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Destabilizing forces highlight end to 2022 midterm elections

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
A police officer rolls out yellow tape on the closed street below the home of Paul and Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, on Oct. 28, 2022.
A police officer rolls out yellow tape on the closed street below the home of Paul and Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, on Oct. 28, 2022.Eric Risberg / AP

WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... Paul Pelosi, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, remains in Intensive Care Unit after home invasion. ... Zip ties were found at the scene of the attack. ... Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams clash on abortion, crime and the economy in second and final Georgia gubernatorial debate, per NBC’s Blayne Alexander and Charlie Gile. ... NYT/Siena release new polls showing Democrats ahead or tied or key Senate races (but GOP ahead on the generic ballot). ... Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election. ... And President Biden and the first lady host a Halloween event at the White House.

But first: Let’s not pretend this midterm election season is concluding in a healthy, stable way.  

The House speaker’s husband was violently attacked in his own home as the alleged assailant asked, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” Zip ties were found at the scene. 

While other Republicans have condemned the attack, the party’s past president — and 2024 frontrunner — has remained silent, despite plenty of other activity on his social media platform. 

Another prominent Republican (and possible 2024er) couldn’t avoid turning it into a campaign burn

And the new owner of Twitter has engaged in disinformation and an unfounded conspiracy theory about the attack. 

Political violence, deafening silence and disinformation — it’s all a three-alarm fire in our politics. 

And it couldn’t be more destabilizing. 

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … $11.2 million

That’s how much money is slated to be spent on ads this cycle in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, per AdImpact, about $4 million of that booked and spent for the final two weeks before Election Day. 

The district, which President Biden won by more than 10 points in 2022, is just one blue seat where Democrats are spending big to play defense in the final weeks of the midterm cycle — read more about that trend on

Other numbers to know:

4: The number of fresh New York Times/Siena polls that show the Democrat tied or in the lead in key Senate races. While Democrats are leading by 6 points in Arizona and Pennsylvania (the poll was largely conducted before the race’s only debate), all four results are within the margin of error. 

58%: The share of Republican state legislature nominees in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Minnesota that have cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election, according to a new report from a left-leaning group shared with NBC News.   

$78,684: How much a super PAC affiliated with AIPAC is spending on direct mail against Pennsylvania Democrat Summer Lee, a progressive candidate the group had sought to sink in the Democratic primary. First spotted by Inside Elections’ Jacob Rubashkin, the spend appears to be the group’s first general election spend in a competitive seat. 

6: The number of GOP senators whose possible 2024 jockeying Politico reports on in a new piece out Monday. 

12: The number of years since Lula da Silva was the president of Brazil, a position to which he was elected again over the weekend, ousting conservative President Jair Bolsanaro, an ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Midterm roundup: 'Don’t boo, vote'

Former President Barack Obama wasn’t just making a Halloween reference when he told a crowd in Milwaukee Saturday, “Don’t boo, vote!”

Obama hit the campaign trail in Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia over the weekend to rally voters in the final stretch of the midterms. NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports that the former president is looking to re-energize the coalition that fueled his victories in the so-called “blue wall” of the Midwest.

Obama will continue his campaign travels this week, with stops in Nevada and Arizona. And he’ll appear with Biden at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Georgia Senate: Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who isn’t on the ballot this year, is launching his campaign’s field operation to help Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Politico reports. And Republican Herschel Walker said in a statement his campaign will continue airing a TV ad featuring former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley, who died last week.

New Hampshire Senate: Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan released her closing TV ad Monday morning, in which she touts “taking on big Pharma, big oil and the special interests to lower your costs,” “working with Republicans to ban surprise medical bills and voting to hire a hundred thousand new police officers,” and “standing up to the president.”

Pennsylvania Senate: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Republican Mehmet Oz over Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Meanwhile, allies of Oz are out with a pair of television ads highlighting their debate, with one highlighting media and voter reaction to Fetterman’s performance after his stroke, and another that shows the Democrat struggling to deflect his past criticism of fracking

Florida Governor: Democrats are increasingly concerned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will carry the crucial Miami-Dade County, which would make him the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to do so in 20 years, per the Washington Post.

Georgia Governor: Did you miss the final debate between Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has got you covered with a special podcast recap

Michigan Governor: CNN reports that in 2020, GOP guberntorial nominee Tudor Dixon said Democrats, who “lost the Civil War,” have been planning to “topple” America for decades, pointing to protests outside of the White House in the weeks after the murder of George Floyd. Meanwhile, the Associated Press highlights how the gubernatorial race has tightened as Dixon has become more visible down the stretch. 

New York Governor: Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul is getting a boost on the trail from new radio ads starring former President Obama, as well as a super PAC funded by the Democratic Governors Association, per the New York Times

California-22: Rep. David Valadao is one of two House Republicans facing voters next week who impeached Trump after Jan. 6. But he isn’t talking about it on the campaign trail even though he’s running in a Democratic district, the Washington Post reports.

New York-17: DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney is getting some last-minute help on the campaign trail, with former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Jill Biden visiting the district over the weekend.

Pennsylvania-08: The New York Times explores the fight over white working class voters in Pennsylvania’s 8th District, which includes Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa. 

Ad watch: Ads in Rhode Island get icy

The race in RI-2 is heating up or … err … cooling down. That’s according to an icy new ad out by Republican nominee Allan Fung, forecasting a cold winter.

“Winter is coming,” a narrator in the ad says, adding, “And it’s gonna be a cold one, but not as cold as [Democratic nominee] Seth Magaziner.”

The narrator goes on to say, “Rhode Islanders are already paying the highest energy prices we’ve ever seen because of policies he supports. Now, Magaziner wants to increase utility costs, nearly 20% more.”

Magaziner and Fung are locked in a tight race. The topic of rising energy prices came up recently in a debate, where Fung accused Magaziner of supporting President Joe Biden’s energy policies, which he says are leading to rising energy prices. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter rates this race a Toss Up.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world 

In a June phone call with Ukraine’s president, President Biden lost his temper, asking Zelenskyy to show more gratitude for the U.S.’ aid before asking for more, NBC News’ Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Dan De Luce report.

A federal judge is allowing an activist group to gather near ballot drop boxes in Arizona, saying that the group does not pose any threat or intimidation.

Ahead of an expected surge of Haitian migrants, the Biden administration is considering holding migrants in a third country or at a facility in Guantanamo Bay, NBC News’ Julia Ainsley reports.

As a punishment for leading the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production, the Biden administration is considering slow rollingtheir military aid to Saudi Arabia, NBC News’ Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Dan De Luce report.