Clinton 350
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Trump 188
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Click for Senate
Dem 50
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Ties 2
GOP 48
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  • Strongly Dem (205)
  • Likely Dem (68)
  • Barely Dem (77)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (82)
  • Likely GOP (25)
  • Strongly GOP (81)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: OH UT
Dem pickups vs. 2012: AZ GA NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA OH
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Debate Takeaways Galore
      •  Third Presidential Debate Postmortem
      •  Why Clinton Went for the Kill
      •  Trump Tweeted That He Won the Debate
      •  Betting Markets Don't Look Good for Trump
      •  Could the Election Be Rigged?
      •  Whither the GOP?
      •  What Would Trump TV Look Like?
      •  Facebook's Algorithm May Kill Democracy
      •  Larry Sabato Shocks CNN with a Prediction of 352 Electoral Votes for Clinton
      •  Today's Presidential Polls
      •  Today's Senate Polls

Debate Takeaways Galore

Everybody and his uncle posted some takeaways from the debate. Here are a few of them:

Nicholas Confessore at the New York Times:
  • Trump finally cooled off and did what his handlers wanted him to do
  • Trump knows which voters he needs and fed them lots of red meat
  • Clinton knows her base, too
  • By the end, Trump was back to normal and his "nasty woman" remark will hurt him
  • Not saying unambiguously that he will accept the will of the voters is going to make more Republicans dump him
  • Trump had to reset the race and he failed
Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post:
  • Trump was like low-energy Jeb Bush
  • Talking about "bad hombres" was a bad idea
  • Trump refused to concede that Russia was behind the email hacks
  • When he was asked about jobs, Trump talked about NATO, allowing Clinton to hit him on cutting taxes for the rich
  • No one will believe that the stories from all the women who said he groped them have been "debunked"
  • Clinton Foundation beat his foundation
  • Trump did himself in when he refused to say he would concede if he lost
  • Trump claimed [falsely] that he opposed the war in Iraq and argued that the battle for Mosul is political
  • Chris Wallace was masterful
  • Clinton simply needed to avoid a disaster; instead she eviscerated Trump and reminded voters what a nut he is
Glenn Thrush at Politico:
  • Donald Trump made the biggest mistake of his life by saying he might not concede if he loses
  • Hillary Clinton delivered the best performance of her career
  • Chris Wallace should do this for a living
  • Hillary got off the hook on the "open borders" issue
  • Trump doesn't understand that self-delusion (looking at Internet polls) is not a strategy
Eric Bradner at CNN:
  • By refusing to accept the election's outcome, Trump created a news story that will dominate for precious days
  • Every Republican is now going to be forced to either defend Trump on concessiongate or risk losing his voters
  • Trump's "Such a nasty woman" remark is not going to be a big hit with the ladies
  • Trump always takes the bait
  • Trump's temperament is a huge liability that Clinton exploited over and over
Leigh Ann Caldwell at NBC News
  • Trump will still not agree to accept the election results
  • Clinton again ties Trump to Russia
  • Trump denies allegations by accusers
  • Trump says the Mosul operation is political
  • Clinton says Trump can't be trusted with nuclear weapons
Paul Singer and Cooper Allen at USA Today:
  • Trump might reject the result of the election
  • Clinton and Putin can now fight over who gets to operate Puppet Trump
  • The debate began with actual substance
  • The battle of the foundations
  • Democrats love Trump off script
Jonathan Easley at The Hill
  • Clinton looks to run up the score rather than playing it safe
  • Trump blew it with women
  • Trump shocks with refusal to accept election results
  • Trump is no longer in control of his destiny
  • Policy takes center stage
Aaron Zitner at the Wall Street Journal:
  • Clinton attacked Trump's character and he attacked her effectiveness
  • Trump is still not a traditional Republican
  • Clinton's message was of unity, Trump's was of revival
  • Trump returned to his strongest issues: change and the economy
  • The biggest news was Trump's refusal to say in advance he would accept defeat if he loses
Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist:
  • Chris Wallace is awesome
  • Trump had a good night, not a great night
  • Clinton was uneven, if it matters
  • Our media are awful
Jay Caruso at RedState:
  • Trump will pay dearly for contradicting Pence and Ivanka and saying he may not accept the results
  • Chris Wallace should be moderating every debate from here on out
  • Hillary Clinton did nothing to convince me to even consider voting for her
  • Donald Trump proved again that his lack of detailed knowledge on the issues is disqualifying

Certain themes emerged here. Almost everyone hit on Trump's refusal to accept the results if he loses. This story is not going away until Election Day, and if he loses and doesn't concede, will never go away. Many writers felt that Clinton was playing 3D chess and he was playing tic-tac-toe. The "bad hombres" remark may be less damaging than the "nasty woman" remark, but maybe not by so much. All in all, Clinton sliced and diced Trump.

All these remarks bring up the question of why Debbie Wasserman Schulz went to so much trouble minimizing the number and exposure of the primary debates to protect Clinton from Big Bad Bernie (thus antagonizing all his supporters). She is a superb debater, one of the best ever. She doesn't need to be protected from anyone. (V)

Third Presidential Debate Postmortem

The Las Vegas showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has been in the books for 24 hours. That is enough time for Trump to proclaim himself the winner (see below), and then another 21 hours for the rest of the world to weigh in. Here's what the non-Trump crowd is saying:

Left-leaning commentators
Dylan Matthews, Vox Winners: Clinton, Vladimir Putin. Loser: Trump. "All [Clinton] had to do was not lose. But she did better than that. After a more passive, less antagonistic performance in the second debate, she returned to and perfected her first debate strategy of purposely needling Trump in ways that appear benign to most viewers but provoke a massive, outsize response from Donald nonetheless."

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post Winners: Clinton, Chris Wallace, Putin, David Fahrenthold. Losers: Trump, down-ballot Republicans. "The Russian leader had to be thrilled about the amount of airtime he and his country received in the debate. And Trump, while insisting that he and the Russian president are not, in fact, friends, repeatedly said that he knew for a fact that Putin had no respect for Clinton. Any airtime for Putin in a debate with tens of millions of Americans watching probably makes him very, very happy."

Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "What will be remembered from this debate? Three things: Trump's refusal to say he would accept the result of the election if he loses. Trump's inability to answer charges that he has behaved abusively toward women. And Trump's return to the truculent, angry man of the first debate, interrupting Clinton repeatedly (saying, at one point, "Such a nasty woman"). Trump, who's behind, needed to change the direction of the campaign and show undecided voters that he can be thoughtful and measured when the situation requires. He failed."

Jason Easley, PoliticusUSA Winners: Clinton, viewers and voters. Losers: Trump, Wallace. "While Trump sounded like a rambling lunatic, Hillary Clinton showed that she is the only candidate in this race who is competent and fit to be the next president."

Roxanne Jones, CNN Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "Hillary Clinton is not perfect—I've yet to see a politician who is—and she faces legitimate issues with trust among voters. But she was the only person on that stage fit to be President of the United States, the only candidate who can move America forward. The win goes to her."

Right-leaning commentators
Ed Rogers, Washington Post Winner: Trump. Loser: Clinton. "Trump isn't particularly light on his feet, but he was confident and competent talking about the economy. It's a wonder he hasn't talked about the economy during more of the campaign. Anyway, he even showed a much better understanding of geopolitics than I would have thought. He sounded like a Republican on most issues. For Trump, it's too bad there aren't more debates."

Caleb Howe, Winners: Trump, Clinton, Putin, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Mitt Romney, Barack Obama. Losers: Everyone else. "Remember candidates capable of debate? Of clever turns of phrase, respectful forcefulness, and deep knowledge of the topics at hand? Yeah. Miss em now, don't ya?"

Bill Whalen, Fox News Winners: Clinton, Wallace. Loser: Trump. "Thrice now, Trump has had 90 minutes to make his argument for his brand of change over Democratic status quo, with tens of millions of voters tuned in. Thrice now, he's failed to seal the deal."

Kelly Riddell, The Washington Times Winners: Wallace, Clinton. Loser: Trump. "There was more policy spoken in the final debate's first 30 minutes than the entirety of the first two debates combined."

Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "In my view, this was easily the most decisive debate. She devastated him. He melted down. His refusal to accept the results of this election disqualifies him automatically from any office in the United States. There were several areas where he was utterly incoherent, grasping at 'facts,' without any understanding of policy. His personal foulness emerged."

Foreign commentators
Cristina Silva, International Business Times Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "Hillary Clinton sighed and rolled her eyes through the final presidential debate Wednesday night, emerging the winner largely by ignoring Donald Trump's bait about her husband's many alleged affairs, his accusations that she created ISIS and any probing questions about her use of a private email server as secretary of state."

Rituparna Chatterjee, Huffington Post India Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "What's the Trump dictionary definition of a woman who is prepared, earnest, ambitious and ready to move past mistakes? Oh yes, nasty."

Anthony Zurcher, BBC Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "[A]fter roughly half an hour of something resembling an actual policy debate about the Supreme Court, gun rights, abortion and even immigration, the old Donald Trump—the one who constantly interrupted his opponent, sparred with the moderator and lashed out at enemies real and perceived—emerged."

Tim Stanley, The Telegraph (UK) Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "Trump came off as a sore loser conceding the inevitable. A sad, pre-emptive end to a remarkable, charismatic candidacy."

Nick Allen, The Telegraph (UK) Winner: Clinton. Loser: Trump. "Disaster for Donald Trump. He undermined his own composed and reasonably effective performance in one moment, when he refused to say that he would accept the result of the election if he loses. That overrode any good work he did during the debate."

Across these 15 commentators, the tally ends up like this:

Clinton: 14 wins, 1 loss
Putin: 3 wins, 0 losses
Wallace: 3 wins, 1 loss
Obama, McCain, Romney: 1 win, 0 losses
Trump: 2 wins, 13 losses

So, it's a landslide for Clinton, with Vladimir Putin taking the silver, and Chris Wallace the bronze. Trump, of course, does not accept these results, and suspects that most of Clinton's support may have come from dead black voters in Philadelphia and Chicago.

We (and everyone else) predicted that the big story of the night would be Donald Trump's refusal to accept the election results. But Trump knows that when he's stepped in it he should quickly change the topic, so that the story doesn't live on for days and days, dominating multiple news cycles. No, wait. It's Barack Obama who knows that. Trump's the one who makes it his mission to treat his screw-ups like cats, making sure that they each have nine lives. So yes, the story did dominate Thursday's political coverage. And, as usual, Trump did his part to keep it front and center, telling a rally audience that, "I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ... if I win." Needless to say, many people on both sides of the aisle are not pleased to have something so important treated as a subject of merriment.

That wasn't the only storyline, though. Clinton made a few headlines with a possible screw-up of her own, namely that she may have let slip a bit more information about America's nuclear arsenal than she should have. A few observers wondered about her observation that roughly four minutes elapse between the president's order to fire nukes, and having actual missiles in the sky. This fact is not exactly a state secret. Well, actually, it is a state secret, but not a very well-kept state secret. Certainly, any 20th century military historian or nuclear policy analyst worth their salt already knew this. Nonetheless, if Clinton knew it because of classified briefings she has received, then it was a no-no for her to share it. Thus far, both civilian and military spokesmen, including Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, have declined comment on the situation. Luckily for Clinton, she said it on live tv, in front of only 70 million people. If she'd put it in an email, one that might literally be seen by dozens of people, then there'd be big trouble.

Now, the careful reader might have detected a wee bit of a sardonic tinge to the last few paragraphs. Well, at this point in a wild election cycle, that's where everyone seems to be. Wednesday's event may have been the most Twitter-friendly debate ever. Heck, it may have been the most Twitter-friendly event ever, instantaneously producing at least a half-dozen memes. There was Clinton's white pantsuit, which inspired a tidal wave of Twitter users to post pictures comparing her outfit to other notable all-white-clad individuals: Luke Skywalker, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid, and "every chef ever" among them. Trump's #badhombre and #nastywoman trended for hours, as did the counter-hashtag #nastywomengetsh**done. Comedian Chelsea Handler even posted a poll, asking respondents if they considered themselves to be more of a "nasty woman" or more of a "bad hombre." "Nasty woman" won, 60% to 40%.

The very best meme of the night came from St. Louis mayoral candidate Antonio French (D), who tweeted that, "Trump's foreign policy answers sound like a book report from a teenager who hasn't read the book. 'Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath!'" This promptly led to thousands of #TrumpBookReports, like these:

  • Those poor heights. They were wuthering. Wuthering so bad. Bigly wuthering. I'll make them great again.
  • Charlotte's Web...Spider dies at the stamina. What a loser.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, worst cabin in the inner city.
  • It took Low Energy Harry Potter 7 books to defeat Voldermort. Sad! I would have beat him in the first book!
  • We're gonna catch so much rye, you won't believe it. We're bringing those rye catching jobs to America.
  • Juliet. Such a nasty woman. She made Romeo kill himself. And believe me he could have done better. Look at her.

But while those are pretty good, the person who may have done the best job of selling his bit is George Norman Davis. He said he'd rather die than see another Clinton-Trump debate. And then, he did.

The debate also had something of an epilogue on Thursday night, when Clinton and Trump were onstage together again at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, a fundraiser for Catholic charities. It is customary for the presidential nominees to appear, and to make a few lighthearted jokes at each other's expense. Clinton seemed to grasp this, making a joke or two about Trump's net worth and his views on women, like "Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4." Trump, by contrast, apparently missed the "lighthearted" part of the memo. And the joke part, for that matter. He launched into a harangue with "one-liners" like, "Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the '70s. What's her pitch? The economy is busted, the government is corrupt. Washington has failed. Vote for me, I have been working on these problems for 30 years, I can fix it, she says." Similarly, "We've learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private." Ha! Gotcha! The Catholics were not amused, and eventually booed Trump off the stage.

Anyhow, for better or worse—almost certainly for better—the presidential debates of 2016 have come to an end, 17 days until the election. (Z)

Why Clinton Went for the Kill

Almost everyone was expecting Hillary Clinton to be cautious on Wednesday and avoid any chance of making a mistake. They were wrong. She was very aggressive and tried to finish Trump off. She may have succeeded. She went after Trump time and time again, ridiculing him for exporting jobs, using Chinese steel in his buildings, and insulting women. This was definitely not playing it safe.

Her constant attacking was part of a clear plan to not only win, but win big, especially in Arizona and Georgia, and maybe even in Utah (although Evan McMullin could win that one). She is now focused on getting a huge victory, first to rebut any cries of a "rigged" election, second to be able to claim a mandate for her program, and third to have coattails pulling in down-ticket Democrats.

Part of her strategy was to get inside Trump's head and trigger him into Trump v1.0 mode—angry and shooting from the hip. She said he "choked," he is Putin's "puppet," that he was too scared to even bring up the wall issue when he was in Mexico, and that he whines. He took the bait every time and acted in a way that moderates and undecided voters are not likely to see as presidential.

Finally, she tried to cast off the image of herself as a boring politician. She clearly went for the jugular over and over and cut it on every try. There was blood on the stage for all to see. We saw a side of her that hasn't been on display before. (V)

Trump Tweeted That He Won the Debate

At 3:14 a.m. Thursday morning, Donald Trump tweeted: "Just landed in Ohio. Thank you America--I am honored to win the final debate for our MOVEMENT." What does this tell us? First, that he believes unscientific Internet polls, in which people can actually commit "fraud" by voting multiple times. Second, that his private plane apparently doesn't have WiFi. If he had flown first class on a commercial airline, he could have used the WiFi to tweet much earlier.

He didn't go to bed after arriving in Ohio, since at 5:30 a.m. he sent out a tweet suggesting that Clinton helped Alicia Machado become a citizen so Clinton could bring her up in the debate. He also urged his followers to check out Machado's [nonexistent] sex tape. He is not doing as well with evangelicals as previous Republicans, so maybe he thought telling them to go watch some porn would help. Finally, it is not even clear why he flew to Ohio in the middle of the night. He could have stayed in Nevada in his luxury hotel and campaigned in the Silver State today. After all, it is also a swing state that could go either way. (V)

Betting Markets Don't Look Good for Trump

It will take several days for serious scientific polls to come in, but the betting markets respond in real time. PaddyPower, the Irish bookie, puts the odds on Clinton at 2/11, which implies an 85% chance that Clinton will win. U.K.-based William Hill is offering 1/6 odds on Clinton, implying that she has an 86% chance of winning. The odds for Gary Johnson are 250 to 1, and for Jill Stein 500 to 1. (V)

Could the Election Be Rigged?

The big story coming out of the third debate is Donald Trump's refusal to say he will concede if he loses the election because he thinks the election is rigged. He said that millions of dead people are on the voting rolls. This obviously brings up the question of who did the rigging. In all states, the secretary of state or lieutenant governor is the chief election official. Of course, the governor also has a lot of power. If Trump is implying that state elections are rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, that is at least plausible if both the governor and secretary of state are Democrats. If the two offices are split, it seems unlikely there could be a lot of rigging in favor of Clinton because the Republican would be watching the Democrat like a hawk (and vice versa). So the only plausible way an election could be rigged in favor of Clinton is if both the governor and secretary of states are Democrats. So let us look at the 50 states to see which offices are controlled by which party. Below is the list. Note that an asterisk means the secretary of state is appointed, not elected.

State Governor Election official Election official's office
Alabama Robert J. Bentley (R) John Merrill (R) Secretary of State
Alaska Bill Walker (I) Byron Mallott (D) Lieutenant Governor
Arizona Doug Ducey (R) Michele Reagan (R) Secretary of State
Arkansas Asa Hutchison (R) Mark Martin (R) Secretary of State
California Jerry Brown (D) Alex Padilla (D) Secretary of State
Colorado John Hickenlooper (D) Wayne Williams (R) Secretary of State
Connecticut Dannel Malloy (D) Denise Merrill (D) Secretary of State
Delaware Jack Markell (D) Jeffery W. Bullock (D) Secretary of State*
Florida Rick Scott (R) Ken Detzner (R) Secretary of State*
Georgia Nathan Deal (R) Brian Kemp (R) Secretary of State
Hawaii David Ige (D) Shan S. Tsutsui (D) Lieutenant Governor
Idaho Butch Otter (R) Lawerence Denney (R) Secretary of State
Illinois Bruce Rauner (R) Jesse White (D) Secretary of State
Indiana Mike Pence (R) Connie Lawson (R) Secretary of State
Iowa Terry Branstad (R) Paul Pate (R) Secretary of State
Kansas Sam Brownback (R) Kris Kobach (R) Secretary of State
Kentucky Matt Bevin (R) Alison Lundergan-Grimes (D) Secretary of State
Louisiana John Bel Edwards (D) Tom Schedler (R) Secretary of State
Maine Paul LePage (R) Matt Dunlap (D) Secretary of State
Maryland Hogan (R) John Wobensmith (R) Secretary of State*
Massachusetts Charlie Baker (R) William Galvin (D) Sec. of the Commonwealth
Michigan Rick Snyder (R) Ruth Johnson (R) Secretary of State
Minnesota Mark Dayton (D) Steve Simon (D) Secretary of State
Mississippi Phil Bryant (R) Delbert Hosemann, Jr. (R) Secretary of State
Missouri Jay Nixon (D) Jason Kander (D) Secretary of State
Montana Steve Bullock (D) Linda McCulloch (D) Secretary of State
Nebraska Pete Ricketts (R) John Gale (R) Secretary of State
Nevada Brian Sandoval (R) Barbara Cegavske (R) Secretary of State
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan (D) Bill Gardner (D) Secretary of State
New Jersey Chris Christie (R) Kim Guadagno (R) Lieutenant Governor
New Mexico Susana Martinez (R) Brad Winter (R) Secretary of State
New York Andrew Cuomo (D) Rossanna Rosado (D) Secretary of State*
North Carolina Pat McCrory (R) Elaine Marshall (D) Secretary of State
North Dakota Jack Dalrymple (R) Alvin Jaeger (R) Secretary of State
Ohio John Kasich (R) Jon Husted (R) Secretary of State
Oklahoma Mary Fallin (R) Chris Benge (R) Secretary of State*
Oregon Kate Brown (D) Jeanne Atkins (D) Secretary of State
Pennsylvania Tom Wolf (D) Pedro A. Cortes (D) Secretary of State*
Rhode Island Gina Raimondo (D) Nellie Gorbea (D) Secretary of State
South Carolina Nikki Haley (R) Mark Hammond (R) Secretary of State
South Dakota Dennis Daugaard (R) Shantel Krebs (R) Secretary of State
Tennessee Bill Haslam (R) Tre Hargett (R) Sec. of State
Texas Greg Abbott (R) Carlos Cascos (R) Secretary of State*
Utah Gary Herbert (R) Spencer Cox (R) Lieutenant Governor
Vermont Peter Shumlin (D) Jim Condos (D) Secretary of State
Virginia Terry McAuliffe (D) Kelly Thomasson (D) Secretary of the Commonwealth*
Washington Jay Inslee (D) Kim Wyman (R) Secretary of State
West Virginia Earl Ray Tomblin (D) Natalie Tennant (D) Secretary of State
Wisconsin Scott Walker (R) Douglas La Follette (D) Secretary of State
Wyoming Matt Mead (R) Ed Murray (R) Secretary of State

Democrats control the two offices in a number of states, but these are mostly blue states, like New York. There is no way any Republican could win New York's electoral votes under any conditions, so there is no need for Andrew Cuomo and Rossanna Rosado to hatch a plan to steal the election. A key question for anyone taking Trump's claim at all seriously is whether the Democrats control any of the swing states. They do control a few of them: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, together good for 37 electoral votes. However, if Clinton gets more than 307 electoral votes, then even if those states were rigged and he really won them, she would have been president anyway.

Now let us look at swing states that the Republicans control. These are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, and Utah. If Clinton wins these, Trump is going to have a tough time explaining why the Republicans who run the state's elections somehow rigged the process for a Democrat. Of course, he won't try to explain it. He will just continue to say everything everywhere is rigged, and refuse to explain how that could have happened, especially in states the Republicans control. (V)

Whither the GOP?

At this point, very few, if any, Republicans with brown, black, blond, gray, white, or no hair think Trump is going to be the next president. All of them are now trying to avoid what happens on Nov. 9, which is the date the recriminations are going to start full blast. A Bloomberg poll asked Republican voters who they wanted as the face of the Republican Party in the event of a Hillary Clinton victory. Here are the results:

Bloomberg poll

No one has more than about a quarter of the voters on his side, and the only one of the bunch who will have actual power after a Clinton win is Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is the favorite of only 15% of Republican voters. There is likely to be a huge battle for power within the party. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will blame both Trump and Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), and claim if the Republicans had only run a real conservative they could have beaten Clinton. Pence and Ryan aren't going to buy that. Anything could happen, but it probably can't be papered over with another autopsy report.

The conservative Heritage Foundation has already scheduled a gathering on Nov. 10. Many more meetings will be scheduled in November and December if Clinton wins (and even more if Trump wins). Republican strategist Charlie Gerow put it this way: Anybody that thinks this is going to get resolved in a matter of days or weeks is frankly whistling past a graveyard. (V)

What Would Trump TV Look Like?

Donald Trump's refusal to say he would accept the election results no matter what suggests that he has big plans for after the election. One idea that is gaining currency is that he will start a new television network, either on cable or on the Web. Might that work? Trump is a master of television. He also knows very well that CNN was able to raise its rates by a factor of 40 during the Republican primary debates. Trump also hired Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon to run his campaign and seems to be paying more attention to him than to his nominal campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. He also had Roger Ailes as a consultant, but there have been rumors that he and Ailes had a falling out. So suppose after the election, Trump tried to put together a new network. Who would it be focused on and who might star on it?

The first question is easy. It would be aimed at the people who voted for him, probably in excess of 50 million of them. The second is a bit trickier. If the whole purpose of the network is to feed red meat to the base 24 hours a day until the last one dies of a heart attack, here are some ideas. To start with, Steve Bannon would be CEO. Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan strongly dislike Rupert Murdoch's libertarian views, and would surely sign up, if for no other reason than to stick it to Fox News, which the new network would try to undermine. Once Rudy Giuliani comes to realize that he is not going to be in the cabinet, he would be available. Newt Gingrich has nothing better to do, so he'd probably graciously accept a gig. Sarah Palin would fit in perfectly. She could try to be the new Megyn Kelly. She has the looks but not the brains. Still, batting .500 is pretty good. Sean Hannity was Trump's biggest fan, and it is reported that his contract has a provision allowing him to leave Fox if Ailes leaves. Right there we have a prime-time lineup. Younger conservatives could be poached from other media outlets by just paying them more and giving them a chance to make it big in a couple of years.

One fly in the ointment is that none of these people like to work for free. In fact, none of them like to work for a million dollars a year, either. So Trump would need to line up big money to finance the personnel, studios, technical people, equipment, HR department, lawyers (lots and lots of them because he will be sued daily), accountants (because he doesn't like paying taxes), and much more. It might take upwards of $100 million just to get off the ground as a cable TV network. For that reason, he might try the venture as a subscription Web TV model, although his target demographic isn't 20-somethings who basically live on the Internet. Unfortunately for him, the URL is already taken, as is (V)

Facebook's Algorithm May Kill Democracy

Many pages on Facebook are hyperpartisan and full of lies. According to a study by Buzzfeed of six such pages, three on the left and three on the right, lies are prevalent on Facebook. The study showed that 38% of the posts on the right were either completely or mostly false, vs. 19% on the left. The real problem, however, is that when someone "likes" a (false) posts, they get fed more and more of the same kind. Pretty soon all the user sees are post that are completely false.

The study gave as an example the article headlined: "Two White Men Doused with Gasoline, Set on FIRE By Blacks - Media CENSORED (VIDEO)." There was indeed a video, but it was a year old. Furthermore, it turned out to be a fight between two coworkers, one white and one black, and the one who was set afire started it. The second one caught fire from the flames of the first one. And it was not censored. The story was widely covered by CNN and other outlets. Nevertheless, the post was a huge success from the poster's point of view. It was shared 14,000 times and got 2,000 angry comments. The most "liked" comment was: "Not even animals would do this. Time to hang these people." Lynchings anyone?

In the old days, where editors at media outlets decide what got published, there was usually some attempt to see if a story was true before publishing it. People who want to rouse the rabble now can neatly bypass all the editors by using Facebook and other social media sites. (V)

Larry Sabato Shocks CNN with a Prediction of 352 Electoral Votes for Clinton

The University of Virginia's Larry Sabato shocked CNN anchor Carol Costello when he predicted that Hillary Clinton would get 352 electoral votes. Apparently, Costello is not one of our many readers, because for most of the year and all of the past week we have been predicting something in that ballpark as well. In fact, in our graph Trump has not led in the Electoral College for even a single day this year. Not one day. And he was only close (16 EVs behind) for 5 days, from Sept. 15 to Sept. 20. The rest of the time she has held large leads. In fact, she has never fallen below 270 at any point. Clinton's low point was 277, and that lasted for exactly 2 days (Aug. 1-2). (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

Ohio continues to be a tossup. In Utah, the big question mark is conservative independent candidate Evan McMullin. In today's poll he is at 29%. Given Trump's poor performance in the third debate, it is likely that McMullin will actually win Utah's 6 electoral votes. (V)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Ohio 45% 45% 2% Oct 17 Oct 19 Suffolk U.
Utah 25% 30% 5% Oct 12 Oct 18 Dan Jones

Today's Senate Polls

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is trying to teach Republicans that a low-key, moderate Republican can win big in swing states, but they are probably not listening. (V)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Ohio Ted Strickland 31% Rob Portman* 46% Oct 17 Oct 19 Suffolk U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct20 Third Debate is Dangerously...Presidential
Oct20 Clinton Aiming at Breaking 50%
Oct20 Clinton Leading with White Catholics
Oct20 Write-in Votes Do Not Count in Most States
Oct20 McMullin Leads in Utah
Oct20 New Landmark: 200 Million People Are Registered to Vote
Oct19 The Final Debate Is Tonight
Oct19 Six Witnesses Corroborate Natasha Stoynoff's Story of Being Assaulted by Trump
Oct19 Millennials Are Starting to Come Around to Clinton
Oct19 Trump Will Host Obama at Debate
Oct19 Trump Wants Term Limits for Congress
Oct19 Clinton Gets Another Endorsement
Oct19 Who Are the People Who Will Choose the President?
Oct19 Partisanship Rules
Oct19 Obama to Trump: Stop Whining
Oct19 NRSC Has Another $30 Million for Senate Races
Oct19 Ecuador Cuts Off Julian Assange's Internet Connection
Oct19 Obama Reveals Post-Presidency Project
Oct18 Why Is Trump Running?
Oct18 Melania Trump Speaks Out About The Tape
Oct18 Could This Be a Realigning Election?
Oct18 Clinton Is Faced with a Tough Choice
Oct18 What Is Russia's Next Move?
Oct18 ISIS Is in Big Trouble
Oct18 No Large Newspaper Has Endorsed Trump
Oct18 Election Officials Scoff at Trump's Claim of a Rigged Vote
Oct18 4-in-10 Think Election Might Be Fraudulent
Oct18 McCain Promises Ongoing SCOTUS Obstruction
Oct18 GOP SuperPACs Getting Nervous About the House
Oct18 Evangelicals Are Breaking Apart
Oct18 Why Is Trump Running?
Oct18 Melania Trump Speaks Out About The Tape
Oct18 Could This Be a Realigning Election?
Oct18 Clinton Is Faced with a Tough Choice
Oct18 What Is Russia's Next Move?
Oct18 ISIS Is in Big Trouble
Oct18 No Large Newspaper Has Endorsed Trump
Oct18 Election Officials Scoff at Trump's Claim of a Rigged Vote.
Oct18 4-in-10 Think Election Might Be Fraudulent
Oct18 McCain Promises Ongoing SCOTUS Obstruction
Oct18 GOP SuperPACs Getting Nervous About the House
Oct18 Evangelicals Are Breaking Apart
Oct17 Clinton Has Lead in Multiple National Polls
Oct17 Trump Continues to Claim the Election is Rigged
Oct17 Trump's Newest Target: Saturday Night Live
Oct17 Are the States Realigning?
Oct17 Latino Registration Is Not Surging
Oct17 Pence Contradicts Trump on Several Issues
Oct17 Five Republican Megadonors Ponied Up $24 Million in the Past 3 Months
Oct17 Psychological Warfare Is Causing Big Problems for Clinton