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Wake Up To Politics - October 7, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

2 Days until the Second Presidential Debate (Oct. 9)

32 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)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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Election Central

  • Debate Preview Coming Soon The second presidential debate is on Sunday, October 9 at Washington University here in St. Louis, Missouri. While Wake Up To Politics was denied press credentials by the Commission on Presidential Debate (the Secret Service has a longstanding rule against journalists under age 18 being credentialed), that won't stop yours truly from participating in the hometown excitement!
  • Over the weekend, look for a debate preview coming to your inbox - including interviews with officials from the presidential campaigns, Washington University, and more! And, of course: I'll have a full recap of the debate coming to you on Monday morning...
  • Hurricane Matthew Hurtles Towards the 2016 Election With the eye of Hurricane Matthew approaching the Florida coast, both presidential campaigns are preparing for the storm's effects not just across the Eastern Seaboard - but on the upcoming election as well.
  • One of the top electoral battlegrounds in the nation, Florida quadrennially delivers some of the closest election results of any U.S. state: Barack Obama won the state with just 0.9% of the vote in 2012. For this reason, voter registration numbers are closely watched in Florida (at the end of August, 4.7 million Floridians had registered as Democrats, and 4.5 million had registered as Republican).
  • To accommodate those affected by Hurricane Matthew, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook urged Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) to extend the state's voter-registration deadline, which is Tuesday. "I'm not going to extend it," Scott, who chairs pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now, told reporters, according to the Miami Herald. "Everybody has had a lot of time to register. On top of that, we have lots of opportunities to vote: early voting, absentee voting, Election Day. So I don’t intend to make any changes.”
  • Many Florida voters are unlikely to be able to register in the coming days, the final stretch of open registration, as they prepare for Matthew to hit. This is about the time there is normally a surge in voter registration: the Herald also reported that about 50,000 people registered to vote during the final five days in 2012, according to University of Florida professor Daniel A. Smith. Due to the hurricane, a number of campus groups, as well as the National Council of La Raza (a Latino advocacy group), have suspended plans to register voters in the final stretch.
  • The Clinton campaign was accused of politicizing the hurricane with their voter registration request. "For any political party to ask this in the middle of a storm is political," Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said. "Our No. 1 focus is protecting life. There'll be another day for politics."
  • "Florida Democrats have privately said they haven’t met their registration goals, though they have outpaced Republicans in terms of signing up new voters (as opposed to getting voters to switch to the party)," according to the Herald, which also noted that Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) extended her state's voter registration deadline due to the hurricane.
  • Clinton was already accused of injecting politics into the storm, when it was reported that Clinton had bought airtime for ads on the Weather Channel in battleground states including Florida. After Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called the Clinton campaign "shameful" Thursday for "exploiting Hurricane Matthew for political gain," the campaign announced that they asked the Weather Channel to delay the ad buy "until after the storm passes."
  • Both candidates have refrained from appearing to personally politicize Hurricane Matthew. Clinton herself tweeted Thursday: "Hurricane #Matthew is a major storm. I urge everyone to follow emergency instructions and evacuate if you're told to. Stay safe Florida."
  • Donald Trump, meanwhile, released a three-paragraph statement on the storm. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew, namely in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and we encourage everyone to listen to their Governors and local emergency officials urging the evacuations of at-risk coastal communities," Trump said. "These warnings are very, very serious – if your home is in the path of the hurricane and you are being advised to leave, you need to do so right now. Nothing is more important than the safety of your family."
  • In the statement, Trump also offered "thanks to the law enforcement, first responders and power crews making the necessary preparations for the storm and carrying out their plans to help our communities survive and recover in the aftermath" and "personal condolences to those families in Haiti who lost loved ones as this storm tore through their island." The statement concluded: "Please stay safe."
  • Storms have upended elections before: many Republicans blame Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast in October 2012, for President Obama's 2012 win.
  • Hurricane Matthew is expected to be the strongest storm to hit the United States in 12 years: after killing over 300 people in Haiti as a Category 5 hurricane, the storm is now moving towards Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

White House Watch

  • The President's Schedule President Obama heads to Chicago for a pair of Democratic fundraisers today.
  • At 10am, Obama will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing.
  • At 11:05am, he will depart the White House for Chicago, arriving at 1:05pm.
  • At 2:35pm, the President will address a fundraiser for House Democrats at a Chicago private residence.
  • At 5pm, Obama will speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at a different Chicago home.
  • The President spoke by phone separately with Govs. Nathan Deal (R-FL), Nikki Haley (R-SC), Pat McCrory (R-NC), and Rick Scott (R-FL). During the conversations, he "committed to providing necessary federal resources to help the states respond." Obama already signed emergency declarations for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

Daily Data

  • Pence is 2020 Frontrunner Forget 2016! After a strong debate performance Monday, GOP vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) is the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, if Donald Trump loses, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released this morning.
  • Of the 1,989 registered voters polled, 22% of Republicans said Pence is their top choice for the 2020 nod. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump himself were tied, with 13% each. The other top figures in the potential field are the 2016 runner-ups: 12% said they would support a second bid by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), 11% favor Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and 7% would vote for Gov. John Kasich (R-OH).
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", St. Louis Public Radio, the Political Junkie podcast, and on StoryCorps; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki"; and read about Gabe in Politico, the Washington Post, Independent Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salon, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light.