Clinton 323
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Ties 6
Trump 209
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Click for Senate
Dem 48
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Ties 1
GOP 51
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  • Strongly Dem (175)
  • Likely Dem (98)
  • Barely Dem (50)
  • Exactly tied (6)
  • Barely GOP (104)
  • Likely GOP (27)
  • Strongly GOP (78)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: CA FL LA MI MN NH PA VA
Dem pickups vs. 2012: NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: OH

Clinton's E-mails Rear Their Ugly Head Again

Hillary Clinton's e-mails are starting to bear a striking resemblance to the main character in a horror movie franchise. Like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers, every time you think they're dead and buried, they come roaring back to life. On Friday, FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress advising them that new emails have been uncovered, and that the agency was taking "appropriate investigative steps." The messages, said to number in the thousands, came to light as part of an (unrelated) investigation into former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose phone, iPad and laptop were seized after he was accused of sexting with an underage girl.

Republicans, of course, were delighted by this news. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a statement:

This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.

Donald Trump doesn't agree with Ryan on very much these days, but he seconded the sentiment: "Hillary Clinton's corruption is on a scale we've never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office." Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted, "A great day in our campaign just got even better." Not every Republican was delighted, though. Rush Limbaugh is convinced that Comey announced the Weiner emails to try and deflect attention from the Wikileaks emails. Thank goodness Rush is here to put the pieces together.

The Clinton camp, of course, was not happy about the news. "It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election," said Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Another campaign insider declared, "I'm livid, actually; this has turned into malpractice...I have no idea what Comey is up to but the idea this email issue is popping back up again is outrageous."

At some point, Comey is going to have some tough questions to answer. If there is something in the newly-found emails pressing enough that the announcement simply couldn't wait, then surely the voting public deserves some details before they cast their ballots. And if there's nothing significant, then Comey's timing is—at best—wildly unfair, since he surely knows, as a veteran of law enforcement, that many people will assume the worst in the absence of any details.

Indeed, it's difficult to conceive of an explanation here that doesn't make Comey look at least a little bit bad. He's Republican, and maybe he's trying to help the Republican candidate? Or, maybe he's smarting from the criticism he received when deciding not to prosecute, and is trying to throw a bone to Congressional Republicans? Or maybe he's trying to prove that he does his job as he sees fit, and politics be damned? In any of these scenarios, he would be giving top priority to his own needs, or to his own image, or to his agency's image.

Of course, the most important question at this point is whether or not the new revelations will have an impact on the campaign. It seems likely that voters' opinions about Clinton and her emails are already set, such that the new revelations won't have much impact. However, it is also the case that Clinton can't be certain, which means that she's going to have to shift out of cruise control, and go back to focusing on her own campaign (and not the campaigns of downballot Democrats). So, through a torturous series of steps, the main impact of a former Democratic representative's dalliances may be to create more former Democratic representatives. (Z)

Economy Does Well in Third Quarter

The U.S. economy grew by 2.9% in the Third Quarter, a solid performance that undercuts Donald Trump's claim that the Democrats can't grow the economy. During the third debate, he said that the country is dying at 1% GDP growth. Now that actual measurements show it growing much faster, that argument is dead in the water. The October jobs report will come out before the election. If that is also good news, it will be even harder for Trump to argue that Obama is ruining the economy. (V)

Philadelphia Suburbs Are Going Strongly to Clinton

Donald Trump's path to the White House goes through the Rust Belt; the key to the Rust Belt is Pennsylvania, and the key to Pennsylvania lies in the Philadelphia suburbs. The Washington Post's James Hohmann did some reporting there, and this is what he found: The "collar counties" around Philadelphia (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware) are going to be a big problem for Trump. A Bloomberg poll showed Clinton running 18 points ahead of Obama's 2012 performance. Republicans need to hold these counties to win statewide, and that simply isn't happening. In a day of searching, Hohmann couldn't find even a single Trump voter, although he found plenty of split-ticket voters who were going to vote for Hillary Clinton and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). He asked at bars and elsewhere for suggestions on where to find a Trump supporter, and no one said they knew any. A number of voters couldn't understand why Trump kept coming back to campaign in extremely hostile territory. Some of the people interviewed said that they would have happily voted for Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), had he been the Republican nominee. One woman said that the Billy Bush video ended any possibility of her voting for Trump. (V)

Trump Donates $10 Million to His Campaign

Yesterday, Donald Trump wired $10 million to his campaign, bringing the total of his donations to $66 million. Earlier he promised to donate $100 million, so he is still $34 million shy. He now says that he is not likely to reach the $100 million total. And even with the $10 million, Trump enters the last 10 days of the campaign with less money in the bank than any major candidate in the last five presidential elections. (V)

States Are Not Prepared for a Cyber attack on Election Day

A survey of a dozen battleground states by Politico found that they are not well-prepared for any kind of cyber attack. While voting machines are generally offline, some poll workers use online databases to check if voters are registered, and if that access should be cut off on Election Day, there would be total chaos. Also, a cyber attack could affect vote reporting.

Most state officials think that they are able to handle any problems, but experts, such as James Scott of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, have said that the states don't have the personnel or expertise to handle cyber attacks, adding that their declarations that they can handle anything that comes along "shows how unqualified they are for their positions in the digital age." (V)

Former Miss Finland says Donald Trump Sexually Assaulted Her

Another woman has come forward to report that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her. Ninni Laaksonen said that Donald groped her during the Miss Universe contest in 2006. She also said she was disgusted by him. Twelve women have now accused Trump of sexual assault; he has said they are all lying. (V)

Kaine Threatens "Nuclear Option" if Supreme Court Nominee is Blocked

The battle lines are already being drawn for Congress' next term, particularly as regards the Supreme Court. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have both suggested that the Senate will refuse to approve any Clinton nominee, potentially leaving a seat (or two or three) open for years. On Friday, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) fired back, declaring that if the GOP tries to block Clinton's appointees, Senate Democrats would invoke the "nuclear option," changing the upper chamber's rules so that SCOTUS nominees could not be filibustered. Such a change would mean that a justice would require just 50 votes (plus the VP) for confirmation; with the filibuster in place, the total needed is (effectively) 60.

Kaine's threat presumes that the Democrats take the White House (likely) and at least half of the Senate (looking very possible). If those things happen, then the Republicans will definitely be in the weaker position. To start, securing the Supreme Court is well worth whatever fallout might come from abolishing the filibuster. And if all the Democrats need is Democratic votes, then Hillary Clinton will send a nominee to The Hill who is half as old as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and twice as liberal. And the GOP would be at risk of swallowing not just one such nominee, but perhaps two or three if Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer retire before the midterm elections.

The GOP would also have two additional problems. The first is that even if the Democrats don't touch the filibuster, there's always a recess appointment, which would allow Hillary Clinton to put anyone she wanted on the Court until December of 2017. To stop this from happening, the GOP would have to retain control of the Senate, and would have to gavel the body to order every single day from Inauguration Day until...whenever they give up. The Republicans' other problem is that their stated reason for obstructing Garland has been, "The next president should choose." If they refuse the new president as well, what are they going to tell voters?

In the end, the guess here is that Senate Republicans don't really think they're going to keep the seat open for two or four or eight years. Well, maybe Cruz does, but he's Ted Cruz. For the rest, any talk of years-long obstructionism is likely aimed at (1) pleasing Republican voters prior to November 8, and (2) putting pressure on Hillary Clinton to keep her nominees reasonably moderate and reasonably old. (Z)

Kirk Blunders Badly in Debate with Duckworth

During her debate Thursday with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said that her family "has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution." Kirk came back with: "I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington." Duckworth, who lost both legs when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down during the Iraq War, was stunned. Although her mother is an immigrant from Thailand, her father, a native-born American, served in WW II and his ancestors have served in the U.S. military since before the Revolution. The Daughters of the American Revolution erected a statue to her, in Mount Vernon, IL. Democrats immediately pounced on Kirk's statement, calling it "offensive, wrong, and racist." Kirk made a statement after the debate but didn't apologize. (V)

Rubio Won't Say If Trump Is a Good Role Model

In a question-and-answer session with reporters in Naples, FL, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) repeatedly refused to say whether he thought Donald Trump was a good role model for children. The best he could come up with was: "Like most Americans, people look at this and say, 'These are not ideal choices.'" He also refused to say whether he thought Trump could keep America safe. Like so many Republicans, what he really meant to say is: "If you support Donald Trump, then vote for me. But if you oppose Donald Trump, then also vote for me." Most polls show Rubio leading his challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL). (V)

Biden: Thanks, But No Thanks

On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden's name was floated by "knowledgeable insiders" as a possibility for secretary of state in a hypothetical Clinton cabinet. On Friday, Uncle Joe said he's not interested. "I'll do anything I can if Hillary's elected to help her, but I don't want to remain in the administration," he explained, saying he's looking forward to a career outside of government. English translation: "I'm tired of being the poorest guy in Washington, and I want some of those sweet six-figure speaking gigs." Whatever the case may be, after 43 years in public service, Biden has certainly earned the right to do whatever he wants after leaving Number One Observatory Circle. (Z)

Today's Presidential Polls

Everything's coming up roses for Clinton in today's polls: She's ahead in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Hampshire, and is also easily holding on in Michigan. Trump badly needs most or all of these, especially Florida and Pennsylvania. (Z)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
California 61% 25% 4% Oct 07 Oct 13 Sacramento State
Florida 48% 44%   Oct 25 Oct 26 PPP
Louisiana 35% 49% 7% Oct 15 Oct 21 U. of New Orleans
Michigan 50% 43% 3% Oct 23 Oct 25 Emerson Coll.
Minnesota 49% 39% 5% Oct 22 Oct 25 SurveyUSA
New Hampshire 46% 43% 6% Oct 23 Oct 25 Emerson Coll.
Pennsylvania 45% 39% 8% Oct 20 Oct 26 Muhlenberg Coll.
Pennsylvania 48% 43% 6% Oct 23 Oct 25 Emerson Coll.
Virginia 46% 39% 5% Oct 23 Oct 26 Christopher Newport U.

Today's Senate Polls

A lot of East Coast senate races are going to be nail biters, which should keep voters going to the polls to the bitter end. The West Coast senate races? Not so much, which will depress turnout in the Pacific Time Zone if the presidential race is called early. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
California Kamala Harris 49% Loretta Sanchez (D) 24% Oct 07 Oct 13 Sacramento State
Florida Patrick Murphy 46% Marco Rubio* 46% Oct 25 Oct 26 PPP
Georgia Jim Barksdale 40% Johnny Isakson* 54% Oct 20 Oct 26 Quinnipiac U.
Iowa Patty Judge 38% Chuck Grassley* 56% Oct 20 Oct 26 Quinnipiac U.
North Carolina Deborah Ross 47% Richard Burr* 48% Oct 20 Oct 26 Quinnipiac U.
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan 44% Kelly Ayotte* 50% Oct 23 Oct 25 Emerson Coll.
Pennsylvania Katie McGinty 41% Pat Toomey* 41% Oct 20 Oct 26 Muhlenberg Coll.
Pennsylvania Katie McGinty 45% Pat Toomey* 43% Oct 23 Oct 25 Emerson Coll.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct28 Cruz Suggests Leaving Supreme Court Vacancy Open Indefinitely
Oct28 It's Not Just the Supreme Court, Though
Oct28 A Surprise Secretary of State Candidate
Oct28 Trump Has Three Major Voter Suppression Programs in Place
Oct28 Clinton Raises $100 Million in October; Trump Much Less
Oct28 The South Is Not as Red as It Used to Be
Oct28 Is the Koch Brothers' Network in Decline?
Oct28 Today in Self-Delusion
Oct28 Donald Trump's Star is Fading
Oct28 Did Hillary Clinton Just Luck Out in Getting a Weak Opponent?
Oct28 New Ad Not Negative
Oct27 Early Voting Favors Clinton in Key States
Oct27 More National Polls Favor Clinton
Oct27 Republicans Abandon Trump, Try to Save Senate
Oct27 Paul Ryan May Be in Big Trouble
Oct27 Trump Takes Time Off to Publicize His New Hotel
Oct27 Trump Says He Will Be Donating to His Campaign
Oct27 Trump Attacks Obamacare
Oct27 Trump May Be Causing Irreparable Damage with Women
Oct27 Women Officeholders Poised to Make Big Gains on Election Day
Oct27 WikiLeaks Dump Shows Clintons May Have Profited from Foundation
Oct27 Early Voting Favors Clinton in Key States
Oct27 More National Polls Favor Clinton
Oct27 Republicans Abandon Trump, Try to Save Senate
Oct27 Paul Ryan May Be in Big Trouble
Oct27 Trump Takes Time Off to Publicize His New Hotel
Oct27 Trump Says He Will Be Donating to His Campaign
Oct27 Trump Attacks Obamacare
Oct27 Trump May Be Causing Irreparable Damage with Women
Oct27 Women Officeholders Poised to Make Big Gains on Election Day
Oct27 WikiLeaks Dump Shows Clintons May Profited from Foundation
Oct26 Florida Is Slipping Away from Trump
Oct26 Powell's with Her
Oct26 Trump Received $17 Million from Insurance Company after Minor Damage to Mar-a-Lago
Oct26 Trump Hasn't Put the $100 Million He Promised into His Campaign
Oct26 Trump Launches Nightly Facebook Newscast
Oct26 Trump Stops Fundraising for the RNC
Oct26 Conway: I Can't Take Away a Grown Man's Twitter Account
Oct26 Trump Wants to Fight Biden
Oct26 Donald Trump Once Hosted Scandalous Parties
Oct26 Murphy in Hot Water Because of Trump Connection
Oct26 Democrats Fighting over Rubio
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