Daily Beast: “The final season of House of Cards is obsessed with death. That’s as creatively winking as anything the series has done, I guess, considering that all of us, whether or not we watch the show, are about as obsessed with how House of Cards will handle the death of Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood.”
Amy Walter: “Opinions about the president today basically mirror the vote for the president in 2016. The coalition that brought Trump to the White House, (white, non-college, overwhelmingly male), continue to give him high marks. Meanwhile, those that voted against him in 2016 – women, college-educated white voters and voters of color – dislike him as much today as they did back then.”
“Even more remarkable is how closely currently Trump’s job approval ratings track the 2016 vote.”
“So, what does it mean for 2018? Trump is gambling that he can run the 2016 playbook and come up with similar results. He’s got the same rallies with the same music and the same themes (Democrats are weak on the border, soft on crime and will raise your taxes). But, this year, of course, the battleground for House control is centered in the places where Trump remains the most toxic – highly educated suburban America. And, most important, his ideal foil, Hillary Clinton, isn’t on the ballot in 2018.”
“When President Trump began tweeting warnings and threats about a caravan of migrants headed for the border, his own government could not explain what he meant,” the New York Times reports.
Politico: “In pressing the issue, Trump sees a twofold advantage. It’s a way to argue that his opponents have ‘turned a blind eye to the problem,’ as one Republican working on the strategy put it, and also an opportunity to rev up his base. Although Democrats remain strongly favored to win back the House, overhead TV pictures of thousands marching north have them spooked…. Whether any real crisis exists at the border remains a matter of considerable debate.”
I’m really looking forward to this: Midterm Elections Preview: Blue Wave or Red Save?
I’ll be on a panel on Friday at 4 p.m. at Harvard’s Kennedy School with Rick Wilson, Asha Rangappa and Clare Malone. Chris Riback will moderate.
If you have a question for the panel, leave one in the comments.
Rick Hasen: “In some ways we are really talking about two Americas. In one part of America, voting is getting easier. Many blue states, and even some red ones, have moved to adopt automatic voter registration. Many red and purple states have much more generous periods of early voting than blue states; early in-person voting started Oct. 10 in Ohio, yet does not exist at all in New York. And both red and blue states have moved to adopt online voter registration, which is a convenience for voters and avoids errors in data entry. Other bipartisan reforms include the sharing of information across states through the ERIC database to avoid duplicate voter registrations.”
“That is all good news, and it is often ignored in the fight over voter fraud and voter suppression. Such actions deserve praise and support as election officials and legislatures do their jobs to ensure that all eligible voters can easily cast a ballot that will be fairly counted.”
“But there’s the other part of America too. There’s North Dakota, which changed its voter identification law after the razor-thin election of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in 2012 to make it harder for Native American voters living on reservations and lacking a residential street address to be able to vote. There’s Georgia, where Secretary of State (and current gubernatorial candidate) Brian Kemp has been holding for administrative review up to 53,000 voter registration cards for failing to have an exact match (like a missing hyphen) between the official record of a person’s name and the name appearing on the registration card. And there’s Dodge City, Kansas, a Latino-majority city with only a single polling place for 27,000 people—a polling place that was recently moved out of town and a mile from public transportation for the 2018 midterm elections.”
Vice President Pence supported President Trump’s claim without evidence that “unknown Middle Easterners” are traveling with the group of Central American migrants moving north through Mexico toward the U.S., The Hill reports.
Said Pence: “Well, it’s inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border.”
Brian Kemp (R), Georgia Secretary of State and the Republican nominee for Georgia governor, expressed at a ticketed campaign event that his opponent Stacey Abrams’ (D) voter turnout operation “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote,” according to audio obtained by Rolling Stone.
Kemp particularly expressed worry about early voting and “the literally tens of millions of dollars that they are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base.”
The Economist: “Mr Kemp all but admits that he cannot win an election if every eligible voter votes. A major-party candidate for governor sees registering voters not as a fundamentally American and essential activity, but as a partisan threat.”
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Andrew Gillum (D) leading Ron DeSantis (R) in the race for governor. 52% to 46%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “The GOP has faced strong opposition from women and other anti-Trump voters. These defections have hurt GOP candidates around the country and made it difficult to attract the numbers of independent voters that are often major players in successful campaigns. Here in Florida that has translated into an 18-point Gillum lead among independent voters.”
A pre-election report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers asserts that socialism “is making a comeback in American political discourse,” Axios reports.
President Trump “will hold at least another 10 rallies before the midterm elections and his campaign will spend $6 million more on advertising, in a widening effort to defend Republican majorities in Congress,” USA Today reports.
“By the time voters head to the polls in two weeks, Trump will have spoken at more than 30 rallies in the final five weeks of the campaign, putting him on the midterm trail more than his recent predecessors.”
Out next month: America, Compromised by Lawrence Lessig.
“There is not a single American awake to the world who is comfortable with the way things are.”
For the second consecutive election, a Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) campaign mailer has the wrong deadline for voters to return absentee ballots, Newsday reports.
The mailer told voters to postmark their ballots by Nov. 6. The actual deadline is Nov. 5.
Matthew Yglesias: “The hack gap explains why Clinton’s email server received more television news coverage than all policy issues combined in the 2016 election. It explains why Republicans can hope to get away with dishonest spin about preexisting conditions. It’s why Democrats are terrified that Elizabeth Warren’s past statements about Native American heritage could be general election poison in 2020, and it’s why an internecine debate about civility has been roiling progressive circles for nearly two years even while the president of the United States openly praises assaulting journalists.”
“The hack gap has two core pillars. One is the constellation of conservative media outlets — led by Fox News and other Rupert Murdoch properties like the Wall Street Journal editorial page, but also including Sinclair Broadcasting in local television, much of AM talk radio, and new media offerings such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller — that simply abjure anything resembling journalism in favor of propaganda.”
“The other is that the self-consciousness journalists at legacy outlets have about accusations of liberal bias leads them to bend over backward to allow the leading conservative gripes of the day to dominate the news agenda.”
“I have the same feeling that I had in 2016. I think we’re going to do well.”
— President Trump, in an interview with USA Today.