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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
37 Days until Election Day 2016
96 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
6 Days until Election Day 2015It's Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 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!!!
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- Bout in Boulder: GOP Candidates Face Off in Debate #3 The third 2016 Republican presidential debate airs tonight on CNBC. The debate, titled “Your Money, Your Vote,” is focusing on economic issues. It will be held at the University Colorado - Boulder, and will be moderated by CNBC anchors Carl Quintanilla and Beck Quick, and CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood.
- As with the cycle's previous two GOP debates, the field will be split into two events: the primetime debate at 8pm ET, made up of candidates who averaged at least 2.5% support in polls released by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, and Bloomberg between September 17 and October 21; and the undercard debate at 6pm ET, between the candidates who received at least 1%, but less than 2.5%, in those polls.
- With the Iowa caucuses just under 100 days away, this debate will be a key test for the Republican candidates. Standing at center stage (due to their high stature in the polls), Donald Trump and Ben Carson will be closely watched for what they say, especially to each other. New polls in Iowa and nationally show Carson stealing Trump’s lead: Trump is expected to attack him, but for Carson, it is important to keep his trademark calm.
- The next highest-polling contenders, Marco Rubio and then Jeb Bush, will stand rightward from Trump. Rubio’s debate performances have been impressive this cycle, but the theme of this debate (the economy) does not play to his strengths (foreign policy). Bush, meanwhile, has been slipping in the polls and in money, and this will be a very important chance for him to stay relevant in the race heading into Iowa.
- Then, going left from Carson, is the next tier of candidates: Carly Fiorina and then Ted Cruz. Fiorina seems to have reached her peak, having shot up in the polls, but is now slipping down. However, the debate stage is where she first broke out, and another impressive performance could lead to her returning to the top tier. Cruz also needs to break out, and cast his net with evangelical voters, many of whom have been stolen away by Ben Carson. Cruz shies away from attacking his opponents, and his punching bag tonight will likely be the debt ceiling extension, which he (along with Paul and Rubio) is at a unique position to talk about, as members of Congress.
- Finally, the last tier: Mike Huckabee and John Kasich on Bush’s right; Chris Christie and then Rand Paul to Cruz’s left. It is crunch time for all four: they are standing on the fringes of the stage because of their low poll numbers, and a poor performance tonight (or inability to break out) could mean they will be relegated to the undercard debate next time around. In short: tonight is do-or-die time for Huckabee, Kasich, Christie, and Paul.
- In addition, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham will take the stage for the undercard debate; Jim Gilmore failed to reach the 1% floor to participate in even that debate. This is the same stage as the last undercard debate over a month ago; none of the four participants have managed to break out into the field's upper tier. The primetime debate lineup is also the same, except for the elimination of Scott Walker, who has since dropped out of the race (the order of the podiums, however, is different).
- There was some controversy over the debate format: frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, as well as other candidates, threatened to boycott the debate if it was longer than 120 minutes, and did not include opening and closing statements. In the end, the campaigns won, and CNBC agreed to a two-hour debate (including commercials), as well as a 30-second closing statement for each candidate. In lieu of opening statements, the debate will kick off with a single question each candidate will answer.
- Today on the Trail Meanwhile…as Republicans spar tonight, here’s what the Democratic presidential candidates are doing:
- Hillary Clinton will participate in a “Politics and Eggs” event at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and deliver the keynote address at the Carroll County Democratic Committee's annual Grover Cleveland Dinner in Bartlett.
- Bernie Sanders will host a “National Student Town Hall” at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he will "focus on the most important issues facing students and young people including college affordability, getting big money out of politics, climate change, criminal justice reform and income and wealth inequality." The town hall will be attended by George Mason students, and will be live streamed at colleges across the U.S.
- The 2016 Inbox Every once in a while I like to sort through the chaos of receiving emails from every presidential candidate to try and find a common theme in the day’s emails. Yesterday, it wasn’t too hard: ahead of tonight’s debate, many GOP candidates emailed Tuesday with requests for shows of support. Tuesday’s theme? We want YOU!
- From: Official Rubio Campaign Subject: Let Marco know you’re with him
- From: Rick Santorum Subject: how you can help
- From: Lauren Wittel - Christie War Room Subject: YOU’RE INVITED: CNBC Debate War Room
- From: Sarah Isgur Flores (deputy Fiorina campaign manager) Subject: Carly wants to ask you something
- From: Barry Bennett, BenCarson.com Subject: Will you leave a quick comment?
Capitol Hill News
- Today in the House The lower chamber may vote as early as today on the bipartisan two-year budget plan and debt ceiling extension.
- Late-night fixes to the deal had to be made Tuesday, when a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the measure counted $75.7 billion in spending cuts, angering Republicans who want to fully offset the $80 billion in spending increases. The deal was amended, and the issue was fixed.
- The $80 billion increase is spread over two years ($50 billion in Year 1, $30 billion the second year) and to both defense and domestic programs. In addition to the $80 billion, the deal also calls for a $16 billion increase each of the two years for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, an emergency war deposit.
- The cuts are made in changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance fund and Medicare provider payments. This measure, if approved, funds the government through September 30, 2017 and increases the federal borrowing limit (the debt ceiling) through March 15, 2017.
- If the House does vote on the budget agreement today, it is expected to pass. Democrats have been nearly unanimous in their support for the plan, and there will be enough moderate Republicans to join them in voting for it. If it is passed by the House, the bill then goes to the Senate, where it is also likely to be approved, as most Senate Republicans will vote for it.
- The next step after congressional approval will be the President’s desk; the White House helped negotiate the deal with lawmakers, and Obama himself said Tuesday he is “pretty happy” with what they ended with, signaling he will sign the measure, and make it law.
- Also today: House Republicans will meet and choose their nominee to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner. Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, are the two candidates, with Ryan widely expected to win the GOP nod.
- At the meeting, both candidates will be formally nominated by a person of their choosing in a three-minute speech, with two-minute “seconding” speeches following.
- Ryan chose Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee to deliver his nominating speech, and Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, to give his seconding speeches.
- The trio Ryan chose to speak on his behalf represent a blend of the House Republican Conference: geographically (Gowdy and Hensarling hail from the South, Noem from the West), ideology-wise (all three are members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, along with a majority of House Republicans), and by experience (Gowdy and Noem were elected in the 2010 GOP wave, Hensarling has spent over a decade in Congress).
- All three control influence in the conference (Gowdy and Hensarling both wield committee gavels, Noem is chair of the Women’s Caucus). While such a decision as who delivers nominating speeches may seem insignificant, his choices clearly shows Ryan’s deft political skills and what kind of Speaker he hopes to be: a uniter.
- The Republican nominee for Speaker will face the Democratic candidate (who is not being formally chosen, as Democrats don’t control the majority but will likely vote for their leader, Nancy Pelosi) in a House floor vote Thursday. Speaker Boehner resigns Friday.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama will return from Chicago today, for two Oval Office meetings:
- At 3:05pm, the President will sit down with retired four-star General John Allen, who stepped down last week as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
- Obama and Allen, a former Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, will discuss U.S. efforts to combat the Islamic State group. Allen’s deputy, Brett McGurk, assumed the position of Special Envoy upon his boss’ retirement.
- At 3:50pm, President Obama meets with Prince Harry of Wales, who is fifth in line for the British throne.
- First Lady’s Day At 11:30am, First Lady Michelle Obama, Second Lady Jill Biden, and Prince Harry will visit Fort Belvoir, an Army base in Virginia, to meet with wounded servicemen and women.
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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