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Biden Has His Town Hall

On Tuesday, Donald Trump appeared for an ABC-hosted town hall where he had to face actual questions from actual voters. On Thursday, Joe Biden took his turn, with CNN doing the hosting duties. To say that the two events were apples and oranges doesn't quite do it justice. More like apples and jellied moose nose (recipe here).

Biden was, as you might expect, normal. He did the sort of town hall that Barack Obama, or Bob Dole, or John McCain, or even Jeb! might have done. That is to say, he gave informative answers to questions, he showed understanding and empathy, and he did not uncork a rapid-fire stream of lie after lie after lie. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale got to take the night off, which is probably good, because Dale always appears to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Since the town hall was basically standard fare and without controversy, the most interesting aspect is that it gives us a sense of where Biden's messaging is at the moment. Of course he slammed Donald Trump's handling of COVID-19, as well as AG Bill Barr's recent comments (see below). Of greater interest, however, were the following:

  • Scranton vs. Park Ave.: One of the great miracles of modern political messaging is that a New York billionaire managed to persuade down-on-their-luck Americans that he completely understands their struggle. Biden is trying to steal the mantle of "blue-collar champion" back from the President. "I view this campaign as a campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue," Biden declared, alluding to the city of his birth. "All Trump can see from Park Avenue is Wall Street. All he thinks about is the stock market."

  • I'm My Own Man: Of the various attack lines that have been used against the Democratic nominee in the last month, the one that has landed a bit is the notion that he'll become a tool/puppet for the progressive wing of the Party. Biden is clearly aware of the problem, as he declared that he does not want to defund the police, that he would not stop fracking, and that when it comes to climate change, he's got his "own deal" as opposed to AOC's Green New Deal.

  • How Dare He?: Biden was at his most emotional, and his angriest, when he expressed outrage over the President's reported slurs against veterans. As he usually does when addressing this subject, the Democratic nominee invoked the memory of his deceased military veteran son Beau.

  • A Unifier, Not a Divider: Perhaps Biden and his team saw the poll we noted earlier this week suggesting that Americans are tired of divisiveness. Or perhaps he's just going on instinct. In any event, Biden announced: "I plan to unite the nation. I'm running as a Democrat but I'm going to be everyone's president. I'm not going to be a Democratic president. I'm going to be America's president."

Clearly, Biden is focused on: (1) defusing the various lines of attack being used against him, and (2) setting up clear and demonstrable differences between Trump and himself.

It is hard to say exactly how much this was a preview of the presidential debates. Thursday's crowd was clearly friendlier to Biden than Tuesday's crowd was to Trump, so we didn't get much sense last night of how Biden will respond when the questions are a little tougher. Further, when you put apples and jellied moose nose together, who knows what you will get? They've never been combined before. Sure, Trump is going to bluster and tell a bunch of lies on Sept. 29, but beyond that, you'll have to tune in to see what happens. (Z)

Another Sexual Assault Claim Lodged Against Trump

In case you forgot that Donald Trump is a credibly accused serial sexual assaulter, we got another reminder on Thursday. The Guardian (UK) published an exclusive interview with former model Amy Dorris. Dorris says that in 1997, when she was 24 years old and attending the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Trump grabbed her, groped her, and forced his tongue down her throat. Predictably, Trump has already denied that any such assault took place, and says he never even met Dorris. Equally predictably, there are photos of Trump and Dorris together in his private box at the U.S. Open. She also has her ticket stubs from the tournament, and several people she told at the time have come forward to corroborate her story.

The statute of limitations has, of course, long since run on this particular incident. Dorris said she spoke up at this time because she wants her now-teenage daughters to understand that they should never be silent if they are assaulted. Will this reignite the pu**y-grabbing scandal, and hurt Trump politically? It's not looking too likely; the story has not gotten much attention on the U.S. side of the Atlantic, outside a few left-leaning outlets like Slate and the HuffPost. Still, we write it up because we would not want to be part of turning something as serious as sexual assault into "ho hum, same old same old, nothing to see here" news. (Z)

So, What's the Deal with Bill Barr?

Attorney General Bill Barr has been a busy bee this week, giving a speech at Hillsdale College, and sitting for several interviews, including a primetime hit with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. And in case you thought he couldn't get any more Trumpy, he uncorked at least half a dozen real doozies:

  • In the remark that is getting the most attention, which came during the Hillsdale speech, Barr railed against the various measures taken to contain COVID-19, declaring "You know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history."

    Yikes. Apparently the AG is unfamiliar with such incidents as the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Trail of Tears, forced sterilization of the mentally impaired, the Palmer Raids, Japanese internment, the McCarthy hearings, and, for that matter, the military draft (which may have had public support, at least some of the time, but is still a major infringement on civil liberties). It would seem that Barr is also unaware that white people do not get to make "this is nearly as bad as slavery" comparisons ever, under any circumstances, full stop.

  • You may recall that the AG is supposed to remain above the political fray. Certainly Barr has heard that, since he told the Chicago Tribune reporter who was interviewing him that "As an attorney general, I'm not supposed to get into politics." Once that was out of the way, Barr promptly opined that if Joe Biden is elected, Americans are going to "find ourselves irrevocably committed to the socialist path."

  • Barr also proposed that Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan should be arrested and charged with a felony for allowing protests in her city this summer.

  • In addition, the AG feels that some protesters should be charged with sedition. Apparently, he is also unfamiliar with the distinction between "protest" and "openly encouraging insurrection."

  • While speaking with Blitzer, Barr parroted nearly all of Donald Trump's talking points about voting by mail, most notably saying that "Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion ... For example, we indicted someone in Texas, 1,700 ballots collected, he—from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to. OK?" This is a falsehood, and Barr knows that perfectly well.

  • Barr also opined, during his speech, that you cannot trust the Justice Department's career prosecutors because they are at the bottom of the pyramid. In that way, he said without a hint of irony, they are like preschoolers. The implication, of course, is that political appointees (like Barr) should be making all the prosecutorial decisions, like how easy to take it on Roger Stone or Michael Flynn.

We try our best to be fair around here, but none of this is normal, none of this is good for the democracy, and none of this is acceptable from the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the land.

It is clear how all of this benefits Donald Trump, since Barr is pretty effective at advancing the President's messaging, while also deflecting some attention from The Donald after a rough couple of weeks. What's a little less clear is exactly what's in it for Barr. Earlier this week, The Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia and Tom Hamburger took a shot at answering that question. It's worth reading the whole article, but the executive summary is that Barr has always been a quiet (but dedicated) conservative activist, something along the lines of Antonin Scalia. And his fondest wish, dating back many decades, is to turn the president into an autocrat. Trump, who would love nothing more than to be an autocrat, offers Barr the chance of a lifetime to advance his agenda.

To that, we would also add—for lack of a better term—human nature. We've seen this pattern before with Rudy Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Anthony Scaramucci, Katrina Pierson, Kellyanne Conway, and a number of others. One of the President's underlings persuades themselves that they are his true right-hand man or woman, and—feeling their oats, and loving the attention and notoriety—they do more and more media and say increasingly outlandish things. Once they become too toxic, their wings get clipped, just like all the others before them. Of course, none of these folks was Attorney General of the United States, so who knows what will happen when and if Barr crosses one line too many? And he has to be careful that his activism doesn't turn into law breaking because some future AG might take a dim view of what he has been up to. (Z)

Federal Judges Aren't Playing Ball with Trump...

Bill Barr may be Donald Trump's loyal stooge (see above), but there is not a lot that the President can do about federal judges who are beyond his control, two of whom dealt him defeats on Thursday. The first of those was Lucy Koh, who ordered the Census Bureau to keep counting last week, and who further extended that order yesterday. She's getting very irritated with the White House's stonewalling, as the administration has provided only 25% of the documents she demanded. Court-watchers think Koh is all-but-guaranteed to rule against Team Trump, and to restore the original deadline for completing the census (the end of October, as opposed to the end of September).

Meanwhile, a bit to the north (Yakima, to be precise), Judge Stanley Bastian gave Postmaster General Louis DeJoy a hard poke in the eye, issuing an injunction forbidding changes in USPS policies prior to the election. "[T]he heart of DeJoy's and the Postal Service's actions is voter disenfranchisement," the Judge wrote in his decision, "It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Service's changes are an intentional effort on the part of the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections, especially given that 72% of the...high speed mail sorting machines that were decommissioned were located in counties where Hillary Clinton received the most votes in 2016." Bastian also commanded that de-activated sorting machines be reconnected if postal employees or customers request it, and also declared that all election-related mail must be treated as first-class mail by the postal service regardless of the actual postage on it.

Both of these judges serve on the liberal-leaning Ninth Circuit, and both are Barack Obama appointees. So, if Donald Trump has a coronary on Friday, you'll have a pretty good idea of why. In any event, the time for appeals is running short and, when it comes to the second case, courts are notoriously leery of messing around with elections too close to Election Day. Plus, any non-SCOTUS appeals would be heard by a judge from...the Ninth Circuit. So, the smart money says that the current status quo will remain intact. (Z)

...Nor, for that Matter, Is Olivia Troye

Who is Olivia Troye, you might ask? Well, she used to work for VP Mike Pence. In fact, she was the lead staffer on the White House COVID-19 task force that Pence was (and is) overseeing. However, she left that job in July, and she isn't going to be invited to any of the Trump White House reunions, because on Thursday she released a video in which she tears into the President, says that his only concern was getting reelected, and announces that she will be voting for Joe Biden:

If you don't want to watch it (it's only 2 minutes), the money quote is: "Towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn't a matter of if Covid would become a big pandemic here, it was a matter of when. But the President didn't want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year, and how was this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success?"

Trump, of course, dismissed Troye, and observed that 99% of people who depart his administration seem to be disgruntled and to have a personal beef with him. There's a lot of truth there, perhaps a bit more than the President intended to reveal. It is instructive, maybe, to consider how many people left the Obama White House and then went on to write a scathing tell-all, or to give a bitterly critical interview to "60 Minutes" or CNN. You could count the Obama apostates on one hand, and still have multiple fingers (approximately five of them) left over.

It remains the case that bad news (Troye's condemnation, the new sexual assault charge, Tuesday's disastrous town hall, etc.) doesn't affect Trump much, because his support is so fully baked in. On the other hand, the flip side of that is that good news doesn't help him much, because his opposition is also so fully baked in. That said, there is room for some movement on the margins, and also some indication that Trump is bleeding just a bit right now (see below). (Z)

Tea Leaves Appear to Have Some Good News for Biden

If you asked us which two demographics afford Joe Biden the greatest opportunity to pick up votes relative to Hillary Clinton, we would probably choose elderly people and infrequent voters. And there is indeed evidence that Biden is set to pick up some ground with those two groups.

Let's start with elderly voters, a group where Slate has been kind enough to compile all the recent polling. Among folks 50-64, Trump appears to be holding firm. However, among voters 65 and over, the President is doing poorly. Hillary Clinton lost that group by 9 points, but Biden is leading among them by 14-17 points (depending on whose numbers you believe), which means a swing of 23-26 points.

It is an open question as to exactly why this group, which historically leaned Democratic but has skewed Republican for the last several presidential elections, is increasingly rejoining Team Blue. It could be that they like the cut of Biden's jib, since he is, after all, one of theirs (Trump is too, of course, but does anyone really look at Donald Trump and say "he reminds me of me"?). It could be that they like their presidents moderate. Maybe, having been born in 1955 or earlier, they did not much care for the idea of a woman or a Black man as president. The 65 and above cohort also includes a lot of Vietnam, Korea, and World War II veterans, and Trump's remarks on America's war dead may have put many of them off him. They could also be nervous about Medicare/Social Security, or upset by the President's handling of COVID-19. Or maybe it's some combination of all of these things.

And then there are the infrequent voters. The reason that this is a potential growth area for Biden is that a polarizing figure like Trump tends to get people off their couches and to their mailbox/dropbox/polling place in a way that a John Kerry or a Mitt Romney did not. Change Research has just released a poll of new and infrequent voters, and their conclusions suggest this is exactly what is going on. Joe Biden leads 49%-37% among this demographic (compared to 35%-30% for Hillary Clinton). He also leads among folks who voted for Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson in 2016 (44%-16%), folks who voted for Green Candidate Jill Stein in 2016 (42%-17%), and folks who did not vote at all in 2016 (47%-32%). The Democratic nominee is also up among infrequent/new voters in the six swing states Change Research surveyed: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, Biden's lead with these voters is within the margin of error (2 points, 43%-41%). In North Carolina, it is 9 points (47%-38%), and in the four others it is double digits (including a staggering 58%-31% lead in Michigan). Oh, and 84% of the respondents that Change Research spoke to said they will "definitely vote."

Both of these groups are going to be very difficult for pollsters to account for this year; elderly voters because they might skip voting due to COVID-19 (or because their ballots may get "lost" in the mail), and infrequent voters because those folks are invariably much flakier on Election Day than they say they will be (in other words, there's little chance that 84% of them actually cast votes). In view of this, as a general rule, pollsters will err on the conservative side when accounting for these two demographics. There has been some talk of "Shy Biden" voters this cycle. The individuals discussed here don't quite match that descriptor, but if you're searching for areas where Joe Biden's support might plausibly be undercounted, these two demographics are probably the place to look. (Z)

Not a Great Year for Third-Party Presidential Candidates

Joe Biden seems to be doing very well with voters who pulled the lever (or pushed the button, or checked the box, or hung the chad) for a third-party presidential candidate in 2016. And in 2020, that is a particularly good place to be, as some third-party candidates are having a hard time making it onto ballots.

The basic problem that the third parties have is that ballot access is generally gained in one of two ways: (1) by performing well in the previous election (usually, more than 5% of the vote), or (2) by collecting signatures. Third-party candidates often come up short on #1, and so are compelled to rely on the party faithful (or paid workers) to walk the streets and help with #2. In the middle of a pandemic, that's none too easy, and so there are many states where the presidential ballots will have considerably fewer names/parties than they would in a non-pandemic year.

On Thursday, just days after coming up short in Wisconsin, the Green Party lost its ballot-access case in Pennsylvania. That will allow the state to (finally) put absentee ballots in the mail. Oh, and while they were at it, the state supreme court also gave a few other wins to the Democrats, allowing the use of drop boxes in addition to the USPS, ordering the state to accept ballots received by Nov. 6 (even without a postmark), and forbidding the Republicans from importing non-resident "poll watchers" on Election Day.

In view of their defeat in Pennsylvania, the Green Party is set to appear on the presidential ballot in just 29 states. Even if we define "swing states" very liberally, only Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Maine, and Texas among the 29 qualify as such. That is still better, however, than would-be spoiler Kanye West, who also suffered a defeat on Thursday, as his final appeal to be on the Virginia ballot was turned down. West will be on the ballot in only 12 states; among those only Minnesota and Iowa can plausibly be described as swing states.

The Libertarian Party, incidentally, is doing a fair bit better than its fringy compatriots. They've qualified for the ballot in all 50 states plus D.C. Of course, the LP is the one third party the GOP would prefer remain off the ballot, since the Libertarians always steal more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. That said, between Joe Biden's apparent success with Gary Johnson voters (see above), and Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgenson's relatively low profile, the LP may not be stealing too many votes from anyone this year. (Z)

Lindsey Graham Backs Lindsey Graham into a Corner

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is, by all indications, a man of few principles. Oh, it's certainly possible that in his private life he has some sort of consistent value system. But the public Graham is a chameleon whose "position" on the issues is dictated entirely by whatever happens to be politically expedient today. If the polar opposite is what happens to be politically expedient tomorrow, Graham can be counted upon to perform his Benedict Arnold impression for the umpteenth time.

The problem is that sometimes both sides of an issue are politically expedient. For at least three years, Graham has been an outspoken backer of Donald Trump's assertion that politicians' tax returns are not the public's concern. In the last six months, however, Graham has found himself in the fight of his life with Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. And the Senator thinks that Harrison's unreleased tax returns are an Achilles heel, so he's taken to demanding their release. You will notice that this puts Graham on both sides of the tax return issue. Certainly, the reporters who cover the Senator noticed it, and called him out on the inconsistency. Ultimately, Graham—who cares more about his own hide than that of Donald Trump—decided that tax returns are the public's concern, and so called on Donald Trump to release his.

If we claimed we have our finger on the pulse of South Carolina politics, we would be lying. However, we know that voters in general don't like politicians who are so obviously two-faced and weaselly, and we have a sense that feeling is particularly strong in South Carolina. Certainly, Harrison thinks that way. The video ad featured on the front page of his website is just brutal; its climax is a montage of Graham saying one thing, and then saying the exact opposite:

There have been only two recent polls of this race; both were from Quinnipiac (which is in Connecticut) and both had it tied. It's hard to believe that a Republican could lose in red, red South Carolina, but stranger things have happened (see Jones, Doug). If Lindsey Graham does lose his job, then the main culprit responsible for that will undoubtedly be...Lindsey Graham. (Z)

Trump Gets His Big Ten Football

Donald Trump is struggling in many Midwestern states. Lots of residents of those states really love college football. And so, the President pushed very hard to persuade the Big Ten (member schools in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey) to reverse its decision to shift the fall football schedule to spring. Earlier this week, the conference agreed.

Trump, of course, took to Twitter to crow about his victory, making sure to give himself some of the credit:

We think it's fair to say that Trump has done more for college football than any president besides Abraham Lincoln. The commissioners who did a 180 said they were not influenced by political pressure, or by complaints from athletes or fans. Instead, they say that COVID-19 is much better understood, and that testing is much better, than when they made their original decision...four weeks ago. Readers can decide for themselves whether they buy that or not.

Needless to say, this is a decision fraught with potential risks. Already, a sizable number of college football teams have had outbreaks of COVID-19; the latest is LSU, where coach Ed Orgeron says nearly all players on the team have had the disease. Orgeron says that his players have all recovered, but the truth is that nobody has much of a grasp on the long-term effects of the disease, and there is already some evidence that it can cause long-term heart damage, which is obviously a big problem for someone who is young and an athlete. On top of that, some programs may be tempted to let some fans into their stadiums. And even if they don't, it is probable that some fans will try to tailgate. Both of those circumstances obviously have the potential to propagate the pandemic. This weekend, the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs let some fans into their game, and—surprise, surprise!—at least one attendee has now tested positive for COVID-19, and everyone who sat in his box is now quarantined. Might be worth it for an NFC game, but AFC? No chance.

As to the politics of the situation, the question is whether this will materially help the President's fortunes in the 11 Big Ten states. And the answer is that it probably won't. CNN's Harry Enten broke down the polling numbers from those states and points out that, in the ones where Trump is down, he needs a boost of a size that college football is not likely to provide. A second issue that we point out regularly, including in other items in today's post, is that the counterpart to "bad stuff doesn't seem to hurt Trump much" is that "good stuff doesn't seem to help Trump much." And perhaps most important of all, the Big 10 won't resume play until...October 23. By then, an enormous number of ballots will have been cast. Possibly even a decisive number. Add it up, and even if you are pro-Trump, this appears to be another situation where the reward just isn't worth the risk. (Z)

COVID-19 Diaries: Brace for a Long, Drawn-Out Fight

As we pass 200,000 deaths in the US, we still have people saying this is all a hoax. The latest game is to only count people with no comorbidities as being "real" COVID deaths. Of course, most Americans have one or more comorbidities, so this means only 10,000 "really" died of COVID.

As Donald Trump is now in full 1984 mode ("We have always been at war with Eastasia"), he is taking the position that we did everything we could to stop COVID. By every reasonable measure, this is not true. One statistic to look at would be deaths/million population. If we were doing well, that should be a low number. Instead there are only 10 countries in the world doing worse than the U.S. We are tied with the U.K., Italy, Spain, Sweden (which didn't even do much of a lockdown) and Brazil, and significantly worse than every other Western nation except for Belgium. Most of Europe is not out of the woods, either. France, Germany, and the U.K. all seemed to have the pandemic under control then saw it come roaring back as soon as they let down their guard. China, Australia, and New Zealand are currently doing much better than the European countries.

One ray of hope in the U.S. is that new cases seem to be on a slow decline and daily deaths have leveled off. Welcome to the "new normal." While many continue to social distance and wear masks, conservatives want to reopen in spite of the consequences. A Trump-appointed judge has declared that the Pennsylvania lockdown is unconstitutional. Trump is celebrating this as a victory for personal freedom. He is also happily holding rallies that ignore all rules of social distancing and mask-wearing.

Keep in mind that Australia has given us evidence that the war against COVID-19 can be won. That nation continues to show slow improvement in totally stopping the spread of the pandemic. Their daily new cases are back to under 50/day. This is still not as good as the 10 new cases/day prior to this latest outbreak, but I am rooting for them.

By contrast, here is a rundown of the top 10 U.S. states for new cases:

State New Cases/Day Trendline
Texas 4,000 Decreasing slowly
California 3,500 Decreasing slowly
Florida 2,500 Decreasing slowly
Illinois 1,700 Flat
Georgia 1,600 Decreasing slowly
Missouri 1,200 Flat or maybe increasing
Tennessee 1,000 Decreasing slowly
Ohio 1,000 Flat
Michigan 850 Flat or maybe increasing
Pennsylvania 750 Flat

Notice that only half of the states are even decreasing. The rest are flat or are maybe increasing. As many people are now imagining, encouraged by the President, that a vaccine is on the way, there will be even more pressure to reduce restrictions. Fortunately, there are still quite a number of people who are taking the virus seriously. The people taking it seriously keep the virus from expanding too rapidly, while those that do not prevent the U.S. from making significant progress.

It appears that as long as COVID-19 is not locally serious, people ignore it. It is only when the effects become visible that people pay attention. I am reminded of the popular distinction between a recession and a depression. A recession is when your neighbor loses their job, a depression is when you lose yours. COVID-19 only becomes real when you are personally touched.

I am a hiker. It is an interesting experiment to observe how people act when they pass you on the trail. About half of the hikers have masks, cover their faces when you walk past, and thank you for taking precautions. The other half do not even have masks and don't moderate their behavior at all. I suspect that this experiment could be similarly replicated anywhere in the country (though with varying ratios of compliance versus non-compliance).

Meanwhile, there are still many problems worldwide. India is the new hotspot. In a few weeks they will overtake the U.S. for most total cases. They do have four times the U.S. population, but this is still concerning.

It can now be concluded that COVID-19 is here to stay until we get a safe and effective vaccine and distribute it to a significant portion of the population. There is speculation about when we will actually have a vaccine. However, there are so many unknowns that any prognostication is just guesswork. Expecting to see COVID-19 materially defeated (or at least under control) prior the end of 2021 is very optimistic. The WHO says that merely having a vaccine by then would be "very reasonable."

Many organizations are trying to get a vaccine through the approval process. There may be as many as 150 active vaccine development efforts. But keep in mind that, as of today, we do not have a vaccine that is tested and proven safe and effective. And once a vaccine actually is available, the U.S. has to figure out how to make 300 million doses and distribute them. It will also be necessary to convince people that it is safe to take. All of this takes time. (PD)

Dr. Paul Dorsey, Ph.D., works in medical software, providing software to support medical practices and hospitals nationwide.

Today's Presidential Polls

On one hand, this is just about the best day's worth of polls we've had for Donald Trump in a long time. On the other hand, he's still behind in all five. (Z)

State Biden Trump Start End Pollster
Arizona 45% 40% Aug 29 Sep 13 Kaiser/Cook
Arizona 48% 46% Sep 11 Sep 15 Monmouth U.
Florida 43% 42% Aug 29 Sep 13 Kaiser/Cook
North Carolina 45% 43% Aug 29 Sep 13 Kaiser/Cook
North Carolina 47% 43% Sep 11 Sep 14 Suffolk U.

Today's Senate Polls

Same as above. Today's polls are less grim for the GOP Senate caucus than most days', but the Republicans are still behind in all four. Also note that in the much tighter poll of Arizona, Mark Kelly is nonetheless at the magic 50% mark. We wonder if Martha McSally would rather be down by 4 points with 96% decided, or down by 8 points with only 80% decided. Tough call. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Arizona Mark Kelly 44% Martha McSally* 36% Aug 29 Sep 13 Kaiser/Cook
Arizona Mark Kelly 50% Martha McSally* 46% Sep 11 Sep 15 Monmouth U.
North Carolina Cal Cunningham 41% Thom Tillis* 37% Aug 29 Sep 13 Kaiser/Cook
North Carolina Cal Cunningham 42% Thom Tillis* 38% Sep 11 Sep 14 Suffolk U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Sep17 A Fire Hose of Lying
Sep17 Trump Surprises Republicans with a Call for a Stimulus Package
Sep17 Trump's Fate Could Be in DeSantis' Hands
Sep17 Adelson Will Spend Up to $50 Million to Help Trump
Sep17 Biden Undercut Years of Trump's Courting of Indian-Americans with One Decision
Sep17 The Mail Really Is Slow
Sep17 Cunningham and Tillis Joust over Vaccine
Sep17 Ohio Board Rejects Sending Postage-Paid Envelopes with Absentee Ballots
Sep17 Alaska Changes the Ballot to Hurt Independents
Sep17 How to Fix a Broken Democracy
Sep17 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep17 Today's Senate Polls
Sep16 White House Holds "Abraham Accords" Signing Ceremony
Sep16 Primary Season Draws to an End
Sep16 Lots of Maneuvering in Congress
Sep16 Poll: Maybe America Is Less Divided Than it Seems
Sep16 About that "Blue" Puerto Rico
Sep16 About that "Blue" Minnesota
Sep16 Scientific American Announces Its Presidential Endorsement
Sep16 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep16 Today's Senate Polls
Sep15 Rage Unleashed Today
Sep15 Trump Is Rallying Again
Sep15 Dockets Are Filling Up Quickly
Sep15 Keep a Wary Eye on Mike Pompeo
Sep15 Sasse Wants To Get Rid of the 17th Amendment
Sep15 Collins Is Not Threading the Needle Well
Sep15 McConnell Again Warns Democrats Not to Kill the Filibuster
Sep15 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep15 Today's Senate Polls
Sep14 Bloomberg Will Spend $100 Million in Florida to help Biden
Sep14 Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Disapprove of Trump's Handling of the Pandemic
Sep14 Both Campaigns Are Targeting White Women
Sep14 Could LDS Church Members Be Up for Grabs in 2020?
Sep14 Far More Democrats Than Republicans Have Requested Absentee Ballots
Sep14 Many Felons Will Be Able to Vote This Year
Sep14 When Is an Election Rigged?
Sep14 Chances of a New Stimulus Before the Election Are Close to Zero
Sep14 Sabato's Crystal Ball Makes Electoral-College Predictions
Sep14 Could a COVID-Measures Resister Cost the Republicans a House Seat?
Sep14 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep14 Today's Senate Polls
Sep13 Sunday Mailbag
Sep13 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep13 Today's Senate Polls
Sep12 Appeals Court Rules Ex-Felons Must Pay to Vote
Sep12 Saturday Q&A
Sep12 Today's Presidential Polls
Sep12 Today's Senate Polls
Sep11 Trump Reaps the Woodward Wind