Trump’s slump / Garcia’s in / Get out. Get out now.

Trump’s slump. The failure of a Republican wave to materialize has cast new doubt over Donald Trump’s appeal—to the point where allies are calling on him to hold off declaring his candidacy for reelection.
A former top official of Trump’s administration tells Axios he’s “invincible … until he’s suddenly not.”
The New York Times: “As … missed Republican opportunities sank in, the rush to openly blame Mr. Trump was as immediate as it was surprising.”
Popular Information’s Judd Legum, citing the Times’ Oct. 19 headline “Democrats’ Feared Red October Has Arrived,” concludes that such stories—and the flawed polls on which they rely—demonstrate that political reporting is broken.

Congress in the balance. The U.S. House was edging toward a narrow Republican majority, but control of the Senate could—for the second time in two years—hinge on a December runoff in Georgia.
Democrats held small but shrinking leads over Republicans in Arizona races for Senate and governor.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “Our beloved country is still f*cked in the head, but slightly less f*cked in the head than we thought.”

‘I was an election judge.’ Reader MJ Garnier writes: “Despite the steep learning curve, ballot-ruining markers, broken printers, angry white women—no offense meant, I am a white woman, just not angry—loooong day and additional duties, there were moments that crystalized my reason for being there. … Best moment arrived at 6:55 p.m., as I was giving an older Middle Eastern woman her ballot. She quickly let me know that this was her first time voting. … As I handed her the ‘I voted today’ card, I could see her smile of satisfaction knowing her voice would count. The power of democracy.”
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch hails young voters across the country: “As … editors at The New York Times locked in their doom-for-Democrats front page … hardly anyone was paying attention to what was happening on college campuses from Tempe, Ariz., to Champaign.”

DuPage turners. Axios Chicago says the Democratic wave that washed over traditionally Republican DuPage County on Tuesday has prompted some Dems to call it “BluePage.”
Politico’s Shia Kapos says Tuesday’s vote has triggered upheaval in the Illinois Republican Party.
All Cook County judges seeking retention—including one rejected by every bar association—were retained.

Garcia’s in. U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia is tossing his hat in the ring for Chicago mayor.
Here’s his declaration video.
Flashback to February 2015: Your Chicago Public Square columnist’s interview with Garcia during his first run for mayor—when he had Sen. Bernie Sanders’ endorsement.
Eleven other candidates for mayor—not including Mayor Lightfoot—shared a stage last night.

‘Sad, hurt, uncertain … and now jobless.’ Facebook employees among the thousands getting laid off are taking to LinkedIn and other platforms to share their stories.
 Their severance packages include continued healthcare for six months. (Cartoon: Charis JB at The Nib)
A Tribune editorial defends Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, suggesting people give him a chance to fix the thing.
Twitter’s new paid verification system seems to have unleashed a wave of celebrity and corporate impersonators.

Chief beef. An online sports clothing retailer seeking to use the University of Illinois’ abandoned Chief Illiniwek mascot accuses the university of trying to “have its cake and eat it too” through a “small underground licensing program” …
 … which means it’s time to revisit Illinois alumnus Stew Oleson’s 2015 proposal for an alternative: The Honest Abes.

Patty Reilly-Murphy is a Chicago Public Square advertiser.

‘Thrilling adventure, visual wonder and worthy tribute.’ Critic Richard Roeper gives three stars to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
But The New Yorker’s Richard Brody says “it can’t match the earlier film’s dramatic or political excitement.”

‘Many of us still have questions about just what happened … and whether a mass boycott was necessary.’ Columnist Eric Zorn updates the most-tapped items in several recent editions of Chicago Public Square: The controversy that has shuttered The Hideout bar/nightclub.
The story drove heated discussion between Zorn and Reader columnist Ben Joravsky in Joravsky’s podcast.

Real Serious Virus. Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina explains RSV—the respiratory syncytial virus hitting children particularly hard as winter nears.
 Chicago activists are calling on the city to assume responsibility for clearing sidewalks—especially for those with disabilities.

Get out. Get out now. Temperatures today could near a record high for this date set just two years ago …
 …but then it’s into the freezer for the weekend.

Tonight at 7. Your Square publisher joins digital media critic Simon Owens for a Zoom session about the challenges and rewards of building an online local news outlet.
Owens profiled Square in September 2020.
If you’re not already an Owens subscriber, you can join tonight—free—by signing up for a seven-day trial of his newsletter.

Thanks. Chicago Public Square owes its continued existence to those whose financial support makes clear how much they value it—readers including David Weindling, Jeannie Affelder, Phil Vettel, Theodore Naron, Maureen Gannon, Bill Herbert, Elizabeth Denius, Lawrence Weiland, Anne Rooney, Janet Holden, Michael Wilson, Mike Cramer, Steve Winner, Gregory Dudzienski, Suzy Carlson, Rick Baert and Patrick Quinn.
You can follow their lead here—for any amount you choose.
Correction to yesterday’s roll call of Square supporters: Two separate Debbie Beckers are backing this service. Thank you both!
 Pam Spiegel made this edition better.

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