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On the roster: Buttigieg breaks through in Iowa - Warren’s having a moment - Voters warming to impeachment, investigations - Audible: Mooooooo… - Millennials, amirite?
BUTTIGIEG BREAKS THROUGH IN IOWA
Des Moines Register: “The field of Democratic presidential candidates is starting to settle into tiers: Joe Biden leads the pack, and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are in close competition for second place, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll shows. Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucus goers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7%, and other numbers within the poll indicate some underlying strengths for her. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%. ‘We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,’ said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. … But many candidates in this historically large field are failing to break into the public consciousness in any meaningful way, she said.”
Hawkeye Dems’ focus is on beating Trump - NBC News: “With eight months left until the Iowa caucuses, we care a lot more about what Iowa Democrats want — rather than the state of the horserace. … [From] the Des Moines Register/CNN Iowa poll that was released over the weekend: Beating Trump is more important than ideology: Two-thirds of likely Democratic caucus-goers say it’s more important to them that the Iowa winner has a strong chance of beating Trump, while just a third say it’s more important that the winner shares their position on key issues. Iowa Dems are divided on impeachment: Forty-two percent of likely caucus-goers who plan to participate in person believe House Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump ASAP. That’s compared with 48 percent who want them to focus on investigations – but not move forward with impeachment.”
Biden skips big Iowa event - Bloomberg: “The Democrats’ 2020 dilemma was on display at the first major event of the Iowa calendar, as the man who wasn’t there, Joe Biden, was once again the subject of veiled attacks by a pack of challengers who have so far been unable to dislodge him as the front-runner. Senator Bernie Sanders, Biden’s closest competitor, took the most pointed swipe at the former vice president, but each of the 19 candidates gathered Sunday night for the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame dinner tried to show they were the one to lead the party against President Donald Trump. … Biden missed the dinner to attend his granddaughter’s graduation, but he’ll be in Iowa for campaign stops on Tuesday and Wednesday. He also skipped last weekend’s California Democratic Convention, where 14 candidates spoke. He’ll join up with the crowd for the first time at a weekend of events in South Carolina in two weeks. At the end of the month, the first debate among the Democratic candidates will be held in Miami.”
THE RULEBOOK: FOR THE FOLKS
“Duty, gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the chords by which [members of the House of Representatives] will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 57
TIME OUT: LANDING PAD
LAT: “Just past the turnoff for the Horizon Mobile Village and RV Park, there’s no evidence of a multimillion-dollar project that will attract worldwide attention upon its completion. But up the hill and past the guard station on Southridge Drive, Palm Springs’ most exclusive hillside neighborhood has been rumbling with the sound of power tools and construction trucks for well over a year, as more than a hundred craftsmen from across the Coachella Valley have worked to bring the city’s most famous house back to life. Starchitecture groupies may refer to it as a John Lautner house, in reference to the celebrated Los Angeles architect who designed it, but locally it’s known to many as the Bob Hope house, a circular 24,000-square-foot residence built 40-plus years ago for the entertainer and his family. [When] Hope first saw Lautner’s architectural model, he quipped: ‘Well, at least when they come down from Mars they’ll know where to go.’”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 41.4 percent
Average disapproval: 51.8 percent
Net Score: -10.4 points
Change from one week ago: up 1.8 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: 43% approve - 49% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; CNBC: 40% approve - 50% disapprove; Gallup: 40% approve - 55% disapprove; CBS News: 41% approve - 52% disapprove.]
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WARREN’S HAVING A MOMENT
WaPo: “Midway through Elizabeth Warren’s stump speech these days, her fans start jumping from their seats like pistons, firing with cheers and applause each time she rattles off another new policy punchline. … Six months after launching her candidacy amid blundering apologies for her longtime claims of Native American ancestry and nagging questions about whether she could compete on a national stage, Warren is experiencing something unusual in the crowded Democratic field: momentum. It is not showing up in national polls, which have remained largely steady with Warren in the single digits, far behind former vice president Joe Biden. But energized crowds have been flocking to her events in early-voting states. Her nonstop stream of policy positions, which add up to what would be a restructuring of American capitalism, has helped shape the broader debate.”
Buttigieg downplays ‘Community Resident Card’ program - NBC News: “[In 2016 Pete] Buttigieg toyed with the idea of some type of municipal identification card for those who couldn't obtain driver's licenses or other government ID's. The result was an innovative, first-of-its-kind governmentally endorsed, privately run program – one Buttigieg could tout on the presidential primary campaign trail where Latinos are a key voting group. But he never does. … [Buttigieg] imagined a ‘Community Resident Card’ program in which the IDs would be paid for, created and distributed by the group – a private organization – not the city. … But despite having developed a novel approach to benefit a community in need, Buttigieg doesn't mention it at campaign events as part of his South Bend record of accomplishments. And the program isn't promoted on his campaign website, nor given a word in his memoir…”
Senate seats beckon struggling presidential hopefuls - The Hill: “Democrats facing a steep uphill climb to win back the Senate want Beto O’Rourke to reconsider his long-shot bid for president and take another look at running for the Senate in Texas, especially if his White House bid fails to pick up momentum. They feel the same way about two other White House hopefuls who are polling at around 1 percent or lower: former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Political experts give O’Rourke, Bullock and Hickenlooper little chance of winning the White House but say they could give GOP incumbents in their states a run for the money. If they don’t run, Democrats will have a slimmer chance of winning in the states and taking back the Senate majority in either 2020 or 2022.”
If you were wondering, John Kerry will not run for president again - Sky News: “Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he will not seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election. The 75-year-old, who was defeated in the 2004 election by George W. Bush, had previously said he was considering a run and wasn't ‘taking anything off the table.’ However, speaking to Sky News at an environmental summit in Cork, Mr. Kerry said he would not be entering an already crowded field of 23 candidates for the nomination. ‘I was giving it thought at a time when Joe Biden hadn't made up his mind, I wasn't in a rush to have to get into the race then,’ he said. ‘I'm delighted he's in the race as he and I are old friends. I'm hopeful that we're going to wind up with a nominee who will resoundingly be able to help lead the country in a better direction.’”
VOTERS WARMING TO IMPEACHMENT, INVESTIGATIONS
NPR: “There is a growing desire for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Trump, but Americans are still split overall on what to do after the release of the Mueller report, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll finds. A slim majority of Americans (52%) want one of the following: to begin impeachment proceedings (22%), to continue investigations into potential political wrongdoing of Trump (25%) or to publicly reprimand him — that is, censure (5%). Thirty-nine percent say no further action should be taken and that the current investigations should end. That is largely reflective of Trump's base, as Trump maintains a 41% approval rating in the poll. … The share that supports beginning impeachment proceedings is up from 16% a month ago… The growth in support comes from a near doubling of the number of independents who say they want impeachment rather than continuing investigations, publicly reprimanding Trump or taking no further action.”
Pergram: ‘Democrats present anti-Trump tactics as ‘something for everyone’’ - Fox News
Trump has feelings about French wine tariffs - Bloomberg
Top Senate Republicans to meet with White House on spending bills Tuesday - Politico
Once a political powerhouse, Southern Baptist Convention faces big questions at annual conclave - The Atlantic
“And as these cattle calls pick up we are going to get to know each other better and better.” – South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg discussing the massive field of Democratic presidential candidates per CNN.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Sorry to go history nerd on you, but the key decisions on Berlin were made at the Second Quebec Conference in September, 1944. Once we had agreed that the Soviets were going to get all the adjacent East German territory as well as almost half of Berlin, spending major amounts of US blood on a prestige objective would not have been accepted by the US public. All the public wanted was an end to the wall and all the troops’ home ASAP.” – Daniel Scott Palter, Pelican Rapids, Minn.
[Ed. note: Your points are interesting and well made, Mr. Palter. But I am including your note because in my lifelong efforts to find the best place names in America, your hometown scores a grand slam! When I found out that it was also in Otter Tail County, I was even more impressed. A novelist could not come up with better, more American, more Minnesotan names.]
“What are your predictions or thoughts on John James’ second run for Senate? Is Gary Peters an easier fight than Debbie Stabenow? I do hope that John James will make some more noise across the media landscape compared to 2018 when the Beto-fever epidemic dominated the news cycles. Minority candidate, West Point grad, veteran, job-creator… handsome, no doubt… any chance of a John James fever? Thanks and GO BLUES (sorry, Brianna)!” – Jack Whiteman, St. Louis
[Ed. note: I can answer your question if you answer mine first: What will be the result of the presidential election for Michigan’s 16 electoral votes? James got smoked pretty good in 2018, losing to Stabenow by 6 points – 275,660 votes out of 4,237,271 cast. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by 10,704 votes out of 4,824,542 cast. If Trump can repeat his past performance, he might lift James into the Senate. If Trump performs more like a typical Republican and loses Michigan by more than 100,000 votes, James will probably struggle to even replicate his 6-point defeat. One of the frustrations Senate candidates feel in presidential years is that much of their destiny is outside of their control. We are walking into what I expect to be the highest-turnout presidential election of at least a generation. Like much else, individual Senate races will be trampled underfoot.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
Fox News: “A bank robber in Israel allegedly burglarized two banks last month by threatening bank tellers with an avocado he claimed was a grenade. The thief, identified as a 47-year-old man, stole almost $8,400 from two banks in Beersheba with his avocado, which he painted black, and a misspelled handwritten note demanding money from the bank teller. ‘Hand over the money in the drawer,’ the note read, according to The Times of Israel. The man allegedly told the woman: ‘Put the money in the bag or I'll quickly throw this grenade.’ The robber was holding the edible ‘grenade’ and got away with nearly $4,500. Less than a week later, the man pulled the same stunt using the imposter grenade at another bank, and successfully stole more than $3,300, the news outlet reported. Investigators were able to track the man's cell phone, and identified him as a former convict who previously served three years for robbery.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The usual explanation is that Republicans deserve extra scrutiny and punishment because of hypocrisy. They campaign ostentatiously for family values while undermining them in private. … True. Hypocrisy it is. And hypocrisy is certainly a vice. But is it a capital offense?” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Weekly Standard on Oct. 16, 2006.
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.