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 9:06 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 9:37 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 556381

Reported Deaths: 7098
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1158471682
Ramsey47939856
Dakota42586422
Anoka38655415
Washington24993274
Stearns21052219
St. Louis16821298
Scott16013117
Wright14818127
Olmsted1276297
Sherburne1064880
Carver984945
Clay783490
Rice7649101
Blue Earth698640
Kandiyohi628181
Crow Wing618186
Chisago550650
Otter Tail543973
Benton532297
Mower451132
Goodhue444172
Douglas442870
Winona438649
Nobles400648
Morrison396059
McLeod395255
Isanti378259
Itasca373653
Beltrami372957
Polk366067
Steele364014
Becker356048
Lyon348648
Carlton329452
Freeborn328129
Pine312321
Nicollet307542
Brown294739
Mille Lacs282150
Le Sueur270822
Todd268830
Cass250426
Meeker237437
Waseca231421
Martin213429
Wabasha19953
Roseau197818
Renville172543
Hubbard172341
Dodge17193
Redwood166335
Houston162614
Cottonwood157021
Fillmore15179
Pennington151019
Chippewa146537
Wadena144621
Faribault144019
Sibley136410
Kanabec131721
Aitkin128736
Watonwan12569
Rock123019
Jackson117410
Yellow Medicine110819
Pipestone109926
Pope10306
Murray10269
Swift100018
Marshall85617
Stevens82210
Lake78419
Clearwater77814
Koochiching77313
Wilkin77012
Lac qui Parle73622
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5498
Norman5229
Mahnomen5088
Unassigned50378
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3605
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 358085

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56023604
Linn20310330
Scott19111234
Black Hawk15560306
Woodbury14906221
Johnson1405881
Dubuque13162202
Dallas1090196
Pottawattamie10763162
Story1031547
Warren555686
Clinton537790
Cerro Gordo522986
Webster508391
Sioux506673
Marshall477274
Muscatine460796
Des Moines441965
Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407670
Plymouth397479
Lee368555
Marion354575
Jones293155
Henry286337
Bremer279360
Carroll279351
Crawford261840
Boone258833
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242343
Mahaska224850
Jackson218242
Kossuth213063
Clay211225
Tama206671
Delaware203039
Winneshiek194433
Page190421
Buchanan188831
Cedar184423
Fayette183041
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178149
Harrison176473
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158720
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154841
Madison154119
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149151
Iowa145524
Hancock143734
Winnebago136131
Grundy135332
Cass134654
Calhoun133211
Jefferson131035
Emmet128740
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125341
Union124132
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112821
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10050
Clarke98323
Keokuk94730
Monroe94128
Ida89733
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7098
Taylor65312
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3284
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