• Clinton with a Big Lead in Another National Poll
• Trump Campaigns in Eastern North Carolina
• Trump Says that Second Amendment People Can Stop Clinton
• Trump Willing to Debate Clinton, but Only on His Terms
• Anti-Trump Republican Decides To Run Despite Certain Defeat
• Could the "Rigged Election" Talk Have Serious Ramifications?
• Ryan Lives to Fight Another Day
• Trump Says Wife Will Address Immigration Controversy
• Fiorina Running for RNC Chair
• How To Vote in Each State
• Today's Presidential Polls
• Today's Senate Polls
A new feature of the site has been installed today: links to the same date in 2012 and 2008. At the bottom of the map legend, to the right of the map, there are now clickable links "2012" and "2008." They take you to the page for today's date in 2012 and 2008, respectively, so you can see what the map looked like on the same date in the Obama-Romney and Obama-McCain races. This gives some perspective on this year's contest. For example, today the electoral-vote score is Hillary Clinton 353 and Donald Trump 179. On Aug. 10, 2012, the score was Barack Obama 323 and Mitt Romney 206, so Clinton is running ahead of Obama at this point 4 years ago. Every day these two links will be updated to the corresponding date 4 and 8 years ago, respectively. The "Electoral vote graphs" link on the menu to the left of the map also has historical graphs comparing this year with previous years. (V)
The post-convention national polls just keep rolling in and all of them tell the same story: Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump somewhere in the range of 7 to 12 points. The newest one, an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll, puts Clinton ahead of Trump 51% to 41%. However, this was an Internet poll, so it should be taken with a bit of salt. Hopefully (but not realistically), NBC examined SurveyMonkey's methodology very carefully to make sure the poll was representative. The number of people surveyed was huge (11,480), but the trouble with Internet polls is that they tend to overweight well-off young white techies in San Francisco who are on the Internet day and night, and underweight poor elderly black farmers in Mississippi who are not. To correct for unbalanced samples, even very large ones, the pollster needs a very good model of the electorate, and that is where all the trouble starts. Depending on the model, almost any result is possible. Nevertheless, 10 points is a big lead and is consistent with other non-Internet polls released in the past week. (V)
North Carolina is the third biggest swing state, after Florida and Ohio. President Obama narrowly won it in 2008 and narrowly lost it in 2012. Yesterday, Donald Trump campaigned for the first time in the eastern part of the state, holding rallies in Fayetteville and Wilmington. For him, the eastern region, which is very conservative and rural, is the key to winning the Tar Heel State. The urban centers, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, are all going to go for Clinton in a big way, and he needs the rural voters who live in this area of tobacco farms and military bases.
North Carolina is going to get a huge amount of attention this year because it is the site of contentious races for president, senator, and governor. Also important in all three of these races is the fact that a restrictive voter ID law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) was recently struck down by the appeals court for the Fourth Circuit. Another big issue here is bathrooms, as in, who can use which one. A new state law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom for the gender on their birth certificates has been very controversial and could affect all three races. (V)
At his rally in Wilmington, NC yesterday, Donald Trump said:
Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Though Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't know.
Clinton's staff began asking if Trump was suggesting that someone assassinate Clinton. Clinton's super PAC went further, circulating a clip of Trump's speech with the subject line: "Donald Trump Just Suggested That Someone Shoot Hillary Clinton." This is very much Trump's style. He says something that suggests something else then denies that he meant the something else. The media generally get the message, though, and begin asking other Republicans to comment on it, causing them much dismay.
What Trump didn't mention is that there is very much something people who don't want Clinton to fill the courts with liberals can do (other than not voting for her). They can vote for senators who will refuse to confirm her appointments. But that wouldn't get as much attention, of course, as suggesting that someone shoot Clinton. What's next? A suggestion that someone legitimately rape her?
Trump seems to be running a general election campaign using his primary playbook. He thinks if he says outrageous things, he will get tons of free media and it will be a big win. In fact, he has already gone on Fox News and declared that the backlash is "a good thing for me." He hasn't noticed yet that while his remarks do get tons of free media, the net effect isn't always so positive. It's hard to see, for example, how today's New York Daily News front page, which says "This isn't a joke any more" and calls on Trump to drop out immediately—is going to help his campaign. (V)
After Hillary Clinton accepted the invitation to debate Donald Trump, Trump countered by saying that he would be happy to debate her, but only under his conditions. The only condition he has stated so far is that he wants the right to veto possible moderators. That was probably a foolish thing to say, because the debates are run by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, and the Commission is very unlikely to change the rules for Trump. If his demands are rejected, he either has to eat a large portion of crow (crow casserole is especially tasty) or skip the debates. In the latter case, he is going to be called a coward. Also, he is clearly behind now and needs a breakthrough. Other than the debates, it is not clear where such a breakthrough could come from. (V)
The chief policy director of the House Republican conference, Evan McMullin, announced that he will run for president against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the 31 other people running for president. He had better get going quickly, because the filing deadline in six states plus D.C. is today. He has already missed the deadline in 26 other states. He still has a shot at getting on the ballot in the state with the most electoral votes, California, though. All he needs to do is get 178,039 signatures by Friday. If he misses that deadline and makes all the other upcoming deadlines, he could get on the ballot in states whose electoral vote total is 141. If he can't get his act together before Friday of next week, though, then he is looking at collecting 98 electoral votes if he wins all 11 remaining states, four of which are dark blue.
Realistically, the only states where the signature requirement is low enough and the deadline is far enough away are Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. The only official swing state here is Iowa, but Iowans are famous for being for sensible people, and any Iowa Republican who detests Trump is probably going to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson. In fact, in today's Iowa poll, Johnson is at 12%. Utah is a special case. It is one of the reddest states in the nation, but if he gets on the ballot there, it is conceivable that, as a Mormon, he could attract just enough votes to hand the state to Hillary Clinton.
McMullin claims to have studied the problem of ballot access and says he has a secret way of getting on all the ballots, despite having missed most of the deadlines. The most likely method is to sue all the states and hope the Supreme Court, which is hopelessly divided on everything, backs him up. Most likely, though, he can one day tell his grandchildren that he ran for president in 2016 and the net effect was to hand one very red state to a Democrat he despises. (V)
Donald Trump recently announced that the election was rigged, and now this remark is being parroted all over conservative media and people are starting to believe it, possibly including supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). When Sanders said it, it did have some meaning, namely that the DNC preferred Clinton and, in some minor ways, tried to help her. For example, it didn't schedule as many debates as Sanders would have liked, and it put some of them in time slots that wouldn't draw so many viewers. But "rigged" sounds more like "dead people voted in Chicago." There was none of that. When Trump says it, he is just making it up. There is no evidence at all that anything will be rigged in November, and if anything is rigged, it will favor the Republicans because the states control the elections and 31 of the governors are Republicans, while only 18 are Democrats, and 1 is an independent.
Nevertheless, as Tierney Sneed at TPM points out, a widespread a priori acceptance among Republicans of the idea that the election is somehow rigged to favor Clinton could become a huge issue if she wins. The Republicans in the Senate could say she is not a legitimate president because the election was fraudulent, and so to defend the Constitution they will oppose everything she does. They could reject all her judicial appointments, from the Supreme Court on down. They could even refuse to confirm her Cabinet. They could insist that she resign, since she is not a legitimate president. If she wins and the Democrats control the Senate, she will at least be able to get appointments through, although filibusters are always possible unless they are abolished. But the point of this story is that the talk of a "rigged election" could provide the excuse to block her every move if she wins.
On Tuesday, at the same rally where he implied that Hillary Clinton should be shot, Trump hinted at a mechanism by which the rigging might take place, announcing that without Voter ID laws, people would be "voting 15 times for Hillary." We have pointed out many times on this site, as recently as yesterday, that this is nonsense—it's just not practicable on the scale that would be needed to swing an election. Still, the notion has already taken hold in some GOP circles that you can't trust polls, and maybe you can't even trust actual voting tallies, either. In 2012, Dean Chambers infamously put together a heavily-trafficked Website in which he offered "unskewed" versions of polls. He predicted a landslide victory for Mitt Romney, with 359 electoral votes (a conclusion that was seconded by Dick Morris and several other right-leaning pundits). Shortly after the election, Chambers ate his serving of crow (crow stew is also a good way to eat your crow), and admitted that his numbers were in error. But once he had time to lick his wounds, he changed tunes, and declared that the only error he had made was that he did not account for voter fraud, and that Mitt Romney really had won the election. Well, Trump supporters are already "unskewing" this year's polls. If and when he loses, it will be a small step to claiming voter fraud again, especially if the candidate is encouraging that line of thinking (something Romney never did). (V & Z)
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) faced a more serious primary challenge than he's normally used to, primarily because Donald Trump said some flattering things about opponent Paul Nehlen. However, when the ballots were counted, Ryan won in a rout—84% to 16%. He will now face political novice Ryan Solen in the general election, and—barring something very unexpected—will be re-elected in his safe Republican district.
As soon as the polls closed, Ryan got back to walking the very fine line he's been walking for the last month or so. Asked about Donald Trump's apparent threat against Hillary Clinton, Ryan said, "I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad." The Speaker must have an odd sense of humor. In any case, as a shrewd politician, he will surely keep his finger on the pulse of his district and will hold Donald Trump as close or as far away as he deems necessary for the next three months. (Z)
With the various other controversies swirling, the questions about Melania Trump's modeling career—and her probable violations of U.S. immigration law—got moved to the back burner. But they haven't been forgotten, and so The Donald says that, "she's going to have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks" to address the issue.
The obvious question, at this point, is why we need to wait so long to hear Mrs. Trump's explanation. Mr. Trump suggested that it will be "fun" to "let it simmer a while." That explanation is a bit hard to swallow, but two alternatives certainly suggest themselves. One possibility is that Trump hopes and thinks that, if enough time passes, the whole thing will just fade away. The second is that the Trump team is scrambling to put together an explanation (and possibly a fall guy) that deflects most or all of the blame away from Melania, much like what happened with the plagiarism fiasco. It is not hard to imagine Trump underlings searching findlaw.com right now for an immigration attorney who will "admit" to giving Mrs. Trump bad advice all those years ago. One way or another, we'll know in two weeks. Maybe. (Z)
It has been widely reported that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is not interested in another term, even if the Republicans do well in November. If they do not do well, the RNC is not likely to be interested in having Reince Priebus serve another term. Either way, someone else is likely to get the job soon. Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is quietly campaigning to replace Priebus. She once ran Hewlett Packard, but was fired by the company's board of directors.
During her short-lived presidential campaign earlier this year, her focus was on vigorously attacking Hillary Clinton, rather than on attacking the other candidates. She clearly enjoyed doing that and would surely love being paid to do it some more. Her greatest strength is her gender. She could attack Madam President day and night and not be accused of being sexist, as a male RNC Chairman would be. The RNC chair's other main job is raising money for the party, and with her extensive contacts in Silicon Valley and also from her failed senatorial run, she might be able to do that part well. (V)
If you are uncertain about how to register and vote in each state, a new series of YouTube videos explains the process. Also mentioned are things like the deadlines, what to do if you have gotten married and changed your name, and so on.
Americans living outside the U.S. are a special case. There are an estimated 4-8 million of them and if either Clinton or Trump wins the election, the number could zoom up. All of them over 18 can vote by absentee ballot in the state they last lived in. To get the correct form to register to vote for each state and instructions on how to fill it out and where to send it, click on the Vote from Abroad banner on top of this page. (V)
With some new polls in today that seem to contradict the map, an explanation of the algorithm used is probably worthwhile. The algorithm used by the software to compute and color the map every day always uses the most recent poll (or the most recent election if the the state hasn't been polled at all this year). Then it searches our database for other polls held within a week of the most recent poll and averages all of them, weighted equally. That is the score used to determine the color of the map and who gets the electoral votes. So, for example, today's Quinnipiac poll says Florida is a tie, but we have Clinton ahead because the Suffolk University poll from a few days ago has her ahead 43% to 39%, so the average of the two is a Clinton lead of 43% to 41%. Note that for all polls used on this site, what counts is when the polls were conducted, not the release date.
Also of note is that we use only neutral pollsters, that is, pollsters who primarily or entirely work only for the media and other nonpartisan organizations. Sometimes you will see a poll reported in the media that we don't have. That almost certainly means the pollster is actually a campaign consultant. If you check out the pollster and see on its Website "We have helped elect 18 Repulicans" you know what its business model is. Or if the list of clients given includes only Democratic state senators, you also have a pretty good idea. These firms always try to help their clients, of course, and if selectively (or incorrectly) reporting the results of a poll helps the client, well, that fits the business model. So we avoid these folks. (V)
|Florida||43%||43%||7%||Jul 30||Aug 07||Quinnipiac U.|
|Iowa||35%||35%||12%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
|North Carolina||43%||41%||7%||Aug 05||Aug 07||PPP|
|Ohio||39%||35%||12%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
|Ohio||44%||42%||8%||Jul 30||Aug 07||Quinnipiac U.|
|Pennsylvania||45%||36%||9%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
|Pennsylvania||48%||39%||7%||Jul 30||Aug 07||Quinnipiac U.|
Today we have Senate polls in three states that could determine control of the Senate. Six-term senator Chuck Grassley looks like he is on his way to a seventh term. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is leading former Ohio governor Ted Strickland by 5 points. Finally, challenger Katie McGinty has a small lead over Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). (V)
|State||Democrat||D %||Republican||R %||Start||End||Pollster|
|Iowa||Patty Judge||42%||Chuck Grassley*||52%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
|Ohio||Ted Strickland||43%||Rob Portman*||48%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
|Pennsylvania||Katie McGinty||48%||Pat Toomey*||44%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Marist Coll.|
* Denotes incumbent
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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Aug09 Clinton Has Double-Digit Lead Nationally
Aug09 The GOP Establishment Does Not Like Donald Trump
Aug09 Trump Gives a Major Address on the Economy
Aug09 New Citizens Could Play a Major Role in the Election
Aug09 Could In-Person Voter Fraud Steal an Election?
Aug09 Religious Leaders Focus on the Issues
Aug09 Two Benghazi Parents Sue Clinton
Aug08 Two More National Polls Shows Clinton with a Wide Lead
Aug08 Will the Presidential Candidates Have Coattails?
Aug08 Kasich: Very Difficult for Trump to Win Ohio
Aug08 How Badly is Trump Doing With Black Voters?
Aug08 NeverTrump Forces Aren't Giving Up
Aug08 Where Are the Republican Women?
Aug08 Could an Election Actually Be Rigged?
Aug08 Clinton's Lies, Trump's Damned Lies
Aug08 Could a Third Party Affect the Election?
Aug08 Trump Will Not Be Able to Pay Off National Debt
Aug08 George Bush Endorses Trump
Aug07 Trump Goes on the Offensive
Aug07 Is Trump-Pence Working Out?
Aug07 Wikileaks Won't Go After Trump's Tax Returns
Aug07 What's Behind Convention Bounces?
Aug07 Green Party Officially Nominates Jill Stein
Aug07 Third Parties Are Racing against the Clock
Aug07 Another Republican Bails on Trump
Aug07 Clinton Is Buying Olympics Ads
Aug07 The Political Process Is Worse Than Rigged
Aug07 Mosquitoes Bite Rubio
Aug06 The Economy Is Barreling Along
Aug06 Trump Names His Economic Team
Aug06 Donald Trump: Full of Surprises
Aug06 Clinton Working to Counter Trump's Rust Belt Strategy
Aug06 Former CIA Head Endorses Clinton
Aug06 Hillary Gets Overconfident, Gets Burned
Aug06 Clinton Still Having Trouble with Millennials
Aug06 Republican Insiders to Trump: Drop Out
Aug06 Another Take on What Happens If Trump Drops Out
Aug06 Trump Closer to Clinton in New Poll
Aug05 Clinton Has a Large National Lead
Aug05 Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball: Clinton Landslide
Aug05 Ryan and Others Are Walking a Fine Line
Aug05 Trump May Start to Drag Senate Candidates Down
Aug05 Melania Trump May Have Been an Undocumented Worker
Aug05 Clinton Is Targeting Influential Republicans
Aug05 Clinton Has To Figure out How To Use Her Billionaires
Aug05 What if Trump Dumps Trump? (Part II)
Aug05 Why Mormons Don't Like Trump
Aug04 Republicans Are Holding the Senate
Aug04 Trump May Be Preparing To Challenge the Election Results