Clinton 334
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Trump 204
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Click for Senate
Dem 50
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Ties 1
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (192)
  • Likely Dem (87)
  • Barely Dem (55)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (87)
  • Likely GOP (36)
  • Strongly GOP (81)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: AR IL MN NC NV WA
Dem pickups vs. 2012: AZ NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA OH

Clinton Gets a Surprise $35 Million Donation

Silicon Valley has no use for Donald Trump. We saw that again yesterday when a relatively unknown billionaire, Dustin Moskovitz, wrote Hillary Clinton another check. This one was for $15 million. The one a few weeks ago was for $20 million. This is starting to get into serious money, although to Moskovitz, who cofounded Facebook and is worth an estimated $13 billion, it's not that big. There was no hint before September that he was especially interested in politics, but apparently he is. Democrats are hoping that he and his friends in Silicon Valley can be their answer to the Koch brothers. In any event, the $35 million will come in handy in the next two weeks. (V)

North Carolina Voters Could Doom Joe Heck

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) could lose his bid for the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) as a result of events 2,000 miles to the east. It works like this: Katy Perry's glamour, Tom Steyer's money, Univision's megaphone, and organized labor's muscle are all pushing Nevada Democrats hard to vote early. President Obama showed up in the Silver State Sunday to make the same point, and the Democrats have a massive ground game, with volunteers going door to door to get people to vote early, especially Latinos who are registered but don't always vote. The Democrats are also working the Catholic churches that many Latinos attend. In short, the Democrats have a huge ground game in Nevada and the Republicans have almost nothing. As of Saturday evening, 39,000 people had already voted in Clark County (Las Vegas), compared to 33,000 in 2012 at this point. Of those, 55% were registered Democrats and 27% were registered Republicans.

All is not hopeless for Joe Heck and the Republicans, however, because Republican voters tend to vote on Election Day rather than in advance and he could easily even the score then. But this is where North Carolina comes in. The polls close there at 7:30 EST (4:30 p.m. PST). The Nevada polls are open for another 2½ hours and many people normally vote after work. What if the networks call North Carolina's 15 EVs for Clinton a few minutes after the polls close in North Carolina and they have already called Virginia's 13 EVs for her? Together with the 242 EVs in the "blue wall," the show's over, even if the networks don't say so explicitly. The consequence of Clinton wins in Virginia and North Carolina could be that many Republican voters in Nevada become discouraged and decide not to stand in line to vote when they already know the results of the presidential election and are not in a good mood about it. This could greatly depress Nevada voting after 4:30 p.m. And remember, the Democrats are going to have a huge lead in all races at that point on account of the early voting, so if few people show up after North Carolina is called, Clinton and Catherine Cortez Masto are likely to win.

What holds for North Carolina also holds for Florida, except that Florida is a big, complicated state with a history of voting problems, so it is much more likely that North Carolina will be called before Florida. (V)

Native Americans Could Play a Big Role in Arizona

Navajo Nation, the largest tribe of Native Americans in the country, is about 100,000 strong in Arizona. The members are American citizens and can vote in elections. The Clinton campaign is making a big effort to reach out to them to get their votes. In particular, the president of Navajo Nation, Russell Begaye, has endorsed Clinton and will work with her campaign to encourage his people to vote for her. Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez also has endorsed Clinton. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is popular with the group and recently visited Arizona to campaign for Clinton, especially aiming at Native Americans in Flagstaff. In a close election, heavy turnout of Native Americans could be just enough to turn the state blue for only the second time in 60 years. (V)

Everyone is Piling on Trump Now

The media was noticeably gentle with Donald Trump earlier in the campaign, but in the last few weeks or so, a switch has been flipped. More generous analysts would say that Matt Lauer's town hall, and the hypercritical feedback he got afterward, made it OK to go after Trump. Less generous ones might observe that the media won't be able to use Trump to sell papers/attract viewers/attract listeners/generate clicks for much longer anyhow, so it's no longer necessary to play ball with The Donald. Whatever the reason may be, many outlets are now letting Trump have it with both barrels.

Take for example, The New York Times. Prior to the conventions, they were so friendly to Trump and so critical of Clinton (the latter a longstanding tendency) that one might have been forgiven for mistaking The Gray Lady for a right-leaning publication, like the New York Post. But now, not a day goes by that they don't take a shot at The Donald, and Monday saw the pièce de résistance: A double truck (center spread; two full pages) devoted to documenting all the people, places, and things Trump has insulted on Twitter since the campaign began. The page is so dense with type, it looks like the Unabomber's manifesto.

Similarly, the late night hosts have also shifted gears. Several of them, most notably NBC's Jimmy Fallon, were criticized for going too easy on Trump, but that's not a problem any more. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel had President Obama on his show on Monday, for example, and both men took no prisoners when it came to the GOP nominee. Obama, for example, read a "mean tweet" from Trump: "Obama will go down as the worst President in history on many topics but especially foreign policy." The president's reply: "Well @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president." Kimmel, for his part, lampooned Trump's debate performance, and guessed (correctly) that Obama was laughing much of the time. Needless to say, Trump is not going to be happy with any of this, and will probably be threatening lawsuits when he awakens on Tuesday morning. (Z)

Trump Makes a Last-Minute Push for Virginia

Donald Trump is making a last-minute effort to win Virginia. He is spending $2 million on television ads in the coming two weeks. In addition, he campaigned in Virginia Beach over the weekend, and his children are set to campaign for him this week. Republican strategists are flabbergasted. They long ago wrote off Virginia, a state where Hillary Clinton has had huge leads in all the polls for weeks. One GOP strategist, Tucker Martin, tweeted: "He's at 29% in Va. Which is what you would get if you got nominated, burnt down Monticello, and then went on vacation until November." Another Republican strategist, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I think it's an absolute joke, the notion that he would continue to make a pitch for Virginia. It is the most unprofessional campaign in modern presidential history. Don't assume there's a strategy." Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said there was no use trying to explain it. Most strategists feel that Trump would be far better off putting everything he has into Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. (V)

Trump Says Polls Are Biased

At a rally in Florida yesterday, Donald Trump said that the national polls showing Hillary Clinton leading are biased because their samples contain more Democrats than Republicans. He called it "voter suppression," a trick dreamed up by the Democrats to demoralize his voters and have them stay home on Election Day. Trump's remark about there being more Democrats than Republicans is true, but not because pollsters are in cahoots with Democrats. The country simply has more Democrats than Republicans, so a a truly random poll will reflect that. In 2012, exit polls showed that the electorate had 38% Democrats and 32% Republicans. The 2008 exit polls showed something similar. In 2004, the parties were even. The reality is that the country has become more Democratic since 2004, in part due to demographic changes in the population, and in part due to older voters, who skew Republican, dying off and being replaced by younger voters, who skew Democratic. (V)

So Much for Wikileaks?

Bill Scher, writing for RealClearPolitics, has an interesting item on Wikileaks in which he wonders why the e-mail dump didn't hurt Hillary Clinton more (certainly, nowhere near as much as Julian Assange, Roger Stone, et al. were hoping). His primary answer to this question is that Donald Trump has no ability to stay out of the headlines, and to let an opponent twist in the wind. And so, The Donald spent much time while the Wikileaks story was fresh engaging in verbal battles with female accusers. That dominated the headlines, and took the oxygen out of the e-mail dump. A second, somewhat lesser, reason is that the e-mails ultimately weren't that shocking—they merely confirmed what we suspected about Clinton in particular and about politicians in general.

Scher also makes a second argument, one that may have more long-term relevance. He points out, probably correctly, that any campaign's private emails would likely contain much of the same kind of stuff (or, in Trump's case, maybe even worse stuff). He suggests that now that the public has seen how the sausage is made, future dumps of this sort are likely to raise even fewer eyebrows. If so, then one of Wikileaks' (and the Russians') most potent avenues of attack has been cut off at the knees. (Z)

Rick Scott's Move Backfires

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) tried to use all of his powers to bring voter registration to an end in Florida on the original deadline, despite the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew. He knows that having more people vote tends to favor the Democrats, and also that late registrants tend to be Democrats, so declining to extend the deadline seemed a win-win. This got him a good scolding from U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, who overrode Scott and extended the deadline anyhow.

Now, Scott's fears are coming to pass. At least 108,000 people registered in the extra week ordered by Walker. There's every reason to believe that the great majority are Democrats, and perhaps also that some of them registered specifically to push back against Scott's baldfaced political maneuver. In a state that was decided by just 74,000 votes in 2012, every vote counts, and another 60,000 or 70,000 or 80,000 Democratic votes could count an awful lot. (Z)

Clinton Has Three Times as Many People on the Ground as Trump

While the air war isn't over, it is now all about the ground war—getting voters to the polls. Hillary Clinton is outgunning Donald Trump by a huge margin here. The Democrats have 5,100 paid staffers in the battleground states. The Republicans have 1,400. Trump has shown very little interest in the ground game and does not have anything like the massive voter database that Clinton has, which allows the staffers to find millions of individual voters who are thought to be Democrats but who have a spotty voting record.

Most of the staffers work for the state parties. The disparity in the number of paid state-party staffers in some of the key states is shown in this table:

State Dem GOP Dem/GOP
Arizona 230 12 19.2
Pennsylvania 508 62 8.2
Ohio 502 104 4.8
Florida 678 150 4.5
Nevada 240 67 3.6
North Carolina 300 100 3.0
New Hampshire 111 230 0.5

Only in New Hampshire do the Republicans have more people on the ground, and New Hampshire has only 4 electoral votes, although it does have a bitterly contested Senate race. In addition to the state party workers listed above, Clinton's campaign has an additional 809 paid staff to Trump's 152. Finally, the DNC has 478 field workers to the RNC's 270. Typically, a better ground war can add a 2-3 percent to a candidate's total vote. (V)

New National Polls Are Far Apart

A new IBD/TechoMetrica poll puts Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in an exact tie nationally, at 41% each, while Gary Johnson has 8% and Jill Stein has 3%. This poll is in sharp contrast to the ABC News poll released Sunday which had Clinton up 12 points over Trump. One of these polls is clearly way off. If we average them, we get Clinton up 6 points on Trump, which is much more plausible than either poll.

A new CNN/ORC poll paints quite a different picture. It has Clinton at 49%, Trump at 44%, Gary Johnson fading fast at 3%, and Jill Stein hanging on at 2%. Probably Clinton's lead is in the 5-6% ballpark. (V)

Juan Williams Is Threatened by Trump Supporters

Sunday, we had a news item about the abuse and threats that the National Review's David French has gotten from Trump supporters, because he is a conservative Republican who doesn't support Trump. Now, Fox News' Juan Williams has a similar story. He once sent an email to John Podesta containing his cell phone number. It was contained in the WikiLeaks dump and suddenly his phone lit up like a Christmas tree. He was called an ignorant alcoholic token black and much more. All the callers, texters, and emailers informed Williams of how Trump was going to win in a landslide.

All Williams had done was try to arrange a meeting with Podesta. Journalists are constantly meeting with politicians on both sides of the aisle; that's how they get information to write stories. But Williams' callers were having none of it. If this is an example of how Trump supporters feel, the possibility of his supporters turning violent if he loses can't be dismissed out of hand. (V)

Clinton's Transition Team Has a Problem

While the Clinton campaign has to act like the race is still very competitive, quietly in the background her transition team is gearing up to hit the ground running if she wins two weeks from today. The team will face a problem that has only come up twice in the past 100 years: how to transition from an administration that is the same party as the winner. George H.W. Bush had this problem in 1988 taking over from Ronald Reagan and Herbert Hoover had it in 1928 taking over from Calvin Coolidge.

When the transition is from one party to the other, it is pretty simple. About 3,000 government employees are expected to resign (and are fired if they don't), and the new president puts in a new team. None of the firees are bitter about this. After all, it is nothing personal. Their party just lost and that's how it goes. But this time, it is different. Hillary Clinton was part of President Obama's administration and many of the top people in it have views similar to hers. Keeping some of them will make the transition simpler, smoother, and faster. But which ones? If she decides to keep, say, Attorney General Loretta Lynch but fires Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, she will have to explain to the people involved and the media why Lynch survived and Pritzker didn't. And it is not only the cabinet jobs. The president gets to make many appointments, so it could be a problem and is obviously very personal, unlike 2008 when Obama accepted the resignation of virtually everyone in the Bush administration. (V)

How To Get a Top Job in a Potential Clinton Administration

If you are interested in a top job in Hillary Clinton's administration, should she be elected president, you'd better not have any skeletons in your closet that come out during the vetting process. Maybe there are things you did long ago that you have forgotten, but that aides working for Republican senators will dig up. Fortunately, a solution is available. For a mere $1,000/hour, Washington law firms such as Arnold & Porter, Skadden Arps, and a couple of others will do oppo research on you to show you the dirt you will have to face during your confirmation hearing, so you can prepare for it in advance. To get them started, you will have to fill out a 100-page questionnaire about everything you have ever done, every place you have ever visited, and every person you have ever talked to. If you go this route, don't bother asking Perkins Coie to help, since it is working Clinton's for transition team to dig up dirt on prospective appointees, and will say no to you. (V)

Joe Biden Talks About Post-Election Plans

Joe Biden has revealed his plans for 2017 and beyond and, regardless of what The Onion would have you believe, they don't involve selling bootleg Hillary Clinton shirts, or installing swimming pools, or running unauthorized White House tours. He's headed to the cozy confines of academia, most likely a Biden Center at the University of Delaware, where he will teach and write books. He has also spoken with Hillary Clinton, apparently, and will likely have a role in a potential Clinton White House working on the search for a cancer cure. Undoubtedly, this is just one of many ways in which the Obama White House and the Clinton White House will be deeply enmeshed with each other should she win the election. (Z)

Crapo Scratches His Unendorsement

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) knows where both the undo and redo buttons are. When Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, the loyal Republican Crapo endorsed him. Then when the Billy Bush tape broke, Crapo unendorsed Trump. Yesterday he de-unendorsed Trump. Since the election is two weeks way, there is plenty of time for Crapo to change his position several more times in the coming days. None of these changes will make any difference though. Crapo will sweep to reelection easily in ruby red Idaho. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

More good news for Hillary Clinton. She has small but enduring leads in North Carolina and Nevada. If she wins North Carolina, it will be virtually impossible for Donald Trump to amass 270 electoral votes, especially if she also wins Virginia, which everyone except Trump sees as a foregone conclusion. (V)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Arkansas 33% 56% 4% Oct 21 Oct 21 Hendrix Coll.
Illinois 51% 36% 6% Oct 16 Oct 18 Victory Research
Minnesota 47% 39% 6% Oct 20 Oct 22 Star Tribune
North Carolina 47% 44% 4% Oct 21 Oct 22 PPP
North Carolina 47% 46% 4% Oct 20 Oct 23 Monmouth U.
Nevada 46% 42% 5% Oct 20 Oct 22 Rasmussen
Nevada 48% 41% 6% Oct 20 Oct 23 Bendixen
Washington 48% 31% 1% Oct 20 Oct 22 Elway Poll

Today's Senate Polls

Some good news for the Republicans here. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is ahead in his tough fight to keep his job. This poll notwithstanding, the Senate race in the Tarheel State is going right down to the wire. (V)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Illinois Tammy Duckworth 50% Mark Kirk* 39% Oct 16 Oct 18 Victory Research
North Carolina Deborah Ross 41% Richard Burr* 42% Oct 21 Oct 22 PPP
North Carolina Deborah Ross 43% Richard Burr* 49% Oct 20 Oct 23 Monmouth U.
Washington Patty Murray* 58% Chris Vance 34% Oct 20 Oct 22 Elway Poll

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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
Oct22 Early Ballots in Swing States Favor Democrats
Oct22 Trump Math Just Doesn't Add Up
Oct22 Money Talks
Oct22 Trump to Speak at Gettysburg
Oct22 Only Half of Republican Voters Would Accept Clinton as President
Oct22 What Would Happen if Trump Loses and Does Not Concede?
Oct22 Clinton Preparing for the Possibility that She Wins but Trump Won't Concede
Oct22 Clinton Releases Devastating New Ad
Oct22 Clinton Transition Team Gets to Work
Oct22 Wikileaks Claims Responsibility for Internet Outage
Oct22 Back-room Maneuvering for the DNC Chairmanship Is Starting
Oct22 Evan Bayh Under Fire
Oct22 Richard Branson Describes a Tale of Two Lunches
Oct22 Presidential Candidate Released from Hospital after Bout with Pneumonia
Oct22 Senate Starting to Look Brighter for Democrats
Oct22 Early Ballots in Swing States Favor Democrats
Oct22 Trump Math Just Doesn't Add Up
Oct22 Money Talks
Oct22 Trump to Speak at Gettysburg
Oct22 Only Half of Republican Voters Would Accept Clinton as President
Oct22 What Would Happen if Trump Loses and Does Not Concede?
Oct22 Clinton Preparing for the Possibility that She Wins but Trump Won't Concede
Oct22 Clinton Releases Devastating New Ad
Oct22 Clinton Transition Team Gets to Work
Oct22 Wikileaks Claims Responsibility for Internet Outage
Oct22 Back-room Maneuvering for the DNC Chairmanship Is Starting