Election 2016, October 30 — November 5

We’re dragging to the finish.  Although I hear (from both sides) about the great concern that the latest October surprise will torpedo HRC’s chances for the presidency, a part of me believes she will survive this.  What do you think?

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75 thoughts on “Election 2016, October 30 — November 5

  1. What will you do about the Supreme Court justices dying off one by one, never to be replaced?

  2. RMS, that makes my blood boil! Cruz is an incredible spoilsport I cannot even imagine the tirade from him if the parties were reversed. The current crop of legislators are more party-focused, rather than country-focused, than I have ever seen. I gleefully await the opportunity to vote against Cruz.

  3. RMS – I think some see that as a feature, not a bug. Nothing gets done in Congress, the Supreme Court dies off, we just have obstructionists everywhere. And then they bitch when things like Zika research don’t get funded. Or we don’t have enough money to adequately protect people in dangerous foreign countries. Whee!

  4. MM — Either Trump or Clinton could fit the tweeted scenario. I foresee a good chance of obstructionism regardless of who gets in. Some obstructionism can be good imo, but obviously carried to the extreme it can be a problem.

  5. “Either Trump or Clinton could fit the tweeted scenario.”

    Yes. Hillary’s unfavorable numbers are back up again, now slightly higher than even Trump’s.

    Clinton leads in the national poll by just one percentage point.

    Most of the data for this poll was collected even before the FBI announced that Clinton was yet again under criminal investigation.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/deep-unfavorability-clinton-trump-marks-elections-sharp-divisions/story?id=43177423

  6. Rhett – 538 is definitely a lagging indicator, but note that a 22% chance for Trump is significantly higher than the 12% it was about a week ago. Right or wrong, he’s assigning equal weight to polls from one week, two weeks ago. The other question you’d have to ask is whether Trump was really down by 12 points a week ago.

    But the media isn’t cherry-picking this. It’s the same ABC News/Washington Post-contracted research firm that had Trump down 12 points two weeks ago.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html#polls

    But if I were to just pick one poll for its unique methodology, consistent and steadier output, and the fact that it was the single outlier that correctly predicted a four-point Obama win in 2012, it would be LA Times.

  7. FBI announced that Clinton was yet again under criminal investigation.

    It’s not new, it’s the same scandal they’ve been trying to make happen for months. Do you think it’s going to sway a lot of people?

  8. “Do you think it’s going to sway a lot of people?”

    It will never sway a lot, but it’s a close race, and if the final week of news coverage is dominated by continued Clinton corruption, it can discourage some of her voters, encourage some of his (especially the reluctant ones), and sway a few independents.

  9. Let alone the server, looks like the emails have been all over the place on multiple non secure devices including shared family computers. I hope the processes for transmitting information where sensitive government departments are concerned has been tightened.

  10. “no one has the slightest idea what’s in those emails yet.”

    Well some people do. Hillary and Huma and Weiner do, and some people in the FBI. Two weeks ago, I was at a neighborhood party and talking with a couple FBI agents who felt like Comey had totally sold out in July and was being paid off in some way. I haven’t yet had a chance to get their reactions to this development.

  11. Huma says she never used that computer. The whole thing is a little weird. If I were Weiner I would certainly not let Huma near any computer that had my nasty stuff on it.

  12. I read that it’s possible that computer was automatically updated with emails stored in the cloud. Who knows?

    Some pundit remarked that the main reason this is bad news for HRC is that voters hate both candidates, and whichever one of them that’s in the news tends to see their poll numbers go down. He also said this will be Trump’s supreme test of keeping his loud mouth focused on the right message this week.

  13. “Huma says she never used that computer.”

    I wonder if it’s like how if you take a picture on your iPhone, it ends up on all your devices once you get home. Interesting, but ultimately irrelevant, if the point is that they found the 30,000 emails that Hillary bleached off her own devices. If she’s elected, we can spend the next year figuring out if they really were nothing more than girl talk about yoga and wedding planning.

  14. But if you were Weiner, aware that there was a good chance your wife would divorce you at some point and with no viable career options if the Clintons no longer had your back, would you take the opportunity to download everything in case you ever needed leverage?

  15. In Weiner’s case I just couldn’t get over why he ran for mayor of NY and had a documentary crew filming when he had not got over this past behavior. I don’t know how he thought things like that would be hidden.

  16. Speaking of LA Times, it’s now up to Trump +4. Still an outlier, to be sure, but it’s been the steadiest all along. And it’s significant because they uniquely poll the same 3,000 people over and over.

    http://cesrusc.org/election/

  17. “there is something really wrong with that man. I think it is pathological.”

    Well, Hillary set them up, and Bill performed the wedding.

  18. Milo,

    Assuming you’re right, what do you expect a Trump presidency will bring over the next four years?

  19. But Rhett –

    You’ve got to balance the NYT’s criticism with this (which acknowledges the NYT’s point about the poll) They’re choosing one data point that would uncharacteristically help Trump, but not fully analyzing the whole set:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/10/14/why_pay_attention_to_the_la_times_poll.html

    “what do you expect a Trump presidency will bring over the next four years?”

    I’m still not ready to bet on him winning. But it’s a lot closer than I thought it could have been four days ago. If he wins, I think he’ll be happy to simply “be the President,” and let Mike Pence and Paul Ryan set the agenda.

  20. Milo, I think Trump is sufficiently disliked that the executive office would have very little going on with him in it. I don’t know what Congress would do, but I don’t expect any proposals to charge today’s childcare/college costs to future taxpayers the way I do under Clinton.

  21. Well, I voted 3rd party for the first time in a presidential election. I couldn’t convince myself that Trump or Hillary was the lesser of evils.

    Regarding the Hillary emails, it still makes me so mad that people at the most elite levels get away with transgressions (or at best, extreme carelessness) that would get most of us fired and probably barred from our industries for life. I know it’s not just Hillary and there is nothing new under the sun, but she’s the front runner so of course it’s bugging me these days. As someone who struggled to rebuild a career after a very unfair situation out of my control (long story involving a supervisor who for some reason set out to make me look horrible from day 1, lie about and gaslight me), it particularly grates on me to see people do so much “wrong” with no consequences.

  22. Mike Pence and Paul Ryan set the agenda.

    Didn’t he promise to seek terrible vengeance against Ryan? He certainly has a track record of that so I assume he’s going to make good on his promise.

  23. “I read that it’s possible that computer was automatically updated with emails stored in the cloud. Who knows?”

    I think this is most likely. Probably none of them have any idea what is in those emails.

  24. “Didn’t he promise to seek terrible vengeance against Ryan?”

    I don’t think so. If Trump is elected, Ryan will work with him, if nothing else than to preserve his own ambitions. But the leaked NYT story from when Trump was hunting for a running mate indicated that they were selling the job as someone who would be the most powerful VP in history, making all the decisions behind the scenes.

  25. I am reading a great book right now on the history of the president’s daily CIA briefing. Yes, that sounds really wonky, but the book is totally entertaining, filled with all kids of weird little tidbits about various presidents.
    Anyway, this brief book is supposedly the single most highly classified document in the government. Different presidents have had longer or shorter lists of people allowed to see it, but the protocol has always been very tight – the CIA officer who brings over the book has to make sure they all end up back at the CIA within hours.
    Except under Reagan, no one was taking security as carefully as they should have. The brief book was getting passed all over. And at one point, they discovered one of the people who was seeing it was stashing them – in his garage! He had a years worth in his garage.
    They fixed that right off, but the book mentions nothing about the guy getting into any trouble.

  26. I do not see Trump working with Ryan. He has shown himself over and over to be incredibly vindictive. There are already murmurings among the rank and file about getting rid of Ryan. Trump will encourage that, and Ryan will be gone.
    Trump has not shown himself to be amenable to being controlled by the Republican party at any point in this campaign, and I doubt he will start now

  27. Regarding the Hillary emails, it still makes me so mad that people at the most elite levels get away with transgressions (or at best, extreme carelessness) that would get most of us fired and probably barred from our industries for life.

    Yes, this.

  28. “what do you expect a Trump presidency will bring over the next four years?”

    A golden age for late night comedy.

  29. “A golden age for late night comedy.”

    Hilary will do the same… no matter what, the next 4 years will be late-night comedy gold. Bless the First Amendment.

  30. , it still makes me so mad that people at the most elite levels get away with transgressions (or at best, extreme carelessness) that would get most of us fired and probably barred from our industries for life.

    Is that really what happens? In my experience, all that stuff usually gets swept under the rug with being allowed to resign the absolute worst repercussion. Think of all the financial and sexual scandals – the first response was always and everywhere to try and make it go away quietly.

  31. “Is that really what happens?”

    There’s a kid in prison right now for taking pictures of the power plant of the submarine that he was serving on, on his cell phone, with no ill intent. And such images would be “Classified,” several levels below what Hillary and Huma were passing around on private servers, and apparently not even realizing how many people’s computers and devices it was copying to.

    Here are some of the pictures:

    Top left looks like the alternate location for controlling the main engine turbine throttles, top right is some steam piping and valves, and the two bottom ones look like housing of turbines or reduction gears. There’s nothing to see, nothing that you couldn’t guess the existence of from a Thermodynamics textbook.

    But he’s in prison.

  32. Milo,

    It’s that photo story a story because that sort of punishment is so unusual? That’s not what the Navy typically does is my understanding.

    But, thinking back to your naval career, was prison what usually happened or were people were guilty of various shenanigans*? Or were they usually (at worst) pushed to resign if they were on someone’s shit list or it was just glossed over if they were generally liked and respected.

    * Don’t ask don’t tell, having affairs, accepting gifts from vendors, etc.

  33. Sailor Smuggles Classified Docs off Ship: “A Navy intelligence specialist admitted Thursday that he smuggled classified documents out of Fort Bragg in folders and his pants pockets, then sold them for $11,500 to a man he believed was a Chinese agent.”

    You consider that less than what Hillary did?

  34. No, I said that some of the examples included ill intent, meaning I didn’t entirely agree with the editorializing of the headline.

    But others were less nefarious than what Hillary did.

  35. “Is that really what happens? In my experience, all that stuff usually gets swept under the rug with being allowed to resign the absolute worst repercussion. ”

    There have been several cases recently in which people facing prison have cited Hillary’s security lapses as comparable to theirs.

  36. I should point out that this poll always represents a slightly delayed, rolling four-day sample. This one was sampled beginning last Thursday through Sunday. Figure half of the respondents were surveyed before hearing about the renewed FBI investigation.

  37. I read that article. It’s very good. It should prove once and for all that this idea of a Democrat “firewall” in the Electoral College is a myth.

    If there’s any Electoral College advantage, it belongs to the GOP.

  38. “It will be a disaster if Trump wins the popular vote but not the electoral”

    Think of how pissed the liberals will be if the opposite occurs (which is more likely). I was in downtown DC, in uniform, for Bush’s first inauguration, and it was not pretty. I’ve never seen people so angry. I can’t imagine what that might look like now.

  39. Never said liberals weren’t violent. Just that no one is going to get violent over HRC losing the electoral college. No one got violent in 2000. And everyone knows HRC is more flawed than Gore. There is a certain segment of the Trump supporters who really concern me based on what they say they will do. I haven’t heard any HRC supporters say anything similar.

  40. I went to vote early at Town Hall today. We have two 5 day weeks of early voting, plus last Saturday. Steady stream of residents in and out, short lines at the check in and check out. The town put garbage bags over 4 blocks of meters up and down our main drag so that no one would fail to vote because he lacked a quarter for the meter. Nice touch. I can’t believe this wasn’t done earlier. We have 20 odd precincts for a population of 75000, each with a couple of poll workers on election day, but at town hall there was a single alphabetical list with 8 poll workers total. Maybe the supply of elderly poll ladies has died off. 4 choices for POTUS/VP, 5 unopposed Dems for US congress and state/local office. 4 ballot questions – another slot machine parlor, allow (de facto) unlimited charter schools statewide, legalize marijuana, forbid farm animals in small pens in the state – 5 years from now.

  41. The ABC/Wash. Post poll that yesterday had Trump up by 1 (after erasing a 12-point deficit) has them dead even today, at 46% each. So he lost a point there.

    On the other hand, the Investors Business Daily Poll that had Clinton up by 1 yesterday now has them dead even at 44% each. So he gained a point there.

    And the Rasmussen poll that had Clinton up by one now has them tied as well at 44% each.

    Passions are running high. We’re back to the Deplorables:

  42. Meme,
    We don’t have early voting here. If you sometimes vote early and sometimes not, do you find that it takes about as much time to vote early?

  43. The issue of potential Trump conflict of interest is a large concern of mine. The WSJ wrote on it here, but prior to this article I have not seen much written on it. Trump’s Foreign Business Entanglements Would Create Unparalleled Conflicts – The Wall Street Journal
    https://apple.news/Av4nEbP-dTAe68uXXAzGwjA

  44. It looks as though Trump’s surge back has stalled. Down by 2 again in the ABC/Wapo. Tied in IBD. Up by 5 in LATimes (controversial one, although most accurate in 2012).

    I think I agree with Nate Silver. He’s got a one-third chance. There are three marbles in a bowl: two say Hillary, one says Trump. Draw a marble. (Sounds simple, but when I told DW that he had a 33% chance, in her mind, she thought that meant he was almost surely going to lose, until I used the marble analogy).

    If she’s elected, I think we need to buckle up for a wild political-legal ride. The 650,000 Huma – Weiner emails aren’t going to be bleached away again, and now investigations are opening up further into the foundation.

    One option might be for Obama to pardon her, but then:
    1) Half the country would nearly explode in outrage.
    2) Obama’s legacy would be severely tarnished, at least in the near term.
    3) Clinton would have no chance whatsoever at getting ANYTHING done (not that she has that great of a chance, anyway). Ginsburg could croak and the Republicans might still say “the Hell with it. We’ll have a Supreme Court of seven.”
    4) Democratic electoral chances in 2018 and 2020 would be extremely bleak nationwide (just in time for the next redistricting Census). People were still pissed at Ford for pardoning Nixon AFTER he’d left office, so he lost to Carter; a pardon before the inauguration would be something else entirely.

    On the other hand, if you’re Obama, and you’ve never much liked Clinton, anyway, and, like Colin Powell, you resent her for allowing her crooked behavior to drag you down with her, you might just think “let her suffer.” The worst that happens, as you see it, is you look a lot better by comparison, and Tim Kaine is still President to keep Obamacare on life support and prolong your executive regulations.

    So we’ll see.

  45. I like your analysis, Milo. I’d like to be inside Obama’s head. Actually, inside Huma’s, HRC’s, Comey’s heads. (I think Trump’s head is full of egotistical thoughts, so he might be boring.) This election has become even crazier than I expected.

  46. Here are the two possible explanations for what happens on Tuesday.

    1) Hillary wins. Trump has drawn the national polls to dead even, but he’s never held a real lead. Average out the lines, and she wins by 4% or so. Latinos, ground game, Super-PAC money, organization, data, low national unemployment rate, etc. National polls may have become less relevant than state polls, and he’s not decisively winning enough of the battleground states.

    2) Trump wins. It’s a change election, people want change. Throw the bums out. She’s not very likeable, and she’s now viewed as less trustworthy and honest than he is. Among likely voters, he has a higher percentage of those who claim to be enthusiastic. He’s winning Independents by a significant margin. Black voter turnout, at least as indicated by early voting, appears to be regressing to the pre-Obama mean. As Sean Trende wrote yesterday as a possible repeat of Brexit, analysts suffer from “unthinkability bias,” so when they honestly try to pick what they think is reliable data, what seems more reliable to them is that which disfavors Trump.

    The other explanation that I foresee is that the polls, which weight their responses by likelihood of actually voting, have done a poor job at weighting turnout. They assume that “disaffected” working class whites who were not motivated to vote for Romney will therefore not vote for Trump. And they assume that black voters who were inspired to vote for Obama must be similarly inspired by Hillary.

    If he defies a lot of the polls and wins, I think that’s the explanation.

  47. Milo, you may be right. Over the last few days, I’ve seen some brand new Trump bumper stickers. Not that many, but certainly more than just a month ago. This is the first election I can remember in which many people I know are not willing to reveal for whom they are voting.

  48. “Over the last few days, I’ve seen some brand new Trump bumper stickers.”

    Yes, same here. A bunch of lawn signs came out of nowhere.

    “This is the first election I can remember in which many people I know are not willing to reveal for whom they are voting.”

    Again, same here.

  49. Scarlett – This was my first early voting. Mid week lunchtime It took less time than voting in a full election midday at the precinct, and much less time than it did in my working days when I had to go before work on a Tuesday and wait in a long line out the parking lot. It is a mile walk to town hall, so we drove. I say we – DH doesn’t always manage to get to the precinct for non presidential elections because of his schedule and general apathy. I can walk three blocks uphill to the school. There are paper ballots with ovals to fill in with the special pen. I like it because it is much more convenient not to have to vote at a particular time – people have work conflicts or sick children or grandmas in the hospital that come up at the last minute It might be pouring rain on election day, but not for two whole weeks before. You can vote on a Saturday – probably there were lines that day too.

  50. Interesting analysis from Nate:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-why-clintons-position-is-worse-than-obamas/

    Summary: Clinton is worse off than Obama was in 2012 because, compared to their predecessors, Trump has found more support in potential swing states while Clinton has only run up her numbers in states that are not competitive (simultaneously doing better in GA and CA, for example).

    Because of this phenomenon, Trump now has a 35% chance of winning (compared to Romney’s 9%), including a 10% likelihood of winning while losing the popular vote.

    I could see that being the death knell for the Electoral College. Its opponents have already floated an idea where as long as an electorally weighted majority of states change their laws to make their electors bound to the winner of the national popular vote*, then the Electoral College becomes irrelevant. The talk seemed to die after 2008 when someone convinced the Democrats that they had an Electoral College advantage.

    *law would only go into effect after a sufficient number of states have passed similar laws.

    This could get really dicey in a disputed election, a close popular vote with recounts, a Census that shifts electoral votes away, etc.

    I also think, as I hypothesized in a college paper, that eliminating the Electoral College would make our politics even more polarized, because both candidates may rationally determine that their best strategy is to run up the vote totals among their most fervent supporters. The Democrat would spend six months alternating between campaign stops in CA and NY, and the Republican would just do TX and the Deep South.

    But I could be totally wrong.

  51. Rocky – the one in particular that I spoke with is certainly not. He despises her.

    The Daily Kos article WAY over-promises on its headline. I read it four times trying to understand its point (it’s early, I had three drinks last night). Contrary to standard journalism, it only reveals the basis for its headline in the final couple paragraphs. The guy who wrote the book “Clinton Cash” worked for the same think tank as a different guy who now works for the Trump campaign. SHOCKING.

    Actually, they’re trying to say it’s shocking because a NYT article to which they linked mentions in a totally unsupported and unattributed assertion that the FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation corruption is “based” on this book. (That, remember, if you play Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon, you can link the book’s author through past common think tank employment ..)

    It’s nowhere near the level of Justice Department officials secretly giving advance warning to the Clinton camp about their investigations, but give them some credit, it’s the only thing they’ve got.

    Anyway, what’s really pointless about this accusation is that they’re conflating the multiple and separate criminal investigations of Hillary. There’s Email and Foundation. The NYT is criticizing Comey for talking about Email because, well, Foundation doesn’t have adequate evidence. What??? I know, I know. That’s why I read both articles several times.

    Back in July, Comey said that if new evidence came up in Email, he would let us know. He was praised by the Left as a dedicated public servant — until a huge piece of new evidence came up and he did exactly as he said.

  52. Comey shouldn’t have said anything. Either time. That is not his role. He gets to investigation and let the DOJ decide whether to bring charges. He better lawyer up because the Hatch Act is going to cause him some problems.

  53. Today’s dirt: evidently Melania was illegally working for pay while still on a visitor’s visa. It wasn’t for very long, and generally I would consider this trivial, but Trump has made illegal immigrant status a cornerstone of his run. It means she did lie at some point while getting her legal paperwork together.

  54. Love _The Economist_’s take on the election: “As a tumultuous presidential election draws to a close, the American people have a choice to make. Whichever candidate they select, the decisions taken in the Oval Office will have an impact far beyond the country.

    Hillary Clinton has ideas The Economist disagrees with. But we also believe that she is the right choice in this contest and would merit consideration even against a more appealing Republican rival than Donald Trump.

  55. Being married to Trump is punishment enough for not complying with our immigration laws. Poor Melania.

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