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On the roster: Fundraising totals reveal five-way Dem race - House Dem freshmen crush fundraising expectations - Trump tweets revive impeachment push - U.S. to hit $1 trillion deficit - Nancy Drew at the Applebee’s
FUNDRAISING TOTALS REVEAL FIVE-WAY DEM RACE
NYT: “Five Democratic presidential candidates raised a combined $96 million from individual donors in the last three months – about three-quarters of the total fund-raising by the entire Democratic field, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. [The NYT] crunched the latest fund-raising numbers for the candidates, and the findings paint a picture of the diverging fortunes in the 2020 race. The numbers highlight the financial challenges that many of the lesser-known candidates are facing as they seek to keep their campaigns afloat. Mayor Pete Buttigieg more than tripled his fund-raising from the first quarter, as did Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris raised about the same as in the first quarter. Former Representative Beto O’Rourke took in a fraction of what he raised in the first 18 days of his campaign. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. came in second to Mr. Buttigieg, who was virtually unknown only months ago.”
Struggling campaigns face financial oblivion - Politico: “Months of bleak polling couldn’t stop the parade of lower-level Democrats crowding into the presidential primary. But bankruptcy might. Eleven Democratic presidential candidates — nearly half of the sprawling field — spent more campaign cash than they raised in the second quarter of the year, according to new financial disclosures filed Monday. Eight contenders active in the spring limped forward with less than $1 million in cash on hand, and several top-tier contenders were already spending multiples of what their lower-profile competitors raised. The financial squeeze is set to drastically shrink the lineup of Democratic contenders in the coming months, barring major shifts in momentum, as candidates grapple with the doldrums of summer fundraising and the high costs of staffing national campaigns and building donor lists big enough to qualify for future Democratic National Committee debates.”
Beto circling the drain - NYT: “The gap between the rich and the poor in the Democratic presidential primary is growing — and Beto O’Rourke has landed on the worrisome side of the dividing line. Mr. O’Rourke, who had entered the race in March with the promise of being a top candidate and a financial powerhouse, faltered in dramatic fashion in second-quarter fund-raising, announcing on Monday that he had taken in only $3.6 million. The sum was a fraction of what the front-runners brought in. In fact, Mr. O’Rourke’s total for the 90-day period was far less than he raised in his first 24 hours as a candidate, when he received $6.1 million.”
HOUSE DEM FRESHMEN CRUSH FUNDRAISING EXPECTATIONS
National Journal: “Swing-seat freshman Democrats raised a collective $24 million in the second quarter of 2019, a staggering sum that will provide an early fortification for key House battlegrounds and complicate Republicans’ attempts to reclaim the majority. It’s the latest sign that the cash influx that boosted dozens of Democratic candidates to victory last November isn’t dissipating, even with the next election still more than a year away and with some two-dozen presidential candidates competing for donations. In total, 33 freshman Democrats raised at least $500,000 from April to June, more than twice the number who crossed that threshold in the first quarter, according to National Journal analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. And 23 of them began July with $900,000 or more in the bank. … For comparison, just five of the 30 Republican incumbents who lost to Democrats last cycle raised more than half a million in the second quarter of 2017.”
Trump, GOP relied on wealthy mega donors for huge cash haul - CNBC: “President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee turned to the titans of industry for help raising over $100 million in the second quarter of 2019, according to one of their latest filings. The Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising operation between the Trump campaign and the RNC, showed they have successfully captured some business leaders who helped finance their previous 2016 opponents. The combined fundraising organization finished raising $29 million with $19 million on hand. The decision by these business leaders to align themselves with Trump — just over a year before the general election — shows that Democrats could have a tough road ahead convincing these executives, who have fared well under the current administration with tax cuts and deregulation, to help finance their campaigns. It also shows the stranglehold Trump has on the Republican donor class.”
THE RULEBOOK: WE THE PEOPLE
“The natural strength of the people in a large community, in proportion to the artificial strength of the government, is greater than in a small, and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the government to establish a tyranny.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28
TIME OUT: KA-BOOM
History: “On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt supporting the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as a basis for a weapon of mass destruction. In February 1940, the federal government granted a total of $6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 44.2 percent
Average disapproval: 51.2 percent
Net Score: -7 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.4 points
[Average includes: NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 47% approve - 50% disapprove; CNN: 45% approve - 51% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve - 54% disapprove; IBD: 43% approve - 49% disapprove.]
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TRUMP TWEETS REVIVE IMPEACHMENT PUSH
The Hill: “Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said Monday that he plans to force a vote on impeachment this month following President Trump’s inflammatory tweets telling a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. Green – who first unsuccessfully forced a vote on impeachment in 2017, with just 58 Democrats supporting the effort on the floor – said he feels he needs to take action due to the president’s recent rhetoric. … His calls could be bolstered by growing support for impeachment in the Democratic Party, which has largely focused on the administration’s refusal to cooperate with Democratic investigations. As of Monday, The Hill has counted more than 80 Democratic lawmakers who have endorsed an impeachment inquiry.”
Mooch says Trump is ‘turning into’ a racist - Politico: “Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications chief, said that U.S. President Donald Trump could be ‘turning into’ a racist. Scaramucci told the BBC's ‘Today’ program on Tuesday that the president's recent Twitter tirade — in which he told progressive Democratic congresswomen to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came’ — was ‘racially charged.’ … ‘I don't think the president is a racist,’ said Scaramucci … before adding: ‘But here's the thing, if you continue to say and act in that manner, then we all have to look at him and say, OK, well, maybe you weren't a racist, but now you're turning into one.’”
Rep. Liz Cheney targets the ‘Squad’s’ policies - Mediaite: “Rep. Liz Cheney clarified Tuesday that GOP opposition to progressive House members newly knighted ‘Squad’ has nothing to with their gender, religion, or race as President Donald Trump’s tweets might have indicated and everything to do with, well everything else. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Cheney flipped the script from Trump’s racist tweets to bad socialist policies advanced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Pressley’s ‘racist’ comments over the weekend. ‘I want to talk about what’s gone on over the last few days. I want to make absolutely clear our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,’ said Cheney. ‘It has to do with the content of their policies.’”
Team Trump attempts to repackage the tweets - Politico: “Within hours of President Donald Trump’s radioactive tweets on Sunday urging several Democratic congresswomen to ‘go back’ to other countries, his campaign was scrambling to repackage the attack on the four women of color into a broader patriotic message. … The evolution from the Sunday tweets to the Monday talking points offers a glimpse of what the Trump campaign will likely have to deal with as it heads into the heart of the 2020 election. While Trump’s reelection officials have long insisted that the best strategy is to always follow the president’s political instincts, the past few days have shown they also will have to regularly find ways to map Trump’s outbursts onto the campaign themes they think will drive him to victory.”
Mark Sanford considers a run against Trump - The [S.C.] Post and Courier: “Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina congressman ousted from office after President Donald Trump urged voters to reject him, is considering a run for president. Sanford, in an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Post and Courier, confirmed he will take the next month to formulate whether he will mount a potential run against Trump as a way of pushing a national debate about America’s mounting debt, deficit and government spending. He would run as a Republican. ‘Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,’ Sanford said. ‘I feel convicted.’ If he does get in the race, Sanford faces mammoth odds of getting any traction within the Republican Party.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE WARMS UP TO HARRIS
WMUR: “Sen. Kamala Harris has moved into second place among Democratic presidential contenders, while Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped into fifth place, in the latest New Hampshire primary poll conducted by Saint Anselm College. Harris, apparently still resonating with voters following her debate performance more than two weeks ago, is backed by 17.5 percent of likely Democratic first-in-the-nation primary voters. That support puts her just more than 3 percentage points behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who received 20.8 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a close third, at 16.7 percent, less than a percentage point behind Harris. Sanders registered 9.9 percent, behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is fourth in the poll with 11.5 percent. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, after registering at 6.4 percent in a Saint Anselm College poll in April, received zero percent support in the new poll. … Neil Levesque, director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the survey center, attributed Harris’ rise to the nationwide attention she received as a result of her showing at a June 27 debate in Miami, Florida.”
Bernie sucking wind in his own backyard - CNN: “Former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sit atop the field of Democratic presidential contenders among likely primary voters in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire. Overall, 24% say they back Biden, while 19% each support Sanders and Warren. The five-point margin between Biden and the two senators matches the survey's margin of sampling error. Behind this top tier, 10% support South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and 9% back California Sen. Kamala Harris. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke each registered 2% in the poll. No other candidate tested earned more than 1% support. … In April's UNH poll, Sanders topped Biden 30% to 18%. Biden's increase in support is surely a positive, but the April poll was conducted before he announced his candidacy for president…”
Dems sharpen health insurance attacks - WaPo: “The fight over health care has burst to the forefront of the Democratic presidential race, with defenders of the Affordable Care Act, such as Joe Biden, and advocates of a broader Medicare-for-all system, notably Bernie Sanders, launching more aggressive attacks on each other. The dispute, which has reverberated across the sprawling field, is exemplified by the increasingly hostile dynamic between Biden and Sanders. … The health-care debate reflects a broader battle unfolding in the Democratic field that goes to the heart of the party’s future: How should Democrats balance idealism and pragmatism, and how far left should they move? … Disagreements about health care, an issue that polls show is critical to many voters, loom heavily over the general election campaign as well. Many Democrats are eager to reprise their successful midterm election strategy of pointing to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.”
U.S. TO HIT $1 TRILLION DEFICIT
The Hill: “The White House projects that the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year, the only time in the nation's history the deficit has exceeded that level, excluding the four-year period following the Great Recession. ‘The 2019 deficit has been revised to a projected $1.0 trillion,’ the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wrote in its midyear review. As a candidate, President Trump promised to wipe out not only the deficit but the entire federal debt, which has surpassed $22 trillion. Republicans cast aside projections that their 2017 tax reform law would add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over a decade. Larry Kudlow, the top White House economic adviser, claimed just last week that the tax cuts were on track to pay for themselves.”
Pelosi pooh-poohs Trump plan for short debt hike - WaPo: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke late Monday as they tried to broker a debt ceiling and budget deal with just days left before Congress plans to leave for the rest of the summer. The talks took on new urgency after Pelosi shot down a White House fallback plan that would have Congress raise the debt ceiling – potentially for just a short period of time – by late next week if they failed to reach a budget agreement. Pelosi, the California Democrat, said the idea of raising the debt ceiling on its own and not in conjunction with a budget agreement was not ‘acceptable to our caucus’ and therefore did not stand a chance of passage in the House of Representatives. Mnuchin had floated the alternative publicly during remarks at the White House, when asked what would happen if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised before lawmakers departed for a lengthy summer break.”
Scott Walker gets a job with Reagan-era youth group - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Hoppy Kercheval: ‘Our Orbit of Outrage’ - West Virginia MetroNews
Meet the Texas man who has sketched C-SPAN talking heads for more than a decade - Roll Call
AUDIBLE: THE BROCHACHO ELECTION
“I’d say, ‘C’mon Donald, c’mon man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?’” – Former vice president Joe Biden said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked if he was tough enough to take on President Trump.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“The adults in the room ought to be making the point that the communications from both sides of this ‘twitter storm’ are not moving the nation any closer to viable solutions. Both sides deserve to be reprimanded as often as they refuse to be civil. The media can play to win the race for the most inflammatory headlines while trying to generate the most media ‘clicks’ ... or they can begin to play the role of adult mediators in the ongoing struggles we face in Washington.” – James Kinney, Capt. USN (ret), Hoschton, Ga.
[Ed. note: Quite right, Capt. Kinney! Unfortunately, politicians and reporters, like many of their countrymen, increasingly tend to see all endeavors simply as opportunities for individual advancement. “Look at me” doesn’t work quite as well as “e pluribus unum” as a national motto. Thanks to this larger cultural shift, which is enhanced by our screwy primary election system, it is increasingly hard to find politicians who will risk any potential career setbacks in the name of achieving larger goals.]
“I have a question concerning the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported in today's (7-15-19) Halftime Report. This poll reports Joe Biden leading President Trump by a 51% to 42% margin. Is this a nationwide poll? If so, Biden will likely have built up large leads in California, New York, and Illinois. These states should be relatively easy wins for nearly any Democrat. What is the margin if the results of these three states are removed? Would this not be a truer reflection of where the race is? Actually, if all states where the outcome in either direction is of little doubt are removed, would this not produce an even truer reflection of where the race prediction actually is?” – Tom Snyder, Frankfort, Ill.
[Ed. note: I think you may be straining your eyes a bit, Mr. Snyder. As we have mentioned before, these head-to-head polls are only useful as barometers of national opinion about the incumbent. What I find interesting about them isn’t how the Democrats are doing – which is rather immaterial given that their eventual nominee will almost certainly be in far worse shape a year from now – but the remarkable stability of Trump’s poor showing with voters. There’s an appetite for change that rivals even that of 2008. These polls won’t be predictive of the future outcome, but can be a useful way to check in on voter attitudes.]
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NANCY DREW AT THE APPLEBEE’S
UPI: “Danielle Reno of Kansas City [Mo.] said she was only out of her Toyota 4Runner for a few short moments while picking up her daughter when someone jumped into the vehicle and sped off. Reno said she filed a police report, but kept an eye on the purchases appearing on her credit and debit cards, which had been in the wallet she left inside of the vehicle… Reno said she visited a QuickTrip station where her cards were used about 48 hours after the theft and the clerk offered a helpful clue: The women in the vehicle had mentioned they were going to Applebee's. The amateur sleuth said she sat at a table in Applebee's until she saw three women walk in, one of whom was holding her wallet and keys. Reno posted a video to Facebook showing her sneaking out to the parking lot and stealing her car back while alerting authorities. Police soon arrived and the three women were arrested.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“With apologies to Lord Palmerston, we don’t have permanent enthusiasms, but we do have permanent interests. And they have a way of asserting themselves.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on April 13, 2017.
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.