Bevin lashes himself to Trump, sinks anyway 


**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

On the roster: Bevin lashes himself to Trump, sinks anyway - Impeachment hearings to begin next week - Buttigieg health plan under the microscope - Audible: What about a sweater for a shotgun? - Cat-ica! Cat-ica! Cat-ica!

BEVIN LASHES HIMSELF TO TRUMP, SINKS ANYWAY

Lexington [Ky.] Herald Leader: “Kentucky voters rejected Gov. Matt Bevin Tuesday, bucking a statewide Republican trend as they turned their backs on a politician known as much for his blustery personality as his conservative values. Democrat Andy Beshear, who ran a campaign as the anti-Bevin and stuck to a script of ‘kitchen table issues’ — education, pensions, health care and jobs — declared a narrow victory over the incumbent governor. Bevin refused to concede the race. … Beshear’s apparent victory comes even as Bevin clinged tightly to President Donald Trump, with several administration officials visiting throughout Bevin’s campaign, including two visits from Trump himself. Trump’s inability to lift an unpopular Bevin in a state the president won by almost 30 percentage points creates a perception the president is weak as he heads into the 2020 elections and as talk of impeachment swirls in D.C.”

What’s next? - Louisville Courier Journal: “The first step under Kentucky law is a recanvass of the vote, which is a review of the vote totals by each county clerk — counting absentee votes and checking printouts to make sure the numbers they transmitted to the State Board of Elections were correct. State law allows for a recanvassing if a county clerk or a county board of elections notices a discrepancy, or if a candidate makes a written request to the secretary of state.  ...the next possible step in the process under Kentucky law — a formal recount that includes a physical examination of the ballots. There is no provision for an automatic recount under Kentucky law. A candidate must file a petition with the Franklin Circuit Court by the Tuesday following the election. If petitioned, the judge would take possession of the paper ballots and voting machines and conduct their own recount. After doing so, the judge would make the final decision on who won the race, but that would be subject to appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals or the Kentucky Supreme Court.”

Suburban Trump backlash leads Virginia Dems to historic win - NYT: “In capturing both chambers of the legislature in Virginia, Democrats have cleared the way for Gov. Ralph S. Northam, who was nearly driven from office earlier this year, to press for measures tightening access to guns and raising the minimum wage that have been stymied by legislative Republicans. … For the first time since 1993, Democrats control both chambers in the legislature and the governor’s office — allowing them to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries after next year’s census. Linking Republican incumbents to the unpopular president and criticizing them for opposing gun control measures in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May, Democratic challengers built their victory with strong showings in suburbs stretching from outside Washington to Richmond and Hampton Roads. In Fairfax County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, the last remaining Republican lawmaker was defeated.”

Mississippi Republicans sweep statewide, first since Reconstruction - Jackson [Miss.] Clarion Ledger: “Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won the race for Mississippi governor Tuesday night, defeating Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood. Republicans were on track Tuesday to control all statewide elected offices in Mississippi and are expected to maintain super-majority control of the Legislature. It will be the first time since Reconstruction that Republicans control all statewide elected offices in Mississippi. In incomplete and unofficial results, Reeves led Hood on Tuesday night 52% to 47%. After a race filled with attack ads, Reeves took a conciliatory tone in his victory speech in downtown Jackson. ‘I will try to do what is right for the future of Mississippi,’ Reeves said. ‘And I mean all the people of Mississippi.’”

Republicans routed in Pennsylvania - Philadelphia Inquirer: “The political forces that shaped last year’s midterm elections showed no signs of abating Tuesday, as voters turned on Republicans and establishment Democrats alike in races from Philadelphia and Scranton to the suburbs of Delaware and Chester Counties. … Democrats will hold all five seats on the Delaware County Council, a Republican stronghold since the Civil War, and also assumed a majority on the legislative body in Chester County. In Bucks County, Democrats captured the Board of Commissioners for the first time since 1983. And in Philadelphia, a third-party insurgent candidate weakened an already marginalized GOP by securing one of the at-large City Council seats reserved for minority parties – a seat Republicans have held for decades.”

Gonzales: Some lessons from Tuesday’s results - Roll Call: “Kentucky was not an upset. Inside Elections changed its rating on the governor’s race from Lean Republican to Toss-up in mid-July after finding Gov. Matt Bevin very vulnerable. So those who were surprised by Democrat Andy Beshear’s declared victory weren’t paying close enough attention. … Tuesday’s results continued to demonstrate GOP problems in the suburbs since Trump took office. The latest was in northern Kentucky in the Cincinnati suburbs, where Bevin won in 2015 and Beshear won in 2019. Or in northern Mississippi, in the Memphis suburbs where the GOP margin in DeSoto County dropped from 61 points to 20 points... These are just the latest pieces of evidence after Democrat Dan McCready’s overperformance in the Charlotte suburbs from 2018 to the 2019 special election in North Carolina’s 9th District. It should be particularly concerning for President Trump in his efforts to win Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas in 2020.”

THE RULEBOOK: CHECK POINT
“To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate [when the president nominates individuals]? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 76

TIME OUT: WHEN EINSTEIN BECAME EINSTEIN
Smithsonian: “When the year 1919 began, Albert Einstein was virtually unknown beyond the world of professional physicists. By year’s end, however, he was a household name around the globe. November 1919 was the month that made Einstein into ‘Einstein,’ the beginning of the former patent clerk’s transformation into an international celebrity. On November 6, scientists at a joint meeting of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Astronomical Society announced that measurements taken during a total solar eclipse earlier that year supported Einstein’s bold new theory of gravity, known as general relativity. Newspapers enthusiastically picked up the story. ‘Revolution in Science,’ blared the Times of London; ‘Newtonian Ideas Overthrown.’ A few days later, the New York Times weighed in with a six-tiered headline—rare indeed for a science story. ‘Lights All Askew in the Heavens,’ trumpeted the main headline. … The spotlight would remain on Einstein and his seemingly impenetrable theory for the rest of his life.”

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.2 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 21.4 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 16.2 points (↑ 0.2 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.8 points (↑ 1.4 points from last wk.)
Harris: 2.8 points (↓ 2 points from last wk.)
Yang: 2.8 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Klobuchar: 2.8 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
[Averages include: NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News, IBD and USA Today/Suffolk University.]

TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE 
Average approval: 42 percent
Average disapproval: 55.4 percent
Net Score: -13.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 2.4 points
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 39% approve - 59% disapprove; Fox News: 42% approve - 57% disapprove; IBD: 39% approve - 56% disapprove.]

WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT? 
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK
Fox News: “The House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings next week as part of the formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump featuring current and former officials with knowledge of the Ukraine controversy. ‘Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry,’ Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted Wednesday. ‘On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, we will hear from William Taylor and George Kent,’ Schiff continued. ‘On Friday, November 15, 2019, we will hear from Marie Yovanovitch.’ ‘More to come,’ he added. … Meanwhile, U.S. diplomat David Hale appeared before the committees leading the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday behind closed doors. Hale is expected to tell lawmakers that political considerations were behind the State Department's decision to withhold U.S. military aid from Ukraine.”

McCarthy to adjust committee ahead of hearings - WaPo: “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is planning to make a last-minute lineup change before open impeachment hearings of President Trump… Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) … is not a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which Democrats last week voted to give the sole power to conduct public hearings. According to three Republicans familiar with the talks but not authorized to comment publicly, McCarthy (R-Calif.) is considering placing Jordan on the panel, as well as others — such as Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)… Matt Sparks, a McCarthy spokesman, confirmed comments that McCarthy made Tuesday to Politico indicating that he planned to ‘make adjustments to that committee accordingly, for a short period of time’ during the impeachment proceedings. Sparks said [Rep. Devin] Nunes would remain the top Republican in any scenario.”

More witnesses head to the Hill - AP: “Hale, who arrived Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors, will also say that the State Department worried about the reaction from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, also one of the strongest advocates for removing the ambassador. … Also scheduled to testify Wednesday was State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, an adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and close friend of the secretary. But Brechbuhl did not appear, instead departing with Pompeo on a trip to Germany early Wednesday morning. Two other witnesses who were scheduled for Wednesday — Russ Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Rick Perry, the Energy secretary — also are not expected to show up. Both have strongly criticized the probe.”

Senate GOP looks for ways to tar Bidens during impeachment - WaPo: “Senate Republicans are privately debating whether they should use an impeachment trial of President Trump to scrutinize former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter as some Trump allies push to call them as witnesses while others dismiss the suggestion as a risky political ploy. The ongoing discussions are a revealing glimpse into the fault lines in the GOP ahead of a possible trial of Trump in the Senate, where there are varying appetites among Republicans for the type of political combat relished by the president and his most ardent defenders. Among a group of Trump’s allies inside and outside Congress, there is intense and growing interest in countering the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry by delving into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.”

BUTTIGIEG HEALTH PLAN UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
NYT: “Mr. [Pete] Buttigieg, like others in the field, has a plan for expanding health insurance coverage to the uninsured. But he also has a plan for limiting the prices that hospitals and doctors can charge to patients, even if they get their insurance from a private company. Mr. Buttigieg’s approach is slightly complicated… But it is a policy clearly intended to lower medical prices. … His plan would cap medical costs in an indirect way. It would allow insurers and medical providers to agree on whatever prices they wish in a contract. But it would limit how much insurers have to pay when providers are ‘out of network.’ The limit, double what Medicare pays them, would help patients who end up at a place that is not covered by their insurance. But it will also tend to influence the negotiations between hospitals and insurance companies, putting downward pressure on in-network prices.”

Galston: ‘Elizabeth Warren’s health-care hara-kiri’ - WSJ: “Ms. [Elizabeth] Warren should be commended for the wealth of detail in her plan, which allows voters to judge it for themselves. This said, she may well have penned the longest suicide note in recorded history. There’s no reason for the entire Democratic Party to sign it.”  

PLAY-BY-PLAY
McConnell insists spending battle won’t deter Senate from confirming judges - WashTimes

NYC voters adopt ranked-choice voting system Fox News

AUDIBLE: WHAT ABOUT A SWEATER FOR A SHOTGUN?
“The Trump presidency — it’s like every day is Christmas. You don’t know what’s under the tree. It can be that shotgun you’ve been hoping to get, or it can be a sweater you don’t want. ... There’s something under the tree. ... It makes it fun.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in an interview with Politico.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Why don't we have separate polls for both parties and another for independents? These uneven, slanted polls raise the possibility that they are predetermined to show a particular result by design. If we had 3 distinctly separate polls, we could see how strong (or weak) Trump is with registered Republicans and who the Democrats want.  The real useful poll though would be who the independents like, which takes us back to how worthless the polls really are, and that it all boils down to who gets out to vote in November.” – Tom Weekly, Gilbert, Ariz.

[Ed. note: Every poll we use does exactly that, Mr. Weekly. Good surveys break out the various partisan groups. But we need all three groups because: a) some voters go vote against their own party’s nominees and b) voters’ perceptions of themselves are apt to change over the course of time. Someone may consider themselves very independent today but by Election Day will have picked a side.]

“I have a prediction. Given: The house will proceed on full investigation for Trump impeachment. Sham or not they will use all means to channel the facts to support their coming up with their version of the articles of impeachment. They will effectively use the media to be the outlet of their opinion of the facts. So far so good. Pelosi will then ‘decide’ to formally draft the articles of impeachment but she will NOT call for a vote of the house on the articles. Her logic will be that they have all the ‘facts’ to support a vote and action by the Senate but since we are so close to the election she will leave it up to the voters to get Trump out of office because that is the democratic right way of doing it. Let the people decide. Regardless of the process used to gather the ‘facts,’ how the hearings are run, cherry picking the witnesses, determining what questions will be allowed, it will be out there for public consumption mostly one sided. No Senate trial to actually determine guilt or innocence but that won’t matter as it is the court of public opinion that will determine Trumps re-electability and the deck will be stacked. Just my silly, but I believe realistic, opinion and it has nothing to do with my political leaning. I just despise the entire process.” – Alan Edelkind, Dublin, N.H.

[Ed. note: I had not thought about that! Hearings but no vote! You could be on to something, Mr. Edelkind. I will explore this possibility further. It certainly would solve several problems for Democrats. I don’t know whether rank and file members would allow it, but it’s certainly quite an idea.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

CAT-ICA! CAT-ICA! CAT-ICA!
Fox News: “A 7-year-old cat currently available for adoption at the Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization in Houston is causing mischief and his rebellious nature is going viral. Quilty, named after a character in Vladimir Nabokov's novel, ‘Lolita,’ got into trouble after repeatedly letting the other cats out of their rooms and into the shelter lobby. ‘Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame,’ the shelter wrote in an Oct. 29 Facebook post. ‘Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several times a day.’ Since then, the shelter has been inundated with potential homes for Quilty. The antics have reached more than 135,000 people on Twitter. ‘We're pretty floored and excited about the response we've received on Quilty's antics,’ Jennifer Hopkins with Friends for Life told Chron.com. ‘He's an awesome cat.’”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Washington, it seems, is a city in decline. History has taken up residence in Budapest and Tokyo, Brussels and Seoul. After a brief spurt of prominence and wealth owed to the Depression, Hitler and the cold war, Washington, we are told, has lapsed into a somnambular state. This is an exaggeration, but not too far from the truth.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine May 21, 1990.

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.