1. Cygnal poll: Tuberville leads Jones going into final week
- A new poll shows Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville leading Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones by double digits going into the final week of campaigning before Election Day on Nov. 3.
- In a recent survey of likely Alabama general election voters, Cygnal found that 54.7% of voters were either definitely or probably voting for Tuberville while 41.1% were either definitely or probably voting for Jones. A small percentage, 4.2%, remain undecided in the race, the survey showed.
- The ballot test for Jones and Tuberville tracked closely with party-line voting attitudes in the state.
- The survey also tested favorability ratings for some of the state’s top politicians as well as voter attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic.
- Read more and see the full results HERE.
2. Virus-caused dip in Kindergarten enrollment concerns educators
- This school year, as the coronavirus upended normal life, many parents of kindergarteners have chosen to keep their kids out of school.
- There isn’t a final count yet, but early estimates show that at least 2,500 fewer children statewide are enrolled in Kindergarten than last year.
- The situation is concerning state education leaders because school funding – including teacher units – is based on the previous year’s enrollment.
- To put it in perspective, a decrease of 2,500 students could mean the reduction of 175 teacher units.
- Leaders are also concerned about instructional progress. Kindergarten isn’t mandatory in Alabama, so some 6-year-olds could start 1st grade next year without the benefit of much early learning while others would older than most of their classmates.
- The funding will almost certainly be addressed by the Legislature next session, though there do not appear to be any easy answers.
- Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.
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3. Barrett confirmation expected today
- Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election.
- Barrett’s confirmation later today is hardly in doubt, with majority Republicans mostly united in support behind President Donald Trump’s pick. But Democrats kept the Senate in session into the night in attempts to stall, arguing that the Nov. 3 election winner should choose the nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- Republicans are excited by the chance to install a third Trump justice on the court, locking in a conservative majority for years to come. Barrett’s ascent opens up a potential new era of rulings on abortion, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. A case against the Obama-era health law is scheduled to be heard Nov. 10.
- Alabama’s delegation was split. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby voted to advance the nomination while Democratic Sen. Doug Jones voted against it.
- I actually spoke to Jones a few hours after the vote. He said that his vote was against what he sees as a flawed process, not Barrett herself. I’ll have that full interview later this week.
- The 51-48 vote launched 30 hours of Senate debate, which should conclude this afternoon.
- Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration’s drive to install Barrett during the coronavirus crisis shows “the Republican Party is willing to ignore the pandemic in order to rush this nominee forward.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted the political rancor, but defended his handling of the process. He scoffed at the Democrats’ “horror stories” about the judge’s conservative qualifications.
- “The Senate is doing the right thing,” McConnell said.
- Read more HERE.
4. Zeta is on her way
- Tropical Storm Zeta has formed off the Yucatan peninsula and is headed this way.
- The good news is forecasters don’t see this storm gathering enough strength to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane, or at least not a major one.
- The bad news is it is likely to bring a lot of rain and wind to a coastal region already battered from a rough hurricane season.
- This year’s season has so many storms that the hurricane center has turned to the Greek alphabet after running out of official names.
- Zeta is the furthest into the Greek alphabet the Atlantic season has gone.
- The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Louisiana and Florida as soon as Wednesday.
- Read more HERE.
5. Top 25: Big Ten rises
- The big change in this week’s AP Top 25 is the ascension of the Big 10, which had its first games of the season on Saturday.
- Clemson held its lock on No. 1 and Alabama is still solidly No. 2, but Ohio State has now captured the No. 3 spot ahead of Georgia and Notre Dame.
- Caroline Beck’s Indiana Hoosiers climbed all the way to No. 17 after defeating Penn State, who slipped from No. 8 to No. 18.
- The Big Ten now has five teams in the Top 25, while the SEC and ACC have only four each.
- Auburn remained unranked after beating Ole Miss Saturday.
- Read more and see the full rankings HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New poll: Tuberville leads Jones going into final week
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19-caused dip in kindergarten enrollment concerns educators
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate votes to advance Barrett; confirmation expected Monday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Zeta likely hurricane before hitting Yucatan, heading for US
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Servicewomen killed in Alabama plane crash identified
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Indiana jumps in at 17; Ohio State moves up to 3
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Absentee voting hits record level in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump aide says ‘we’re not going to control the pandemic’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama economy expected to contract 3.4%, rebound possible
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Voters could remove racist phrases from Alabama Constitution
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – October 25, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama adds 1,000 COVID cases, hospitalizations continue to rise.
AL.COM – Tropical Storm Zeta gets stronger; forecast to become a hurricane but track is more uncertain than usual.
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Decatur Daily – Lawrence County High virtual only through Nov. 6
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Decatur Daily – Jury rejects insanity defense, finds Decatur woman guilty of murder
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YellowHammer News – Senate advances Barrett nomination — Shelby votes ‘aye,’ Jones ‘no’
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Gadsden Times – Gadsden’s Goodwill moves to new location in Rainbow City
Gadsden Times – Cullman man killed in crash with school bus
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WKRG Mobile – Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination
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WASHINGTON POST – Big Tech’s biggest critics are racing to raise money for Biden’s campaign
WASHINGTON POST – Barrett nomination clears Senate hurdle, putting her on course to confirmation to Supreme Court
NEW YORK TIMES – 2020 Election Live Updates: Barrett Set to Be Confirmed to Supreme Court
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