• ABC News/WaPo Tracking Poll Growing Bullish on Hillary Again
• Early Voting Continues to Presage Trouble for Trump
• Clinton's Free Music Concerts Aren't About Music at All
• Supreme Court Bans People from Collecting and Submitting Absentee Ballots
• Strange Incident at Trump Rally in Nevada
• Trump's Final Ad Is Rather Antisemitic
• Maybe There Is A Good Reason Giuliani Is Supporting Trump
• Today's Presidential Polls
• Today's Senate Polls
Nine days ago—before James Comey dropped his bombshell—election guru Charlie Cook declared that the race was over and Hillary Clinton was going to be the winner. Now he is taking back his declaration, and said that with the polls tightening in the past week, a Trump victory is conceivable, although he said the chances of it are small. Cook said that Trump's only path is to hold onto all the states Mitt Romney won in 2012, win Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, and then flip a couple of the "blue wall" states. He added that the chances of Clinton getting 330 electoral votes are higher than the chances of Trump getting 270, but the chances of the latter occurring are not zero anymore. (V)
Shortly after James Comey's letter to the FBI, Donald Trump briefly took the lead in the ABC News/WaPo tracking poll. At the time, we noted that ABC's poll is often accurate one week out, but is even more accurate the day before the election. And if that holds, it's good news for Hillary Clinton, because she's trending upward and has taken the lead again. To be more precise, Clinton dipped below Donald Trump for one day—October 30, when he was at 46% and she at 45%. They were tied the next day at 46%, and then Clinton pulled ahead again. She's now up 47% to 43%, which is exactly where things stood a week before Comey's announcement. So, the effect of the new e-mails, assuming there ever was one, may be dissipating. (Z)
Assuming recent history holds, somewhere between 120 million and 130 million people will vote in this election. And roughly one-third of them—39,697,817, to be exact—have already cast their ballots. The analysts at TargetSmart have analyzed the available data (including interviews with those who have already voted), and they have some happy news for Hillary Clinton. Quite a bit of it in fact. Specifically:
- Clinton appears to be leading Donald Trump among early voters by about 9
points, or roughly 4 million votes. For Trump to make up that difference, he
would need 55% of the remaining votes.
- 55.9% of the voters so far are women. If women voters outnumber men by 10
points, that is ghastly news for Trump, and would make the "55% to catch up" all
- Trump has been counting on "low propensity" voters—those who don't
turn out very often—to carry him to victory. While the number of low
propensity voters is up this year, they are breaking for Clinton and not
Trump, by about 7 points.
- The early voters are 80% white; the general population is about 63% white. If 30 million white voters have already cast their ballots (along with 10 million non-whites), that leaves about 50 million white voters to go, along with 35 million non-white voters. Supposing Hillary Clinton took 40% of the remaining white vote and 80% of the remaining non-white vote on Election Day (both very reasonable estimates), she would collect approximately 48 million of the remaining 85 million votes to Trump's 37 million. To even things out, and to possibly make up the existing 4 million gap, Trump would have to perform far, far better than expected among minority voters, or would have to take something like 85% of the remaining white votes. Either of those is a tall order.
Of course, these are all national numbers, and the presidency is decided on a state-by-state level. But bad news for Trump is starting to trickle in there, as well. Particularly in Nevada, where early voting came to an end on Friday night. Democrats have a 73,000-vote advantage in Clark County (home of Las Vegas), and a 45,000-vote advantage statewide. These figures mean the Democrats start Election Day with a six-point advantage. That is better than Barack Obama did in 2012's early voting, and he went on to win the state by seven points. Nevada's pre-eminent political analyst, Jon Ralston, asserts that Trump will need "a miracle" to win the Silver State and, beyond that, his failures could sink Republicans downballot as well, most obviously Senate candidate Rep. Joe Heck.
In the end, these early voting numbers could be predictive of what's going to happen on Election Day. Alternatively, they could prove to be Hillary Clinton's insurance policy against a Comey-inspired backlash. Either way, though, she still looks like the much better bet to claim the White House. Charlie Cook (see above) probably shouldn't be so skittish. (Z)
Hillary Clinton has been appearing with Katy Perry, Beyonce, Jay Z, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Big Sean, and other musicians popular with younger voters, and it isn't at all about drawing big crowds and getting publicity for them. It is all about giving away free tickets. All of these events require advance tickets, which are free. To get tickets, music fans have to go to a Clinton office, which can then collect email addresses, give out information about Clinton's positions, and help the voter learn how to vote, if need be. In some cases, the location where the tickets are given out is close to an early voting location, so voters can be handed their tickets with a suggestion that they go across the street and vote right now. In Fayetteville, NC, this tactic bumped up county-wide voting by 16% in a single day of ticket distribution.
Clinton doesn't even appear at all the concerts, and when she does, she speaks for a no more than a few minutes. All the performers talk about how important voting is. Clinton knows that free concerts by top stars is a way to get younger voters to show up and hear from people they respect (which definitely does not include Clinton herself) how important it is to vote, and why they should vote for her. (V)
In March, Arizona enacted a law prohibiting anyone from going around to collect absentee ballots and them submitting all of them to election officials at once. Theoretically, the idea was to reduce absentee ballot fraud, but the real purpose was to suppress minority votes. The state was immediately sued and the case made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which struck down the law. The state then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which yesterday stayed the decision, pending final disposition of the appeal. In practice, this means that the ban on one person collecting ballots from multiple people and then turning them all in will be in force for this election.
As an example of the hardship the law causes, the plaintiffs brought up the Tohono O'odham Nation, an Indian tribe whose land is the size of Connecticut and which has only one post office. For tribe members who don't have a car, personally bringing their absentee ballot to the one post office could be difficult, if not impossible. Absent the law, a tribal member with a car could go collect ballots from many members and bring them all to the post office at once. With this ruling, that is not allowed. The argument that the law would affect minorities more than voters in general did not sway the Court. However, another factor is that courts don't like to change election procedures just before an election. (V)
Donald Trump was holding a rally in Reno, NV, on Saturday (very possibly a waste of time; see above), and began jawing with a member of the audience—later identified as Austyn Crites, an anti-Trump Republican. Crites attempted to extract an anti-Trump sign from his pocket, someone in the crowd shouted "gun," chaos temporarily reigned, and Trump was hustled offstage by the Secret Service. Ultimately, order was restored, Crites was detained, and The Donald returned to finish his remarks.
While this was "breaking news" on several sites, it likely would have faded into the background, if not for the fact that members of the Trump campaign—particularly Donald, Jr. and top aide Jack Posobiec—are working hard to get some mileage out of the incident. Both described Crites' actions as an "assassination attempt" (death by paper cut?), and Posobiec took to Twitter to point out how heroic The Donald was for returning to the stage, even when confronted by Democratic violence. That, friends, is a master class in spin, since there was no assassination attempt, nor was there a Democrat. And since Sunday morning TV programming is full of newsmagazines, we can expect to be hearing much more about Trump's "heroism" tomorrow. (Z)
It would seem the Trump campaign has come full circle. It began with a speech that many found to be racist, and it's ending with an ad that many find to be antisemitic. The ad is built around footage from a Trump rally in Florida a few weeks ago. The candidate somberly intones:
For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don't have your good in mind...
Now, this verbiage is already dangerously close to the rhetoric of antisemitic propaganda like Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. On top of that, however, at key points in the ad, viewers are shown pictures of investor and philanthropist George Soros, Fed chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. All of those individuals are Jewish. And you know what they say: "If it looks like a dog whistle, and it sounds like a dog whistle..." (Z)
When he was mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani was a moderate Republican. Now he is a fire-breathing Donald Trump supporter, unrecognizable from the old Giuliani New Yorkers loved. What happened? One theory is that he wants a job in Trump's cabinet. Secretary of Homeland Security seemed like a reasonable goal until the future of Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) jumped off a bridge Friday. Now Attorney General might be within reach.
However, there might be another angle to Giuliani's surprising interest in Trump. Billionaire Robert Mercer and his politically active daughter, Rebekah, who have supported Trump ever since Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) dropped out, paid law firms Giuliani is associated with $563,000 in 2015 and 2016. They paid Bracewell & Giuliani $336,000 for legal services until Feb. 14, 2016. As soon as Giuliani left the firm, the payments stopped. When Giuliani moved to a new law firm, the Mercers immediately signed up for $100,000 worth of services.
Maybe these are all coincidences, but the facts seem to be:
- The Mercers support Trump
- Giuliani supports Trump
- Whatever law firm Giuliani is with seems to get legal work from the Mercers
To fully conduct the experiment, Giuliani would have to stop supporting Trump and we'd have to see if the money from the Mercers to Giuliani's firm stops as well. But coincidences happen all the time, of course. (V)
Those Iowa numbers can't both be right, and when push comes to shove, Ann Selzer is the best pollster in the Midwest. So, the Hawkeye State is probably lost for Hillary Clinton. (Z)
|Iowa||39%||46%||6%||Nov 01||Nov 04||Selzer|
|Iowa||44%||43%||3%||Nov 01||Nov 03||Loras Coll.|
|New Mexico||45%||40%||11%||Nov 01||Nov 03||Research and Polling|
|Pennsylvania||44%||40%||7%||Oct 30||Nov 04||Muhlenberg Coll.|
Chuck Grassley is thanking his lucky stars that the Merrick Garland story faded from the headlines months ago, since that was Patty Judge's only real hope of knocking him off. (Z)
|State||Democrat||D %||Republican||R %||Start||End||Pollster|
|Iowa||Patty Judge||33%||Chuck Grassley*||56%||Nov 01||Nov 04||Selzer|
|Iowa||Patty Judge||37%||Chuck Grassley*||53%||Nov 01||Nov 03||Loras Coll.|
|Pennsylvania||Katie McGinty||42%||Pat Toomey*||43%||Oct 30||Nov 04||Muhlenberg Coll.|
* Denotes incumbent
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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov05 Melania Trump Violated Immigration Law
Nov05 Unemployment Down, Wages Up
Nov05 Clinton's Ground Game Could Sink Trump
Nov05 Latino Early Voting Is Way Up This Year
Nov05 Judge Orders Voters Restored to North Carolina Rolls
Nov05 What Will Trump Say If He Loses?
Nov05 How Would a Contested Election Work?
Nov05 Catholics Voting for Democrats Risk Eternal Damnation
Nov05 Ryan Might Step Down as Speaker
Nov05 Polarization Has Become Geographic
Nov05 If Clinton Wins, She Will Face a Tough Choice on the Supreme Court
Nov05 More Nails Pounded into Christie's Coffin
Nov04 There Will Not Be a Surge of Hidden Trump Voters
Nov04 Uncomfortable Questions Being Asked About FBI's Ties to Trump
Nov04 Early Voting in Nevada Dominated by Democrats
Nov04 Trump Promises in Federal Court Not to Intimidate Voters
Nov04 Trump May Not Be as Rich as He Claims to Be
Nov04 Eric Trump Wants David Duke Shot
Nov04 Vote Trading Is Back
Nov04 Trump Tower in Toronto Is Bankrupt
Nov04 Trump International in Las Vegas Violated Labor Laws
Nov04 Vote by Text Message? Not So Fast
Nov03 Top Democrats Have No Confidence in Comey
Nov03 Obama: We Don't Operate on Innuendo
Nov03 Clinton Indictment Reportedly Likely
Nov03 GOP Congressmen Predict a Constitutional Crisis
Nov03 Trump Viewed as More Honest than Clinton
Nov03 Trump Raised $100 Million in Small Donations in October
Nov03 Judge to Rule on Voter Purges in North Carolina
Nov03 Republicans Have Given Up Trying to Win in the Cities
Nov03 Newspaper Owned by Trump's Son-in-Law Won't Endorse Him
Nov03 Trump vs. Tur
Nov03 Legality of Ballot Selfies Depends on Where You Live
Nov03 Bettors Are Betting on Trump
Nov03 Cubs Win the World Series
Nov02 How Predictive Are the Polls One Week Out?
Nov02 Don't Read Too Much Into Polling Changes
Nov02 Seven Questions about Turnout Could Determine Who Wins
Nov02 Early Voting Tells Some Important Tales
Nov02 Another Former President May Be Voting for Clinton
Nov02 Weld Defends Clinton
Nov02 Clinton Raises $11 Million after FBI Announcement
Nov02 Union Workers Could Hand the Election to Trump
Nov02 Trump Asks Early Clinton Voters to Change Their Vote
Nov02 Sleeping Like the Enemy
Nov02 House Freedom Caucus to Hold Secret Meeting Today
Nov02 Republicans Have a Good Senate Map in 2018
Nov01 Sheldon Adelson Set to Donate $25 Million to Trump's Campaign
Nov01 Trump Stiffs His Pollster