By Chris Stirewalt
Published October 12, 2018
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On the roster: Video from 2011 creates headaches for Sinema - Tight race in Georgia could mean a runoff - Shalala struggles - Audible: That’s oddly specific - History has its eyes on you
VIDEO FROM 2011 CREATES HEADACHES FOR SINEMA
Arizona Republic: “Rep. Kyrsten Sinema seven years ago ridiculed as ‘crazy’ the Republican elected officials leading the state at the time, and the anti-illegal immigration legislation that began in Arizona and was being replicated in state Capitols across the nation. Sinema, then a state senator and now the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, in a 2011 speech told the Texas Stonewall Democrats that all Republicans in Arizona were ‘crazy’ and could not be distinguished from the conservative ‘tea party’ activists whose influence helped lead to legislation that she and others deemed harmful to Arizona. The video of Sinema's 2011 remarks resurfaced Thursday on social media and was recirculated by allies of Sinema's Republican Senate opponent, Rep. Martha McSally. In her 2018 statewide race, Sinema has fashioned herself as an independent-minded Democrat who is interesting in working across the aisle. In her 2011 comments, Sinema repeatedly slammed Arizona Republicans — often generating laughs from the audience — with variations of the term ‘crazy.’”
Beto’s big fundraising a drag for other Democrats - WaPo: “No doubt about it: Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) is a Democratic star the likes of which the party hasn’t seen in a Senate candidate in years. But is he too hot for the Democratic Party’s own good? On Friday, his Senate campaign announced it raised $38 million in just the past three months. That will go down in history. What O’Rourke raised in three months is what some presidential campaigns raise. It blasted through a fundraising record ($22 million in one quarter) that no Senate candidate has been able to touch in 18 years. … But that does not mean O'Rourke will win a Senate seat in Texas. He's still behind in the polls, and the fundamentals of the conservative state suggest it might not be ready to elect a Democrat to statewide office. And if a fired-up Democratic base is so willing to pour money into big Senate races, you could argue that at least some of that money would be more useful going to fellow Democratic candidates in red-leaning states like North Dakota and West Virginia and Montana and Tennessee, all of whom have a much better chance of winning than O’Rourke does.”
Cruz holds solid lead despite low favorable - NYT: “Beto O’Rourke is a U.S. representative for Texas’ 16th District, which includes most of El Paso County, first elected in 2012 [has] 41% favorable rating; 44% unfavorable; 15% don’t know. Ted Cruz is the incumbent, first elected in 2012 [has] 51% favorable rating; 42% unfavorable; 7% don’t know. Texas has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, and has not voted for any Democrat to statewide office since 1994. The contrast in the candidates could not be [starker]: Mr. Cruz is the personification of Tea Party Republican activism, and Mr. O’Rourke is running as an unabashed progressive. Mr. Cruz finished second to Mr. Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, calling him ‘utterly amoral’ in the final days of the campaign but recently welcoming a coming visit by him for a campaign rally. … Mr. O’Rourke is now a national figure because of his charismatic presence on the campaign trail, embodying the dreams of many Democrats beyond Texas, some who see him as a promising presidential candidate. He is not accepting money from PACs, he has visited every county in the state, and he has emphasized his commitment to bipartisanship.”
Bredesen feels backlash from volunteers over Kavanaugh vote - Politico: “Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen is facing backlash from some of the staunchest supporters of his Senate campaign after coming out in support of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. Campaign volunteers have been calling to cancel door-knocking and phone-banking shifts for Bredesen since his statement backing Kavanaugh, according to an internal spreadsheet maintained by the campaign and obtained by POLITICO. At least 22 volunteers so far have reached out to express frustration with the decision, according to the spreadsheet. POLITICO spoke with five who contacted the campaign to vent their anger. It's a small fraction of Bredesen's total volunteer force, which numbers in the thousands, according to his campaign. But it's also just one slice of the frustration roiling Democrats since Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court last weekend. … Bredesen, a former two-term governor, is fighting to win support from moderate and conservative swing voters in his quest to carry deep-red Tennessee, while also working to hold onto his Democratic base in the closing weeks of his campaign against Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.”
In turn, Blackburn leads narrowly in new poll - NYT: “Phil Bredesen is a businessman, a former governor of Tennessee and a former mayor of Nashville [has] 44% favorable rating; 43% unfavorable; 13% don’t know. Marsha Blackburn is a House member representing Tennessee’s Seventh District, first elected in 2002, and a former state representative [has] 51% favorable rating; 38% unfavorable; 11% don’t know. Democrats were very pleased that Mr. Bredesen decided to run, and Republicans are worried that the race has seemed so close in a reliably Republican state. Mr. Bredesen is well known in the state from his previous leadership roles. He carried all of the state’s 95 counties when he was re-elected as governor in 2006. He is running as a moderate, promoting himself as a pro-business consensus builder. He helped bring an N.F.L. franchise to Nashville when he was the city’s mayor. … Ms. Blackburn has developed a reputation as a hard-right firebrand, and has tied herself closely to President Trump. She signed onto a letter formally nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to end tensions on the Korean peninsula.”
Adelson ponies up again - Politico: “Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is pumping tens of millions of dollars more into Republican Party coffers in an 11th-hour push to save their congressional majorities, according to two senior Republicans familiar with the donation. The contributions were made to a pair of GOP super PACs tied to congressional Republicans, Senate Leadership Fund and Congressional Leadership Fund. They are expected to be reported in public filings with the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15. The figures would almost certainly make Adelson, a close ally of President Donald Trump, the biggest GOP donor of the 2018 election cycle. Even before his most recent contributions, the 85-year-old mogul and his wife Miriam had given $25 million to the Senate super PAC and $30 million to the House super PAC.”
THE RULEBOOK: IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
“[Duration in office] has relation to two objects: to the personal firmness of the executive magistrate, in the employment of his constitutional powers; and to the stability of the system of administration which may have been adopted under his auspices.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71
TIME OUT: HIS GOAL WAS SIMPLE
Guardian: “Stephen Hawking’s final scientific paper has been released by physicists who worked with the late cosmologist on his career-long effort to understand what happens to information when objects fall into black holes. The work, which tackles what theoretical physicists call ‘the information paradox,’ was completed in the days before Hawking’s death in March. It has now been written up by his colleagues at Cambridge and Harvard universities and posted online. Malcolm Perry, a professor of theoretical physics at Cambridge and a co-author on the paper, Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair, said the information paradox was ‘at the centre of Hawking’s life’ for more than 40 years. The origins of the puzzle can be traced back to Albert Einstein. In 1915, Einstein published his theory of general relativity… But Einstein’s theory made important predictions about black holes too, notably that a black hole can be completely defined by only three features: its mass, charge, and spin. Nearly 60 years later, Hawking added to the picture. He argued that black holes also have a temperature. And because hot objects lose heat into space, the ultimate fate of a black hole is to evaporate out of existence.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 42 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -11 points
Change from one week ago: up 1.4 points
[Average includes: CNN: 43% approve - 52% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; IBD: 40% approve - 54% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 53% disapprove.]
Control of House
Republican average: 42 percent
Democratic average: 49.6 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 7.6 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage up 0.8 points
[Average includes: CNN: 54% Dems - 41% GOP; IBD: 45% Dems - 43% GOP; NPR/PBS/Marist: 48% Dems - 42% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 49% Dems - 42% GOP; Pew Research Center: 52% Dems - 42% GOP.]
TIGHT RACE IN GEORGIA COULD MEAN A RUNOFF
AJC: “Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams remain locked in a tight race for Georgia governor less than a month before the election, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll that showed an increasingly dwindling number of undecided voters. The poll showed Kemp ahead of Abrams 47.7 percent to 46.3 percent, a statistically insignificant difference within the poll’s 2.8 percentage point margin of error. Libertarian Ted Metz had 2.3 percent of support, and a slim 4 percent of voters are undecided. The Sept. 6 AJC/Channel 2 poll showed the candidates deadlocked at 45 percent with 7 percent undecided. The new poll is the latest to suggest the possibility of a runoff in December if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, though that seems unlikely given the Libertarian’s low support. The poll holds encouraging news for each political party.”
Walker closes the gap in Marquette Poll - Marquette University: “With less than a month to go until Election Day, a new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker with 47 percent support and Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tony Evers with 46 percent support among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson receives 5 percent. Only 1 percent say that they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, in September, among likely voters, Evers received 49 percent, Walker had 44 percent and Anderson had 6 percent. Likely voters are defined as those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election. In the race for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat, Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin leads among likely voters with 53 percent, while 43 percent support Republican challenger Leah Vukmir and 3 percent say that they lack a preference or do not lean toward a candidate. In the September poll, Baldwin received 53 percent and Vukmir was supported by 42 percent.”
Whitmer pulls ahead in Michigan gubernatorial race - Mitchell Research: “Former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (46%) leads Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette(38%) in the race for governor while U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (51%) leads African-American businessman John James (42%) according to a statewide poll commissioned by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and conducted by Mitchell Research Communications of likely voters in the upcoming November Election. In the governor race 6% are voting for another party while 10% are undecided. In the Senate race, only 8% are undecided.”
Politico: “Former Clinton Foundation head Donna Shalala is trailing former Spanish-language TV newswoman Maria Elvira Salazar, according to a new poll of a crucial, GOP-held Florida congressional district that Democrats had once counted on as an easy pickup. Salazar’s narrow 2-percentage point lead is well within the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey’s 4-point margin of error. But the result stands in contrast to how the Democratic nominees for Senate and governor are faring in the Miami-based 27th Congressional District — both are ahead of their Republican opponents by 4 points — providing fresh evidence of Shalala’s underperforming campaign. The big factor: Hispanics, who account for 57 percent of the voters and who came to know Salazar relatively well over her three decades broadcasting on Spanish language networks Telemundo, Univision, Mega-TV and CNN Español.”
Joyce put himself in a pickle - WSJ: “Rep. Dave Joyce ran for re-election two years ago as a conservative who voted to repeal Obamacare 31 times. Now the Ohio Republican, facing his first competitive general election, is touting his opposition to the GOP replacement health bill last year as a symbol of his independence from President Trump. … Mr. Joyce’s strategy illuminates the tricky political terrain for GOP incumbents in competitive suburban districts such as his outside Cleveland. These politicians need to keep Trump supporters in their camp while at the same time appeal to voters who have drifted away from the president and his party. … Mr. Joyce has puzzled top Republican officials, since his district is considered far from the top tier of potential Democratic pickups. His message also is discordant with those coming from Mr. Trump, who has cast the midterms as a test of his first two years in office. ‘This is also a referendum about me,’ he told supporters at a Mississippi rally last week.”
Pence preaches optimism for embattled House candidates - NYT: “Vice President Mike Pence laid out a hopeful vision for the midterm elections this week as he campaigned for Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, telling Republican donors that candidates like Mr. Sessions could stop Democrats from winning the House in November. … Mr. Pence was deploying a favorite image of both Republicans and Democrats this fall: An electoral tidal wave of voters carrying their party to power in Congress. But the point of his trip was not to stir a wave. It was to build a wall. As they brace for losses in the House of Representatives, Republican Party leaders are racing to reinforce their candidates in about two-dozen districts, trying to create a barricade around their imperiled majority. They are pouring money and effort mainly into moderate suburban areas, like Mr. Sessions’s seat, that they see as critical to holding the chamber by even a one-seat margin. And they have begun to pull millions of dollars away from Republican candidates who have fallen substantially behind in once-competitive races.”
Senators head home to campaign after making deal on Trump nominees - The Hill
The contest to be the next DCCC chair continues - National Journal
Report: Dina Powell removes herself from consideration for U.N. position - Reuters
AUDIBLE: THAT’S ODDLY SPECIFIC
“Governor Wolf, let me tell you, between now and November 6th you'd better put a catcher's mask on your face, because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes.” – Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, Scott Wagner, in a Facebook Live video threatening his opponent, incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Chris Wallace sits down with White House Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow and Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Hi Chris, the Democrats are reminding me of that scene from ‘Casablanca’ where the bar is cleared because of gambling. They’re shocked, shocked to find that the Republicans are standing up for themselves. Then the Democrats have the gall to declare that Republicans were the first to ‘go low.’ How can they say this with a straight face? Finally, Michelle Obama is just sticking to her theme so that she stays ‘above the fray’ in preparation for some future run for elected office. No surprise there.” – Paul K. Schnier, Farmingdale, N.Y.
[Ed. note: I wonder why it wouldn’t be good to simply praise people for doing the right things, even if you have reason to doubt their motives? It seems pretty straightforward to me. If someone is actually worried about the ongoing national divorce that is currently afflicting us and the vicious, hateful rhetoric and tactics that have spilled into mainstream politics, then any encouragement for calm and decency ought to be applauded. We can always question each other’s motives and thereby let ourselves off the hook for our own conduct. But it would always be better, in politics and in real life, to try to hold ourselves to higher, independent standards rather than situational ethics determined by whatever we believe or enemies have done.]
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HISTORY HAS ITS EYES ON YOU
Savannah Morning News: “The city of Savannah is searching for a vandal who put googly eyes on the Nathanael Greene Monument in Johnson Square. … Police spokeswoman Keturah Greene said police are investigating the incident. In Georgia, criminal trespass is a misdemeanor offense. However, if the damage is more than $500, it’s a felony called criminal damage to property. Included in the definition of criminal trespass is the defacing, mutilating or defiling any grave marker, monument, or memorial to one or more deceased persons who served in the military service. This applies to Greene, who was a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and is buried in Johnson Square near his monument. Anyone with any information on the identity of the googly eye vandal should call the Savannah police tip line at 912-525-3124.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“We’re back to 1929 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson shut down a U.S. code-breaking operation after it gave him decoded Japanese telegrams. He famously explained that ‘gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.’ Well, comrade, Putin is no gentleman. And he’s reading our mail.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Sept. 8, 2016.
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.