This evening, starting at 9p ET, the first presidential debate will take place. It will air on all major broadcast and cable news networks. Our guess is that the debate will look something like THIS. If the editors have strong thoughts or commentary on the debate performance we will add them here but otherwise this is an open thread for general debate discussion.
Note that we will have an open thread for tonight’s debate starting at 8; the debate will air at 9 ET on all major networks. But in the mean time we have a torrent of poll dumps to get to…
CBS/YouGov: Clinton 44 Trump 41 Johnson 5 Stein 2
ABC/WaPo: Clinton 46 Trump 44 Johnson 5 Stein 1
Morning Consult: Trump 39 Clinton 38 Johnson 9 Stein 4
Franklin Pierce Univ/Boston Herald: Clinton 45 Trump 43 Johnson 6 Stein 2
McClatchy/Marist: Clinton 45 Trump 39 Johnson 10 Stein 4
Reuters: Clinton 41 Trump 36 Johnson 7 Stein 2
Breitbart/Gravis: Clinton 44 Trump 40 Johnson 5 Stein 2
AP/GFK: Clinton 41 Trump 35 Johnson 7 Stein 2
NBC/WSJ: Clinton 43 Trump 37 Johnson 9 Stein 2
Pew: Clinton 45 Trump 38 Johnson 10 Stein 4
President-States & Senate:
AZ/CA/NV/WA: The first of two multi-state poll dumps comes from InsightsWest, which has Trump up 46-41 in Arizona and 47-44 in Nevada; Hillary leads by large margins in California and Washington. The Senate portion of the poll shows Rep. Joe Heck (R) leading ex-AG Catherine Cortez-Masto (D) 50-45 in Nevada and AG Kamala Harris (D) leading Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) 58-38 in California. Sen. Patty Murray (D) holds a huge lead in Washington.
CO/GA/IA/VA: Another multi-state poll dump from Quinnipiac has Trump up 47-40 in Georgia and 44-37 in Iowa, while Clinton leads 45-39 in Virginia and 44-42 in Colorado. Senate incumbents Michael Bennet (D-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) lead by double-digits.
CO/MO/VA: And yet another multi-state dump comes from CBS/YouGov with Clinton up 40-39 in CO, 45-37 in VA, and Trump up 46-37 in MO.
Colorado/Ohio: Breitbart/Gravis has Trump leading 41-37 in Colorado and 43-42 in Ohio. For Senate, El Paso County commissioner Darryl Glenn (R) leads Sen. Michael Bennet (D) 45-43, while Sen. Rob Portman (R) leads ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 44-36.
Arkansas: TalkBusiness has Trump with a predictably massive 55-34 lead. It appears Senate numbers were not tested.
Colorado: Colorado Mesa University has Clinton leading 44-35 while Sen. Bennet (D) leads Glenn (R) 45-32.
Florida: Suffolk has Trump leading 45-44 while Sen. Marco Rubio (R) leads Rep. Fratrick Murphy (D) 43-34.
Georgia #1: Landmark/WSB-TV has Trump leading Clinton 47-43 with Johnson at 6.
Georgia #2: A Monmouth poll has Trump up 45-42 while Sen. Johnny Isakson (D) leads businessman Jim Barksdale (D) 50-34.
Georgia #3: JMC Analytics has Trump leading Clinton 44-38 while Isakson leads Barksdale 41-28 (yeesh, push your undecideds).
Maryland: Goucher College has Clinton up 58-25. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) leads State Rep. Kathy Szeliga (R) 54-24.
Nevada: Fox News has Trump up 39-38 while Heck (R) leads Cortez-Masto (D) 41-34.
New Hampshire: Monmouth has Clinton up 47-38 while Republicans do well downballot: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) leads Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) 47-45 for Senate while Executive Councilor Chris Sununu (R) leads fellow EC Colin Van Ostern (D) 49-43 for Governor.
North Carolina: Fox News has Trump up 43-39 while Sen. Richard Burr (R) leads ex-State Rep. Deborah Ross (D) 43-37.
Ohio: Fox News has Trump up 40-37 while Sen. Rob Portman (R) leads ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 51-37.
Pennsylvania: Muhlenberg/Morning Call has Clinton leading Trump 40-38 with Johnson at 8 and Stein at 5. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) posts a 41-40 lead on Gov. Wolf CoS Katie McGinty (D) for the Senate race.
Utah: Salt Lake Tribune/Hinckley has Trump at 34, Clinton at 25, Johnson at 13, and McMullin at 12 (!). As a Johnson supporter I really think he’s missed an opportunity here – if he tacked to the right and/or got McMullin to drop out and endorse him he’d have a legit shot at winning Utah.
Wisconsin: Marquette has Hillary leading Trump 44-42 while ex-Sen. Russ Feingold (D) leads Sen. Ron Johnson (R) 47-41.
Generic Ballot: Reuters has it at D+5, 41-36.
FL-7: A DCCC internal by Global Strategy Group has Rep. John Mica (R) leading professor Stephanie Murphy (D) 48-45.
ME-2: An internal for ex-State Sen. Emily Cain (D) has her tied with Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) at 45. Trump leads Clinton 44-40 in the district, which will allocate an electoral vote. And for a rebuttal to that poll, UNH has Poliquin up 45-35 while Trump leads by 15 points.
NE-2: An internal for Rep. Brad Ashford (D) has him leading retired general Don Bacon (R) 50-40. Clinton and Trump are tied in the district, which will award an electoral vote.
NY-19: A DCCC internal shows 2014 gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout (D) leading ex-State Rep. John Faso (R) 47-42. A prior Faso internal had him up five for this purple seat.
State & Local:
WV-Gov: An internal for State Sen. Bill Cole (R) shows him trailing businessman Jim Justice (D) 44-42.
Harris County, TX: A University of Houston survey of Harris County (covering the bulk of the Houston Metro area, population 4.3M and PVI R+2), shows Clinton leads 43-39. Republicans hold narrow leads for Sheriff and DA.
Long Island: A Newsday/Siena poll of Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) has Trump up 43-39, which could be good news for GOP downaballot candidates for the House and State Senate. Non-NYC Long Island has historically had a PVI near the EVEN mark but it seems like it will head into R+ territory this year.
VA-Gov ’17: A fairly useless poll confirms that the GOP primary for this seat is very unsettled. Ex-RNC chair Ed Gillespie (R) leads the field with 19%, with State Sen. Frank Wagner (R) in second with 11, Rep. Rob Wittman (R) at 8 and Prince William CE Corey Stewart (R) at 6. The winner will face LG Ralph Northam (D).
We will have a live blog up at 8:00 Eastern for the Presidential debate tonight.
Clinton-strategy: There’s increased speculation that the decision of the Clinton campaign to try to deliberately separate Trump from the rest of the GOP brand is what’s causing the Republican’s unusual down-ballot strength, as Clinton has helped give Congressional Republicans cover to separate themselves from Trump. I’m skeptical of this theory however, both because Trump’s status as a not-really-Republican long predated anything the Clinton camp ever did, and because the GOP isn’t even really running that far ahead of Trump outside of a few edge cases. I mean, if Generic R was down roughly 2 points to Generic D for president, I’d expect similar numbers to what we’ve been seeing from Senate and Congressional Republicans considering the number of GOP incumbents running this year.
Debates: As you would expect, the candidates have widely different methods for debate preparation. Clinton is following the classical method of rigorous practice, sound-bite refinement, and opposition research, while Trump is basically aiming for trying to just naturally own the room like he’s done for most of his media appearances for the last 15 months. The smart money is on Clinton to come out on top, but the smart money has been against Trump at basically every point of the race so far, and yet he’s still within a few % of the Presidency. This will probably be the most-watched debate in US history, and should easily be one of the most memorable.
Hispanics: This isn’t a surprise—Trump isn’t doing well with Hispanics. Here’s an actual surprise—he’s actually doing about the same with them as Romney did. Hispanic-only polls like this one regularly show better D margins with Hispanics than the exit polls do, and pundits have a habit of comparing these sorts of polls to the exit polls, which means every GOP candidate looks like they’re set for a fall-off with Hispanic voters even when that’s not what the polls actually show. Trump’s shunning of GOP orthodoxy on fiscal issues is probably helping him here, as Hispanics have always had a lot in common with the sort of White-Ethnic voters that first started moving towards the GOP when Richard Nixon ran on a platform of punching hippies rather than repealing Social Security.
Millennials: Democrats continue to be confounded by the fact that Millennials seem to be far more willing to vote 3rd party than other demographics. The fact that they are running a nakedly corrupt political dinosaur with all the relateability of moldy cream cheese seems to be glossed over in favor of the classical bemoaning about how stupid and vapid Millenials are. I’m wondering if the Democrats realize a huge part of Obama’s impressive Millennial margins came from the “Hope and Change” stuff rather than his progressive platform, and that Clinton is a terrible successor to the former while being an acceptable successor to the latter.
Trump-ads: Trump has apparently announced a big ad buy for the last couple of weeks of the campaign. The buy, rumored to be about $140 Million, comes at a time when airtime is increasingly expensive, and if I had to guess was more about making his campaign look competent than actually moving votes (following the classic model of Trump’s campaign strategists getting all their ideas from reading yesterday’s headlines). But when I said “apparently”, I meant that it’s unclear exactly how Trump is planning to pay for this ad blitz, as his campaign does not have nearly that much cash on hand.
NV-Sen: Cortez-Masto has gone on the attack after some Nevada Republicans accused her of “Hispandering”. Cortez-Masto is ethnically Mexican, but doesn’t speak Spanish and a pair of former GOP operatives accused her of playing up the “First Latina Senator” angle despite having little cultural ties to the Nevada Hispanic community. Naturally, Cortez-Masto is trying to spin this into an actual issue (“People who used to work for my opponent think I’m playing up my race” seems less damning when you actually type it out), and is attacking Heck for not denouncing the statements more vociferously than he already has.
NC-9: Robert Pittenger, already on thin ice for the cloud of ethics charges hanging over him, claimed on TV over the weekend that the reason all the people in Charlotte are rioting is because they hate white people for being more successful than them. Sadly Pittenger won his highly-contested 2016 house primary, and we can only hope that someone with a little less foot-in-mouth syndrome can take his place in this safe-but-not-secure NC House seat come 2018. Stuff like this is how you lose elections in otherwise safe seats in decent years.
TX-Sen-2018: A few months after pointedly refusing to endorse Trump at the RNC, Cruz has back-tracked and done just that over the weekend, albeit tepidly. On one hand, this is probably an attempt to head off backlash from Trump supporters that are already threatening to primary Cruz in 2018, but on the other hand it pretty much robs Cruz of the only constituency he really had left (#NeverTrump Conservatives). Cruz has now managed to piss off just about every major ideological group in the GOP at some point or another. As I’ve said before, what exactly does he offer 2020 primary voters that someone like Ben Sasse doesn’t?
TX-Sen-2018: Fortunately for Cruz, Wendy Davis is mulling a comeback, and is talking about running for Senate against him in 2018 if the 2016 turnout “looks good”. One of RRH’s biggest electoral jokes might be back to kick around again! Maybe we can get Bruce Braley to run for Iowa Governor too!
MD-Gov: Prince George’s County executive Rushern Baker III is openly considering running for Governor of Maryland in 2018. Baker, who is black, would probably have a solid lock on the important PGC Democratic “bloc” (against the MontCo “bloc” and the Baltimore “bloc”), and might attract some outside attention as one of the few serious black gubernatorial candidates in the country.
NJ-Gov: Members of the New Jersey Legislature are looking at impeaching Governor Chris Christie over the “Bridgegate” scandal. Christie is already termed out of the governor’s mansion in 2017, and impeaching him would only mean that Lt-Gov and likely 2017 GOP Governor candidate Kim Guadango would get to run as an incumbent Governor instead. Oh how the mighty have fallen–remember when Christie was seen as a rising force for change in the GOP?
UK-Labor Party: Corbyn was re-elected as Labor Party leader over the weekend, by a 62-38% margin. This is widely seen as a vindication of Corbyn’s strategy to greatly expand the number of Labor party members (official party membership in the UK is vastly smaller than in the US). Corbyn and his allies have made it quite clear that they want to purge the Labor party of all dissenting elements, including de-selection of moderate MPs as part of the UK’s very establishment-friendly (which increasingly means Pro-Corbyn) “primary” system. Between this and Corbyn’s inability to come off like a reasonable lefty as opposed to a caricature of the sort of Bevanite Hard-Left politician that Thatcher won huge majorities against. It remains to be seen what the more moderate members of the Labor party plan to do in response to this, but regardless it looks like Theresa May’s Conservatives are in for a good election year in 2020, even beyond the boundary changes.
VT-Gov: Despite the Bernie Revolution sweeping across America, it seems very possible that the GOP is going to pick up the Governor seat his home state of Vermont. The existence of Sanders/Scott (the Republican candidate for Governor) voters seems to make no sense until you realize that a huge part of Sander’s appeal came from outside of his hard-left economic agenda. In a state where it’s possible for the average voter to meet candidates face-to-face multiple times over the course of a campaign, likeability plays a much bigger role than they do in a national or even large-state races. Combine that with the failures of the Vermont single-payer experiment, and you have a state ripe for a GOP Gubernatorial win even in the face of an ~2:1 flop at the top of the ticket.
Voting-Fraud: An examination of voting in Colorado has found that a number of dead people have turned in ballots. For all the huffing and puffing about voter ID, this is probably a much bigger source of voting fraud, as mail-in ballots and lax registration purging means that eligible ballots can be sent to the addresses of a number of people long after they died, and returned filled out by whoever happens to get their hands on them.
Today we present our latest round of gubernatorial rankings. For the first time we are also including Tilt calls (our low-confidence guesses for the Tossup races). Here is this month’s map:
|Safe D||Likely D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R||Safe R|
|DE (OPEN)||OR (K. Brown)
NJ (’17, OPEN)
VA (’17, OPEN)
Bold denotes a seat we project to flip partisan control. Italics denotes a D-held Tossup Seat.
RRH Elections has made the following four changes to our gubernatorial ratings since our last update in August, one in Republicans’ favor:
Vermont Tossup from Lean D
And three in Democrats’ favor:
Delaware Safe D from Likely D || North Carolina Lean D from Tossup || West Virginia Lean D from Tossup
These changes mean we are projecting a net shift in gubernatorial seats of between R+2 and D+2 in 2016 and between R+2 and D+3 in 2016 and 2017 together. With Tilts, our current-best guess estimate for 2016 is a change of D+2, for a 29R-20D-1I split.
Flip over for the full narratives!
Welcome to the weekend. It is finally autumn. Thirty-eight shopping days until Halloween. If you haven’t already, you can still get your “sexy” Trump and Hillary costumes.
Here are some questions to get the weekend started. Please check back at noon tomorrow for our latest Gubernatorial Rankings.
- Is Trump more likely to over-perform, under-perform, or match the polls?
- How should politicians respond to the riots in Charlotte?
- Bonus question: if you were Ted Cruz, what would you have done differently after losing the Indiana primary last May?
And because it’s the weekend, here’s THIS.
And also, for those of you who haven’t seen Hillary’s appearance on Between Two Ferns, you can see it here. “Does President Obama like his coffee like he likes himself? Weak?”
Trump: It is less than 50 days until the election and Donald Trump’s television advertisements have all but vanished. It has been over a week since the Trump campaign has paid to run a TV ad in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This begs the question of what the heck is Donald Trump spending all the campaign cash he is raising on? We know that Trump’s campaign has spent at least $8.2 million on business owned by Trump and his family (see here). The eventual post-election FEC investigation into Trump’s campaign spending could be a major scandal and a major embarrassment to the GOP.
Hillary: It must be nice to have Russian oligarchs, Saudi princes and Wall Street investment banks shower millions of dollars on you for giving speeches. Bill and Hillary Clinton just shelled out $1.16 million to buy the house next door to their Chappaqua mansion to use as a guest house for staff and visitors (because who doesn’t have a $1.16 million guest house on their estate). I guess when you are running for President against Donald Trump you don’t even need to make a pretense of being an average American.
Cruz: Ted Cruz is apparently taking bids on his conscience. Politico is out with a story claiming Ted Cruz is considering endorsing the man who claimed his father murdered JFK. I have to believe these stories where planted by people trying to troll Cruz because there is no way he could be politically stupid enough to endorse Donald Trump now after the stunt he pulled at the Republican National Convention.
NH-Gov: Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate William Weld has made two donations to Republican Chris Sununu’s gubernatorial campaign.
NY-Gov: Federal corruption charges were filed against two close aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and six other people. The sweeping corruption charges are a result of an investigation from the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara into the Buffalo Billions project. This is a devastating blow to the governor’s innermost circle and a repudiation of how Gov. Cuomo’s prized upstate economic development programs were managed. And if you are wondering why an investigation of a Buffalo development project was run out of the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan, the US Attorney for the Western District of New York is William Hochul who is the husband of New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (D).
AK-Sen: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead and former Sen. Mark Begich (D) is still not running for Senate. Begich made a big to-do about releasing a statement on Thursday about his political plans only to announce that he would not run a write-in campaign for Senate against Sen Lisa Murkowski (Write-in R). Murkowski is facing a 4 way re-election campaign against Democrat Ray Metcalfe, independent Margaret Stock (who is running with lots of Democrat support) and Libertarian Joe Miller who beat Murkowski in the 2010 GOP primary. On the bright side Begich little publicity stunt should help him with his current career as a Washington lobbyist.
FL-Sen: The NRSC points out in Spanish that Patrick Murphy lied about about his resume. “Patrick Murphy si es un contador pero de cuentos” is a really cute line. Wish there was a good English equivalent of that Spanish play on words.
IL-Sen: The judge overseeing the Downstate retaliation lawsuit against Democrat senate candidate Tammy Duckworth has set an October 5th date for both sides to talk. Two former employees of Duckworth at the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs have sued claiming Duckworth tried to fire one of them and gave the other a bad review that cost her raises after they complained about Duckworth’s leadership at the VA home, where they work. Duckworth’s politicization of her work at the VA at the behest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has become an issue in the Senate campaign and has been features in ads by Sen Mark Kirk (see here).
MO-Sen: Republican Sen Roy Blunt’s latest TV ad features lots of people assembling guns and makes the point that anyone can learn how to assemble a gun but what’s important is how you stand on the issues.
MT-AL: In sad news Libertarian candidate Michael Fellows was killed in a car crash this week. Fellows had run for office every year since 1996, when he ran for a seat in the Montana House. He ran for Congress in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010; for Secretary of State in 2000, and for the Montana Supreme Court in 2012. He was unsuccessful every time. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.
NV-Sen: Freedom Partners is spending $1.2 million on TV ads to remind voters that as Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto ignored numerous request to investigate a guardianship program that exploited and abused seniors.
PA-Sen: Freedom Partners Action Fund has released a new ad attacking Democrat Katie McGinty for supporting “special interest profits for her and higher taxes for you”.
WA-Sen: Sen. Patty Murray is clearly not sweating her re-election campaign against Republican Chris Vance. Murray has transferred $1 million from her campaign account to the DSCC.
FL-18: Democrat congressional candidate Randy Perkins is kind of a dick. Perkins had a meltdown over his double-amputee Republican opponent Brian Mast citing his military service as qualifying him to serve in Congress. Perkins actually had the gall to ask a man who lost both his legs fighting for his country to tell him “why the sacrifices and the services that you have provided for this country make you capable of solving issues?” Perkins also accused Mast (who once again lost both of his legs serving his country in Afghanistan) of not being a man for standing behind ads put out by the NRCC which Perkins took issue with. In Perkins world making money off of ripping off taxpayers during national disasters qualifies you for Congress but losing both your legs fighting for your country does not. Perkins is clearly trying to take Alan Grayson’s place as the biggest a-hole in Florida politics.
NH-1: Despite the best efforts of the New Hampshire Democratic Party former Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter Shawn O’Connor will officially be on the ballot as an Independent candidate. O’Connor originally intended to run in the primary as a Democrat but pulled out after Democrat Party officials sandbagged his campaign in favor of former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. O’Connor could draw progressive votes on the left away from Shea-Porter and could give Republican Rep. Frank Guinta a slightly better shot at re-election in this R+1 district.
NY-3: Tom Suozzi, you’re no Jack Kennedy! Democrat candidate Tom Suozzi released a new TV ad in which he compared himself JFK. Unless Tom Souzzi was referring to using dead voters to win (see here) I’m not sure the analogy holds.
NY-21: In a sign of how nasty politics can be a speaker at a campaign event for Democratic congressional candidate Mike Derrick called his Republican opponent Rep. Elise Stefanik a “cow”. After he was called out on it Derrick tried to distance himself from the disparaging remarks made at his own campaign event.
NY-22: The Oneida Indian Nation, which has feuded with Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, has given $500,000 to the Democrat aligned House Majority PAC.
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) released a new TV ad using his Democratic opponent Colleen Deacon’s own words against her. When asked for her view on what the U.S. should be doing to combat ISIS Deacon replied “Um … fighting ISIS, obviously, I … I don’t know what the answer is …”.
NY-25: Republican Mark Assini came a few hundred votes short of upsetting Rep. Louise Slaughter in this D+7 district in 2014. Now the 87 year old Slaughter is not taking any chances with her re-election. Her campaign has dug up online comments Assini made over a decade ago on gay marriage and other LGBTQ issues and is now trying to manufacture a controversy against him.
State, Local & Other:
Philadelphia District Attorney: Joe Khan has left his job as a federal prosecutor and announced that he will challenge Philadelphia DA Seth Williams in the 2017 Democrat primary.
NYC CD-21: Fresh off his loss in a bid for Democratic district leader position, former New York State Senator (and total scumbag) Hiram Monserrate will try for a comeback bid by running for City Council against Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D) next year. Monserrate was part of the 2009 coup with Sen. Pedro Espada (D) that briefly gave control of the NYS Senate to the GOP. Monserrate was later expelled from the Senate for doing THIS to his girlfriend.
NYC-Mayor: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is desperately trying to find a sane Democrat to take on Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) next year. Unfortunately, it seems state Democratic Party Executive Director Charlie King, a Cuomo ally, was sounding out support for a mayoral run by longtime Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright. Wright is a Charlie Rangel
hack protege and recently lost the NY-13 Democrat primary to soon to be Congressman Adriano Espaillat. Seriously, for the sake of New York you have to hope that a better challenger than Keith Wright emerges.
President – National
Rasmussen: Trump 44, Clinton 39, Johnson 8, Stein 2
LA Times-USC: Trump 45, Clinton 43
President – State
California – PPIC: Clinton 47, Trump 31, Johnson 10, Stein 5
Illinois- Emerson: Clinton 45, Trump 39, Johnson 6, Stein 2
Louisiana – SMOR: Trump 49, Clinton 33, Johnson 8
North Carolina – NYTimes/Siena: Clinton 41, Trump 41, Johnson 11
Virginia-Roanoke: Clinton 44, Trump 37, Johnson 8, Stein 1
Wisconsin – Emerson: Clinton 45, Trump 37, Johnson 11, Stein 2
California – PPIC: Harris 32, Sanchez 25
Illinois – Emerson: Duckworth 41, Kirk 39
Louisiana – SMOR: Kennedy 17, Boustany 15, Fayard 11, Campbell 9, Fleming 8
North Carolina – NYTimes/Siena: Ross 46, Burr 42
Wisconsin – Emerson: Feingold 52, Johnson 42
Trump: Republican nominee Donald Trump is calling for a nationwide stop and frisk policy.
Debates: The Clinton campaign fears the debate moderators are going to dumb down the debates, which might assist Trump. While I do not like Trump, this is absurd. Trump was not the greatest in the primary debates, but he was far from the worst.
Cruz-Trump: It appears there is a level of detente starting between Senator Ted Cruz (R) and Donald Trump.
Republicans: Major Republican donors are dumping cash into Senate races instead of Donald Trump. This is a smart strategy from my perspective if you really want to help Trump as the Trump campaign does not have the organizational prowess to execute, but Senate candidates in critical states can help Trump on the organizational front indirectly.
Schumer: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) is using Wall Street cash to fuel the Democratic efforts to win control of the Senate and elevate Schumer to Majority Leader.
NV-Sen: Nevada Democrats are still confident they can hold Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat, but they are not considering it a done deal as Representative Joe Heck (R) is putting up a strong fight.
KS-1: Primaried Representative Tim Huelskamp (R) has been outed as being a massive hypocrite abusing his franking privileges while running for reelection as being a “Burn the Government to the Ground Conservative”.
LA-Sen: The FBI has ended its investigation into Louisiana US Senate candidate Troy Herbert (I). The FBI was investigating Herbert, the former Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control commissioner, for accepting sexual favors for helping a woman fix some liquor license issues. Such a stereotypical Louisiana political scandal!
WV-Sen: Senator Joe Manchin (D)’s daughter, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was grilled by Congress for Mylan’s aggressive tactics regarding EpiPens. To add a twist, Manchin’s wife and Bresch’s mother, Gayle Manchin, was president of a national school board organization who aided in pushing EpiPens made by Mylan.
PA-Corruption Update: The bizarre story of convicted felon State Representative Leslie Acosta (D) continues to spiral out of control since the disclosure of her felony guilty plea. Now Governor Wolf (D) is calling for her to resign and House Republicans are talking about not seating her as Acosta refuses to resign or withdraw from the general election where she is the only candidate on the ballot.
WATN: Disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-Pervert) might face jailtime for sexting a teenager says Governor Andrew Cuomo (DINO).
Economist/Yougov: Clinton 40, Trump 38, Johnson 7, Stein 2; Clinton 45, Trump 44 head-to-head
Reuters/Ipsos: Trump 39, Clinton 37, Johnson 7, Stein 2; Trump 39, Clinton 39 head-to-head
Florida-Monmouth: Clinton 46, Trump 41, Johnson 6, Stein 1
Florida-St. Leo: Clinton 49, Trump 44, Johnson 6, Stein 2.
Maine-MPRC: Clinton 37, Trump 37, Johnson 11, Stein 5
ME-1 -MPRC: Clinton 41,Trump 30,Johnson 12, Stein 5.
ME-2 -MPRC: Trump 44, Clinton 33, Johnson 10, Stein 4.
North Carolina-PPP: Trump 45, Clinton 43, Johnson 6.
North Dakota-DFM Research: Trump 43, Clinton 32, Johnson 8, Stein 1.
CA-Sen: Field has Harris 42, Sanchez 20.
FL-Sen: Monmouth has Rubio 47, Murphy 45.
FL-Sen: St. Leo has Rubio 44, Murphy 35
IL-Sen: Loras has Duckworth 41, Kirk 36.
NV-Sen: Rasmussen has Heck 44, Cortez-Masto 40.
NC-Sen: Elon has Ross 44, Burr 43.
NC-Sen: PPP has the race tied at 41.
UT-4: A Salt Lake Tribune poll has Love 53, Owens 35.
WV-2: A Hunt (D) campaign internal shows him behind Mooney 38-35.
NC-Gov: Elon has McCrory 49, Cooper 46.
NC-Gov: PPP has Cooper 50, McCrory 43.
Friendships: It appears supporting Trump for president will cost you friendships, at least among the Beltway establishment. Some people who claim to secretly admire Trump have decided it’s better to keep quiet about it lest it jeopardizes their careers. Although those Trump supporters are standing firm, they do worry about the two sides being able to reconcile after the election.
Hannity: Sean Hannity has made no secret of his support for Donald Trump since last year. His TV show has essentially turned into an hourlong Trump infomercial. But now he has gone a little too far for Fox News. Hannity appears in a new video called “Heartland for Trump” where he states why he supports Trump. But Fox News said he did not inform the network in advance about the appearance and says he will not be doing any other such ads for the rest of the campaign season.
Blind partisanship: Jim Geraghty of National Review has a good article on the increasing tendency for blind partisanship in supporting presidential nominees. For an example he notes that Trump’s plan for government funded paid leave for new mothers sounds more like something from John Kerry and a recent speech by Clinton about the importance of America leading in the world sounds more like George W. Bush-yet hardly anybody on either side is complaining about their nominees taking those positions. He goes on to point out numerous double standards that both sides have had about certain issues or people and how people on both sides increasingly see people on the other side as “the bad guys” who need to be defeated at all costs-and then see people flip flop on issues so much and what was good for a party one cycle is bad another cycle. As he says, no wonder we see voters disengaging from politics.
IN-Sen: Republicans are said to be really starting to see a turnaround in this race, bolstered by $10 million in spending that has eroded former Sen. Evan Bayh (D)’s early lead. They have put Democrats on the defensive here and forced outside Democratic groups to come to his aid. Democrats admit that their original strategy was for Bayh’s entry to scare Republicans from even competing in this race and abandon Rep. Todd Young (R). Even though that didn’t work, they do insist that they have a clear path to victory, even if some are privately wondering if Bayh is up for a tougher fight than they had planned on when he was coaxed into the race by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D).
MO-Sen: Increasingly it appears that Democrats are pinning their hopes on retaking the Senate by shifting resources away from Florida and Ohio and focusing on Missouri-a race that was only on the edge of the radar going into the cycle.Although one recent poll had Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) ahead of Sen. Roy Blunt (R) by 2 points and his campaign has got praise for a recent ad where he assembles a rifle blindfolded to combat his image as anti-gun, it still is unclear how competitive it really is. Some Republican strategists however, although still confident of a Blunt win are expressing frustration that they are having to spend money in this race.
NC-Sen: Some Republicans are said to be privately fretting about the campaign of Sen. Richard Burr (R). The problem is that Burr is a very laid-back person and they feel that he isn’t taking seriously the challenge posed by former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D). The Senate Leadership Fund Super PAC is concerned enough about Burr’s position to make an $8.1 million ad buy in the state-more than they are spending in Nevada and Pennsylvania. The relaxed demeanor of Burr has been an issue with Republicans in past campaigns, but they fear that this time is different because Democrats are making more of a push in this race than his 2 other campaigns for Senate.
FL-13: Rep. David Jolly (R) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) held their first debate on Monday. The two sparred mostly over Crist’s changing positions on issues like abortion to make himself fit the Democratic Party better. But the most memorable line from the debate came when Crist said he admired Hillary Clinton for her honesty-which prompted a negative response from the audience.
LA-2: Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden (D) is challenging Rep. Cedric Richmond (D) for this seat. On paper, it would appear to be a strong challenge as mayor of the state’s 2nd largest city. But nobody seems to be taking Holden’s challenge seriously-including maybe even the candidate himself. Holden doesn’t have a campaign website(there is one still active for his failed lieutenant governor campaign last year) and doesn’t have any campaign staff. He only reported $319 in his campaign account in the last reporting period. Holden was also criticized for his response to the Alton Sterling issue and his response to August floods.
OR-Gov: Republican nominee Bud Pierce is withdrawing his support of Donald Trump. Pierce had previously given a lukewarm endorsement of Trump, saying that he was better than Clinton. He says that Trump is not unifying Republicans and is driving away Hispanics. Pierce is not endorsing Clinton or any other candidate and says at this point he plans to not vote for anybody for president.
Approval ratings: Morning Consult has come out with approval ratings for all 50 governors, and to no surprise, Sam Brownback is the nation’s least popular governor with 71% disapproval to only 23% approval. Dan Malloy is the 2nd least popular and the only Democrat in the top 5, followed by Chris Christie, Rick Snyder and Paul LePage. Only one Democrat makes in the top 5 popular governors as well-Steve Bullock at #4. Dennis Daugaard is the most popular, followed by Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker and Gary Herbert at #5.