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On the roster: Poll shows Biden blowing past Bernie in New Hampshire - Klobuchar takes hard stance as a ‘proven progressive’ - I’ll Tell You What: I would wait… - Trump losing Obama voters he flipped in 2016 - Cashed out
POLL SHOWS BIDEN BLOWING PAST BERNIE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Monmouth University: “Former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear front-runner for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Democratic primary, according to the first Monmouth University Poll of Granite State primary voters in the 2020 cycle. One-third of voters say that finding a candidate who will carry on former President Barack Obama’s legacy is very important to them… On the other hand, two-thirds of primary voters point to finding a nominee who can beat President Donald Trump as more important to them than agreement on the issues. … [Biden at 36%] is followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 18%. Other contenders include South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9%), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%), and California Sen. Kamala Harris (6%). Registering at least 1% in the poll are former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (2%), Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (2%), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (2%), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (1%), Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (1%), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (1%).”
Bernie workers of the world unite - Roll Call: “Working for a campaign can be grueling, especially because staffers lack the formal human resources structure of a more traditional workplace. But hourly workers for the Bernie 2020 campaign can now count on overtime pay. That’s because the campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders ratified a collective bargaining agreement last week, the first presidential campaign in history to do so, according to the campaign. Workers will be represented by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400. Campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in statement Wednesday that Bernie 2020 had ‘set the bar higher for the next generations of campaigners.’ ‘We are proud of our workers and proud to uphold Bernie’s commitment to collective bargaining rights and a strong labor movement,’ said Shakir. Local 400 has never represented a campaign staff before, and UFCW has never represented such a high-profile campaign.”
Beto hires Obama, Hillary alum - Politico: “Beto O’Rourke has hired Jeff Berman, Barack Obama’s delegate selection director and a delegate strategist for Hillary Clinton in 2016, as senior adviser for delegate strategy, the campaign said Thursday. The hire comes as O’Rourke, after a highly unstructured U.S. Senate campaign last year, moves to piece together a more traditional operation for his presidential run. Berman was an instrumental force on Obama’s 2008 campaign, helping guide Obama's effort through the Democratic primary’s complex delegate landscape. Jen O’Malley Dillon, O’Rourke’s campaign manager, said in a statement that Berman was ‘one of the first people I reached out to when I came on board because delegate strategy is so critical to our overall strategy.’ … O’Rourke is now polling at about 5 percent nationally, according to the latest Morning Consult survey, falling back after an early burst of enthusiasm surrounding his campaign announcement in March.”
Booker talks gun control - Fox News: “Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker says gun violence ‘is an everyday experience to people like me.’ As he unveiled a wide-ranging gun control proposal this week and showcased his call for federal licensing of firearms, the Democrat from New Jersey and former mayor of Newark -- one of the toughest cities in the nation -- emphasized that ‘I can’t stay away from this.’ Booker became the latest Democratic White House hopeful to make the issue of gun violence a top priority in the 2020 campaign. … The senator's sweeping proposal includes not only the license idea but a ban on assault weapons and limits on bulk purchases of firearms. Booker and other candidates doubled down on their calls in the wake of this week's Colorado school shooting.”
Goldberg: ‘Voters want normalcy, and radical Dems don’t offer it’ - Boston Herald: “Right now, Joe Biden is the only major Democratic presidential contender who seems both interested in and capable of pursuing such a strategy. The rest of the field seems to think that Twitter likes and retweets will count as primary votes, and that there’s an appetite in the country for left-wing radicalism on a par with what they see as Trump’s right-wing radicalism. Rather than vow to keep the economic boom going while returning Washington to normalcy and enacting reasonable reforms with bipartisan support, they talk about socializing medicine, making slavery reparations, forgiving student loans, banning guns through executive orders and implementing a Green New Deal. And the media obsess over impeachment.”
KLOBUCHAR TAKES HARD STANCE AS A ‘PROVEN PROGRESSIVE’
Fox News: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., defended her views and record at a Fox News town hall on Wednesday, saying progressives should support her bid for the presidency in 2020 because she is a ‘proven progressive.’ Many view Klobuchar as a more moderate Democratic presidential candidate among the nearly two dozen hopefuls in the race. During the town hall, that distinction formed the underpinnings of one question from an audience member, who asked why progressives should support the senator and noted her ‘unwillingness to support’ Medicare for all or free college for all. ‘Progressives should support me because I'm a proven progressive. The last time I checked, if you want to be a progressive and support progressives, then you are supposed to make progress. All right? And that is what I have done. That it is what I've done my whole life,’ Kobuchar told the Wisconsin audience.”
She also shared her views on Trump's tax law - Bloomberg: “Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said Wednesday she doesn’t want to fully repeal President Donald Trump’s tax law, breaking with rival and fellow Senator Kamala Harris who said it should be eliminated entirely. ‘I would’ve brought that corporate tax rate down some, but not to where they brought it,’ the Minnesota senator said at a Fox News town hall in Wisconsin. ‘There are parts of that bill that I would keep in place.’ Klobuchar didn’t say where she’d set the corporate rate — which the law brought down from 35% to 21% at a cost of roughly $1.4 trillion — or which other parts of the law she would seek to preserve as president. Other candidates have criticized the tax law as giving greater benefits to the wealthy and corporations rather than middle-income Americans.”
THE RULEBOOK: SUSPICIOUS MINDS
“By a curious refinement upon the spirit of republican jealousy, we are even taught to apprehend danger from the militia itself, in the hands of the federal government.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 29
TIME OUT: ANOTHER BAT-WINGED DINOSAUR?
Atlantic: “Two years ago, a farmer from Wubaiding Village, in northeastern China, came across a beautiful fossil. The only animal fossils that had ever been found at this site were a pair of salamanders, but when Min Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences saw the new specimen, he was sure it was a dinosaur. Studying the beautifully preserved and nigh-complete skeleton … when [Wang] looked more closely at the left arm, he saw a thin bone coming down from its wrist—a rod as long as the entire forearm, but not jointed like a finger. … He knew he had found another bat-winged dinosaur. … He named it Ambopteryx longibranchus, from the Latin for ‘both wings, long upper arm.’ Ambopteryx is actually the second bat-winged dinosaur to be found. The first was also spotted by a farmer in northeastern China, and eventually described in 2015 by Xing Xu and Xioating Zheng.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 43.6 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -8.4 points
Change from one week ago: up 2.2 points
[Average includes: IBD: 43% approve - 50% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 46% approve - 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 42% approve - 54% disapprove.]
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**we now return you to our regularly scheduled political palaver**
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: I WOULD WAIT…
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss Democratic Presidential candidates jockeying for position in the Midwest, former President Obama's delayed memoir publication date, and why social media is like a cocktail party. Plus, Dana has some trivia for Chris: I'll give you the cause of death, you give me the President. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
TRUMP LOSING OBAMA VOTERS HE FLIPPED IN 2016
The Hill: “A key pillar of President Trump’s winning 2016 coalition, voters in the Midwest who backed President Obama but then reversed course to support the GOP presidential nominee in 2020, is beginning to lose faith in his job performance. Two-thirds of Obama-Trump voters say they see Trump favorably heading into his reelection campaign — but that number has fallen by 19 percentage points since 2016, according to a new survey by the Voter Study Group. Obama-Trump voters tend to be disproportionately located in the Midwest, and they likely helped Trump eke out victories in the key states of Michigan and Wisconsin. … Trump won those three states by just a handful of votes… The slightest erosion in support could cost him those states in 2020. Robert Griffin, the Voter Study Group’s research director, said the Obama-Trump voters are most likely to be members of the white working class who never attained a college degree.”
Team Trump sets huge fundraising goal - Politico: “President Donald Trump’s outside political machine is setting a $300 million fundraising goal and is pitching major GOP donors on a plan to target six swing states that are likely to decide the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the group’s blueprint. The news comes after weeks of questions — some voiced by Republicans close to the president — about whether the organization is prepared for the presidential campaign. … The pressure is high: America First Action super PAC and its allied non-profit, America First Policies, are part of a broader Trump political apparatus that Republican officials say will need to raise roughly $1 billion. … America First Action President Brian Walsh said in an interview Wednesday that he's secured more than $40 million in pledges and that an array of major GOP givers have expressed interest. Many of them are deeply turned off by the Democratic field, he said.”
President’s team also hired nine regional directors - WSJ: “President Trump’s re-election team is building out its political infrastructure with a round of hires that underscores the importance the Midwest and Florida are expected to have in the 2020 election. The campaign has carved the nation into nine regions as it decides how best to spend its resources on contacting voters, motivating supporters and, eventually, getting them to the polls on Election Day, according to campaign officials. Each area will be overseen by a newly hired regional political director.”
THE JUDGE’S RULING: DID AG BARR DECEIVE CONGRESS?
This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in on Attorney General William Barr's testimony under oath: “When Barr was testifying before a House subcommittee about his budgetary requests for the Department of Justice in the next fiscal year, he was asked by a member of the subcommittee if he knew anything about any criticisms by members of Mueller's team about his four-page summary of Mueller's conclusions. He replied, ‘No, I don't.’ But of course, Barr did know because Mueller told him in his letter of the complaints his office had about the four-page letter. Did the attorney general deceive Congress? The Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee grilled the attorney general later on this, and he offered that a follow-up telephone call between himself and Mueller dissipated Mueller's written complaint.” More here.
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez release legislation to cap credit card interest rates - WaPo
Pergram: ‘On Capitol Hill, self-preservation drives the debate’ - Fox News
Rep. Elise Stefanik’s, R-N.Y., plan to get more women elected - Time
Mitch McConnell wants to sell you a ‘Cocaine Mitch’ t-shirt - WaPo
Former CIA operative Valerie Plame announces bid for Congress in New Mexico - Fox News
Donald Trump Jr. subpoenaed by Senate Intelligence Committee - NYT
Read about the family who created a gerrymandering board game - WaPo
AUDIBLE: SOCK IT TO ‘EM
“President Trump Welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions The Boston Red Socks to the White House.” – A typo found on the White House website. It has since been fixed, correcting red socks to Red Sox.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“It appears to me that Congress is abdicating its powers by refusing to legislate. This leaves a huge hole for dictators or power hungry presidents to confiscate those powers. Think about this Congress as you continue to waste the nation's time and yours.” – Sharron Thomas, McDonough, Ga.
[Ed. note: Well, I would argue that inertia is an acceptable choice in our system of divided government. In 2010, voters chose to send Republicans to Congress in huge numbers to act as a check on then-President Obama. Voters did the same thing to President Trump in 2018. In both instances, the result was absolute legislative paralysis. While it might be superior if the two parties could find even modest ways to work together, voters continue to show a preference for divided government. Whatever it’s demerits, it certainly has some advantages over protracted one-party rule.]
“Hey Chris! What do you think the chances are that the democrats move on from the Mueller report prior to the 2020 election? I don’t know about you, but I’m so bored of all of it. Thanks!” – Katie Hacker, Evington, Va.
[Ed. note: It’s been six months since the 2018 elections, and I don’t know about you but it seems like several eternities. We are now 17 months – 78 weeks – until Election Day 2020. We are still almost nine months until the Iowa caucuses. I would submit that many of our assumptions about what we will be discussing and who will be in that discussion will be profoundly different than they are today. I’m certainly enjoying watching the Democrats trying to line up at the starting blocks and I have my own ideas about what will motivate voters for the primary and general elections, but I know better after all the cycles I have covered to try to predict.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
USA Today: “Australia's central bank is taking ‘responsibilty’ – or rather, responsibility – for a microscopic typo on 46 million bank notes. An Australian radio station posted a photo on social media Thursday showing the 50 Australian dollar bill ($35 USD) with the word ‘responsibility’ missing its last ‘i’ in the three times it appears on the note. The Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed the error on the notes printed in October and said it will be corrected in the next print run. Australia's $50 bill shows Edith Cowan, the first Australian woman elected to parliament. The misspelling occurs in a printed excerpt of her first speech to the Western Australia state Parliament in 1921. ‘It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here,’ the correct quote reads.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I simply view President Trump as the Wizard of Oz… Nothing behind the screen — other than the institutional chaos that defines his White House and the psychic chaos that governs his ever-changing mind. What to do? Ignore what’s behind the curtain.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on May 4, 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.