**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Republicans should have FOMO about Millennials - Markets plunge on Trump tariffs - Trump reassures NRA - Lamb outraises Saccone in Pa. special election - Ham-ilton
REPUBLICANS SHOULD HAVE FOMO ABOUT MILLENNIALS
It should surprise no one that Americans of the Millennial generation, who now range in age from 22 to 37, are quite liberal and not fans of the current administration.
That’s as obvious as a box of Twinkies at a Whole Foods.
Millennials, expected to surpass their Baby Boomer parents as the largest generation in America in 2019 are almost 20 points less favorably disposed to the president than the Boomers according to a new study from the Pew Research Center on generational attitudes.
Just 27 percent of Millennials approve of the job Trump is doing and Millennials overall are far more prone to be concerned about core liberal issues, particularly racism. Fifty-seven percent of Millennial respondents describe themselves as liberal and only 12 percent were self-identified conservatives. Compare that to Boomers: 39 percent liberal and 32 percent conservative.
But also, duh.
Young people are always more liberal than old people. We’re not talking about any one individual’s journey of belief, but the unmistakable trend over time that, depending how you want to look at it, either life beats the youthful idealism out of you or, more charitably, experience leads to wisdom that produces moderation.
Think back to dorm room diatribes about anarcho-capitalism, collectivism and other utopian hoo ha. Given unlimited time and nearly unlimited supplies of cheap beer, almost anything can sound good. But as we make our way through the world, practical issues about the quality of our roads, quality of our schools, the condition of our national defenses and other crucial considerations tend to make people more politically mellow with age.
Republicans have relied on this tendency for generations. As people grow up, get jobs, get married, have kids, move to the suburbs and start paying more taxes they become increasingly receptive to traditional conservative ideas on those subjects.
One big problem for Republicans though is that Americans are waiting longer and longer to do those things that produce Republican voters. As the median age for first marriage among women reaches almost 30 and single living is no longer frowned upon more and more people are more than content to stay in the city and spend money on brunch with besties and not braces for children.
This, more than any issue relating to race is the most immediate demographic concern for the GOP. But, people are living longer and there are some compensating trends for Republicans at the backend of the life cycle as older voters are sticking around longer and longer.
For comparison the members of the so called Silent Generation who are now ages 73 to 90 are still 11 percent of the adult population and the survey found them to be far more conservative than the other age groups and with the strongest approval at 46 percent for the job Trump is doing.
But that compensation is meager compared to the glut of younger liberal voters who have entered civic life in the past decade.
And there’s this: Millennials are getting more liberal as time goes on. That’s the opposite of what we would typically expect to see. Seven years ago, Pew found 38 percent of Millennials identified as liberal, 19 points less than the most recent survey. Or how about this: in 2010 Millennials were about on par with other generations in the percentage of those who say a belief in a higher power is necessary to be a moral person. That number skidded all the way down to 29 percent this time around.
The obvious assumption to make here is that this leftward lurch reflects a reaction against Trump more than on specific policy points. But what we don’t know is how large and how lasting these consequences will be. It’s not unreasonable for Republicans to believe that one day when Trump is not president they will have an opportunity to reconnect with these voters who, despite delayed marriage and childbearing ages, should be more receptive by then anyway.
But there’s no guarantee there.
And one good reason for Democrats to truly rejoice is the ethnic diversity of these young adults. Wait until you get a load of the kids born after 1996. The white share of the Millennial generation is 56 percent compared to 72 percent for Boomers, while post-Millennials are just 53 percent white.
Political demography is colliding in a way that poses real threats to the long term viability of the GOP. What is about to be the largest generational cohort in the country – some 71 million adults is highly diverse – increasingly liberal and carry enormously negative views of the Red Team.
None of this is to say that this is what will end up happening, but for those Republicans who think that their victory in 2016 is evidence that they do not need to pay attention to such concerns, this study should be as bracing as an ice water bath.
THE RULEBOOK: AMEN
“…the transcendent law of nature and of nature's God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 43
TIME OUT: DIDN’T SEE YA THERE
BBC: “Scientists have stumbled across a huge group of previously unknown Adélie penguins on the most northerly point of the Antarctic Peninsula. Numbering more than 1.5 million birds, they were first noticed when great patches of their poo, or guano, showed up in pictures taken from space. The animals are crammed on to a rocky archipelago called the Danger Islands. The researchers, who detail the discovery in the journal Scientific Reports, say it is a total surprise. ‘It's a classic case of finding something where no-one really looked! The Danger Islands are hard to reach, so people didn't really try that hard,’ team-member Dr. Tom Hart from Oxford University, UK, told BBC News. The scientists used an algorithm to search images from the American Landsat spacecraft for sites of possible penguin activity. Landsat does not return especially high-resolution pictures and so when the system flagged potential colonies, they had to be followed up with much sharper pictures for confirmation.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at
HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 38.6 percent
Average disapproval: 56.6 percent
Net Score: -18 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.2 points
[Average includes: Gallup: 39% approve - 56% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 38% approve - 60% disapprove; CNN: 39% approve - 56% disapprove; Marist College: 40% approve - 53% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 37% approve - 58% disapprove.]
Control of House
Republican average: 37.6 percent
Democratic average: 49.2 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 11.6 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage up 4.6 points
[Average includes: USA Today/Suffolk: 47% Dems - 32% GOP; CNN: 54% Dems - 38% GOP; Marist College: 46% Dems - 39% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 53% Dems - 38% GOP; IBD: 46% Dems - 41% GOP.]
MARKETS PLUNGE ON TRUMP TARIFFS
Fox News: “Stocks plunged Thursday after President Trump announced plans to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The Dow closed more than 420 points down after the announcement. Trump said the tariffs will level the playing field for American companies and help them expand after plant closings in recent years. Trump made the dramatic announcement after participating in a listening session with 15 representatives from the steel and aluminum industry. Following the comments, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped as much as 500 points Thursday. ‘You will have protection for the first time in a long while and you are going to regrow your industries,’ Trump told the executives. ‘That's all I'm asking. You have to regrow your industries.’”
Economic adviser agog - Politico: “Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, has been rumored to be on the brink of leaving the White House for months but stayed for one main reason: to stop the president from imposing steep tariffs. By Thursday afternoon, Cohn had lost the fight. … One person close to Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, said he wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually left the chaotic and deeply exhausting administration as a result of the decision. A second person close to Cohn described it as a brutal blow that violated one of the NEC director’s core beliefs—that protectionism is economically backward and won’t lead to increased prosperity. ‘It’s just something he feels very passionate about and he is incredibly good at making the case,’ this person said, adding that it still isn't clear if Trump’s decision would be enough to drive out Cohn.”
How it happened - WSJ: “U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told confidants on Wednesday night that President Donald Trump would unveil new steel and aluminum tariffs the next day. By Thursday morning, the would-be announcement was downgraded to a listening session. Then, the plan changed again. After the media were hustled into the Cabinet Room, where Mr. Trump was meeting with business executives, the president said, ‘We’re going to be instituting tariffs next week.’ When the session was breaking up, in response to a shouted question from a reporter, Mr. Trump provided the specific rates: 25% on steel, 10% on aluminum. The news sent the stock market tumbling by more than 400 points and drew swift opposition from lawmakers on Capitol Hill who said they were blindsided.”
WSJ: ‘Trump’s Tariff Folly’ - WSJ: “Donald Trump made the biggest policy blunder of his Presidency Thursday by announcing that next week he’ll impose tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum. This tax increase will punish American workers, invite retaliation that will harm U.S. exports, divide his political coalition at home, anger allies abroad, and undermine his tax and regulatory reforms. … Mr. Trump has spent a year trying to lift the economy from its Obama doldrums, with considerable success. … Apparently Mr. Trump can’t stand all this winning. His tariffs will benefit a handful of companies, at least for a while, but they will harm many more.”
TRUMP REASSURES NRA
Fox News: “Just one day after putting the NRA on the defensive with stunning televised comments, President Trump has signaled in an Oval Office meeting that he doesn't want gun control, according to the NRA's top lobbyist. Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, tweeted late Thursday that ‘POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control.’ About an hour later, Trump appeared to endorse Cox's version of events with a tweet of his own: ‘Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!’ On Wednesday, Trump shocked observers during a televised discussion with bipartisan lawmakers by appearing to endorse extreme gun control measures. ‘Take the guns first. Go through due process second,” Trump said. “I like taking the guns early.’ Trump, who has publicly changed his mind on other key issues, also urged Republican lawmakers not to be ‘afraid’ of the powerful gun lobby and openly entertained more gun restrictions.”
Congress tucks campaign finance rule relaxation in budget bill - WaPo: “A handful of provisions tucked into a pair of must-pass bills under consideration in Congress this month could reshape the financing of political campaigns and give further cover to donors who want to keep their contributions private. One measure would roll back limits on churches, which are prohibited under current law from advocating for candidates because of their tax-exempt status. Other changes would relax rules affecting secret and wealthy donors and increase the amount of cash that political parties could spend on candidates. The adjustments are being considered in the form of ‘riders,’ or provisions that are tacked on to unrelated bills. Such attachments are controversial because they can pass without a separate vote or debate. The maneuver also masks the identity of the member of Congress who proposed each change.”
Bank regs come before gun votes - The Hill: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is moving to banking reform legislation — not gun control or other responses to the high school shooting in Florida — next week in the Senate. McConnell has filed a motion to have a procedural vote Tuesday on legislation sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). After that, McConnell hopes to move to legislation addressing sex trafficking, according to GOP sources. Legislation addressing the Florida high school shooting, the subject of contentious conversations between President Trump and GOP lawmakers at a White House meeting televised live on cable news Wednesday, will wait. A Senate GOP aide said a limited bill to strengthen background checks for firearms purchases could come to the floor at any moment as soon as Democrats agree to let it move forward.”
Continetti: ‘The Missing Republican Agenda’ - Free Beacon: “It was Ryan's priorities that shaped Trump's first year in office. That's no longer the case. After the failed attempt to replace Obamacare, the passage of the Trump tax cut, and the agreement over a two-year spending deal that ended the defense sequester, congressional Republicans do not expect to accomplish much during the remainder of 2018. They blame the filibuster, which allows Senate Democrats to block any legislation that doesn't have 60 votes. Fiscal measures could pass by a simple majority, but only through the process called budget reconciliation. And that process is unlikely to happen, since there are only 51 Senate Republicans and two of them are often absent due to illness.”
LAMB OUTRAISES SACCONE IN PA. SPECIAL ELECTION
Politico: “Democrat Conor Lamb outraised his GOP opponent in this month’s special congressional election in Western Pennsylvania by a nearly five-to-one margin over the first seven weeks of the year, according to new campaign finance filings Thursday night. Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone’s poor fundraising — he raised just $703,000 from January 1 through February 21, compared to Lamb’s $3.3 million haul — has forced Republican outside groups to spend valuable dollars to drag Saccone across the finish line in a district President Donald Trump carried by nearly 20 percentage points. Saccone spent $600,000 in the fundraising period and had only $303,000 in cash on hand as of February 21. Saccone’s fundraising and spending paled in comparison to Lamb’s. Over the first seven weeks of 2018, Lamb’s campaign raised more than $3.3 million and spent over $2.9 million. The Democrat’s campaign had $837,000 in the bank as of February 21.”
GOP Poll: Heitkamp new challenger starting with a lead - Roll Call: “Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who recently entered the North Dakota Senate race, leads Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp by 5 points, according to a poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and shared first with Roll Call. First elected in 2012, Heitkamp is among the more vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election this fall, especially considering President Donald Trump won North Dakota by 36 points in 2016. Cramer, a three-term congressman, took 49 percent of vote in the NRSC poll compared to 44 percent for the incumbent. Seven percent of respondents were undecided. GOP polling firm The Tarrance Group surveyed 500 likely registered voters through live landline and cell phone interviews from Feb. 18-20. The poll had a margin of error of 4.5 points.”
Walker tries to thread the needle on guns - AP: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican with an A rating from the National Rifle Association for his long history supporting pro-gun measures, is shifting his approach following the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school and as he seeks re-election in November. Walker, who is running for a third term in November, reacted to past school shootings by remaining open to the possibility of arming teachers while emphasizing the need to bolster mental health treatment and rejecting calls for stricter gun control. But two weeks after the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, Walker has come out against arming teachers. Instead, he said he’s working with lawmakers on a package of school safety bills for them to take up this spring. Walker did not say what specifically he would be proposing, but he said it ought to be similar to measures put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks that increased safety in airports.”
KELLY TRIES AGAIN TO CLEAN UP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MESS
USA Today: “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Friday he did not know of accusations that former aide Rob Porter hit one of his wives when he praised the former White House staff secretary. Kelly said he only knew of claims of emotional abuse when he accepted Porter’s resignation, and sent out a statement praising Porter’s professionalism. ‘We didn’t cover ourselves in glory in how we handled that,’ Kelly told reporters. Kelly said when he learned of the physical accusations, including a picture of Porter's first ex-wife with a black eye, he made sure Porter had left the White House. The matter of Porter, the former White House staff secretary, has roiled the White House for weeks. Revelations that Porter had access to classified information despite the accusations against him prompted a review of security procedures within the White House. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, saw his security clearance downgraded as a result.”
Trump grows dismissive of his chief of staff - The Hill: “President Trump reportedly made it known that he was not listening to his chief of staff, John Kelly, as the president announced new trade tariffs Thursday. Two senior White House officials told The Washington Post that Trump was making a point that he was not listening to his top aide. Those officials also said that the president's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, complained about Trump's announcement of stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and has floated the possibility of resigning. The New York Times also reported Thursday that Cohn warned Kelly he might resign if Trump went ahead with a plan to impose the tariffs.”
MCCABE SAID TO BE TARGET OF JUSTICE PROBE
WaPo: “The Justice Department inspector general is preparing a damaging report on former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, alleging he was responsible for approving an improper media disclosure, two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said McCabe will also be accused of misleading investigators about his actions. The report is a part of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s broad review of the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. During that work, inspector general’s investigators found that McCabe had authorized the disclosure of information to the Wall Street Journal for an October 2016 story that examined feuding inside the FBI and Justice Department around the handling of a separate investigation into Clinton’s family foundation, two people familiar with the case said. Those probing the matter believe that McCabe, who stepped down in January, misled them when they initially inquired about the subject, though one person familiar with the forthcoming report said McCabe disputes that he intentionally misled investigators.”
Mueller making his case against Russian who hacked Dem emails - NBC News: “Special counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a case for criminal charges against Russians who carried out the hacking and leaking of private information designed to hurt Democrats in the 2016 election, multiple current and former government officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News. Much like the indictment Mueller filed last month charging a different group of Russians in a social media trolling and illegal-ad-buying scheme, the possible new charges are expected to rely heavily on secret intelligence gathered by the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), several of the officials say. Mueller's consideration of charges accusing Russians in the hacking case has not been reported previously. Sources say he has long had sufficient evidence to make a case, but strategic issues could dictate the timing.”
Will the Hopester tell all? Publishers wooing soon-to-depart top Trump aide Hicks - The Hill
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Chris Wallace will sit down with Business Roundtable CEO and President Josh Bolten. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
AUDIBLE: DAT MONEY, DOE
“Semen is a very common way for us to donate.” – Texas Deer Association treasurer Fred Gonzalez, told the Dallas Morning News how deer semen donations are big in South Texas. State House candidate Ana Lisa Garza collected $51,000 in the form of deer semen.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“What is going on with the FBI that so many security clearances have not been completed? It seems to me that the White House Staff backgrounds should be a priority. How can our government run when people in key positions are not able to do their jobs? Are the FBI dragging their feet intentionally? Do we need to assign more agents to get this done? Who is in charge of directing this effort?” – Jean Corsetti, Amado, Ariz.
[Ed. note: Actually, as we found out today in the case of the senior White House aide discharged after evidence of wife beating emerged was that the FBI was trying to make a softer landing for the administration, reporting with increasing urgency about the fact that the man would never qualify. It’s the same with the president’s son-in-law who is simply not eligible for the kind of security clearance he would have needed to do his job. His chaotic finances and the fact that he is, for now, a person of interest in an ongoing federal criminal probe made Jared Kushner a non-starter. And it wasn’t like the G-men were keeping that from the president. There are many reasons that I, like a lot of Americans, would very much not like to work in government is that serving at a very high level involves the background check version of a proctologic exam. I can’t find the receipts for the trip I took to New York in August, heaven help me if I had to find financials back to the time I was 25. But, we don’t want the people in our government to be easy bait for blackmailers or other nefarious elements. But, also remember that the president is the omnipotent ruler on questions of classification. He can order anything unclassified for any person he wants.]
“Voters really want a congress that doesn’t cooperate with President Trump? One that will stand up to him? What do they think we have now? Or have they never heard ofChuck Schumer? What about Nancy Pelosi? Dick Durbin? Etc. etc. etc. And just to be fair and balanced, have they never heard of John McCain? Jeff Flake? And on and on and on. Why not give him a congress that will actually do the work of the people rather than further their own interests and see what happens?” – Cathy Bell, Scottsdale, Ariz.
[Ed. note: I always find it funny that Americans so often say that what they want is compromise but what they really mean is that they think the other guy should give up his fool-headed notions and come around to their way of thinking. If the only way that a president can succeed is by getting everything that he wants all of the time then we wouldn’t have a republic anymore. Democrats are doggedly opposing President Trump, so much so that they may have surpassed even the Republicans’ obstruction of Barack Obama’s agenda. While I will grant that our government is increasingly unable to govern on difficult subjects – witness the debates on mass shootings and immigration currently raging – but that’s not to say that there’s not considerable benefits from having competing centers of power and competing ideas.]
“I am a Progressive in a five-year dialogue with a Conservative. Over the years we’ve managed to achieve increasing civility and respect. Now we have agreed our go-to pundit is—drum roll-- you. You admirably refrain from the ad-hominem polemics polluting political discourse. You confine your analysis to 1) actual policy debate and 2) the more crystalized power alignments of our parties. Some of your readers object to your restraint, devoid of emotional, uncharitable assumptions about motivation. You handle their complaints with patient transparency. Your steadfast ethical positions are sorely needed in our ailing body politic. The two of us have been working on a project to scale-up our hard-won civility, the Consensus Challenge; we hope to reach a point where we can ask for your endorsement.” – John McNeill Lee, Walnut Creek, Calif.
[Ed. note: I will say that you have flattered me so much that I am immediately warming up to your idea! I think it is important for Americans to get beyond their political comfort zone in their friendships and other relationships. One of my father’s greatest friends, Bill Hogan, and he maintained a decades-long political debate over sets of tennis and stacks of pancakes. What I always found most interesting about it was despite their radically different world views, they both wanted the same outcomes: a free, prosperous, peaceful country. The fact that they disagreed how to achieve that did not diminish their friendship. And that is precisely because they refused to diminish each other’s patriotism or decency in their debates.]
“I have to marvel at the logical journey some of your ‘From The Bleachers’ correspondents take. In particular, one today relating to the NRA (I won’t disparage a fellow subscriber). How about, in addition to requiring Name and Hometown, you include a requirement that correspondents must construct a logical syllogism around any point they put forth as fact rather than opinion? Or would that reduce the number of messages you receive too much?” – Pat Conroy, West Lake Hills, Texas
[Ed. note: Wait a minute! If you start requiring logical constructs in The Bleachers I won’t have nearly as much fun writing back.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at
HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
Slate: “Lin-Manuel Miranda has been a fan of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic since he was in ninth grade, and now he has good reason to geek out as an adult: Yankovic has recorded ‘The Hamilton Polka,’ a medley of songs from Miranda’s hit musical with a polka twist. Yankovic sings every part, from ‘Weird’ Alexander Hamilton to Aaron Burr to all three of the Schuyler Sisters. (The raspberry noise after ‘And Peggy!’ is a particularly nice touch.) Yankovic is well known for his polka medleys, which he has been dropping since his 1984 album In 3-D. The newest release is part of Miranda’s series of ‘Hamildrops,’ which will introduce new Hamilton content to the world once per month until December 2018. Previous releases have included ‘Ben Franklin’s Song’ by The Decemberists and the video for ‘Wrote My Way Out’ from the Hamilton Mixtape.”
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.