With 2 Weeks Until the Midterms, the idea’s Grind-the idea-Out Time
Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your guide to the day in national politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host.
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Early voting is actually underway. Election Day is actually two weeks away. Welcome to grind-the idea-out time.
For Clarke Tucker, an Arkansas Democrat mounting a bid for Congress in a deeply red state, of which means a lot of knocking on doors.
I tagged along with him on a trip through a neighborhood of Little Rock, where he greeted those who answered the door along with left personalized notes for those who were out. Notes are big for Mr. Tucker, who said he has used the same blue Sharpie since his first statehouse run. (The ink doesn’t smear on the fliers.)
“This specific is actually like politics in its purest form to me,” he said, walking up to another door. “I love This specific.”
If there is actually a blue wave in these midterms, the idea will be made up of victories in places like This specific, Arkansas’ Second District, which comprises six counties in along with around Little Rock. Mr. Tucker’s opponent, Representative French Hill, won his election in 2016 by 21 points. President Trump won the state by nearly 27 points. The latest polling shows Mr. Tucker trailing behind from the race.
however Democrats see signs of unrest in light-red suburban counties. For Mr. Tucker, along with for many Democrats trying to flip districts, of which means getting as many women, independents along with African-Americans to the polls as possible.
the idea also means fighting the political tilt of his home state. If he wins, Mr. Tucker would certainly likely be the only Democrat via Arkansas in Congress.
“the idea’s an uphill battle simply because of the demographics,” says Mike Beebe, the former Democratic governor. “however the idea’s doable.”
National trends along which has a strong local race conspired to put Mr. Tucker on the map. Like many Democrats, he has made his personal health story (he underwent treatment for bladder cancer the year before he ran) a centerpiece of his campaign. He highlights his work from the State Legislature on a Medicaid expansion program.
of which was compelling to Shenna Scott, who was recovering via her own stomach surgery when Mr. Tucker knocked on her door. She’d been told by the hospital the idea would certainly cost more than $900; she only had $300 in her account.
“What do I do? Do I cancel the house payment?” she asked. “Being put in of which kind of position, the idea makes you pay attention to what is actually happening the political arena.”
The tightening race has drawn attention via both sides from the final weeks. Republican along with Democratic PACs along with committees bought ad time from the district. Vice President Mike Pence held a rally for Mr. Hill.
Despite the national attention, both candidates are trying to show distance via their parties. Like some different Republican candidates, Mr. Hill at This specific point says he supports protecting pre-existing conditions, even though he voted for a House bill of which would certainly undermine the health care law.
“the idea’s a lot more bipartisan than the idea appears on television,” he said, of Congress, during an appearance on the Arkansas Talks radio show. Mr. Hill declined my requests for an interview.
Mr. Tucker has said he won’t back Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, rejects just one-payer health care system along with rarely mentions Mr. Trump by name. He doesn’t consider himself a member of the #Resistance.
of which kind of moderation is actually appealing to some Democrats in Arkansas, who see both parties as too ideological.
however the idea could cause some problems should Mr. Tucker get to Washington. If Democrats take control of the House, Mr. Tucker would certainly have to navigate a majority of which may be less willing to accept some ideological dissent in their efforts to push left.
“To me, no party is actually right 100 percent of the time,” says Mr. Tucker. “If you always stick to your party, your loyalty is actually to something different than the people you represent.”
A showdown in Georgia
Tonight is actually the first debate from the governor’s race in Georgia, one of the most competitive, along with compelling, elections anywhere This specific year. (Watch the idea here at 7 p.m.) We reached out to Richard Fausset, a Times correspondent based in Atlanta. Richard wrote a guide to the debate, along with we were curious what he was expecting via the event.
Lisa: So what are you watching for tonight?
Richard: I think you’re going to be looking for instances in which each of these candidates paints the different as an extremist. Brian Kemp won the Republican primary coming via the far-right flank along with playing This specific “I’m more conservative than thou” card, along with Stacey Abrams sees an opportunity there to paint him as too extreme for Georgia.
Interestingly, Mr. Kemp very well may try to strike the same general thematic note, only the specifics will be different. He along with his allies have been portraying Ms. Abrams as too liberal for Georgia — as an extremist, even as a socialist — even though in her time as House minority leader in Georgia she was someone who Republicans looked to to strike deals.
So many debates hinge on personality. What are these people like?
This specific is actually actually going to be a clash of two very different styles. Ms. Abrams is actually a Yale-educated lawyer, along with she is actually a self-professed wonk, along with her great strength when she’s speaking in front of a crowd is actually her command of facts, which she delivers in This specific blazing, rapid-fire manner.
Mr. Kemp speaks slow as molasses, which has a deep Georgia drawl, along with he’s able to connect which has a lot of Georgia voters which has a more homespun style. In some ways, the idea’s Ms. Abrams who has the real challenge in This specific format. You don’t want to come across as condescending, along with you also don’t want to underestimate Mr. Kemp.
So is actually your money on him?
The fear via the Kemp camp is actually of which somehow Ms. Abrams, who is actually across the board considered one of the most intellectually sharp Georgia politicians, is actually just going to take him apart piece by piece
The fear from the Abrams camp is actually of which she’ll come across as supercilious. along with unlikable or unlovable.
This specific race has captured national attention because the idea feels like the idea’s about something bigger than just Georgia. Will of which come across from the debate?
There are two narratives. One is actually the long arc of Southern history. along with in of which regard, This specific is actually a history-creating election, along with Ms. Abrams represents the future.
however when you kind of look closer in, along with you get more granular, This specific is actually a state where there’s still a lot of support for conservative positions. This specific is actually a state of which was carried pretty comfortably by Donald Trump. This specific is actually a state where you’re going to have to work to win if you’re a Democrat who believes in abortion rights, gay rights along with some gun control.
[Read Richard’s guide to the debate: Abrams along with Kemp Debate in Georgia: What to Watch]
Today in live polls: Illinois along with Virginia
As the election nears, The Times’s live polling project is actually talking to voters in some of the closest races. Today, Nate Cohn along with the Upshot team highlighted a few polls happening right at This specific point:
A not bad result for Republicans: Mike Bost has pulled away via the Democratic challenger Brendan Kelly in Illinois’s Eighth District, leading by nine points after being ahead by one point in our earlier poll. the idea mirrors the growing lead of the Republican candidate in Minnesota’s Eighth. What do the two districts have in common? Both swung heavily to President Trump in 2016, along with both have a low share of adults with college degrees (around 23 percent).
A not bad result for Democrats: Leslie Cockburn carries a one-point lead in Virginia’s Fifth. President Trump won the district by 11 points. the idea’s the first Democratic lead in a “lean Republican” district in our polling since a narrow edge in brand new Mexico’s Second District several weeks ago.
You can see all our polling here.
What to read tonight
• In Colorado, a statewide anti-fracking measure on the ballot could potentially bar brand new wells on 95 percent of land in top-producing counties. Read more about the proposal, which is actually unprecedented in its scope.
• A year after the start of the #MeToo movement, at least 0 prominent men have lost their jobs after public allegations of sexual harassment, according to a Times analysis. along with nearly half of the men who have been replaced were succeeded by women.
• What are you going to do when you win the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot tonight? Here’s a guide on how to keep all of which money via ruining your life.
On today’s calendar
• Early voting begins for Hawaii, Louisiana along with Utah.
• A debate from the Georgia governor’s race, 7 p.m. Watch the idea here.
• A debate from the South Dakota governor’s race, 7 p.m. Watch the idea here.
(All times listed are local.)
The Titanic II — a full-size replica of the planet’s most famous ocean liner — is actually reportedly on track to be completed by 2022. Wait, how did of which movie end again?
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Isabella Grullón Paz along with Margaret Kramer contributed to This specific newsletter.
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