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• Welcome to the ‘yuck’ election
• Hillary taps Bubba in gen elex economy pivot
• Power Play: Polling puzzle
• Trump’s money matters
• Smoked him out
WELCOME TO THE ‘YUCK’ ELECTION
When you were growing up, your parents might have been very pleased to see you following the news in a presidential election year. You could talk about Social Security lockboxes, nuclear freezes, bending the “cost curve” and all that.
But this year, you might feel obliged to mute the television if your kids come in the room.
Welcome to the “yuck” election.
Flights aboard a convicted pedophile’s private jet, the “Lolita Express?” Check. A candidate who allegedly pretended to be his own publicist to brag about his romantic exploits? Check. Accusations of “lewd” bikini behavior and counterclaims of hit-piece journalism? Check. Alleged corruption at a family foundation. Check. And all in a three-day span.
Now, this says a great deal about the attrition of political reporting in the click-bait era. It also certainly speaks to the numbing of America’s central nervous system as it relates to the conduct of its leaders.
And it unquestionably reveals that both presumptive major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are arriving in the general election with enough baggage to sink the Bismarck.
What we don’t know is whether it matters.
It may be as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that in 2016 “nothing applies.”
Under this argument, both parties are nominating candidates who are viewed negatively by majorities of Americans and who are broadly seen as being untrustworthy, therefore likability and trustworthiness are out the window. After four presidential election cycles that were, to varying degrees, about character and/or fitness, we will have one that’s sort of post-morality.
In this telling, scandal inflation will render individual embarrassments meaningless and the candidates, deprived of the ability to impeach each other’s character, will have to fight over issues – finding substance underneath all of the mud at the bottom of the swamp.
That’s certainly what pro-Trump Republicans are banking on: a low-turnout election in which grossed-out swing voters stay home and Trump’s devoted army of supporters can deliver an outsized electoral wallop.
Democrats, meanwhile, are going to do their best to make Clinton a normal candidate, who may be uninspiring but can deliver stability and sound judgement. In the Democratic version, the race becomes what Republicans tried to avoid in the primary: a referendum on Trump.
That will be made harder by Clinton’s elevation of her husband to chief economic adviser (see below for more on that), but it is hardly out of the realm of possibility. Trump, after all, might like the idea of an election all about him.
In this scenario, the visceral reaction against Trump causes voters to overlook Clinton’s baggage and swing hard against the GOP to not only keep Trump out of the Oval Office but also punish Republicans for supporting such a candidate.
The peril for Clinton is that voters might find her just as lacking.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
NatGeo: “A thousand years before big game hunters who used what are known as Clovis spearpoints spread across North America, earlier arrivals were living near Florida’s Aucilla River alongside mastodon and other animals now long extinct. So say archaeologists who spent four years investigating an underwater sinkhole known as the Page-Ladson site. A ‘bifacial’ stone knife—one with a blade chipped to sharpness on both edges—and other stone artifacts found in riverbed sediment dated to 14,550 years ago provide ‘unequivocal’ evidence of human habitation, says one of the principal investigators, Michael Waters of Texas A&M University. The researchers’ findings were reported today in the journal Science Advances.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +5.7 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +2.3
HILLARY TAPS BUBBA IN GEN ELEX ECONOMY PIVOT
In a move that may represent Hillary Clinton’s clearest pivot to the general election so far, the presumptive Democratic nominee announced Sunday that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would lead her administration’s economic revitalization efforts. At a campaign event in Kentucky, Clinton said her husband had, “more ideas a minute than anybody I know” when talking about upstarting manufacturing jobs. This is not a move that would much appeal to the Democratic base, sounding vaguely anti-feminist but, more important, evocative of the former president’s moderate economic policies and close ties to big banks and big business. But facing a Republican rival who touts his own business experience and ability to rev up the economy, the all-but-certain Democratic standard bearer is looking to evoke the boom times of the 1990s.
Berned in Nevada - Fox News: “The Nevada State Democratic Convention on Saturday night devolved into an ‘unruly and unpredictable’ environment following several disputes over rules governing delegates for Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, leading to law enforcement officials being called to keep the peace…In the final tally, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took seven delegates and Sanders five. Clinton’s supporters outnumbered Sanders’ backers 1,695-to-1,662, an echo of her slim victory in February’s Democratic caucus, 53-47. But Sanders supporters, riled by the news that nearly five dozen people were not given delegate status, said the results were skewed.”
Religious liberty case deferred to after the election - WaPo reports the Supreme Court indicated that there is a compromise to be had between the Little Sisters of the Poor and the federal government regarding their requirement to provide contraption as part of their birth control care, but deferred the case back to the lower courts for the time being.
POWER PLAY: POLLING PUZZLE
Now that both parties have nearly wrapped up their primaries all eyes are turning towards the general election, and the polls for crucial swing states are already coming out. But what can they tell us this early on? Anything? Purple Strategies polling expert Doug Usher weighs in to Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
TRUMP’S MONEY MATTERS
Donald Trump declared Friday that the nearly $40 million he has loaned his campaign so far will actually be a contribution, telling NBC News that he had “absolutely no intention of paying myself back.” But as Trump begins the large-scale fundraising needed for the general election, the WSJ did an in-depth exploration of Trump’s finances and his funding options.”
[What could Trump’s tax returns do for Clinton? NY Magazine explores.]
Koch realignment: less money on elections, more on policy - NRO
Hillary makes a final push ahead of the Kentucky contest - [Louisville] Courier-Journal
Ben Jacobs checks in as the Nebraska GOP bashes Sen. Ben Sasse, also kills measure opposing “degrading remarks toward women, minorities and other people” - The Guardian
The demographics of general electorate for 2016 are changing quickly - The Hill
Amish for Trump? Leaders of a new PAC hope so - Lancaster Online
Trump suggests he may not have a ‘good relationship’ with UK prime minister if elected - BBC
A tearful Ted Cruz launches his 2020 bid - The Hill
“There were certainly times where I would have liked to have come out and said something, but I knew that that was not in my best interest and I knew that that was not my role.” – Megyn Kelly on “#mediabuzz” describing her exchanges with Donald Trump ahead of her interview with the Republican nominee, which will air Tuesday in the debut episode of “Megyn Kelly Presents” on FOX broadcast stations.
SMOKED HIM OUT
WXIX: “A man in a Hamilton County courtroom finally gave in and pulled out two bags of pot from his underwear- a move that landed him an extra day of jail. Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard stopped court on Wednesday after an overwhelming smell of marijuana allegedly took over the courtroom. Bouchard gave everyone a chance to claim responsibility for the marijuana before he ordered deputies to bring drug dogs in the courtroom. The defendant, Darius Dabney, raised his hand and admitted to smoking marijuana before entering the courthouse.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. 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 politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.