Clinton 303
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Ties 44
Trump 191
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Click for Senate
Dem 50
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Ties 1
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (215)
  • Likely Dem (76)
  • Barely Dem (12)
  • Exactly tied (44)
  • Barely GOP (41)
  • Likely GOP (55)
  • Strongly GOP (95)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: FL
Dem pickups vs. 2012: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2012: (None)

Trump Doubles Down on Calling Clinton a Bigot

After calling Hillary Clinton a bigot earlier this week, Donald Trump did it again yesterday. When pressed by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Trump said:

She's a bigot. She is selling them down the tubes because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn't do anything.

Trump is apparently not aware of the Merriam-Webster definition of "bigot":

A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Bigotry is not about policy positions that do or do not help some particular group. It is about hatred and intolerance, and he has not shown any examples where these apply to her. (V)

Bannon Registered to Vote in an Empty House

A report in The Guardian points out that the CEO of Donald Trump's campaign, Stephen Bannon, is registered to vote at an address in Florida where he doesn't live. In fact, no one lives there. The house is empty. The house was formerly used by Bannon's third ex-wife, Diane Clohesy. The couple divorced seven years ago.

Florida election law makes it clear that a voter has to be registered at an address he or she intends to return to and considers as a permanent address. Florida courts have formulated a permanent address as: "where a person mentally intends to make his or her permanent residence." Bannon actually lives in Laguna Beach, California, and is clearly in violation of Florida election law.

When he was running Breitbart News, one of Bannon's pet issues was voter fraud, something he appears to be engaging in himself now. (V)

Bannon May Have Made Anti-Semitic Remarks

It's been about 10 days since Paul Manafort was cashiered, and Stephen Bannon assumed leadership (or co-leadership) of Donald Trump's campaign. That's just enough time for closets to be looked into and skeletons to be found by enterprising reporters. And so, Bannon is now learning about life under a microscope, with scandalous details from his background coming out on a daily basis.

On Friday, in addition to the possibility that Bannon committed voter fraud (see above), it also broke that he may have used anti-Semitic language in the past. This comes from the divorce filing of his second ex-wife, Mary Louise Piccard. Reportedly he was opposed to enrolling his twin daughters (who were born three days after Bannon and Piccard were married) at a prominent Los Angeles-area school (though the school was not named, the details suggest it was the Archer School). Bannon's objection was that he "didn't want the girls going to school with Jews" and "he doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats.'" It's possible that this didn't happen, though it would be odd to make this particular story up, and would be risky to falsely include it in a court filing. So, maybe it passes the smell test. So far, no stories relating to his first ex-wife have appeared, but that may just be a matter of time.

The New York Times makes an interesting point about Trump and Bannon today. Trump has called for "extreme vetting" to determine who should be allowed to enter the United States. But he appears to do almost no vetting at all of the people who run his campaign. Three of his top people, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manfort, and now Stephen Bannon, have all been news stories themselves, and not in a good way. Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business said: "I'm betting he hasn't done any due diligence on any of these folks. It's leadership on instinct." Implicitly, Ulrich is raising the question of what kind of cabinet Trump would have, and whether he would even bother to check their backgrounds for skeletons that could come back to haunt him later. What kind of judges would be nominate? The president makes thousands of appointments, and if Trump is so careless about picking top people he has to work with closely, whom would he pick for positions he knows nothing about? (Z & V)

Teamsters Back Clinton

Yesterday the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' executive board voted unanimously to support Hillary Clinton. The General President of the Union, James P. Hoffa, said: "She is the right candidate for the middle class and working men and women across the country." Other major unions, including the AFL-CIO and SEIU, have already endorsed Clinton.

Given that Donald Trump's support largely consists of blue-collar workers, it might seem odd that the big unions are all behind Clinton, but it is true. Of course, the union members may not all agree with their own leadership. Nevertheless, strong union backing means there will be people available on Election Day to help get out the vote, especially among union members. (V)

Trump's Doctor Wrote Health Report in 5 Minutes

Donald Trump's doctor, Harold Bornstein, who wrote a four paragraph note on the candidate's health last December, admitted yesterday that he spent just 5 minutes writing it, and that he "picked up his kind of language and then I just interpreted it to my own." In the health report, Bornstein said Trump "will be healthiest individual ever elected president." This is patently absurd since Bornstein never even met any of the other presidents. Bill Clinton lived a notoriously unhealthy lifestyle, but George W. Bush was a gym rat, fitness fanatic, and 16 years younger when he was inaugurated than Trump will be in January. George Washington personally led an army to victory on horseback. Teddy Roosevelt's military and other exploits are legendary. In college, Jerry Ford was on the University of Michigan's undefeated national championship football team. John Quincy Adams swam naked in the Potomac. Woodrow Wilson played over 1,000 rounds of golf as President. Herbert Hoover invented a game, Hooverball, that involved tossing a 6-pound ball over an 8-foot-high net. And there is more.

Now Dr. Bornstein has backed down and said:

I don't think he's in any better or worse (shape) than the average person that goes and exercises every single day. Doesn't smoke, doesn't drink -- and that's simply the best advantage you can have to live -- and he's got a good family history.

It is true that Trump doesn't smoke and drink, but there is no evidence that he ever exercises. Saying he is healthier than Teddy Roosevent, who, with his son, shot and killed 17 lions, 11 elephants, and 20 rhinos in Africa, is rather questionable. (V)

Clinton Foundation Causing Headaches from All Sides for Hillary

Benghazi didn't stick to Hillary Clinton very well, despite one of the longest and most expensive Congressional investigations in history. The e-mails seem to be fading in importance, as well. But the Clinton Foundation, well, that one appears to be hitting home. In fact, it looks like it is spinning out of Clinton's control.

To start, for all the talk of the press being in the bag for Clinton, the Associated Press has been a thorn in her side on this one. They reported, and tweeted, that more than half the meetings she took at the State Department were with Clinton Foundation donors. If true, that would be fairly shocking. However, the report is missing one key phrase—it's half the meetings she took with outsiders. In other words, the vast majority of meetings that Clinton held while Secretary of State were with government officials—the President, her undersecretaries, members of Congress, etc. Of the rest (a small fraction of the overall total), more than half were with Clinton Foundation donors. The AP is refusing to back down from its reporting, however, despite having been called out by other media outlets. And in any case, the foes of Clinton are not likely to take note of any future corrections.

Meanwhile (and in part as a result of the AP's story), prominent Republicans have filed a FOIA request to gain access to Clinton's daily schedules during her time as Secretary, so they can tally up whom she was meeting with, and when. State has released a partial set of schedules, but says the rest will have to wait until December (in other words, after the election). The Department claims that they are snowed under with requests for emails, schedules, and all other sorts of information, and that they are working as fast as they can. The GOP claims they are stonewalling. Whatever the truth may be, this too will undoubtedly linger.

Unfortunately for Clinton, she's not even finding much support on her side of the aisle. Russ Feingold, who is among the more liberal members of the party, suggested in an interview this week that if she becomes president, the Foundation will probably need to shut down. That would be regrettable—there is little doubt that people will die if the Clinton Foundation ceases to fill the vacuum that it currently fills. However, if this remains a potent hammer to be wielded by her political enemies, Clinton may have no choice but to yield. (Z)

Hillary Clinton's First Term Was Peaceful

While many people are under the impression that Hillary Clinton has never been president, that is not true. She was president of the student body at Wellesley College in 1968, a tumultuous year that saw insurgent presidential candidates Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy, assassinations, and riots (especially on campuses). Politico has a long piece on how she responded to all the clashes around her. She spent the summer of 1968 as an intern on Capitol Hill. Then in the fall of that year, she addressed the 400 new students who had just enrolled at Wellesley—what she said and how she behaved can tell us a lot of how she might govern if she is elected president. Despite all the turmoil around her, she called for teach-ins instead of sit-ins, talking over chanting, and symposia over sign waving. She fought for small-bore initiatives that affected students' lives, including eliminating antiquated curfew rules, giving students more choice in the courses they could take, and allowing them to take some courses pass-fail. She also supported a group of black students who pressured the administration into admitting more black students and hiring more black professors. She did this by forging relationships with student, professors, deans, and the college president. She operated in a very pragmatic way, but got a lot done.

A lot of this rings true in terms of how she acted in the Senate. Some senators love to grandstand (ahem, Ted Cruz), but she was much more of a work horse than a show horse. After Sept. 11, she worked hard to help rebuild lower Manhattan. It is very likely that if she is elected, she will disappoint the supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by actually trying to work with the Republicans to get things done. Most senators who know her actually like and respect her, despite what some may say in public. There is nothing radical in her past, it is unlikely there will be anything radical in her future. But she might be effective. (V)

Johnson Is Running Radio Ads in Swing States

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is spending over $800,000 on radio ads in four battleground states: Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. He is also on the air in Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. One ad says that if either a Democrat or a Republican is elected, we will still be at war, we will be deeper in debt, and taxes will be higher. A second ad argues against the two-party system. A third ad features Juan Hernandez, a trade expert who has advised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), George W. Bush, and Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico. He says Trump insults Latinos, and the left never delivers, so it is time for Johnson. (V)

LePage Seems to Be Unclear What 'Racist' Means

Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) has been in headlines several times this week. On Thursday, he took exception to Maine Rep. Drew Gattine (D) calling him a racist. Though Gattine denies he said such a thing, LePage nonetheless left Gattine a blistering, profanity-filled voicemail:

I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c---sucker. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I'm a racist. I've spent my life helping black people, and you little son of a b----, socialist c---sucker. You—I need you to—just friggin'. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.

Gattine did as instructed, releasing the message to the press, which led to a semi-apology from LePage. The issue was still on his mind on Friday, however, and so at a press conference the Governor tried to explain that he's simply reasonable, and not racist. He declared:

You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority right now coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin. I can't help that. I just can't help it. Those are the facts.

Nearly every media outlet reduced that, not unreasonably, to the headline: Maine governor: The 'enemy' is people of color.

Paul LePage is the governor of a fairly small state, and neither he nor the state's two U.S. Senators are up for re-election this year. Meanwhile, Maine's four electoral votes are in Hillary Clinton's pocket. So, his incendiary rhetoric will have no direct impact on 2016. However, the more that he and other prominent Republicans say Trump-like things (particularly misunderstanding the word "racist" at the same time Trump misuses the word "bigot"), the harder it will be for the GOP to shake the perception that The Donald represents who they really are, as opposed to being an anomaly. (Z)

Today's Presidential Polls

In a new Mason Dixon poll of Florida, Clinton is ahead of Trump by 2 points but the map shows it as a tie? How come? Because our algorithm averages the most recent week of polls to get a more accurate value, and on Thursday we had another poll, with Trump 2 points ahead of Clinton. Hence the tie on the map and on the averages page, tipping-point page, and all the others that use the data. (V)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Florida 44% 42% 6% Aug 22 Aug 24 Mason Dixon

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Aug26 Trump's Pitch To Black Voters Is Really to White Voters
Aug26 Clinton's Alt-Right Speech Also Aimed at Wavering Republicans
Aug26 More Republicans Are Registering to Vote than Democrats
Aug26 Clinton Raised $19 Million in Three Days
Aug26 Majority of Republicans Say Trump Should Release His Tax Returns
Aug26 Trump Under Attack for Immigration Flip-Flopping
Aug26 Trump Still Ignoring Data Operation
Aug26 Bannon Once Charged with Domestic Violence
Aug26 Facebook Targets Users Based on Their Political Views
Aug26 Trump Makes Minnesota Ballot
Aug26 McMullin on the Ballot in Six States
Aug25 New Feature: State Polling Averages in One Page
Aug25 Trump Is Pulling a Wright
Aug25 Trump Is Making Red States More Competitive
Aug25 Republican Culture vs. Democratic Culture
Aug25 Trump's Position on Immigration Keeps Evolving
Aug25 Are There Really a Large Number of New Republican Voters?
Aug25 Sanders' New Group Is Fighting with Itself
Aug25 What Is the Deal with the Clinton Foundation?
Aug25 Ninety-nine Senators Incensed About EpiPen Price Jump
Aug25 New Feature: State Pollong Averages in One Page
Aug25 Trump Is Pulling a Wright
Aug25 Trump Is Making Red States More Competitive
Aug25 Republican Culture vs. Democratic Culture
Aug25 Trump's Position on Immigration Keeps Evolving
Aug25 Are There Really a Large Number of New Republican Voters?
Aug25 Sanders' New Group Is Fighting with Itself
Aug25 What Is the Deal with the Clinton Foundation?
Aug25 Ninety-nine Senators Incensed About EpiPen Price Jump
Aug24 New Clinton Email Dump Shows That Clinton Foundation Donors Bought Access
Aug24 Assessing Trump's New I'm Not a Racist Strategy
Aug24 Trump Emphasizes the Supreme Court in His Campaign Speeches
Aug24 Appeals Court Rules for the Republicans in Voting Case
Aug24 California May Scrap In-Person Voting
Aug24 Both Candidates' Health a Mystery
Aug24 Get Ready for a Decade of Divided Government
Aug24 Priebus Predicts Trump Will Catch Clinton in Two Weeks
Aug24 Could Trump Start a TV Network If He Loses?
Aug24 Trump's Latest FEC Filing Has Some Interesting Items
Aug24 Jill Stein: The Trump of the Progressive Movement?
Aug23 More Clinton Emails Discovered
Aug23 Trump's Immigration Speech Postponed
Aug23 Will the Presidential Winner Have Coattails?
Aug23 Top RNC Strategist Will Help Trump
Aug23 Both Candidates Prefer Secret Fundraisers
Aug23 Clinton Goes to California
Aug23 Blue Wall Is Getting Taller
Aug23 Trump May Not Concede If He Loses
Aug23 Trump Goes Where He Won't Be Outfoxed
Aug23 Twelve-year-old Boy Running Trump's Campaign in Key Colorado County