Tuesday, September 6, 2016
63 Days Until Election Day 2016 (AKA my 15th birthday)
20 Days Until the First Presidential DebateI'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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Need to Know
- Capitol Hill After a seven-week recess, both houses of Congress return today to a busy election-year agenda. In the two-month sprint to Election Day - when the entire U.S. House and one-third of the U.S. Senate are up for re-election - lawmakers must consider a number of issues, including funding the fight agains the Zika virus,
- Most immediately, Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass a spending bill before the fiscal year ends and a government shutdown begins. Democrats have called for a short-term deal that would fund the government through the November election, after which both parties can negotiate a larger spending package. Republican leaders have not yet announced a public position; they are expected to meet this week and decide on a plan going forward.
- The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which counts about 40 members, has already announced opposition to a stopgap "continuing resolution" (CR); they claim such a solution would be a Democratic ploy to force spending increases during the lame-duck session, when they could induce a government shutdown over the holidays. Many in the Freedom Caucus have called for a spending bill to last through March 2017, although Senate Republicans are unlikely to support a date when their control over a majority is uncertain.
- Meanwhile, Democrats are calling for Zika funding to be considered next. In his weekly address last week, President Obama urged Congress to make his $1.9 billion bill to fight the virus their "first order of business" after returning from recess. According to the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services can continue to provide a "bare minimum" response to the Zika virus through the end of September.
- Many conservative Republicans would like the first item on the agenda to be impeachment of IRS commissioner John Koskinen over his response to revelations that the agency target conservative groups. While Republican leadership has not lent its support to the impeachment efforts, the Freedom Caucus is demanding the chamber go forward.
- Until the election, the House will be voting on bills related to the House Republicans' "Better Way" agenda, including bills aimed at small businesses and a response to the Obama Administration's payment to Iran in exchange for four American hostages.
All times Eastern.
- Election 2016 10:30am Mike Pence will hold a town hall at the Springfield Expo Center in Springfield, Missouri
- 1:30pm Pence will hold a rally at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri
- Editor's Note: I did receive press credentials to the Pence event in nearby Chesterfield...but my parents vetoed my proposal to miss school in favor of the event.
- 1:45pm Hillary Clinton will speak at the University of South Florida in Tampa on "her plans to keep our nation safe, including by working with our allies, and outline how Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to serve as commander in chief," according to her campaign.
- 2pm Donald Trump will hold a town hall at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he will be joined retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to highlight the 88 retired generals and admirals who endorsed Trump in an open letter released this morning.
- 3pm Tim Kaine will deliver a speech at the Hannah S. Block Historic USO Building in Wilmington, North Carolina, which the campaign is billing as a "major national security address." Kaine will "underline that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who has the experience, temperament, and judgement to serve as commander in chief and who has the vision to make America safer and stronger together," according to the Clinton campaign.
- 7pm Trump will hold a rally at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, North Carolina.
- White House President Obama continues his Asia trip today with his arrival in Laos, where no U.S. president has visited before. While in Laos, Obama will participate in the US-ASEAN and East Assia Summits. His schedule today includes attending an official state luncheon at the Presidential Palace in Vientaine, as well as a meet and greet at the U.S. embassy, and meetings with Laos president Bounnhang Vorachith and South Koran president Park Geun-hye.
- Obama was scheduled to meet with Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte today, but the sit-down was cancelled after Duterte called Obama a "son of a b***h* in public comments last week.
- Congress 2pm The House returns from it summer break. The chamber will consider "bills on Gold Star family recordings, sexual assault victims rights and oil/gas lease sales," according to C-SPAN's Craig Caplan.
- 3pm The Senate returns from its summer break. The chamber will vote to advance a $1.1 billion Zika funding bill, which has failed third time due to Democratic opposition to partisan provisions in the measure, and on a defense spending bill also opposed by Democrats.
- Trump Leads Clinton Nationally, Clinton Advantage in 50-State Poll After more than a month of Hillary Clinton dominating all national polls (winning some by as much as 13%), Donald Trump has begun to lead in some national polls released recently.
- A Rasmussen poll released last Thursday showed Trump leading Clinton, 40% to 39%; a CNN/ORC poll released today also showed the Republican with a small edge the close race, leading 45% to 43%. Both polls showed Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson with 7%, while the Rasmussen poll showed Green Party nominee Jill Stein taking 3% and the CNN/ORC poll gave her 2%.
- Trump's advantage in these polls is notable: the Rasmussen survey was the first poll to show Trump winning since July 22, after the Republican National Convention. The last Rasumssen poll had Clinton winning the race by 4%, while the last CNN/ORC poll had her leading by 8%. While this turnaround is notable, it is also important to note that U.S. presidential elections are not national popular opinion contests (as President Al Gore can tell you), but rather 50 individual state contests.
- From Aug. 9 to Sept. 1, The Washington Post partnered with SurveyMonkey to produce a survey of all 50 states (the largest sample ever conducted by The Post), over 74,000 registered voters included (state samples varied from 550 voters to over 5,000, depending on population). The 50-state poll, released today, includes some interesting data points on the election. While Clinton is seen to have an advantage in the poll, Trump leads in Ohio and Iowa, both key battlegrounds, with the two statistically tying in the battleground state of North Carolina, as well as in Democratic-leaning states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
- With the traditional electoral map further turning on its head, Clinton beat Trump by 1% in Texas, while the race in Arizona, Georgia, and Mississippi were close. Colorado and Florida also gave Clinton much smaller leads than in other polls.
- According to The Post, Clinton is guaranteed 244 electoral votes by leads of 4% or more in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Trump also leads by at least 4% in 20 states, giving him 126 electoral votes. The battle to 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win the White House, will be fought in the 10 other states - which hold 168 electoral votes among them.
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