Afternoon Polling Roundup for August 25, 2016

Before I get into the polls for this afternoon, let me editorialize a little and say that it’s hard to imagine how lucky you must feel if you’re Hillary Clinton. Tarred by scandal, rejected by 40% of your party, in the midst of a pay-to-play blow up, and your opponent just can’t help himself but undermine his very own base by waffling on his signature issue. It would be hard not to wake up every day, knowing that there’s a deity smiling on you.


Approval: The RCP average now has President Obama above water at 6.6 points. The average even includes two polls that have him under water at -5 and -6. Clearly, the President is enjoying a renaissance of good feelings compared to the current presidential candidates. That’s in contrast to the RCP right track/wrong track average, which stands at -36.

Presidential Polls:

Michigan: Clinton 44, Trump 37, Johnson 5, Stein 3. Not too bad for Trump. But a narrow loss is still a loss.

Reuters: 42-35 straight up, only 39-36 when Johnson and Stein are included. (Trump apparently goes UP a point when more options are included).

Rasmussen: 42-38-9-2. You don’t even need me to tell you what order the candidates are listed in by now.

Quinnipiac: 51-41 straight up, 45-38-10-4 with the whole crew.

LA Times: Trump fans can find refuge in the LA Times tracker, which has it at 44-44, tied. I’m thinking that this may be the outlier around here.


NC-Gov: Two polls show Republican incumbent Pat McCrory way down. CNN has him losing to Democrat Roy Cooper 52-46. Monmouth has it hat 52-43, which is slightly worse. I’m not sure any of the other moderators put this race at Lean D in our Governor’s rankings last week, or if I was the only one.


AZ-Sen: Good result for McCain here, leading Ann Kirkpatrick 52-39. Nothing better than beating the Congressman who challenges you and then having your party pick up the seat.

FL-Sen: Murphy over Grayson 55-22. (Does Grayson run for his current House seat in 2018?) Rubio over Beruff 61-22. Rubio over Murphy 46-43, which is a little tight, but I’m not too worried here.

NC-Sen: CNN has Burr up 5. Monmouth has Burr up only 2.


Generic Ballot: Hidden on Page 13 of the Reuters poll above is a generic ballot question. Dems lead 43-36, but get a load of the independents in the poll:

Will vote Dem: 16

Will vote GOP: 24

Third party: 16

Won’t vote: 6

Don’t know/Refused: 38

Clearly there’s a lot of volatility out there that could affect the House races this cycle.

And in non-polling news, here is the saddest book release party you’ll ever see. (Ann Coulter on the night Trump “softens” on immigration).



Political Roundup for August 25, 2016

Only 75 days until Election Day!


Trump: A person waking up today from a 2 year coma will discover that in an effort to appeal Hispanic voters the GOP nominated the pro-immigration amnesty advocate Donald Trump as their presidential candidate and that for some strange reason the GOP presidential candidate is campaigning in Mississippi in August.

Trump: The speechwriter for Melania Trump’s plagiarized Republican National Convention address was paid just $356.01 for her work. That is less money than the Trump campaign spent on a trip they made to a One Hour Framing store. No word yet on how much of that $356.01 needs to be paid out to Michelle Obama in royalties.

Johnson: A super PAC supporting Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is spending $1 million on a national TV ad supporting the former New Mexico governor in the hopes of raising his poll numbers enough to get Gary Johnson included in the Presidential debates.

Stein: Green Party candidate Jill Stein has qualified for the ballot in Missouri, Ohio and Kansas. This will be the 1st time since 2000 that a Green Party candidate will be on the ballot in Missouri. The Green Party will also be fielding a Senate and Gubernatorial candidate in Missouri as well.

McMullin: Better for America, the #NeverTrump group that wanted to get ballot access for a 3rd party conservative challenger, has folded. Without the support of Better for America it will be very difficult for McMullin to get on additional state ballots. So far McMullin has made the ballot in only five states, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota and Utah and has missed the ballot deadlines in states with a combined 390 electoral votes; Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.


NH-Gov: Chris Sununu (R) released his 2nd TV ad ahead of the September 13th GOP primary. In the ad Sununu talks about the tough choices police officers have to make and promises to have their back as Governor.


IL-Sen: Double amputee Tammy Duckworth (D) was been subtly making the health of Sen Mark Kirk (R) a campaign issue. Duckworth recently said that Kirk, who suffered a stroke in 2012, “lacks the ability to control what he’s saying”.

IN-Sen: The SEC has fined the private-equity firm where former Sen. Evan Bayh (D) is a senior adviser a record $52.7 million.

WV-Sen: Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) daughter, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, is the person responsible for raising the price of EpiPens by 400%. The very negative publicity the massive EpiPen price hike is getting is creating political headaches for Manchin because clearly this was not what people meant when they were saying “Keep Manchin in the Mansion”.


NY-19: Former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso’s (R) 1st general election TV campaign for this open R+0 seat focuses on his frugality and features him turning down the thermostat in his home.

NY-24: The GOP backed Congressional Leadership Fund is spending $800,000 to help the re-election of freshman Rep. John Katko (R) in the D+5 district. The Democrat aligned House Majority PAC has already spent $371,621 to help his Democrat opponent Colleen Deacon. Katko has been a very good fundraiser and his sitting on about $1.4 million Cash on Hand.

State, Local & Other:

MD-redistricting: By a 2-1 vote a Federal Court is allowing a challenge to the partisan gerrymandering of Maryland’s congressional districts to go forward.

Cormorant, MN-Mayor: For anyone doubting the power of a write-in candidacy, the small town of Cormorant, MN has re-elected a Great Pyrenees dog named Duke as their town’s mayor. Duke was 1st elected Mayor as a write-in in 2014 beating a human opponent.


Afternoon Polling Roundup for August 24, 2016


National: Reuters/Ipsos has Clinton 41, Trump 33 in a 4-way race, and Clinton 45, Trump 33 in a 2-way.

More National: Economist/Yougov has Clinton 42, Trump 38 in a 4-way race.

Florida: A St. Leo University Poll has Clinton 52, Trump 38 in a 4-way race.

More Florida: Florida Atlantic University has Trump 43, Clinton 41. A 16 point difference between two polls.

Missouri: Monmouth has Trump 44, Clinton 43 in a 4-way race.

New Mexico: PPP has Clinton 40, Trump 31, Johnson 16, Stein 4.

South Carolina: An internal poll taken for the SC Democratic Party has Trump 45, Clinton 43 in a 2-way and the two tied at 39 in a 4-way.

Utah: PPP has Trump 39, Clinton 24, Johnson 12, McMullin 9.

Virginia: Roanoke College has Clinton 48, Trump 32 in a 4-way matchup, and Clinton 55, Trump 36 in a 2-way. One caveat: Roanoke College has had some pretty bad polls in VA in the past-their final 2012 poll had Romney +5.


FL-Sen: St. Leo University has Rubio 46, Murphy 38. He leads Grayson 47-34. Both Rubio and Murphy have wide leads in their primaries.

More FL-Sen: Florida Atlantic University has Rubio 44, Murphy 39

MO-Sen: Monmouth has Blunt 48, Kander 43.

State races:

MO-Gov: Monmouth has Koster 51, Greitens 40.

NM-SOS: PPP has Toulouse Oliver (D) 42, Espinoza (R) 35


Political Roundup For Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Good morning everyone. Pour some wine out for your homies on Vesuvius Day, which marks the anniversary of the destruction of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in 79 A.D.

Presidential News:

Clinton: It turns out that Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, had quite a pattern of meeting with Clinton Foundation donors. While the evidence of “pay to play” is only circumstantial, even liberals are admitting that the facts don’t look good. And Trump doesn’t necessarily need to win disaffected Clinton voters. Getting them to stay home is a half victory.

Romney Donors: Clinton is making a concerted effort to reach out to large Romney donors for cash and support. Obviously Clinton likes the money and the press from gaining big Romney folks, but the pitch to donors that they can only save the GOP by electing Hillary is a ruse. My sense is that Clinton is dog-whistling here, and that the message is that if these donors want political appointments or federal judgeships, they ought to recognize that they need to play the game.

Colorado: (No link) A source within the Trump campaign tells me they have an internal showing them down only 2 or 3 points to Hillary Clinton, depending on whether Johnson and Stein are included in the poll. Take with a grain of salt, given the source and the rough 6-point rule on internal polls.


MO-Gov: Democrat Koster is pulling away from recent GOP primary winner Greitens. Republicans are starting to feel a little skeptical about this race.


AZ-Sen: This is a good piece about McCain making the moves toward winning in 2016. He knows he needs to be less dour, and more personable. McCain should win his primary, and his race against Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will be close but he should pull it out.

NC-Sen: GOP incumbent Richard Burr has a new ad out touting his support for education for poor and at-risk youth. Naturally, Democrat Deborah Ross counters that she would be even better on education issues, given the amount of money Democrats are willing to always spend.

NH-Sen: The Manshester Union Leader says both Ayotte and Hassan should abandon their parties’ presidential nominees. Easier said than done. While Ayotte has put distance between herself and Trump, Hassan has decided to go all in on Clinton.

FL-Sen: Republican candidate Carlos Beruff is not going quietly into that good night. Over the course of the campaign, he’s loaned himself about $8 million. Of course, Beruff can pay himself back out of campaign contributions from others, and anything unspent can be returned to him personally.


FL-23: A new poll has Debbie Wasserman Schultz leading her Sanderista opponent Tim Canova only 50-40. With one week to go before the election, Canova is within striking distance of DWS. A strong endorsement–and maybe a personal appearance–from Bernie Sanders could make a big difference.


Facebook ads: In case you want to know how Facebook is targeting you for its advertisers, you can figure out if it thinks you’re a liberal, moderate, or conservative. Me? I got “very conservative.”

Louisiana Flood: The President finally traveled to Louisiana to see flood-ravaged areas. Too little, too late. The damage has been done and the comparisons to President Bush’s handling of Katrina will continue. Obama even praised his FEMA chief, in a weird flashback to “heck of  a job Brownie.”

John Oliver: This piece from Last Week Tonight urging Trump to drop out of the presidential race is pretty funny. Worth a watch.


Oklahoma Runoff Preview & Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

Today there is a primary runoff in Oklahoma; while no high-level races are up for grabs, there are a handful of legislative seats, for which we offer previews here. Polls close at 8p ET but there isn’t enough to liveblog. As these races probably won’t generate much additional discussion, feel free to use this thread as a general discussion thread for this afternoon as well.


Oklahoma State Senate:

OK-SD-13 (R) is an open D-held R+22 seat around Ada and Pauls Valley. Rancher Jet McCoy (R), who appeared on The Amazing Race, led ex-Ada Mayor Greg McCortney (R) 44-38 in the first round and looks like a moderate favorite in the runoff; the winner will face teacher Eric Hall (D).
OK-SD-19 (R) is an open R+29 seat around Enid. Farmer Roland Pederson (R) led physician Ross Vanhooser (R) 49-40 in the first round and should be favored today.
OK-SD-23 (R) is an open R+23 seat in the western OKC exurbs around Chickasha and El Reno. Former Tuttle Mayor Lonnie Paxton (R) came 1% shy of winning outright in June and looks favored over attorney Matt Stacy (R), who took 38%.
OK-SD-25 (R) is an open R+26 seat in southern Tulsa and suburbs near Bixby. School board member Lisa Kramer (R) led realtor Joe Newhouse (R) 35-29 in the first round; as Newhouse is on better terms with the conservative base there is no clear favorite today.
OK-SD-31 (R) is an open R+19 seat covering southeast Lawton and rural areas to the South. Teacher Toni Hasenbeck (R), who ran for the legislature as a D in 2014, led Farm Bureau official Chris Kidd (R) 41-38 in the first round. As Kidd has more GOP institutional support he looks like a slight favorite with the smaller electorate.
OK-SD-39 (R) is an open R+13 seat in central Tulsa. Former University of Tulsa football coach Dave Rader (R) is the better-known candidate and led the first round with 40%; he is probably favored over nonprofit exec Amanda Teegarden (R), who took 25% in June.
OK-SD-41 (R) is an open R+25 seat covering Edmond in the northern OKC suburbs. Former NFL player and pastor Paul Blair (R), who narrowly lost a 2012 race for this seat to the prior incumbent, surprisingly came in second with 45% in June as veteran Adam Pugh (R) fell 15 votes shy of winning outright. Blair, a member of the John Birch Society (yes, it still exists), is running to Pugh’s right and may have an energized voter base though, so there is no clear favorite.

Oklahoma State House:

OK-LD-8 (R) is an open D-held R+22 seat around Pryor in the eastern Tulsa exurbs. School board member Tom Gann (R) led physician Steven Dill (R) 33-31 in the first round and there is no clear favorite today. The winner will face ex-Pryor councilman Darrell Moore (D) in the general.
OK-LD-16 (D) is an open D-held R+13 seat covering the east side of Okmulgee in the southern Tulsa exurbs. Tradesman Ronnie Kell (D) led liberal businesswoman Anna Dearmore (D) 43-31 in June and is probably favored today. The winner will face businessman Scott Fetgatter (R).
OK-LD-60 (R) is an open R+25 seat in western OKC exurbs around El Reno. Two teachers are facing off: Rhonda Baker (R) led Chad Slane (R) 48-38 in June and looks favored today.
OK-LD-67 (R) is an open R+28 seat in southern Tulsa. Attorney Scott McEachin (R) led businessman Tom McCloud (R) 40-35 in June and there is no clear favorite in the runoff.
OK-LD-85 (R) is a D-held R+13 seat around Lake Hefner in northwest OKC. Two Republicans are vying to take on incumbent Cyndi Munson (D), who won a 2015 special election in a surprise. Oklahoma County GOP chair and 2015 candidate Matt Jackson (R) led PR specialist Robyn Matthews (R) 47-35 in June and looks favored today.
OK-LD-97 (D) is an open D+22 seat in majority-black areas of northeast OKC. Attorney Jason Lowe (D) looks like the favorite over school board member Chris Harrison (D) after leading 46-25 in June.

There is also one special election, for MS-LD-72, a D+20 seat in northwestern Jackson and southern Madison County. Four candidates are running in the Louisiana Rules Top Two format; parties are not listed on the ballot but all four seem to be Dems. Jackson mayoral staffer Synarus Green (D) and state official Debra Gibbs (D) look like the front-runners and likely head to a runoff, but businesswomen Shae Buchanon-Williams (D) and Theresa Kennedy (D) are also running.


Political Roundup For Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Good morning everyone. Happy Cuban Sandwich Day.

Presidential News:

Clinton/Trump: On Monday, Trump did a fair job hitting Hillary on her email scandal, using the FBI’s discovery of 15,000 new emails that were never produced and the fact that Colin Powell won’t take a bullet for Clinton against her.

Judicial Watch: Conservative organization Judicial Watch released a treasure trove of over 700 emails yesterday, many of which show cozy relationships between Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State and Clinton Foundation donors. Busted!

Huma: It also appears that Clinton aide Huma Abedin left classified materials in the front seat of her vehicle in India. Whoops!

Trump sick?: Trump has cancelled events in Colorado, Nevada, and … Oregon for this week. It’s a little strange, the speculation is that Trump must be sick. Hopefully his health is ok.

Johnson: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson isn’t much of a libertarian. He’s now endorsed a carbon tax as a means of stopping carbon emissions and tackling global warming. While there is disagreement as to whether taxes are a legitimate part of a libertarian utopia, there aren’t many who suggest that new taxes are a good way of paternalistically changing social and commercial behavior. Frankly, Johnson is just a moderate, not a libertarian.

McMullin: Surprisingly, independent candidate Evan McMullin failed to turn in the required 275 signatures necessary to get onto the Tennessee ballot. This seems like a low threshold to miss.


FL-Sen: (No Link) While Senator Marco Rubio has a significant cash advantage over his potential opponents Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson, he isn’t letting up, and has had Rep. Trey Gowdy–who enjoys near universal popularity among the GOP base–cut several fundraising emails for him. One I received yesterday informed me that “Democrats are eyeing Florida as the key to winning back the Senate.” I mean, it isn’t false necessarily. I just wouldn’t prioritize money going to Florida at this point, when New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are on the edge.

NH-Sen: Ayotte comfortably says that Trump isn’t always honest and trustworthy, compared to Governor Hassan, who is all in with Hillary, and somehow does feel comfortable saying Clinton is honest and trustworthy.

MD-Sen: Here’s a recent article wondering if the Republican candidate, Delegate Kathy Szeliga, can win the Senate race against Democrat Chris Van Hollen. I like their optimism! Unfortunately this one is outside of reach.

IL-Sen/PA-Sen: Gabby Giffords’ PAC–Americans for Responsible Gun Solutions–endorsed Illinois Republican Mark Kirk and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey yesterday. Somewhat surprising, since both Republicans would presumably vote to keep Mitch McConnell as majority leader.  McGinty’s campaign questioned the judgment of the Toomey endorsement.


FL-18: Veteran Brian Mast’s campaign touted a poll showing him way ahead of the primary field. I was in the district a few weeks ago and definitely perceived Mast to have the greatest sign/campaign presence in the area. I concur that the poll “feels” right to me.

FL-19: Dan Bongino got into a heated spat with Politico reporter Marc Caputo. Bongino obviously lost his cool but clearly Caputo was trying to bait him. Why take the bait when you know you’re being recorded though?


FEC violation: Credit where it’s due on this one to Huffington Post, even though I despise the “disclaimer” at the bottom of their articles on Trump. It appears Trump has jacked up the rent that his own properties are charging his campaign, now that his campaign is getting money from donors. This is a big no-no in campaign finance law. You can rent some of your own properties to your campaign, but only at the fair market value. Anything higher and you’re impermissibly using campaign contributions for personal gain. Expect to see an FEC complaint filed against Trump soon, if the numbers are accurate.


Afternoon Polling Roundup for August 22, 2016

President & National:

Reuters: Clinton 41 Trump 34 Johnson 7. Clinton leads Trump 42-34 in the head to head.

ARG: Clinton 47 Trump 42 head to head.

Ohio/Iowa: CBS/YouGov has Clinton up 46-40 in Ohio and the two tied 40-40 in Iowa.

More Ohio: Monmouth has Clinton up 43-39 on Trump with Johnson at 10.

North Carolina: Gravis has Trump up 39-38 in NC.

South Carolina: Gravis has Trump up 41-37 in SC.

Alaska: Ivan Moore has Trump up 39-30 in Alaska with 16% going to Gary Johnson.


CO-Sen, IA-Sen: Quinnipiac tests both of these swing-state Senate races and they find the incumbents leading. In Colorado they find Sen. Michael Bennet (D) up 54-38 on El Paso County commissioner Darrell Glenn (R), and in Iowa they find Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) leading ex-LG Patty Judge (D) 51-42.

IN-Sen: Another internal for ex-Sen. Evan Bayh (D) shows him up 55-39 on Rep. Todd Young (R). The sheer volume of Dem internals being released in this race suggests to me that Bayh’s standing is probably getting worse and they’re trying to get Republicans to give up on Young before the race starts looking competitive.

FL-23: A poll from the Sun-Sentinel and Florida Atlantic University shows Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D) up 50-40 on law professor Tim Canova (D).


Political Roundup for August 22, 2016

Greetings from suburban Des Moines where it is nice to be on soil of a state which rejected both of the populist insurgencies during this primary season.


Early Voting:  The election starts on September 8 when voters who request a ballot in North Carolina can receive one by mail.  That is approximately 60 days from election day!

Students for Trump: Trump’s college student following appears to be completely organic in existence as the candidate and campaign refuse to acknowledge its existence.  Maybe Trump associates anything involving college students as not fitting his working class white identity politics mania.

Stein:  Green Party candidate Jill Stein is campaigning on being a moral compass for America.  Was her desire to be a moral compass before or after she decided to embrace the vaccine truthers?

Clinton-Fundraising:  Hillary Clinton is half way to her $1 billion fundraising goal.

Trump-Immigration:  Apparently Trump is considering a flipflop on amnesty. Cue Nelson Muntz…


Dumping Trump:  Congressional Republicans are looking at ways to dump Trump and advocate their candidates as a strong check on the presumptive President Hillary Clinton.  While I think Trump has tarnished the Republican brand in suburbia, it is not a bad idea to at least trying to stop Trump.

DNC Fundraising: The DNC raised $32.4 million in July, which is over 3 times the amount it raised in July 2012.  $14.9 million of it was raised for the Democratic National Convention and other designated accounts though.

RNC Fundraising:  The RNC raised $27.2 million in July, which is less than the $37.7 million raised in July 2012.  $9 million of it was raised for the Republican National Convention and other designated accounts though.

CA-Sen:  The LA Times looks at why Representative Loretta Sanchez is having a hard time gaining traction in the Democrat vs. Democrat US Senate race with California Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Sanchez has been MIA most of August while staffers say she has been preoccupied with fundraising.

PA-Sen:  The Hill looks at the impact the presidential race is having on the state’s US Senate race.  Senator Pat Toomey was running comfortably ahead of his challenger Katie McGinty until about a month ago.

IN-Sen:  Former Senator/lobbyist Evan Bayh has been determined to be an inactive voter.  So much for living and caring about Indiana while living in DC as a lobbyist.



RRH Elections August 2016 Gubernatorial Rankings

Today we present our latest round of gubernatorial rankings. Here is this month’s map:

Safe D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Safe R
OR (K. Brown)
WA (Inslee)
MT (Bullock)
NJ (’17, OPEN)
NC (McCrory)
VA (’17, OPEN)
UT (Herbert)

Bold denotes a seat we project to flip partisan control. Italics denotes a D-held Tossup Seat.

RRH Elections has made the following change to our gubernatorial ratings since our last update in May, in Democrats’ favor:

Indiana Tossup from Lean R

These changes mean we are projecting a net shift in gubernatorial seats of between R+3 and D+2 in 2016 and between R+3 and D+3 in 2016 and 2017 together.

Flip over for the full narratives!

Continue Reading


Weekend Open Thread for August 19-21, 2016

As the runaway train known as this electoral cycle careens towards Labor Day, it is time for this weekend’s open thread. Please check back tomorrow at Noon for our latest gubernatorial rankings.

(1)  If elected president, who would Donald Trump’s principal global allies be (besides Uncle Vlad and his former Soviet state sycophants)?

(2) What foreign elections are you watching at the moment?

(3) Which House races do you consider sleeper races right now?

And because it is the weekend…..we give a look at Donald Trump’s 1st TV ad HERE