By Chris Stirewalt
Published October 01, 2019
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On the roster: Support for impeachment jumps 10 points - Bernie banks big cash, but Buttigieg wows - GOP fundraising platform opens strong - Zuck tells workers he’d battle Warren - Detroit rock city
SUPPORT FOR IMPEACHMENT JUMPS 10 POINTS
Quinnipiac University: “American voters are divided on impeaching and removing President Trump from office, 47 - 47 percent - closing a 20 point gap from less than a week ago, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released [Monday]. In the poll released on September 25th, voters said that the president should not be impeached and removed 57 - 37 percent. Among the political party subgroups, Democrats showed the greatest change from the last poll. [Monday], they show a virtual consensus on impeaching Trump, 90 - 5 percent, while last week they said Trump should be impeached 73 - 21 percent. … While voters are split on impeaching and removing President Trump from office, a slim majority of registered voters do approve of the impeachment inquiry opened by the U.S. House of Representatives 52 - 45 percent. Approval includes half of independents, who are split 50 - 45 percent on the inquiry.”
No change in job approval - Monmouth University: “President Donald Trump’s approval rating has remained steady in the wake of an official impeachment inquiry launched last week, although support for impeachment has ticked up slightly. In a two year Monmouth University Poll trend on impeachment opinion the current findings are not out of line with some prior results. … Trump’s overall job rating stands at 41% approve and 53% disapprove, which is similar to his 40% to 53% rating in August. … At this time, 44% of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 52% disagree with this course of action. These numbers mark a shift from Monmouth’s prior poll in August (35% supported impeachment and 59% did not), but it is not the first time these results have been found in the two years Monmouth has been asking this question.”
The war room is the Oval Office - Politico: “A week after House Democrats jump-started their impeachment inquiry, the White House has yet to converge on any single plan, strategy or even unified messaging to fight back. All the talk about setting up a so-called war room inside the West Wing, similar to the approach of the Clinton White House, has gone nowhere. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, other top aides, lawyers and Trump advisers have been jockeying among their own internal factions for control of the approach or messaging. … The infighting over the fate of a war room reflects the long-standing operational styles of the Trump White House and 2016 campaign over the past four years, during which personnel battles often overshadowed any well-honed strategy. The president has always preferred to run his White House with a team-of-rivals approach, with aides fighting over various policies or political options and Trump alone as the decider at the center of the action. The impeachment battle may be no different.”
Giuliani called to testify - Fox News: “The chairmen of three House committees subpoenaed President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Monday for key documents related to the Ukraine controversy as part of their formal impeachment inquiry against Trump. ‘Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019,’ Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, all Democrats, wrote. … The committee chairs subpoenaed Giuliani after claiming he admitted to being ‘in possession of evidence — in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications — indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump administration officials may have been involved in this scheme.’”
THE RULEBOOK: *CLICK*
“What is the liberty of the press? … I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84
TIME OUT: YINZ NEED TO SEE THIS
Pittsburgh Quarterly: “It’s generally regarded as the most famous sports photo in the world. The truth is, it’s a great photo that just happens to be about sports. It hangs in the Smithsonian. It hangs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And at the National Press Photographers Association headquarters at the University of Georgia journalism school, it hangs in a place of special honor with four other photos of epic moments in history — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the declaration of war in 1941; Huey Long, the controversial Louisiana politician, making a campaign speech; the skeletal Hindenberg being consumed in a hellish inferno, and Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. How could a photo like this not win a Pulitzer? Because the Post-Gazette didn’t run it. And how could any paper not publish a photo of this magnitude? There are various stories on that. This is the true story.”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (↓ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 20.8 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 16 points (↑ 0.8 points from last wk.)
Harris: 6.6 points (↓ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 5.4 points (↑ 0.4 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Fox News, NBC News/WSJ, CNN and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43 percent
Average disapproval: 53.4 percent
Net Score: -10.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 0.4 points
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 41% approve - 53% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 53% disapprove; Fox News: 45% approve - 54% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 54% disapprove.]
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BERNIE BANKS BIG CASH, BUT BUTTIGIEG WOWS
WaPo: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised $25.3 million during the past three months for his White House bid, his campaign said Tuesday, fueled by an army of low-dollar donors to post the largest quarterly haul so far this year among the Democratic presidential contenders. Sanders transferred an additional $2.6 million from his other federal campaign accounts, the campaign said. The third-quarter figures announced by the campaign rival his $26 million haul at this point in the primary campaign in 2015, when he stunned the Democratic field by nearly matching the total of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, with an infusion of money from donors giving less than $200. Yet this time, he is facing more than a dozen opponents. One of them, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, announced early Tuesday that his campaign raised more than $19.1 million in the third quarter — less than Sanders did but an amount that gives him staying power in a crowded field.”
Harris shuffles staff as candidacy flounders - Politico: “Kamala Harris is shaking up the top ranks of her presidential campaign, the latest sign her once-promising bid is failing to meet expectations. The staff moves amount to a significant reorganization for a campaign that’s dropped so far in polls that it risks becoming a postscript in the Democratic primary. Harris’ light early-state schedule, hiccups on the trail and lack of consistency in delivering her message have consumed much of the attention and blame for her mounting struggles. Behind the scenes, aides said a lack of clarity among staff surrounding the roles of Campaign Manager Juan Rodriguez and Campaign Chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, and inexperience across the organization are feeding a growing sense of indecision and aimlessness inside the campaign. … The campaign did not start holding regular senior staff meetings until September — nine months after launching — leading to a lack of coordination across departments.”
GOP FUNDRAISING PLATFORM OPENS BIG
Fox News: “WinRed, the new GOP online fundraising platform designed to compete with Democrats in the battle for small-dollar campaign donations, has raised more than $30 million since launching three months ago, with top officials crediting the Democrats’ impeachment push for a big spike in fundraising over the last week, Fox News has learned. WinRed raised just over $30 million in the third fundraising quarter, which began in July and ended Monday. The online platform is used to raise money for President Trump’s re-election, campaign committees and various Republican candidates across the country. In an interview, WinRed's president, Gerrit Lansing, said the Democrats’ moves to ramp up impeachment efforts against Trump ‘helped a lot,’ saying fundraising numbers ‘spiked’ after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement of a formal inquiry last week. WinRed has raised over $13.7 million from over 276,000 contributors since the announcement from Pelosi, D-Calif., he said.”
ZUCK TELLS WORKERS HE’D BATTLE WARREN
Fox News: “Leaked audio comments from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly include him saying that the tech company would likely have no choice but to sue the U.S. government to stave off being broken up if Elizabeth Warren becomes president. The comments, obtained by The Verge, span a wide range of topics and deep insight into Zuckerberg's thinking, going much further than the usually stoic CEO appears in public. ‘You have someone like Elizabeth Warren thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … I mean, if she gets elected president then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,’ Zuckerberg is quoted as saying in two Q&A sessions with Facebook employees during July.”
Court upholds 2017 ruling cancelling net neutrality rules - WaPo: “A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed that the Federal Communications Commission acted lawfully when it scrapped the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules in 2017, but it opened the door for state and local governments to introduce their own regulations designed to treat all web traffic equally. … In a nearly 200-page opinion, judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals largely sided with the Federal Communications Commission and its Republican chairman, Ajit Pai. While the agency must return to the drawing board on some elements of its repeal, the court upheld the breadth of its work, finding that net neutrality supporters had made ‘unconvincing’ arguments in their efforts to override the FCC’s deregulation of companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.”
Louisiana’s Democratic governor looks for first-round knockout - Politico
Pergram: Pelosi's thinking in impeachment inquiry explained - Fox News
Jimmy Carter celebrates 95th birthday - AP
Mark Meadows digs dinosaurs - New Yorker
AUDIBLE: OKAY, BRO
“There is an element of feeling a little bit like a traveling troubadour.” – Andrew Yang to CNN explaining that his rallies make him feel more like a traveling musician than a political candidate.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“‘….you might even find some historians with strong feelings about what happened to old Andy Johnson.’ I’m one of those historians. His impeachment in 1868 was purely political because the radical republicans didn’t like a Democrat who didn’t share their views on implementing a harsh Reconstruction on the Old Confederacy. In fact one of the 11 articles of impeachment included a notation that he was unable to get along with the Congress (or words to that effect). All the other impeachments – Nixon, Clinton – involved criminal activity by the President. Now it appears we have another Johnsonian impeachment looming. The only thing that saved Johnson was the lobbying by Thomas Ewing Jr. of Kansas Senator Edmund Ross. Ewing was a well-known lobbyist in Washington after the war and had defended several of the Lincoln conspirators (Dr. Mudd). Ross was a radical republican who ended up being the key vote against impeachment. Ewing was Ross’ old commanding officer in the 11th Kansas Infantry during the Civil War.” – Ron Smith, Larned, Kan.
[Ed. note: I knew you were out there somewhere, Mr. Smith! Thank you for sharing that fabulous Kansas fact. I would only quibble with your assessment to say this: All impeachments are political. It is the nature of the enterprise. Now, I certainly agree that what the radical Republicans did to Johnson was pretty shoddy, he was also a spectacularly terrible president. He did not need to take the bait that Congress put out in front of him. Our point in discussing impeachment is that many presidents have done rotten things and not been impeached for them and a few presidents have done rotten things and been impeached for them. It is an entirely subjective decision.]
“Thank you for your 9/26/19 article regarding your plan to cover the politics at play in the upcoming impeachment inquiry, in an unbiased manner. As a long time reader, I've always appreciated your fairness when reporting on events that are very charged with emotion for much of us. I am a liberal Democrat, so clearly I'm not a supporter of President Trump. So it is very easy to get drawn into the ‘echo chamber’ at times, even though I try my best to resist. Your newsletter certainly helps me to be able to appreciate the views on both sides, even if I don't agree. I look forward to your upcoming articles, during what is sure to be a very painful and frustrating period for both ‘teams.’” – Holly Stilo, Lawrenceville, Ga.
[Ed. note: Thank you so much for your kind words, Ms. Stilo. It is quite pleasant to not be a “team” player at times like this. I wish for the health of the republic and all good things for my countrymen, but we have reached a saturation point with the negative partisanship that pervades our system. It’s time for the teams to fight it out. We will be here to watch the festivities and will endeavor to keep a level head throughout.]
“…I get tired of hearing everybody blaming the current political dysfunction on Trump. They are missing the point. In 2016 the Cubs won the World Series, irreparably damaging the space-time continuum and creating chaos in the universe and calling into question the meaning of life itself. Shortly thereafter, Trump was elected President of the United States. I leave it to you: Trump or the Cubs?” – George Fuller, St. Louis
[Ed. note: Then it’s very good news that on Sunday the Cardinals closed the rift in the space-time continuum by beating the little bears and taking their rightful place atop the National League Central Division.]
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DETROIT ROCK CITY
AP: “Motorists traveling through a Detroit suburb were stunned to see a pornographic video playing on an electronic billboard. Auburn Hills police say the video played on the billboard along Interstate 75 in Oakland County for about 30 minutes Saturday night before the images were removed. Many people called 911. Chuck McMahon says he saw the video and wondered if the billboard was advertising for a strip club. Investigators tell WDIV-TV that two people apparently broke into a small building at the site and loaded porn on a laptop that’s connected to the billboard. Two men wearing hooded sweatshirts were spotted on security video. Police are asking the public to help identify them. Dr. Justin Kammo also saw the video. He says he immediately assumed that ‘someone had hacked it.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The New York subway is a place where the rules nominally apply, but only nominally. The problem is more than the breakdown of law. It is the breakdown of order.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 24, 2001.
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.