The Daily 202: Republican Senate Profits Show That Trump Accelerated Political Realignment

The Daily 202: Republican Senate Profits Show That Trump Accelerated Political Realignment

With Joanie Greve

THE GREAT IDEA:

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The ghost of Harry Truman follows the Missouri Senate race.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) Called one of her predecessors Democrats out of 125 volunteers who ate free pizza in Shakespeare's opposite the University of Missouri. "We know where our voters are, but some of them vote only in presidential elections, and we have to push them to make sure they understand that this election is as important to Missouri as a president," she said. "Because you know what this election is about? It's about whether we stick to Harry Truman's seat in the Senate or not! "

Later that evening, in the rural town of Boonville, on the banks of the Missouri River, Republican challenger Josh Hawley raised Truman unasked during an interview. "In my opinion, we are in the middle of a political reorientation," he said. "It's like a century when you've completely changed political coalitions, and I think President Trump is driving a lot of it. We see that happens. We are in the middle of it. "

Hawley endeavored to contextualize his own campaign and averages as the story unfolded. "Missouri has changed dramatically since I grew up," said the 38-year-old Attorney General in Missouri at a diner on Main Street. "The place where I grew up is a good example. A place like Boonville would be a good example too. Places where Harry Truman Democrats used to be, today it's the Donald Trump Republicans. Donald Trump is talking to these people, and I think if the Republican Party as a party has a future, they must do the same.

"Meanwhile," he added, "you see a sorting where you have people with advanced degrees and so on who live in suburbs that once tended to vote for the Republican, who now focuses more on Democrats 'There is a real world view that takes place or sift through.'

I told Hawley that McCaskill proudly views himself as Harry Truman Democrat. "She wishes," he said. "But she is not, and that's her big problem in this race. … She is a party voter in a party line that this state does not want. "

I asked McCaskill why she used Truman to rally her troops. "I guarantee you that he would have a bad talk about Josh Hawley if he were here," she said. "He did many things that needed a lot of courage, and he did not experience fools."

– On the eve of the Midterms, Missouri could be the Senate's closest battlefield. In both campaigns, the strategists describe the race as a real throw. Hawley had opened a light lead after board Kavanaugh donnybrook, but that bump has eased a bit. McCaskill is struggling with persistently high negatives and President Trump's approval remains above 50%. Unlike most states, Missouri does not allow early voting. That is, it all depends on who goes out tomorrow.

Trump won this state in 2016 with 19 points. So McCaskill beat Hillary Clinton by nearly 10 points – and still lose. If the 65-year-old is dominant, it will be because there is a blue wave that is high enough. If Hawley defeats them, it will be because the tectonic shifts are stronger than the political headwinds of a particular cycle.

This state voted in the 20th century for the winner of all presidential elections except one. George W. Bush wore the Show Me State in 2000 with three points and 2004 with seven points. John McCain barely won against Barack Obama, but Mitt Romney won by 12 points.

Hawley, who has no daylight between himself and the president, said Trump did better than any of the previous Republicans because he literally shook the voters' fear that their lifestyles were in deep jeopardy. "It's endangered by people who accept jobs and take them abroad," he said. "There is a risk that wages will fall. It is threatened by an immigration system that does not work well for workers in this country. The President said many things that people have been thinking about for a long time, but no one was willing to say. He faced 16 republicans or whatever it was. The other 15 were very similar … but he was the one who sounded completely different. I think that's why he redraws political coalitions. "

– McCaskill has run to the right on the home stretch, distancing himself from what she has described as "crazy democrats" – a phrase she revealed during an appearance in Fox News to criticize demonstrators in the "Restaurants walk "faces of elected officials. "Claire is not one of those crazy Democrats," says a spokesman for a radio ad I heard several times while driving through rural Missouri. "She works in the middle." Asked about the caravan, she said that she will put Trump to "100 percent," whatever he does to "stop it at the border."

– She was in Mizzou last Friday, where she graduated and studied law after Trump held a rally at the city's airport the night before. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, whose son is now Secretary of State of Missouri, sang the national anthem for thousands of people gathered. Then Trump invited Hawley to the stage to say a few words. When he compared his opponent to Clinton, the crowd began to sing, "lock them in." Then the president said McCaskill would not tell the truth that he supported him, and emphasized her voice against Kavanaugh. "They've gone crazy, people," Trump said about Democrats. "They went totally Lok."

Asked by local reporters to answer the next day, McCaskill said, "He has a tortured relationship with the truth. I have elected with the President about half of his term since his term in office. But I did not have the opportunity to review everything he said last night. I was very busy. "

Away from the glare of the cameras, McCaskill asked her brother, who lives in Columbia, how Trump's rally was. "How was the deal last night?" She said. "I hid myself," he answered. They laughed.

– Trump will return to Missouri for the second time in five days. It will be his seventh visit to this election cycle and will be his final rally before half time. The Presidential 2020 re-election campaign announced that "conservative media legends" Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity will appear alongside Trump and Hawley in Cape Girardeau on the other side of the state. It feels more southern than the Midwest. In fact, Memphis is the nearest major airport.

– McCaskill has a different opinion than Hawley about why Truman appealed to the kind of Missourians who now support Trump. "It's embarrassing how much I know about Harry Truman," she told me. "The thing about Harry Truman was that he was not afraid to say what he was thinking. He did not feel the need to use fancy words. He really remained rooted in Missouri. He never breathed. He was about as authentic as you could get. Before everyone said, "Oh, a candidate has to be authentic," he was simple. They think of the courage that he has integrated the armed forces. If a survey were then carried out, the survey would have been very bad. "

– It dates the transformation of Missouri into 1960, when the Democrats appointed Catholics John F. Kennedy as president. "Dad was a Democratic committee worker, and someone threw a rock through the window of the county's Democratic headquarters. It was bigotry, "McCaskill told the New Yorker recently. "There was a catastrophic shift when we decided that civil rights are the cause of our party. Missouri began to shift along with the traditional democratic southern states. "

McCaskill said many rural whites believed in the 1980s that Democrats were more interested in their economic situation than Republicans. "Not anymore," she told the magazine. "Many people have given up on me. They gave us up. … There used to be a way to work your way up from the post office. Now there is no mailroom Donald Trump gave the voters a place where they could place their anger. "

– She really does not joke when she calls herself a Truman "Fangirl". A replica of the poster The Buck Stops Here, which Truman kept in the Oval Office, sits on McCaskill's desk in the Hart Senate Office Building. Each state can display two statues in the US Capitol; McCaskill recently campaigned to replace Francis Blair with Truman at Statuary Hall. She also sponsored the legislation of this congress, which has gone nowhere to rename Union Station in Washington in Truman, because he launched there during his 1948 victory his whistle-stop train journey.

After defeating Republican senator Jim Talent in 2006, McCaskill launched an investigation into waste and abuse by military companies, which closely followed Truman's own investigation of war profiteers during the Second World War. Publicity efforts to this end increased Truman and positioned him as a replacement for Henry Wallace as Franklin Roosevelt's comrade-in-arms during the crazy 1944 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. McCaskill is now the Democrat's ranking in the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and sits at Armed Services like Truman.

– Several Hawley supporters I spoke to said they had not changed, but the Democratic Party

The candidate's bus arrived in Boonville an hour later. He apologized when he arrived after dark to greet a few dozen locals. Vice President Pence had been dulled in Kansas City for him before, and with the late arrival of Air Force Two, Hawley was late for all subsequent stops.

"Truman was more of a conservative Democrat, and now you've publicly declared that Democrats are a Socialist party," said GOP MP Dave Muntzel, 68, who has represented Boonville for three terms while waiting for Hawley. "Many conservative Democrats have shifted because they do not endorse the liberal stance."

When asked if he believes Missouri or Democrats have changed more, Hawley says, "It's a lot of the latter."

Hawley sees Trump as the cause of the ongoing realignment. "This concern for what I call the Heartland way of life has become more acute. It has really come to a head in the last 10 to 15 years. People said we just can not keep this up, "he said. "If you want to know where Claire's positions are … just ask yourself: how would an East Coast donor vote on that? There she will be. "

As an example, he called her vote against the tax cuts and the resistance to the trade war. "She believes that Donald Trump has started this trade war," he said. "The people here realize that he did not start it. We were there. We just did not fight. It is a completely different worldview. "

– The truth is that Truman, who would have been 134 if he had not died in 1972, most likely would not be re-elected if he would vote in Missouri tomorrow. In fact, Truman barely won his second term in the Senate in 1940 and received only 51 percent of the vote. The favorite son wore Missouri with 58 percent when he topped the ticket in 1948, just one point better than Trump's 2016 performance.

Truman was the first president to propose a national health insurance program that he believed was a human right. The American Medical Association launched a nationwide campaign against him for "socialized medicine." When Lyndon Johnson signed the bill to found Medicare in 1965, he did so in the Truman Library and said it had started "all with the man of Independence." The next year, he issued Harry and Bess Truman the first two Medicare cards.

In foreign affairs Truman was the anti-Trump. He ushered in the era of internationalism, built NATO and accepted the United Nations. He disturbed the southerners by integrating the military. He had a major political stroke when he dismissed Douglas MacArthur, one of the most proto-Trumpian representatives in US history, as commander of the Allies in Korea.

– By the way, here is a fun parlor game: Which presidents since Truman could carry their homelands if they could run again? Some are controversial, but there is no doubt that Bill Clinton could not win Arkansas, Jimmy Carter could not win Georgia and LBJ could not win Texas. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan would both lose in California. It is an example of how much the political map has changed since the end of the Second World War. Dwight Eisenhower may have difficulty in a Kansas GOP pre-school, but he would probably do it with the support of the branch. The same applies to both bushes in Texas. Obama would easily win Illinois.

– McCaskill has been working hard to stay competitive in rural areas. She knows she will lose her, but her goal is to avoid being wiped out. She has won 22 campaigns since Hawley was born. The only race she had ever lost was an application for the governor of 2004 for Matt Blunt, the son of the state senator. She defeated an incumbent democrat in preschool, but retired this fall after John Kerry distracted Missouri's national resources in Triage mode against Bush and let them dry out. Another lesson of this campaign, which McCaskill has internalized, is that she did not spend enough time in small towns because she was too overconfident that she could increase her margins in and around St. Louis and Kansas City.

This has marked their approach to 2018, including last year 50 Town Hall. And it has paid dividends from several conservative newspapers in rural areas, including Joplin Globe and Washington Missourian. Both editors supported the re-election of GOP Sen. Roy Blunt in 2016, and Trump wore each of his counties with more than 70 percent of the vote.

"Like Josh Hawley tells you every 10 minutes, I'm old," McCaskill joked in Columbia before arguing that she was exaggerating him on the trail. "By the way, eat my dust, Josh. I run circles around you! "

Hawley's strategists marveled at a consistent pattern in the private opinion poll: Republicans are likely to be worse off in the over-65s than any other age group, including under-35s. This is very unusual for any GOP candidate. But it is because many seniors still identify with the party they grew up with. African Americans who vote in Missouri are usually older as well. And this is not a very temporary state. Only a few new people move here. This means that younger voters are usually natives and therefore more likely to vote for the conservative candidates who support their parents than transplants from elsewhere.

– McCaskill said the show-me state has "an independent line" that Hawley does not understand, because in its report he is a puppet unscheduled adviser. She argued that his fidelity to the president during the election campaign proves he will always vote, even though Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Chairman of the Senate's majority council, says so. And she criticized him for leading a charitable campaign against her that is not the Missouri Way.

"We are a friendly people … and we are friendly to strangers," McCaskill said. "I remember when I was a prosecutor in Kansas City and we had a big problem. I went to a national meeting and talked to the DAs from the neighborhoods of Manhattan. … We compared the notes we had. And I said, 'Well, you know, we have many meth cooks. & # 39; … And they said, 'Well, we do not actually have a Meth problem.' And I told them, 'Well, that's because in the Midwest, we share our recipes! "They do not do that much in Manhattan."

– McCaskill believes health care will prove particularly powerful among these ancestral Democrats. She has beaten Hawley because she was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that wants to completely overturn Obamacare after the single mandate is overruled by Congress. She pointed out that the abolition of the Affordable Care Act would remove protection for those with pre-existing conditions. Hawley refused ads. She also calls on the case lawyers to ask a judge to postpone a final decision until after 6 November.

"For me, it's not about fighting the president every day," says McCaskill in her blunt speech. "It's about fighting for you every day."

She says her goal is to lower temperatures in Washington and restore courtesy. If it was not an election year and you injected GOP senators with the truth serum, McCaskill insists she's on almost every one of her lists of four Democrats she'd like to work with. She pays particular attention to her work for veterans.

– Hawley ran a self-disciplined campaign. He studied history at Stanford University before attending Yale Law School. He worked for Chief Justice John Roberts and then married Erin Morrow, one of the other officers of the Chief Justice. They have two children. Elijah, the eldest, turned 6 on Saturday. For birthday there were birthday cake in the campaign bus.

He is certainly not Todd Akin, who posted ads from McCaskill in 2012 to win the GOP primary ad. It was a brilliant move. Akin imploded when he said women would only get pregnant after "legitimate" rapes. McCaskill is desperately trying to win some of the voters she and Mitt Romney supported six years ago. It will certainly get something back, but that may not be enough.

– Nobody disputes, however, that McCaskill is very talented in the retail campaign. She quickly greeted everyone they saw in the pizzeria, posed for more than a dozen selfies, and kept every interaction brief. People who did not know her called her by her first name, not her honorary title. "In Missouri, elections tend to be close, so it's no surprise to me that this is so close to the end," she told one of the well-wishers. Then a law student asked if she could get a hug. "Of course it's my specialty," McCaskill said. "I'm a buddy!"

GET SMART FAST:The

  1. The Supreme Court will deal this week with the question of US veterans injured during the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole 18 years ago, who are entitled to nearly $ 315 million in their lives Lawsuit against Sudan. The Sudan has argued that the publication of the complaint was invalid because it had not been sent to the Foreign Minister at its official address in Khartoum – an interpretation of federal law that the Trump government surprisingly agreed with. (Robert Barnes)

  2. Brent Taylor, a mayor of Utah and a seven-year-old father, was killed in Afghanistan. Taylor, who served as a member of the Army National Guard, died in an obvious insider attack on a base in Kabul. (Amy B Wang)

  3. Almost a third of the surviving Catholic bishops in the United States have been accused at some point in their careers of not responding appropriately to sexual misconduct in their diocese. According to a study by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe.

  4. The police said the suspect in the shooting of a Tallahassee yoga studio had previously been arrested for multiple allegations and posted YouTube videos about his hatred of women. Scott Paul Beierle is charged with killing Maura Binkley and Nancy Van Vessem and injuring four others. (Avi Selk)

  5. A representative of George Soros said Fox News had refused to allow the billionaire philanthropist to come to one of his shows and refute the allegations made against him. Patrick Gaspard, president of Soros Open Society Foundations, said the network's producers "refuse to have us" (CNN)

  6. Three Girl Scouts and one companion were killed after a car left the car Street in Chippewa Falls, Wis. The girls collected garbage on a street that they had accepted. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)

  7. Kitty O'Neil, who had dropped to a daring record at 5 months, died at 72. She lit herself and crashed off the hotel rooftops, posing as a stunt double for famous actresses. (Harrison Smith)

TRUMPF ON THE TRACK:

– The success or failure of the Republicans could determine tomorrow whether their electoral candidates continue to rely on the racial attacks that shaped Trump's campaign and dominated his presidency so far. Matt Viser reports: "By embracing racially tinged messages so openly, the GOP puts this explosive form of politics on the ballot. If the Republicans retain control of the house, the idea of ​​campaigning based on dull racial attacks on immigrants and minorities has been confirmed. A loss, on the other hand, could cause some Republicans to demand a reorientation in the direction of the party – but that would collide with a seated president who enjoys superfluous rhetoric, if any. "

– Chief correspondent Dan Balz, who joined The Post 40 years ago and is known to be allergic to hyperbole, calls these incidents "once in a generation". He writes, "This is a choice that is conducted in individual districts and states using traditional instruments. But it is the bigger question of the values ​​of the nation that produced what we have seen over weeks and months. It is this disturbing and unresolved question that has produced the record amount of funds collected and spent and the remarkable payoff from unpaid volunteers who are on the road and making calls in these last few hours – as they have been for months. It is what has motivated record numbers of people in many countries to vote before election day. Together, these indicators have made this campaign a unique generation. "

– In his final note, Trump has brought the false attacks on Democrats to an unprecedented level. Philip Rucker reports, "Trump claims that Democrats want to wipe out the borders of the nation and provide refuge for drug traffickers, traffickers and MS-13 killers. He warns that they are destroying the economy, wiping out Medicare and causing a wave of violent crime that threatens families everywhere. And he claims they are turning the United States into Venezuela, with socialism running amok. Trump was never restricted by facts, fairness or even logic. … But with a mega-rally after another ahead of Tuesday's general election, Trump has taken his political ethos without limits to a new level – demagogging Democrats in a vortex of distortion and using the power of the federal government to reinforce his fantastic arguments. "

– Trump's groundless allegations against Democrats seeking support for murderous illegal immigrants were celebrated in far-right online forums. Kevin Roose and Ali Winston of The New York Times report, "These activists cheered when Mr. Trump suggested that Jewish billionaire George Soros secretly fund a caravan of Latin American migrants – an indication of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory has been used by neo-Nazis and white for years Nationalists pushed on. They roared their approval as Mr. Trump aroused fears of furious, violent left-wing mobs, another right-wing boogeyman. In Trump's rhetoric, they have found traces of their ideas, including his concern for an obscure land rights dispute involving white farmers in South Africa, and his references to asylum-seeking migrants as "invaders."

Trump's decision to emphasize immigration reflects the priorities of one of his top advisors, Stephen Miller. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times reports, "Mr. Thirty-three-year-old Miller has become known in this orbit for amassing scary news articles and isolated statistics on immigration that he knows could spur a statement from the president on Twitter. He helped set up a group of like-minded helpers throughout the government. The result is that Trump and Miller brought in immigration – an issue that Conservatives have consistently ignored by established Republicans. "

Trump has used Air Force One more as a backdrop for his political rallies than his youngest predecessors. Rucker reports, "The Presidential plane is both a raw illustration of the power of tenure and a reminder of Trump's dominant campaigning motive: Strength. … It was a production element for rallies on Saturday in Pensacola and Belgrade, Mont .; Friday in Huntington, W. Va .; and Thursday in Columbia, Mo. "

DEMOCRATS PUNCH BACK:

– Trump and Barack Obama staged duel rallies hammering each other in healthcare and business. Felicia Sonmez and Anne Gearan report: "In Macon, Georgia, Trump said Obama did not" tell the truth "when he told the Americans," You can keep your doctor, you can sign your plan under his health legislation. " said it 28 times, and it was not true, "said Trump to the crowd. Obama voiced his own blatant criticism of Trump, in which he accused the President and Republicans of" just putting things on "and taunting them because of them "The economy has created more jobs in my last 21 months than in the 21 months since I retired," Obama said in Gary Ind. "If you So hear from these Republicans how they brag, "see how good the economy is." Where do you think that started, someone had to clean it up, that was a progressive agenda. "

– The focus on Obamacare and the economic recovery is reflected in the cycle's latest campaign ads. Mike DeBonis reports: "In [the suburban districts that will likely determine control of the House]The question is whether swing voters will take their purses with them – the months of positive economic news about employment and wage growth – or concerns about their health care. "A booming economy or the radical liberal-mob policy – that's our choice," says a GOP ad that will run for US Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), representing the Cincinnati area. Near Chicago, Democrats propose Republican Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.) With an ad showing a child in a hospital bed: "Imagine you would watch him without life-saving treatment because your insurance company failed. Peter Roskam has voted for that. "

– Michael Bloomberg launched a $ 5 million publicity campaign to promote Democratic candidates – and himself. Robert Costa berichtet: „Bloombergs zweiminütige Fernsehwerbung, in der er direkt vor der Kamera spricht und vor einer amerikanischen Flagge steht, wurde am Sonntag während CBS '60 Minutes ausgestrahlt.“ Montags wird es abends wieder Nachrichtensendungen in Rundfunknetzen übertragen und auf MSNBC und CNN. Der 76-jährige Bloomberg stellt sich als ständiger und erfahrener Außenseiter von Washington (Hinweis: Präsidentschaftsmitglied) vor, der von Trumps Verhalten und Agenda entsetzt und von Episoden politischer Gewalt und Trumps zunehmenden Angriffen auf die Karawane zentralamerikanischer Migranten alarmiert wird.

– Trotz einiger positiver Abstimmungen fürchten die Demokraten, dass sie sich 2016 wiederholen werden. Julie Pace von der AP berichtet: „Ihre Erinnerungen an 2016, als sie ungläubig sahen [Trump] Trotz aller Umfragen, Erwartungen und politischen Normen sind sie noch frisch. Und als Trump mit einer uneinsichtigen und rassisch aufgeladenen Abschlusskampagnen-Botschaft das Land bereist, fühlt sich der Test für Demokraten jetzt gleich und dringlicher an als noch vor zwei Jahren: Sie konnten Trump nicht aufhalten, was wäre, wenn sie erneut verfehlten? "

DER SENAT:

– Da der demokratische Senator Joe Donnelly in Indiana um die Wiederwahl kämpft, hat er es vermieden, seine Parteizugehörigkeit zu erwähnen. Gabriel Pogrund berichtet: „Donnelly – wie die Demokratin Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, die versucht hat, sich von Teilen ihrer Partei zu trennen, indem sie sagt, dass sie keine dieser verrückten Demokraten ist – hat sich bemüht, sich von der äußersten Linken ihrer Partei zu distanzieren und nahm einige von Trumps Richtlinien an. Während einer kürzlich geführten Debatte [Donnelly] Er sagte, er sei offen für den Wandel der Erstgeburtsbürgerschaft und sagte: "Wir müssen diese Gesetzgebung überprüfen." Er war auch ein fester Anhänger einer Grenzmauer mit Mexiko, stimmte für die dreimalige Finanzierung und kritisierte die obere Kammer für das Versagen, das Geld für Trumps Unterschriftenvorschlag zu liefern. "

– Hat sich Chuck Schumer in der Trump-Ära als der richtige Senatsführer für Demokraten erwiesen? Ben Terris berichtet: “[W]Hier bricht Trump alle Regeln der Politik, Schumer scheint sich von ihnen leiten zu lassen. His head is filled with poll numbers and answers from focus groups, more consultants than fighters. Schumer's supporters say that this is the right man for the job: it takes a strategist to prevent the Senate from slipping further from democratic control. Seine Kritiker sagen, genau das macht ihn zu einem Mann außerhalb der Zeit: Wenn der Präsident bereit ist, alle Regeln zu brechen, sollten die Demokraten nicht das gleiche, müde Spielbuch verwenden. "

– Senator Ted Cruz (R) und Beto O’Rourke (D) durchkreuzen Texas, da Umfragen zeigen, dass ihre Rasse abnimmt. Todd J. Gillman und Rebekah Allen aus den Dallas Morning News berichten: „O'Rourke klopfte nach einem Samstag an die Türen in den Countys Dallas und Tarrant und einer Abendkundgebung in Lower Greenville, die 500 freiwillige Helfer und andere Anhänger in eine Seitenstraße brachte , zog am Sonntag nach Austin und San Antonio. … O’Rourke äußerte sich auch skeptisch gegenüber Umfragen – die meisten von denen geben Cruz einen Vorteil -, zitierte jedoch eine Umfrage von Change Research, einem demokratischen Meinungsforscher, der Online-Umfragen benutzte und die Rasse für gleich befunden hielt. … Cruz wird am Montag in Houston eine Kampagne machen und Tee-Party-Mitglieder und andere daran erinnern, warum sie ihn vor sechs Jahren ausgesucht haben, und den Fall erklären, warum sie ihn in den Senat zurückbringen sollen. "

– Die frühe Wahlbeteiligung in Texas liegt weit über dem Niveau von 2014, aber die Beobachter unterscheiden sich darin, ob dieser Energiestoß O’Rourke oder Cruz helfen wird. Mary Huber von Austin American-Stateman berichtet: „Matt Angle, ein demokratischer Stratege und Direktor des politischen Aktionskomitees des Lone Star Project, sagte, dass zumindest in den städtischen Gebieten des Staates die starke Beteiligung für Demokraten gut ist, auch im Travis County . … James Henson, a University of Texas lecturer and director of the Texas Politics Project, said it’s too soon to tell what early voting numbers might mean about the outcome of the election. ‘I think there are a lot of indications we are going to see more Democratic voters,’ Henson said Saturday. ‘But there is no indication that the bottom has dropped out in Republican turnout either.’”

— The early voting numbers in Arizona have Democrats hopeful that Kyrsten Sinema can win. Politico’s Elana Schor reports: “[Republicans have] been coming for the third-term House Democrat ever since she sailed to victory in her late-August primary to replace the retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Sinema’s opponent, GOP Rep. Martha McSally, has tarred her as a liberal in centrist’s clothing, running ads contrasting the Republican’s Air Force service with the Democrat’s past as an antiwar activist clad in a pink tutu. But the hits … don’t seem to be sticking.”

— Jon Ralston, the dean of the Nevada press corps, predicts Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) will probably lose, based on early voting numbers. He writes for the Nevada Independent: “Heller, who has never lost a race, is almost as much of a political survivor as Harry Reid, the man who built the machine that failed to defeat Nevada’s senior senator six years ago but should succeed on Tuesday. Heller has done everything he can to lose the race — most notably, his multifarious positions on repealing Obamacare leading to the devastating ‘Senator Spineless’ meme. Yet he has a chance to hold on. Even though the Democratic machine has not built as big of a firewall as in 2012 — 47,000 in Clark County and 23,000 statewide — this is a midterm, and it will be enough. I think.”

— National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar predicts the Montana Senate race between incumbent Jon Tester (D) and Matt Rosendale (R) could be one of the night’s biggest surprises: “This is one of the few Senate races where there hasn’t been much quality public polling, leaving analysts to rely on shoe-leather reporting and red-state political fundamentals. … Political operatives on both sides agree that Tester is narrowly ahead, but with enough undecided voters to make it uncomfortably close. In his two successful Senate races, Tester won just 49 percent of the vote. With so much partisan polarization — and many red-state Democratic senators losing ground in the final weeks — it’s not hard to see how Tester could fall short.”

THE HOUSE:

— Small-dollar donations to Democratic campaigns have helped expand the battleground to conservative strongholds. Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports: “Democratic candidates raised more money than Republicans in the 2018 midterms, particularly in small sums under $200. Strategists across the political spectrum point to their breakneck fundraising pace as a sign that the party could be well positioned to take control of the House this year.”

— Some House Republicans fear Trump’s singular focus on immigration could cost them more seats. Politico’s Rachael Bade, Carla Marinucci and Elana Schor report: “Many of these same Republicans welcomed Trump’s initial talk about the migrant caravan and border security two weeks ago, hoping it would gin up the GOP base in some at-risk, Republican-held districts. But they now fear Trump went overboard — and that it could cost them dearly in key suburban districts, from Illinois to Texas.”

— Nancy Pelosi is brushing off attacks from Republicans and even fellow Democrats as she prepares a potential return to the House speakership. The New York Times’s Kate Zernike reports: “[A]s the only woman at the table for so long, she has become the proxy for all the complicated feelings around women in power. … But there is something different this year. With more women than ever before running for the House – most of them Democrats – Ms. Pelosi not only knows her power. To use the slogan she repeats for female candidates, she explains it. … And the surging numbers of women turning out in politics this year are speaking up for her, defending her against what they see as Republican-stoked misogyny and ageism.”

— The new cover of the New Yorker recounts the “demise of the moderate Republican,” specifically focusing on departing Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello. George Packer reports on Costello’s time in the House after Trump’s victory: “Now that Costello was on the Energy and Commerce Committee, he wanted to work on helping government policy catch up with advances in renewable energy, technology, and health-care delivery. Instead, he found himself swamped with questions about Stormy Daniels and ‘very fine people on both sides.’ He didn’t know how to navigate the Trump era, in which rage constantly emanated from both the left and the right. Being a moderate Republican put him squarely in everyone’s sights.”

— Trump’s support for delivering more water to farms in California’s Central Valley could help Republican House candidates like Jeff Denham. Dino Grandoni reports: “For decades, farmers in the Central Valley have found themselves knotted in a tug-of-war with coastal residents over how much of California’s finite water supply should be divided among sating city dwellers, supplying habitat for river critters and cultivating crops. … With Republicans holding about a half-dozen vulnerable seats in California … Democrats believe their path to recapturing the House runs, like San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers that have made the Central Valley into an agricultural powerhouse, right through the Golden State.”

— SNL got slammed after a cast member mocked a Republican congressional candidate who lost an eye in Afghanistan. Pete Davidson said of Texas candidate Dan Crenshaw, “This guy is kinda cool, Dan Crenshaw. You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas, and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson said with a laugh. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever … Whatever.” (CBS News)

THE GOVERNORS:

— Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is also the Republican gubernatorial nominee, announced an investigation into the state Democratic Party for an alleged “hacking” attempt into the voter registration system. Avi Selk, Vanessa Williams and Amy Gardner report: “But neither Kemp’s campaign nor his secretary of state’s office provided evidence that Democrats had tried to hack into Georgia’s voter registration system. Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, said in an interview that Democrats were in possession of an email with script attached to it that, if launched, could have been used to extract personal voter registration data. ‘Our position is that these were failed attempts to hack the system,’ Broce said. ‘All the evidence indicates that, and we’re still looking into it.’

"Democratic officials, in turn, accused Kemp of ‘defamatory accusations’ and released the email in question, showing that it had been forwarded to a Democratic volunteer by someone not affiliated with the party who was flagging a potential data vulnerability. The volunteer forwarded the email to the party’s voter protection director, who shared it with cybersecurity experts, who in turn alerted Kemp’s office, they said. … By late Sunday, Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams, was trying to reframe the investigation as an example of how she says the Republican has abused his government power as he seeks a higher office.”

— The hacking allegation was the latest in a string of accusations from both parties that their opponents are not committed to holding fair elections. Gardner reports: “[C]andidates in both parties have traded accusations about threats to ballot integrity amid multiple reports about voting irregularities. The issue has started to affect voter confidence, according to new polling, which shows that a majority of voters in both parties are deeply suspicious about the opposing party’s commitment to fair elections.”

— Stacey Abrams was also the target of a racist robo-call featuring someone impersonating Oprah Winfrey. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. reports: “‘This is the magical Negro Oprah Winfrey asking you to make my fellow Negress Stacey Abrams the governor of Georgia,’ the robo-call begins, before spewing nearly 60 seconds of racism coupled with a dash of anti-Semitism. Laut dem Hill hatten die Georgier den Anruf letzte Woche gehört. The video is made by TheRoadToPower.com, an anti-Semitic video podcasting website that the Anti-Defamation League says ‘has zeroed in on divisive political campaigns across the country,’ including two of the three races that feature a black candidate for governor.”

— Citing no evidence, Trump claimed Abrams would turn Georgia “into a giant sanctuary city for criminal aliens.” Anne Gearan and Felicia Sonmez report: “[A]nd he accused Democrats nationally of inviting illegal immigrants ‘to destroy our country, basically.’ Democrats want to ‘impose socialism and totally erase America’s borders,’ Trump said as he campaigned for [Kemp] … Trump also said that Abrams would oversee a government seizure of firearms, repeating a claim that some of Kemp’s supporters have made. … Abrams favors stricter gun control but told a town hall gathering that ‘I am not planning to confiscate and ban guns.’”

— Abrams dismissed Republicans’ escalating criticisms of her as evidence they are “getting scared.” Responding to Trump’s assessment of her as “unqualified,” Abrams said, “I am the most qualified candidate. Ich bin ein Unternehmer. Ich bin ein Steueranwalt, der an der Yale Law School ausgebildet wurde. I am a civic leader who helped register more than 200,000 Georgians.” She added, “I think they’re getting scared, and I think desperation tends to lead to comments that aren’t necessarily grounded in reality.” (Felicia Sonmez)

— Democratic dreams of flipping as many as six Republican governorships are starting to dwindle as several races go down to the wire. Tim Craig reports: “Democrats are especially confident they will defeat Illinois Republican Bruce Rauner, one of the nation’s least-popular governors, and take over the chief executive’s offices in Michigan and New Mexico, which are held by retiring Republicans. But whether Democrats can make dramatic gains — perhaps even reaching parity with Republicans for governorships — will probably come down to a half-dozen races in states that formed the backbone of Trump’s surprise 2016 victory.”

— GOP strategists say the gubernatorial race has tightened in Florida, where elections have been shaped by “a year of natural and man-made Florida-based disasters,” Joel Achenbach reports. “In the panhandle, where Trump held a rally Saturday, residents are still recovering from Hurricane Michael, which ravaged coastal communities and a military base. In the middle of the state, thousands of Puerto Rican people – possibly new voters – have devastated their island since Hurricane Maria last year. On both coasts the harmful and poisonous red algae bloomed while green algae have stifled the inland waters. What voters decide on this stew of issues and events will have significant consequences on Tuesday, as well as for the 2020 presidential election.”

— Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sparked intense blowback after describing the stakes of the Florida gubernatorial race, where Democrat Andrew Gillum hopes to be the state’s first black leader, as “cotton-pickin’ important.” „Die öffentliche Politik ist wichtig. Leadership matters. And that is why this election is so cotton-pickin’ important to the state of Florida,” Perdue said at a campaign event for Republican Ron DeSantis. “I hope you all don’t mess it up.” (CNN)

— Trump will campaign today for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, who is trying to walk a fine line between the endorsements of the president and one of his adversaries: current Gov. John Kasich (R). The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jessie Balmert reports: “DeWine hasn’t campaigned as a ‘Trump candidate,’ unlike U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. DeWine has skipped several Trump rallies during the campaign, often sending GOP lieutenant governor candidate Jon Husted in his stead. Contrast that with [Democrat Rich] Cordray, who stood hand-in-hand with [Obama] at an East Cleveland rally just two months ago.”

— Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who has consistently polled ahead despite being a Republican in a deeply blue state, argued Maryland is headed in a positive direction that would continue after he is reelected. Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins report: “Comedian Dave Chappelle, who grew up in Silver Spring and has known [Democratic candidate Ben] Jealous since they were children, joined him for a rally in Baltimore County and for door-to-door canvassing in Prince George’s County, a Democratic stronghold. … [Hogan] told supporters on the Eastern Shore on Saturday that most people like the direction of the state under his leadership. ‘It’s really pretty simple. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ he bellowed hoarsely to a crowd of hundreds gathered in Grasonville[.]"

WHAT TO WATCH FOR AFTER TUESDAY:

— The Trump White House is anticipating massive turnover after the elections. Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker report: “Some embattled officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, are expected to be fired or actively pushed out by Trump after months of bitter recriminations. Others, like Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, may leave amid a mutual recognition that their relationship with the president has become too strained. And more still plan to take top roles on Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign or seek lucrative jobs in the private sector after nearly two years in government. … Many in Trump’s orbit worry that the administration will face challenges filling the vacancies — especially if Democrats win the House majority and use their oversight powers to investigate the administration and issue subpoenas to top officials. …

“Among those most vulnerable to being dismissed are Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing [Bob Mueller’s investigation] … Allies of Sessions and some in the Justice Department believe the attorney general could be fired in humiliating fashion in the days immediately following Tuesday’s elections. The White House has already begun considering replacements, while Trump aides and confidants have cautioned the president he would face a backlash if he fired either of the top two Justice officials, particularly before the midterms. Other Cabinet officials — including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Nielsen — also face uncertain futures.”

— Republicans’ selections of leaders for the House Judiciary and Oversight committees could illuminate how they intend to handle the Russia investigation moving forward. Karoun Demirjian reports: “[A]ll of the 10 Republican and Democratic congressional officials The Washington Post spoke to for this report … believed the Judiciary and Oversight committees would continue to devote attention to Russia-related matters next year regardless of which party holds the House majority. That means the GOP’s eventual choice of committee leaders will reveal whether House Republicans intend to keep hammering those who challenge the president, and how much sway Trump’s allies will wield over congressional oversight of the administration during the second half of his first term.”

THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

— Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has intensified the kingdom’s efforts to silence critics in a campaign that stretches back decades. Kareem Fahim and Loveday Morris report: “To repatriate its critics, the Saudi government has tried to lure them back or enlisted friendly regional governments to arrest them or even carried out brazen kidnappings in Europe. Saudi citizens disappeared from hotel rooms, were torn from cars, or had planes on which they were diverted. A Saudi dissident prince said in a court case that he had injected himself in the neck and flew with a private jet from Geneva to Saudi Arabia. Years later, after he managed to leave the kingdom, he disappeared again and has not been heard from since.”

U.S. Pat. and Israeli officials fear that fallout from the killing of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi has jeopardized Saudi Arabia’s ability to broker peace in the region. Anne Gearan and Souad Mekhennet report: “The fate of the crown prince … has implications for the Arab-Israeli peace package developed by the Trump administration and for cooperation among opponents of Iran. … Trump has called Saudi Arabia a key to regional stability and a valuable purchaser of American arms but has said little publicly about what a diminished role for the kingdom or Mohammed might mean for Israel or Arab-Israeli peace. Trump's chief Mideast envoy, son-in-law Jared Kushner, however, has discussed with diplomats and others plans, people familiar with the discussions said.”

— Khashoggi’s sons pleaded for the return of his remains. CNN’s Nic Robertson reports: “Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi, who called their father ‘courageous, generous and very brave,’ said they have endured weeks of anguish and uncertainty following his disappearance and death. ‘I really hope that whatever happened wasn’t painful for him, or it was quick. Or he had a peaceful death,’ Abdullah Khashoggi, 33, [said] … Without their father’s body, the brothers say their family is unable to grieve or find closure. ‘All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi (cemetery) in Medina (Saudi Arabia) with the rest of his family,’ Salah said. ‘I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.’”

— Touching on trade in a Shanghai speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping indicated he would not be open to making concessions when he sits down with Trump later this month. Gerry Shih reports: “He made promises to cut tariffs, open up sectors such as health care and education to foreign investment, and import $45 trillion in goods and services over the next 15 years. Then he threw veiled jabs at Trump’s leadership style. … But beyond the promises of boosting Chinese consumption, which has been a long-standing priority for Beijing, Xi stopped short of tackling the politically thorny complaints voiced by major trading partners.”

— Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is using his vast influence network to try to avoid the Trump administration’s latest sanctions. The New York Times’s Andrew Higgins and Kenneth P. Vogel report: “Deripaska has been a subsidiary character in [Mueller’s probe], not as a target but because he at one point employed Paul Manafort … But the current lobbying effort on behalf of Mr. Deripaska’s companies still appears to have made substantial headway. In recent months, Mr. Deripaska’s firms have notched initial victories by winning multiple postponements from the Treasury Department of the sanctions on the oligarch’s holding company, EN , and the giant aluminum company it controls, Rusal. Now, with the administration closing in on its latest self-imposed deadline to make a final decision by Dec. 12, there are signs that Mr. Deripaska’s companies could escape the sanctions entirely.”

— Iran pledged to resist American “psychological war” as economic sanctions against the country once again went into effect. Erin Cunningham reports: “The sanctions reintroduce some of the most crippling restrictions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors and seek to penalize even non-U. S. entities that do business with Iran. ‘We have to make Americans understand that they cannot talk to the great Iranian nation with the language of pressure and sanctions,’ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting … ‘They have to be punished,’ Rouhani said, according to a transcript of the remarks posted to the president’s website. ‘What the Americans are doing today is putting pressure merely on the people.’”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

A Post reporter noted this of Trump’s rallies:

Rucker also highlighted the song choice at a Trump rally:

And Rihanna was not pleased:

Trump plans to campaign with Rush Limbaugh. From a CNN reporter:

The president’s son will appear at a House Republicans’ final rally before Election Day:

A New York Times reporter predicted a late night tomorrow:

A Democratic lawyer who previously represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign said legal challenges would likely follow close results:

In Indiana, many early voters did not cast a ballot in 2014 — a good sign for Democrats. This is Joe Donnelly’s campaign manager:

The executive director of the Florida Democratic Party expressed confidence about early voting numbers:

The Republican congressional candidate who lost an eye in Afghanistan reacted to SNL mocking his injury:

A McClatchy reporter highlighted this from  Crenshaw’s bio:

From a co-host of “The View”:

But a writer for the National Review offered a different take on the SNL controversy:

An Arizona Senate candidate found some time away from the campaign trail:

A Politico reporter tweeted a photo of a very relevant license plate:

Local news is (finally) dominated by the midterms. From a Post reporter:

Novelist Stephen King made a personal argument for voting out a House Republican:

Mexican officials expressed concern for members of the migrant caravan, per a Post reporter:

A Getty Images photographer shared this photo montage from the southern border:

From a Post reporter:

GOOD READS:

— “Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto leads his city through its darkest days,” by Gabriel Pogrund: “Before the true toll of that evil was known, before bomb squads had secured the building, before the heart-wrenching condolence calls, before the crying, before the string of funerals, before his city was forced into a near-constant state of mourning, Peduto’s phone rang again. It was [Trump], … After offering thoughts and prayers — and pledging anything Peduto needed, including a direct line to the White House — Trump veered directly into policy, Peduto recalled. The president, Peduto said, insisted on discussing harsher death penalty legislation as a way to prevent such atrocities. Peduto was stunned into silence.”

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“Trump touts dubious African-American support in midterm homestretch,” from Politico: “Trump on Sunday boasted of his support among African-Americans by citing questionable polling data … ‘New Fox Poll shows a ‘40% Approval Rating by African Americans for President Trump, a record for Republicans.’ Thank you, a great honor!’ the president wrote on Twitter. Trump’s post is an apparent reference not to a survey by Fox News, but instead to a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports featured in a Fox News segment on Sunday morning. That Rasmussen survey, a daily tracking poll from Oct. 29, showed that 40 percent of black respondents approved of the president’s performance. A Fox News poll from Oct. 17 found that 29 percent of all nonwhite registered voters approve of Trump’s job performance. Rasmussen’s methodology is frequently questioned by mainstream pollsters, and its work has been accused of harboring a pro-Republican bias.”

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“Trump Jr. griped that CNN didn’t run his dad’s commercial. ‘This ad is racist,’ the network replied,” from Amy B. Wang: “Donald Trump Jr. had a grievance to air Saturday morning. CNN had refused to run an election ad released by [the president] earlier this week, a video that featured Luis Bracamontes — an undocumented immigrant who was convicted in the murder of two California sheriff’s deputies — in an apparent attempt to drum up fears about immigration. ‘I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda,’ Trump Jr. tweeted … CNN’s public relations department promptly fired back at the president’s eldest child … ‘CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist,’ CNN PR tweeted. ‘When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.’”

DAYBOOK:

Trump card will appear at campaign rallies today in Cleveland; Fort Wayne, Ind., and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Everyone says: Talk about the economy. Speak about the economy. Well, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country, but sometimes it’s not as exciting to talk about the economy, right?” — Trump at his West Virginia rally. (Felicia Sonmez and Anne Gearan)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Washingtonians should expect morning showers and temperatures in the 50s. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Allow extra time for the commute this morning, as soaking rain lifts through the region — putting down a quick 0.5 to 0.75 inches. The bulk of the rain is likely to have pushed through by noon with just an outside chance of a couple of lingering showers in the afternoon. Highs are mostly in the upper 50s.”

— The Redskins lost to the Falcons 38-14. (Thomas Boswell)

— The Wizards lost to the Knicks 108-95. (Candace Buckner)

— D.C. police arrested a suspect in the 2004 shooting of Kendra Smith. Peter Hermann reports: “Tony Aiken, 47, who had a relationship with Smith that ended a month before she was killed, has been charged with second-degree murder while armed. … Police said in an arrest affidavit filed in court Friday that a detective assigned to review unsolved cases found new leads. The detective also reinterpreted crime scene photos, leading the department to change its initial conclusion that Smith had been fatally shot from outside the vehicle.”

— A woman was struck by a train after her motorized wheelchair rolled onto the tracks at the Friendship Heights Metro station. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she remains in critical condition. (Faiz Siddiqui)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

SNL parodied Democrats’ “confidence” about tomorrow’s results:

SNL also mocked Fox News’s coverage of the caravan:

Democratic congressional candidate MJ Hegar, a veteran, slammed her opponent’s comment that he was “at war” with her:

And London began to mark 100 years since the end of World War I:

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