Dem turnout machine cranks up

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Buzz Cut:
• Dem turnout machine cranks up
• Is threat hike ‘terror theater’ for midterms?
• Early voting surge in N.C.
• Bleeding Kansas no more: Tea Party backs Roberts
• For $64,200 a year, you too can experience ‘alchemical recuperation’ on Twitter

New polls and turnout data in the Democrat must-win states of Iowa, North Carolina and Colorado show the party poised to lose control of the Senate after eight years in command. But the latest Fox News national poll suggests that the blue team, after spending more than a billion dollars and hitting every wedge issue imaginable, may finally be getting some traction in the effort to mobilize its base. While the overall electorate remains sour on President Obama and his handling of recent crises – 62 percent of respondents saying they lack confidence in the president’s leadership and 59 percent saying the Obama administration has not been “competent and effective” – Democrats still made marked gains in midterm ballot tests. So what’s up?

[Former Obama spokesman and co-founder of Democrat cash machine Priorities USA Bill Burton, talks about what the latest Fox News polls mean for the midterms with Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File,” Watch.]

Going to extremes - Of the likely voters surveyed, Republicans lost two points on the generic Senate ballot from two weeks ago and 4 points on the generic House ballot in the same period.  The reason is that Democrats seem to be mobilizing. Take it away Dana Blanton: “Among likely voters, 45 percent of Republicans are ‘extremely’ interested compared to 41 percent of Democrats. Two weeks ago, the GOP was up 15 points on that question. Party loyalty is slightly in the Democrats’ favor, as more Democrats (89 percent) than Republicans (87 percent) plan to vote for their party’s candidate. This makes more of a difference than one might expect, because more voters identify as Democrat than Republican.” Read more here.

[“You can only vote once — this isn’t Chicago, now,” – President Obama campaigning for Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, Tuesday.]

Obama exasperated at Dems distancing - WaPo: “[A] senior Democrat who advises the White House, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the current feeling among Obama and his aides is ‘exasperation.’ ‘He doesn’t think they have any reason to run away from him,’ the adviser said. ‘He thinks there is a strong message there.’”

Latinos neither fired up nor ready to go -WaPo: “[According to a] new Washington Post/ABC News poll: It showed that, among Latinos, 50 percent say it doesn’t matter who wins the Senate come November. And among those who do think it will matter, twice as many say it would be a good thing (30 percent) if the GOP took over as say it would be a bad thing (15 percent).”

As the country entered the final week of the midterm election season, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was increasing security at federal buildings across the country against the possibility of a terror attack. A law enforcement source familiar with the terror threat chatter told Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry the move by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson was a “CYA move” because the threats from ISIS and other terror groups have been alarming for some time. While the administration has repeatedly downplayed that threat to the homeland, this law enforcement source noted, there is an election less than a week away and officials are being careful to make sure the public is warned about the possibilities. A second source told Fox this morning that a former intelligence official, likened Tuesday night’s press release to “terror theater.” Not that anyone would ever accuse an administration of manipulating terror threat levels ahead of an election. Heaven forefend!

-- 6 days until Nov. 4 --

A Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning finds Republican Joni Ernst pulling away from Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, 49 percent to 45 percent. Ernst also wins the support of independents, 50 percent to 41 percent.

Grassley gets behind Ernst in new ad - Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, appears in a new ad for Iowa Republican Senate contender Joni Ernst saying, “Joni understands Washington isn’t the solution because Iowans know best...take it from me, Joni shares are values and in the Senate she’ll make us very proud.”

Hello, caucusgoers! - Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton returns to Iowa today to stump for Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley. The two will rally labor supporters at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The pair will also hold a rally earlier this evening in Davenport, Iowa.

Romney turns up for Tillis - WaPo: “In a new commercial from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce …[Mitt Romney] calls Tillis is the candidate who will ‘shake up’ Washington by ‘solving the mess of Obamacare’ and boosting job creation efforts. ‘From paperboy to short order cook to executive of one of America's great companies, Thom Tillis has proved he can get the job done,’ says Romney.”

Charlotte Observer: “As of Tuesday morning – five days into the early voting session – about 37,000 Mecklenburg County residents had voted. That’s about 5,000 more ballots than were cast during the same period in the 2010 midterm elections. Statewide, some 428,000 residents voted early as of Tuesday morning. That mark wasn’t reached until 11 days of early voting four years ago. Early voting ends Saturday. … Turnout has already topped 6 percent in dozens of precincts around Huntersville, Davidson and south Charlotte, locations that tend to favor Republicans. The same is true for several precincts just north and west of uptown, areas that usually vote for Democrats, the Observer found.”

DSCC sticks with education attacks in closing salvo - Roll Call: “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with a new ad Tuesday attacking Republican Thom Tillis on education… ‘As Speaker of the House, he cut nearly $500 million dollars from public education, and gave huge new tax breaks to millionaires,’ says a woman identified as Gretchen Ross. ‘A vote for Thom Tillis is a vote against families like mine,’ she adds… The ad is part of a more than $10 million buy from the DSCC.”

Conservative group rails against ‘race hustlers’ - The conservative group American Commitment is putting $30,000 towards a radio ad hitting back at an ad aired by the House Majority Pac that charged, “Tillis even led the effort to pass the type of stand-your-ground laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.” A narrator in the group fires back  saying, “Desperate to hold onto power, [President Obama], [House Majority Leader Harry Reid], and [Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.] are shamelessly race-baiting. And it's only going to get worse in the final weekend.”

Romney teams up with Tillis - Republican 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney will join Republican Tom Tillis on the campaign trail today.

[Watch Fox: Correspondent John Roberts is North Carolina to take a closer look at the tightening contest in the Tar Heel State.]

A day after former President Bill Clinton rallied for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., heads to the Centennial State to campaign for Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. Both sides are feverishly trying to build enthusiasm and turnout. Republicans have about a 10 percent lead in the number of ballots returned early according to WaPo.

[Watch Fox: Correspondent Alicia Acuña explores Colorado’s new ballot law and what it could mean for the results of November’s midterms.]

‘What it Takes,’ Colorado edition - NYT’s Nate Cohn looks at the task for Democrats in Colorado: “Halving the gap between the 2012 and 2010 electorates would not be easy. If the Udall campaign wanted to do it strictly by mobilizing more voters, it could take getting at least an additional 50,000 Democratic-leaning voters to the polls — or perhaps one-fifth of the registered Democrats voters who voted in 2012 but not in 2010, when Democrats had their celebrated get-out-the-vote effort. If the Gardner campaign could mobilize additional voters of its own, then Mr. Udall’s requirement would jump further.”

David Drucker
details the high-stakes, high dollar strategic media campaign for votes in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia , Iowa, Kansas , Kentucky , Louisiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire: “Those 10 states are due to be flooded with more than $30 million in television, radio and digital advertising over the next seven days, possibly much more than that.”

The future of detecting cancer could become an easier “high-tech pill” to swallow. Wired explains: “Google is attempting to develop a pill that would send microscopic particles into the bloodstream in an effort to identify cancers, imminent heart attacks, and other diseases… the company is fashioning nanoparticles—particles about one billionth of a meter in width—that combine a magnetic material with antibodies or proteins that can attach to and detect other molecules inside the body. The idea is that patients will swallow a pill that contains these particles, and after they enter the bloodstream—attempting to identify molecules that would indicate certain health problems—a wearable device could use their magnetic cores to gather them back together and read what they’ve found.”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve – 41.9 percent//Disapprove – 54.7 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.5 percent//Wrong Track – 65.8 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 43.3 percent// Republicans – 45.3 percent

While much attention has been given to the contentious race between Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Republicans may be gaining on Udall’s cousin in New Mexico. What seemed like a sleeper is now becoming a closer contest between Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Republican Allen Weh. Two new polls put Udall’s once sizeable lead into the single digits. Could Republicans find New Mexico to be their land of enchantment next week? Find out by watching “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt.” Click here to watch.

[Veepness - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will campaign for Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M. in Farmington, N.M. on Thursday despite Martinez’s prohibitive lead over her Democratic challenger.]

WaPo: “[Georgia Democratic senate candidate Michelle Nunn] has been running a 60-second ad that tells the stories of former employees of Pillowtex, a now-defunct North Carolina textile manufacturer. Two years after declaring bankruptcy, the company hired [Republican David Perdue] as chief executive in 2002. He left less than a year later, and Pillowtex soon shuttered as Perdue moved on to revive another company, the retailer Dollar General… Now, Nunn’s campaign is releasing a four-minute version of the ad that it plans to send to supporters in hopes that they will pass it along to friends and fellow voters. Campaign aides believe the ad has been their most effective attack on Perdue and has helped bring the race to a statistical tie.”

Romney rallies for Perdue - Republican 2012 Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will stump for Republican David Perdue today in Georgia.

Lexington [Ky.] Herald Leader: “ [Kentucky Democratic Senate hopeful] Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday told union members from around the state and the country that electing her next Tuesday would be a ‘revolution.’ Grimes…was joined by the presidents of three national labor groups and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.] at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union... Former President Bill Clinton will return to the state for Grimes on Thursday, and the campaign also announced that on Wednesday, North Dakota Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp will join Grimes for a series of events.”

[“Throughout her campaign, Alison Grimes has made it perfectly clear that she would model herself after the most dogmatically loyal Obama lieutenants in the U.S. Senate, and yet another visit from Elizabeth Warren is the perfect capstone.” ­­–Team McConnell Spokeswoman Allison Moore, in a statement]

Jindal in to pitch for Mitch - Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., welcomes  Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., a potential 2016 presidential candidate; Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard  CEO, and unsuccessful candidate for governor of California; along with  conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt for a “Restore America” rally today in Jamestown, Ky.

Record registration in Kentucky race - Louisville Courier-Journal: “A record 548,815 people are registered to vote in Jefferson County in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 4, newly released figures by the Jefferson County clerk's office and the county Board of Elections show. Local registration is up about 10,000 from the May primary and up more than 22,000 from the November 2012 general election, figures indicate. There were no elections last year.”

AP: “U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts [R-Kan.] won a big tea party endorsement Tuesday from a group that had backed his primary challenger, providing a boost for the three-term Republican on a day his embattled campaign also got a visit from [Republican] Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. As the unexpectedly competitive race entered its final week, the endorsement from the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund signaled some conservatives once determined to oust the 78-year-old senator may now be accepting him as a more palatable option than independent Greg Orman, a political unknown.”

WaPo: “To help him deliver his closing argument to voters in one of the country's most contentious Senate races, Republican candidate Dan Sullivan is bringing a political odd couple to Alaska. Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 nominee and tacit head of the party's establishment, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a tea party firebrand, are both jetting to the Last Frontier to boost Sullivan in the runup to Election Day. Sullivan… will spend this Saturday and Sunday flying around the state with Cruz…Next Monday, on the eve of the election, Romney will hold a rally with Sullivan as well as Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) in the Anchorage area.”

Begich boasts fundraising advantage in final stretch - Alaska Dispatch News: “The last set of campaign finance filings before Election Day on Nov. 4 shows incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich with a cash advantage over his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan. After raising $510,000 in the first two weeks of October, Begich had $720,000 left in the bank on Oct. 15, according to his campaign’s filing with the Federal Election Commission. Sullivan reported raising $500,000 in the same period, and $450,000 left in the bank.”

NRO: “Senator Elizabeth Warren’s state of Massachusetts borders both New Hampshire and Vermont. So it’s a bit disconcerting that the Democratic lawmaker confused the two during a TV-spot plugging New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen’s reelection campaign.  On ABC’s The View on Tuesday, Warren praised Shaheen as ‘independent [and] out there working for the people of Vermont.’ Shaheen has been a senator in New Hampshire since 2009.”

Argus [S.D.] Leader: “As a range of new polls show  [Republican] Mike Rounds pulling ahead in South Dakota’s U.S. Senate race, national Democrats and Republicans are scaling back their investments in the state. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is canceling about $346,000 in money it planned to spend on Rounds’ behalf over the final week…Then the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee followed suit. They’ll spend just $29,000 on ads between now and the election. If that total doesn't change, the DSCC will have spent less than half of the $1 million they said they'd spend on the race. This comes one day after [Democrat Rick Weiland] blasted the DSCC in an unusual press conference, accusing them of deliberately plotting to undermine his campaign.”

Debate tonight - Republican Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland, and independent Larry Pressler are slated to debate this evening.

[A new Monmouth University Poll places Rounds ahead with 45 percent support, Weiland with 31 percent and Pressler with 19 percent support among likely voters.]


Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Republican challengers Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness face off tonight in the final televised debate of the battleground Louisiana Senate contest. Recent polls show Landrieu falling short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win the race outright on Nov. 4 and trailing Cassidy in a potential runoff.

The GOP hopes to flip six seats from red to blue to win back control of the Senate from Democrats this fall. Fox News First readers think the most likely states to switch are: Arkansas (13.9%), Montana (13.1%), West Virginia (12.4%), South Dakota (11.9%), Louisiana (11.7%), and Alaska (9%).  Reader Donna Stickling of Bluegrass, Iowa adds her state to the list noting the Republican pickups will be historical, “Next Tuesday,  Iowa will send two women to congress for the very first time! [Republicans] Joni Ernst, U.S. Senate & Mariannette Miller-Meeks, U.S. Congress.”

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

Climate Changes
’s Upshot says there’s a 65 percent likelihood of the GOP winning the Senate, down two percent from Tuesday.

WaPo’s Election Lab forecasts that Republicans will see a net gain of seven Senate seats. The forecast projects a 93 percent chance Republicans take the upper chamber, unchanged from Tuesday.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives the GOP a 62.3 percent chance of winning the Senate, down just over two points from Tuesday.

WSJ looks at the tight gubernatorial race in blue state Rhode Island and how anger over pension cuts for state employees is driving many union voters to cross party lines. “[Democratic candidate] Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island’s treasurer, spearheaded legislation in 2011 to rein in public-employee pension obligations. Rancor over the move was still strong among union voters in a poll earlier this month, in which they favored Republican candidate Allan Fung over Ms. Raimondo, 42% to 30%; among all those surveyed she led by six points. A poll out Tuesday by Brown University found the race essentially tied.” See the Brown survey results here.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., will campaign today for Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley as a Quinnipiac Poll, released this morning, finds him tied with Gov. Dan Malloy, D-Conn., at 43 percent.  First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama are slated to campaign for Malloy at separate appearances later this week.

Washington Examiner: “Texas Democratic State Rep. Dawnna Dukes on Saturday accused Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbot, a paraplegic, of thinking he can just ‘roll around’ and deny voters in the Lone Star State the same right to sue for injury that he enjoyed when he lost his ability to walk. ‘And then we have this guy who kind of just rolls around thinking that he can get tort reform for himself but take it away from everybody else in the state of Texas,’ Dukes said this weekend at an event to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.”

Chicago Sun-Times: “Jon Carson, the executive director of Organizing for Action, the spin-off of the Obama campaign based in Chicago’s West Loop, is stepping down to join a solar company but will remain connected to the group by becoming a co-chair of the OFA board of directors along with current chair Jim Messina… OFA will start to solicit big checks again and will ramp up to buttress Obama administration efforts to spur Obamacare enrollment, with the next sign-up period coming on Nov. 15… The new team, according to the OFA: ‘Sara El-Amine, OFA’s National Grassroots Organizing Director and a veteran organizer, will become OFA’s new Executive Director. Abby Witt, who currently serves as OFA’s Deputy National Issues Campaign Director, will be promoted to Managing Director.”

Starting next semester, undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania can earn course credit by taking a creative writing class called “Wasting time on the Internet.” “Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed?,” the course description asks. “Using our laptops and a wifi connection as our only materials, this class will focus on the alchemical recuperation of aimless surfing into substantial works of literature. Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs.”  The courses’ instructor, poet Kenneth Goldsmith tells Vice, “I think it’s complete [expletive] that the internet is making us dumber. I think the internet is making us smarter. There’s this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age.”

“The only reason to retake the Senate is to enact the agenda that would come out of the House into the Senate and then confront Obama with a veto threat. Sharpen the differences. Show the country you are not the party of ‘no,’ that you are a party that is prepared.” – Charles Krauthammer, on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News.  Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up