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• Poll: Dem advantage with women collapses
• Hillary says Udall’s gynecological campaign at ‘the frontier of freedom’
• Freedom Partners picks their six
• Power Play: The hay isn’t in the barn yet
• Big Enos, Little Enos wanted for questioning
POLL: DEM ADVANTAGE WITH WOMEN COLLAPSES
AP: “Two weeks before election day, most of the nation’s likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll….. Among all adults, 38 percent say they’d like the Democrats to wind up in control of Congress, to 36 percent for the Republicans. But the GOP holds a significant lead among those most likely to cast ballots: 47 percent of these voters favor a Republican controlled-Congress, 39 percent a Democratic one. That’s a shift in the GOP’s favor since an AP-GfK poll in late September, when the two parties ran about evenly among likely voters. Women have moved in the GOP’s direction since September. In last month’s AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.”
[“In fact, Democrats are more trusted than the GOP on just two of nine top issues, the poll showed. The economy remains the top issue for likely voters — 91 percent call it ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important. And the GOP has increased its advantage as the party more trusted to handle the issue to a margin of 39 percent to 31 percent.”]
Senate Dems ‘lashing out’ at White House - National Journal: “The relationship between the White House and Senate Democrats hit a new low Tuesday evening after the administration's press office released a transcript of First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance in Iowa on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The problem: The subject line of the e-mail referred to Braley as the ‘Democratic candidate for governor’… Indicating the sensitivity of the mistake, top Senate Democratic officials wasted no time lashing out at the Obama administration's political team in response, suggesting it was acting like a junior varsity operation two weeks before the midterms…
Base backfire - “The slip-up comes one day after President Obama told Rev. Al Sharpton on his radio show that Senate Democrats keeping their distance from him are still ‘folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress.’ That alarmed Senate Democrats up for reelection this November, most of whom are working hard to distance themselves from an unpopular president. ‘The ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing,’ one senior Senate Democratic aide told National Journal. Another Senate official told the Washington Post that Obama's comments were ‘not devised with any input from Senate leadership.’’’
[WSJ looks at how the GOP is investing heavily in its efforts to improve voter outreach.]
BLUE TEAM WINS THREE QUARTERS OF 1-POINT RACES
The Federalist’s Dan McLaughlin looked at the results of the closest statewide elections since 1998 and found that Democrats won 20 of 27 contests decided by less than 1 point. For margins between 1 point and 2 points, outcomes were evenly divided between the parties.
[Always Election Day: Early voting begins today in West Virginia]
HILLARY SAYS UDALL’S GYNECOLOGICAL CAMPAIGN AT ‘THE FRONTIER OF FREEDOM’
In another clear foreshadowing of her 2016 campaign speech, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton defended Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. against press criticism of his “obnoxious one-issue campaign” focused on birth control and abortion that earned him the nickname “Mark Uterus.” Via National Journal: “‘I want you to understand that as far as I’m concerned and as far as Mark is concerned, when he’s fighting for women’s rights, he is fighting on the frontier of freedom,’ [Clinton said.]…‘This election is important to everybody, but it’s especially important to the women of Colorado’… ‘These Democrats will never support so-called personhood laws,’ Clinton told the rally.”
[Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron examines the backlash vulnerable Democrats have been facing by focusing primarily on the “war on women” argument.]
Film lays out left strategy for Colorado takeover - Colorado’s porous new election law, which has raised alarm over the potential for rampant voter fraud, is part of a long-term effort by powerful Democrats to turn Colorado to a deep hue of blue according to the film “Rocky Mountain Heist” hosted by Michelle Malkin and produced by Citizens United. Malkin and Citizens United President David Bossie discussed the film with Megyn Kelly. Malkin, who has dubbed the law allowing residents to print ballots from their home computers, then turn them over to “collectors” a “voter-fraud Frankenstein” warned “what happened here in Colorado can happen in the rest of the country.” Watch the discussion on “The Kelly File” here.
Hillary hauls big Hollywood cash for Senate Dems - BuzzFeed: “Hillary Clinton raised a record $2.1 million for Senate Democrats at a Los Angeles fundraiser organized on Monday night by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the top film executive who has positioned himself to play a leading, influential role in the possible presidential campaign many expect from the former secretary of state. A person with knowledge of the final tally confirmed that the Clinton event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, held at Brentwood’s Tavern restaurant, brought in $2.1 million…The Clinton fundraiser on Monday was the second event during this year’s election cycle that she has hosted for the DSCC.”
[The way, way back machine - Part of this week’s 20th anniversary of a White House Web page includes the original incarnation, which included audio of the Clinton family cat Socks mewling and a dated greeting from the then-first lady]
WITH YOUR SECOND UP OF COFFEE…
In a day awash with eulogies for swashbuckling former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, who died Tuesday at 93, why not get the straight dope from the man who did Bradlee’s exit interviews? Howard Kurtz wrote the story for the Post when Bradlee stepped down in 1991 and also conducted Bradlee’s final interview in 2012. “He now seems a throwback in a more corporate era, a constantly cursing Navy vet who walked the newsroom floor, slapping backs, lifting spirits with a few words of praise,” wrote Howie. New Yorker Editor David Remnick argues that Bradlee was such an over-the-top figure that even Jason Robards’ portrayal was “underplayed.” Remnick passes along the story from former Post reporter Tom Zito of the day that he was served with a subpoena while working at the Post: “I explained that my father was of Italian descent, lived in New Jersey, had constructed many publicly financed apartment buildings—and was now being investigated by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York regarding income-tax evasion. ‘Your father?’ Ben exclaimed in disbelief, and then called out to his secretary, ‘Get John Mitchell on the phone.’ In less than a minute, the voice of the Attorney General could be heard on the speaker box, asking, somewhat curtly, ‘What do you want, Ben?’ In his wonderfully gruff but patrician demeanor, and flashing a broad smile to me, Ben replied, ‘What I want is for you to never again send a subpoena over here asking any of my reporters to give grand-jury testimony about their parents. And if you do, I’m going to personally come over there and shove it up your ass.’ The subpoena was quashed the next day.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.6 percent//Disapprove – 53.4 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
-- 13 days until Nov. 4 --
FREEDOM PARTNERS PICKS THEIR SIX
The free-market Freedom Partners Action Fund debuts today its closing argument in six key Senate races, putting $6.5 million dollars toward a simple message: a vote for Democratic Senate candidates is a vote for President Obama’s policies. The group, backed by industrialist brother Charles and David Koch unveiled this morning similar spots in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire that feature residents blasting Democrats for placing partisan priorities over constituents needs. From the attack on Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley: “There are lots of reasons Bruce Braley isn’t right for Iowa,” says Sandy Metzel of Sioux City, “the most important reason is that a vote for Bruce Braley is a vote for President Obama and his failed policies.”
Ernst hogs attention with closing spot - Iowa Republican Senate nominee Joni Ernst heads back to the pig pen for her closing spot. The swine are bigger this time, but the message is the same.
Harkin not hopeful - Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, may have let it slip he doesn’t feel confident Democrats will hold the Senate after November. In his defense of Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley’s swipe at Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Harkin told the NYT: “I think Chuck Grassley is pretty proud of the fact that he didn’t go to law school and he’s going to be chairman of the Judiciary Committee — first time ever. What’s wrong with that?”
POWER PLAY: THE HAY ISN’T IN THE BARN YET
With the focus on foreign policy and the administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis dragging down Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Republican challenger Thom Tillis has been able to cut into her lead. As Hagan continues to play defense, just how much are Tillis’ attacks trying Hagan to President Obama’s unpopularity working? Watch “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt” as Chris breaks down the Tar Heel Senate race in 90-seconds.
Ryan rallies for Tillis- Republican 2012 Vice Presidential Nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is slated to campaign for Republican Thom Tillis today in North Carolina.
SHAHEEN TRIES TO TAP DANCE ON OBAMA SUPPORT
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is the latest Democrat to offer less than tepid support for President Obama. During a debate Tuesday against Republican Scott Brown, Shaheen drew audible laughs when she said, “In some ways I approve, and some things I don’t approve,” when asked if she approved of the job the president is doing. “So, you know, like most questions that we deal with as policymakers,” she continued, “there aren’t simple answers, ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”
ROBERTS: ‘NOT ON MY WATCH’
The Roberts campaign released a new ad touting Sen. Pat Roberts’, R-Kan., stand against an administration proposal to transfer Guantanamo inmates to U.S. prisons and blasting independent Senate challenger Greg Orman. “Kansas needs a senator who will stand up to Barack Obama” the ad says. “Greg Orman helped elect Obama and would side with him on ObamaCare, Amnesty and wasteful spending.”
EMILY’S LIST POUNDS PURDUE OVER WOMEN’S PAY
The Pro-choice group Emily’s List has released an ad hitting Georgia Republican Senate hopeful David Purdue over equal pay. From the ad: “Federal investigators found a company Perdue ran discriminated against women. Paid them less than men for the same work while Perdue made $42 million. When over 2,000 women fought back to provide for their families, Perdue’s company was forced to pay nearly $19 million. David Perdue takes care of millionaires like David Perdue. And Georgia families get left behind.”
SULLIVAN: BEGICH IS DESPERATE
Alaska Republican Senate contender Dan Sullivan is calling Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, “desperate” in a new ad. Sullivan appears in the ad saying, “Why is Mark so desperate? Because on EPA overreach, ObamaCare, gun rights, amnesty, spending, Mark Begich is with Obama and I’m with you.”
LAWYERS LAY OUT CASH TO KEEP SENATE IN DEMS’ HANDS
Washington Examiner: “Lawyers and law firms have given more money to House and Senate candidates and party committees than any other industry, with an overwhelming majority going to Democrats…The focus of lawyer money this year is control of the U.S. Senate. The Democratic candidates in the 15 most competitive Senate races have raised $11 million from trial lawyers for the 2014 election. The industry’s main lobby is the American Association for Justice… In each of the eight most competitive Senate races, the industry providing the most money is trial lawyers. … In no race, however, do the lawyers play a greater role than in the open-seat Senate race in Iowa. Bruce Braley is a trial lawyer and a former member of AAJ’s board of governors…. Braley’s lawyer haul of $1.25 million is more than what he brought in from the next 34 industries combined. AAJ knows that Braley would be their man in the U.S. Senate.”
WATCHDOG GROUP STILL WAITING ON REID ETHICS COMPLAINT
Watchdog group Cause of Action is calling on a Senate Ethics panel to respond to a complaint it filed against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2013. At the center of the complaint is Reid’s alleged use of his political clout to lobby U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reconsider and approve EB-5 immigrant investor visa petitions where a company receiving the foreign funding was a major contributor to the Democratic Party, and, at the time, was represented by the Senator’s son. “For over 300 days to pass since our complaint was received with no reasoned notice of the Committee’s determination is unacceptable. The Committee appears to have dismissed Cause of Action’s complaint without engaging in a preliminary inquiry and without explanation, where independent evidence unearthed by the media supports the allegations of misconduct. The American public, who elected their Senators, deserve an ethics committee that takes its role seriously, and our hope is that the public receives an explanation for this delay in oversight,” the groups CEO Dan Epstein said in a statement.
[Watch Fox: Louisiana Republican Senate Candidate Bill Cassidy discusses the latest in his Senate race in the 4 p.m. ET hour]
PICK SIX: UDALL THROWN FOR A HICKENLOOP?
Republicans need to win an additional six seats to take control of the Senate this November. 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 (13.8%), Montana (13.2%), West Virginia (12.4%), South Dakota (12%), Louisiana (11.7%), and Alaska (8.8%). Reader Dave Lutter of Golden, Colo., argues that it is just not President Obama’s unpopularity that could propel the Centennial State to the top tier. Lutter writes, “Look no further that embattled Gov. John Hickenlooper [D-Colo.] [He] signed off on some of the most restrictive gun laws in the US following the Aurora Theatre and Sandy Hook shootings, enraging responsible gun owners here in the Centennial State. Adding to that, is [his] steadfast refusal to green-light the execution of mass murderer Nathan Dunlap. Coloradans support the Death Penalty at 64%, meaning this crosses well over partisan lines.”
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 67 percent likelihood of the GOP winning the Senate, up a point from Tuesday.
WaPo’s Election Lab forecasts that Republicans will see a net gain of eight Senate seats with a 94 percent chance they win the upper chamber, up one from Tuesday.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives the GOP a 65.7 percent chance of winning the Senate, up just over two points from Tuesday.
POLL: SNYDER OPENS BIG LEAD IN MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press: “Gov. Rick Snyder’s [R-Mich.] lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer has grown to eight points as his support among Independent voters has strengthened in the last month, according to the latest EPIC-MRA poll…If the election were held today, 47% would vote for Snyder and 39% would vote for Schauer, the poll found. In late September, Snyder led Schauer by six points, 45%-39%.”
[Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel explains that Snyder, like other state-level candidates is facing an unprecedented avalanche of spending from government worker unions.]
POLL: NECK-AND-NECK IN THE NUTMEG STATE
Republican Tom Foley is nearly tied with Gov. Dan Malloy, D-Conn., in a Quinnipiac Poll released this morning. The poll finds Malloy leading 43 percent to 42 percent, with independent Joe Visconti receiving nine percent.
HOT AIR, NO BREEZES IN CRIST-SCOTT SHOWDOWN
AP: “Florida’s leading candidates for governor clashed fiercely during their final debate on Tuesday night, sniping at each other over everything from the economy and the minimum wage to the death penalty. Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, essentially tied in the polls, used their final moments before the television cameras to come up with some of the most personal attacks leveled so far in what has already been an extremely negative campaign… [O]ne of the sharpest exchanges may have been while they discussed the death penalty. Both men said they supported it, but Crist questioned how serious Scott takes the duty because he delayed an execution when the date conflicted with a political fundraiser for Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi later apologized for the incident and Scott said at the time he was unaware of the reason for the delay. But Crist hammered away at Scott, asking him outright if he knew the delay was due to a fundraiser. Scott finally replied, ‘She apologized, Charlie. What would you like her to do?’ Crist responded, ‘He doesn't answer questions. Pleads the Fifth.’’’
[The Tampa Bay Time’s Adam Smith offers four takeaways from Tuesday’s tense gubernatorial debate.]
Tight, tight, tight - A Quinnipiac Poll released this morning shows Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Democrat Charlie Crist tied at 42 percent apiece. A late Sept. survey gave Scott a two point advantage.]
WHOMEVER COULD HE MEAN?
National Journal: “Gov. Chris Christie [R-N.J.] launched a preemptive strike Tuesday against some potential Republican rivals for the White House, saying the ‘experiment’ of promoting a lawmaker to president has failed—and arguing that Republicans must nominate a governor in 2016… ‘To have any chance of electing a Republican president, there's a bunch of things we need to do. But the first is to have a good bench of Republican candidates,’ Christie said. ‘And I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor—and needs to be.’’’
ACU FIRES BACK AT MANCHIN ‘PROSTITUTE’ AD
The American Conservative Union is hitting back at Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for appearing in an ad that calls West Virginia Republican Congressional Candidate Alex Mooney a “political prostitute.” In a $350,000 ad buy, the group ties Democrat Nick Casey to President Obama’s EPA regulations which are highly unpopular in the coal producing state along with Casey’s support of ObamaCare.
[Watch Fox: DCCC head Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., discusses the midterm election in the 1 p.m. ET hour]
BIG ENOS, LITTLE ENOS WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
WFTV: “A truck driver broke down in tears on Tuesday while telling Channel 9 about the thieves who drove off with his semi full of beer from an Orange County [Fla.] truck stop. …Van Thomas was trying to live the American dream. After years as a trucker, he bought a semi three weeks ago and made a company of his own. Thomas was traveling from Texas to Pompano Beach and was on his last stop before a delivery in Orlando when his entire truck and alcohol cargo was stolen. ‘I don’t mean to cry about it but I’m just trying to do the best I can and make a better life,’ Thomas told WFTV. Inside the truck was 44,000 pounds of Miller High Life, which comes out to about 9,700 [tallboy] four-packs. ‘It’s just so devastating to me,’ said Thomas. … Just when Thomas thought he lost everything, he received a phone call telling him the truck and most of the cargo had been located. ‘Oh, my God. That’s beautiful,’ he said. The call came in from detectives that the truck had been found in Miami. There’s no word on whether the robbers knew ‘The Champagne of [Bottled] Beers’ was inside at the time of the theft.”
AND NOW, A WORD FOR CHARLES…
“[President Obama] is a guy who six years ago had a worship service at a Denver stadium being cheered by people while he was behind Greek columns. A few weeks earlier he had been the hero of 200,000 Germans in Berlin… Here was a man … the most sought after rock star -- a political rock star and now he’s gotta hide under his desk until November.”—Charles Krauthammer, on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
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.