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Daily News Digest – November 2, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning and Happy Friday! Here’s your Daily News for November 2.

1. Trump rallies base, loses middle.

  • President Donald Trump is keeping an aggressive campaign schedule leading up to the midterms.
  • He’s barnstorming key states and holding his signature MAGA rallies along the way.
  • Those rallies, and the Trump rhetoric that comes with them, might be just what the doctor ordered for Republican Senate candidates in states like Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, Florida, and even Nevada.
  • Turning out the base will be key to the GOP’s chances to keep the Senate majority, and nobody does that quite like Trump.
  • Yet, at the same time, the more he speaks, Trump is turning off the voters needed to help the GOP keep the House majority.
  • Suburban, college-educated women are fleeing the GOP, and Trump’s rhetoric is a big reason why.
  • In states like Illinois, Kansas, California, and Virginia, Republicans’ trouble with this key demographic could cost them the seats that cost them the majority.
  • It’s a profound irony of this midterm election: Trump is at once ballot box steroids and poison for Republicans.

2. AEA returns.

  • Columnist Kyle Whitmire has pointed out a truth that many of us were too busy or too lazy to figure out: everybody’s favorite boogeyman, the Alabama Education Association, is back in a big way this election cycle.
  • Having been politically dormant the last few years after Henry Mabry drove it into the ground, the teachers and school workers union is donating lots of money to candidates across the board.
  • Why does that matter? Not so long ago it was unseemly for a Republican to accept money from the AEA. The state party even wrote bylaws about it.
  • Now, as Kyle points out, at least 80 Republican candidates have accepted AEA contributions this cycle. And not just randos, but party leaders.
  • What gives? I have a few thoughts.
  • First, AEA definitely has a new attitude and doesn’t pick unnecessary fights like it used to.
  • Second, many rural and suburban Republicans were never in love with school choice / charter schools anyway, which AEA opposes.
  • Third, who cares? With voters these days so worked up over MAGA politics, few are paying attention to state minutiae. As Hillary Clinton would say, what difference does it make?
  • Anyway, give Kyle’s column and Twitter thread a read.

A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition

  • Did you know Alabama small businesses and middle-class families will be hit with a new tax on January 1, 2020?
  • Absent immediate Senate action, the 2020 Health Insurance Tax (HIT) will begin driving up the cost of care for hardworking Alabamians by as much as $450 in 2020.
  • Senator Doug Jones can help address skyrocketing healthcare costs by co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation (S. 3063) to suspend the Health Insurance Tax in 2020.
  • Ask Senator Jones to stop the HIT on Alabama small businesses and hardworking families.

3. Cygnal polls show tight races.

Brent Buchanan’s Cygnal survey research firm has been doing some polling in key battleground states and the results are interesting…
  • In Florida, Cygnal has Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis effectively tied at 47.3-46.7. For Senate, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson leads Republicans Governor Rick Scott 48-50.
  • In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp leads Democrat Stacey Abrams 49-47 in the race for Governor. Interestingly, that race goes to a runoff if nobody gets to 50 and there’s a libertarian running.
  • In Tennessee, Republican Marsha Blackburn is leading Democrat Phil Bredesen 51-46 in the Senate race. For Governor, Republican Bill Lee is crushing Democrat Karl Dean 59-36.
  • And over in Missouri, Republican Josh Hawley leads Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill 49-46 in the Senate race.
There’s a lot more to Cygnal’s polling than just the horse race numbers, and I’ll have a post up on it later today on


4. Leaders tour Alabama’s Port.

  • Several legislative leaders toured Alabama’s seaport Thursday, including the container terminal and the McDuffie Coal Terminal.
  • Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, Sen. Greg Albritton, Sen. Clay Scofield and Rep. Randall Shedd were escorted through the various facilities by Alabama State Port Authority Director Jimmy Lyons and Alabama Coal Association President Patrick Cagle.
  • Reed, who represents coal-rich Walker and Tuscaloosa Counties, commented on the state’s growing role in exporting more than $1o million tons of metallurgical coal.
  • “Coal is a critical part of my district’s economy and directly employs over 4,000 Alabamians, many of which are my constituents,” Reed said. “Most folks do not realize the starting salary of an underground Alabama coal miner is approximately $85,000 per year. Both coal producers and workers rely on our state’s only seaport to cost competitively reach global steel production markets.”
  • Read more HERE.

5. Pence talks trade while in Alabama.

  • While Vice President Mike Pence was in Birmingham speaking at a fundraiser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he took time to speak with a handful of state leaders in a roundtable discussion about trade with China.
  • Alabama Congressmen Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer were in the meeting, Georgia Senator David Perdue and North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis.
  • Wellborn Cabinets owner Paul Wellborn and Alabama Trump Victory Chairman Perry O. Hooper, Jr. were part of the discussion, too. Hooper has been outspoken on the trade issue on behalf of Wellborn and others, criticizing China’s unfair practices and urging the Trump Administration to be tougher in fighting back.
  • Hooper said the Veep committed to continuing the crack down on China’s heavily-subsidized cabinet-making industry, which would help Wellborn keep 1,400 employees working at its Ashland plant.
  • Read more from ADN’s Will Whatley HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More than 300,000 voters designated inactive
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Race ratings: Alabama House [updated w/ race profiles].
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest, November 1, 2018
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pence talks trade with Alabama leaders.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Leaders tour seaport terminals
AL.COM – Voter status won’t prevent casting ballots, top election official says
AL.COM – 36 arrested, 40 guns seized in operation aimed at violent crime in Tuscaloosa County.
AL.COM – Ivey: ‘I had to draw the line’ on Trump trade policy.
AL.COM – Alabama school’s Harry Potter-themed classrooms attract Hollywood stars, $25,000 donation.
AL.COM – Trump returns to the panhandle, this time without Roy Moore on his mind.
AL.COM – Congressman Gary Palmer faces Free the Hops founder Danner Kline in 6th District race.
AL.COM – Hurricane Michael cost Alabama estimated $307 million, 2,500 jobs.
AL.COM – Contributor Sarah Levin: Amendment Two is anti-family.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: The immigrant caravan heading to America may cause schmabies.
AL.COM – Black Friday 2018: Holiday spending in Alabama expected to grow to $12 billion.
AL.COM – Alabama fourth among the states in auto debt.
AL.COM – Trump immigration ad draws criticism as being racially divisive and based on falsehood
AL.COM – See Thursday’s Alabama HS football scores, Friday’s Week 11 schedule
AL.COM – Tennessee man’s last words in electric chair: ‘Let’s rock’
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Advocates and experts mixed on whether automatic voter registration would help Alabama voters.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Amendment 4: Hold special elections or no?
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Columnist Vanzetta McPherson: In light of attack on Jews in Pittsburgh, hate is everyone’s business.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Police shootings, justice and Montgomery itself at the heart of new book about Whitehurst killing
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Man struck, robbed of vehicle on Halloween night
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Montgomery man charged after shooting on Huntley Drive
DOTHAN EAGLE – 29 organizations have received $2 million from Center Stage bingo charitable contributions
DOTHAN EAGLE – Home invasion suspect wanted in Florida captured in Cottonwood
DOTHAN EAGLE – Agriculture damage tops $300 million in eight southeast Alabama counties
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – 2 dead after storm blows through Gulf Coast
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – 3-year-old dies after left alone in bathtub in Alabama
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Agents arrest 38 suspects and seize 40 guns
DECATUR DAILY – Decatur council rejects retiree bonus
DECATUR DAILY – Scottsboro Boys marker reflects courage
DECATUR DAILY – Slate endowment to benefit Hartselle band
TIMES DAILY – Tuscumbia man, 86, killed in accident
TIMES DAILY – Early morning storm spurs brief tornado
TIMES DAILY – Father: I’m thankful something came out of her death
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama rocket builder up for SpaceNews reader awards
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – This weekend’s comprehensive college football TV schedule
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama State Port Authority hosts tour of McDuffie Coal Terminal
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Teens hosting tailgate party at Andalusia Manor
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – 48-hour effort gets 3 people, meth off street
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – County gets $38K in grants
TROY MESSENGER – Troy native returns home for Saturday showdown
TROY MESSENGER – Local Heart Association seeking sponsors
TROY MESSENGER – Bulldogs hit the road
THE ANNISTON STAR – Quintard wreck sends one woman to hospital
THE ANNISTON STAR – Lawmakers say they’ll tackle broadband’s ‘homework gap’ after election
THE ANNISTON STAR – I-20 maintenance to close lanes, exit through weekend
GADSDEN TIMES – Drug overdose leads to charges in Gadsden
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden man facing multiple trafficking charges
GADSDEN TIMES – Piedmont man killed in crash
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Police search for assault suspect last seen dressed as fairy
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Trial begins in Cusseta home invasion, capital murder case
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – PHOTOS: Local readers share the fun with pics of Halloween costumes
CULLMAN TIMES – Man pleads guilty to murder of Frederick William Galin
CULLMAN TIMES – Belk Fall Charity Sale mixes deals with donations
CULLMAN TIMES – (Video) ‘Fantastic Beasts’ stars visit Parkside, present $25,000 donation
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Shelby County closes season with much-earned win
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – SCS Superintendent Randy Fuller celebrates retirement after 42 years as educator
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – PPD charges man with possession of child porn
THE MADISON RECORD – Lady Patriots Take Runner-Up At State Volleyball Championships
THE MADISON RECORD – Hot Dogz, Cool Cats winners appear on Rocket Republic products
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Vikings win class 5A volleyball state championship
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Dog houses, supplies needed by Walker County organization
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Impactful teachers
‘Fired Up’ Voters in 18 States Are Outpacing 2014 Early Ballot Counts
NEW YORK TIMES – No One Wants to Campaign with Bill Clinton Anymore
NEW YORK TIMES – Republican Purges and Feuds in Oklahoma Show the Pitfalls of One-Party Rule
WASHINGTON POST – White House is increasingly concerned Interior Secretary Zinke violated federal rules
WASHINGTON POST – For Trump and GOP, subtle racial rhetoric is out. Overt rallying of white support is in.
WASHINGTON POST – Fact Checker: Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days
USA TODAY – Pittsburgh synagogue victim funeral, Trump’s campaign tour, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: 5 things to know Friday
USA TODAY – Tennessee uses electric chair to execute double-murderer
USA TODAY – Barbra Streisand moving to Canada over midterms? Not likely. Psychology explains why.
POLITICO – Donald Trump plans ‘meeting plus dinner’ with Xi Jinping after G20 summit in Argentina
POLITICO – Exit pollsters make changes after 2016 breakdown
POLITICO – Murphy signs law allowing Booker to run for president, Senate simultaneously

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