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Inside Politics: White House shuffle could come after midterms

White House turnover is coming, why the press secretary job has become less important, Democrats pounce after McConnell suggests entitlement cuts, and why 2018 gubernatorial races are so important. It's all on Inside Politics.

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 10:03 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 10:37 AM

Here are the stories our top political reporters are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. More White House turnover ahead

The White House staff has already seen a record amount of turnover -- 58%, according to a study from the Brookings Institution. And Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times says to expect a lot more after the midterms.

"White House Counsel Don McGahn has left. There's already a new counsel in the White House. But beyond that, there are a bunch of other people in the West Wing who have been eying the exits," Davis said. "I think we're going to see a big turnover, and that could have a big influence in how we see this White House operate under a new Congress.

2. A new press secretary?

One of those exits could be Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Some observers think President Trump already acts as his own top spokesman, which makes the press secretary job less important.

"It doesn't seem to be at the top of anyone's mind who could be the next press secretary," CNN's Kaitlan Collins said. "I think the question now is, does it really matter? Because there are basically zero press briefings now, I think we've had two since Labor Day.

"And the president has been on this media blitz where he's talking almost every single day. He's all over the place, all the time, and so there really hasn't been that much of an uproar over the lack of press briefings," Collins said.

3. McConnell's gift to Democrats

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did a round of interviews last week in which he said repealing Obamacare and making cuts to entitlement programs remain on his agenda. Democrats are already using his words against him.

"He made some comments to us a few days ago about how the rising deficit emphasizes the need to cut Social Security and Medicare for the long haul," Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur said. "Democrats picked up on that to paint the Republicans as the party that wants to rip a hole in the safety net."

But McConnell also said such cuts probably won't happen without bipartisan buy-in.

"McConnell did say that it's unlikely that a unified Republican government can go after Social Security and Medicare," Kapur said. "He's not saying they're going to do it. But Democrats want to go in the exact opposite direction. They want to expand Social Security, they want to expand Medicare, and they want to raise taxes to cover it."

4. Eye on governors' races

Democrats are poised for pickups in state houses across the country after losing gubernatorial races in key states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin during the Obama era.

And that will have an impact well beyond the states themselves.

"The folks that win this year are going to be in office after the next census, meaning they are going to have a role in redrawing the district lines across the country," said Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. "That will shape House politics for the next decade. Keep in mind that in 2010, the GOP had a very big year and that helped them solidify those lines for the next decade. If the same thing happens this year for Democrats, I think 2018 could be hugely important."

5. A third-party setback

And from CNN Chief National Correspondent John King:

A new group hoping to make a 2018 down payment on building a new third-party movement got a big setback this past week. Unite America's best statewide hope this year was Alaska. But independent Governor Bill Walker suspended his campaign the other day and endorsed the Democrat. That came days after Walker's running mate bowed out for making inappropriate comments to a woman.

There is profound dissatisfaction with both major political parties. But Unite America is the latest third-party effort to learn how difficult it is, for reasons ranging from bad luck to strict ballot-access laws, to lay the building blocks for sustained success.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1112735

Reported Deaths: 17652
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1450832237
Lake721711247
Allen66684881
Hamilton50838487
St. Joseph49493645
Elkhart40079546
Vanderburgh34553496
Tippecanoe30654274
Johnson27559465
Hendricks26181383
Porter25556386
Madison21002452
Clark20146278
Vigo18966309
LaPorte17115261
Delaware16666300
Howard16666313
Monroe16556220
Kosciusko14216167
Hancock13061185
Bartholomew12894190
Warrick12152190
Wayne12036268
Floyd11968226
Grant11901242
Morgan10360192
Boone9815122
Noble9234122
Henry9142167
Marshall9062147
Dearborn8923100
Dubois8815139
Shelby8210129
Cass8134127
Lawrence8018185
DeKalb7761108
Jackson764093
Huntington7601113
Gibson7074118
Montgomery7052123
Harrison6923100
Knox6896115
Steuben665889
Miami6563111
Whitley655360
Putnam641584
Clinton624579
Wabash6182111
Jasper610892
Jefferson5796104
Ripley555893
Adams540581
Daviess5062117
Scott488280
Wells4814104
White475669
Greene4680100
Clay462862
Decatur4597110
Jennings448867
Fayette448396
LaGrange425990
Posey407544
Randolph3908107
Washington389856
Fountain373464
Fulton362474
Spencer360747
Starke353574
Owen351277
Sullivan347554
Orange329172
Jay328850
Rush306832
Carroll294239
Franklin290844
Perry288553
Vermillion282758
Tipton250066
Parke249630
Pike247244
Blackford221244
Pulaski208559
Newton181752
Brown176150
Crawford168829
Benton166517
Martin151820
Switzerland147212
Warren135316
Union121016
Ohio92113
Unassigned0592

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1708292

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1785651827
Cuyahoga1669492640
Hamilton1132851528
Montgomery801921395
Summit715401199
Lucas627081020
Butler56598805
Stark535121171
Lorain41895642
Warren35785412
Mahoning35635771
Lake32124495
Clermont31120363
Trumbull27130616
Delaware27046182
Licking26528336
Medina25825351
Fairfield24511287
Greene24265372
Clark21980387
Portage21117281
Richland20947340
Wood20015246
Allen18870320
Miami17196348
Columbiana16795332
Muskingum16644206
Wayne15664306
Tuscarawas14329360
Marion13250194
Ashtabula12618232
Erie12602198
Scioto12416184
Pickaway12208153
Ross11639225
Hancock11448173
Geauga10863175
Lawrence10617172
Belmont10416234
Huron9765158
Jefferson9601227
Union954075
Sandusky9272166
Seneca8853157
Knox8761170
Washington8675158
Darke8365180
Athens835396
Ashland7956149
Auglaize7897117
Shelby7459133
Defiance7331115
Crawford7233150
Fulton7167112
Brown7135115
Logan6975108
Guernsey691484
Mercer689998
Highland6718119
Clinton6493106
Madison648089
Williams645199
Preble6243140
Putnam6220120
Jackson578896
Champaign578487
Perry564979
Coshocton5623104
Ottawa561999
Morrow515264
Fayette492170
Hardin485999
Gallia469678
Van Wert465693
Pike463476
Adams4569109
Henry432378
Hocking407193
Holmes3989140
Wyandot374973
Carroll363978
Paulding323851
Meigs304959
Monroe235561
Noble219647
Morgan215238
Harrison210953
Vinton186937
Unassigned06
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