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Trump Reveals His November End Game
White House Starts Outreach on Supreme Court Pick
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Judge Says Census Must Continue Another Month

Two National Polls Have Biden Leading Trump by 10 Points

Quinnipiac University released a national poll yesterday, with Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 10 points, 52% to 42%. Marquette Law School also released a national poll yesterday with Biden also ahead by 10 points, only 50% to 40%. Both pollsters are highly regarded and the polls are very similar, so there is every reason to believe them.

The Quinnipiac poll has Democrats supporting Biden 96% to 2% and Republicans supporting Trump 91% to 7%. Independents are slightly for Biden, 49% to 41%. Only 5% of the voters say they might change their minds. If that is true, it is hard to see how Trump can catch up. That means his primary route to winning has to be through voter suppression, slowing the USPS, limiting the number of drop boxes, court decisions, and everything else that doesn't involve the voters.

On character traits, including honesty, leadership, caring about people, being level-headed, and intelligence, Biden wins in a sweep, according to Quinnipiac. Voters also see him as being better on the military, keeping people safe, the virus, and racial inequality. Trump does better only on the economy (by 1 point).

Marquette explicitly included Jo Jorgensen (LP) and Howie Hawkins (GP) in the list of candidates, which is why its scores for both Biden and Trump are lower than Quinnipiac's. Jorgensen gets 3% and Hawkins gets 2%. However, experience shows that support for third-parties tends to be higher in polls than in actual voting. People who like one of the minor-party candidates are happy to tell pollsters that, but when it comes to actual voting, fewer of them like using their vote on a candidate who cannot win. (V)

Schedule Set for Confirming the New Supreme Court Justice

Donald Trump will announce his nomination to the vacant Supreme Court seat on Saturday. Then the Senate will begin hearings around Oct. 12. The full Senate will then vote on the confirmation in the week of Oct. 26, a week before the election, but long after tens of millions of voters will have voted, either early in-person or by absentee ballot.

If they want to, the Democrats could probably stretch out the process and move the vote back a week. This puts them in a bit of a bind. Activists want them to go full Kabuki Theater and pretend they are obstructing the process, when in fact they have no power to do so. And it is actually in the Democrats' interest to force vulnerable senators to vote on the confirmation before all the voters have cast their votes in the Senate races. This logic argues for simply accepting the reality that they can't stop the process and try to get the vulnerable senators on record as early as possible. But if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) & Co. do nothing, the left will scream that they did nothing.

People familiar with the president's plans say that he is leaning towards Amy Coney Barrett, an appeals court judge certain to please religious conservatives because she is a near-certain vote to uphold defendants' claims to a right to violate any law if it interferes with their religious beliefs. If a Christian pharmacist doesn't want to dispense birth-control pills to unmarried women, she'll probably agree. If a Christian florist, caterer, band, dressmaker, or jeweler refuses to deal with a same-sex couple planning to get married, she'll OK that. If a Christian accountant doesn't want to do the taxes of a same-sex couple, why should he have to? Can a Christian restaurant owner refuse service to a same-sex couple that wants to dine there? What about Christian parents who say their religious beliefs allow them to lock their child in the basement for a week, in violation of state child-abuse laws, because the child refuses to go to church? The list goes on.

If Barrett is confirmed to the Court, as expected, the new swing justice will be...Brett Kavanaugh. He might be the one to save the ACA or Roe v. Wade because he prefers narrower rulings than the more right-wing justices. Still, in his two terms on the Court, he voted against LGBT workers but supported property rights, the gerrymander, the death penalty, and sided with Trump on various issues including immigration and presidential powers.

Senate Republicans have shown that they are—how shall we put this gently— "flexible" on principles like whether Supreme Court vacancies can be filled in election years. It will be interesting to see how "flexible" Supreme Court justices are if Joe Biden is elected president. During Trump's presidency, almost no use of presidential power was too much. Will this also hold for Biden? If he wins, we will surely find out. (V)

Intelligence Agency Won't Give Very Intelligent President Any Intelligence

In any other year, this story in Politico would be the top story in every newspaper in the country. The CIA is no longer giving information about Russian interference in the election to the President because CIA Director Gina Haspel knows he will get angry if told the truth. It is also possible that the intelligence officers who are processing the incoming information are disillusioned and producing less "product," because they know it is going nowhere.

Haspel is known to be questioning the "Russia House" within the agency. She even fired the head last year, as well as others. In her defense, intelligence often comes from iffy sources, and her job is to make sure everything that makes it into final reports and the President's Daily Briefings (which Trump doesn't read) is very solid. Thus, being careful and critical is part of the job description. Nevertheless, if her distrust of the CIA's analysts is even partly due to political pressure rather than her professional judgment, that is not a good development for national or election security.

Still, think of this: A hostile foreign country is trying to sabotage an upcoming election and the CIA is afraid to tell the president because the Director thinks (probably correctly) that he will reject it out of hand and get angry with her for telling him. So what did the CIA do? Four officers leaked the story to Politico instead. That's not really a great Plan B, although it is better than nothing.

And there is more reason for the CIA top to be nervous. AG William Barr has commissioned U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the CIA to see if its findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump are correct. Many people are expecting Durham to report back to Barr in October that it was all a hoax and fake news and that the "truth" is actually that Ukraine interfered to help Hillary Clinton. That could be the October surprise. Well, one of them, at the rate we're going.

It is well known that Trump does not want to hear about Russian interference and also does not want anyone else to hear about it either. When former DNI Joseph Maguire had a deputy brief Congress on this year's Russian interference, Trump quickly fired Maguire. Last week he flayed FBI Director Christopher Wray on Twitter for talking to Congress and telling the members that Russia is a far greater threat than China.

Also troubling is the role of Courtney Elwood, the CIA's general counsel, in Russia-related matters. She is sticking her nose into all manner of things not related to legal issues. Some analysts believe that she is effectively Haspel's mole within the agency, not only collecting information, but trying to influence the "facts" before they get into reports, and things like that. In short, instead of providing the president with the unvarnished truth, the Agency has become a battleground, with long-time agents trying to get the truth out but political forces and a hostile president trying to block it. This has got to be the best show Vladimir Putin has ever seen in his entire life. And he got it for free, without any effort on his part. (V)

Trump Falls into His Own Trap

Next Tuesday, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will meet face-to-face in Cleveland. Well, technically, side by side 10 feet apart rather than face to face, given the pandemic. For months now, Trump has called Biden "sleepy Joe" and claimed he is physically and mentally feeble. That sets the bar for Biden very low, especially for Fox News viewers, who have heard nothing else about Biden. In reality, although Biden is 77, he is fit, agile, and a decent debater. Besides, he took part in 12 debates during the primary season and faced several strong opponents, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is a real policy wonk and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is forceful and passionate. Trump hasn't debated anyone since 2016 and is unlikely to bother even preparing for next week's debate.

Even Republicans realize that setting the bar so low for Biden was a big mistake. Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: "This idea of Biden not knowing how to debate is ridiculous. The more that expectations are lowered for him the worse." Ed Rollins, a veteran GOP strategist who now runs a Trump super PAC, said: "Biden has clearly shown he can function, the bar is low and the expectations are so low, all he has to do is exceed those expectations." Rollins expects Biden to be declared the winner simply by functioning normally. Other Republicans believe that all Biden has to do is fire off a couple of good soundbites to surpass Trump. No doubt smart people on Biden's staff are already preparing a list for him to memorize. The best one we have seen would come into play if Trump stalks Biden, as he did Hillary Clinton. Then Biden would address the moderator and say: "The president needs to use the men's room badly. Can one of the stage hands please show him the way?"

Trump's staff is already expecting Biden to be declared the winner by the media and is preparing for it—by attacking the pundits and media who award Biden the victory. Barring some real gaffe, that is almost a foregone conclusion because Biden understands policy and the facts, and Trump doesn't and doesn't care about such frivolities. So when Biden attacks Trump for having the blood of 200,000 Americans on his hands and Trump says there were only 10,000 deaths from COVID-19, the media are automatically going to side with Biden. In view of this, the Republican campaign to defame the media is already in full swing, with numerous Republicans claiming that the media want Biden to win, so they are already writing stories about his debate victory.

Another line of attack is to claim Biden got the questions for his recent town hall appearance in advance, which is why he did so well despite being sleepy and feeble. Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has already tweeted that. Undoubtedly, O'Reilly will be sharing proof of his claims right after he delivers the promised evidence that he never sexually harassed anyone.

In reality, the first moderator, Chris Wallace has already announced the six themes of the first debate, so Trump can prepare if he wants to. Most likely, Biden's staff will give him lists of possible questions for each theme along with appropriate answers and he will read them carefully. Equally likely, Trump's staff will give him similar lists and he will ignore them. Biden will almost certainly practice with a mock debate or two and Trump won't. As a consequence, the media will say that Biden was prepared and Trump wasn't and Trump will claim this is a sign of bias. (V)

The RNC Is Sending Money to Texas

The RNC just sent $1.3 million to the Texas Republican Party. In case you haven't been paying attention for the past 20 years, Texas is supposed to be a red state and not at all competitive. Apparently the RNC isn't so sure—and for good reason. Here are all the nonpartisan presidential polls of Texas taken during any part of July or later:

State Biden Trump Start End Pollster
Texas 46% 48% Sep 15 Sep 18 YouGov
Texas 47% 48% Sep 01 Sep 02 PPP
Texas 46% 48% Aug 28 Sep 02 U. of Texas
Texas 47% 48% Aug 21 Aug 30 Morning Consult
Texas 48% 47% Aug 21 Aug 22 PPP
Texas 41% 48% Aug 04 Aug 13 YouGov
Texas 47% 46% Jul 24 Aug 02 Morning Consult
Texas 47% 45% Jul 17 Jul 26 Morning Consult
Texas 45% 44% Jul 16 Jul 20 Quinnipiac U.
Texas 45% 46% Jul 07 Jul 10 YouGov
Texas 48% 43% Jun 29 Jul 07 U. of Texas

One time Donald Trump was ahead outside the margin of error and one time Joe Biden was. The other nine were statistical ties, with Biden a tad ahead four times and Trump a tad ahead five times. To the RNC, that has to be scary, at the very least. By way of comparison, here are the Texas polls for the same period in 2016. Then, we also tracked Gary Johnson (LP), who was scoring in the high single digits in some states. In contrast, the Libertarian Party candidate this year, Jo Jorgensen, isn't getting nearly as much traction.

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
Texas 36% 42% 10% Sep 07 Sep 10 Emerson Coll.
Texas 32% 39% 9% Sep 01 Sep 11 Texas Lyceum
Texas 40% 40% 11% Aug 09 Sep 01 SurveyMonkey
Texas 38% 44% 6% Aug 12 Aug 14 PPP
Texas 35% 46%   Aug 08 Aug 09 Dixie Strategies

Here Trump led in all but one of them, and that one was an Internet poll by SurveyMonkey, which FiveThirtyEight rates as D- (this year we raised the bar to C- for accepting polls, so we don't use SurveyMonkey anymore). Also, Gary Johnson was polling strongly and nearly all of that came out of Trump's hide. With Jorgensen down in the weeds, most of that vote will be going to Trump this year as Biden has little to offer Libertarians (though he is in favor of fully decriminalizing The Devil's Weed). But even without a strong Libertarian candidate pulling votes from him, Trump can't do any better than a tie in Texas this year.

Some Texas Republicans maintain that if Beto O'Rourke couldn't beat the unpopular Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a Democratic wave, Trump has nothing to fear in Texas. Republican consultant Jordan Berry called the money an "investment," not a "fire alarm." The former chairman of the Texas Republican Party, James Dickey, said: "Sometimes money is put in to stop up a hole, but much more often, money is put in to support the continuance of a successful effort, and this is the latter." Another Republican strategist dismissed the payment by saying: "Call me again if it's $10 million or $20 million."

However, other Texas Republican strategists weren't so optimistic. One said: "If Trump barely wins Texas, we lose TX-22, TX-24 and possibly TX-21." TX-22 is an open R+10 seat; TX-24 is an open R+9 seat; TX-21 is Chip Roy's R+10 seat. To his list we would add the R+1 open seat, TX-23, currently occupied by Rep. Will Hurd. This particular strategist even thought that a bare win by Trump would mean the Democrats capture the Texas state House as well, and thus could block gerrymandering of the congressional map.

Still, Trump's failure to win over those pesky "suburban housewives" who don't realize armed bands of Black marauders are coming for them, is a big problem this time. Additionally, the demographics of Texas are changing. Added together and we could see a narrow Trump victory as well as Democratic takeovers in congressional and state House districts. Sometimes "close" matters not only in horseshoes and grenade-throwing, but also in elections. (V)

House Democrats Unveil Bill to Curb the President

Yesterday, House Democrats unveiled a 158-page bill that would curb future presidents and take back power Congress has ceded to the Executive Branch over the years. Among other provisions it:

  • Limits the president's power to declare emergencies
  • Prevents federal officials from enriching themselves
  • Accelerates the process of enforcing congressional subpoenas
  • Protects inspectors general and whistleblowers
  • Increases penalties for officials who subvert congressional appropriations
  • Puts real teeth in the Hatch Act, including fines of $50,000 per violation
  • Safeguards elections against foreign interference
  • Requires the attorney general to keep a log of communications with the White House
  • Stops the clock for the president on the statute of limitations for any federal crime
  • Requires the president to spend funds appropriated by Congress in a timely manner
  • Forces the president to turn over documentation pertaining to any pardon
  • Forbids the president from pardoning himself
  • Requires political committees to turn over evidence of foreign meddling in elections to the FBI
  • Enforces both the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the Constitution

Nevertheless, there are areas that it doesn't deal with that it should, especially the use of acting appointments to circumvent the Senate confirmation process. The bill could have stated: "When a cabinet position is vacant, the highest-ranking Senate-confirmed person in the department becomes acting secretary for up to 60 days. If there is no such person, the president may install an acting secretary for up to 60 days a person who has been confirmed by the Senate as a secretary, deputy secretary, or assistant secretary of another department."

The bill also doesn't address the president levying tariffs on his own, a power the Constitution explicitly grants to Congress. There are no doubt plenty of other things that will be added before the bill comes up to a vote. It has zero chance of being enacted this year, but if Joe Biden is elected president, Senate Republicans may gleefully sign up as cosponsors to the Senate version, just to hamstring him. Democrats will be happy to have them as cosponsors (as long as they don't try to weaken the bill) because they know Biden is not going to abuse the Constitution the way Donald Trump did. Further, Biden would be delighted to have his historical reputation be something like "the president who put the office back on an even keel, and salvaged the balance of powers between branches." (V)

Feinstein Pours Cold Water on Court Packing and Filibuster Reform

If the Democrats win the Senate, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is first in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee. If she takes the gavel, she would have to approve any attempt to pack the Supreme Court, and currently she is opposed to the idea. She is also opposed to eliminating the filibuster, but that decision might fall to the Senate Rules Committee, whose current ranking member is Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN).

And Feinstein might not get the final word on court packing, either. If the Senate Democratic leadership, which consists of Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin (IL), and Patty Murray (WA) decided they wanted to do it, they could override her, and if necessary, promote Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) to the chairmanship, a position he held until he became the ranking member of Appropriations. If Leahy wants to stick with Appropriations, then #3 is Durbin, but he is too busy in the leadership to chair a committee, so the Democrats could call on #4, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to take the reins at Judiciary. He is fairly progressive and might go for court packing.

Also, keep in mind that this is now and next year is later. Most Democrats don't want to upset the applecart and scare off swing voters with radical talk. But if Democrats win the White House and Senate, then they will have to reevaluate the situation with a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court. It is also possible that they would wait for the right moment to take action. For example, after the Court made a decision on gerrymandering, voting rights, voter suppression, the census, campaign finance, or something else that would entrench Republican power, then they could act enraged and use the moment to expand the Court. Similarly, if the Republican minority filibustered bill after bill in the new Senate, it would be much easier to convince the public that it had to go.

An alternative that the Democrats could institute on Day 1 is: No more symbolic filibusters. If you want to filibuster, fine, but you have to stand on your feet in the well of the Senate with no food, no drinks, no bathroom breaks, and read the Alabama phone book day and night until you drop. Few of the (mostly elderly) Republican senators would make it to "B." This would also draw attention to the filibuster and allow Democrats to make video clips entitled: "Your tax dollars at work." (V)

Pregnant Chads Meet Naked Ballots

In November 2000, we were introduced to the concept of "pregnant chads." For those readers under the age of 35, the Florida 2000 election used 80-column (stiff) punched cards, sometimes called "IBM cards." Using a special punching device, voters punched rectangular holes in the card to indicate their choices for the various elections on the ballot. The cards could then be counted by a punched-card reader. Florida law says what counts is the "intent of the voter." The problem was that the punching devices were old and dull and didn't always punch the hole clean through, depositing a rectangular bit of cardboard, called a chad, in a container. During the recount, individual punched cards were manually inspected and cards with a bulging chad that was not cleanly separated from the card came to be known as "pregnant chads." Election workers had to determine which chads were pregnant (i.e., bulged forward and thus counted) or were flat (and thus didn't count).

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took on the 2020 version of this issue, and made a ruling that "naked ballots" don't count. When Pennsylvania voters get their absentee ballot, the envelope from the elections office contains three items: the ballot, a white secrecy envelope and a brown mailing envelope. The voter is supposed to mark the ballot, then insert it in the secrecy envelope, and then put that in the brown mailing envelope. A ballot that is returned without the secrecy envelope is called a "naked ballot," and per court decision now, will not be counted. Some experts are warning that people who have never voted absentee before may not understand the procedure, put the ballot in the brown envelope, and send it back "naked." This will invalidate their vote. They are estimating that as many as 100,000 people could lose their vote this way. Donald Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016 by 45,000 votes.

The estimate comes from previous elections. In the 2019 municipal election in Philadelphia, 6.4% of the absentee ballots were naked. In the primary this year, 5% of the ballots in Mercer County (near Pittsburgh) were naked.

Democrats have urged the (Republican-controlled) state legislature to change the law to make the secrecy envelope optional, but the legislature, of course, is not interested. During the primaries, many counties weren't aware of the rule and tallied naked ballots anyway. In the general election in November, there will be intense scrutiny and with the new court decision, naked ballots won't be counted.

The court decision will hurt Democrats since far more Democrats than Republicans are expected to vote by mail and this problem affects only ballots mailed in. The best estimates now are 1.3 million Democratic mail-in votes and 300,000 Republican mail-in votes. If 6% are thrown out, that's 78,000 rejected Democratic votes and 18,000 rejected Republican votes for a net Democratic loss of 60,000. That's more than Trump's margin of victory in 2016. If more ballots are absentee than expected or a larger percentage of them are naked, the effect is even bigger.

Pennsylvania has almost no history of absentee voting, so mistakes are going to be plentiful. Presumably Democrats are going to run ads in Pennsylvania telling people that they must use the secrecy envelopes, but there are surely people who are thinking: "I don't care if election workers see my ballot; I am proud of it. So I'm not going to use the white envelope."

On the other hand, not all the news from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was bad for the Democrats. It extended the deadline for accepting ballots until 3 days after Election Day, permitted the use of drop boxes, and booted the Green Party from the ballot for not having its paperwork in order.

However, the good news may be short lived. The Republicans want the new 8-member Supreme Court to review the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decisions. Our Spidey Sense tells us a 5-3 decision could be right around the corner. (V)

The Preemptive Attack on the Vote Count is a Five-Alarm Fire

Richard Hasen, a professor of law at the University of California at Irvine, is one of the country's top experts on election law. The headline above is from him. In a piece written for Slate, he says he has never been more worried about American Democracy than he is now.

Much of his concern is about his legal specialty: election law. Currently there are over 250 election-related lawsuits in various states around the country. Hasen groups the ones filed by Republicans (which is the great majority of them) into two broad categories. First, some are intended to limit absentee voting, mostly because the Republicans think it hurts them. Second, others are meant to create chaos and uncertainty about the election, so even if Joe Biden wins, there is a chance that Congress or the courts will step in and wrest it from him.

Some of the lawsuits are closely tied to COVID-19, such as lawsuits in states that require the signatures on absentee ballot envelopes to be notarized. Timing of when ballots arrive is also a big issue, as is the presence or absence of a postmark. Other lawsuits oppose the use or expansion of drop boxes, which make it easier for people to vote late in October. Another battleground is the four states—California, Nevada, New Jersey, and Vermont—that are mailing every eligible voter a ballot, something they have never done before.

Some of the battles, such as what to do with ballots that arrive on Nov. 4 without a postmark, will matter only if that state's election is very close. But a bigger danger is the attempt by Republicans to throw up so much muck that no one can be sure who won a state. In that case, the state legislature might just decide to ignore the election and produce its own slate of electors. But what if the state's secretary of state refused to certify those electoral votes and instead certified the slate chosen by the voters? Congress would get two sets of electoral votes from some states. It would have to figure out how to handle it and whatever it decided would rip the country apart. The Supreme Court might also want to get involved, resulting in a full-blown constitutional crisis with Congress against the Supreme Court and the presidency at stake. If you believe in prayer, this would be a good time to recall the election administrator's prayer, and pray that your side wins in an undisputed landslide. (V)

Why Is McConnell Ramming Through a Supreme Court Appointment?

Politico's John Harris has an interesting take on why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is intent on ramming through a new SCOTUS justice before the election. Harris believes that McConnell is no dummy and knows exactly what he is doing and why. He says there are two possibilities:

  • McConnell is convinced the Republicans will be in power forever
  • McConnell is convinced the Democrats will be in power forever

He just doesn't know which it is. In both scenarios, the move makes sense. If the first one is true, who cares what the powerless opposition thinks? He can do whatever he wants and suffer no consequences. In fact, if gerrymandering, voter suppression, telling the USPS to take it slow, and the courts all do their parts, he will remain in charge of the Senate, no matter what the voters want, so what difference does it make if the pundits think he is a hypocrite? What matters is power, not pleasing the punditry.

On the other hand, McConnell is no dummy. Unlike Donald Trump, he can read and do math. He sees the same polls we see and a few more (which probably have the same message). If he believes that the Democrats are likely to win all the marbles, he knows that they will end the filibuster, enact a new Voting Rights Act, get rid of gerrymandering, and let the people rule, which he well understands means Democratic rule for the rest of his lifetime. In that case, he is trying to salvage the only thing he can: the Supreme Court. It may not work, because the Democrats could pack it next year, but he might as well grab what he can while he can, because next year as minority leader, no one will be asking for his opinion on anything. And maybe with a bit of luck, the Supreme Court will strike down some of the new laws the Democrats pass.

Either way, he couldn't care less what the opposition and the media think of him. What he cares about is power, and in either scenario, grabbing the seat now makes the most sense. The only scenario where not voting on the nominee is the best option for him is one in which taking a vote dooms the Republicans to the minority next year but not taking the vote leads to a Republican majority on Jan. 3. If he thought that not calling for a vote would save the Senate, he would undoubtedly cross Trump and not call for the vote—at least, not before the election. Calling for it in a lame-duck session in November could result in a nomination made by a defeated president and confirmed by defeated senators. That would so enrage the Democrats that one of them would be bound to say: "Badminton is won by scoring 21 points, so let's have 21 justices" and the rest might just agree. That's too much of a risk. (OK, 21 is absurd, but if Democrats feel they have been cheated out of two seats, they could propose 13, or maybe decide that is an unlucky number and pick 15.)

If McConnell were sure that Trump was going to win and the Republicans were going to hold the Senate, he could be consistent and say: "I genuinely believe the people should speak before we fill the vacancy. I believed that in 2016 and I believe it now." Democrats could hardly complain about that. Then, after Trump won again, he could nominate Amy Coney Barrett and all the Democrats could do is whine that she doesn't have much of a track record. It would take all the wind out of their sails. But McConnell is far from sure and his actions show that. They are the actions of someone who knows he is going against a strong trend and this may well be his last hurrah. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

The two Arizona polls are way out of line with previous polls. Could the Republicans' decision to fill the Supreme Court vacancy have made so much of a difference? We're skeptical. Abt is relatively new to political polling, but there is no reason to doubt its honesty. Ipsos is the second biggest pollster in the world and generally knows what it is doing. Still, the results for Arizona are strange. Also for Florida. This is why we average all the polls over the week ending at the most recent poll. (V)

State Biden Trump Start End Pollster
Arizona 47% 46% Sep 11 Sep 17 Ipsos
Arizona 48% 49% Sep 15 Sep 20 Abt Associates
Florida 47% 47% Sep 11 Sep 16 Ipsos
Florida 47% 51% Sep 15 Sep 20 Abt Associates
Florida 50% 47% Sep 21 Sep 22 St. Pete polls
Georgia 46% 48% Sep 17 Sep 21 Monmouth U.
Michigan 50% 42% Sep 08 Sep 22 Baldwin Wallace U.
North Carolina 44% 45% Sep 17 Sep 20 Harper Polling
Ohio 45% 44% Sep 08 Sep 22 Baldwin Wallace U.
Pennsylvania 47% 45% Sep 08 Sep 22 Baldwin Wallace U.
Pennsylvania 48% 42% Sep 14 Sep 20 Franklin+Marshall Coll.
Wisconsin 50% 41% Sep 08 Sep 22 Baldwin Wallace U.

Today's Senate Polls

Clearly something is very fishy here. Ipsos has Kelly ahead by 9 points, consistent with other polls, while Abt has him ahead by 1. It can't be both. We're just going to have to wait for more polls. (V)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Arizona Mark Kelly 49% Martha McSally* 48% Sep 15 Sep 20 Abt Associates
Arizona Mark Kelly 50% Martha McSally* 41% Sep 11 Sep 17 Ipsos
Georgia Jon Ossoff 43% David Perdue* 48% Sep 17 Sep 21 Monmouth U.
Michigan Gary Peters* 46% John James 41% Sep 08 Sep 22 Baldwin Wallace U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Sep23 200,000
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