telling the paper that she “was not aware that Judge Murphy was hearing a case in which my husband had an interest.””
Big spending to hold Hagan’s seat - Washington Examiner: “This year’s North Carolina Senate race is shaping up to be one of America’s first $100 million Senate races. By the time Nov. 4 rolls around, money spent or committed to the race between Democratic U.S. Sen Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis is supposed to top $103 million, according to analysis by the Charlotte Observer. Three-quarters of the money comes from both party and interest groups, while more than $22 million comes from groups that don’t disclose their donors, known as ‘dark money’ groups. Hagan’s campaign has spent $19.6 million, being backed by $35 million from outside groups. Tillis’ campaign has spent only $6 million, but outside groups have sent more than $42 million his way.”
DSCC says Tillis would ban birth control - In their latest ad, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee rips Republican Thom Tillis for cutting funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood and his pro-life views.
ROMNEY TO RALLY FOR ROBERTS
AP: “Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney plans to campaign for [Republican] Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in suburban Kansas City next week, the latest national figure working to save the embattled three-term incumbent. Romney is to headline a rally with Roberts next Monday at the Prairie Fire shopping and residential complex in Overland Park.” Democrat-backed independent candidate Greg Orman has touted his support for Romney in 2012 as evidence of his independence.
Telling schedule change - Greg Orman has nixed a scheduled campaign appearance with Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis for a weekend rally, sending his wife Sybil, instead.
VETS GROUP SPENDS BIG BUCKS TO DEFEND BRALEY ON MISSED MEETINGS
Pro-Democrat VoteVets Action Fund is putting $1.25 million towards ads defending Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, over missing meetings of the Veterans Affairs Committee prior to the revelation of a massive scandal at the agency. The group deploys veterans of World War II and Korea to defend the former frontrunner.
Remember, it’s B-R-A-L-E-Y - First Lady Michelle Obama returns to Iowa next Tuesday to rally support for Democrat Bruce Braley and will campaign later that day for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
Dems on defense in Iowa sleeper race - Fox News: “Not only is [Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley] locked in a tough race against Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst, but the Republican vying for Braley’s old House seat, businessman Rod Blum, is gaining on Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy, according to political forecasters….[N]ational Democrats are pumping over a half-million dollars into that race to avoid adding to what could be a historic House majority for Republicans in November. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee confirmed to FoxNews.com it purchased $600,000 in airtime in the 1st District race last week.”
POLL: COTTON COMMANDS LEAD IN ARKANSAS
A new Arkansas Talk Business and Hendrix College Poll has Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., leading Sen. Mary Pryor, D-Ark., 49 percent to 41 percent. Cotton led by 2 points in the firm’s July polling.
Arkansas air battle - The conservative backed Cross Roads GPS has launched an ad hammering Sen. Mark Pryor’s, D-Ark., support of President Obama’s agenda saying, “the name Pryor stood for independence.” Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with an ad harshly criticizing Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., over Medicare and Social Security.
BUBBA ALL IN FOR GRIMES
On the heels of a visit from 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton returns to Kentucky today to stump for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. The trip is Bubba’s third visit to the Bluegrass State to campaign for Grimes.
McConnell’s air arsenal- Washington Examiner’s David Drucker has the deets on the battle for the airwaves in Kentucky’s Senate race: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is on track to vastly outspend his Democratic opponent on television during the final two weeks of Kentucky’s contentious Senate campaign…The Republican has placed reservations for $2.1 million in broadcast and cable television advertising across a broad array of media markets between Tuesday and Nov. 4. A pro-McConnell super PAC is scheduled to run another $1.4 million in television spots during the same period. Grimes has reserved $1.4 million worth of television time, in fewer broadcast markets and with less of a reliance on cable than McConnell.”
POLL: DAINES DOMINATES
According to a new poll from Montana State University-Billings, Montana Republican Senate candidate Steve Daines leads Democrat Amanda Curtis, 47 percent to 31 percent.
DEMS BOOK TIME FOR LOUSIANA RUN OFF
The Hill: “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has reserved $2 million in airtime for a December runoff election, an indication the party expects Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will not win an outright victory on Nov. 4.”
PICK SIX: A HARD FOUGHT SIX
Republicans are hoping to pick up an additional six seats to gain control of the Senate this November. Which Democrat-held seats could land in the GOP’s hands after November? Here are the top picks, tabulated from Fox News First reader e-mails and tweets: Arkansas (13.8%), Montana (13.2%), West Virginia (12.4%), South Dakota (12%), Louisiana (11.7%) and Alaska (8.8%). Reader Art Fettig of North Carolina warns polls favorable to Republicans could cause the red team to “brag their way into another Democratic Senate.” Fettig sees the good press for the GOP tampering down turnout adding, “I’d rather believe that it will be a tough, close fight everywhere and we’d better all get our asses out and vote.”
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
NYT’s Upshot says there’s a 66 percent likelihood of the GOP winning the Senate, down 3 points from Monday.
WaPo’s Election Lab forecasts that Republicans will see a net gain of eight Senate seats with a 93 percent chance they win the upper chamber, unchanged from Monday.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives the GOP a 63 percent chance of winning the Senate, up just over a point from Monday.
BAIER TRACKS: THE STEYER EFFECT…
“Two weeks until Election Day and the money is flowing. Throughout this cycle, in reports by Carl Cameron and Jim Angle, we have sought to show the spending advantage Democrats have held despite all of the talk about Charles and David Koch and the evils of money in politics from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and even President Obama. Now, as Fox News producer Serafin Gomez reports, new FEC reports released last night reveal environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, the biggest Democratic supporter, gave $15 million to his SuperPAC last month, bringing his total to $46 million for the year, and a $55 million total to date. According to the NYT, that makes Steyer the largest super PAC donor, passing Republican Sheldon Adelson, who gave upwards of $49 million to PACs in 2012. Steyer and the Democracy Alliance – a collection of more than 180 Democratic outside groups – dwarf anything the Koch brothers have in the game this year. The Democrats’ ability to hold on to the Senate seems increasingly unlikely. But if they do, it will be Steyer and his ‘dark money’ that made it happen.” – Bret Baier.
Reince tops DWS - The Republican National Committee brought in more dough than the Democratic National Committee in the month of September. In September, the RNC has announced they brought in $13.5 million, compared to the DNC’s roughly $10.2 million in total donations.
DCCC wins the cash war - The Hill: “The National Republican Congressional Committee once again lagged its Democratic counterpart in monthly fundraising in September, bringing in $11 million. That's far below the $16.7 million the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it raised Monday morning. The DCCC has now outraised the NRCC $163 million to $125 million for the election cycle.”
NO LABELS: MANCHIN IN AD THAT CALLS REPUBLICAN A ‘PROSTITUTE’
Charleston [W.V.] Gazette: “[West Virginia Democrat] Nick Casey’s Congressional campaign will begin airing a new television ad Tuesday that features Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. The ad, called ‘Alex Mooney; Political Prostitute,’ backs Casey in his race for Congress against Republican Alex Mooney, who recently moved to West Virginia from Maryland. ‘He’s run the most misleading ads,’ the new television ad begins. ‘A conservative magazine called Alex Mooney a ‘political prostitute.’ Republicans say Mooney’s a fraud and a liar. He was even voted one the least effective legislators in Maryland,’ the new advertisement begins… In the new television ad, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says, ‘Alex Mooney is not one of us. Nick Casey is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-coal. He’s a true West Virginian.”’
NO HICKEN-SNOOP-ER ALLIANCE
Daily Caller: “Rapper and marijuana aficionado Snoop Dogg is proving that politics makes strange bedfellows, endorsing an unaffiliated (but libertarian-leading) dark horse candidate for governor of Colorado. Snoop and artist Wyclef Jean are backing former Denver Bronco and current Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon to unseat Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper. The three recorded a remixed version of Snoop’s ‘The Trap’ for Dunafon’s campaign. Dunafon is the colorful head of the 4,000-person enclave in the heart of Denver, perhaps best known for leading a charge to save its iconic strip club, Shotgun Willies. He’s also popular for repealing outdated laws, championing the Second Amendment and preaching individual responsibility.”
YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE
Tampa Bay Tribune: “A 28-year-old man is accused of stealing flushing handles and pipes from public bathrooms in St. Petersburg. Brian Rinda is charged with eight counts of grand theft and one count petit theft, the St. Petersburg Police Department said. Rinda removed the parts to trade the brass valve and piping at a recycling center…police said. He caused up to $1,000 in damage at Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Publix, Subway, Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans and Albert Whitted Park, police said. Police said Rinda was caught on surveillance video leaving the restaurants, and anyone recycling scrap metal has to provide identification so detectives checked both.”
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.