Chris Wallace leads the way on debates

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**On the roster: Chris Wallace leads the way on debates – Q Poll: Biden up by 10 among likely voters – I’ll Tell You What: The bump is in the eye of the beholder – Biden follows Trump to Kenosha – Respect for the ‘saucy nugs’CHRIS WALLACE LEADS THE WAY ON DEBATESAP: “Representatives from Fox News, C-SPAN and NBC will moderate the upcoming debates between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. According to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the moderators will be:
-Chris Wallace of Fox News for the debate Sept. 29 in Cleveland.
-Steve Scully of C-SPAN for the ‘town meeting’ debate Oct. 15 in Miami.
-NBC’s Kristen Welker for the debate Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The commission also announced Wednesday that USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City with Vice President Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris.”Q POLL: BIDEN UP BY 10 AMONG LIKELY VOTERSQuinnipiac University: “On the heels of back-to-back political party conventions and a climate of growing unrest in the country, likely voters support former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump 52 – 42 percent in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. This is the first survey of likely voters in the 2020 presidential election race by the Quinnipiac University Poll…Democrats go to Biden 93 – 6 percent, Republicans go to Trump 90 – 8 percent, and independents back Biden 50 – 40 percent. Likely voters say 58 – 38 percent that the country is worse off than it was in 2016, the year of the last presidential election. Republicans say 84 – 15 percent the country is better off, Democrats say 95 – 4 percent it is worse off, and independents say 60 – 36 percent it is worse off. … Likely voters are split 48 – 48 percent when asked whether Biden or Trump would do a better job handling the economy.”Moderates, independents drive Biden lead – KCCI: “A new Grinnell College poll shows Joe Biden leading President Trump. The results were released Wednesday morning. The nationwide poll shows if the election were held today, Biden would win the popular vote 49-41%. The poll indicates Biden’s support is strongest among women (56-34%), including a better than 2-to-1 margin among suburban women (64-31%). Biden also has a wide advantage among non-white voters (64-23%) and those who live in larger metropolitan areas (56-30% for Biden among city dwellers, 58-35% among those from the suburbs). ‘Beyond the overall eight-point advantage, this poll shows some areas of underlying strength for the former vice president,’ said J. Ann Selzer of Selzer & Company. ‘Mr. Biden holds a wide lead with moderates 55-33%, who are a plurality of the electorate; he benefits from a 10-point lead among independents who do not lean toward any political party, 44-34%.’”As race tightens, partisans more unwilling to accept results – USA Today: “The political conventions over, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the race for the White House by 50%-43%, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds. That advantage narrowed from the 12-percentage-point edge he held in June. As Labor Day looms, launching the campaign’s final sprint, the survey finds significant skepticism about whether the election can be trusted. If their candidate loses, one in four voters say, they aren’t prepared to accept the outcome as fair and accurate – a signal of potential trouble ahead for a nation engulfed in a deadly pandemic and riven over issues of racial justice. … Twenty-eight percent of the former vice president’s supporters say they aren’t prepared to accept a Trump victory as fairly won; 19% of President Trump’s supporters say they aren’t prepared to accept a Biden victory as legitimate.”Pennsylvania getting close – Monmouth University: “Joe Biden holds a 4-point lead over Donald Trump among all registered voters in Pennsylvania according to the Monmouth University Poll. Among likely voters, the race is a tight 1 to 3 points, depending on the expected turnout level. This shift from Biden’s larger lead just over six weeks ago is due to declining support for the challenger among men, voters under age 50, and voters in key swing counties. … Among all registered voters in Pennsylvania, the race for president stands at 49% for Biden and 45% for Trump. … Voter intent includes 43% who say they are certain to vote for Biden (versus 44% who say they are not at all likely to support the Democrat) and 40% who are certain to support Trump (versus 47% who are not at all likely).”
[Watch Fox: New battleground state results from the Fox News polling team will be released at 6 pm ET on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”]THE RULEBOOK: DON’T LET ‘EM FOOL YA
“The king of Great Britain, on his part, has an absolute negative upon the acts of the two houses of Parliament. The disuse of that power for a considerable time past does not affect the reality of its existence…” – Alexander Hamilton, discussing the character of the Executive, Federalist No. 69TIME OUT: TAKING THE POP OUT OF POPULARAtlantic: “The recent state of commercial music has led to much commentary arguing that pop is dying, dead, or dormant. That’s a funny concept to consider—isn’t popular music, definitionally, whatever’s popular? In one sense, yes. But pop also refers to a compositional tradition, one with go-to chords, structures, and tropes. This type of pop prizes easily enjoyed melodies and sentiments; it moves but does not challenge the hips and the feet. It is omnivorous, and will spangle itself with elements of rock, rap, country, or whatever else it wants without losing its essential pop-ness. The early-2010s strain of it seemed like the height of irresistibility, and yet it’s mostly faded away. There are many reasons for that, but they can all be reduced to what [Katy] Perry’s journey over the past decade has shown: Life and listening have become too complex for 2-D. Pop has seemed to die and be reborn many times.”Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.SCOREBOARDNATIONAL HEAD-TO-HEAD AVERAGETrump: 43.2 percentBiden: 51 percentSize of lead: Biden by 7.8 pointsChange from one week ago: Biden ↓ 0.2 points, Trump ↑ 0.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: Trump 42% – Biden 52%; USA Today/Suffolk: Trump 43% – Biden 50%; Grinnell/Selzer: Trump 41% – Biden 49%; CNN: Trump 46% – Biden 50%; ABC News/WaPo: Trump 44% – Biden 54%.]
BATTLEGROUND POWER RANKINGS
(270 electoral votes needed to win)Toss-up: (109 electoral votes): Wisconsin (10), Ohio (18), Florida (29), Arizona (11), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Iowa (6)Lean R/Likely R: (180 electoral votes)Lean D/Likely D: (249 electoral votes)
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCEAverage approval: 43.2 percentAverage disapproval: 53.6 percentNet Score:  -10.4 pointsChange from one week ago: ↑ 1.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 45% approve – 52% disapprove; Grinnell/Selzer: 43% approve – 51% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 42% approve – 57% disapprove.]GOT A WILD PITCH? READY TO THROW A FASTBALL?We’ve brought “From the Bleachers” to video on demand thanks to Fox Nation. Each Wednesday and Friday, Producer Brianna McClelland will put Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt to the test with your questions on everything about politics, government and American history – plus whatever else is on your mind. Sign up for the Fox Nation streaming service here and send your best questions to HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM.I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: THE BUMP IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
This week, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt touch on all the action across the country as we inch closer to the 2020 election. They discuss President Trump’s response to recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the potential for civil unrest as a result of election complications via mail-in balloting, a new stimulus proposal from Senate Republicans, and more. Plus, Chris suffers a hard fall on natural disaster trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HEREBIDEN FOLLOWS TRUMP TO KENOSHAMilwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will visit Kenosha on Thursday as tensions simmer in the city following the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer and the deaths of two people protesting his shooting by an armed teenager. Biden’s visit to Wisconsin comes just two days after President Donald Trump toured the destructive aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a police officer as he was trying to get into a vehicle. It’s the first visit to Wisconsin by Biden this year, and the first to the state by a Democratic presidential nominee since 2012. … ‘Vice President Biden will hold a community meeting in Kenosha to bring together Americans to heal and address the challenges we face,’ his campaign said in a release. ‘After, Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden will make a local stop.’”Wants charges against killer cops – Axios: “Joe Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday that the police officers in Jacob Blake’s shooting and Breonna Taylor’s murder ‘need to be charged,’ and called for an investigation into the individual who shot and killed a Trump supporter in Portland last weekend. Biden was asked about these situations after delivering remarks about how to open school safely in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes during a week in which he’s been out on the trail countering Trump’s attacks about violence and unrest in America. ‘I think we should let the judicial system work its way,’ Biden said when asked by a reporter if he agrees with his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, that the officers who shot Blake and Taylor should be charged.”Biden condemns rioters and looters in new law-and-order ad – NYT: “Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign unveiled a new television ad late Tuesday that packages portions of his speech on Monday in Pittsburgh condemning the sporadic violence that has erupted in some cities. The ad came as the former vice president pushes back against President Trump’s efforts to define the Democrats as a party tolerant of lawlessness. Mr. Biden has repeatedly condemned instances in which protests for racial justice have burst into violence, accusing Mr. Trump of stoking divisions and laying blame for any chaos on the current occupant of the White House. But the ad — part of a $45 million one-week television and digital purchase that is by far the campaign’s largest to date — is the first time that Mr. Biden has put this pushback on issues of crime and public safety into a major paid advertising program.”Kenosha business owner calls shenanigans on White House – TMJ4: “A Kenosha business owner is accusing President Donald Trump of using his destroyed store for political gain. Tom Gram’s century-old camera shop burned to the ground a week ago during the unrest in Uptown Kenosha. Gram said he declined President Trump’s request to be a part of his tour of damage Tuesday in Kenosha. Instead, a former owner of the shop was invited and he praised the president’s efforts. Gram has owned Rode’s Camera Shop since he bought the business from the Rode family eight years ago. He worked at the store for more than four decades, but that all came to an end last Monday when the building went up in flames.”Trump to swing state North Carolina – Reuters: “President Donald Trump will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of World War Two on Wednesday with a visit to a retired battleship in North Carolina, a political battleground state he hopes to win in the Nov. 3 U.S. election. Trump will travel to Wilmington, which he will declare the country’s first World War Two Heritage City. He will meet with veterans and tour the battleship North Carolina, which took part in the major naval offensives in the Pacific. The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and now serves as a war memorial.”YOUNG VOTERS, ELITES DROVE MARKEY VICTORYBoston Globe: “Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III’s loss to Senator Edward J. Markey in Tuesday’s primary marked the first time a member of the storied political clan dropped an election in Massachusetts. …  ‘Highly educated, high-income, high-wealth Democrats turned out to vote, and they turned out in droves to vote for Senator Markey,’ [Tatishe Nteta, an associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst] said, noting Markey’s success in areas like Brookline, Newton, Belmont, Northampton, and Amherst. Markey also took 59 percent of the vote in Boston, a nod to the changing demographics of the city, said Lawrence S. DiCara, a former Boston city councilor… He said during the 2018 primaries, Boston precincts with the highest turnouts weren’t the traditional ones associated with ‘cops, firefighters, and nurses’ in Dorchester, South Boston, and West Roxbury. Rather, he said, the Hyde Square corridor in Jamaica Plain, filled with young transplants, delivered victories to progressives such as Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.”Top Pelosi lieutenant Neal fends off primary challenge – AP: “U.S. Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, held off Democratic challenger Alex Morse in Tuesday’s primary after an acrimonious campaign that included allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at his younger opponent. … The 71-year-old Neal – the longest-serving member of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation – defeated 31-year-old Morse, seen as a political rising star after becoming one of Massachusetts’ youngest and only openly gay mayors since becoming chief executive of Holyoke in 2011 at age 22. Both had collected high-profile endorsements in the last days of the campaign: Neal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Morse from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. The race was marked by allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with students by Morse when he was an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Morse insisted his relationships with college students were consensual. In mid-August, the university said it launched an independent review.”
 Too close to call in Brookline – Boston Globe: “The Fourth Congressional District’s crowded and oft-overshadowed Democratic primary trudged into Wednesday afternoon, narrowing to a two-way race that neither candidate was ready to call in their favor more than 17 hours after polls closed. Unofficial returns showed the primary’s unwieldy field seeking to succeed Joseph P. Kennedy III had tightened at the top between Jake Auchincloss, a Newton city councilor and Marine veteran, and Jesse Mermell, a progressive former Brookline selectwoman, with Auchincloss holding a 1,506-vote lead — 22.4 percent to Mermell’s 21.4 percent — with 96 percent of precincts reporting. More than 148,000 ballots had been counted, with just one town, Franklin, having yet to report totals, according to unofficial results updated Wednesday afternoon.”Still a historically bad year for incumbents – FiveThirtyEight: “Tuesday notwithstanding, 2020 has still seen an unusual amount of anti-incumbent sentiment. The more-or-less final tally: Eight members of the House of Representatives (and no U.S. senators) lost renomination in 2020. Out of the 380 House members who ran for reelection this year, that may not seem like a lot. (And it isn’t — incumbents have historically won their primaries at very high rates, and this year is no exception.) But it is an unusually high number by historical standards — it’s twice as many as in 2018 or in the tea party cycle of 2010. It’s not unusual to see a lot of incumbents lose primaries in years ending in -2 because those are the first cycles after congressional redistricting… But it is unusual to see a lot of incumbents lose in non-redistricting cycles like 2020, which have averaged only three incumbent losses since 1984.”MNUCHIN TALKS UP RECOVERY, DOWNPLAYS HOPES OF A DEALAP: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke Tuesday before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, urging a bipartisan deal expected to include a new round of stimulus checks but offering little in the way of concessions to restart talks between the GOP and Democrats. Pressed by Democrats to quickly negotiate a new coronavirus relief package, Mnuchin said Tuesday the administration remains willing to work on a bipartisan agreement to help small businesses, the unemployed, children and schools. Democratic leaders in Congress are holding it up with hardened positions, he said. … Mnuchin made the case that the economy’s recovery has strengthened in recent weeks, citing improved consumer spending, growth in manufacturing and a rebounding housing market. Both Mnuchin and President Donald Trump have supported another round of stimulus checks for Americans as part of a second coronavirus relief bill, but with Congress at an impasse, the payments seem unlikely to come in the near future.”PLAY-BY-PLAYU.S. debt on track to exceed the size of the economy – WSJGallup poll finds Americans’ view of white-Black relations at new low – GallupSen. Joni Ernst suggests inflated statistics on coronavirus infections and deaths – APAUDIBLE: ‘OPPORTUNITIES IN WORK CLOTHES’
“Doom-scrolling through morbid headlines in 2020, one could easily believe that we have lost our capacity for effective crisis response. And maybe we have. But a major crisis has a way of exposing what is broken and giving a new generation of leaders a chance to build something better.” – Derek Thompson in his piece, “Get Ready for the Great Urban Comeback.”Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.RESPECT FOR THE ‘SAUCY NUGS’KRVN: “A Lincoln [Neb.] man spoke passionately at a recent City Council meeting about the improper use of a term used in restaurants and bars across the world. The term: Boneless Chicken Wings. Lincoln resident Ander Christensen spoke during the public comment period of the meeting, encouraging society to rebrand the popular food item. ‘Lincoln has the opportunity to be a social leader in this county,’ said Christensen. ‘We have been casually ignoring a problem that has gotten so out of control that our children are casually throwing around names and words without even understanding there true meaning.’ The man proposed that Lincoln remove the term boneless chicken wings ‘from our menus and from our hearts.’ He went on to list the reasons why and offered a list of alternative words to describe the chicken product. Alternative names included buffalo-style chicken tenders and saucy nugs. ‘We’ve been living a lie for far too long, and we know it because we feel it in our bones,’ said Christensen.”AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…“The oddest thing about the current national crusade against tobacco is not its frenzy–our culture lives from one frenzy to the next–but its selectivity. Of course tobacco is a great national killer. It deserves all the pummeling it gets. But alcohol is a great national killer too, and it has enjoyed an amazingly free ride amid the fury of the New Prohibitionism.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing about the “crusade” against tobacco and lack thereof against alcohol in Time magazine on Oct. 6, 1997.Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

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