DHS(WASHINGTON) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced on Tuesday that enhanced security will be put in place at some U.S. government buildings in Washington, D.C. and other major cities.

The decision was made “as a precautionary step” following “continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere.” Johnson called on the Federal Protective Service, which is responsible for the protection of more than 9,500 federal facilities that host 1.4 million visitors and occupants daily, to protect the sites.

The decision also comes on the heels of the shooting outside the Canadian Parliament last week.

“Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of U.S. government installations and our personnel.”

Johnson also urged local and state governments and law enforcement to remain vigilant as well.

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Tom Ervin For Governor(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — On Tuesday, Tom Ervin, an Independent candidate for Governor of South Carolina, announced that he would suspend his campaign and endorse Vincent Sheheen over incumbent Gov. Nikki Haley.

In a post to his Facebook page, Ervin announced the suspension of his campaign, saying that he endorsed the Democrat Sheheen because “we deserve a governor we can trust.” Noting the current “crisis of leadership in South Carolina,” and highlighting Sheheen’s “honesty and integrity.”

“As a Republican, I put my state first,” Ervin said in a post shared from Sheheen’s Facebook page. “I believe Vincent is the person who can serve us best as governor.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Offering a brief update on the Ebola response, President Obama on Tuesday cautioned that “America cannot look like it is shying away” from the fight.

“If we don’t have a robust international response in West Africa, then we are actually endangering ourselves here back home,” he told reporters at the White House, shortly after speaking on the phone with members of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team on the ground in West Africa.

“They are doing God’s work over there, and they’re doing that to keep us safe,” Obama said of the team, describing them as the “strategic and operational backbone of America’s response.”

“When others are in trouble — when disease or disaster strikes, Americans help, and no other nation is doing as much to make sure that we contain and ultimately eliminate this outbreak than America,” he said.

In order to continue leading the fight against Ebola, the president said it is critical not to “discourage” American health care workers from volunteering on the front lines.

“That’s why yesterday the CDC announced that we’re going to have new monitoring and movement guidance that is sensible, based in science and tailored to the unique circumstances of each health worker that may be returning from one of these countries after they have provided the kind of help that they need,” he said, in a not-so-subtle jab at governors who have imposed controversial mandatory quarantine policies for all returning health care workers.

Obama also defended the military’s decision to quarantine U.S. troops returning from the Ebola hot zone, a measure that goes beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendations.

“They are not there voluntarily,” he explained. “It’s part of their mission that’s been assigned to them by their commanders and ultimately by me, the commander-in-chief. So we don’t expect to have similar rules for our military as we do for our civilians. They are already, by definition, if they’re in the military, under more circumscribed conditions.”

Volunteers, the president stressed, are in a different situation.

“We want to make sure that when they come back that we are prudent, that we are making sure that they are not at risk themselves or at risk of spreading the disease. But we don’t want to do things that aren’t based on science and best practices, because if we do, then we’re just putting another barrier on somebody who’s already doing really important work on our behalf, and that’s not something that I think any of us should want to see happen,” he said.

Obama announced that on Wednesday, he will meet with doctors and public health workers who have returned from West Africa or who are about to go to the affected countries.

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STEPHEN CHERNIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In life, everyone needs a wingman. And for Democrats courting voters this year, that person is Bill or Hillary Clinton — or, in some cases, both.

Each with their own packed itinerary, the Clintons have crisscrossed the nation this midterm cycle, headlining events on behalf of Democratic candidates at a pace that has only become more feverish in the homerun stretch leading up to the election.

On Wednesday, when Hillary Clinton swings through Iowa, Bill Clinton will hit California after events on Tuesday in Colorado and Nevada. This coming weekend, when she is in Kentucky, Louisiana and then New Hampshire, he’ll make last effort stops in Georgia and Iowa.

By Election Day, the Clintons are expected to have campaigned for a total of more than 30 different candidates across roughly 25 states. Since September, they’ll have logged more than 50,000 miles, equivalent to roughly two trips around the globe.

Even the former president has poked fun at how often he’s been trotted out to offer support. Bill Clinton told a crowd at a recent New Hampshire fundraiser, “I feel like an old racehorse in a stable and people take me out and take me on the track and slap me on the rear to see if I can run around one more time.”

Clintons as Democratic Wingmen

As President Obama’s poll numbers plummet, with an approval rating that remains in the low 40s, Bill and Hillary Clinton have become the most sought after Democratic surrogates of the midterm cycle for candidates trying to woo voters — and raise money.

On one lucrative day in California last week, Hillary Clinton headlined a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in San Francisco, which according to the group raised $1.4 million, and later that night a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event in Hollywood that reportedly raised a “record” $2.1 million. (A spokesperson for the group told ABC News the DSCC does not disclose their financial figures, however acknowledged that the Clintons have been “enormously helpful” in their election efforts.)

Hillary 2016?

This schedule has its advantages for the Clintons, too. While out on the trail Hillary Clinton’s been honing a message during her stump speech that could very likely develop into her platform for 2016 should she announce a presidential run.

This message, focused on domestic issues such as working families, equality for women, and investment in the future, uses her granddaughter Charlotte as an emblematic talking point.

“You should not have to be the grandchild of a president to get a good education, get good healthcare, have good job opportunities, have a family that can protect, nurture and prepare you for life,” Hillary Clinton said during rousing remarks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania governor candidate, Tom Wolf, earlier this month.

Of course, every appearance she makes on the trail is also one more opportunity to make a flub. (Just on Monday, for instance, she had to backpedal on a line she made last week about jobs that drew backlash from the GOP and even raised eyebrows by some of Wall Street’s most prominent Democratic supporters.) But that appears to be a risk she’s willing to take.

As of now, Hillary Clinton has yet to announce her own plans for the future, and out on the trail Clinton will say she has only one mission in mind: 2014.

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US Senate(CONCORD, N.H.) — Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is out with his final message to New Hampshire voters.

In his last ad, the Republican looks directly at the camera and says, “Our nation is at a crossroads…to change direction, we need to change senators.”

As he has this entire campaign, Brown again compares his opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to the president, saying she votes with President Obama “on issue after issue.”

Sitting in front of a burning fireplace, he reminds voters of the president’s words, saying, “the president is not on the ballot, but he said his policies are.” He adds at the end of the video that he will he be an “independent senator that stands with New Hampshire.”

Voters in the Granite State will also see Shaheen’s latest ad, released Monday, reminding voters of this important fact: “I didn’t just move here, I’ve been here fighting for you.”

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A&E(WASHINGTON) — Voters in Louisiana’s 5th district have received a “duck call” (well, sort of) urging them to vote for Duck Dynasty congressional candidate Zach Dasher.

The tea party group Madison Project sent a robocall to 80,000 Louisianan phones featuring Dasher’s Uncle Si, a reality TV star.

“We need to elect a man that totes the Bible and believes in God. That’s what this country was founded on — God and the Bible,” Si says in the call. “There’s a war goin’ on. If you doubt that, look what’s goin’ on in Houston, Texas, alright?”

Dasher, a Republican, is running against Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., in a contest that remains wide open, without a clear front-runner.

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Inset: US Senate(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — With just a week left until Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., learns his fate in his toughest reelection bid yet, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stumped for Roberts alongside fellow failed presidential candidate Bob Dole in Kansas Monday.

With three-term incumbent Roberts facing a dead heat, according to recent polls, with his Independent challenger Greg Orman, Romney, sporting a Kansas City Royals jacket, told supporters in Overland Park that a vote for Orman would count as a “third vote” for President Obama.

Romney and Dole are just two of the more than half a dozen big-name GOP members to come to Roberts’ aid. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is now set to enter the fight with a six-figure ad buy in the state.

Kansas has arguably emerged as the GOP’s most unexpected investment in 2014, and one that prospective 2016 candidates may not soon forget.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A double punch of economic and political dissatisfaction marks public attitudes in the closing week of the 2014 midterm campaign — a dynamic that reflects poorly on the president’s performance, bolstering his Republican opponents.

The discontent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is palpable. Despite its fitful gains, seven in 10 Americans rate the nation’s economy negatively and just 28 percent say it’s getting better. In a now-customary result, 68 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track.

[See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

There’s no respite politically. Six in 10 express little or no trust in the federal government to do what’s right. Fifty-three percent think its ability to deal with the country’s problems has worsened in the last few years; among likely voters that rises to 63 percent.

Views of the president’s performance suffer in kind. Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 43 percent overall, is virtually unchanged from his career-low 40 percent two weeks ago. A steady 51 percent disapprove, essentially the same all year. His ratings on the economy — still the country’s prime concern, albeit one of many — are similarly weak, a 10-point net negative score.

These elements appear poised to depress voting by dispirited Democrats, tipping the scale to customarily higher-turnout Republicans. Disapproval of Obama reaches 56 percent among likely voters, and three in 10 say they’ll show up at the polls to express opposition to him — twice as many as say they’ll vote to show him support.

The result is a 50-44 percent Republican advantage among likely voters in preference for U.S. House seats in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That compares with a +3-point Democratic tally among all registered voters, showing how differential turnout shifts the balance.

EXPECTATIONS and DISAFFECTION –
Other results may be equally cheering to the GOP. While the unpredictable nature of key Senate races makes it premature to be measuring for drapes in leadership offices, Americans by 13 points, 46-33 percent, expect the Republicans to win control. By nine points, 32-24 percent, more also call a good rather than a bad thing.

Four in 10, though, say who’s in control won’t make much difference — one sign of the more general public annoyance any incoming leaders are likely to face.

Disaffection may impact participation, as well. Just 68 percent of registered voters say they’re closely following the midterms, well down from 76 percent at about this time in 2010 and 80 percent in 2006. The share saying they’re certain to vote (or already voted), 65 percent, likewise is down, from 71 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2006. Actual turnout is lower still.

There’s another turn-off for prospective voters: the tone of the midterm campaigns. Americans by 2-1, 50 vs. 26 percent say the candidates in their congressional district have been mainly attacking each other rather than discussing the issues. The remaining quarter has no opinion, suggesting they’ve just tuned it all out.

When not firing salvos, campaigns have been working the phones: About one in four likely voters, 27 percent, say they’ve been personally contacted by an individual or organization working to support a House or Senate candidate. About equal numbers say they’ve been contacted on behalf of Republican vs. Democratic candidates; most by far have been contacted by both. No partisan advantage is apparent, suggesting a stalemate, at least overall, in this element of political trench warfare.

PRESIDENT OBAMA –
Midterms often are seen as referendums on the president, especially given the customary six-year itch. So it is with Obama: This year on average has been his worst in overall job approval since he took office, and it’s the first year a majority has disapproved.

Among groups, 2014 marks the first year Obama has averaged less-than-majority approval among moderates (48 percent this year so far), as well as approval only in the 30s among independents (37 percent on average). He’s averaged 33 percent approval among whites and 65 percent among nonwhites in 2014 — a vast difference, but both annual lows since he took office.

Obama’s troubles help explain another result — a 42-37 percent edge among likely voters for the Republican Party over the Democrats to handle the country’s main problems. Even among all adults, there’s just a 2-point gap between the parties on this question.

VOTING GROUPS – The results in congressional vote preference include notable divisions among groups. While Democratic candidates are a scant +5 among women, that turns to a 17-point Republican lead among men. Republican candidates likewise lead by a hefty 17 points among political independents. And while Democrats are +12 points among moderates, the GOP comes back with a vast 61-point advantage among conservatives, who rival moderates in their share of likely voters.

The Democrats have a typical lead among nonwhites, but they often also look to college-educated white women as key supporters. This year they’re only running evenly in that group, while losing 66 percent of white men and 57 percent of white women who lack a college degree.

Attitudinal groups also mark the GOP advantage. Democratic candidates lead by 71-24 percent among those who say the government’s ability to deal with problems has held steady or improved in recent years — but Republicans have nearly as large an advantage among those who say this has worsened, and there are far more of them. Republican candidates lead broadly, as well, among those who rate economic conditions negatively — again, the predominant group.

For all this, another result points to a lost opportunity for the Democrats. Seventy-one percent of all adults in this survey, and two-thirds of likely voters, think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy rather than treating most people fairly. And likely voters who see a systemic bias for the wealthy prefer Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 20-point margin.

The tide turns because the minority who thinks the system is fair favors Republican candidates far more broadly — by 47 points, 72-25 percent. It’s an issue on which Democrats may find room to push back — if not this year, then in the presidential election two years off.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 1,032 registered voters and 758 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 points for the general population, registered voters and likely voters, respectively, including the design effect.

Partisan divisions in this survey, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 32-24-36 percent among the general population, 35-26-33 percent among registered voters and 33-30-31 percent among likely voters.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

Get real-time results pushed to your phone on Election Night. Click here to sign up for the races that matter most to you.

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Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch

(NEW YORK) — A double punch of economic and political dissatisfaction marks public attitudes in the closing week of the 2014 midterm campaign – a dynamic that reflects poorly on the president’s performance, bolstering his Republican opponents.

The discontent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is palpable. Despite its fitful gains, seven in 10 Americans rate the nation’s economy negatively and just 28 percent say it’s getting better. In a now-customary result, 68 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

There’s no respite politically. Six in 10 express little or no trust in the federal government to do what’s right. Fifty-three percent think its ability to deal with the country’s problems has worsened in the last few years; among likely voters that rises to 63 percent.

Views of the president’s performance suffer in kind. Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 43 percent overall, is virtually unchanged from his career-low 40 percent two weeks ago. A steady 51 percent disapprove, essentially the same all year. His ratings on the economy – still the country’s prime concern, albeit one of many – are similarly weak, a 10-point net negative score.

These elements appear poised to depress voting by dispirited Democrats, tipping the scale to customarily higher-turnout Republicans. Disapproval of Obama reaches 56 percent among likely voters, and three in 10 say they’ll show up at the polls to express opposition to him – twice as many as say they’ll vote to show him support.

The result is a 50-44 percent Republican advantage among likely voters in preference for U.S. House seats in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That compares with a +3-point Democratic tally among all registered voters, showing how differential turnout shifts the balance.

EXPECTATIONS and DISAFFECTION – Other results may be equally cheering to the GOP. While the unpredictable nature of key Senate races makes it premature to be measuring for drapes in leadership offices, Americans by 13 points, 46-33 percent, expect the Republicans to win control. By nine points, 32-24 percent, more also call a good rather than a bad thing.

Four in 10, though, say who’s in control won’t make much difference – one sign of the more general public annoyance any incoming leaders are likely to face.

Disaffection may impact participation, as well. Just 68 percent of registered voters say they’re closely following the midterms, well down from 76 percent at about this time in 2010 and 80 percent in 2006. The share saying they’re certain to vote (or already voted), 65 percent, likewise is down, from 71 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2006. Actual turnout is lower still.

There’s another turn-off for prospective voters: the tone of the midterm campaigns. Americans by 2-1, 50 vs. 26 percent say the candidates in their congressional district have been mainly attacking each other rather than discussing the issues. The remaining quarter has no opinion, suggesting they’ve just tuned it all out.

When not firing salvos, campaigns have been working the phones: About one in four likely voters, 27 percent, say they’ve been personally contacted by an individual or organization working to support a House or Senate candidate. About equal numbers say they’ve been contacted on behalf of Republican vs. Democratic candidates; most by far have been contacted by both. No partisan advantage is apparent, suggesting a stalemate, at least overall, in this element of political trench warfare.

OBAMA – Midterms often are seen as referendums on the president, especially given the customary six-year itch. So it is with Obama: This year on average has been his worst in overall job approval since he took office, and it’s the first year a majority has disapproved.

Among groups, 2014 marks the first year Obama has averaged less-than-majority approval among moderates (48 percent this year so far), as well as approval only in the 30s among independents (37 percent on average). He’s averaged 33 percent approval among whites and 65 percent among nonwhites in 2014 – a vast difference, but both annual lows since he took office.

Obama’s troubles help explain another result – a 42-37 percent edge among likely voters for the Republican Party over the Democrats to handle the country’s main problems. Even among all adults, there’s just a 2-point gap between the parties on this question.

VOTING GROUPS – The results in congressional vote preference include notable divisions among groups. While Democratic candidates are a scant +5 among women, that turns to a 17-point Republican lead among men. Republican candidates likewise lead by a hefty 17 points among political independents. And while Democrats are +12 points among moderates, the GOP comes back with a vast 61-point advantage among conservatives, who rival moderates in their share of likely voters.

The Democrats have a typical lead among nonwhites, but they often also look to college-educated white women as key supporters. This year they’re only running evenly in that group, while losing 66 percent of white men and 57 percent of white women who lack a college degree.

Attitudinal groups also mark the GOP advantage. Democratic candidates lead by 71-24 percent among those who say the government’s ability to deal with problems has held steady or improved in recent years – but Republicans have nearly as large an advantage among those who say this has worsened, and there are far more of them. Republican candidates lead broadly, as well, among those who rate economic conditions negatively – again, the predominant group.

For all this, another result points to a lost opportunity for the Democrats. Seventy-one percent of all adults in this survey, and two-thirds of likely voters, think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy rather than treating most people fairly. And likely voters who see a systemic bias for the wealthy prefer Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 20-point margin.

The tide turns because the minority who thinks the system is fair favors Republican candidates far more broadly – by 47 points, 72-25 percent. It’s an issue on which Democrats may find room to push back – if not this year, then in the presidential election two years off.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 1,032 registered voters and 758 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 points for the general population, registered voters and likely voters, respectively, including the design effect.

Partisan divisions in this survey, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 32-24-36 percent among the general population, 35-26-33 percent among registered voters and 33-30-31 percent among likely voters.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

Get real-time results pushed to your phone on Election Night. Click here to sign up for the races that matter most to you.


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John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Not everyone who’s an American wants to stay an America, a new report in Forbes magazine reveals.

Forbes says that 73 percent of the 7.6 million Americans living outside the U.S. are considering giving up their citizenship, according to a survey of 400 people living aboard by the independent financial advisory organization deVere Group.

That works out to approximately 5,548,000 Americans. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they won’t renounce their citizenship while 11 percent aren’t sure.

The major reason for this inclination to become a non-American, says deVere Group founder Nigel Green, is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA, which taxes citizens regardless of where they live in the world.

Penalties are steep for evading FATCA, such as fines and prison time, and while some expatriates believe they can bypass the law with a non-U.S. passport or foreign address, Forbes says they could put themselves in further legal jeopardy with the IRS by doing so.

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John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The midterm elections are one week from Tuesday and the two major political parties are hoping for big turnouts by their constituents, particularly in the House and Senate races.

While it’s impossible to predict the actual outcome at this point, a survey by the personal finance website WalletHub has come up with the nation’s most and least politically engaged states, including the District of Columbia.

WalletHub use six metrics to come up with its findings that included percentage of registered voters in the 2012 presidential election; percentage of citizens who actually voted in the 2010 midterm elections; and percentage of citizens who actually voted in the 2012 presidential election.

The top 10 most politically engaged states are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Colorado
  3. Minnesota
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Maine
  7. Iowa
  8. Mississippi
  9. Montana
  10. Oregon

The bottom 10 are:

42. Arizona
43. Arkansas
44. Nevada
45. Indiana
46 Tennessee
47. Utah
48. Texas
49. Hawaii
50. Oklahoma
51. West Virginia

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