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Midterms, Paul Pelosi attack, Fed meeting: 3 things to watch in politics this week

Yahoo Finance’s Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to discuss the latest political issues in Washington, DC.

Video Transcript


BRAD SMITH: Midterm elections are drawing near, with only eight days to go. And polls are projecting tight races in key states. Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli joins us now. Kevin, great to speak on this with you.

Look, John Fetterman might be losing a couple of Wawa supporters with that Sheetz story over the weekend. But we'll let that slide. We'll let that slide.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, did you see? I think it was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's hot mic moment to President Biden the other day in which he said that that debate performance is not hurting him so much in the polls, this according to Schumer's hot mic analysis to President Biden who, of course, was campaigning in Pennsylvania.

And it's not just President Biden who's going to be hitting the campaign trail for Democrats. Former President Barack Obama has been campaigning down in Georgia. And it's really coming down to the wire.

Now, the "Cook Political Report," nonpartisan of course, they say that Republicans have the upper hand in the House of Representatives. And all the polls suggest that the economy, high inflation really tilting independent voters and mobilizing Republicans to get to the polls.

It's typical, mind you, for a first term President to lose control of one of the chambers, the House of Representatives, at this midterm election cycle. But the Senate is anybody's guess. And New York Times-Siena has a new survey up in key battleground Senate seats. Remember, 35 Senate seats are up for grabs this cycle, 12 for Democrats. Democrats are defending 12, and 23 for Republicans.

In Arizona, Mark Kelly, Democrat leading Blake Masters 51% to 45%. In Pennsylvania, Dems up 6%, Fetterman leading Oz 49% to 44%. Those polls are tightening. In Georgia, Dems up 3%, Raphael Warnock leading Herschel Walker. We all know the scandals that have been plaguing the Walker campaign. 49% to 46%-- but in Nevada, a complete political deadlock. Incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto neck and neck with her Republican challenger Adam Laxalt at 47% apiece.

So again the Senate and control of the Senate right now hanging on Vice President Kamala Harris having that key tie breaker vote. But it's really anybody's guess how this comes down in just a week from tomorrow.

But I do want to note, this is important and part of a larger historical trend here in the United States. More than 20 million Americans have already cast their ballots as a result of pre-election voting. 46 states are already accepting votes. So again, early access voting, voting before, preballots, all of that is having an effect here as well.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, definitely. And then there's also, of course, the sort of stories on that periphery that have been affecting the discourse around the election, right? And that has to do with what happened with Paul Pelosi, security an issue following the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband. What is the latest that we know there? Because there's also been, as we know, some misinformation out there.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Some new developments in terms of where this security case is now leading. We are expecting for an arraignment to happen sometime earlier this-- sometime early this week in San Francisco. Her accuser, Paul DePape, is set to be arraigned later this week on multiple charges, Julie, including attempted homicide.

Over the weekend on the Sunday shows, Senator Amy Klobuchar speaking to NBC News' "Meet the Press," in which she called for additional security for elected officials and their families. Now, this is something that, quite frankly, has been discussed on behalf of both parties in recent years, as political violence in America has increased. And there could be, eventually, a tiered system.

So Klobuchar suggesting that if you're not in line to succession of the President of the United States, that perhaps your family would be able to work with local security officials or local municipality officials. But it has reopened this broader discussion about security for elected officials, one that we saw percolate during-- after the January 6 attack.

And it has raised questions about discourse in American politics. Now, Kevin McCarthy, one of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives, he spoke out on the Sunday shows and said that it's not fair to label all Republicans who are looking to replace Speaker Pelosi and tilt control back to Republicans as those who have-- or are a part of the attacks. But he also has suggested that perhaps increased political rhetoric ought to cool down a bit as we come to the final sprint of the midterm elections.

BRIAN SOZZI: And Kev, you're also watching the Fed meeting?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Yes, what's going to-- oh, yeah, the Fed, right?

BRIAN SOZZI: Oh, yeah.


KEVIN CIRILLI: What's going to happen this week, this Wednesday when the Fed meets? And especially in terms of the December rate hike. Look, record high inflation, wage growth not necessarily where it should be, and economists talking about a recession, if we're not already in one, for sometime for next year.

When you juxtapose that from my neck of the woods here in Washington, DC with what policymakers are going to be forecasting after the midterms in a lame duck session, for example, it's going to be anybody's guess to see what-- just the path that lawmakers in both parties take to try to get out of what feels at this point like an inevitable recession.

BRAD SMITH: Well, Kevin, pop culture and sports culture are using a different recession indicator, that is the Philadelphia Phillies. They're 1-1 right now.

KEVIN CIRILLI: I heard about this. I have heard about this. I don't know how I feel about this. But I think that it's good news. I also want to say that I'm wearing my Eagles green because we are still, still undefeated.

BRAD SMITH: Fly, Eagles, fly all the way. Kevin Cirilli, we appreciate the update here. We're going to check back in throughout the World Series as well. You bet it.