Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 46
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GOP 54
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  • Strongly Dem (191)
  • Likely Dem (72)
  • Barely Dem (69)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (16)
  • Strongly GOP (175)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: (None)
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC

News from the Votemaster

Trump Would Deport Undocumented Immigrants

While Mitt Romney merely asked undocumented immigrants to self deport, Donald Trump is going a step further and would deport all 11 or 12 million of them, as described in a position paper he released yesterday. In a sense, it doesn't matter what his position on immigration is, since he has no chance at becoming President, but in another sense this announcement is a giant problem for the other candidates. They are all going to be asked if they agree with it. To win the primary, they have to agree with it, but to win the general election they have to reject it. You can count on Democratic trackers recording their words in the coming week and saving the footage to play back during the general election, especially in swing states with large populations of Latino citizens, such as Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia. The other candidates would greatly prefer educating the populace about precisely what an email server is and not talk about immigration at all. But Trump is forcing the issue. For the Democrats, this issue is manna from heaven (well, from New York City, actually). All of them support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a position that plays a lot better with Latino citizens than deportation.

When pressed about his deportation plan, Trump said he didn't want to break up families. But it is not at all clear how he would deal with families in which the parents are undocumented immigrants but the children are U.S. citizens. Would he deport the U.S. citizens to keep the families intact or would he make an exception to deportation for families with U.S. citizen children. It will be interesting to see how he deals with this dilemma in the coming days.

Another contentious point in Trump's immigration platform is his desire to end birthright citizenship. He may or may not be aware that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution begins: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States ..." This means that ending birthright citizenship would require repealing part of the Fourteenth Amendment. That process requires the approval of 2/3 majorities of each chamber of Congress and then 3/4 of the states. The President plays no role in the process, so all he could do as President would be to badger Congress and the states to get to work on it.

Trump will interrupt his campaign today because he has been called for jury duty at the New York State Supreme Court starting today. It is hard to imagine any lawyer wanting to argue a case before him, so most likely he will not survive the voir dire process and not serve on any juries.

Ben Carson Won the Main Fox News Republican Debate

Finally, we have a random-sample poll of registered voters done by live interviewers after the Republican debate. The winner (that is, the person in the main debate who gained the most from the debate percentagewise) is Ben Carson, who jumped 71% compared to the previous poll. He is now at 12%. This is bad news for the Republicans because what they need most is to get the marginal candidates to drop out so they can have a serious race with three or four viable candidates. Ted Cruz also jumped from 6% to 10% but he is potentially a viable candidate. Carly Fiorina, who was not invited to the main debate, jumped from 2% to 5% and may well qualify for the next one. In even worse news, the most viable candidates, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio all lost support as a result of the debate. Here are the results for the candidates pulling in at least 1% among likely Republican primary voters. The candidates gaining from the debate are shown in boldface type.

Rank Candidate Post-debate Pre-debate Change
1 Donald Trump 25% 26% −1%
2 Ben Carson 12% 7% +5%
3 Ted Cruz 10% 6% +4%
4 Jeb Bush 9% 15% −6%
5 Mike Huckabee 6% 6% (no change)
6 Scott Walker 6% 9% −3%
7 Carly Fiorina 5% 2% +3%
8 John Kasich 4% 3% +1%
9 Marco Rubio 4% 5% −1%
10 Rand Paul 3% 5% −2%
11 Chris Christie 3% 3% (no change)
12 Rick Santorum 1% 2% −1%
13 Rick Perry 1% 1% (no change)
14 Bobby Jindal 1% 1% (no change)
15 George Pataki 1% ?  

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---The Votemaster