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Legislative Update

NDAA. While both chambers are in recess, staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee is going through some 900 amendments that were filed to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not surprisingly, the amendments are wide ranging in their objectives and include proposals tightening sanctions on Russia, dealing with imports from China, prohibiting smoking at Veteran’s Administration health facilities, transferring excess aircraft from the Defense Department to states, and banning federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices.

The Senate will take up the NDAA measure the week of Nov. 14. Amendments that have bipartisan support will likely be included in a manager’s amendment that would be easily approved, while others will never be considered on the floor. Once the Senate wraps up its work, House and Senate negotiators will have to put together a compromise measure that takes into account provisions in the House version that was approved July 14, 329-101.

Political Update

New Polling. A New York Times/Siena poll published today shows that 64% of likely voters believe the country is moving in the wrong direction compared to 24% who say the country is on the right track. Broken down by party, 91% of Republican respondents, 67% of independents, and 35% of Democrats weighed in on the wrong direction side, while the right track column had 46% Democrats, 24% independents, and 5% Republicans.

Historical Trends. In 36 of the last 39 midterm elections, the party holding the White House has lost ground in the House. Since the U.S. started directly electing Senators in 1914, the President’s party has lost Senate seats in 19 out of 26 midterms. In 2010 and 2018 – the most recent first term midterms – the House control flipped from the President’s party, but Senate control did not. In 2010 Republicans won 66% of the most competitive House seats while Democrats carried 71% of the most competitive Senate seats. In 2018 Democrats won 70% of competitive House seats and Republicans won 56% of competitive Senate seats. For 2022, Cook Political Report believes there’s a good chance that we see a similar split in which the House flips control, in part due to the large number of open Democratic seats in competitive districts, but the Senate does not.

Crossover Districts. Four Democrats (Reps. Axne, Golden, Kaptur, and Cartwright) are running for re-election in districts President Trump carried. Nine Republicans (Reps. Valadao, Garcia, Kim, Steel, Bacon, Herrell, Malliotakis, Chabot, and Fitzpatrick) are running for re-election in districts President Biden carried. In the five most competitive Senate races – Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Arizona – Biden won every state.

Upcoming Senate Debates:

  • Oct. 17 – Ohio. Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R). First debate was Oct. 10.
  • Oct. 17 – Utah. Senator Mike Lee (R) and Evan McMullin (I)
  • Oct. 18 – Florida. Senator Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Val Demings (D)
  • Oct. 25 – Pennsylvania. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R)
  • Oct. 25 & 28 – Colorado. Senator Michael Bennet (D) and Joe O’Dea (R)

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