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On the roster: Support for impeachment reaches new high – Biden booming – How Team Trump made rallies data mining machines – GOP holds narrow edge for Mississippi governor – We can do it!
SUPPORT FOR IMPEACHMENT REACHES NEW HIGH
Quinnipiac University: “Approval among American voters of the U.S. House impeachment inquiry, an inquiry to determine whether or not to bring impeachment charges against President Trump, has reached its highest level, as 55 percent approve of the inquiry, while 43 percent disapprove, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Last week, 51 percent of voters approved of the inquiry, while 45 percent disapproved. In today’s poll, Democrats approve of the inquiry 93 – 7 percent and independent voters approve 58 – 37 percent, while Republicans disapprove of the inquiry 88 – 10 percent. … Nearly half of registered voters, 48 percent, say President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46 percent say he should not. Last week, 46 percent supported impeachment while 48 percent were opposed. In today’s poll, support for impeachment is 86 – 9 percent among Democrats, and 49 – 41 percent among independents, while Republicans oppose impeachment 91 – 6 percent.”
Trump approval dropping – Quinnipiac University: “President Trump’s job approval rating has dipped below 40 percent for the first time since the impeachment inquiry began as 38 percent say they approve of the job he is doing, and 58 percent disapprove. Last week, 41 percent approved of the president’s job performance, while 54 percent disapproved. This is President Trump’s lowest net approval rating since a July 2018 poll. … Nancy Pelosi gets a mixed approval rating as 45 percent approve of the job she is doing as Speaker of the House, while 47 percent disapprove. Mitch McConnell’s approval rating is deep underwater as 57 percent of voters disapprove of the job he is doing as Senate Majority Leader, while only 24 percent approve.”
Top diplomat’s testimony rattles Congress – NYT: “[During] explosive testimony on Tuesday, William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, laid out in visceral terms the stakes of what he saw as an illegitimate scheme to pressure the Kiev government for political help by suspending American security aid. In by far the most damning account yet to become public in the House impeachment inquiry Mr. Taylor described a president holding up $391 million in assistance for the clear purpose of forcing Ukraine to help incriminate Mr. Trump’s domestic rivals. Mr. Trump’s actions, he testified, undercut American allies desperately fighting off Russia’s attempt to redraw the boundaries of Europe through force.”
Trump defenders storm deposition, shut down probe in protest – WaPo: “A group of House Republicans temporarily shut down the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, barging into a secure room where a witness was set to testify and refusing to leave despite orders from top Democrats. A group of about two-dozen Trump allies stormed a room in the Capitol basement where three investigative committees were supposed to hear testimony from Laura Cooper, the Pentagon official who oversees Ukraine policy. Those members were not on the committees of jurisdiction and were not supposed to be present during the closed-door deposition. A shouting match began between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) and some Democrats in the room as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) left to consult with the sergeant at arms…”
Senate Republicans caution Trump on chaos – WashEx: “Senate Republicans are warning President Trump that he risks bungling impeachment politically and alienating voters, even as he survives a Senate trial, without a focused strategy prosecuted by competent political professionals. With House Democrats expected to approve articles of impeachment by Christmas, Senate Republicans are bracing for the trial, and they are imploring Trump to appreciate the gravity of the situation and prepare. Angry tweets and belligerent news conferences are not sufficient. The president is not in danger of losing anywhere near enough Republican support to be removed from office. But without an effective defense against the Democrats’ charges on the Senate floor, voters might conclude impeachment was justified and oust him in 2020.”
Biden called Clinton impeachment ‘lynching’ – Fox News: “Even as top Democrats rushed to condemn President Trump’s comparison of their impeachment inquiry to a ‘lynching,’ footage and news reports have emerged showing several top Democrats referring matter-of-factly to Bill Clinton‘s impeachment proceedings as a ‘lynching’ in 1998. Among those Democrats are two African-American representatives still serving in the House, as well as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and presidential contender Joe Biden. Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., called Clinton’s impeachment a ‘persecution’ and a ‘political lynching’ on the House floor in 1998. And Danny Davis, D-Ill., condemned what he described as a ‘lynching in the People’s House.’ Biden, who has condemned Trump’s remarks as ‘abhorrent’ and ‘despicable,’ said in 1998 that a Clinton impeachment could be perceived as a ‘partisan lynching.’”
THE RULEBOOK: SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
“The language of Virginia is still more pointed on this subject. Her constitution declares, ‘that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct; so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time, except that the justices of county courts shall be eligible to either House of Assembly.’” – James Madison, Federalist No. 47
TIME OUT: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Smithsonian: “Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t known for getting things done. He was often years or even decades late when delivering paintings, and many of the fantastical schemes he concocted… Still, new research conducted by engineers at MIT suggests one of the Renaissance giant’s unbuilt designs—a bridge poised to be the world’s longest—would have worked if the artist had actually followed through on his plans. Leonardo drafted his proposal in response to Sultan Bayezid II’s 1502 appeal for bridge designs. Bayezid, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, wanted to connect the cities of Constantinople and Galata, which were separated by a river estuary called the Golden Horn. … Bayezid was unimpressed by Leonardo’s complicated blueprints, and the bridge the artist envisioned was never built—at least until MIT engineer John Ochsendorf stepped in to test the 500-year-old design’s feasibility. …Ochsendorf and his colleagues analyzed materials available in 1502 and determined the Old Master would probably have used stone rather than wood or brick…”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.8 points (↑ 0.6 from last wk.)
Warren: 25.2 points (↓ 1.2 from last wk.)
Sanders: 13.8 points (↑ 0.4 from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6 points (↓ 0.2 from last wk.)
Harris: 4.6 points (↑ 0.2 from last wk.)
[Averages include: CNN, Quinnipiac University, Fox News, IBD and Monmouth University.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 41.4 percent
Average disapproval: 55.6 percent
Net Score: -14.2 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 2.4 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 58% disapprove; CNN: 42% approve – 57% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 45% approve – 51% disapprove.]
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CNN: “Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for president has rebounded, and now stands at its widest margin since April, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. Biden has the support of 34% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters, his best showing in CNN polling since just after his campaign’s formal launch on April 25. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont are about even for second, with 19% and 16%, respectively. Behind them, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris of California each have 6% support, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke each at 3%. … Registered voters generally give Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg large advantages over President Donald Trump in hypothetical general election matchups’ Biden leads the President by 10 points…”
Still rolling in South Carolina – Monmouth University: “Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the clear front-runner among likely Democratic voters in South Carolina. The Monmouth University Poll finds little has changed in overall presidential primary support, but there is evidence that black voters’ preference for the front-runner varies significantly when age and education are taken into account. Biden currently holds 33% support among South Carolina voters who are likely to vote in the February 2020 Democratic primary. … Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16%) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (12%) are in the second tier of candidate preferences. … California Sen. Kamala Harris has 6% support… Tom Steyer (4%), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (3%), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (2%), Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (2%), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (2%).”
Video shows Warren waffling on Medicare – Mediaite: “Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren backed off of Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ plan in leaked video of a private meeting with union officials, saying ‘it’s not that I have a plan that says we’re going to do this part and then we’re going to do this part,’ but that ‘we’re going to get to a table like this.’ Warren has vacillated between being ‘with Bernie’ on his health care plan and considering it a mere ‘framework,’ and most recently told CNN’s David Axelrod that Bernie’s plan is ‘my plan.’ But Mediaite has obtained leaked video from an August 23 meeting with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union executive board in which Warren is considerably more vague about the plan.”
Massachusans like Warren, but not so much her health plan – WBUR: “In the race for her party’s presidential nomination, home state U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has opened up a wide lead among likely Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts, according to a new WBUR poll. … But the WBUR poll also has a note of caution for Warren. Medicare for All … is less popular among likely Democratic voters in this blue state than a plan that would include a public option… According to the survey, Warren leads a crowded Democratic field, with 33% of likely voters in the primary supporting her. Former Vice President Joe Biden is second with 18%, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is at 13%, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is in fourth place with 7%. Fifteen percent refused to answer or said they didn’t know their answer. While Warren probably benefits from home-field advantage, the poll is the latest in a series of recent surveys that show her moving to front-runner status.
HOW TEAM TRUMP MADE RALLIES DATA MINING MACHINES
WSJ: “The most transformational change has been turning rallies into large-scale data-mining operations. The Trump campaign has collected millions of phone numbers, email addresses and other personal information supporters hand over when signing up for text alerts or registering for rally tickets. The Trump team uses the data to reveal people’s political registrations and in which elections they have voted. Then the team cross-references that information with data on their consumer habits—already collected by the Republican Party—to forecast how likely each rallygoer is to vote in 2020 and which candidate the voter will probably support, campaign officials said. A yet-to-be released smartphone app will offer supporters certain perks, such as accelerated entry into rallies, in exchange for putting the campaign in contact with friends who might back the president and hand over personal data.”
Dem PAC spends big bashing Trump in key general election states – Axios: “A major outside Democratic group is outspending President Trump on Facebook ads in the crucial battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Why it matters: 2020 presidential candidates have spent at least $61 million so far this cycle on Facebook and Google ads, with Trump in the lead, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. But that’s national spending. The state-by-state spend (below) is important because that’s where the 2020 election will be won. … Meanwhile, Priorities USA — a major Democratic super PAC — launched a digital ad campaign in late July ‘focused on holding President Trump accountable’ and highlighting how his economic policies have negatively affected some Americans. The group spent $40 million online in 2016 and they said they plan to spend more than that in 2020.”
Dick’s CEO tries on the idea of a presidential run – Politico: “Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods and a longtime Republican donor, is testing the waters for a possible third-party presidential bid that could scramble the dynamics of the 2020 general election. Various messages were presented to a focus group in southern Wisconsin this week centering on the billionaire businessman, along with possible three-way match-ups against Donald Trump and Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. The focus group, according to a source who took part in the testing, ran through varying themes involving Stack and heavily focused on his example of ‘showing leadership’ by halting the sale of assault-style rifles at all of Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in the wake of the high school massacre in Parkland, Florida.”
GOP HOLDS NARROW EDGE FOR MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR
Mississippi Clarion Ledger: “A new poll shows the Mississippi gubernatorial race remains tight with less than two weeks to Election Day. It also found a majority of voters oppose impeaching and removing President Donald Trump from office. … Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves leading Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood 46% to 43%. 2% support third-party candidates Bob Hickingbottom or Dave Singletary … Other recent polls have shown a similarly competitive race, closer than any state governor contest since 2003. Republicans have controlled the governor’s mansion since 2004. Mason-Dixon pollsters indicated Trump’s scheduled Nov. 1 rally in Tupelo ‘could be a deciding factor’ and offer a ‘significant boost’ for Reeves with GOP turnout. They noted Trump’s last-minute campaigning in Louisiana recently helped force incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards into a runoff.”
Rep. Katie Hill denies allegations of an improper relationship with aide, seeks sanctions for estranged husband who dished dirt – NYT
Trump announces lift on Turkey sanctions, cease-fire in Syria ‘permanent’ – WaPo
Trump lawyers: Local prosecutors can’t touch Trump even if he murdered someone – Politico
With five weeks left of stopgap funding measure, four spending bills begin to move – Roll Call
AUDIBLE: SHAQ FU
“As American people, we do a lot of business in China. And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we’re allowed to speak up on injustices, and that’s just how it goes.” – Shaquille O’Neal said during TNT’s NBA pre-game show discussing LeBron James’ support for the regime in Beijing.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I’m at the point where I may hibernate this winter and avoid at all costs any media news. There are so many things I find biased, crooked and overblown, most of all the vendetta against the president. I resent the focus on this as opposed to a new trade policy, immigration reform, poor reports on education in the US, drugs and so many urgent items. Trump wasn’t my first choice for president in 2016, but I supported him when nominated. I don’t care nearly as much about his horrible personality as I do about his policies and the things he’s accomplished. … The polls say ‘Impeach! Elect Socialists! Elect people who are not only corrupt but suffering from delusions or dementia.’ I’m old, cranky and tired of the idiocy. Boo hiss.” – Susan Williams, St. Louis
[Ed. note: Ms. Williams, I think your perspective might be brighter if the Cards hadn’t been swept by the Nats! (I know mine would be.) But like baseball, America is in a perpetual state of renewal. Just 110 days until pitchers and catchers report!]
“Something that is not talked about is, if college tuition became free in the United States is it reasonable for a college student to believe they can choose their college and/or major? One of the casualties of big socialized governments is there is no mechanism to afford personal individuality, uniqueness or desire. Everyone is treated the same. It then seems a reasonable conclusion that all students who want free college tuition to be tested, the government decide what the student demonstrates high aptitude in and the government choses the school and/or major for that student. This would be based on how the government decides the student can best serve the masses, not the individual student’s desires. In the United States we generally believe in mutually beneficial transactions. Meaning, both parties to a transaction receive something. One party receives the quantity and quality of a good or service, the other receives money. Both parties win. It would be a sea change to believe the student would receive both; free education and the choice of where to go and what to major in.” – Jim Hain, Omaha, Neb.
[Ed. note: Well, we do already kind of dabble in that. The federal government provides special incentives for students to choose certain disciplines and for institutions to choose certain types of students – directing research funds to preferred research, creating incentives for encouraging women into STEM, etc. But I take your larger point. If a four-year college degree becomes like high school is now, i.e. a guaranteed good available to all residents, one imagines that the government will take a similarly strong interest in what colleges teach and what students will earn. We have already seen it through the pressures applied to schools via Pell Grants and other forms of funding. But leaving aside the consideration of funding, which is a lulu, the main concern about universal college is that it will diminish the value of college for those who do attend. One of the reasons college has been such a great ladder into the middle class is that it isn’t for everyone. About a third of Americans over 25 have at least a four-year degree. But for Americans over 65, it’s only about a quarter of the population. It stands to reason that new graduates holding college degrees 40 years ago were more valuable than those today. What happens if we see college-going rates soar to 60 percent or more? There are lots of good things about higher education (and plenty of bad things, too). But many of the good things are not about what happens in the classroom – socialization, training in independent living in a controlled atmosphere, a sense of cultural belonging. Those things may or may not be degraded in a world of universal college. But the value of a degree, and thereby its utility for upward socioeconomic mobility, certainly would.]
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WE CAN DO IT!
Bloomberg: “America is sitting on a mountain of uneaten bacon. More than 40 million pounds (18,000 metric tons) of pork bellies, the cut used for bacon making, were sitting in refrigerated warehouses as of Sept. 30, according to U.S. government data released Tuesday. That’s the most for the month since 1971. The overhang came after a buildup in the American hog herd. Pork output surged over the summer months and through September, said Dennis Smith, senior account executive at Archer Financial Services Inc. Bellies have seen a magnified inventory increase because demand is mostly domestic, unlike cuts such as ham, for which overseas buying can help reduce reserves.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The best thing that’s happened to the party, and I would say one of the best things Donald Trump ever did, was he put an end to the Clinton dynasty. It was not helping the party, it was trapped in the past.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) speaking on Tucker Carlson Tonight on June 1, 2017.
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.