With Kevin Robillard
A DAY OUT — “Gillespie pushes jobs in person, culture war on TV,” by Campaign Pro’s Kevin Robillard: “In the last week of the biggest election of 2017, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia has spent his time on the trail emphasizing his family’s immigrant story and talking up plans to improve Virginia’s economy. But Gillespie’s stump speech is sharply different than his fusillade of paid advertising focused on cultural hot buttons. … The divergent campaigns have helped Gillespie close the gap with [Ralph] Northam, the lieutenant governor and longtime polling leader, in the final weeks of the race. And Gillespie’s strategy — adopting President Donald Trump’s racially charged culture war issues without adopting the president’s say-anything-at-any-time unpredictable style — could be widely adopted by other establishment Republican candidates in 2018 as a way to fire up Trump’s base without alienating Republicans who may dislike the unpopular president.” Full story.
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— Black Republicans attack Northam: A group of black Republicans, led by former RNC Chairman Michael Steele and former Rep. J.C. Watts, is spending $50,000 to drive black voters away from supporting Northam. Under the auspices of the North Star Leadership Fund and Frederick Douglass Foundation, the group is running radio ads in Richmond and Hampton Roads, as well as digital ads, and is distributing literature at African American polling places in Richmond, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. The campaign emphasizes Northam’s decision to remove Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Justin Fairfax from some literature at a union’s request, and Northam’s decision not to participate in a debate hosted by former Gov. Doug Wilder. “Why did Northam throw his black lieutenant governor candidate under the bus?” asks the narrator in the digital ad. “If Northam can’t support his black lieutenant governor, why should black people support Northam?” Watch the ad here.
— Obama records robocall for Northam: President Barack Obama recorded a robocall encouraging Virginians to vote for Northam that went out on Sunday night. “Dr. Ralph Northam is somebody you’re going to proud to call your governor,” Obama says in the call. “You need to take this election seriously.” Listen to the call here.
FIRST IN SCORE — Northam 48, Gillespie 47 in new IMGE Insights/Pfizer poll: Northam and Gillespie are all knotted up in a new tracking poll of the Virginia governor’s race from GOP polling firm IMGE Insights and Pfizer. On Nov. 1, Northam had a 47 percent to 44 percent lead. Gillespie has improved his performance among men, where he now leads 54 percent to 40 percent, and among white voters without a college degree, where he now has a 67 percent to 23 percent lead. Northam’s favorability rating, at 46 percent positive and 38 percent negative, is still better than Gillespie’s, which stands at 43 percent favorable and 41 percent unfavorable. IMGE Insights polled 800 likely voters in the state, using 60 percent IVR to landline and 40 percent live to mobile interviews. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Full results here.
“Gillespie shuns Trump in biggest race of 2017” by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt: “As the Virginia and New Jersey governors races draw to a close, one person is conspicuously absent from the trail: President Donald Trump. The president hasn’t appeared in either campaign, an indication of his increasingly narrow political appeal and his growing inability to draw support in swing and liberal states. … While the president is well-liked across much of the conservative southern part of the state, he is extremely unpopular in the more liberal northern suburbs. Top officials in Gillespie’s campaign worried that bringing in the president would mobilize Democratic turnout in northern Virginia. Instead, Gillespie, an establishment-aligned former Beltway lobbyist and ex-George W. Bush aide, chose to use Trump in a far more limited way: in a targeted batch of mailers spotlighting the president’s support for him.” Full story.
CAMPAIGN ADS — “Braun to air TV ads in Indiana Senate race” by Campaign Pro’s Kevin Robillard: “Businessman and former state legislator Mike Braun is spending $324,000 on broadcast television and radio ads in Indiana’s Senate race starting Tuesday, a major buy from the least-known candidate in the Republican primary. … Braun has already loaned his campaign $850,000, and there’s the possibility of further personal cash. He’s facing two members of Congress in the GOP primary: Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita. They are running for the nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly next fall. Watch the ad here.” Full story.
— “Dean Heller commits to re-election, to launch first 2018 ads” by The Washington Examiner’s David Drucker: “Sen. Dean Heller on Friday signaled that friction with President Trump and his allies wouldn’t chase him out Congress, as the Nevada Republican unveiled his first advertisement of the 2018 campaign. … ‘I demanded Senate leadership keep the Senate in session, 24/7, until we fill every judicial vacancy with a conservative judge who will follow the Constitution and pass real tax reform,’ Heller says, in the spot, speaking straight to camera.” Full story. Watch the ad here.
TAX WARS — American Action Network’s Middle-Class Growth Initiative is launching a $1 million online ad campaign in support of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Per a press release: “The animated digital ads simulate an online search for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and highlight key features and media coverage of the plan. The ads will run in 39 congressional districts on various digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. View the list of districts targeted here.”
Days until the 2017 election: 1.
Days until the 2018 election: 365.
MEANWHILE IN THE STATES — “Sexual misconduct allegations rock statehouses” by Politico’s Natasha Korecki, Carla Marinucci and Jimmy Vielkind: “Statehouses from Boston to Sacramento have been rocked by an onslaught of sexual misconduct allegations, creating unprecedented pressure on state legislative leaders to take immediate action. … Already, one high-ranking Illinois lawmaker has been stripped of his leadership post — and mandatory training from an outside professional is likely to become legally required. Amid pressure, on Saturday, the ethics commission held an emergency session and appointed a former federal prosecutor, Julie Porter, as the new legislative inspector general.” Full story.
— “Bevin calls for resignation of House members involved in sexual harassment allegations” by The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Daniel Desrochers, Karla Ward and Jack Brammer: “Gov. Matt Bevin, making his first public comments on a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the state House of Representatives, called Saturday for ‘the immediate resignation of every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case, who is a party to trying to hide this type of behavior.’ … Bevin made the public statement after Republican Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond had called Saturday for the resignation of Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, accusing him and party leaders of concealing sexual harassment allegations against Hoover and three other Republican legislators.” Full story.
MONEY BATTLE — “RNC pours $50K into Pennsylvania judicial races” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss: “The Republican National Committee is spending $50,000 on a digital ad buy targeting judicial elections in Pennsylvania next week, part of over $500,000 in RNC aid to the state GOP this year. The committee’s efforts in Pennsylvania include having 12 staffers on the ground as a part of a partnership with the state Republican Party. The $500,000 investment includes technology, data, staff, and office space. … Last month, the DNC started sending an additional $10,000 per month to state parties.” Full story.
THE UNDECLARED — “Undeclared candidates hover over governor race as jockeying begins” by The Orlando Sentinel’s Gray Rohrer: “A year out from the 2018 general election, the race for governor is already crowded with three major Democratic candidates and two major Republicans, and likely more on the way. … it was House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, who hasn’t decided on a run yet, and Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine, who entered the Democratic race on Wednesday, who grabbed much of the attention. The shadow of Orlando attorney and Democratic fundraiser John Morgan, who has said he’ll wait until the spring to decide on the race, also lurked in the background. [State Sen. Jack] Latvala and [former U.S. Rep. Gwen] Graham, particularly, spent portions of their speech bashing Corcoran.” Full story.
ADMINISTRATION SPEED READ — ”Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation” by NBC’s Julia Ainsley, Carol E. Lee and Ken Dilanian: Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.” Full story.
CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “But we should stop talking about it; it’s passed. We can’t adjudicate it now, let’s focus on the elections Tuesday and on going forward” — former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on former interim DNC chief Donna Brazile’s claim in her new book that the DNC was rigged against the Sanders campaign.
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