Greetings, and welcome to the third edition of THE 603. 

Before we get to the headlines, please take a moment to support NH journalism right 
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Booker heading to NH 
Cory Booker, the high profile Democrat from New Jersey, is Granite State bound. After trips to three of the four early voting states in the presidential primary and caucus calendar – Nevada in late August, Iowa earlier this month, and South Carolina this week – Booker will stop in New Hampshire next Sunday, Oct. 28. It’s another sign that Booker appears to be gearing up to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The senator will be in Durham to headline a get-out-the-vote event at the University of New Hampshire that’s being organized by the NH Young Democrats. The Young Democrats president Lucas Meyer tells the Monitor that they invited Booker to headline event and he accepted. Meyer explained that he’s thrilled to have “one our party’s most effective and inspiring messengers come here to help us turn out the youth vote and support the over 50 Young Democrats running for office.”
More stops are expected to be added to Booker’s New Hampshire itinerary. 
Concord Monitor

The Macker makes a stop
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe pays his first visit this cycle to the first-in-the-nation primary state today, Saturday, Oct. 20. McAuliffe – aka ‘the Macker’ -  has a jam-packed itinerary which kicks off with a Laconia canvassing event with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly. 

McAuliffe, a former DNC chair and close friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton who’s mulling a White House bid of his own, later speaks at canvassing kickoffs in Manchester and Nashua before stopping by a Democratic phone bank in Salem. Check out McAuliffe’s Granite State schedule 

Castro’s coming back
Former San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Julian Castro returns to the Granite State on Wednesday, for his third trip to New Hampshire this year. The Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Barack Obama made headlines earlier this week by saying he’s “likely” to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I’m likely to do it,” Castro said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m inclined to do it.”
Asked about those comments, Castro told the Monitor and WKXL radio in an interview on Wednesday that “I want to be straight forward with folks on where I am in terms of making a decision.”

When it comes to a timetable, he explained that “I’ll make a decision after Nov. 6.” That’s the date of the midterm elections. “Right after that, I’m going to make a decision about 2020,” he added.

The Monitor has learned that while he’s here next week, Castro will be the guest of honor at a house party in Nashua with the New Hampshire Young Democrats. The event’s being held at the home of Democratic state representative candidate Greg Indruk.

As previously reported, Castro will attend an afternoon “community conversation” at Casa Mezcal in Nashua that is being hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus. Later, he’ll be the keynote speaker at the Salem Democratic Town Committee’s Fall Gala, at the Birch Wood Vineyards in Derry.

Avenatti’s on his way
Michael Avenatti is headed back to New Hampshire on Monday. The trip by the Los Angeles-based attorney, best known for representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels the past year in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, is his third to the Granite State since August. In his previous visit to the NH, Avenatti said that he’s “absolutely being serious” as he mulls a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Avenatti told the Monitor on Thursday that he’s “looking forward” to the upcoming visit. And he explained that he might add more events to his itinerary for Monday. Before he arrives in New Hampshire, Avenatti spends Sunday evening and Monday morning in Boston. He’ll headline an event for a group called Left of Center and cram in a bunch of media interviews.

WATCH: Avenatti, in a late September interview with The Daily Beast and NHTalkRadio.Com, said his mulling of a White House run is “not about ego.” 

Gillibrand lends a helping hand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York campaigned Thursday with Kelly, to highlight the importance of paid family leave. The two met with employees at Granite State Candy in downtown Concord, to discuss how implementing a paid family and medical leave plan would benefit them. Gillibrand’s the lead sponsor of a paid family leave bill in the Senate. And Kelly’s spotlighted the issue in recent weeks as she’s criticized Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s threat to veto earlier this year, which sidetracked a bipartisan paid family and medical leave bill in the state Senate after the measure passed through the state House of Representatives.

The trip sparked more 2020 speculation about Gillibrand, who’s considered a potential Democratic White House hopeful. It was her first campaign visit to any of the four early voting states in the primary and caucus calendar (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada). But she avoided answering any questions on her likely presidential ambitions. 
Concord Monitor
WATCH: Asked about 2020, Gillibrand steers the conversation back to 2018 

Mike makes a quick stop in the 603
Just days after re-registering as a Democrat, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg - a billionaire media mogul, and gun safety activist -sparked lots of 2020 speculation with a trip to New Hampshire 
WATCH: Bloomberg says “we’ll see what happens down the road” when asked about any 2020 timetable.

Baldwin’s big night in the Granite State
Less than 24 hours after reprising his Emmy award winning parody of Donald Trump on SNL, Alec Baldwin called for peacefully overthrowing “the government of Donald Trump,” but said he won’t be running in 2020. 
Fox News
WATCH: Baldwin tells reporters "I’ve always wanted to do that" but jokes "my wife would divorce me"... Doesn't close a door to a future run, saying "who knows what will happen in the future 
WATCH: Baldwin’s take on the potential Democratic presidential contenders - "I don’t think anybody that’s a front runner now of the top six, seven, eight names that I’ve seen... is going to have an easy time of it" against Trump.

At long last
A nonpartisan live operator general election poll in New Hampshire’s top three 2018 races.
A new nonpartisan survey from the Saint Anselm College Survey Center released Wednesday indicated Gov. Chris Sununu leading Kelly by 10 percentage points with just under three weeks to go until Election Day.

According to the poll, Sununu topped Kelly 48.6 percent to 38.6 percent among registered voters, with Libertarian nominee Jilletta Jarvis at 0.9 percent. Nearly 12 percent of those questioned were undecided.
The Saint Anselm College poll indicated executive councilor and Democratic nominee Chris Pappas leading Republican nominee Eddie Edwards 44 percent to 36 percent in the 1st Congressional District race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. And the survey also indicated three-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster topping GOP challenger and state Rep. Steve Negron, 49 percent to 22 percent, in the 2nd District race. 
Concord Monitor

But wait, another poll
The University of New Hampshire Survey Center released new numbers from their Granite State Poll on Friday. The survey indicates Sununu topping Kelly 50-39 percent among New Hampshire adults, with Jarvis at 4 percent and 7percent undecided.
The survey suggested Sununu with a 39-29 percent advantage among undeclared or independent voters. The governor also had an edge among partisan voters, with 94 percent of Republicans questioned said they were backing Sununu. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats saying they would vote for Kelly.
The poll indicated Democratic and Republican voters pretty much equally energized. Seventy-three percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats said they would definitely vote in the November 6 elections.
In the race for control of the state House, 45 percent said they vote for Democratic candidates and 43 percent indicated they’d cast ballots for GOP candidates. Voters were 
equally divided among Democratic and Republican candidates in the generic ballots for the state Senate and the Executive Council. 

WATCH: A confident Sununu says “not only do we want to win, we want to win big.”
Fundraising figures
New numbers in the state’s two congressional races 
New numbers in the gubernatorial showdown 

Molly Kelly goes ALL IN on paid family leave as Sununu lands a big union endorsement
Sununu, the state’s first GOP governor in a dozen years, grabbed the backing of an electrical line workers union. It was the first time in 35 years they endorsed a Republican for governor. The last GOP gubernatorial candidate they backed – the current governor’s father – former Gov. John H. Sununu. Meanwhile, Kelly continued throw a full court press at Sununu over his opposition to a high profile paid family and medical leave plan.
WATCH: Kelly targets Sununu over paid family and medical leave 
WATCH: Sununu takes aim at his Democratic challenger 

State of Play
Where the three major races in New Hampshire stand with less than three weeks to go until Election Day
 Concord Monitor

Who’s going to vote
Young people continue to be the smallest segment of those who register to vote in the Granite State, but a liberal organization funded by billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to increase youth registration and turnout on Nov. 6. 

Second Congressional District Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster and her GOP challenger, GOP state Rep. Steve Negron, highlighted their policy differences again as they debated for a second time 
Union Leader

First Congressional District Republican nominee Eddie Edwards and executive councilor and Democratic nominee Chris Pappas offered vastly different solutions for Social Security and Medicare as they debated for the second time AP

If you made it this far, thank-you for reading, please share with friends and colleagues here, have a good weekend, from Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter who you can follow here and Kieran Baker, Co-Founder and Publisher THE 603. 

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