Clinton 323
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Trump 215
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Click for Senate
Dem 48
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Ties 1
GOP 51
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  • Strongly Dem (188)
  • Likely Dem (85)
  • Barely Dem (50)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (66)
  • Likely GOP (71)
  • Strongly GOP (78)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
Dem pickups vs. 2012: NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA OH

Early Voting Favors Clinton in Key States

In a number of key swing states, the early voting clearly favors Hillary Clinton. In Nevada, early voting began on Saturday and as of Tuesday, Democrats had banked a 23,000-vote advantage (15%) of the 150,000 votes already cast. In Colorado, the Democrats also hold a 23,000-vote edge. In Arizona, the Democrats hold a small lead in a state that has voted against the Republican presidential candidate only once in the past 60 years.

In Florida, Latino early voting has almost doubled from 2012. Women in Florida are also casting early ballots in record numbers. In North Carolina, more Republicans have voted early than Democrats, but the lead is appreciably less than it was in 2012. In Texas, voting is surging in counties that are heavily Democratic. In Travis County (Austin), early voting has more than doubled compared to 2012. All in all, the only bright spot for Donald Trump is Iowa, but the Hawkeye State, where Trump is leading in the polls, has only 6 electoral votes. (V)

More National Polls Favor Clinton

Seven more national polls released yesterday show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump, while one shows Donald Trump ahead. In four-way races, Clinton's lead is as follows: Fox news (+3), Ipsos (+4), Suffolk University (+9), AP/GfK (+14), IBD (+1), ABC News (+9), and Rasmussen (+1). Only Bloomberg has Trump ahead (by 2 points). If we average these, we get a Clinton lead of 5 points. (V)

Republicans Abandon Trump, Try to Save Senate

Money speaks louder than words. Officially, Republicans are doing their best to elect Donald Trump, but the money trail tells a different story. A major Republican superPAC is now quietly putting all its resources into saving five Republican senators and trying to capture the open seat in Nevada. Here is the spending since Oct. 19:

GOP Senate spending

All six of these races are basically tossups, with polls going back and forth. Based on the amount of money being spent, Nevada is the Republicans' top priority. In fact, the disparity is greater than it appears since Nevada is a cheap state and North Carolina is an expensive one. Part of the problem in Nevada is that the Senate candidate there, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), has lost support after withdrawing his support for Donald Trump.

For better or worse, buying TV time now is very expensive. There aren't a lot of commercial slots left in the key states, and the networks can pretty much get away with asking for an arm and a leg for the remaining ones. Also, the money now being dumped into the Senate races—some $25 million in all— is coming from superPACs, which have to pay much higher rates than candidates, so while a lot of bucks are involved here, there won't be much bang for them. (V)

Paul Ryan May Be in Big Trouble

At the moment, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is focused entirely on retaining control of the House for the GOP. But even if he is successful in that endeavor (his odds are pretty good), his job as Speaker may not be safe. There is now much grumbling among the members of the House Freedom Caucus that they may refuse to back him for another term, particularly if they are unhappy with the year-end spending bill that Congress must pass before the year is up.

Now, Ryan doesn't actually have any competition yet. Well, no serious competition, at least. Ryan's defeated primary opponent Paul Nehlen, noting that the Speaker doesn't actually have to be a member of Congress, has thrown his hat into the ring. He's not going to win, of course, but a more serious threat could easily materialize at any time in the next two months. And whether Ryan is booted from the Speaker's chair by Nancy Pelosi, or by his own party, or he maintains a tenuous hold on power, it certainly doesn't bode well for his presidential chances in 2020. Perhaps he's beginning to understand why only one Speaker—James K. Polk—has ever become president. And that was way back in 1844, well over 150 years ago. (Z)

Trump Takes Time Off to Publicize His New Hotel

Despite Election Day drawing ever closer, Donald Trump took time out yesterday to tout his new hotel in D.C. Later in the day, he went to North Carolina to hold two rallies. Meanwhile, he sent his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), off to Utah, a state Republicans shouldn't have to campaign in since no Democrat has won it in 52 years. However, this year the Beehive State is a three-way tossup among Trump, Hillary Clinton, and independent conservative candidate Evan McMullin, whose Mormon religion and conservative principles give him a shot at the state's six electoral votes.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton celebrated her 69th birthday yesterday by appearing on Univision and campaigning in Florida. (V)

Trump Says He Will Be Donating to His Campaign

On Tuesday, it was pointed out here and many other places that Donald Trump has donated far less to his campaign than the $100 million he promised, including just $2,500 so far in October, aka "crunch time." Yesterday, when confronted with that information, The Donald insisted to CNN's Dana Bash that he was still sticking with the $100 million plan:

I will have over $100 million in the campaign, and I'm prepared to go much more than that. In the old days, you'd get credit: If you would spend less money and have victory, that would be a good thing. Today, they want you to spend money.

Today, the campaign will have to disclose to the FEC the donations it has received up to October 19. So, it's possible that Trump has donated money in the last week or two that we don't know about. But if he hasn't, then there would seem to be only three possibilities remaining: (1) He's going to dump $45 million or so into what appears to be a lost cause, which does not seem to be his style; or (2) He's going to pull some bookkeeping trickery, like loaning his campaign some more space in Trump Tower and pegging the "value" of that at $30 million/month; or (3) He's going to keep his money, realizing that the next FEC deadline is in December, by which point nobody will care how much he spent. We're betting on number three. (Z)

Trump Attacks Obamacare

With the recent announcement that many insurance companies are raising their premiums on the Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, Donald Trump was handed a gift. He railed against the health insurance law, saying that it would kill small businesses.

His argument is certainly a valid one, but it might have been stronger had he not also said that all the employees at his Doral, FL, golf course were having "tremendous problems" with it. Shortly after he spoke, the general manager of the property, David Feder, said that 99% of the employees were insured using a company group plan and were not using Obamacare. (V)

Trump May Be Causing Irreparable Damage with Women

Increasingly, many Republican women are worried that the damage Donald Trump is causing with women may last a long time. Katie Packer, a deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012 said: "I think the leaders in our party are going to have to aggressively reject this. Come November 9, they better be prepared to make very strong statements condemning all of Trump's behavior." Sen Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said earlier this month that she "cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women." Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said: "Donald Trump does not represent me or my party." Condoleezza Rice wrote on Facebook: "Enough. Donald Trump should not be president." Conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter said: "If the GOP has truly convinced itself that openly engaging in sexual assault fantasies is something normal that men do among one another, I have a suggestion. Relocate the Republican National Committee headquarters into a men's-only locker room." Nicolle Wallace, former communications chief for George W. Bush tweeted that Republicans are now "engaged in a hot war against women that will end badly." The list goes on and on. Unless the Republicans change course soon after the election, they may lose educated women for years to come. (V)

Women Officeholders Poised to Make Big Gains on Election Day

At the same time that women voters may be fleeing the GOP, women politicians, particularly of the Democratic sort, appear to be doing quite well. The United States is looking like it will have its first female president, of course, but it could go considerably further than that, particularly in the halls of Congress. In the Senate, the number of women is very likely to be an all-time high (anything above 20), and could get as high as 25. The new additions are expected to include at least two women of color: Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and California Attorney General Kamala Harris—and could possibly include a third in Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. To date, only two women of color have ever served in the U.S. Senate (Illinois' Carol Moseley Braun from 1993-99 and Hawaii's Mazie Hirono from 2013-present). In the House, women are likely to be at least 20% of the body (another record) and could get close to 25% depending on how things break. Of course, if the Democrats retake control of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will again be elevated to the Speakership.

The success of women candidates is due, in large part, to 2016 turning into a Democratic kind of year (it would seem). However, it is also by design—Hillary Clinton has been working closely with the superPAC EMILY's List, which works to elect female Democrats, for over a year. Not surprisingly, most of the women who look poised to win their elections see their success as the best possible repudiation of Donald Trump. Observes Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), "Get this, Donald: Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart, and nasty women vote." (Z)

WikiLeaks Dump Shows Clintons May Have Profited from Foundation

A memo written in 2011 by Bill Clinton's aide Douglas Band suggests that Band solicited money for the Clinton Foundation from top-tier corporations while also arranging for them to give Bill Clinton personal consulting contracts. His plan apparently worked, raising $8 million for the foundation and $3 million in speaking fees for Clinton. The leaked memos also show that Chelsea Clinton was horrified when she found out that this was going on, and that she was one of the people who helped erect walls between the foundation's activities and her father's.

Republicans are trying to make hay of this, of course, but there is no suggestion that the companies got anything other than access to Bill Clinton. He didn't actually do anything for them. In fact, since he didn't hold public office at the time, there was little he could have done, other than possibly put them in contact with other influential people. But the leaked documents don't have any evidence or suggestions that he did even that. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

New Hampshire is all over the place; it's not easy to poll small, quirky states. Meanwhile, we're not quite buying that Florida poll yet. Ann Selzer's very good, but her wheelhouse is the Midwest, not the South. (Z)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Florida 43% 45% 4% Oct 21 Oct 24 Selzer
Louisiana 35% 50% 5% Oct 19 Oct 21 Opinion Research
Montana 27% 43% 7% Oct 03 Oct 10 Montana State U.
New Hampshire 45% 36% 10% Oct 20 Oct 24 Marist Coll.
New Hampshire 46% 42% 7% Oct 22 Oct 25 Monmouth U.
Nevada 43% 43% 10% Oct 20 Oct 24 Marist Coll.
Texas 38% 45% 7% Oct 22 Oct 24 Pulse Opinion Research
Utah 28% 32% 4% Oct 23 Oct 24 Rasmussen
Vermont 50% 22% 7% Oct 19 Oct 22 Braun Research
Wyoming 20% 58% 9% Oct 05 Oct 11 U. of Wyoming

Today's Senate Polls

As was the case yesterday, it's clear that Nevada, New Hampshire, and two or three others are close enough to be within the margin of error, which means we're just going to have to wait until election night. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Florida Patrick Murphy 41% Marco Rubio* 45% Oct 20 Oct 24 SurveyUSA
Florida Patrick Murphy 41% Marco Rubio* 51% Oct 21 Oct 24 Selzer
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 46% Kelly Ayotte* 46% Oct 22 Oct 25 Monmouth U.
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 47% Kelly Ayotte* 48% Oct 20 Oct 24 Marist Coll.
Nevada Catherine Cortez-Masto 42% Joe Heck 49% Oct 20 Oct 24 Marist Coll.
Nevada Catherine Cortez Masto 45% Joe Heck 44% Oct 20 Oct 23 Bendixen
Utah Misty Snow 22% Mike Lee* 61% Oct 12 Oct 18 Dan Jones
Vermont Patrick Leahy* 64% Scott Milne 29% Oct 19 Oct 22 Braun Research

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct26 Florida Is Slipping Away from Trump
Oct26 Powell's with Her
Oct26 Trump Received $17 Million from Insurance Company after Minor Damage to Mar-a-Lago
Oct26 Trump Hasn't Put the $100 Million He Promised into His Campaign
Oct26 Trump Launches Nightly Facebook Newscast
Oct26 Trump Stops Fundraising for the RNC
Oct26 Conway: I Can't Take Away a Grown Man's Twitter Account
Oct26 Trump Wants to Fight Biden
Oct26 Donald Trump Once Hosted Scandalous Parties
Oct26 Murphy in Hot Water Because of Trump Connection
Oct26 Democrats Fighting over Rubio
Oct25 Clinton Gets a Surprise $35 Million Donation
Oct25 North Carolina Voters Could Doom Joe Heck
Oct25 Native Americans Could Play a Big Role in Arizona
Oct25 Everyone is Piling on Trump Now
Oct25 Trump Makes a Last-Minute Push for Virginia
Oct25 Trump Says Polls Are Biased
Oct25 So Much for Wikileaks?
Oct25 Rick Scott's Move Backfires
Oct25 Clinton Has Three Times as Many People on the Ground as Trump
Oct25 New National Polls Are Far Apart
Oct25 Juan Williams Is Threatened by Trump Supporters
Oct25 Clinton's Transition Team Has a Problem
Oct25 How To Get a Top Job in a Potential Clinton Administration
Oct25 Joe Biden Talks About Post-Election Plans
Oct25 Crapo Scratches His Unendorsement
Oct24 Clinton Is Running Ahead of Obama 2012
Oct24 ABC News Poll Gives Clinton Double-digit Lead
Oct24 Trump Campaign Admits It Is Behind
Oct24 Priebus, Son Eric Both Say Trump Will Concede if Election Is Fair
Oct24 Trump Creates a Different Kind of Headache for Some Republicans
Oct24 Luntz: 2016 Should Have Been Slam Dunk for GOP
Oct24 Trump Finally Gets a Major Newspaper Endorsement
Oct24 Clinton's SuperPAC Starts Advertising in Senate Races
Oct24 Clinton Campaigns with McGinty in Pennsylvania
Oct24 Clinton Ally Contributed to Campaign of FBI Official
Oct24 Cheney Looks to Be Headed to Washington
Oct24 Don't Attach Too Much Meaning to Social Media
Oct24 Liberals Nervous about Secretary of the Treasury Sheryl Sandberg
Oct23 Trump Delivers Gettysburg Address; Republicans Prepare for Civil War
Oct23 Clinton Begins Helping Senate and House Candidates
Oct23 What It's Like to Be a Target of Trump Supporters
Oct23 Clinton Is Getting Serious about Utah
Oct23 Did Trump Try Pay to Play with a Woman?
Oct23 Adelson Fed Up with Trump
Oct23 Trump Could Run Nixon's Playbook on November 9
Oct23 Voter Fraud in Indiana?
Oct23 Log Cabin Republicans Reject Trump
Oct23 Elections Really Were Rigged--Long Ago
Oct23 Professors Sticking By Models, Predictions of Trump Victory