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On the roster: What would Buttigieg’s path look like? - As impeachment grinds on, voters dig in - Congress kicks can on spending until Dec. 20 - Audible: Audible, indeed - Three wise guys wanted for questioning
WHAT WOULD BUTTIGIEG’S PATH LOOK LIKE?
FiveThirtyEight: “[If Pete Buttigieg] winds up pulling disproportionately from [Elizabeth Warren], it could make for a more complicated race. A world where Buttigieg wins both Iowa and New Hampshire is one where Warren will have finished second (or worse) in two early states that, on paper, look tailor-made for her. The underwhelming performances could drain her support among two key elements of her base — wonky-but-not-ideological college-educated whites, who could switch to Buttigieg, and devoted progressives, who could switch to [Bernie Sanders]. In fact, the Selzer poll already showed signs that Iowa liberals were leaving Warren for Sanders; if that happens nationwide, the Democratic primary could exit Super Tuesday as a three-way race between [Joe Biden] as the candidate of nonwhite voters, Buttigieg as the candidate of party elites and Sanders as the candidate of the left.”
Dems turn to big donors to blunt Trump’s early cash advantage - WaPo: “Democratic groups financed by wealthy donors have ratcheted up their spending in recent weeks as party operatives have become concerned that President Trump is gaining an insurmountable lead in the money race. By the time voters coalesce around a nominee, Democratic operatives worry, it will be too late to overcome Trump’s fundraising advantages in the general election. Already, pro-Trump committees have spent more than $500 million on his reelection — far more than previous incumbents at this point in the election. As a result, more than a dozen groups backed by high-dollar Democratic donors have pledged to spend at least $420 million through the primary season, focused largely on general-election swing states. Their efforts range from running anti-Trump digital ads to funding legal challenges to voter restriction that could hamper Democratic turnout.”
New debate threshold squeezes also-rans - Politico: “New thresholds announced by the Democratic National Committee for the sixth debate — which will be hosted by POLITICO and PBS on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles — represent only a modest step up from the criteria for the next debate in November. But they could still seriously endanger the participation of all but the top five candidates. To make the December debate, candidates must hit 4 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls of primary voters nationally or in early voting states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina) — or, instead, they can qualify by hitting 6 percent in two approved early state polls. Candidates must also bring in donations from 200,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 800 donors in 20 states, territories or Washington, D.C. … The new thresholds will put pressure on Democratic candidates outside a top five – Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris – who have routinely polled above 4 percent in approved surveys so far.”
Dems try to manipulate moderators - NBC News: “The Democratic National Committee and the news organization Politico are locked in an argument over the ideological credentials of a proposed moderator for next month's Democratic debate… Politico and PBS are scheduled to co-host the sixth Democratic primary debate on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. At the behest of its publisher, Robert Allbritton, Politico is pushing for Tim Alberta, the chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine… The top PBS journalists under consideration are Judy Woodruff, Yamiche Alcindor and Amna Nawaz. Politico’s decision to push for Alberta has rankled officials at the DNC… The reason: Alberta previously wrote for National Review, a conservative magazine, and has spent the bulk of his recent career chronicling the Republican Party. Democratic Party officials say such a journalist is ill-suited to co-moderate a debate meant to better inform Democratic voters about their potential nominees.”
Sanders hits 4 million donations mark - Fox News: “…[When] it comes to donations to his campaign, the longtime progressive lawmaker and populist champion from Vermont is in a league of his own, far ahead of his 2020 rivals. Sanders’ campaign announced on Tuesday morning that it's now received more than 4 million individual contributions from people across the country, making the senator the fastest candidate in history to reach the fundraising mark. ‘Working-class Americans across the country are chipping in $3, $18, $27, or whatever they can to help elect Bernie Sanders because they know he is the only candidate who will fight for them and take on corporate greed and corruption,’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir touted. ‘This is what momentum looks like.’”
Columbia, S.C. mayor backs Bloomberg - AP: “Before he’s officially a presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is picking up a key endorsement in South Carolina. Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, told The Associated Press on Monday that he’s ready to back the billionaire if he decides to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. ‘He’s got what it takes and he’s got the resources to take it to Trump,’ Benjamin said in an interview. ‘I believe firmly that Mike Bloomberg can win. I think resources are going to matter.’ First elected in 2010, Benjamin is one of South Carolina’s highest-profile black politicians and was among the candidates to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.”
Dems pleased with field, still open to changing horses - NPR: “On the 2020 presidential contest, 69% of Democrats say they're happy with the field. Less than a quarter say they're not. Three-quarters of Democrats also say they still haven't made up their minds on who to vote for, down only 7 points since July, the last time the question was asked in the survey. The survey also asked a battery of candidate qualities that would make a voter most ‘enthusiastic’ to vote for that person. Being a woman is the most desirable quality in a candidate among all registered voters. But there were big differences by party. Democrats would be most ‘enthusiastic’ about voting for a woman, someone who is gay or lesbian, or someone under 40. The top three qualities for Republicans, on the other hand: a business executive, a white man or a woman.”
THE RULEBOOK: HOUSE PARTY
“The number of which the House of Representatives is to consist, forms another and a very interesting point of view, under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article, indeed, in the whole Constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention, by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument with which it has been assailed.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 55
TIME OUT: SEVEN SCORE AND 16 YEARS AGO
On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered what is probably the finest piece of American political oratory. Speaking for less than three minutes on a sunny fall afternoon in southern Pennsylvania, Lincoln set out the duty of every generation of Americans: “To preserve and prefect the promise of our founding. Those buried at Gettysburg had died in service of that aim. Will we honor their sacrifice by living for it? “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Warren: 22.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Sanders: 17.6 points no change from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Harris: 3.2 points (no change from last wk.)
[Averages include: Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News and IBD.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -11.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 2 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 51% disapprove; 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.]
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AS IMPEACHMENT GRINDS ON, VOTERS DIG IN
NPR: “The country is witnessing one of only a handful of times in its history that Congress has gone through with public hearings on whether to impeach a president. And yet, the overwhelming majority of Americans across parties say nothing they hear in the inquiry will change their minds on impeachment, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Half of Americans said they approve of the impeachment inquiry — about the same as the poll found last month. Respondents are also split on whether they think Trump should be impeached and removed from office. But 65% of Americans say they can't imagine any information or circumstances during the impeachment inquiry where they might change their minds about their position on impeachment. And 30% say yes, it's possible. … ‘We're really not seeing either a backlash or a positive,’ Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, said of the impeachment inquiry. ‘What we're seeing is people just locking in.’”
Army colonel testifies about Trump demand - Fox News: “One of the witnesses, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, also caused a dustup by acknowledging communications with an unnamed intelligence official during an at-times tense exchange with Republicans. Vindman acknowledged speaking with two people outside the White House about the July 25 call, including State Department official George Kent and the unnamed intelligence community official… Vindman, who reported his concerns about Trump's call to the NSC lawyer, described Trump's request as a ‘demand’ and told lawmakers he believed if Ukraine pursued the investigations, it ‘would be interpreted as a partisan play.’ He also emphasized that he reported his concerns ‘out of a sense of duty.’ Vindman said that since the July 25 phone call, he believes he has been ‘excluded’ from meetings at the White House that would have been appropriate for his position.”
Impeachment scrambles Senate strategies - Politico: “The Senate is increasingly likely to hold Trump’s trial in January, according to senators and aides, a reflection of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s uncertain timeline in the House and the dismal prospects for finishing an impeachment trial in December. And pushing the trial into 2020 will bring uncertain fallout for both parties, heightening the intrigue of what will already be historic proceedings on the second floor of the Capitol. … Meanwhile, Republican senators will be in the opening of their own primary season for their reelection campaigns, in which special attention will be placed on their fealty to Trump and any whiff of independence during the trial. … Much is uncertain and out of the Senate’s direct control. No one drew up an impeachment inquiry with plans for a Senate trial in January 2020, and there’s no blueprint from past trials to draw from considering none happened in the heat of a campaign.”
CONGRESS KICKS CAN ON SPENDING UNTIL DEC. 20
Politico: “House and Senate leaders secured a deal on Monday afternoon that would extend government funding for four more weeks and sidestep a debilitating government-wide shutdown. The continuing resolution unveiled by House Democrats would last until Dec. 20, leaving out any restrictions on border barrier spending, which President Donald Trump demanded in exchange for his signature. The current stopgap expires Thursday night. The bill would fund a 3.1 percent military pay raise, it would provide extra cash to help the Commerce Department gear up for the 2020 census and it would allow state highway programs to avoid a $7.6 billion cut this summer. It also includes a number of health extenders and renews three expiring surveillance provisions through March. House Democrats, however, did not secure funding for historically black colleges and universities, an item among their requested policy riders.”
Pelosi hopes Trumka can calm freshmen’s jitters - Politico: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top deputies are working to ease long-simmering anxiety among battleground freshmen, which has intensified amid fears that impeachment could creep into 2020 and make many of them one-term members. Pelosi will bring in AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Tuesday to speak with freshman Democrats, many of whom have been privately demanding quicker action on President Donald Trump’s trade deal, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting. The private huddle with the labor leader — at a make-or-break moment for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — is an attempt to calm concerns of swing-district Democrats who fear their agenda isn’t breaking through with the public and are increasingly frustrated by policy stalemates in Washington.”
I’ll Tell You What: Surprise! Dana and Chris offer a brief bonus podcast - Fox News Radio
AUDIBLE: AUDIBLE, INDEED
“TOTAL EXONERATION!” – Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif, tweeted after an interview Monday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” in response to what sounded like him expelling a thunderous toot while on air. The official ‘Hardball’ Twitter account clarified the noise was from someone dragging a coffee mug across a table in the studio.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Your snippet from The Atlantic article on The Crown concerning the Queen’s clothing refers to its being, along with her gender, ‘intrinsic to the way she governs.’ No British monarch has governed in well over a hundred years. As the series demonstrates in occasionally painful detail, there are two parts of the British constitution — the efficient and the dignified, represented respectively by the government and the monarch. The monarch functions primarily as the Head of State, a ceremonial position representing the nation’s stability, while the Prime Minister is the Head of Government, subject to the whims of the democratic electorate. In the U.S. both functions are performed by the President, while in parliamentary democracies like India, Austria, Germany, and Israel the President is the ceremonial Head of State.” – Bob Foys, Chicago
[Ed. note: First, Mr. Foys, let’s be clear that this is all Brianna’s fault… I kid, I kid! First, you are quite right about the distribution of duties in a constitutional monarchy. But second, I think we might be a little forgiving when it comes to the political word choices of fashion writers. I’m sure I’d make a terrible hash of clothing terminology if I was delving into the subject to make a political point. I’m more than happy to give the piece’s author, Sophie Gilbert, plenty of leeway in her genuinely interesting, thoughtful piece.]
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THREE WISE GUYS WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
KWCH/AP: “Goddard [Kan.] police say the owners of a camel, cow and donkey found wandering the streets of the Wichita suburb have been located. They say the animals, which looked reminiscent of a ‘nativity scene getaway,’ as some called it, belong to an employee of the nearby Tanganyika Wildlife Park. A neighborhood in Goddard had three unusual visitors strolling through its streets on Sunday afternoon. … ‘Well we were just coming back from picking up a friend and came into the trailer park and the first thing we see is hey there's a cow, wait a minute, that’s a donkey, and that’s a camel and we had all three,’ said Trudy Wilcox. It was quite the sight, a cow, a donkey, and a camel walking through the neighborhood. … With Christmas lights already up on some homes, the three friends brought even more holiday spirit to the neighborhood.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“What does a party do when it runs out of ideas? It can only hope that the other guy has even fewer ideas.” – 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.