Cruz Says GOP May Block Nominees Indefinitely

“In a vintage return to his confrontational style, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) indicated that Republicans could seek to block a Democratic president from filling the vacant Supreme Court seat indefinitely,” Politico reports.

Said Cruz: “There will be plenty of time for debate on that issue… There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices.”

Foundation Fundraisers Steered Business to Bill Clinton

“Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The memo, part of a cache of emails stolen from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, resurfaces an issue that she has had a hard time shaking: questions over the relationship between the Clintons’ charity work and their personal business.”

GOP Likely Faces Less Power Next Year

New York Times: “If the most likely scenario holds — a Hillary Clinton victory, a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and a diminished Republican House majority — Republicans will have to make crucial and onerous decisions they are now beginning to confront.”

“Do they try to find a way to cooperate with Democrats and get something done after years of stasis in Washington, perhaps as a way to move beyond the Trump phenomenon? Or do they dig in against Democrats and the new president as a bet on a Republican comeback in the 2018 midterm elections, adopting a noncooperative strategy to recapture the Senate majority and pad their numbers in the House?”

Trump’s Two-Track Campaign

Rick Klein: “Team Trump is pleading with the Republican base to come home. Donald Trump himself is pleading with the public to … stay at his hotels? It’s a curious choice of campaign time for the Republican nominee. Now less than two weeks out, he’s following up a trip to one of his Florida properties – complete with testimonials from his employees – with a visit to the grand opening of his Washington hotel. (Isn’t it open already? Couldn’t any ribbons be cut, say, after Nov. 8?)”

“It’s part of the two-track operation that is the campaign at this late stage. There is actual campaigning going on. Then there is brand-building that might overlap with campaigning, complete with the new Trump TV-style operation. (Are there soft Trump supporters, or undecided voters, who are watching livestreams on Trump’s Facebook page at 6:30 pm?) Trump has been selling himself, and his brand, from the start. Up and down the ballot, though, Republicans might be expecting a little more campaign focus at this stage.”

Hannity Offers to Pay for Obama to Leave Country

“Fox News host Sean Hannity doesn’t just want President Obama out of the White House come 2017. He wants him out of the country altogether,” Politico reports.

Said Hannity: “I have an offer for the president. I will charter a plane for you and your family. I will charter it to the country of your choice. You want to go to Canada? I’ll pay for you to go to Canada. You want to go to Kenya? I’ll pay for you to go to Kenya. Jakarta [in Indonesia], where you went to school back in the day, you can go back there.”

Hannity added one condition: “You can’t come back.”

Clinton Leads By 9 Points Nationally

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 9 points nationwide, 47% to 38%, with Gary Johnson at 4%.

Said pollster David Paleologos: “Hillary Clinton is favored by both men and women, in most age categories, and in every region of the country. Fifteen percent of voters remain persuadable—those who chose third-party candidates and the undecided voters, but Donald Trump would have to win them over by a four-to-one margin to catch the front-runner. It’s not impossible but highly improbable.”

State Poll Roundup: Wednesday

Here are the latest state polls from the presidential race:

Florida: Clinton 48%, Trump 45%, Johnson 2% (SurveyUSA)

Florida: Clinton 44%, Trump 41%, Johnson 4% (Associated Industries)

Florida: Trump 45%, Clinton 43%, Johnson 4% (Bloomberg)

New Hampshire: Clinton 46%, Trump 42%, Johnson 7% (Monmouth)

Utah: Trump 33%, McMullin 29%, Clinton 27%, Johnson 7% (SurveyMonkey)

Utah: Trump 32%, McMullin 29%, Clinton 28%, Johnson 4% (Rasmussen)

Florida: Clinton 46%, Trump 43%, Johnson 3% (Florida Atlantic University)

Nevada: Clinton 43%, Trump 43%, Johnson 10% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

New Hampshire: Clinton 45%, Trump 36%, Johnson 10% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

McMullin Is Trying to Build a New Party

BuzzFeed looks at Evan McMullin’s real goal in  running for president.

“Bald, wiry, and barely 40, McMullin is not a bomb-thrower by nature. He is polite and mild-mannered, and speaks in the earnest cadence of a Mormon missionary asking for permission to come inside and share a brief message about Jesus. As a Capitol Hill policy wonk, McMullin was a loyal cog in the Grand Old Party until he quit his job in August to launch a presidential protest bid under the #NeverTrump banner. Initially, he said, his campaign was intended as a vehicle of reform, meant only to remind the GOP of its conservative principles. But now, in the final weeks of this havoc-wreaking election, McMullin is scanning the wreckage of the Republican Party, and wondering whether there’s anything left to salvage.”

Yahoo News: Is Evan McMullin’s presidential candidacy just a protest, or something bigger?

House GOP Already Planning for Years of Investigations

Washington Post: “If Republicans retain control of the House, something that GOP-friendly maps make possible even in the event of a Trump loss, Clinton will become the first president since George H.W. Bush to immediately face a House Oversight Committee controlled by the opposition party. (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama lost Congress later in their presidencies.)”

“And other Republican leaders say they support Chaffetz’s efforts — raising the specter of more partisan acrimony between them and the White House for the next four years.”

Trump’s Campaign Has Been Bad for Business

Associated Press: “Rates for rooms at Trump’s new D.C. hotel are being slashed as travelers weigh their options, and smartphone data suggest fewer people are visiting his properties compared to rival venues nearby. The Republican nominee for president is in danger of losing not just the election, but something dear to a man who claims the marketing value of his name alone is worth $3 billion: the many customers, mostly wealthy, who have stayed at his hotels, played a round at his golf courses or held galas at his oceanside resorts. Experts say the Trump brand is tarnished and at a tricky crossroads as his appeal shifts from the well-heeled, high-income people he has long courted to a more middle-class base, including the fervent fans he cultivated during the campaign.”

Nervous Republicans Make Big Investment In Senate Races

Politico: “Republicans, on the verge of losing the Senate, are plowing a mammoth $25 million into six races in a last-ditch attempt to stop Donald Trump from dragging the entire GOP down with him. The investment from Senate Leadership Fund, a powerful super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comes as Democrats shift resources from Hillary Clinton’s now almost certain victory to down-ballot contests in hopes of delivering her a congressional majority.”