Dem 48
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Ties 1
GOP 51
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Dem pickups vs. 2012: NV
GOP pickups vs. 2012: MO ND
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Trump Smacks Ryan, Conway Smacks Trump
      •  A Rough Day for Trump
      •  Mueller Targeted by Sexual Misconduct Scam
      •  The Geography of Not Voting
      •  Why Young People Don't Vote
      •  DCCC Raised $250 Million This Cycle
      •  Wall Street Backs Democrats
      •  Thursday Q & A
      •  Today's Senate Polls

PW logo Pentagon Told White House Caravans Were No Threat
A Rank Amateur’s Predictions for 2018
‘Consider It a Rifle’
White House Concerned Zinke Broke Rules
Green Party Candidate Endorses Sinema
Will Andrew Cuomo Run for President?

Trump Smacks Ryan, Conway Smacks Trump

On Tuesday, outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that Donald Trump cannot unilaterally revoke birthright citizenship because the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly grants it to anyone born on U.S. soil except the children of foreign diplomats. Yesterday, Trump attacked Ryan, saying: "Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!" Ryan is not a lawyer, but his opinion is shared by virtually every lawyer who has spoken out on the issue on account of a Supreme Court decision in 1898 that affirmed that virtually all children born on U.S. soil are Americans.

Yesterday, one particularly noteworthy lawyer, George Conway, backed up Ryan's view and ripped Trump's remarks to shreds. Conway is not just any old lawyer. He was president of the Federalist Society's Yale chapter when he studied law there. He also represented Paula Jones in her lawsuit against Bill Clinton and won a Supreme Court case forcing Clinton to testify under oath. Clinton's lies under oath led to his impeachment, making Conway something of a superhero in conservative legal circles. He is also married to Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump's biggest defenders. Given all of this, it is hard to label George Conway as some kind of pinko Commie.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Conway and Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, wrote: "But at its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about." The two went on to explain the context of the Amendment (basically, undoing the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision the Supreme Court issued in 1857) and the fact that the people who drafted the Amendment knew precisely what it meant: That anyone born on U.S. soil was an American citizen except for the children of foreign diplomats and Native Americans (the natives were then regarded as members of sovereign nations, something reversed by a 1924 law). In evaluating Trump's statement that he has the authority to end birthright citizenship, they put it quite bluntly: "He was wrong." (V)

A Rough Day for Trump

Some days, Donald Trump has one mega-disaster befall him (or two, as in the day that Michael Cohen flipped and Paul Manafort was convicted). Other days, it's death by a thousand cuts. Tuesday was a "thousand cuts" kind of day when, in addition to being blasted by George Conway (see above), the President suffered a sizable number of moderate-level reverses, a few of them self-inflicted.

For example, on Wednesday afternoon, the Donald himself tweeted this new pro-Republican ad:

The instant response, from nearly all who saw it, was that the ad is racist. In fact, if you went to an ad agency and said "Give me a Latino version of the Willie Horton ad from 1988," this is pretty much what they would have come up with. The Horton ad was spiked immediately by George H.W. Bush as soon as he saw it, while this one—30 years later—is being actively promoted by Trump. Probably not the best look when so many folks are focused on how racist the rhetoric of some GOP officeholders is (ahem, Steve King, not to mention, ahem, Donald Trump).

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday afternoon, Trump was forced to admit what everyone else already knew: There is going to be no middle class tax cut before the midterms, or anytime this year. Even if Congress was in session, that would have been a tall order, but with them out of town it was an impossibility. And if the Democrats take the House, they are going to insist that any middle class tax cut be paired with a reversal of the previous tax cuts for rich people and corporations. Which means that, in that scenario, Trump can either have that argument with the blue team (which is not likely to go well for him, since taking the side of the rich over that of the middle class is not usually a winner), or he can live with the status quo, or he can agree to the Democrats' terms. Surely, none of those options please him.

There was also some embarrassing news for the President Tuesday. When the White House announced the list of stops on Trump's final midterm campaign blitz, everyone noticed that he didn't plan to make it any further west than Montana, despite the fact that Nevada and Arizona both have red-hot Senate and governor's races underway right now. It turns out that GOP officials in both states asked—actually, more like begged—him to stay away. They are persuaded that the President is a net negative, especially guessed it, his tirades against birthright citizenship. It turns out there are quite a few Latinos in those states, some of whom gained citizenship in that very manner. Who knew?

And that was not the only embarrassing revelation, either. It also leaked on Tuesday that Trump has finally figured out who is to blame for the Robert Mueller investigation. And the winner White House counsel Don McGahn. Inasmuch as McGahn's job was to represent the presidency (and not the president), and he had no power over the Justice Dept., and he had nothing to do with any Team Trump-Russia interactions, even the President's supporters struggled to follow his logic on that one.

Moving along, the Turkish government really dislikes the Saudi government, and they are none too fond of Trump these days, either. So, they are letting the information they have about murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi drip, drip, drip out, so as to keep the spotlight on his death for as long as possible. The latest revelation is that there was no fight at all, and that Khashoggi was attacked almost instantly upon entering the Saudi consulate, with his death coming via strangulation. So, that is yet another version of events served up by the Saudis and embraced by Trump that appears to be a lie. Maybe V5.0 will at least be in the ballpark of what actually happened.

And then there is the economy. While it's still doing fine, the big headline in the business pages on Tuesday was that General Motors has offered buyouts to 18,000 of its 50,000 salaried staff in the United States. Many of these folks are set to be replaced by automation, and so can get out while the gettin's good, or can wait and be fired in the next few years. Needless to say, this is a pretty high-profile repudiation of Trump's claim to be bringing jobs back to America through corporate tax cuts, not to mention his notion that it is possible to dial back the economy to where it was 20 or 40 years ago.

And finally, on Tuesday the National Archives released previously unseen documents from the Nixon era, namely rough drafts of the indictments Congress was prepared to bring against Tricky Dick if he had not resigned. On one hand, this has nothing to do with Trump directly. On the other hand, if any current members of Congress need some inspiration should they decide that some president not named Nixon needs to be indicted, well, NARA has just helpfully given them something to work with. (Z)

Mueller Targeted by Sexual Misconduct Scam

It is not easy to be notorious at the tender age of 20. Even harder is to be notorious for two different things, and harder still is three. But Jacob Wohl is certainly giving it the old college try (even if he personally sees no need to go to college), and the odds are pretty good that this time, he ends up in the slammer.

We begin with his past notoriety. Wohl first attracted attention while he was still in high school as a whiz-kid stock market investor and aspiring hedge-fund manager. The attention he received, in fact, caused real people to invest real money with him, much of which he burned through. Ultimately, he was charged with 14 counts of fraud, ordered to pay restitution of nearly $100,000, and banned from trading securities in most states.

For most folks, that would be quite enough negative attention to last a lifetime. But, with the spare time he had available now that he was no longer "working" as an investor, Wohl emerged as a Donald Trump superfan. He founded a website called "Offended America" (no longer online) in which he demonstrated a rather casual regard for things like copyright law, often copying and pasting others' articles as his own. This "job" apparently afforded Wohl the ability to watch Trump's Twitter account nearly around the clock, as he developed a particular ability to get one of the first two or three responses in almost anytime the President tweeted something. And when it comes to those responses, well, let's just say that Wohl has helped himself to more than one serving of the Trump brand Kool-Aid. For example:

These are just a few samples; Wohl has managed to subtweet the President more than 2,000 times since he took office.

Anyhow, now on to the newest chapter in Wohl's career. Determining, apparently, that aggressive subtweeting was not quite enough, he decided to take his support for Trump to the next level. And so, on Monday he began using his Twitter feed to hint that some prime dirt on special counsel Robert Mueller was coming down the turnpike sometime soon:

Wohl—along with his friend and fellow conservative activist Jack Burkman—eventually made clear that Mueller was to be accused of some sort of sexual misconduct as a result of an investigation conducted by the "international" firm Surefire Intelligence. And then, shortly after the big reveal (a rape allegation against Mueller), the whole house of cards began to collapse. First, a host of women came forward and said they had been offered cash payments to falsely implicate Mueller. Then, journalists began taking a closer look at Surefire, and they discovered a few things that made clear what a ham-fisted, slapdash, Keystone Kops-type operation this was. For example, here is the (now deleted) LinkedIn page for Surefire "managing partner" Matthew Cohen:

It's Jacob Wohl!

And now, here is the picture that, until recently, served as Wohl's profile picture on LinkedIn (that page has also been deleted):

It's the same picture!

You may notice some similarities between the photos of "Mr. Cohen" and Mr. Wohl. And if that were not enough, several reporters called the main phone number for Surefire Intelligence and found that it rang through to...Wohl's mother's voicemail. Cue the sad trombone.

The matter has now been referred to the FBI for investigation. Remarkably, though, Burkman is sticking with his story, and says that today he will reveal the name of the first "victim." The whole scam is so ludicrous that some are suggesting it was just a massive trolling operation, designed to make fools of the media and to distract people's attention right before the midterms. Wohl and Burkman better hope that is what the FBI concludes, because not only have they slandered a man, that man happens to be a high-ranking functionary of the federal government. The Bureau and the courts tend to take a dim view of such things. We shall see what happens, but it is certainly not going to help Wohl that he already has a criminal record, along with a history of committing fraud. (Z)

The Geography of Not Voting

In the 2016 election, about 60% of adult citizens voted. This puts the U.S. in the bottom third of all the world's developed countries. But not voting is not uniform across the country, as this map shows: Map of nonvoters

Turnout was especially low in 2016 in about 1,000 counties, many of them in a curve running from upstate New York down through West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas. In contrast, turnout was high in New England, the Atlantic coast except Georgia, the Upper Midwest, the Mountain West, and the West Coast.

You might think the divide was urban-rural, but it was not. Bronx County and Kings County (Brooklyn) in New York City were among the worst, neither breaking 50%. It is also not racial. Over 400 predominantly white counties were low-voting.

One factor that the study turned up that is very important is state law. Look at these map fragments:

Adjacent states

The map immediately raises questions like: Why is voting much higher in Missouri than in Arkansas, even along the border? Why are people in North Carolina good voters and people in Tennessee not? Why does West Virginia stand out from its neighbors, even along the borders? The difference clearly has something to do with the laws and how hard a state makes it to vote. Clearly, a state can depress voter turnout if it wants to by making it hard to register and hard to vote once registered, and the states with low turnout rates are mostly red states. However, the reverse is not entirely true. Some of the states with the highest turnout, like Nebraska and North Carolina, are also red states. Nevertheless, most of the high-turnout states are blue, no doubt in large part because state governments there don't try to suppress the vote.

One other factor that plays a (small) role here is how competitive elections are. In states and counties where it is a foregone conclusion which candidate will win, there is less reason to vote than in areas that are bitterly fought over. Still, the conclusion is that much of the U.S. has a pretty abysmal voting record, especially compared to other countries, where 70-90% turnout is normal, and some of that is due to state laws that impede voting. (V)

Why Young People Don't Vote

While we are on the subject of not voting, it is hard to avoid the subject of why millennials have a dismal voting record. In a typical midterm, 20% of eligible 18-29 year-olds vote. This year, that might get up to 30%, but seeing is believing. Why do over two-thirds of young voters not vote? New York Magazine interviewed a dozen young adults for whom voting is not a priority to find out why. Here is a brief summary of the results:

  • Samantha (22, NJ): Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016 crushed my entire faith in the system
  • Reese (23, OH): The more I read, the more I realize I don't understand enough to vote
  • Tim (27, TX): I have ADHD and I can't do tasks where the payoff is far in the future
  • Megan (29, CA): I move a lot and registering is a pain because I don't have a printer or stamps
  • Drew (21, CA): The Democrats don't stand for anything and all politicans cater only to old people
  • Laura (21, FL): I didn't have the time and energy to register
  • Aaron (25, GA): I supported Bernie and when he lost and supported Hillary, it killed me
  • Anna (21, NY): I tried to register but I don't know what "postmarked" means or how to mail a document
  • Thomas (28, NY): Voting sucks energy away from more important things, like organizing tenants
  • Jocelyn (27, MA): It is easier to get a medical marijuana card than to register to vote
  • Maria (26, AR): I went to a Catholic school and they told me how to vote and I didn't like it
  • Nathan (28, CA): I don't know anything about the world outside social media; if you could vote there, I might

There you have it. There is little interest in politics or government and absolutely no conception that decisions elected politicans are going to make have a huge impact on their lives. Also, the procedure for registering is too foreign to many of them, some of whom mentioned that they have no idea where to get a stamp or how to mail a document. (V)

DCCC Raised $250 Million This Cycle

Part of the reason the Democrats are competitive in so many House races is that they have raised so much money. The DCCC has raised $250 million this cycle, of which $100 million was in online donations averaging $19. This is a new record. In 2016, the committee had raised just $67 million at this point, but that was then a record.

This vast amount of money has allowed the group to pour money into over 80 House races, in some cases turning districts that should have been slam dunks for the Republicans into competitive races. The NRCC has not yet released its fundraising numbers, but no one expects the NRCC number to even approach what the DCCC has pulled in. (V)

Wall Street Backs Democrats

According to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street has given $57 million to Democrats and $33 million to Republicans this election cycle. It is the first time in a decade that Wall Street is supporting the blue team instead of the red team. In the broader financial industry, which included insurance and real estate, the Democrats are also ahead, having gotten $174 million to the Republicans' $157 million. It is not unusual for large industries to want to have friends on both sides, but it is unusual for the financial industry to prefer the Democrats.

When you dig deeper, though, there appears to be some method to this madness. Much of the money pouring in from the financial industry is going to moderate Democrats like Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT), and not to people like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the industry's bête noire. The idea here seems to be that the industry is convinced that the Democrats will take the House, but it wants to make sure there are enough moderate Democrats in the caucus to keep the party from cracking down on the financial sector too hard. In other words, the financial industry is not so much opposed to Democrats running (part of) the show as long as they are not too radical.

In particular, in a Democratic takeover of the House, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) would lead the financial services committee, and the bankers want to make sure any wild ideas she concocts won't get a majority when they come to a vote in the full House. But even if they succeed, she won't be fully muzzled. If she ascends to the chair, she will have subpoena power and is certain to go after Wells Fargo for multiple misdeeds, as well as Equifax. She is also keenly interested in Donald Trump's dealings with Deutsche Bank and its dealings with wealthy Russians. She would certainly haul top Deutsche Bank executives before her committee for grilling and subpoena boatloads of documents they would rather keep secret. (V)

Thursday Q & A

The excellent questions keep rolling in. Here's the latest:

Advertisers know that music can be a very powerful tool to get people to remember a product ("Plop plop, fizz fizz..."), so why have no recent candidates for president/congressman/governor tapped into this? If Willie Nelson really wanted to help out Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) beyond appearing at his rallies, why doesn't he write and record a song that Beto can use in his commercials? I think Phil Bredesen (D) could sure use the boost that a one-off Taylor Swift song could provide. By that same token, Kid Rock could record a song for Trump for 2020. Heck, the musical "Call Me Madam" featured the song "I Like Ike," so what happened to that tradition? J.F., Forth Worth, TX

It's a good question (and for purposes of answering, we're pretty much going to stick with presidential candidates, since those are the most famous examples). We would start by observing that while there are some very famous cases of theme songs and candidates coming together in perfect harmony (pun intended), it's actually not that common that a campaign really knocks it out of the park on this front. For every "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too!" (1840), or "Lincoln and Liberty, Too!" (1860), or "Happy Days are Here Again!" (1932) there are three or four clunkers, like "Wilson, That's All" (1912), or "Harding, You're the Man for Us" (1920), or "Hello, Lyndon" (1964).

That said, it does seem that good campaign songs (or even moderately successful ones) are a fair bit rarer these days. Undoubtedly, part of that is due to changes in American music. 100 or 150 or 200 years ago, there weren't all that many styles of music, and there were even fewer that involved lyrics. So, it wasn't too hard to pick a song in a style that might well suit the tastes of the great majority of voters. Today, whether it's a rock song, or a rap song, or a pop song, or a country song, or an easy listening song, it's likely to leave 60% or 70% of the voters nonplussed. Barack Obama tried to solve this problem by having nine different campaign songs, including "Think," "The Rising," "Yes We Can," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." The latter is the one that was probably most associated with #44, since it was played at both conventions where he was nominated, but it seems fair to say that if you have nine theme songs, you really don't have any.

Another trend that seems to have weakened the campaign theme song tradition is the shift from (mostly) songs written specifically for the candidate to (mostly) existing songs that are then appropriated. Beyond the fact that an existing song is not likely to be a perfect fit, it is also the case that quite a few recent candidates have made very odd choices. Ronald Reagan, for example, went with "Born in the U.S.A." in 1984, which sounds patriotic, but is actually an anti-Vietnam protest song. John Kerry chose "Fortunate Son" in 2004, a song that complains about rich and powerful people escaping service in Vietnam while the poor and the lowly are forced to serve. While obviously meant as a comment on his opponent, George W. Bush, it was still an awkward fit for Kerry, a man who was born to well-to-do parents, went to the best boarding schools, and graduated Yale (even if he did end up serving in the war). And the strangest choice of all, perhaps, was Donald Trump's pick of "You Can't Always Get What You Want." That is a song about heroin abuse in London, which seems a tad bit insensitive given America's opioid epidemic. And even if we assume Team Trump didn't understand what the song is about, isn't it a little insulting to him to choose a song whose chorus is, "You can't always get what you want/but if you try sometimes/you just might find/you get what you need"? Certainly not many politicians run on a platform of, "Yeah, I know you don't want me."

In short: It's not so much that campaign songs have gone the way of the dodo, it's that good campaign songs have gone the way of the dodo.

Trump's attack on the 14th Amendment has me wondering: What is our protection if an autocratic President acts in direct violation of the Constitution? In Trump's case, if he issued an executive ordering banning birthright citizenship and the case went to the Supreme Court, where it was upheld 5-4 with Kavanaugh in the majority, would birthright citizenship be abolished even though the Constitution clearly states otherwise? In other words, does the Constitution mean only what five members of the Supreme Court say it means? C.C., Los Angeles, CA

If the president says it, the courts support it, and Congress doesn't do anything to stop it, then yes, it is the de facto law of the land, regardless of what the Constitution says (or what the rest of us think it says). There are, of course, a great many well-known historical examples, whether it's segregation and Plessy v. Ferguson, or Japanese internment and Korematsu v. United States, or Chinese exclusion and Chae Chan Ping v. United States, or compulsory sterilization and Buck v. Bell.

In this particular case, however, it's not going to matter very much what Trump does. He's almost certainly posturing for midterm purposes, and will drop this as soon as Nov. 6 passes. Even if he doesn't, however, it's not going to be so easy to find the infants who would be affected by his decision, and it would be absolutely disastrous PR to toss them out of the country if the government CAN find them. Then, the next time a Democrat takes over, he or she would just countermand the order.

And speaking of "if the government CAN find them," that's the other hedge against a federal government gone wild. Even if Trump demands to know the names of newly-minted birthright citizens, the blue states and cities either will refuse to collect that information, or will refuse to surrender it. Federalism in action!

If we get a 50/50 Senate, is there anything [Democratic leader] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) could offer Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to switch parties? S.T., Glen Rock, NJ

Only Schumer and Murkowski know for sure, but yes, it's certainly possible. Buying off a California senator would not be easy, but in the great white north, a billion bucks or so would buy a lot of bridges and tiny airports and oil pipelines and whatever else the Senator's constituents want.

If this did come to pass, however, it is very likely that Murkowski would not become a Democrat, but instead would become an Independent who just so happens to caucus with the Democrats (like Sen. Angus King, I-ME). Alaska is clearly willing to elect independents, as evidenced by their current governor (Bill Walker), not to mention the fact that Murkowski was technically elected as a third-party candidate in 2010.

The 2-year term for a Representative means they are in a nearly constant state of fundraising and campaigning for their next election. What would happen if their terms were increased to 4 years, with their elections occurring during the midterms? A.N., Portland, OR

What would happen is that, given Democrats' generally poor turnout in midterm season (albeit not this year), it would work to the advantage of the GOP. Meanwhile, it would not solve the underlying problem, since all politicians these days are constantly fundraising and campaigning for their next election. Chuck Schumer did not end up with $30 million in the bank by only asking for money in one year out of every six.

There were also reasons that the Founding Parents wanted the terms of House members to be short. Most importantly, so that the House would be much more responsive to the needs of the people (like the British House of Commons). James Madison explained in the "Federalist Papers":

As it is essential to liberty that the government in general, should have a common interest with the people; so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration, should have an immediate dependence on, & an intimate sympathy with the people.

Beyond that, the Parents also wanted the House to be under constant time pressure, so they would get things done. Then it was up to the Senate to kill anything stupid.

If the problem you identify is to be solved, it will probably have to be through full federal funding of elections, and not by tinkering with term lengths.

Since Donald Trump was elected, I have assumed the Democrats would have a good shot at taking the House, but also have been worried that Trump would then have a foil upon which to blame the recession that is likely to occur in late 2019 or 2020. How can the Democrats counteract Trump's likely strategy—or does it not matter because the electorate tends to blame (or credit) the President for the economy anyway, despite the fact that the President's impacts tend to be on the margin? S.K., Washington, DC

To a large extent, you've answered your own question. Presidents can try to point the finger all they want, but outside of the occasional exception (Harry S. Truman, who ran successfully against the "do-nothing Congress" in 1948, leaps to mind), it rarely works. Like the quarterback of the football team, the president gets more credit than he deserves for successes, and more blame than he deserves for failures.

What the Democrats need to do in order to seal the deal is to stick together and get some bills passed in the House. There's no filibuster in the lower chamber, so if they have a majority and they can whip it into shape, they can send plenty of bills to the Senate for approval. And if the Democrats' platform in 2020 is something like, "We tried to improve Obamacare, we tried to repeal the tax cut for rich people, we tried to protect peoples' voting rights, we tried to help the dreamers, but the GOP-controlled Senate/White House killed it all" that would be pretty potent.

In your answer to the question regarding who our most influential founding fathers were, don't you think Thomas Paine should be included? George Washington gave him great credit for rallying the volunteers to fight, and his book "Common Sense" laid the foundation upon which the masses came together to achieve independence and democracy. I don't think anyone was more concerned about separation of church and state nor ending slavery than was Paine, either. A.N., Tempe, AZ

Well, the original question specifically asked about how the government was "created," which we interpreted to mean the construction of an actual, working government. If we want to talk about the intellectual influences on the Founding Parents, then Paine certainly belongs at the top of the list, even though he had no role in writing either the Declaration or the Constitution. Also way up there are the Baron de Montesquieu, Sir William Blackstone, David Hume, John Locke, Plutarch, and Thomas Hobbes.

The other fellow that we probably should have mentioned in the first answer, who played a critical role as both an intellectual influence and a "builder" was Alexander Hamilton. You know, from the musical. Not only did he help shape the Constitution and write the Federalist Papers, he also created the Department of the Treasury, and with it the U.S. economy, almost singlehandedly. Oh, and he was, along with Paine, one of the earliest outspoken opponents of slavery.

Why do several media networks continue to use the term "Radical Right"? In reality, the phrase should be just "Reactionary." The only place radical should be used is referring to the political left on the spectrum. D.H., Lisbon Falls, ME

It's a fair point, and certainly tells us something about how shaky most Americans' understanding is when it comes to certain portions of their civics classes. A common talking point on the right, as you probably know, is that "the left" has killed over 100 million people worldwide thanks to the actions of "leftists" Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. Needless to say, anyone who puts Hitler and Stalin in the same location on the political spectrum (or who thinks Hitler was a "leftist") has no idea what they are talking about. Some who espouse this view will point out that Hitler led the National SOCIALIST German Workers Party (or, in German, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). To anyone who says this, the correct response is: "Yeah, and the official name for North Korea is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."

Today's Senate Polls

Looks like Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada are close. Tennessee and Texas not so much, but all of them could be surprises, depending on who turns out to vote. (V).

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema 45% Martha McSally 52% Oct 22 Oct 23 OH Predictive Insights
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema 46% Martha McSally 46% Oct 27 Oct 29 Fox News
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema 46% Martha McSally 48% Oct 17 Oct 26 Ipsos
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema 51% Martha McSally 47% Oct 24 Oct 29 SSRS
California Dianne Feinstein* 45% Kevin de Leon (D) 36% Oct 19 Oct 25 UC Berkeley
Connecticut Chris Murphy* 55% Matthew Corey 35% Oct 27 Oct 29 Emerson Coll.
Florida Bill Nelson* 49% Rick Scott 44% Oct 17 Oct 25 Ipsos
Florida Bill Nelson* 50% Rick Scott 48% Oct 27 Oct 29 Cygnal
Indiana Joe Donnelly* 45% Mike Braun 38% Oct 27 Oct 30 Fox News
Indiana Joe Donnelly* 45% Mike Braun 42% Oct 24 Oct 28 Marist
Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren* 54% Geoff Diehl 32% Oct 25 Oct 28 MassInc
Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren* 57% Geoff Diehl 27% Oct 10 Oct 27 Western New England U.
Maine Angus King* 50% Eric Brakey 37% Oct 27 Oct 29 Emerson Coll.
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 43% Josh Hawley 43% Oct 27 Oct 30 Fox News
North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp* 42% Kevin Cramer 51% Oct 27 Oct 30 Fox News
New Jersey Bob Menendez* 54% Bob Hugin 46% Oct 27 Oct 29 Vox Populi
Nevada Jacky Rosen 48% Dean Heller* 45% Oct 24 Oct 29 SSRS
Tennessee Phil Bredesen 41% Marsha Blackburn 50% Oct 27 Oct 30 Fox News
Tennessee Phil Bredesen 45% Marsha Blackburn 51% Oct 26 Oct 27 Cygnal
Texas Beto O`Rourke 43% Ted Cruz* 47% Oct 15 Oct 28 U. of Texas
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin* 54% Leah Vukmir 43% Oct 24 Oct 28 Marquette Law School

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Oct31 Trump Plans to End Birthright Citizenship
Oct31 Pence Can Be Tone Deaf, Too
Oct31 Veterans Unhappy about Trump "Stunt"
Oct31 Five Takeaways from Indiana Senate Debate
Oct31 Democrats Bank on Women to Flip the House
Oct31 It's Not a Wave, It's a Realignment
Oct31 Axelrod Warns that Democrats Are Playing Trump's Game
Oct31 Republicans Pull the Plug on Steve King
Oct31 Today's Senate Polls
Oct30 Trumps to Visit Pittsburgh
Oct30 Trump Says He Will Answer "Some" of Mueller's Questions
Oct30 Most of Trump's Day is "Executive Time"
Oct30 Trump to Rally Like It's Going out of Style
Oct30 Larry Sabato Changes Gubernatorial Ratings
Oct30 State Legislatures Are Also Up for Grabs
Oct30 SCOTUS Won't Overturn Pennsylvania Map
Oct30 Carter Calls for Kemp To Resign
Oct30 Today's Senate Polls
Oct29 Fallout from Synagogue Shooting Continues
Oct29 Half a Dozen Cabinet Officers Could Leave after the Elections
Oct29 Whatever Happens in the Midterms, GOP Is Going to Get More Extreme
Oct29 Voter Enthusiasm Is Sky High
Oct29 Democrats Raise More in October, but Republicans Have More Cash on Hand
Oct29 Factors that Could Determine Who Wins the Missouri Senate Race
Oct29 Monday Q & A
Oct29 Today's Senate Polls
Oct28 Terrorist Attack on Pittsburgh Synagogue
Oct28 CNN, Cook Political Report Update House Ratings, Mostly in Democrats' Direction
Oct28 Keith Ellison Is Flailing
Oct28 Gas Tax Hail Mary Is Falling Flat for California GOP
Oct28 This Week's Senate News
Oct28 Democratic Presidential Candidate of the Week: Terry McAuliffe
Oct27 Bombing Suspect Arrested
Oct27 Trump Is Worried about a Florida Wipeout
Oct27 Trump to Hold Rallies in Eight States before Election Day
Oct27 Newt Gingrich Says What Everyone Was Thinking
Oct27 There Are Obstacles to Voting in Many States
Oct27 More Shenanigans in Georgia
Oct27 Eleven Megadonors Have Plowed $1 Billion into Super PACs
Oct27 Today's Senate Polls
Oct26 More Bombs, More Finger Pointing
Oct26 Trump Doubles Down on Border
Oct26 China May Be Ready to Play the Long Game
Oct26 A Different Way to Parse the Data
Oct26 Voting Against Brett Kavanaugh, for Fun and Profit
Oct26 Alaska Gone Wild
Oct26 Avenatti Runs Another Play from the Trump Playbook
Oct26 Today's Senate Polls
Oct25 American Politics Almost Turns Explosive
Oct25 When Trump Calls His Friends, the Phone Rings in Russia and China, Too