Nov 1, 2017

3 red-state Dems break 50% approval

Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Jon Tester. Photos: AP

There are ten Democratic senators defending their seats in states won by Trump in 2018, making the map a particularly tough one for Democrats. But three Dems representing particularly pro-Trump states have greater than 50% approval ratings, at a time when 65 other senators are at or below that percentage, per Morning Consult.

The senators: Joe Manchin (53%) of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp (55%) of North Dakota, and Jon Tester (53%) of Montana.

Be smart: While this is a good sign for these senators, Democrats shouldn't be forecasting victory just yet. As Adrianne Marsh, a Democratic consultant, told Morning Consult, it all comes down to the strength and appeal of these senators' Republican challengers.

But, but, but: "To the extent that voters see Republicans as owning Washington, a Democratic incumbent is better off," Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist and former director of the independent expenditure arm for the DCCC, told Morning Consult.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.

Exclusive: Anti-Sanders campaign targets black South Carolina voters

Courtesy of The Big Tent Project

The Big Tent Project, a Democratic political group focused on promoting moderate presidential candidates, has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers bashing Bernie Sanders to black voters in South Carolina who voted in the state's 2016 primary.

Why it matters: Sanders' rise to the top of the pack, as dueling moderate candidates split their side of the vote, is worrying many in the Democratic political establishment who fear a socialist can't beat President Trump.

Inside the fight over FBI surveillance powers

Carter Page. Photo: Artyom Korotayev\TASS via Getty Images

Over the past year, President Trump has told senior administration officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, that he wants a major overhaul of national security surveillance powers and the secret court that approves them.

Behind the scenes: In one such discussion last year about the need to reauthorize government authorities to surveil U.S. citizens, Trump went so far as to say he'd rather get rid of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) altogether.