Clinton 323
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Trump 215
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Click for Senate
Dem 49
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Ties 2
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (192)
  • Likely Dem (87)
  • Barely Dem (44)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (98)
  • Likely GOP (39)
  • Strongly GOP (78)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: AL AZ FL ID NC SD
Dem pickups vs. 2012: NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA OH

Florida Is Slipping Away from Trump

Without Florida, there is virtually no way Donald Trump can become President of the United States, and every day brings more evidence that Hillary Clinton is going to win a solid victory there. There is polling, early voting data, TV spending, and the size of the campaigns' respective ground games, and all of them point to a substantial Clinton win in Florida. Since the start of August, we have 33 polls in Florida. Clinton is leading in 24 of them, tied in 2, and behind in only 7. If we look at polls taken entirely in September and October, Clinton is leading in 15 and trailing in 6, and in half of the 6 polls where Trump led, it is by only 1 point.

Early mail-in ballots are another problem for Trump. In 2012, Republicans led in mail-ins at this point by 5 points. This year, they still lead, but their lead has been cut to 1.7 points, a shift of over 3 points in Clinton's favor. That is not a good sign for The Donald.

Voter registration is another problem area for Trump. Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012, and since then, 100,000 more Democrats than Republicans have registered to vote. Furthermore, the Florida electorate is less white now than in 2012, with a 3-point shift in favor of nonwhite voters, and most of whom vote Democratic.

Yet another problem for Trump is the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. The upshot of troubled economic times on the island is that many Puerto Ricans are moving to the mainland, mostly around Orlando. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and as soon as they have established residency in Florida, they are eligible to register and vote there. The Clinton campaign is actively working to register as many of them as possible, knowing that Puerto Ricans are very strongly Democratic. Latino Decisions, a polling firm that specializes in polling Latinos, puts the likely vote among Puerto Ricans in Florida at 74% for Clinton and 17% for Trump. In the past, Florida's Latinos were dominated by Cuban-Americans, but that is no longer the case. Obama beat Romney among Latinos 60% to 39%, and Clinton is expected to do much better than Obama, in part due to the Puerto Ricans.

Ryan Tyson, vice president for political operations for the Associated Industries of Florida, wrote to his conservative members this past weekend that they should be prepared for a Clinton victory in the range of 275,000 to 460,000 votes. In Florida terms, that is a landslide. (V)

Powell's with Her

One of the last potentially impactful endorsements left out there has finally dropped. Former general and Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton on November 8.

That Powell is not voting for Donald Trump is not a surprise, since he recently described the GOP nominee as a "national disgrace." The question was whether Hillary Clinton was a bridge too far, since she and the general don't see eye-to-eye on some things, and since he's not thrilled to be blamed for her e-mail server. However, he appears to be looking past those problems, and so joins a fairly long list of Bush administration officials who have jumped ship on the red team this year, including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, former President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board Chairman Brent Scowcroft, former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. (Z)

Trump Received $17 Million from Insurance Company after Minor Damage to Mar-a-Lago

After Hurricane Wilma struck Florida in 2005, Donald Trump filed a claim for $17 million from the company that insures his Mar-a-Lago resort in the Not-Always-Sunshine State. The company paid his claim and Trump pocketed much of the money himself rather than using it for repairs. According to Trump, the terms of the policy did not require him to make repairs.

However, his former butler Anthony Senecal has said that there was hardly any damage to the private resort as a result of the storm. At most, a few roof tiles had to be replaced. Tim Frank, Palm Beach's planning administrator, said that $17 million worth of damage would require scores of workmen and many permits to do the repair work. Of the repair work, he said: "I would have known if there was anything in the magnitude of $100,000." Jack McDonald, the Republican mayor of Palm Beach at the time said: "I am unable to comprehend $17 million in reimbursable damage." Two weeks after the storm, Donald Trump, Jr.s wedding celebration was held at Mar-a-Lago, and wedding photos show no damage at all to the house, pool, and landscaping.

The bottom line here appears to be that Trump ripped off the insurance company and got away with it. (V)

Trump Hasn't Put the $100 Million He Promised into His Campaign

During the second presidential debate, in St. Louis, Donald Trump promised to put $100 million of his own money into his campaign. So far, he hasn't done it. His contribution so far is $56 million. Of course, he could cut his campaign a check for $44 million today if he wants to, but if he really meant what he said in the debate, he would have done that long ago.

Furthermore, of the $56 million he donated, not all of it was in cash. He has given free office space to his campaign in Trump Tower, but he records the amount the space is worth at far higher rates than others pay for space there, thus inflating the amount of his donation. In addition, the campaign has a strong tendency to buy goods and services from companies Trump owns, so he gets back some of the money he (and others) have given to the campaign.

Also noteworthy is that according to FEC filings, Trump has given his campaign only $2,500 in October, despite Clinton having more money in the bank. If Trump were really trying to win, it would seem logical that this would be the time to pony up in a big way.

By failing to fund his campaign himself, he is violating a fundamental pledge he has made to his supporters. Since the very beginning, Trump has claimed that because he is self-funding, he is not beholden to special interests, as Hillary Clinton is. (V)

Trump Launches Nightly Facebook Newscast

Starting on Monday, and continuing for the remaining two weeks until Election Day, the Trump campaign is airing a nightly newscast via Facebook. The program promises "nightly campaign coverage from Trump Tower," while "bypassing the left-wing media." The first "broadcast" drew between 40,000 and 60,000 viewers, which is a fairly solid number by Facebook standards.

To everyone who was not born yesterday, this certainly appears to be a preview of a hypothetical Trump News Network (TNN). Campaign insiders—except Steve Bannon, who has been playing it close to the vest—insist that this is not the case. Yeah, right. Nothing may come of the idea, but it is inconceivable that Trump isn't at least considering a media venture, and that this experiment will serve as a trial balloon. This would help explain, for example, why The Donald is campaigning in Virginia—hopeless, from a political standpoint, but full of potential TNN viewers. Similarly, one wonders if Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), and Newt Gingrich are no longer angling for cabinet positions, and instead are auditioning for shows on the network. Gingrich's meltdown on Tuesday, in which he attacked Megyn Kelly (and, to a lesser extent, Fox News) would certainly fit nicely with that thesis. Whatever the case may be, we should know early next year, since Trump would want to strike while the iron is hot. (Z)

Trump Stops Fundraising for the RNC

Donald Trump's finance chair, Steve Mnuchin, announced yesterday that The Donald will not hold any more big-ticket fundraisers for the RNC before Election Day. He explained that Trump wants to spend all his remaining time out on the campaign trail.

While that strategy may help Trump, it definitely doesn't help the Republican Party, which needs money to run its get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation. Without a vigorous GOTV operation, down-ballot Republicans could be hurt, but Trump doesn't care about them. To a large extent, his campaign is funded by small-dollar online donations, as was that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). (V)

Conway: I Can't Take Away a Grown Man's Twitter Account

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, clearly understands that her candidate's habit of constantly tweeting attacks on anyone who happens to cross him is not a great idea. Republicans have said to her: "Can't you take away his access?" to which she replied (truthfully): "I can't take away a grown man's Twitter account." She also said that in private, she is tough on him, but he does what he wants to do and she can't stop him. They have also argued about whether he is going to win and what one should say when asked by the media who is going to win. In short, Conway is a competent campaign manager, but she has an incompetent candidate to manage. It can't be done, but she has to keep trying for another 13 days. (V)

Trump Wants to Fight Biden

Andrew Jackson, as you may have heard, was something of a brawler. He wrecked a few taverns in his time, and fought more than his share of duels. While serving as president, he even beat the daylights out of a man named Richard Lawrence, who had the impertinence to make an assassination attempt.

One might think that sort of presidential fisticuffs would be a thing of the past, inasmuch as the United States has grown a great deal since those rough-and-tumble days two centuries ago. And, one would be wrong, it would seem. In a speech last week, Vice-President Joe Biden said that he wished that he and Trump were in high school together, so he could take The Donald "behind the gym." That, of course, is the sort of challenge that Trump simply cannot bear to let pass, and so he responded in kind, addressing Biden as "Mr. Tough Guy" and saying, "I'd love that."

There is no chance, of course, that two men in their seventies are actually going to don gloves and trunks and go 12 rounds. But if they did, it would be the pay-per-view event of the century. (Z)

Donald Trump Once Hosted Scandalous Parties

Donald Trump's image took another hit or boost (depending on your point of view) with the published report of Michael Gross about some of the Trump-hosted parties Gross attended in the 1990s. He said they were full of wealthy friends of Trump, high rollers from his Atlantic City casinos, and potential Trump condo buyers. They were also many young models, some as young as 15, who were introduced to much older, wealthy men. Gross reported that there was cocaine, top-shelf liquor, and lots of sex at the parties. Cigarettes were forbidden because Trump doesn't smoke. Gross described the girls as a kind of "currency" that the men traded among themselves. Is Trump the kind of man straitlaced evangelical voters admire? Probably not, but most of them are so scared of the kind of justices Hillary Clinton would nominate to the Supreme Court that they will vote for him anyway. (V)

Murphy in Hot Water Because of Trump Connection

Well, this is a new one. We've already heard plenty about Republican politicians being harmed by their association with Donald Trump. But now, a Democrat is the one who's got the problem. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) is fighting tooth-and-nail to put Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) out of work, and has been doing all he can to paint Rubio as Trump's best buddy (apparently hoping nobody saw the Republican candidates' debates). A wrench has been thrown into that strategy, now that it has come to light that Murphy's grandfather partnered with Trump on several development projects. Murphy tried to deny this, until a photograph came to light showing Grandpa Murphy and Trump at the groundbreaking for one of the developments.

Murphy's fate, at this point, is largely going to be determined by forces beyond his control. He has no control, of course, over his grandfather's business dealings conducted decades before Murphy began his political career. He will benefit from increased Democratic registration in Florida and from Hillary Clinton's coattails (see above), but could be hurt by DSCC decisions to stop funding him (see below). It's surely not a fun position to be in; luckily for him he's only got two more weeks to go. (Z)

Democrats Fighting over Rubio

A battle had broken out within the Democratic Party leadership about whether to try to take down Marco Rubio. The argument for taking him down is that it would be nice to have his seat held by a Democrat, but more importantly, defeating him now means they are also eliminating a potential 2020 presidential candidate who could be appealing to many voters. The argument against taking him down now is that Florida is a very big and expensive state to advertise in, and the money needed to mount a big campaign against him could be better spent in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Nevada, where close races are being fought.

The battle pits outgoing Democratic Senate leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) against incoming Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Reid wants to go after Rubio but Schumer would rather devote the resources to multiple other Senate races where the Democrats have better chances. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

Nothing too surprising here, beyond that South Dakota poll. Probably an outlier, but if the Mount Rushmore State is even semi-competitive, that's a very bad sign for Donald Trump. (Z)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Alabama 37% 51% 8% Oct 17 Oct 23 SurveyMonkey
Arizona 45% 46% 4% Oct 21 Oct 24 Monmouth U.
Florida 48% 45% 2% Oct 20 Oct 24 SurveyUSA
Idaho 23% 52% 4% Oct 21 Oct 23 Emerson Coll.
North Carolina 46% 39% 8% Oct 20 Oct 23 Siena Coll.
South Dakota 37% 44% 7% Oct 18 Oct 20 Mason Dixon

Today's Senate Polls

Ann Kirkpatrick made things interesting for a while, but you don't spend three decades in the U.S. Senate without picking up a few tricks, and so now it looks like John McCain will keep his job. North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Nevada are all going down to the wire. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Arkansas Conner Eldridge 34% John Boozman* 52% Oct 21 Oct 21 Hendrix Coll.
Arizona Ann Kirkpatrick 40% John McCain* 50% Oct 21 Oct 24 Monmouth U.
Idaho Jerry Sturgill 24% Mike Crapo* 57% Oct 21 Oct 23 Emerson Coll.
North Carolina Deborah Ross 47% Richard Burr* 46% Oct 20 Oct 23 Siena Coll.
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 44% Kelly Ayotte* 48% Oct 17 Oct 21 UMass Amherst
Nevada Catherine Cortez-Masto 43% Joe Heck 41% Oct 20 Oct 22 Rasmussen
South Dakota Jay Williams 27% John Thune* 65% Oct 18 Oct 20 Mason Dixon

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct25 Clinton Gets a Surprise $35 Million Donation
Oct25 North Carolina Voters Could Doom Joe Heck
Oct25 Native Americans Could Play a Big Role in Arizona
Oct25 Everyone is Piling on Trump Now
Oct25 Trump Makes a Last-Minute Push for Virginia
Oct25 Trump Says Polls Are Biased
Oct25 So Much for Wikileaks?
Oct25 Rick Scott's Move Backfires
Oct25 Clinton Has Three Times as Many People on the Ground as Trump
Oct25 New National Polls Are Far Apart
Oct25 Juan Williams Is Threatened by Trump Supporters
Oct25 Clinton's Transition Team Has a Problem
Oct25 How To Get a Top Job in a Potential Clinton Administration
Oct25 Joe Biden Talks About Post-Election Plans
Oct25 Crapo Scratches His Unendorsement
Oct24 Clinton Is Running Ahead of Obama 2012
Oct24 ABC News Poll Gives Clinton Double-digit Lead
Oct24 Trump Campaign Admits It Is Behind
Oct24 Priebus, Son Eric Both Say Trump Will Concede if Election Is Fair
Oct24 Trump Creates a Different Kind of Headache for Some Republicans
Oct24 Luntz: 2016 Should Have Been Slam Dunk for GOP
Oct24 Trump Finally Gets a Major Newspaper Endorsement
Oct24 Clinton's SuperPAC Starts Advertising in Senate Races
Oct24 Clinton Campaigns with McGinty in Pennsylvania
Oct24 Clinton Ally Contributed to Campaign of FBI Official
Oct24 Cheney Looks to Be Headed to Washington
Oct24 Don't Attach Too Much Meaning to Social Media
Oct24 Liberals Nervous about Secretary of the Treasury Sheryl Sandberg
Oct23 Trump Delivers Gettysburg Address; Republicans Prepare for Civil War
Oct23 Clinton Begins Helping Senate and House Candidates
Oct23 What It's Like to Be a Target of Trump Supporters
Oct23 Clinton Is Getting Serious about Utah
Oct23 Did Trump Try Pay to Play with a Woman?
Oct23 Adelson Fed Up with Trump
Oct23 Trump Could Run Nixon's Playbook on November 9
Oct23 Voter Fraud in Indiana?
Oct23 Log Cabin Republicans Reject Trump
Oct23 Elections Really Were Rigged--Long Ago
Oct23 Professors Sticking By Models, Predictions of Trump Victory
Oct22 Early Ballots in Swing States Favor Democrats
Oct22 Trump Math Just Doesn't Add Up
Oct22 Money Talks
Oct22 Trump to Speak at Gettysburg
Oct22 Only Half of Republican Voters Would Accept Clinton as President
Oct22 What Would Happen if Trump Loses and Does Not Concede?
Oct22 Clinton Preparing for the Possibility that She Wins but Trump Won't Concede
Oct22 Clinton Releases Devastating New Ad
Oct22 Clinton Transition Team Gets to Work
Oct22 Wikileaks Claims Responsibility for Internet Outage
Oct22 Back-room Maneuvering for the DNC Chairmanship Is Starting