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How to Read Midterm Polls
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 121

A voter arrives at the Philomont, Va fire station in Virginia's 10th Congressional district, Rep. Barbara Comstock's district, on primary election day in Virginia on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While Washington is obsessed with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, voters — Republicans and Democrats— are more concerned about the economy, says Democratic pollster Brad Bannon, who adds that the positive top-line numbers cloak Americans' continuing economic fears.

Show Notes:

Rohrabacher Ridicules Kavanaugh Accusation
‘High school? Give me a break!’ California Republican says of sexual assault allegation

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., dismissed the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because it allegedly stemmed from high school. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher dismissed the sexual assault claim leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a selective smear effort by the left that should have little bearing on Kavanaugh's confirmation because it allegedly occurred in high school.

"This guy who’s going to be our Supreme Court justice, and he better be our Supreme Court judge, he’s a perfect candidate, and what do they say? ‘Well, in high school you did this.’ High school? Give me a break,” the California Republican said in a recording obtained by Talking Points Memo.

Russians Targeting Senate, Staff Personal Emails, Sen. Ron Wyden Warns
And the Senate sergeant-at-arms can do nothing to stop the cyber attacks — for now

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told colleagues that Russian hackers have been targeting senators’ and aides’ personal accounts and devices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden implored his colleagues to enact legislation that would allow the Senate sergeant-at-arms to provide cyber protections to senators and staffers for their personal devices and accounts.

The Oregon Democrat warned Senate leaders that the state-backed Russian group responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, “Fancy Bear,” has also tried infiltrating the personal communications networks of senators and their staffers, including Wyden’s own aides.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward
Cristina King Miranda went to all-girls prep school with Christine Blasey Ford

The entrance to the Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland, is shown recently. A classmate of Christine Blasey Ford, who attended the all-girls prep school, backed up her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who attended the all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School, assaulted her when the two were students. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

An schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.

“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.

Public-Facing Congressional Research Reports Site Launches to Criticism
crsreports.congress.gov went live on time, but with a number of shortcomings

A new Congressional Research Service website with public reports is now live. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress’ in-house research division has moved to make more of its reports public, as required by law, but the new website is already drawing criticism.

Under the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, the Congressional Research Service had to publish all nonconfidential reports on a public website operated by the Library of Congress. The website went live Tuesday, meeting the deadline set by appropriators.

Scary Moment for Rep. Chris Stewart at Debate
‘Vaccines cause autism!’ man shouts into Utah rep’s microphone

Utah's 2nd District candidates for Congress Shireen Ghorbani and U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart participate in a debate on Monday in St. George, Utah. (Chris Caldwell/The Spectrum via AP, Pool)

Police arrested a man Monday after he walked onstage and interrupted GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah at a debate with Democratic opponent Shireen Ghorbani.

Law enforcement arrested Corbin Cox McMillen and charged him with disorderly conduct and interrupting a political meeting, a Class B misdemeanor, for leaning into Stewart’s microphone during his closing statement and loudly stating a conspiracy theory about a connection between vaccines and autism, according to KUTV in Utah.

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

Health Groups Sue Over Short-Term Insurance Plans
Critics warn plans would yield discriminatory practices

The U.S. Capitol building is seen behind two ambulances Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven health care groups sued Friday to invalidate the Trump administration’s plan to expand the sale of short-term health insurance plans, arguing they don’t actually meet the definition of “short-term.”

The plans would harm patients and disrupt insurance markets nationwide, the groups say. Under the rule, it could become more difficult for patients with pre-existing conditions to obtain health coverage. The administration’s “justifications for this rule are directly contrary to the congressional determinations embodied in the text and structure of the ACA,” they argue.

Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Stopgap Spending Deal
Programs authorized under law set to continue through Dec. 7

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., filed legislation earlier Thursday to extend the current Violence Against Women Act for six months. It is now being extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Violence Against Women Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, will be extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill released Thursday.

“Any program, authority or provision, including any pilot program, authorized under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 shall continue in effect through the date specified,” the bill text reads.

Paul Ryan Swan Song Tour Continues At Reagan Institute Launch
Retiring speaker has been giving speeches that highlight themes of his 20-year career

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Summer Intern Lecture Series in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on July 25, one of several appearances he’s made in his final months in office to highlight themes of his speakership. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s final few months in office will likely be shaped by his handling of a looming government funding battle and his party’s performance in the midterm elections, but he has a different message he’d like to send as he departs. 

“Most days, we tend to lurch from crisis to crisis, whether real or manufactured. But we need to have the ability to look around the corner, and plan for what’s ahead,” Ryan plans to say Thursday during a speech at the launch of the Reagan Institute in Washington, according to prepared remarks shared with Roll Call.