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On the roster: Trump touts his ‘angry majority’ ahead of elections - Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump, now 17 points - Key witness reverses testimony, admits quid pro quo - Audible: Like Verdun, but for politics - Beep, beep
TRUMP TOUTS HIS ‘ANGRY MAJORITY’ AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
Fox News: “At a rally on friendly turf in Kentucky Monday night, President Trump urged what he called an ‘angry majority’ of voters to send a powerful ‘signal’ to Democrats and the world by handing the GOP a big victory not only in Tuesday's gubernatorial race there, but also in the pivotal upcoming statewide elections in Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The result of the showdown in Kentucky -- as well as Tuesday's gubernatorial race in Mississippi and state legislature races in Virginia -- could serve as a barometer this week on whether Trump still has the ability to rally Republicans at the voting booth amid Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. Top Democrats have acknowledged that Trump's influence helped the GOP sweep key House special elections in North Carolina in September. Amid chants of ‘USA’ at Monday's rally, Trump repeatedly sought to leverage his accomplishments in office, including energy independence and historically low unemployment rates, to boost Gov. Matt Bevin.”
Trump: Bevin ‘a pain in the ass,’ but worth a second term - Lexington Herald Leader: “President Donald Trump gave Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin a Trumpian endorsement Monday night, just hours before Kentuckians go to the polls to decide if they’ll elect the Republican governor to a second term. ‘He’s such a pain in the ass,’ Trump said of Bevin. ‘But isn’t that what you want?’ It was a backhanded compliment meant to highlight how hard Bevin works for Kentucky, but it also called attention to the governor’s biggest political weakness: his penchant for making controversial remarks that alienate friends and foes alike. … The event, though, has huge importance for Bevin, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Andy Beshear, the attorney general. Bevin has tied himself tightly to the president as he attempts to win back support after waging a public battle with teachers over their pension system.”
Unusually close race in Mississippi - AP: “Mississippi’s most competitive governor’s race in years was in the hands of voters Tuesday as Attorney General Jim Hood sought to become the second Democratic governor in the Deep South. He’s facing Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who got campaign help in Mississippi from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Hood, Reeves and two lesser-known candidates are on Tuesday’s ballot. The winner will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. Democrats see Hood as their strongest nominee in nearly a generation in a conservative state where Republicans have been governor for 24 of the past 28 years.”
Republican majorities on the line in Old Dominion - WTOP: “Virginians are going to the polls Tuesday to cast votes in local elections as well as General Assembly races that could change the composition of both chambers of the state’s legislature, while several D.C.-area towns in Maryland hold elections for mayor and council. In Virginia, the Republicans control both houses by the narrowest of margins. They hold a 21-19 advantage in the Senate and a 51-49 margin in the House of Delegates — that last only after a random drawing decided a tied election in District 94. These General Assembly elections will be the only ones conducted using the district maps chosen by a panel of federal judges in January, after ruling last year that lawmakers had racially gerrymandered 11 House districts by packing black voters into them.”
THE RULEBOOK: BETTER NOT
“Every view we may take of the subject, as candid inquirers after truth, will serve to convince us, that it is both unwise and dangerous to deny the federal government an unconfined authority, as to all those objects which are intrusted to its management.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 23
TIME OUT: ‘TOO MODERN FOR ITS TIME’
Atlantic: “Karolina Pavlova, born in 1807, wasn’t a woman who acted in accordance with social norms. The leader of a respected Moscow literary salon, she was also devoutly committed to her own writing. That trait was greeted with animosity from many of her male contemporaries, who disparaged her readiness to share her work as unwomanly and approached her soaringly emotive poetry with suspicion. Even so, Pavlova’s novel A Double Life shook the Russian literary world when it was published in 1848, earning widespread praise for its revolutionary form and psychological acuity. Pavlova had written a book depicting a woman’s struggle against social constraints, and—a full half century before Freud popularized the idea of the subconscious—insisting on the independence of the unconscious mind. …Barbara Heldt [translated] and released [a new edition] this year… Pavlova constructed a strikingly prescient psychological vision: a mind responding to extreme social pressure by slowly and completely separating itself into parts, but giving few external indications of change.”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.2 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 21.4 points (↓ 3.4 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 16.2 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.8 points (↑ 1.4 points from last wk.)
Harris: 2.8 points (↓ 2 points from last wk.)
Yang: 2.8 points (↑ 0.8 points from last wk.)
Klobuchar: 2.8 points (↑ 0.8 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News, IBD and USA Today/Suffolk University.]
[Ed. note: We’re only tracking the top five Democratic candidates but, lo and behold, today we have a three-way tie for fifth place. Welcome to the leaderboard Sen. Klobuchar and Mr. Yang. (And maybe farewell Sen. Harris soon…)]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 42 percent
Average disapproval: 55.4 percent
Net Score: -13.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 1.2 points
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 39% approve - 59% disapprove; Fox News: 42% approve - 57% disapprove; IBD: 39% approve - 56% disapprove.]
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POLL: BIDEN WIDENS LEAD OVER TRUMP, NOW 17 POINTS
WaPo: “One year out from the 2020 election, President Trump trails some potential Democratic rivals in head-to-head matchups, with his national support level currently fixed at about 40 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. … Among the 39 percent of registered voters who approve of Trump’s job performance, Trump is winning at least 95 percent support against each of five possible Democratic opponents. But among the 58 percent of voters who disapprove of Trump, he receives no more than 7 percent support. Former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) run strongest against the president nationally, with Biden leading by 17 points (56 percent to 39 percent), Warren by 15 points (55 percent to 40 percent) and Sanders by 14 points (55 percent to 41 percent). South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the other two Democrats tested against Trump, also lead the president among registered voters, with Buttigieg up by 52 percent to 41 percent, and Harris ahead by 51 percent to 42 percent.”
Castro gives up on New Hampshire and South Carolina - Politico: “Julián Castro’s campaign will fire its staff in New Hampshire and South Carolina, an official familiar with the campaign told POLITICO. The campaign notified the state teams on Monday and their final day will be next week. The source said the campaign will continue focusing on Iowa and Nevada with a $50,000 television ad buy in Iowa beginning Tuesday morning. The moves amount to a long-shot attempt to remain in the presidential contest in the hopes of catching fire before the first contests begin next February. Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, has had success in framing — and, in some cases, starting — the Democratic primary’s policy debates but has struggled to raise money or raise his poll numbers above low single digits. Asked for comment, the Castro campaign pointed POLITICO to its statement last week when news of an Iowa-Nevada focus first surfaced.”
Buttigieg adjusts campaign to utilize the moment - WaPo: “What is going on is Buttigieg seizing an opening in the Democratic presidential field, pushing his way into the gap between liberal Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the more moderate former vice president Joe Biden. ‘The way we think this shapes up is, if you want the most ideological, far-out candidate possible, you’ve got your answer. You want the most Washington candidate possible, you’ve got your answer,’ Buttigieg said Saturday from his campaign bus in Iowa. … That positioning represents a significant shift from Buttigieg’s posture when he entered the race. Buttigieg made early headlines by portraying himself as the vanguard of generational change, a 37-year-old seeking to become the first openly gay president and talking up big liberal ideas, like abolishing the electoral college and restructuring the Supreme Court. While his campaign says he still supports those policies, he rarely mentions them on the campaign trail these days.”
Harris’ long, hard fall - Politico: “Interviews with more than 50 people inside and around [Kamala Harris’] campaign … reveal how a candidate with so much promise, range and charisma has slid so far. Many of her dilemmas are self-creations. Harris undermined her national introduction with costly flubs on health care, feeding a critique that she lacks a strong ideological core and plays to opinion polls and the desires of rich donors. She was vague or noncommittal on question after question from voters at campaign stops. She leaned on verbal crutches instead of hammering her main points in high-profile TV moments. The deliberate, evidence-intensive way she arrives at decisions—one of her potential strengths in a matchup with Trump—often made her look wobbly and unprepared. … Her prospects look grim. Once-optimistic forecasts from her aides now diverge into complaints about biased treatment from the news media, some of them valid. But Harris has also struggled to figure out how to embrace her own record.”
Swingers, 2020 edition - NYT: “They are similar in holding ideologically inconsistent views, but they otherwise span all walks of life, based on an analysis of 569 respondents to recent New York Times Upshot/Siena College surveys in the six closest states carried by the president in the 2016 presidential election. These voters represent 15 percent of the electorate in the battleground states, and they say there’s a chance they’ll vote for either Mr. Trump or the Democrat. … The poll adds a new mix of characters to the quadrennial cast of swing voters, like a somewhat conservative, college-educated suburban man who does not approve of the president’s performance, but strongly opposes a single-payer health system. … For now, these persuadable voters in battleground states have a favorable view of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but not of Elizabeth Warren, our polling shows.”
Team Obama makes show of support for cash-strapped Biden - Politico: “More than 30 high-ranking Obama administration officials are hosting a Wednesday soiree for Joe Biden intended to be equal parts fundraiser and public show of support for the former vice president’s 2020 campaign. The event is taking place at the home of ex-National Economic Council director Jeff Zients and his wife, Mary, as Biden hustles to raise money before primary voting begins. Biden's fundraising flagged during the most recent quarter, but Zients and others are also trying to send a message beyond the money chase, according to people familiar with the event planning. They want to show that while some Obama allies may have drifted toward candidates newer to the national political scene, including Pete Buttigieg, Biden still has support from many of his former administration colleagues.”
Steyer aide out after swiping Harris volunteer data - The [Charleston, S.C.] Post and Courier: “A South Carolina aide for Tom Steyer’s 2020 presidential campaign stole valuable volunteer data collected by Kamala Harris’ campaign using an account from when he worked with the S.C. Democratic Party, according to multiple state and national party officials. The Steyer campaign said that it does not have possession of the data and that Democratic officials were only aware of the download, which they said was inadvertent, because they proactively notified them. Both the Democratic National Committee and S.C. Democratic Party denied that. The Democratic National Committee said they quickly caught the attempt on Friday by Steyer’s deputy S.C. state director Dwane Sims to export Harris’ data, which contained thousands of volunteer contacts collected over the course of the campaign in this critical early-voting primary state.”
Nathan Gonzales: A year out, here's four scenarios for 2020 elections - Roll Call: “Even though predicting anything to do with Trump might seem like a risk because of how typically damaging stories don’t seem to impact his standing, the president is a historically unpopular figure whose job approval rating has been static for months. … Trump remains incredibly popular with the Republican base, however, and the GOP has transitioned to primarily embracing a person more than a conservative ideology. That could eventually create a messy transition of power, but for now, it gives the president a high electoral floor as Republicans rally to his cause. … Following are four scenarios, in order of their likelihood: Scenario 1: Eviction at 1600 … Scenario 2: Blue Washington … Scenario 3: Status Quo … Scenario 4: Red Revival.”
KEY WITNESS REVERSES TESTIMONY, ADMITS QUID PRO QUO
NYT: “A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted. The disclosure from Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday, confirmed his involvement in essentially laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had previously not acknowledged. The testimony offered several major new details beyond the account he gave the inquiry in a 10-hour interview last month. Mr. Sondland provided a more robust description of his own role in alerting the Ukrainians that they needed to go along with investigative requests being demanded by the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.”
Transcripts suggest GOP lacks impeachment strategy - WaPo: “Republicans have complained for weeks about the secret House impeachment inquiry… But inside the secure room in the Capitol basement where the proceedings are taking place, Republicans have used their time to complain that testimony has become public, going after their colleagues who were quoted in media reports commenting on witness appearances, and quizzing witnesses themselves on how their statements had been released. The efforts by GOP lawmakers to shape the Democrats’ inquiry emerged in full view for the first time Monday with the release of hundreds of pages of transcripts from two early witnesses: Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. … But the newly released transcripts from Yovanovitch and McKinley — who appeared on Oct. 11 and Oct. 16, respectively — underscore how the Republicans’ strategy at that relatively early stage in the deposition process was more scattershot, covering a range of topics.”
United States begins process of withdrawing from Paris climate deal - Fox News
RNC paid $60,000 for Trump and entourage to watch cage-fighting - WaPo
California drives out conservatives to ‘redder pastures’ - LAT
Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., faces ethics probe over financial disclosure - Politico
AUDIBLE: LIKE VERDUN, BUT FOR POLITICS
“These results suggest that the partisan tribes on both sides are digging in as the impeachment spotlight intensifies.” – Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, discussing the results of Monmouth’s latest poll released Tuesday.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I’m a huge Fox News fan. Why did Fox use 19% more Democrats in its poll than Republicans. I saw the break down at a conservative web site. Am I wrong?” – Dick Alexander, Pickerington, Ohio
[Ed. note: Somebody sold you a bum steer, I’m afraid, Mr. Alexander. In our most recent poll, 49 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 41 percent identified themselves as Republicans and 11 percent identified themselves as independents. Our numbers for both parties are higher than in other polls because our questionnaire gives respondents of being strong partisans, weak partisans or independents. Others, like this week’s WaPo/ABC News poll, force subjects to choose among just three options. But the result is about the same: a six-point edge for Democrats. In the WSJ/NBC News poll out this week, pollsters gave respondents seven (!) options on a partisanship scale, but the net effect is the same: Republicans trailed Democrats by 8 points. Those advantages for Democrats have been pretty consistent in recent years and over the history of public opinion polling. Certainly exit polls and our Fox News Voter Analysis consistently show that Democrats outnumber Republicans in elections. That’s why Republicans rely so much on independent and loosely affiliated voters to win elections. If the GOP starts doing better going into 2020, I would expect to see more independents expressing solidarity for the Red Team. But we’ll continue to track partisan affiliation in part because it provides valuable insight on how persuadable voters are moving. And you never need to trust the dubious analysis of others for whose being surveyed for our polls. We publish all the results for everyone to see.]
“I am hoping that someday people will stop calling the Democrat Party the ‘Democratic’ Party.” – Jim King, Chesapeake, Va.
[Ed. note: I’m always a little mystified about why so many Republicans harp on this subject. I never hear Democrats say that the other side should be called the Republic Party. As far as I can tell, the values of the Democratic Party are in line with the name. The party is generally (and increasingly) opposed to many limits on democracy. The Electoral College, disproportionate Senate representation, lifetime Supreme Court appointments and other small-r republican institutions are quite unpopular among progressives. More direct democracy, including low-to-zero barrier to ballot access, seems to be a top goal for many in the party. I also see some anti-republican trends among Republicans, particularly as it relates to a disregard bordering on disdain for the power of the legislative branch and a monarchical bent toward presidential power. But I think, generally, the parties are still in the respective lanes suggested by their names. But most of all, why wouldn’t you call people by the name they prefer? That just seems like good manners. And I certainly don’t know how you would ever bring someone around to your point of view on any subject if you start out with what is essentially an insult.]
“In the article about the President’s taxes, it states that the NY state prosecutors are investigating the hush money payments made to two women. What is the difference between those payments and NDA’s that many corporations use to prevent women from talking? Just wondering.” – Phillip H. Nawrocki, Mesa, Ariz.
[Ed. note: It’s legal to pay people to be quiet. But if you pay people to be quiet for the purposes of winning an election, you have to disclose that as a campaign expense. The problem for prosecutors in New York is that it will be extremely hard to prove that’s why Trump paid the hush money. As his lawyers have argued in the past, he had ample reasons to cover up his relationships with a sex worker and a nude model – hush money he would have paid whether he was running for office or not. There are some additional considerations about hiding income, etc., but it still seems like a tough case to make. It shouldn’t be hard to convince a jury that a man would pay money to keep the knowledge hidden that he was having sex with a pornographic performer while his wife was convalescing from childbirth. Yowza!]
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WGHP: “A Louisiana man was arrested after stealing an electric-powered shopping cart from Walmart to avoid getting a DWI, police said. Brice Kendell Williams, 32, was charged with felony unauthorized use of a moveable after driving the motorized shopping cart over half a mile away from one bar to another, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office. … A deputy with the sheriff’s office responded to a bar in Houma, Louisiana, around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after receiving a complaint about someone arriving to a bar in a shopping cart, according to the statement. The town is about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans. When the deputy arrived, he found the shopping cart parked between two cars in the bar’s parking lot. Williams told the responding deputy that he was at a different bar and thought that if he drove his car, he could get charged with a DWI, the sheriff’s office said. Instead, Williams opted to steal the electric shopping cart, which is meant for disabled people, and drive it to a different bar, the sheriff’s office said.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The Republican problem today is that both ideas are dead. Peace through strength is now politically obsolete. And painless prosperity through low taxes has proven false.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Nov. 2, 1990.
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.