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First Read's Morning Clips: Health care dominates the airwaves

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
Image: Flu shot
A nurse administers a flu shot at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton, Illinois on Oct. 12, 2017.Bloomberg / Bloomberg via Getty Images

MIDTERM MADNESS: Health care dominates the airwaves

Nearly half of recent ads in federal races mentioned health care, the Wesleyan Media Project finds.

Trump is hinting at a conspiracy theory involving the latest migrant caravan.

2020: “What happens when several women run for president?” the New York Times asks.

Plenty of Democrats are unhappy that Hillary Clinton isn’t going away.

Kamala Harris is proposing a major new middle class tax break.

AR-2: An ad backing French Hill caricatures black women and talks about the #MeToo movement. (Hill has disavowed it.)

CA: The gas tax is likely headed for repeal, a new poll finds.

FL-GOV: Does Rick Scott have an issue with ignoring a sexual assault case?

FL-27: Donna Shalala is hitting some trouble in Miami over campaigning with someone who praised Fidel Castro (Barbara Lee).

GA-GOV: Early voting is surging in Georgia.

MO-SEN: Health care and entitlements dominated the McCaskill/Hawley debate last night (but no Kavanaugh.)

MN-8: The New York Times profiles Pete Stauber.

MT-AL: Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte for his assault of a reporter shortly before his special election last year.

ND-SEN: Heidi Heitkamp’s apology to sexual mistreatment victims that her campaign named without their approval overshadowed last night’s first Senate debate.

TN-SEN: Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor checked in on the Bredesen/Blackburn race post-Kavanaugh.

TX-SEN: Vincente Fox endorsed Beto O’Rourke.

VA-SEN: Corey Stewart is spreading negative rumors about Jamal Khashoggi.

WI-SEN: Scott Walker says Tony Evers plagiarized his education funding plan.

TRUMP AGENDA: A whisper campaign and smears

In the Washington Post: “Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump”

U.S. spies are delving into what Saudi leadership knew about Jamal Khashoggi’s death.

And the New York Times writes that Saudis may blame an intelligence official for Khashoggi’s death.

There’s a lot of confusion about what exactly is going on at the Interior Department. But a probe blamed Ryan Zinke for breaking policy in taxpayer-funded trips with his wife.

Nikki Haley cracked jokes at the Al Smith Dinner, but also called for greater civility.

The rank-and-file at the Justice Department are not happy with Jeff Sessions’ approach, writes the New York Times.

Is Trump considering Richard Grenell for UN ambassador?