BREAKING — @kyledcheney: “Appeals court *grants* DOJ motion to expedite appeal of Judge [AILEEN] CANNON’s order appointing special master to oversee seized Mar-a-Lago docs.” Stick with Kyle for more
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN — A trio of stories today offer a big-picture look at the economy — and reveal dark clouds on the horizon.
1. WaPo: “OPEC and its allies move to slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day”
The details: “The OPEC Plus coalition said the cut in production would take effect in November. This would be the first time the group cut oil production targets since the beginning of the pandemic,” Jeff Stein, Evan Halper, Adela Suliman and John Hudson write. The move amounts to a “rebuke to President Biden that could push up gas prices worldwide and worsen fears of a global recession.”
The White House response: “It’s clear that OPEC+ is aligning with Russia with today’s announcement,” press secretary KARINE JEAN-PIERRE told reporters aboard Air Force One this morning. Read a statement from national security adviser JAKE SULLIVAN and NEC Director BRIAN DEESE
2. Bloomberg: “U.S. Mortgage Rates Rise for Seventh Week to Highest in 16 Years”
The details: “Over the past seven weeks, mortgage rates have soared 1.30 percentage points, the largest surge over a comparable period since 2003 and illustrating the abrupt upswing in borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve intensifies its inflation fight.”
3. WSJ: “WTO Sees Sharp Slowdown in Global Trade, Pointing to Possible Recession, Lower Inflation”
The details: “World trade in goods is set to slow sharply next year, possibly easing high inflation but raising the risk of a global recession, a new forecast shows. Surging energy costs and rising interest rates are weakening household demand across the globe, a dynamic that could cause exports and imports to increase by just 1% in 2023, the World Trade Organization said Wednesday. That is down from a previous forecast of 3.4%.”
CRIME PAYS (AT THE POLLS) — The latest POLITICO/Morning Consult polling finds that more than three in four voters say they consider violent crime a major problem in the U.S., Elena Schneider reports.
The breakdown: “In the poll, 60 percent said crime would play a major role in deciding who they would vote for, exceeded only by economic concerns and abortion access. Notably, 60 percent of respondents also said that gun policy would play a major role in their vote.”
BUT, that’s not necessarily a political win for the GOP: “More than half blamed the spike in crime on ‘too many guns on our streets,’ 5 points more than the share of voters who said that ‘defunding of police departments’ was a major reason.” Passing legislation on gun control reform is at least an important priority for 62 percent of respondents. “Another third said it should not be done or shouldn’t be a priority.”
What voters want: “Voters identified two leading policy prescriptions for fixing crime: more funding for police departments and stricter gun control laws, both of which drew 37 percent of respondents who thought those changes would decrease crime a lot.”
— Related read: “Murders in U.S. Increased at Slower Pace in 2021, FBI Data Show,” by WSJ’s Zusha Elinson: “Murders rose 4% last year after increasing nearly 30% in 2020, the agency said. Overall violent crimes dropped 1% in 2021, as robberies decreased.”
Good Wednesday afternoon.
BATTLE FOR THE SENATE
BARNES RAISES $20M IN Q3 — Wisconsin Lt. Gov. MANDELA BARNES’ Senate campaign almost tripled its total fundraising in the last three months, bringing in a massive haul: more than $20.1 million from 230,000 individual donors, per CNN’s Dan Merica. More from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
THE HUNT FOR SHAPIRO-OZ VOTERS — “Doug Mastriano has the fervent base. But Mehmet Oz is trying to reach Pennsylvania swing voters,” by the Philly Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari: “After clinging to Trump in the primary, [MEHMET OZ] has tried to soften his profile and reach out to suburban swing voters and even some voters in deep-blue Philadelphia. Oz’s approach has Republicans talking up their hopes for ‘[JOSH] SHAPIRO-Oz’ voters as a key to a Senate race that has shown signs of tightening. Those hopes are a tacit admission that many Republicans are writing off [gubernatorial nominee DOUG] MASTRIANO, and hoping Oz can outperform him in a nationally watched race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.”
THE LOOMING TAR HEEL QUESTION — “Are Democrats Heading For Another Disappointment In North Carolina?” by FiveThirtyEight’s Alex Samuels
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE
RACE RATINGS — Cook Political Report is out with its latest race rating changes. The gist: Seven moved in a favorable direction for Democrats, while three moved toward Republicans. See the changes here
DEEP IN THE HEART — “Why Vicente Gonzalez may not be safe in his solidly Democratic district,” by the Texas Tribune’s Matthew Choi: “In a twist, VICENTE GONZALEZ, a three-term congressman, is not the incumbent where he’s running, since he opted to run in a new district after redistricting. That distinction goes to Republican U.S. Rep. MAYRA FLORES, who won her special election and flipped the district red in June. … Gonzalez’s aggressive spending in the race shows that he’s not taking anything for granted. His campaign has spent $2.2 million as of the end of June on a robust ground game — nearly twice the expenses of his past two campaigns combined — and that’s before he released his first TV ad in late September.” (FWIW, the Cook Political Report, as referenced above, moved this race from “Lean D” to “Toss Up” today.)
BATTLE FOR THE STATES
LEPAGE IN MAINE STRAINS MAINLY TO EXPLAIN — “LePage Stumbles on Abortion Questioning in Maine Governor’s Debate,” by NYT’s Alyce McFadden and Michael Bender: Former Gov. PAUL LePAGE was “asked whether he would sign a bill that placed additional restrictions on abortions in the state,” they write. “‘I support the current law,’ Mr. LePage said. ‘And if they brought those bills to you, you would not sign them?’ asked one of the moderators. … ‘That is correct,’ he answered. [Democratic Gov. JANET] MILLS then jumped in and pointed out that in Maine, a bill can become law without the governor’s signature. ‘Would you let it go into law without your signature?’ Ms. Mills asked. ‘I don’t know. I would look — that’s a hypothetical,’ Mr. LePage said.” Read the story for the full scene
FLIP FLOPS IN THE BADGER STATE — “In Wisconsin, Michels’ shift on abortion isn’t 1st reversal,” by AP’s Scott Bauer: “Since getting into the race in April, [GOP gubernatorial candidate TIM] MICHELS endorsed Donald Trump for a 2024 run, after first declining to support anyone; said the state’s bipartisan election commission should be eliminated, after first saying he wanted to keep it; and began welcoming big-dollar donations after earlier saying he wouldn’t take any larger than $500.”
CASH DASH — “Kemp raises about $29M to fuel final push in rematch against Abrams,” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein
— “DeSantis committees have raised over $100M. A national GOP group is giving him more,” by the Miami Herald’s Ben Wieder: “According to the group’s most recent financial filing, which covers the first half of 2022, Friends of RON DeSANTIS, a political group supporting the governor’s reelection effort this year, was the single biggest recipient of cash from the Republican Governors Association, raking in $8.75 million in the first six months of 2022 — or roughly one out of every four dollars spent by the national Republican group in the first six months of the year.”
— Flash poll in Georgia: Democratic Sen. RAPHAEL WARNOCK leads Republican HERSCHEL WALKER, 47% to 44%, in a new InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 poll that was taken on Tuesday night following the Daily Beast report that Walker paid for an abortion of a previous girlfriend. Walker has denied that report, and POLITICO has not independently verified the Daily Beast’s reporting. The poll carries a margin of error of ±4.2%.
— Arizona: Democratic Sen. MARK KELLY has a slight edge over Republican BLAKE MASTERS, leading 51% to 48%, per a new CBS News Battleground Tracker poll. “Immigration ranks third in the state as being ‘very important’ (higher than it does nationally), just behind the economy and inflation. And among voters saying immigration is very important, Masters leads big, helping keep the race close,” Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Anthony Salvanto and Kabir Khanna write.
With help from Steve Shepard
— Wisconsin: GOP Sen. RON JOHNSON’slatest ad features two suburban Milwaukee sheriffs, including one who claims that “Mandela Barnes’ policies are a threat to your family.”
— North Carolina: The conservative Club for Growth is out with one of the darker crime ads of the cycle, saying that Democratic Senate candidate CHERI BEASLEY struck down a state law requiring convicted sex offenders to wear GPS monitors for the rest of their lives (the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the practice triggered offenders’ 4th Amendment protections). The ad spotlights one offender, whom the ad says was released from jail “last week.”
THE CALIFORNIA ODD COUPLE — The contentious midterms are only worsening the already fraught relationship between Speaker NANCY PELOSI and House Minority Leader KEVIN McCARTHY, NYT’s Annie Karni writes. “[W]here Mr. McCarthy has accused her of partisanship and abuse of power, Ms. Pelosi, who colleagues say abhors spinelessness and stupidity, has accused him of acting like a buffoon. … While she did not have a close bond with the two Republican speakers who succeeded her in the past, JOHN BOEHNER and PAUL RYAN, their offices routinely worked together and Ms. Pelosi never held them in such low regard.”
INSURRECTION WATCH — Talk of a “civil war” is spiking again online as Trump supporters excoriate law enforcement and Democrats in the wake of the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound. “Posts on Twitter that mentioned ‘civil war’ had soared nearly 3,000 percent in just a few hours as Mr. Trump’s supporters blasted the action as a provocation,” NYT’s Ken Bensinger and Sheera Frenkel report. “Similar spikes followed, including on Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Parler, Gab and Truth Social, Mr. Trump’s social media platform. Mentions of the phrase more than doubled on radio programs and podcasts, as measured by Critical Mention, a media-tracking firm.”
THE WHITE HOUSE
WHO IS JOE BIDEN, ANYWAY — “Biden is actually Greek. And Jewish. And raised by Puerto Ricans,” by WaPo’s Matt Viser: “Put Biden in front of a crowd, and he’ll try to connect with it — even if, at times, the connection seems to stretch the available facts. … Biden’s search for a connection also shows his approach to ethnic politics, a skill that he needed for much of his career as he sought to cater to small slices of an electorate in a small state.”
MIXED REVIEW — “U.S. Unity Has Actually Ticked Up in Last Two Years, Poll Shows, Even If Not By Much,” by NBC Washington’s Noah Pransky: “Even though eight out of 10 Americans say we live in a ‘divided’ country, according to a new LX News/YouGov poll, that figure is lower than two similar polls found during the final months of the Trump presidency.” But, but, but: “However, respondents were hesitant to give President Joe Biden credit for any shift, with only 19% of U.S. adults polled indicating the country has become more united under Biden and 45% saying the country is more divided than it was 21 months ago.”
JAN. 6 AND ITS AFTERMATH
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED — “A cop in a MAGA hat and an Oath Keeper: Inside one of Jan. 6’s strangest moments,” by NBC’s Ryan Reilly: “Exclusive: A man who assisted Capitol Police on Jan. 6 tells NBC News that he was not working with the Oath Keepers now on trial, as their lawyers point to his actions as a defense.”
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
STAT OF THE DAY — “A third of all adults said they felt anxious always or often over the course of the past year, including more than half of LGBT adults and those under 30,” CNN’s Deidre McPhillips writes, drawing from a new CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation survey. “About 1 in 5 adults said they were often or always depressed or lonely over the past year, too.”
WAR IN UKRAINE
BIG BREAKTHROUGH — “Ukrainian forces advance into Luhansk region for first time since conflict began, social media images show,” by CNN’s Tim Lister
AMERICA AND THE WORLD
TENSIONS OVER TAIWAN — “U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot,” by NYT’s Edward Wong and John Ismay: “American officials are intensifying efforts to build a giant stockpile of weapons in Taiwan after studying recent naval and air force exercises by the Chinese military around the island, according to current and former officials.”
POLITICO MAKES MAG MOVES — Bill Duryea, Maura Reynolds and Teresa Wiltz are being promoted on the POLITICO Magazine team: Duryea will become deputy editor for features, Reynolds will be deputy editor for ideas and Wiltz will be deputy editor for special projects. More in the announcement
WHITE HOUSE ARRIVAL LOUNGE — Alyssa Roberts is joining the White House Council on Environmental Quality as comms director. She was previously comms director for Sen. John Hickenlooper’s (D-Colo.) office.
TRANSITIONS — Lilia Stone is now manager of strategic initiatives at BSA | The Software Alliance. She previously was senior specialist for grassroots programs at the College of American Pathologists. … Will Yeatman is now a senior legal fellow at the Center for the Separation of Powers at the Pacific Legal Foundation. He previously was a research fellow at the Cato Institute. … Erik Rosedahl is now VP of advocacy at TLC Political. He previously was head of alliances and stakeholder impact at Phone2Action. …
… Lauren Goldstein, Courtney Couillard and Gabi Vitela are joining HIT Strategies. Goldstein will be a senior research manager and previously was senior analyst at Change Research. Couillard will be a research manager and previously was an analyst at Hart Research Associates. Vitela will be a research manager and previously was deputy director of research at Equis Research.
WEEKEND WEDDING —Caroline Simon, an immigration reporter at CQ Roll Call, and Carter Coudriet, a DOJ paralegal and GMU Schar School graduate student, got married on Saturday at St. Thomas’ Church in Fort Washington, Penn. The couple were classmates at the University of Pennsylvania and met while working at their college newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. Pic … Another pic
CLARIFICATION: Playbook PM has been updated to reflect that 62 percent of respondents in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll identified passing gun control legislation as either important or a top priority.