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Legislative Update

House. The House is out of session until Nov. 14. However, the January 6 Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 1 p.m.

Senate. The Senate was in session for 25 minutes this morning, allowing Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to offer the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) proposal that will be considered after the Senate reconvenes on Nov. 14. The Reed language includes 75 of the over 900 amendments that have been filed. Also, Reed offered 24 amendments on behalf of other Senators.

Senate Vacancy. The University of Florida announced Oct. 6 that Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is the sole finalist to become its next president. The university’s board will formally consider Sasse’s candidacy at its Nov. 1 meeting. Sasse, who has a Ph.D. in American history from Yale, was president of Midland University in Fremont, Neb. prior to running for the Senate.

If approved by the board, Sasse would resign his Senate seat and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) would appoint a replacement, who would serve through at least Jan. 3, 2025. A November 2024 special election would determine who would serve the last two years of Sasse’s term that ends in January 2027. The Republicans’ Committee on Committees (in close consultation with GOP leadership) will choose replacements for Sasse’s seats on the Finance, Judiciary, and Intelligence committees.

Political Update

Who Will Vote. According to surveys conducted by Morning Consult, the share of voters who said they “definitely will vote” matches the share who said at a similar point in 2018 they were “absolutely certain” to vote. Democratic voters are slightly less likely to pledge their participation, whereas independents are more determined to show up and Republicans roughly match their certainty from four years ago. Men are expressing more certainty that they will cast their ballots this year than they were four years ago, while Republican women (73%) are more likely than Democratic (64%) or independent women (52%) to say they’ll definitely vote.

The Republican advantage on the likelihood of participation question is in line with historical precedent, where the out-of-power party is more motivated to show up in a midterm election; but other surveys have shown that Democrats have an enthusiasm advantage over the GOP, implying the figures could change over the coming weeks.

Upcoming Senate Debates:

  • Oct. 13 – Wisconsin. Senator Ron Johnson (R) and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D). First debate was Oct. 7.
  • Oct. 14 – Georgia. Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R)
  • Oct. 17 – Ohio. Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R). First debate was Oct. 10.
  • Oct. 18 – Florida. Senator Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Val Demings (D)
  • Oct. 25 – Pennsylvania. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R)

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