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On the roster: After Bubba - GOP see hope in early-vote totals from key states - ‘Cory’s law’ gives Booker the best of both 2020 worlds - Poll check - Nopenopenopenope
The NYT today points out that Bill Clinton has not campaigned for any congressional candidates this year, even in Arkansas where he once was an ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail.
The Times waits until the tenth paragraph to explain the obvious reason for his absence: Democrats are now ashamed of sexual misdeeds committed by the former president. What was “just sex” in the 1990s now looks like egregious misconduct.
But until recently it wasn’t just Clinton who was absent from the midterm campaign. It was also his approach to politics. And while Democrats don’t need Bubba, but they certainly need his voters.
A savagely difficult Senate map as well as President Trump’s upset wins in Wisconsin and Michigan seem to have finally convinced Democrats that they were at least too quick to ditch white working class voters.
There are many reasons for the collective decision by Democrats to walk away from what had been a cornerstone of their coalition since before Franklin Roosevelt, but the surety with which they did so is more easily explained. They thought they could.
The Blue Team took the wrong lessons from Barack Obama’s 2008 victory. It wasn’t that culturally liberal, non-white voters were numerous enough to make Joe Six-pack irrelevant but rather that Joe Six-pack was willing to support a culturally liberal, non-white candidate.
There’s plenty of overlap between Trump’s electorate and Obama’s.
One of the other reasons for the sharpness of the pivot away from culturally conservative, fiscally liberal voters is that the party’s increasingly urban base does not have any time for Bill Clinton Democrats anymore.
If you look at the turnabout on gay marriage from 2008 to 2012 you see just how sharp the realignment has been.
But if you’re running for re-election for the Senate in Missouri, you might run an ad on talk radio making clear that you’re “not one of those crazy Democrats.”
If you’re running for re-election for the Senate in Montana, it might occur to you that your fellow Democrats had “botched” the debate over the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. You might also have a few words about Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and her ancestral misadventure.
If you were running for re-election in Indiana, you might even run a television ad announcing “socialists” who want to turn healthcare over to the government. You may further say that the “radical left” is all wet on immigration.
They are all learning what their colleague Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., has known since he got to Washington: Voters will forgive many transgressions by someone who they believe has their best interest at heart. As Manchin likes to say, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
If Democrats have a good 2018 they will likely forget about the importance of Bubba’s base. But unless they can abolish the Electoral College and do away with the Senate, there is no escaping their necessity.
THE RULEBOOK: AGREE TO DISAGREE
“No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 47
TIME OUT: SNAP OUT OF IT!
Mental Floss: “Naps can be a great way to catch up on sleep—if you do them right. Wake up at the wrong stage of sleep, and you’ll feel groggy and terrible, not refreshed and perky. When your brain isn’t allowed to get through a full sleep cycle, you’re likely to experience what scientists call “sleep inertia,” or what regular folks might just call grogginess. Researchers are now able to tell us why our cognitive performance is so poor right when we wake up. In a new study that scanned the brains of volunteer nappers, PsyPostreports, scientists found that waking up from a nap disrupts the functional connectivity between brain networks, among other neurophysical changes. The recent study published in the journal NeuroImage looked at the brains of 34 volunteers before and after they took a 45-minute nap. …the light-sleep group seemed to recover better, while the sleep inertia didn’t dissipate as quickly for the deep-sleep group.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 42.2 percent
Average disapproval: 53.2 percent
Net Score: -11 points
Change from one week ago: down 1.6 points
[Average includes: Gallup: 40% approve - 54% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 41% approve - 53% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 43% approve - 54% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; CBS News: 42% approve - 53% disapprove.]
Control of House
Republican average: 41.6 percent
Democratic average: 50.6 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 8.8 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage down 0.2 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: 52% Dems - 43% GOP; USA Today/Suffolk: 51% Dems - 43% GOP; NBC/WSJ: 50% Dems - 41% GOP; Fox News: 49% Dems - 42% GOP; ABC/WaPo: 53% Dems - 42% GOP.]
GOP SEE HOPE IN EARLY-VOTE TOTALS FROM KEY STATES
Fox News: “Republicans are continuing to see strong early-vote turnout in key battleground states, potentially boosting their chances for at least holding the Senate even as analysts see Democrats holding the overall edge in the battle for House control. Three states with toss-up Senate races report early-voting totals by party registration: Arizona, Florida and Nevada. In all three, the share of the early vote coming from registered Republicans rose several percentage points when compared with 2016. In Arizona, for example, the share of early voters who are registered Republicans is up 3.5 percentage points from 2016. The share of Democrats is up 1.6 points, while unaffiliated voters are down 5.1 points. In that state, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is locked in a tight race against Republican Martha McSally. The early-vote stats do not show which candidates or party people voted for and represent only an indicator. But they do reveal voters' party registrations, which can in turn point to which side is more motivated to turn out. … Not everywhere holds good news for Republicans. Iowa also keeps track of early votes by party, but Democrats have gained in the early-vote share compared with 2016. It has no Senate race this year, but several close House races.”
Arizona Green Party Senate candidate drops out, giving support to Sinema - 12News: “The Arizona Green Party's U.S. Senate candidate told 12 News Thursday she is getting out of the race and throwing her support to Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema. The decision, just five days before the election, could remove a potential obstacle for Sinema in her toss-up race against Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally. The Green Party candidate, political newcomer Angela Green, has garnered up to 6 percent of the vote in recent polls. Polling averages show McSally and Sinema separated by a point or two. Green's message to her supporters: ‘I want them to vote for a better Arizona, and that would be for Kyrsten Sinema…’ Green Party voters' values have been more closely aligned with Democrats than Republicans. Third-party votes also tend to be protest votes against the mainstream candidates. Green said the decision to endorse Sinema wasn't an easy one.”
Cruz suggests O’Rourke campaign is funding migrant caravan - The Hill: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R) suggested on Friday that staffers working for his opponent in the Texas Senate race, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D), were using campaign funds to help ‘people coming here illegally.’ Cruz also called on O'Rourke to say whether he supported allowing a migrant of caravans to ‘cross illegally’ into Texas. ‘I thought it was a joke, until video broke this morning of his campaign staffers taking campaign money and apparently using it to give to people coming here illegally,’ Cruz said in a speech, according to a clip posted by a Cruz campaign official on Friday. ‘There are radicals on the left who want to tear down our laws,’ he added. ‘By the way, Beto has not answered a simple question: Should we allow this caravan to cross illegally into the state of Texas?’”
Scott focuses on Hispanic, independent voters in new ad - Politico: “Florida’s U.S. Senate race could come down to what polls show is the No. 1 issue for Hispanic and independent voters: health care. Gov. Rick Scott, the GOP nominee, appears to be hyperaware of that statistic. Since early voting began, he’s run at least 1,333 ads in Orlando and Tampa media markets — crucial for reaching Hispanic and independents voters — wherein he promises to protect patients with pre-existing health conditions. The political group supporting his opponent, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, has run at least 541 TV hits in those same media markets, trying to convince voters of the opposite.”
Lindsey Graham climbs aboard the Trump train - WaPo: “ Senator Lindsey Graham’s bipartisan overtures — on immigration, foreign policy, even investigations of President Trump — once made him a darling of Democrats, a Republican dealmaker to be wooed to the center. But when the South Carolina Republican turned up in this St. Louis suburb to campaign against a Democratic colleague, Claire McCaskill, the crowd of Trump-loving women and red-hatted men practically swooned… Mr. Graham, crisscrossing the country to turn out the Republican vote against the centrist Democratic senators who were once his natural allies, lapped it up. … His own transformation from Trump-basher to Trump defender seems complete. Gone is the senator who once called the future president ‘the world’s biggest jacka**’ and a ‘race-baiting xenophobic religious bigot.’ With an eye toward re-election in 2020 in a state still on the Trump Train, Mr. Graham has climbed into the locomotive.”
‘CORY’S LAW’ GIVES BOOKER THE BEST OF BOTH 2020 WORLDS
Politico: “Let there be no doubt: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker can run for president and Senate at the same time. Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed a bill — unofficially dubbed ‘Cory’s Law’ — that would clarify that a U.S. senator or member of the U.S. House from New Jersey can appear on the primary and general election ballots for those offices as well as for the presidency. Booker, a Democrat and New Jersey’s junior senator, is widely expected to run for president in 2020, the same year he’s up for reelection for a second full six-year term in the Senate. In recent weeks, he’s visited Iowa and New Hampshire — which have the first presidential nominating contests in the nation — ostensibly to help out other candidates. Booker, however, has acknowledged that he’s considering running for president. Even if Booker doesn’t get his party’s party nomination, the bill would still allow him to run for vice president and Senate at the same time should the Democratic nominee choose Booker as a running mate.”
Meanwhile Avenatti releases his first ad - Politico: “In another sign he's taking steps toward a presidential run, Michael Avenatti on Thursday is releasing his first political ad, in which he calls for Americans to harness their anger and head to the polls on Tuesday. The ad, first obtained by POLITICO, will be released digitally on Twitter and Facebook, with a shortened version appearing on Instagram. Avenatti, best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels, would not say how much he’s spending on the spot except that ‘it’s sizable.’ … The ad is a culmination of Avenatti’s ‘fight back’ theme, one which he says is the only way Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020. … While Donald Trump’s name isn’t mentioned in the ad, it’s clear that the president and his administration is the target. Avenatti denied the ad was a curtain raiser to his own political ambitions.”
Florida: Bill Nelson* (D) 49% vs. Rick Scott (R) 47% - CNN
VA-10: Barbara Comstock* (R) 43% vs. Jennifer Wexton (D) 54% - WaPo
Connecticut: Bob Stefanowski (R) 40% vs. Ned Lamont (D) 38% - Hearst/Sacred Heart
Georgia: Brian Kemp (R) 47% vs. Stacey Abrams (D) 47% - AJC
GREEN ENERGY INITIATIVE ARIZONA’S HOTTEST RACE
WaPo: “It is the hottest, most expensive campaign in Arizona this year — and it’s not the one for the U.S. Senate. The battle — which has already cost nearly $54.7 million, or about $11.50 for every eligible voter — is over solar power. A ballot initiative would amend the Arizona constitution to require electric utilities to use renewable energy for 50 percent of their power generation by 2035. With its abundance of sunshine, that should be an easy reach for Arizona. Yet the state gets only 6 percent of its energy from the sun. The fiercest foe of the measure? Arizona’s biggest utility. Arizona Public Service, or APS, has poured $30.3 million into a political action committee called Arizonans for Affordable Electricity. In an aggressive ad campaign, the group asserts the measure would cost households an additional $1,000 a year. On the other side is Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, an alliance of about 50 organizations. In its corner is Tom Steyer, the billionaire investor and political activist from California who donated virtually all of the $23.6 million raised through the end of September. Only two Senate races this year, Texas and Florida, will feature more spending.”
October jobs report shows U.S. adds 250,000 jobs - WSJ
District of Columbia may give 16 year olds the right to vote - AP
Trump administration announces reimposition of Iran sanctions starting Monday - AP
AUDIBLE: SPOOKY SZN
“According to the Vermont Department of Health, there were 5908 deaths in Vermont in 2016, about 16 a day. Thus, during the 45 day ‘early voting’ period about 720 Vermonters will pass on to that great voting booth in the sky, but those who have cast their votes early will influence the Election tally from beyond the grave! OMG, the votes of the dead are counted in Vermont!” – Brook Page, the Republican candidate for Vermont Secretary of State, wrote in a Facebook post making a point against early voting laws.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend, ahead of Election Day, Mr. Sunday will be live from New York City! Chris Wallace will sit down with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 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.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“For the past two years we have had a Republican House and Republican Senate--two bodies that accomplished nothing. We are now faced with the prospect of a Republican Senate and a Democratic House that we know will accomplish nothing. Can someone please explain to me why this Mid-Term has any importance at all?” – Nancy Barnes, Moreno Valley, Calif.
[Ed. note: I like the cut of your jib, Ms. Barnes! There will be consequences to the election, whomever wins, so it’s important to vote (except for people like me who live in the District of Columbia, which is not intended to have representatives in Congress). But my goodness the amount of hysteria over one midterm!]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
WNBC: “A shocking discovery Thursday at the Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth sorting center now officially tops the list of bizarre donations they have been forced to handle: an albino boa constrictor snake. ‘I was tipping this machine, and when I brought the bin back the snake was hanging over the edge,’ said Tassy Rodgers, who works in donation processing. ‘I was a little freaked out and thinking this cannot be fake; it’s gotta be real.’ The snake was very much real, and is now in the care of the Goodwill staff until its rightful owner can be located. The belief is that it did not slither its way into the southeast Fort Worth sorting center and was instead dropped off — either on purpose or by accident — at one of the 38 donation centers in the Fort Worth area.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“You're betraying your whole life if you don't say what you think - and you don't say it honestly and bluntly.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a 2013 pre-tape interview with Bret Baier.
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.