The Election Recap

The Election Recap: Oct. 31, 2022

A Fetterman/Oz debate, 2 break-ins, and more

Happy Halloween! And welcome back to The Election Recap, your one-stop shop for the last seven days of midterms news. As a special treat, we'll be sending out two issues of ER next week: the usual Monday recap, as well as a bonus election edition on Nov. 9. With that, let's get down to business:

Intruder alert

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was attacked in the couple's San Francisco home early Friday morning, a frightening show of violence just days prior to the midterm elections. Suspect David Wayne DePape, 42, allegedly broke into the Pelosi residence around 2 a.m. on Friday in search of the speaker, and hoped to keep Paul Pelosi, 82, tied up until she got home (she was in Washington, D.C. at the time). Mr. Pelosi was eventually able to covertly dial 911, and when police arrived, they saw both men holding a hammer before "the suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it," San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said Friday, per CBS News. DePape was immediately apprehended, and was charged Monday afternoon with assault and attempted kidnapping, adds The New York Times. Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for his injuries — which include a skull fracture — but is expected to make a full recovery. The speaker said she and her family are "heartbroken and traumatized" by the attack. Those who know DePape have described him as "out of touch with reality," and increasingly susceptible to conspiracy theories and political hate, both CNN and the Times report. Authorities also believe he may have hoped to target others. "This has to do with things that he sees in the media, things he sees on social media, the people he socializes with that he felt like it was necessary and justified to attack her," political science professor Mona Lena Krook told the Times, in reference to both DePape and Pelosi. To that end, Tesla CEO and newly-minted Twitter owner Elon Musk on Sunday further fanned the flames of social media misinformation after tweeting a link to an article that made "baseless allegations" about the attack, the Times adds. Musk later deleted the tweet.

They did it

Well, it finally happened. After weeks of pressure and lots of back and forth, Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz held their long-awaited (and only) debate of the 2022 midterms. The Democratic Fetterman, who used closed-captioning technology due to auditory processing issues resulting from a May stroke, made sure to address his health ("My doctor believes that I'm fit to be serving," he said), while Oz focused more on his "opponent's policies on immigration and crime" and support for President Biden, writes The Associated Press. Ultimately, however, Fetterman "struggled at times to explain his positions and often spoke haltingly," AP adds, noting the "impact of the stroke was apparent" in some of the awkward pauses and phrasing on stage. Still, independent experts believe the candidate is recovering "remarkably well," AP summarizes. For his part, at least, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) remains seemingly optimistic about Fetterman's (and Democrats') chances in the Senate, and told Biden as much last week. "It looks like the debate didn't hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today," Schumer, who was caught on a hot mic, said to the president outside of Hancock International Airport in Syracuse. "So that's good." As of Oct. 31, RealClearPolitics' updating average ranked Fetterman with a 1.5-point lead over Oz.

Unauthorized visitor

Arizona police last week identified and arrested a man in connection with the Monday night burglary at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs' campaign headquarters. The suspect, 36-year-old Daniel Mota Dos Reis, was arrested Wednesday for a separate commercial burglary, the Arizona Republic reported, only to be recognized in the Hobbs incident by an officer watching the news later that night. The officer then alerted the police department, who soon rearrested Mota Dos Reis and booked him on suspicion of third-degree burglary, the Republic reports. "We are very thankful that the Phoenix Police Department acted so quickly to arrest a suspect," Hobbs' campaign manager Nicole DeMont said in a statement. "We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as this investigation unfolds." Hobbs, Arizona's Democratic secretary of state, is currently locked in a bitter match-up against the bombastic former news anchor Kari Lake, whom Hobbs accused of perpetuating the break-in by "spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit." Lake decried those allegations as "absolutely absurd," and claimed the whole incident sounded like "Jussie Smollet part two." As of Oct. 31, Lake was leading Hobbs by 2.7 points, according to FiveThirtyEight's updating average.

Double trouble

*DJ Khaled voice* Another one! A second woman has come forward claiming Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, pressured her to have an abortion despite his public stance against the procedure. The unnamed female, identified as "Jane Doe," said Walker "urged her to have an abortion in 1993 and drove her back to the Texas clinic after she changed her mind," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday. Doe said she and Walker were romantically involved for years, and provided her lawyer with cards and letters he allegedly wrote, as well as a purported photo of the former NFL star on her hotel room bed. "Herschel Walker is a hypocrite and he is not fit to be a U.S. senator. We don't need people in the U.S. Senate who profess one thing and do another," Doe said Wednesday. "Herschel Walker says he is against women having abortions, but he pressured me to have one." The woman claims she voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, and isn't motivated by politics; rather, she fears Walker is not "morally fit" to be a senator, she said. The new allegations follow a bombshell report from early October, when another unnamed woman told The Daily Beast that Walker pressured her to get an abortion back in 2009. That same woman also subsequently claimed to be the mother of one of his children. Walker has vehemently denied both women's accounts. "I'm done with this foolishness. I've already told you this is a lie, and I'm not going to entertain it," he said at a campaign stop, per the Journal-Constitution. Per a New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday, Walker is trailing his opponent, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, by just 3 percentage points, "a gap smaller than the survey's 4.8-percentage-point margin of error," CNBC writes. 

Hanging chads:

  • Former President Barack Obama interrupted by a heckler during rally in Michigan: 'Right now, I'm talking' [Fox News]
  • Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams spar over crime and public safety in final Georgia governor debate. [The Week]
  • Upping the ante: "A band of Washington insiders, business titans, and top economists is urging regulators to let Americans wager on elections, despite warnings from watchdogs that it would cause gambling to proliferate." [Politico]
  • Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Rep. Mary Peltola (D) hopped aboard the SS bipartisanship and endorsed one another in their respective bids for re-election. [WaPo]
  • ​​"The battle of Ron and Don: Simmering DeSantis-Trump feud set to explode after rally snub" [Washington Examiner]

Coming up …

  • Rallies, rallies, rallies. Obama is set to campaign for Democrats Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Gov. Steve Sisolak in Nevada on Tuesday; Katie Hobbs and Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona on Wednesday; and Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro (D) in Pennsylvania on Saturday (President Biden will join for that, too). Meanwhile, Trump plans to rally for Iowa Republicans Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday, and Pennsylvania's Dr. Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano (running for governor) on Saturday, Politico reports.
  • Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Republican challenger Don Bolduc will debate on Wednesday.
  • And finally, expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates another three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday. To quote The Weeknd … we feel it comin.' 

Recommended

Iran calls for U.S. expulsion from the World Cup claiming it 'disrespected' flag
Iran woman, life, freedom banner
penalty kick

Iran calls for U.S. expulsion from the World Cup claiming it 'disrespected' flag

It's a GOP free-for-all in the Georgia runoff
Republicans.
Briefing

It's a GOP free-for-all in the Georgia runoff

Handful of Republicans criticize Trump's dinner with Holocaust denier
Kanye West, Donald Trump
Tight lips

Handful of Republicans criticize Trump's dinner with Holocaust denier

U.S. gives green light to Chevron to pump oil in Venezuela
Chevron logo seen at a gas station in California.
Open for Business

U.S. gives green light to Chevron to pump oil in Venezuela

Most Popular

5 toons about Elon Musk's Twitter disaster
Editorial Cartoon.
Feature

5 toons about Elon Musk's Twitter disaster

Xi Jinping reportedly reaffirms relationship with North Korea
North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Alarming Alliances

Xi Jinping reportedly reaffirms relationship with North Korea

The shadow over the World Cup
The German soccer team.
Briefing

The shadow over the World Cup