Clinton 317
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Trump 221
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Click for Senate
Dem 49
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GOP 51
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  • Strongly Dem (187)
  • Likely Dem (73)
  • Barely Dem (57)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (53)
  • Likely GOP (60)
  • Strongly GOP (108)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
Dem pickups vs. 2012: NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA NV OH

There Will Not Be a Surge of Hidden Trump Voters

Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he will win the election due to a surprise surge of previously hidden conservative white voters who didn't vote in 2012. However, for this to happen, these hidden voters would first have to register to vote. Voter registration data show that it is not happening. Stronger yet, an analysis of voter registrations since 2012 show the opposite. Polls of voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida show that newly-registered voters are going for Hillary Clinton 47% to 31%, in part because the new voters are disproportionately young and non-white. Even among new white voters, Trump is having trouble, barely leading 40% to 34%.

The polling data show that the people who are not registered aren't conservative populists, either. Many of them are fed up with the system and don't like any of the candidates. Finally, there are more missing non-white voters than white voters, so if all the unregistered voters were to have registered, it would have helped Clinton more than Trump. (V)

Uncomfortable Questions Being Asked About FBI's Ties to Trump

These days, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is in the habit of spouting off quite a bit, to the point that even his most outlandish statements don't raise many eyebrows. So, when he went on Fox and Friends last Wednesday and bragged about how many friends he has at the FBI, and also that "We got a couple of surprises left," nobody paid him too much attention.

Of course, James Comey's letter to Congress dropped about 48 hours later. So, either Giuliani made a heck of a good guess, or he (and, by extension, the Trump campaign) had an inside track on what was about to happen. If the latter is the case, then it leads to additional questions about the nature of that inside track. Was Giuliani merely being advised about the FBI's internal discussions (which is bad), or was he—a Trump surrogate—influencing the FBI (which is much worse)? At the very least, it's another black eye for the Bureau, and just makes it that much more likely that James Comey won't keep his job much longer. (Z)

Early Voting in Nevada Dominated by Democrats

Early voting in Nevada is looking good for Hillary Clinton. Of the people voting early, 47% are registered Democrats, 34% are registered Republicans, and 19% are "other." Jon Ralston, long-time dean of Nevada political journalism, made the following calculation, based on the assumption that both Clinton and Donald Trump each get 90% of their respective bases:

If the independents split 50-50, Clinton wins by 29,000 votes.
If independents go for Trump by 10 points, Clinton wins by 17,000 votes.
If independents go for Trump by 20 points, Clinton wins by 3,000 votes.

However, there is a caveat: Early voting is new in Nevada and many people don't know about it, so the sample size is small. Nevertheless, getting a lead in early voting is better than trailing in early voting. Nevada polling shows the race to be close, but Nevada polling is iffy because the state has a large transient population. (V)

Trump Promises in Federal Court Not to Intimidate Voters

In response to lawsuits from the Democrats, yesterday, Donald Trump promised to tell his supporters not to intimidate voters on Tuesday. Trump has already been forced to send out an email to his Nevada supporters, explaining what they may and may not do legally. In addition, there will be a hearing this morning about whether Trump and the RNC are violating a long-standing consent decree not to harass voters at polling places. The consent decree is scheduled to expire next year, but if the court finds that Trump and the RNC have violated it, it can be extended for another 8 years, something the RNC definitely does not want. (V)

Trump May Not Be as Rich as He Claims to Be

Donald Trump wants everyone to believe he is very, very rich, but The New York Times has done some investigative reporting and come to the conclusion that he may not be as rich as he says he is. For example, on his financial disclosure forms, he listed his income from his golf resort in Doral, FL as $50 million in 2014. That was his largest income item that year. However, last summer, he was challenging his property tax bill by pointing out that although gross revenue was indeed $50 million, operating costs were $52 million, leading to a net loss of $2 million. From a property tax point of view, that makes the property less valuable, since a buyer would be less likely to fork over a very large sum to buy a commercial property that loses money. It also means that Trump's income might not be so high if his biggest grossing property was running in the red.

Another example: In his 2008 book, he said that he makes $20 million a year from rentals in his 40 Wall Street building. But on his property tax appeals, he said that the building's cash flow in 2014 was only $104,000. And in the previous 3 years, the cash flow was a negative $6 million.

Trump appears to have used a provision in federal law that allows business owners to list gross revenue (rather than net profit) on disclosure forms. So when he disclosed "income" of $362 million last year and $556 million this year, that is probably gross revenue, not net profit. It is impossible from the forms to determine what his net profit was—or even if he had any profit at all. But there is an excellent chance that his net income is far lower than what appears on the disclosure forms. This is probably why he has steadfastly refused to release his tax forms. (V)

Eric Trump Wants David Duke Shot

Donald Trump's son Eric was appearing on a Denver talk show on Thursday, and was asked about David Duke's support for his father. He replied:

The guy does deserve a bullet. I mean, these aren't good people. These are horrible people. In fact, I commend my father. My father's the first Republican who's gone out and said, 'Listen, what's happened to the African-American community is horrible and I'm going to take care of it.'

Trump's goal here—to distance his father's campaign from its white supremacist supporters—is understandable, but he sure said a mouthful. To start, it may not be best to threaten violence against someone if you're trying to show that you don't like the type of people who threaten violence against their enemies. Second, they're not good people, and in fact they're horrible people? So, in other words, you might say they are...deplorable? And finally, Trump's history is more than a little shaky here. If he thinks no other Republican has tried to aid the black community, he might want to read about Dwight D. Eisenhower's forcible integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957, or Theodore Roosevelt's platform in 1904. In fact, the first Republican president, one Mr. Lincoln, may also have had something to say on this subject. (Z)

Vote Trading Is Back

In 2004, some people who were worried that Ralph Nader voters would again hand the election to George W. Bush came up with a scheme that enabled the Nader voters to make their point without endangering John Kerry. They set up a vote-trading operation in which Nader voters in swing states were matched up with Democrats in deep blue states. The idea is that the Nader voter in, say, Colorado, promised to vote for Kerry and in return, a Kerry supporter in, say, California promised to vote for Nader. In this way, Nader's national total would be the same, but Kerry wouldn't be sacrificed in Colorado. The Justice Dept. took a very dim view of this since federal law prohibits trading a vote for anything of value.

Things changed in 2007 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Porter v. Bowen ruled that such an arrangement was protected by the First Amendment. Now, vote trading is back. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Amit Kumar has created an app that allows a Jill Stein or Gary Johnson supporter in a swing state to make a deal with a Hillary Clinton supporter in a deep blue or deep red state to exchange votes, thus helping Clinton in a swing state without reducing the overall vote for Stein or Johnson. So, for example, after you log in and identify as, say, a Stein voter in Florida, you might be matched with a Clinton voter in New York and a Clinton voter in Texas, since their votes don't matter. By allowing a Stein or Johnson voter to get two votes for his or her favorite candidate, the whole deal is more attractive. No proof of voting is required. It works on the honor system. (V)

Trump Tower in Toronto Is Bankrupt

The 65-story luxurious Trump Tower in Toronto filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. Trump has been involved in the project since the beginning and his name is prominently displayed on it, but he is not an investor. The actual developer is a Russian-born billionaire, Alex Schnaider. Despite Trump's involvement and name, the project has been a disaster from the beginning. Hotel occupancy rates were expected to be 55% in the worst-case scenario, but in reality they have been 15% to 45%, so management has had to lower the room rate by $100, and the hotel is still being outcompeted by the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. Many of the condos are unsold. Buyers were told that the Trump name would make it easy to get mortgages, but the banks were unimpressed and many people lost money. Lawsuits abound. All in all, this failure raises the question of his business judgment. He claims that he licenses his name only to top-flight ventures that he has carefully vetted, but this high-profile failure suggests that either he isn't careful at all about who gets to use his name, or his ability to vet business partners is not very good. (V)

Trump International in Las Vegas Violated Labor Laws

Toronto wasn't Thursday's only source of hotel-related news that Donald Trump might have preferred to keep under wraps for another five days or so. His property in Las Vegas—the Trump International, which he does own—was censured by the National Labor Relations Board. Employees at the hotel are trying to unionize, Trump and his partners refuse to negotiate with the union, and the NLRB says that's not acceptable.

Needless to say, this development does not comport very well with Trump's oft-repeated statements on the campaign trail that he is a great friend of organized labor. There may not be time for this news to have much impact on the election; on the other hand, it wouldn't be a shock to see the Clinton campaign whip up a quick commercial this weekend. (Z)

Vote by Text Message? Not So Fast

Anonymous Donald Trump supporters have been circulating messages on Twitter, telling (naive) supporters of Hillary Clinton that they can vote by texting "Hillary" to 59925. Their hope, of course, is that some gullible Clinton supporters do this and then skip actual voting. Some of the tweets are in Spanish.

These tweets have put Twitter in a bind. They don't technically violate Twitter's terms and conditions and probably don't violate any federal laws, but Twitter doesn't want to be accused of voter suppression. Of late, Twitter has been tending to remove them, though. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

The most important number here, of course, is Florida, where Hillary Clinton continues to hold a small but steady lead for the White House. The fact that the same polling house has Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) with a comfortable lead for the Senate suggests that a fair bit of ticket-splitting is going to happen. And if it does, that's bad news for Donald Trump. Also significant is that the entire Florida poll was conducted after James Comey's letter became public last Friday. (Z)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Arkansas 36% 59%   Oct 18 Oct 25 U. of Arkansas
Arizona 40% 45% 9% Oct 30 Nov 01 Marist Coll.
California 53% 33% 4% Oct 25 Oct 31 Field Poll
Colorado 44% 34% 9% Oct 17 Oct 24 U. of Colorado Boulder
Florida 49% 45% 3% Nov 01 Nov 02 Opinion Savvy
Georgia 44% 45% 8% Oct 30 Nov 01 Marist Coll.
Iowa 41% 44% 5% Nov 01 Nov 02 RABA Research
New Hampshire 39% 40% 10% Oct 29 Nov 01 MassINC
New Hampshire 42% 42% 5% Oct 31 Nov 02 Suffolk U.
New Hampshire 43% 48% 4% Oct 31 Nov 02 ARG
New Hampshire 44% 44% 5% Oct 28 Nov 02 UMass Lowell
Texas 35% 49% 5% Oct 31 Nov 01 Emerson Coll.
Texas 40% 49% 6% Oct 30 Nov 01 Marist Coll.
Utah 20% 40% 3% Nov 01 Nov 02 Emerson Coll.
Utah 31% 37% 4% Oct 30 Nov 02 Monmouth U.
Utah 31% 42% 3% Oct 29 Oct 31 Rasmussen

Today's Senate Polls

Ann Kirkpatrick and Jim Barksdale made a good show of it, but time has run out. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Arkansas Conner Eldridge 38% John Boozman* 61% Oct 18 Oct 25 U. of Arkansas
Arizona Ann Kirkpatrick 39% John McCain* 55% Oct 30 Nov 01 Marist Coll.
Colorado Michael Bennet* 54% Darryl Glenn 40% Oct 17 Oct 24 U. of Colorado Boulder
Florida Patrick Murphy 44% Marco Rubio* 50% Oct 27 Nov 01 Quinnipiac U.
Florida Patrick Murphy 46% Marco Rubio* 50% Nov 01 Nov 02 Opinion Savvy
Georgia Jim Barksdale 37% Johnny Isakson* 48% Oct 30 Nov 01 Marist Coll.
North Carolina Deborah Ross 49% Richard Burr* 45% Oct 27 Nov 01 Quinnipiac U.
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 42% Kelly Ayotte* 44% Oct 31 Nov 02 Suffolk U.
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 45% Kelly Ayotte* 51% Oct 29 Nov 01 MassINC
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 47% Kelly Ayotte* 46% Oct 28 Nov 02 UMass Lowell
Ohio Ted Strickland 38% Rob Portman* 56% Oct 27 Nov 01 Quinnipiac U.
Pennsylvania Katie McGinty 48% Pat Toomey* 47% Oct 27 Nov 01 Quinnipiac U.
Utah Misty Snow 28% Mike Lee* 61% Oct 30 Nov 02 Monmouth U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov03 Top Democrats Have No Confidence in Comey
Nov03 Obama: We Don't Operate on Innuendo
Nov03 Clinton Indictment Reportedly Likely
Nov03 GOP Congressmen Predict a Constitutional Crisis
Nov03 Trump Viewed as More Honest than Clinton
Nov03 Trump Raised $100 Million in Small Donations in October
Nov03 Judge to Rule on Voter Purges in North Carolina
Nov03 Republicans Have Given Up Trying to Win in the Cities
Nov03 Newspaper Owned by Trump's Son-in-Law Won't Endorse Him
Nov03 Trump vs. Tur
Nov03 Legality of Ballot Selfies Depends on Where You Live
Nov03 Bettors Are Betting on Trump
Nov03 Cubs Win the World Series
Nov02 How Predictive Are the Polls One Week Out?
Nov02 Don't Read Too Much Into Polling Changes
Nov02 Seven Questions about Turnout Could Determine Who Wins
Nov02 Early Voting Tells Some Important Tales
Nov02 Another Former President May Be Voting for Clinton
Nov02 Weld Defends Clinton
Nov02 Clinton Raises $11 Million after FBI Announcement
Nov02 Union Workers Could Hand the Election to Trump
Nov02 Trump Asks Early Clinton Voters to Change Their Vote
Nov02 Sleeping Like the Enemy
Nov02 House Freedom Caucus to Hold Secret Meeting Today
Nov02 Republicans Have a Good Senate Map in 2018
Nov01 Sheldon Adelson Set to Donate $25 Million to Trump's Campaign
Nov01 Trump Stiffs His Pollster
Nov01 Trump Avoided Taxes by Stretching a Loophole
Nov01 Last Four Attorneys General Have Now All Criticized Comey
Nov01 Girl Who Starred in the Daisy Ad Makes a New One
Nov01 Kasich Votes for John McCain
Nov01 Computer Scientists Uncovered a Digital Hotline between Trump Servers and Moscow
Nov01 Donna Brazile Gave Clinton a Debate Question in Advance
Nov01 Brazile Shouldn't Be the Only One to Go
Nov01 Schumer Is Helping Democratic Senate Candidates
Nov01 Democratic Senate Candidates Get a Black Eye
Nov01 Desperate Times Apparently Call for Desperate Measures
Oct31 A Third of All Voters Less Likely to Support Clinton Due to FBI Announcement
Oct31 Comey May Find Himself Out of a Job
Oct31 A President Clinton Would Have a Very Tense Relationship with FBI Director Comey
Oct31 Early Votes Favor Clinton
Oct31 Trump Moving Back to Blue States
Oct31 Trump Encourages Supporters to Vote Again
Oct31 A Quarter of All Adults Are Not Registered to Vote
Oct31 Senate Hangs in the Balance
Oct31 Trump Has Changed Dating
Oct31 The Decline and Fall of Chris Christie
Oct30 Comey's Announcement Shocks Former Prosecutors
Oct30 E-Mails Look Like Much Ado About Nothing
Oct30 Four Ways Forward for Clinton