Well, so much for being distracted from the midterms by enjoying college football.

Here are some leftover Halloween midday news/views snacks:

* Joni Ernst professes to be “very offended” by Tom Harkin’s Taylor Swift comparison. That’s an obvious whopper; her campaign is thrilled.

* At TNR Brian Beutler argues Mary Landrieu’s remark about racial prejudice against Obama in her state was politically shrewd as well as obviously accurate.

* At the Prospect Paul Starr notes that polarization is having its greatest effect in the states, not gridlocked Washington.

* Greg Sargent reports Ted Cruz is revving up to become leader of unified House and Senate conservative bloc, focused on repealing Obamacare.

* RCP’s Sean Trende uses 1978 midterms as example of the dangers of over-interpreting results of a single election.

And in non-political news:

* Big merger of parishes in Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

As we break for lunch, here’s another political song a lot of baby boomers who are voting Republican tomorrow probably won’t remember: Steppenwolf’s “The Monster.”

YouTube video

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.