145 Comments »

Political Roundup for September 30, 2016

President:

Clinton GOP endorsements: The Clinton campaign rolled out 40 more endorsements from Republicans yesterday. There were no big names on the list however-mostly people who served in Republican administrations along with 3 ex-members of Congress who would all be classified as moderates: Sherwood Boehlert of New York, Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island and Joe Schwarz of Michigan.

Johnson’s “Aleppo moment” II: Gary Johnson appears to be covering up somewhat for his inability to name a foreign leader he looks up to during a Wednesday town hall on MSNBC which he called an “Aleppo moment”. He tweeted out yesterday that after almost 24 hours, he still couldn’t come up with a name of a foreign leader he looks up to.

Trump-debate polling: The Trump campaign is sticking to their guns on the “who won the debate” question-insisting that the online polls they dominated provided a “much more accurate reflection” of who won the debate than the scientific polls that showed Clinton winning. They also backed up Trump’s assertion that the debate had been rigged to spare Clinton from tough follow-up questions and supported a Trump assertion that Google was working to hide negative information about Clinton-a story which Breitbart News aggregated from Sputnik News, a Russian controlled news agency.

Trump fundraising: The Trump campaign reported raising $18 million in the 24 hours after Monday’s debate, an impressive fundraising haul for such a short period of time. But upon closer examination, it may not be quite as impressive as it looked. It’s unclear how much of the money was for the campaign and how much was for the RNC, and how much of it was actual cash vs. pledges. It also isn’t clear how much of it is from the small donors that he said it came from. What is clear is that only $5 million of it came from online donations, which is where most of the small donations fueled by grassroots energy come from, and the other $13 million came through phone solicitations by major donors and campaign insiders, including Trump’s children and Mike Pence.

USA Today endorsement: For the first time in its 34 year history, USA Today is taking an editorial position in the presidential race. They are giving a non-endorsement to Donald Trump, calling him by unanimous consensus of their Editorial Board, “unfit for the presidency”. They go on to criticize him for a number of failings and a lack of “temperament, knowledge, steadiness, and honesty that America needs from its presidents.” But they also make it clear that they are not endorsing Hillary Clinton-pointing out a split decision by their Editorial Board, with some criticizing her “sense of entitlement, lack of candor and extreme carelessness in handling classified information.” They encourage voters to follow their convictions, but especially to not vote for Trump.

Senate:

Senate Democrats and vulnerable Republicans: Senate Democrats are said to be shunning working with Republican senators seen as vulnerable in order to deprive them of bipartisan accomplishments that they can tout on the campaign trail. As an example Sen. Ron Johnson (R) sponsored a bill to allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs to save their lives, but although he got 30 fellow Republicans to sign on to what was a relatively non-controversial bill, he couldn’t find one Democratic cosponsor. Eventually, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) signed on to the bill. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) also couldn’t find any Democrat willing to work with him on a bill intended to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns.

NV-Sen: Rep. Joe Heck (R) is getting support from a somewhat surprising group-a conservative group supporting LGBT rights. Heck was not a supporter of same-sex marriage, although he did vote with Democrats on President Obama’s executive order on LGBT job discrimination earlier this year. American Unity PAC is running an ad that uses the oppression of gays in Iran to criticize Catherine Cortez-Masto for her support for the Iran deal.

Governor:

NJ-Gov. 2017: Assemblyman Jack Ciatarelli (R) has announced he will run for governor next year. He has been considered a likely candidate for awhile, but is considered a longshot to get the nomination. Ciatarelli has refused to endorse Donald Trump, calling him an “embarrassment” and a “charlatan”. Businessman Joseph Rudy Rullo is also running for the Republican nomination, while LG Kim Guadagno and Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. are also considered possible candidates.

VA-Gov. 2017: Businessman Pete Snyder, considered a possible candidate for governor will not run and is instead endorsing Ed Gillespie. Snyder finished 2nd for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2013 and had been considered a possible future candidate for governor, lieutenant governor or US Senate, but in announcing his endorsement of Gillespie, he also said he would not run for any other office in 2017.

GA-AG/GA-Gov. 2018: Although nothing official has been announced, Attorney General Sam Olens (R) will likely be named president of Kennesaw State University soon, and state economic development director Chris Carr will likely be named to replace Olens as AG. Rumors about Olens leaving state government to take the university job have been swirling recently, and taking the job would also take out a top Republican contender for governor in 2018-Olens’ campaign website is no longer functioning.

79 Comments »

Afternoon Polling Roundup for September 29, 2016

President-National:

PPP: Clinton 44, Trump 40, Johnson 6, McMullin 2, Stein 1.

Rasmussen: Clinton 42, Trump 41, Johnson 7, Stein 2.

President-States:

Missouri: Remington Research/Missouri Times has Trump 49, Clinton 39, Johnson 5

Nebraska: Emerson has Trump 56, Clinton 29, Johnson 7, Stein 1

NE-2: Emerson has Trump 49, Clinton 40. Both statewide and NE-2 results show much larger leads for Trump than other polls-it is unclear whether this is an outlier or showing a trend.

South Carolina: Winthrop University has Trump 42, Clinton 38, Johnson 6, Stein 3.

Washington: Emerson has Clinton 44, Trump 38, Johnson 7, Stein 5.

PPP Polling Dump: PPP polled 5 battleground states. The results:

Colorado: Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 6, Stein 2.

Florida: Clinton 45, Trump 43, Johnson 3, Stein 1.

North Carolina: Clinton 44, Trump 42, Johnson 7.

Pennsylvania: Clinton 45, Trump 39, Johnson 6, Stein 2.

Virginia: Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 7, Stein 1.

Senate:

PPP Polling Dump: Senate race results:

CO-Sen: Bennet 44, Glenn 34

FL-Sen: Rubio 42, Murphy 35

NC-Sen: Burr 41, Ross 39

PA-Sen: McGinty 40, Toomey 35

WA-Sen: Emerson has Murray 48, Vance 41-a result much closer than conventional wisdom would have it-which again makes it unclear whether it’s an outlier or the race is closer than people expected.

House:

CA-49: DCCC internal has Issa 48, Applegate 46.

NY-22: Siena College has Tenney (R) 35, Myers (D) 30, Babinec (I) 24.

Governor:

MO-Gov: A poll by Remington Research for the Missouri Times has Koster 51, Greitens 35.

NC-Gov: PPP has Cooper 45, McCrory 42.

174 Comments »

Political Roundup for September 29th, 2016

Guys, check out this Twitter stream for some great botched polling science. This is exactly the kind of misinformation we here at RRH Elections struggle against. Now that you have your morning warmup, let’s get to it.

President

Johnson: The Libertarian presidential coined his own tendency to make foreign policy gaffes last night, telling Chris Matthews during a town hall event that he was having an “Aleppo moment” while struggling to name a foreign leader he admired. On the other hand, at least he keeps scoring Republican editorial board endorsements (as does Clinton).

Trump: The strange way Trump campaign messaging can sometimes be decided (although this seems more Bannon and much less Conway’s work).

Senate

IL-Sen: Sen. Mark Kirk (R) is pulling out of two previously scheduled debates, which doesn’t make too much sense when you’re favored to lose reelection like we project.

WI-Sen: In our other US Senate race where a Republican incumbent is set to go down, Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in Wisconsin, an outside group is hitting his opponent and former Sen. Russ Feingold on partial birth abortion.

IN-Sen: We saw before that Democrats were shifting resources from Florida and Ohio into Missouri and Indiana. Here’s a big reason Indiana got such an influx in spending: Republicans see their best chance to shift the dynamics of a race in Indiana, where former Gov. Evan Bayh’s political persona doesn’t quite match his residency or post-legislative career choices in an already light-red state. That means millions in attack ads from Republican-aligned groups and millions in ads from Democratic groups to pivot, minimize, and other shore up Bayh’s double-digit lead.

FL-Sen: Sen. Marco Rubio has gotten a couple easy issues falling into his lap, calling for an investigation into the death of Cuban-born Marlins ace Jose Fernandez’s death a few days ago. He also continues to oppose appointing an ambassador to Cuba. Again, all of this helps Rubio 1) differentiate his race from the national scene and 2) shore up an important base for any Republican running statewide in Florida, the (at least older) Cuban vote.

OH-Sen: Google has highlighted the digital work of Sen. Rob Portman’s (R) campaign, who continues to pull away from former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in Ohio.

MO-Sen: The Springfield News-Leader recaps this race (sans ad buy discussion) ahead of a debate tomorrow between Sen. Roy Blunt (R) and SoS Jason Kander (D).

PA-Sen: The relationship between the swingy PA-Sen race and Trump’s polarizing nature, take 50,205. Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Toomey (R) runs new attack ads as Katie McGinty (D) runs defense.

Governor

VT-Gov: The RGA is running an ad called “Minter’s Mentor” tying Democratic nominee Sue Minter to unpopular outgoing Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). Lt. Gov. Phil Scott (R) has a solid shot in this race that we rate Tilt D.

House

MN-2/MN-3: House Majority PAC (D) has cancelled over $500k in ads for State Sen. Terri Bonoff (D) in MN-3, triaging her campaign against entrenched Rep. Erik Paulsen (R). Meanwhile, the other Minnesota suburban district, the 2nd, has HMP leaving the race because they are confident in Democratic nominee Angie Craig’s (D) chances in the swingy open seat.

ME-2: Fresh on the heels of good poll numbers for incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin, challenger and State Sen. Emily Cain (D) is hitting him over skipping debates (he’s doing two instead of five) in this race. Fine, but everyone knows when you’re winning the risk-averse will avoid debates as much as they can. Such are the contours of the modern campaign. Meanwhile, millions in outside spending have poured into the race, detailed in this article.

FL-18: A Republican in a competitive central Florida race supported by an anti-sugar group? That seems a bit off. Consider Marco Rubio, whose earliest and strongest backers were the Fanjul family sugar magnates in Florida. In contrast, Mast returned some donations from the family after he took some political hits for being in the pocket of big sugar. I guess we’ll see how this works out for Brian Mast (R) soon in this open seat.

127 Comments »

Afternoon Polling Roundup for September 28, 2016

President-National

Online post debate polls: It seems pretty clear that Donald Trump supporters were trying to rig unscientific online post debate polls in an effort to create a false narrative that Trump had won the first presidential debate on Monday night. The efforts originated from users of the pro-Trump Reddit communityr/The_Donald and 4chan messaged boards, which bombarded around 70 polls, including those launched by Time, Fortune, and CNBC. This is why only an idiot who knows nothing about polling and politics would put credence in these kind of unscientific surveys which explains why Donald Trump Tweeted a “Thank You” for winning the CNBC online poll.

Morning Consult: Clinton 41 percent, Donald Trump 38 percent, Gary Johnson 8 percent andJill Stein 4 percent. Before the debate, Trump had a 1-point lead in this poll.

Quinnipiac: Hillary 44 percent, Trump 43 percent, Johnson 8 percent and Stein 2 percent

Echelon Insights: Their post-debate poll conducted 9/26-27 has Clinton 45% to Trump 40% in a head to head and Clinton 41% Trump 36% Johnson 7% Stein 3% McMullin 2%

Reuters/Ipsos: Clinton picked up 5 points since their pre-debate poll and now leads a 4-way race with 42% to Trump 38%, Johnson 7%, Stein 2%. Hillary leads a head to head match up with Trump by 6 points 44% to 38%.

Deplorables: A newABC News/Washington Post poll shows that nearly 40 percent of Donald Trump‘s supporters think minorities have too much influence in society while 53% of Clinton voters believe whites have too much influence in society.

President-States & Senate:

AR-Sen: TalkBusiness has Sen. John Boozman (R) leading ex-US Attorney Conner Eldridge (D) 55% to 29%.

MI-Pres: Clinton 46%, Trump 41%, Johnson 8% conducted by Target Insyght for multi-client firm Governmental Consultant Services, Inc. (GCSI) and MIRS. 

VA-Sen ’17: Virginia Democrats prefer that Rep. Bobby Scott (D) to take over the Senate seat of Tim Kaine becomes Vice President. The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll found that 26 percent of likely Democratic voters in the state would prefer that Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe appoint Scott to take over the seat until a special election in 2017. Rep. Don Beyer (D) was the choice of 9 percent and 26 percent said they were undecided.

House:

AZ-1: A Democrat internal for the DCCC by Global Strategies Group has Democrat Tom O’Halleran leading Republican Paul Babeu 45% to 38%.

FL-26: Do you like salt with your polls? An internal poll from dildo connoisseur former Rep Joe Garcia (D) show him leading incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) by 1 point 47% to 46%.

IA-1: Loras College has Republican Rep. Rod Blum doing very well with 45% and Democrat Monica Vernon 38%

IA-3: Loras also has Republican Rep. David Young 46% and Democrat Jim Mowrer 36%

NY-19: Siena College poll has Republican John Faso 43 Percent, and nutjob Zephyr Teachout 42 Percent

State, Local & Other:

MA-Gov ’18: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has a 63% approval rating and would lead Rep. Katherine Clark 39%-24%; Newton Mayor Setti Warren 40%-17%; Attorney General Maura Healey 43%-25% Boston Mayor Martin Walsh 37%-28%; and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton 39%-21%. Rep Joe Kennedy III polls the best and would tie Baker with 33% a piece.

Richmond, VA- Mayor: Joe Morrissey 29%- Jack Berry 25% – Michelle Mosby 7% – Jon Baliles 12% – Levar Stoney 14%.

AR-Marijuana Legalization: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment appears on track for passing with 49% of voters saying they intend to vote for it with 43% against, while the competing  Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act has 53% opposed and 36% supporting it.

MA-Ballot Props: A UMass Amherst/WBZ poll of the Massachusetts ballot propositions has Question 4 which would legalize and regulate the use, possession and sale of marijuana for people aged 21 and older on track for passing with 53% for it and only 40% opposed. Question 2, which would allow state education officials to approve up to 12 new charter schools, has 49% for and 39% against. Question 3, which would restrict farm animal confinement and require eggs sold in Massachusetts to come from hens that have ample room to move around, has 75% for and 14% against. Question 1, which would authorize an additional slot parlor license in the state, has 44% in favor, 35% against and 22% unsure.

 

116 Comments »

Political Roundup for September 28th, 2016

President:

Clinton: In a move that will surprise basically no one, former VA Senator John Warner (“R”) has endorsed Clinton for President. Warner has always been essentially “John McCain, but more so”, in that despite being a fervrent hawk, his views on domestic policy are arguably more aligned with the Democrats, and he has a long history of voting against the party line. This is the latest in a string of endorsements probably intended to boost Clinton’s support with #NeverTrump and/or establishment Republicans, a strategy that is ringing increasingly hollow as Trump continues to coalesce GOP support around his candidacy.

Endorsements: The Arizona Republic is endorsing its first Democrat for President ever, which I find surprising given that the article literally includes the phrase “Clinton’s opportunity to heal the nation”. I’m honestly wondering if the whole piece is just an attempt to Troll Trump supporters, because I am struggling to come up with a way for a nominal Right-leaning paper to earnestly say that “[Clinton] can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns”. Was “She’s not Trump” too much to ask?

Debates: Results from the extremely accurate and reliable focus groups are in, and Clinton is losing ground with North Carolina swing voters and overweight Michigan filmmakers.

Trump: Trump has scored the endorsement of former GHWB Chief of Staff and NHGOP icon John Sununu. This is a bit surprising, since Sununu is far from the profile of your average “Trump Republican”, but makes sense considering his son is currently running for NH-Gov and probably needed to show some family support for the GOP Presidential nominee.

Congress:

Cuba: Obama has nominated an ambassador to Cuba, which has inevitably drawn criticism from Hawks and Cuban Hard-liners. Most notably, Senators Rubio and Cruz have promised to tie up the process in the Senate, claiming that the Cuban government needs to take greater steps towards openness first. Expect a lot of posturing and speeches and no action on this until the next president takes office.

IN-Sen: All hands on deck in this late-breaking Senate race, as Democrat and GOP groups are all filing into the Hoosier state for massive ad buys. Bayh is enjoying huge name recognition from his previous stint in the Senate and his father, but GOP groups are furiously trying to hit him over his many issues, including support for Obamacare and his rather shocking lack of attention to the state since retiring in 2010. CW on this race is that it’s a contest to see if Bayh can run out the clock before the GOP is able to really tank his approval numbers into a realm where GOP candidate Todd Young could pull out a win in Medium-red Indiana.

NC-Sen: Back when Democratic Senate Candidate Deborah Ross was head of the North Carolina ACLU, she commented that the sex offender registry was making it harder for sex offenders to re-integrate into society and promoted vigilantism. Ross has shot back that as a state legislator she worked to strengthen the law. Honestly I’m not sure this actually hurts Ross, as its kind of the flip of the usual “Believe what I say not what I do” line of attack, and is pretty easy to refute. Big $ is going up behind these ads though, so we’ll see.

VA-Sen: Former GOP congressman Tom Davis is rumored to be considering running for Tim Kaine’s Senate seat should Kaine be elected to the Vice Presidency. Davis, who represented a more GOP version of the current NOVA-based VA-11 district for 14 years, is a good candidate on paper, with appeal to the sort of NOVA voter that has fueled the Democrat’s recent VA successes. However, he faces the problem of being 10 years rusty from his last campaign and running in a state that is considerably left of where is was the last time he ran. Davis is also pretty moderate for a Republican, and backed out of the 2008 VA Senate race once the state party decided on a convention rather than primary nomination process, which doesn’t bode well for his chances of surviving a post-2008 GOP race.

Other:

Colombia: The Colombian Government has signed a formal peace agreement with FARC, the decades-long communist insurgency campaign in rural Colombia famous for drug-running, brutal murder, and being one of the most prominent examples of 3rd-world terrorism in the pre-9/11 world. The deal seems to have much in common with the Northern-Ireland peace agreement, with FARC being re-launched as a political party and giving up its weapons in exchange for broad amnesty, a move that has drawn significant criticism from hard-line Anti-FARC former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. The agreement still has to be voted on, and it has to hold in what is still a significantly war-torn country, but all parties seem optimistic about ending the 5-decade guerilla war once and for all.

Israel: Naftali Bennett has claimed that the current US Presidential election offers Israel an opportunity to formally annex all of the West Bank settlements. I assume he means that “Since someone other than Obama will be in office, we’ll have a free hand”, but I’m not exactly sure why he thinks Clinton will be more approving of a move that even generally Pro-Israel people think is a dangerous idea. Given the trajectory of the Democratic Party on the issue lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clinton just cuts Israel loose after such a move as a show of faith to the anti-Israel BDS left.

UK: In a sign of just how divided the British Labor Party is, Deputy Leader Tom Watson essentially gave an entire speech telling Jeremy Corbyn to stop bashing Tony Blair’s government, directly to Corbyn’s face. He followed that up by giving an positive-left speech (praising NATO, talking about electability, etc.), and shot down a Pro-Corbyn heckler. Imagine if Ted Cruz’s RNC speech was done right and you’d get a good idea of what it was like. The Telegraph believes (and I agree with it) that this was essentially Tom Watson setting himself up as leader of the Anti-Corbyn part of the Labor party without actually punching Corbyn in the face like Owen Smith tried to.

139 Comments »

Afternoon Polling Roundup for September 27, 2016

Today we finish taking stock of the insane dump of pre-debate polls (by my count, around ~35 polls dropped between 6PM Sunday and 6PM Monday). Odds are the rate of poll releases will slow down for the next few days as pollsters likely don’t want a survey spanning both sides of last night’s debate.

And in case you missed it THIS is the best highlight reel that we have been able to find of last night’s debate.

Debate Polls:

Breitbart/Gravis: Clinton won the debate 48-43 in an electorate that supported Trump by 5.

PPP: Clinton won the debate 51-40.

YouGov: Clinton won the debate 57-30.

President-National:

NBC/SurveyMonkey: Clinton 45 Trump 40 Johnson 10 Stein 3

Monmouth: Clinton 46 Trump 42 Johnson 8 Stein 2

Bloomberg/Selzer: Trump 43 Clinton 41 Johnson 8 Stein 4

Quinnipiac: Clinton 41 Trump 39 Johnson 13 Stein 4

50 States: UPI/CVoter has online polls of all 50 states; the national results have Clinton up 48-47.

President-States & Senate:

Arizona: Data Orbital has Trump leading Clinton 40-38 with Johnson at 9.

Colorado: CNN/ORC has Trump up 42-41 in Colorado. Sen. Michael Bennet (D) leads El Paso County commissioner Darryl Glenn (R) 55-43.

Florida: A poll for the Florida Chamber of Commerce has Clinton leading Trump 43-41 while Sen. Rubio (R) leads Rep. Murphy (D) 46-42.

Iowa: Loras has Clinton and Trump tied at 38 while Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) leads ex-LG Patty Judge (D) 54-37.

Louisiana: JMC Analytics for Rep. John Fleming (R) has Trump up 45-35. But more importantly they show this Senate jungle primary as deeply chaotic, with Rep. Charles Boustany (R) and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell (D) tied at 15, Fleming at 14, Treasurer John Kennedy (R) at 12, and 2010 LG nominee Caroline Fayard (D) at 11.

Massachusetts: YouGov, UMass Amherst, and WBZ-TV has Clinton leading Trump 47-34. If you haven’t looked at it already scroll down to the first word cloud on page 6.

Minnesota #1: SurveyUSA for KSTP-TV has Clinton leading Trump 46-39 with Johnson at 6 and Stein at 2.

Minnesota #2: Gravis/Breitbart has Clinton and Trump tied at 43 with Johnson at 4 and Stein at 2.

New Hampshire: ARG has Clinton leading 46-42 Head to Head. They have the Senate race with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) at 47. The Governor race has Chris Sununu (R) leading fellow Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern (D) 45-44.

New York: Marist has Clinton leading Trump 52-31 with Johnson at 7 and Stein at 5.

North Carolina #1 : High Point University has Clinton up 43-42 with Johnson at 10, Sen. Richard Burr (R) leading ex-State Rep. Deborah Ross (D) 45-43, and AG Roy Cooper (D) leading Gov. Pat McCrory (R) 50-41.

North Carolina #2: Breitbart/Gravis has Clinton up 44-43 while Ross leads Burr 49-38 (!/?)

North Carolina #3: Meredith College has Clinton leading Trump 38-35, while Ross leads Burr by the same margin. McCrory leads Cooper 41-39.

Ohio: TargetSmart and William & Mary have Clinton leading Trump 40-37. Sen. Rob Portman (R) leads ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 47-32.

Pennsylvania #1: Harper has Clinton leading Trump 45-43 with Johnson at 8. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) and Gov. Wolf CoS Katie McGinty (D) are tied at 42.

Pennsylvania #2: CNN/ORC has Clinton up 45-44 with Johnson at 6 and Stein at 3. McGinty leads Toomey 49-46.

Pennsylvania #3: Mercyhurst has Clinton leading Trump 42-41 while Toomey leads McGinty 43-42.

Pennsylvania #4: Breitbart/Gravis has Clinton leading Trump 46-43 while McGinty leads Toomey 43-39.

Virginia: Christopher Newport University has Clinton leading Trump 39-33 with Johnson taking 15 (!).

House:

AZ-2: An internal for Rep. Martha McSally (R) has her up 56-37 on ex-State Rep. Matt Heinz (D).

IA-3: An internal for Rep. David Young (R) from the Tarrance Group has him up 52-37 on 2014 IA-4 nominee Jim Mowrer (D) for this Des Moines area seat.

VA-10: An internal for businesswoman Luann Bennett (D) has her trailing Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) 45-41 in this light-red suburban DC-based seat.

State & Local:

WV-Gov, WV-AG: GHY for State Rep. and AG Candidate Doug Reynolds (D) has a survey of the Gov and AG races. Billionaire businessman Jim Justice (D) leads State Sen. Bill Cole (R) 46-33, while AG Patrick Morrisey (R) leads Reynolds 37-36.

VA-Gov ’17, etc.: POS has a survey of next year’s primaries for statewide offices in VA. Ex-RNC chair Ed Gillespie (R) has a clear lead with 38%, far outpacing Rep. Rob Wittman (R) at 12, Prince William CE Corey Stewart (R) at 5, and State Sen. Frank Wagner (R) at 4. The winner will face LG Ralph Northam (D). The survey also tested the LG and AG primaries and find a ton of undecideds: State Sen. Jill Vogel (R) leads State Rep. Glenn Davis (R) 13-12 with State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) trailing at 8. For AG, State Rep. Rob Bell (R) leads prosecutor John Adams (R) 16-11.

146 Comments »

Political Roundup for September 27, 2016

The Debate:  In case you had the benefit of being unconscious last night, the biggest takeaway is that Hillary Clinton got under Donald Trump’s famously thin skin.  Here is a take on the winners and losers from last night as Roll Call put it, someone had to win!

President

Future Debates:  Trump surrogate former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) suggests that Trump not take part in future debates unless he receives reassurances from the moderators.  I am sure that President Putin will provide such things in negotiations as well.  Giuliani’s rant against the non-moderator Lester Holt came just as Trump was saying nice things about Holt.

More Future Debates:  Donald Trump is whining that certain topics were not covered in the debate while tons of negative things were said about him.  It is called debate prep Donald… Hillary brought most of them up on her own to lay traps which you walked right into, let her pour gasoline all over you and then pull out a match.

Libertarian:  Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson stated “We deserve better” after last night’s debate. Yes we do Gary… you need to get your polling above 15%. I am sure if Johnson is in his own reality (besides the real reality and the Trump reality Clinton referred to), but I think Trump and Clinton are great reflections of our political class and society in general.

Trump Campaign:  Donald Trump has a roadmap to winning 270 electoral votes, but he does not have the means of getting there due to a very weak campaign apparatus that is surviving because of the inherent weakness of Clinton as a candidate.

Takeaways:  CNN has 6 takeaways from last night’s debate.  For those who had the benefit of not being conscious during the debate, here is a good start.

Financial Markets: The financial markets view the debate as a Clinton victory with the Mexico Peso gaining ground on the US Dollar and markets abroad being up generally.

Congress

Senate Republicans:  While Senate Republicans have been busy distancing themselves from Donald Trump in various ways, the distancing might be paying dividends as Senate Republicans are being forced to build their own campaign apparatus, which might end up helping Trump.

Indiana: While former Senator Evan Bayh (DC) has been leading in the polls and has a cash on hand advantage, Bayh is now suffering from strong attacks from Republicans on a number of fronts including his lack of time spent in Indiana since he left the Senate and became a lobbyist.

House:  As happens every cycle, candidates seeking higher office often abandon the House of Representatives in the last few months before the election.  The dishonor of missing the most votes this year goes to Representative Loretta Sanchez (D).

WATH:  Two time US Senate candidate Linda McMahon is busy as a fundraiser for Republican causes this cycle despite flushing 8 figures of cash down the toilet in two failed Senate bids.

AZ-Sen/PA-Sen:  In case you needed more evidence that Senator John McCain (R) feels comfortable about his reelection chances, he ventured to Delaware County Pennsylvania to campaign for Senator Pat Toomey (R) in his reelection fight.

 

217 Comments »

2016 Presidential Debate #1 Open Thread

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.

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Afternoon Polling Roundup for September 26, 2016

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…

President-National:

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.

House:

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).

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Political Roundup for September 26th, 2016

We will have a live blog up at 8:00 Eastern for the Presidential debate tonight.

President:

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.

Congress:

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!

Other:

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.