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Wake Up To Politics - December 9, 2015

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015
54 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
335 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • Whiteboard Wednesday Every week, I offer a hand-drawn update on the presidential race with a little segment I call “Whiteboard Wednesday”:
  • The percentages are calculated as an average of the polls conducted of the race since last Wednesday; the red/green changes reflect the difference between this week’s numbers and last week’s.
  • The biggest changes this week are at the top: Donald Trump’s 4.5% loss and Hillary Clinton’s 5.5% loss. How much do those two changes matter? Probably not all that much, they both remain in control of commanding leads over their opponents. And remember – this is an average of polls, which have a lot of fluidity (especially when it comes to the frontrunners).
  • Lower on the Republican side, Marco Rubio rose slightly to tie with Ted Cruz for second place, further displacing Ben Carson to fourth. This is a huge departure from the many consecutive weeks that Carson was running just behind Trump, seeing as there is a fairly sizable jump between him and the second-place contenders. It is hard to know how Donald Trump’s poll numbers will play out following his proposal banning Muslim immigration, but if he begins to slip, it will be interesting to see if Cruz or Rubio end up with the upper hand.
  • Then, between Carson and Jeb Bush there is a very big jump, and from then on down the remainder of the field has not much change – Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee all remain in the low single digits, with not much sign of increase coming.
  • On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders gains 3%, putting him over the 30% mark – still far behind Hillary Clinton’s 53.5. Martin O’Malley stays far behind both Clinton and Sanders, even losing ground and sending him below 3%.
  • Today on the Trail A snapshot of 2016 travel today:
  • Michigan Ben Carson (Ypsilanti), Marco Rubio (Waterford Township)
  • New Hampshire Jeb Bush (Manchester), Carly Fiorina (Lebanon)
  • California Martin O’Malley (Berkeley)
  • Iowa Hillary Clinton (Waterloo, Urbandale)
  • New York John Kasich (New York)
  • Address to the Council on Foreign Relations to “outline his plans to defeat Islamist terrorists and combat the so-called cyberthreat,” according to the Washington Post.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 11:50am, President Barack Obama will head to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue to speak at a U.S. Capitol event marking the 150th anniversary of the slavery-abolishing 13th Amendment, which was last Sunday. Lawmakers from both chambers of Congress and both parties, including members of leadership and of the Congressional Black Caucus, will attend the event.
  • At 2:20pm, President Obama will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to discuss “a range of issues of common focus, including the unprecedented bilateral security cooperation between the United States and Israel, regional developments, combating extremism in all of its forms, and the need for genuine advancement of peace between Israelis and Palestinians and a two-state solution,” according to the White House.
  • Finally, at 4:05pm and 7:35pm, President Obama will host two Hanukkah receptions in the East Room of the White House, where President Rivlin will be the guest of honor AND Wake Up To Politics’ resident Rabbi, Susan Talve, will be leading the blessings for the candle lighting. In addition to being my Rabbi, Susan was one of the first subscribers to The Daily Rundown, and is an amazing person doing great work of tikkun olam. As many of you know, the President could not have chosen a better person for this honor.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today At 10:45am, the Senate will vote to adopt the conference report of the Every Child Achieves Act, which will go to the President’s desk after the Senate’s expected passage.
  • The Every Child Achieves Act is a major education bill, which overhauls the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). While NCLB granted much power in public education to the federal government, the Every Child Achieves Act would swing the pendulum back in favor of state and local governments. The bill also makes significant changes to testing and teacher evaluations in public schools.
  • The original version of the bill passed the Senate in an 81-17 vote in July of this year, with presidential candidates Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) among the “nay” votes. The conference report passed the House last week in a bipartisan 359-64 vote.
  • With No Budget Deal, Shutdown Threat Looming The current government funding mechanism, a continuing resolution passed on September 30, expires Friday, and negotiations have so far produced no replacement budget deal, meaning a government shutdown over the weekend is possible.
  • Congressional Republicans are seeking “policy riders covering environmental issues, Western land concerns and how to address Syrian refugees seeking to come to the United States” to be added to an omnibus spending bill, according to Politico, while Democrats are trying to pressure them into a clean bill.
  • But with no agreement even close to emerging, House Republicans are looking to pass another continuing resolution this week to avoid a shutdown and allow for negotiations to continue over the weekend.
  • While that stop-gap bill may last only a few days, hardliners in the Freedom Caucus are seeking a six-week CR lasting into January of next year, to gain more leverage in adding their riders onto the eventual budget deal.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question When the 13th Amendment was ratified, it was only done so by 27 out of the 36 states (all that was necessary). However, all nine of the remaining states have since voted to ratify the Amendment, a symbolic gesture. What was the last state to ratify the 13th Amendment?
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light