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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Going Nuclear

Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer report at Politico:
NEW CLINTON AD -- “DAISY” -- Clinton is airing a new ad riffing on the 1964 “Daisy” ad about the danger of nuclear weapons. Monique Luiz, the actress from the 1964 spot, uses the same line as she did in the original ad: “the stakes are too high for you to stay home.” The spot will run during nightly newscasts in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A few weeks ago wrote at The Atlantic:
Hillary Clinton is paying homage to one of the most famous presidential ads in history with a new spot that raises the possibility of nuclear war if Donald Trump wins the White House.
The 30-second ad called “Silo” features testimony from a former nuclear missile launch officer named Bruce Blair, who describes how he “prayed” that he would never receive a launch order he would be sworn to obey from a president. “If the president gave the order we had to launch the missiles, that would be it,” Blair says in the ad. “I prayed that call would never come. Self-control may be all that keeps these missiles from firing.



Mark Halperin and Steven Yaccino write at The Atlantic:
Bill Bradley, the former Democratic senator from New Jersey and a long-time vociferous critic of super-PACs, has formed just such a group to go after Donald Trump in the final weeks before Election Day with a TV ad that invokes one of the most powerful political attacks in American history.
In September 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential campaign released “Daisy,” a 60-second television advertisement that juxtaposed a petal-picking child with images of nuclear obliteration to caution against a Barry Goldwater presidency. It aired only once, but is widely remembered as perhaps the most powerfully negative TV ad ever created.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Trump as Side Effect

Ironically, though, some Koch insiders and critics alike agree that the conditions that are now challenging the Kochs are in some ways of their own creation. By helping to empower the anti-establishment tea party protests in 2009 and 2010, these people say, the Koch network inadvertently laid the groundwork for a movement that turned towards a strain of anti-immigrant protectionism that is anathema to the Koch’s ideology, and that proved fertile ground for Trump’s nationalist brand of populism.
“We are partly responsible,” said one former network staffer. “We invested a lot in training and arming a grassroots army that was not controllable, and some of these people have used it in ways that are not consistent with our principles, with our goal of advancing a free society, and instead they have furthered the alt-right.”
A major donor to the Koch network argued that the tea party’s early success at electing conservative champions “led to unrealistic expectations,” which then fomented disappointment with Washington gridlock and set the stage for Trump’s ability to tap into anti-establishment fervor.
“What we feel really badly about is that we were not able to educate many in the tea party more about how the process works and how free markets work,” said the donor. “Seeing this movement that we were part of creating going off in a direction that’s anti-free-market, anti-trade and anti-immigrant — many of us are really saddened by that. Unfortunately, there is little in the short term we can do about that.”
Oliver Darcy and Pamela Engel write at Business Insider:
Perhaps more important, however, the conservative media industrial complex successfully managed over the years to lock the Republican Party away from access to its own base. Those who consumed conservative media were taught not to trust politicians or, even worse, the mainstream media.
As a result, party leaders were beholden to a handful of individuals who controlled the conservative media and, thus, held the keys to their voters. Elected officials and candidates seeking office dared not criticize the conservative media’s most powerful members, for fear of the wrath that would ensue if they did.
The power the conservative press held allowed its members to decide who was accepted by the base and who wasn’t. True conservatives could be painted as unprincipled moderates, and, as in the case of Trump, unprincipled moderates could be painted as exactly what the base wanted.
The GOP "has appeased it, they've sucked up to it, they've been afraid of going up against it," said Charlie Sykes, an influential conservative radio host in Wisconsin. "I think that you have seen that played out this year. Has there been any willingness on the part of any mainstream conservative to call out this alt-right media? I'm not seeing it."
Republicans instead allowed their base to be held captive by a conservative press that moved their base further right, pushed conspiracy theories about Obama, and set unrealistic exceptions for them while in office.
So it should not be surprising that when Trump came along in 2016 and aggressively echoed this rhetoric, a significant portion of the base accepted him.
"This has been building for a long time," said Ryan Williams, the former deputy national press secretary for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign who is now the senior vice president of communications at FP1 Strategies. "Trump came in and capitalized on the mood."
Also note that the campaign featured a gap between the "mainstream conservative" media and the pro-Trump conservative media.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Left Behind

Many posts have discussed increasing inequality and its political implications.  Despairing about their economic and social decline, white working class voters have been flocking to Trump

At Sentier Research, John Coder and Gordon Green write:
The “working class” in America has been frequently defined as white males with a high school educationworking at wage and salary jobs. Some have said that this is one of the groups that has been “left behind” and newly energized during this year’s election process. This statistical brief compares changes in earnings for white males, contrasting the experiences of high school graduates and college graduates between 1996 and 2014. It utilizes a cohort approach to examining changes in their earnings. The results suggest vastly different experiences for high school and college graduates during the period. For example, during this 18-year period wage and salary income per cohort member for high school graduate cohorts declined by 9 percent overall while the income for college graduate cohorts increased by 23 percent. In 2014, income per cohort member stood at $94,601 for college graduates but only $36,787 for high school graduates. Using cohort analysis instead of cross-sectional methods shows that while wage and salary incomes of white male college graduates soared as they aged through this 18-year period, the earnings of most high school graduate cohorts managed only meager gains and, for some cohorts, declines. It may be that the “working class”understands better than most just how far their earnings have fallen behind. The term “working class” in this report refers to white males with a high school education.

October Surprise 1992

The FBI has revealed that it reviewing a new batch of emails that might relate to its previous investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server.  Will this story change the course of the campaign?  It is hard to tell at this moment, but there is a parallel to 1992.

In 1999, The Washington Post ran excerpts from Bob Woodward's book, Shadow:
On Friday morning, October 30, the Bush campaign daily tracking poll had the race a dead heat at 39 percent for Clinton, 39 percent for Bush and 12 percent for independent candidate Ross Perot. That afternoon, Walsh's grand jury voted the new indictment of Weinberger. The first wire story came out about 1 p.m.
Most news organizations have a strong policy against publishing or airing new issues or charges in the final days of a campaign. But the Weinberger re-indictment was an official grand jury action, and the "VP favored" was technically new. It was the first documented evidence that Bush had known the arms were a direct exchange for hostages and that Bush had been privy to the strong opposition of Weinberger and Shultz.
Clinton's running mate, Al Gore, jumped on the issue and used a Watergate analogy, calling it "a true smoking gun."
Bush was on a campaign train in Wisconsin the next day. His daily tracking poll was a shock. Clinton was still at 39 percent, but Bush had dropped 7 percentage points to 32 percent with those 7 points going straight to Perot, putting the Texas billionaire at 19. It happened to be Halloween. When Bush stopped in Chippewa Falls, a single-engine plane circled overhead with a fluttering banner streaking behind: "Iran-Contra Haunts You."

Friday, October 28, 2016

Class Conflict in 2016

Thomas B. Edsall writes at The New York Times:
Three recent studies of the American electorate illuminate the upheaval in the two political parties: the first, published on Oct. 12 by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, the other two published Oct. 19 and Oct. 25 by the Public Religion Research Institute.
The UVA-IASC survey highlighted the political and cultural gulf between upscale, predominately Democratic whites and downscale, predominately Republican whites.
 The first group, “the Social Elite” in UVA-IASC’s terminology, is made up of whites with advanced degrees. They are 49 percent Democratic, 16.8 percent Republican. 87.5 percent say the Democratic Party represents their views very or fairly well, compared to zero percent who say the Republican Party represents them very well and 24.2 percent who say that it does so “fairly well.” They plan to vote for Clinton over Trump by 74.3 to 14.1 percent.
The second group, termed “the Disinherited” in the UVA-IASC survey, comprises religiously conservative whites without college degrees. Republicans outnumber Democrats 52.3 to 11.1, and 60.9 percent say the Republican Party represents their views very or fairly well. They plan to vote for Trump by 74.3 to 13.5 percent.
...
The two PRRI surveys use more traditional terminology, but the findings reinforce those of the UVA-IASC study.
PRRI shows how much the Trump wing of the Republican Party sees itself as the underdog, while Clinton supporters recognize their privileged position in today’s economy:

About seven in ten likely voters supporting Donald Trump (72%) say American society and way of life has changed for the worse since the 1950s, while seven in ten likely voters supporting Hillary Clinton (70%) say things have changed for the better.
These patterns are repeated in the pronounced class differences among whites:

A majority (56%) of white college-educated Americans say American society is generally better now than it was in the 1950s, while nearly two-thirds (65%) of white working-class Americans say things are now worse.
White evangelical Protestants have the bleakest view of all: “Nearly three-quarters (74%) say American culture has changed for the worse since the 1950s.”

Demobilization

Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg report at Bloomberg Businessweek:
[N]either Trump’s campaign nor the RNC has prioritized registering and mobilizing the 47 million eligible white voters without college degrees who are Trump’s most obvious source of new votes, as FiveThirtyEight analyst David Wasserman noted.
To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.

On Oct. 24, Trump’s team began placing spots on select African American radio stations. In San Antonio, a young staffer showed off a South Park-style animation he’d created of Clinton delivering the “super predator” line (using audio from her original 1996 sound bite), as cartoon text popped up around her: “Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators.” The animation will be delivered to certain African American voters through Facebook “dark posts”—nonpublic posts whose viewership the campaign controls so that, as Parscale puts it, “only the people we want to see it, see it.” The aim is to depress Clinton’s vote total. “We know because we’ve modeled this,” says the official. “It will dramatically affect her ability to turn these people out.”

The Trump team’s effort to discourage young women by rolling out Clinton accusers and drive down black turnout in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood with targeted messages about the Clinton Foundation’s controversial operations in Haiti is an odd gambit. Campaigns spend millions on data science to understand their own potential supporters—to whom they’re likely already credible messengers—but here Trump is speaking to his opponent’s. Furthermore, there’s no scientific basis for thinking this ploy will convince these voters to stay home. It could just as easily end up motivating them.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Governors and Legislatures in 2016

Reid Wilson reports at The Hill:
A new round of surveys in states electing governors this November show Democrats poised to pick up seats and gain some ground on Republicans in governors’ mansions.

Democrats were initially uncertain about their chances to make strides at the gubernatorial level, given the number of conservative states — Missouri, West Virginia and Montana among them — the party had to defend. But the recent polls have given them a reason to be more optimistic.
“We’re in a map right now where we’re pleased, on a race-by-race basis, at how this looks,” said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association. “Everyone expected that 2016 would be a difficult cycle for Democrats because we were defending more.”
Monica Davey and Michael D. Shear report at The New York Times:
[W]ith Donald J. Trump’s stumbles raising alarms for Republicans down the ballot, Democrats hope that a resounding win at the presidential level will translate to significant gains in capitals in Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and beyond. President Obama, who has endured gridlock in Washington as Republicans in the states took direct aim at his vision and legacy, is stepping in to assist more than 150 state legislative candidates, by far his biggest effort to bolster local Democrats since he took office.
“You are going to see a level of engagement down to the state representative level that I don’t think you’ve seen too many presidents engage in,” said David Simas, the director of the White House’s Office of Political Strategy and Outreach.
...
 Matt Walter, the president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, acknowledged that his party was facing a challenge. “When you’re at an all-time-high number in the legislatures, naturally you have a lot more ground to defend,” he said.
...
Democrats hope Mr. Obama’s involvement, which began in earnest last week, broadens their chances. Dozens of candidates for state posts were getting word of the support only last week. In Minnesota, Mr. Obama is backing Jamie Becker-Finn in her campaign for a different State House seat. José Javier Rodríguez, a state representative in Florida, hopes Mr. Obama can help him move to the State Senate. And in Georgia, Mr. Obama recorded an automated telephone call to support keeping Kimberly Alexander in the State House seat she won in 2012.
“This is Barack Obama, urging you to get to the polls to vote for the candidate who has my back, and yours: Kimberly Alexander,” he says in the call. “Thanks. Go vote!”

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Foreshocks

Gerald F. Seib and Patrick F. O'Connor write at The Wall Street Journal:
A few Republicans saw the explosion coming long ago. As early as 2001, Tim Pawlenty, later Minnesota’s governor and a presidential candidate, warned that the GOP needed “to be the party of Sam’s Club, not just the country club.”
Mr. Buchanan tapped into anti-immigration anger in his first presidential campaign in 1992. “We were saying: ‘This is what’s going to happen,’” Mr. Buchanan recalls. “And it happened.”
Why did so many other supposedly smart politicians not see Mr. Trump’s soldiers gathering?
“It really is the elitism,” says Tom Davis, a former Republican congressman from Virginia. The attitude of many in the party was “we’re smart, and they’re stupid, and we’ll just feed them abortion and guns,” he says. “It didn’t have to be this way.”
...
In his speech to the Republican Convention in 1992, Mr. Buchanan challenged the party to stand up for middle-class workers still struggling to emerge from that era’s recession. He cited loggers in northern California put out of work to protect the spotted owl and Korean-American business owners who stood up to looters during the Los Angeles riots.
“They are our people, and we need to reconnect with them,” said Mr. Buchanan, a former White House aide to Messrs. Nixon and Reagan. “We need to let them know we know they’re hurting.”
...
Republican leaders thought Mr. Buchanan’s failure showed the limited appeal of his message. A better explanation is that much of it was siphoned away by billionaire populist Ross Perot, who ran in 1992 as an independent and in 1996 as a third-party candidate. He got 19% of the vote in 1992.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Obamacare Is Plotzing, Trump Is Bobbling

Amy Goldstein reports at The Washington Post:
Insurers are raising the 2017 premiums for a popular and significant group of health plans sold through HealthCare.gov by an average of 25 percent, more than triple the percentage increase of this year’s plans, according to new government figures.
The steep increase in rates serves broadly to confirm what has become evident piecemeal in recent months: Prompted by a burden of unexpectedly sick Affordable Care Act customers, some insurers are dropping out while many remaining companies are struggling to cover their costs.
The figures, announced by federal officials Monday, injected a new round of uncertainty into the future of the insurance exchanges that are a core feature of the 2010 health-care law. Health policy experts said the rising prices and shrinking insurance options add tumult to the coming ACA enrollment season. The data immediately touched off a fresh round of criticism among the ACA’s persistent Republican congressional opponents.
In disclosing the 2017 rates, officials played down the impact of higher prices on consumers. They said that more than 8 in 10 consumers will qualify for ACA subsidies that will cushion them from the effects of more-expensive insurance. And they noted that as premiums go up, more Americans will be eligible for the tax credits.
Even with this political gift in hand, Trump managed to bobble it. CNN reports:
Donald Trump claimed Tuesday during an event with staff at his resort here that his employees are having issues with Obamacare -- an account contradicted by his property's general manager -- amid the news that President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation is facing soaring premiums.
"I can say that all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare," Trump said. "What they're going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare, so we'll repeal it and replace it."
...
Trump's comments sparked questions about whether his employees receive insurance through the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama's signature law, which would mean he does not offer private health insurance to those employees.
Asked by a reporter after the event whether his employees have health care coverage through Obamacare, Trump replied: "Some of them. Most of them, no."
Clarifying Trump's remarks, the general manager of Trump's property in Doral, David Feder, said "99% of our employees are insured through our hotel."
"Over 90%, without a doubt," he added.

Blue Tides and Blank Checks

House Republicans, implicitly conceding Bob Dole's defeat in the Presidential race, are undertaking a television advertising campaign to argue that a Republican Congress is needed to deny President Clinton ''a blank check.''

The National Republican Congressional Committee plans to spend about $4 million in 50 tough House districts on a spot reminding voters of what Mr. Clinton and the Democrats did or tried to do in 1993 and 1994, before the Republicans took control of Congress.

The advertisement begins with an announcer saying: ''What would happen if the Democrats controlled Congress and the White House? Been there, done that.'' Then it shows newspaper headlines from 1993 and 1994 involving Mr. Clinton and taxes, health care and waste in Washington.

While the picture on the screen shows men around a table with money on it, the announcer says, ''The liberal special interests, aligned with Clinton, desperately want to buy back control of Congress.''

The decision to run this advertisement followed moves earlier in the week to have field operatives from the national committee tell embattled candidates that they should effectively write off Mr. Dole's chances in their own campaigns and urge voters to send them and other Republicans back as a check on Mr. Clinton.


(Also see p. 126 of Losing to Win.)

Republicans are again playing the "blank check" card ... against a Clinton. Alex Isenstadt reports at Politico:
Republicans, desperate to salvage their congressional majorities amid Donald Trump’s collapse, are increasingly presenting themselves as checks on a Hillary Clinton presidency – a final argument that, if only implicitly, concedes the White House to Democrats.
The offensive, which has been under discussion for months and is only now being unleashed, is designed to win over voters who want to see Clinton’s powers curtailed – even as she closes in on a potentially sweeping national victory.
The message is taking different forms in different parts of the country. In Minnesota’s Iron Range, Republican Stewart Mills has begun airing a TV commercial that says his opponent, Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, is “standing with Hillary Clinton, not Minnesota families.” Nolan, the ad says, “would give Hillary a blank check to run up trillions in new debt and job-destroying taxes.”
In upstate New York, the National Republican Congressional Committee has been running a TV ad that says a Democratic candidate, Kim Myers, would “fast-track” Clinton’s agenda in the House. It urges voters to support Republican Claudia Tenney – who will “stand up to Hillary Clinton.” Another spot warns that Myers and an independent candidate, Martin Babinec, would “rubber-stamp Hillary Clinton’s agenda in Congress.”
Republican Sen. John McCain, facing the toughest reelection fight of his political career, is taking a similar approach. Following his primary victory, McCain released a face-to-camera video in which he called his Democratic opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick, a “good person,” but added: “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check, not a rubber stamp, for the White House.”
At The Cook Political Report, Jennifer Duffy writes:
Senate Republicans had been doing a pretty solid job of maintaining their distance from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump by running their own campaign that focused largely on more local issues or those issues that motivate their base. The strategy was working fine and it looked as if Republicans would be able to keep their losses low. That is until October 7 when The Washington Post reported on the existence of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump described sexually assaulting women. Then things started to unravel, albeit slowly.
...

History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them. Since 1998, no party has won less than 67 percent of the seats in Toss Up. While the 2016 election has broken every political science rule and trend, we’d be surprised if this becomes one of them.
S

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Clinton Ground Advantage, in Numbers

In 2012, Obama had a major ground advantage over Romney.  Reid Wilson and Joe DiSipio report at The Hill:
In critical swing states where Trump and Clinton are competing for electoral votes, the disparity is stark. The Ohio Democratic Party has 502 staffers on payroll. The state Republican Party paid just 104 people in its last payroll period.
More than 300 staffers were on the North Carolina Democratic Party’s payroll at the end of September. That’s three times the number of state Republican Party staffers on the ground.
In Nevada, where polls show a tight race, the state Republican Party employs 67 staffers. The state Democratic Party has several times that number, 240. Iowa Republicans, who hope to preserve Trump’s relatively strong poll numbers, have 32 staffers. The state Democratic Party has 206 paid staff.
In Pennsylvania, a must-win state for Trump’s campaign, state Republicans employ 62 total staff — and state Democrats have 508 people on payroll. Florida Democrats have 678 paid staffers, compared with 150 people who work for the Republican Party of Florida.
Polls also show Arizona, normally a reliably red state, is a closer contest than anticipated. The Clinton campaign said this week it would invest $2 million trying to win Arizona’s 10 electoral votes — and the state party reported paying 230 field staffers last month. By contrast, the Arizona Republican Party paid just 12 staff members.
Among the battleground states on the map this year, Republicans maintain a staffing edge in just one state: New Hampshire, where the state GOP pays 222 people. Democrats have a staff about half that size.

But about three quarters of the paid GOP staff received small stipends, an indication they are among the ranks of trained organizers rather than full-time staff.
State party payrolls only hint at the paid staff advantage Democrats have as Election Day looms and early voting begins. The Clinton campaign reported paying 809 staffers in September, while the Trump campaign paid just 152. The DNC has 478 staffers, according to their FEC reports; the RNC has just 270.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Democrats, Outside Money, and the Iron Law of Emulation

It's the Iron Law of Emulation. A few years ago, Karl Rove and the Kochs learned lessons from Democrats about coordinating outside spending.  Now the Democrats are learning from the GOP.

Nicholas Confessore and Rachel Shorey report at The New York Times:
The Democrats’ tentpole is Priorities USA, a five-year-old super PAC that has access to the party’s biggest donors and the implicit blessing of Mrs. Clinton, and is now on track to raise $173 million by Election Day. That is more than any equivalent Democratic effort in history, including the controversial big-money groups set up by wealthy liberals a decade ago to unseat President George W. Bush. The PAC is closely coordinating with environmental and labor activists and other organizations set up to harness support from veterans, African-Americans and Latinos.
In twice-monthly meetings at a Democratic law firm in downtown Washington, officials at Priorities have convened representatives of a dozen super PACs and progressive organizations to carve out swing-state turf and share intelligence from organizers on the ground. Several have pooled money with Priorities USA to purchase television and digital advertising through the same media firms, allowing smaller groups to get better rates. (Other left-leaning organizations, including labor unions and a super PAC founded by the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, have separately spent significant money on field organizing.)

Class, Education, and Uninetntional Gerrymandering

Previous posts have discussed unintentional gerrymandering.  At The New York Times, Alec MacGillis links it to educational and economic inequality.
First, geographic mobility in the United States has become very class-dependent. Once upon a time, lower-income people were willing to pull up stakes and move to places with greater opportunity — think of the people who fled the Dust Bowl for California in the 1930s, or those who took the “Hillbilly Highway” out of Appalachia to work in Midwestern factories, or Southern blacks on the Great Migration. In recent decades, though, internal migration has slowed sharply, and the people who are most likely to move for better opportunities are the highly educated.
Second, higher levels of education are increasingly correlated with voting Democratic. This has been most starkly on display in the 2016 election, as polls suggest that Donald J. Trump may be the first Republican in 60 years to not win a majority of white voters with college degrees, even as he holds his own among white voters without degrees. But the trend of increasing Democratic identification among college graduates, and increasing Republican identification among non-graduates, was underway before Mr. Trump arrived on the scene. Today, Democrats hold a 12-point edge in party identification among those with a college degree or more. In 2004, the parties were even on that score.
Finally, in the United States the economic gap between the wealthiest cities and the rest of the country has grown considerably. The internet was supposed to allow wealth to spread out, since we could be connected anywhere — but the opposite has happened. Per capita income in the District of Columbia has gone from 29 percent above the United States average in 1980 to 68 percent in 2013; in the Bay Area, from 50 percent above to 88 percent; in New York City, from 80 percent above to 172 percent. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston exert a strong pull on mobile, highly educated, Democratic-leaning voters, while at the same time stirring resentment in the less prosperous areas those voters leave behind. And these economically dominant cities tend to be in deep-blue states.

Clinton's Oppo Book on Sanders

At Politico, Gabriel Debenedetti reports on the WikiLeaks leak of the Clinton oppo book on Sanders.
In an email dated November 5, 2015, Clinton’s research director Tony Carrk circulated six exhaustive documents compiled by his staff, detailing Sanders’ record and past, to two dozen other Clinton advisers as they girded for a longer-than-expected primary that ultimately stretched seven more months. It is not clear what pieces of the extensive research were intended for eventual public use or even represented the campaign’s views; such in-depth documents typically include a wide range of potential hits and pieces of information that are never used or even considered.
...
The wording of Carrk’s email suggests the November exchange is one of the first times the research had been discussed internally. By that point, Sanders was already threatening Clinton’s lead in a number of states, and he had overtaken her in polls of New Hampshire, so the delayed conversation reinforces the public perception at the time that the senator’s candidacy had caught the former secretary of state's team off-guard. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Endangered Hombres

When Donald Trump uttered the words “bad hombres” during the final presidential debate last night, I shuddered.
Not just because he mispronounced it as “bad hambres” (or “bad hungers”) but because he dared to use my native language and the language of Latinos’ ancestors to demean undocumented immigrants.
At Politico, Rachael Bade reports that Trump is hurting House Republicans in districts with many Latino voters.
“We know that Donald Trump and Will Hurd [R-TX] do not stand with our community: Trump wants to deport 11 million immigrants, and Hurd voted to throw DREAMers out of the country,” a Spanish-speaking narrator says in a new ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hispanics comprise more than 70 percent of Hurd’s district, and Democrats are capitalizing on palpable fears of Trump: “Now more than ever, we have to make use of the power of our vote to stand up to Trump and Hurd.”

Attacks like these are forcing Republicans representing Latino-heavy districts to work overtime to show their constituents they’re nothing like the man leading their ticket. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, where just less than half the population is Latino, Rep. Jeff Denham speaks Spanish on the trail, and is often joined by his wife, who is of Mexican-Puerto Rican descent. Denham touts the Amigo of the Year award he received from a Hispanic organization and reminds voters that he was one of the few House Republicans to support the Senate’s landmark bipartisan immigration reform package (“which was controversial at the time,” he adds for good measure).
[Carlos] Curbelo is doing something similar: He frequently reminds voters and reporters that he's opposed Trump from Day One and tries to turn the conversation back to his legislative record. In English and Spanish, the Republican pitches himself as an independent thinker who can work with both parties but stand up to them as well.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton Wins, But Not Just Because of Debates

Gabrielle Levy reports at US News:
Hillary Clinton won the third presidential debate over Donald Trump, according to two polls, completing a clean sweep of the three face-to-face contests and putting herself in a strong position with just 19 days left to go before the election.

A pair of polls conducted at the conclusion of Wednesday's clash in Las Vegas found the Democratic nominee was judged the winner by people who tuned in to watch.

A CNN/ORC poll found 52 percent of viewers deemed Clinton the winner of the debate, compared to 39 percent who said Trump came away victorious.

The 13-point margin, while still substantial, was less than the 23-point advantage viewers gave Clinton after the second debate, in St. Louis on Oct. 9, and the whopping 35-point edge she received after the first debate in New York on Sept. 26.

Debate viewers in battleground states who responded to CBS News/YouGov's survey on Wednesday night handed Clinton a victory by double-digit margin, 49 percent to 39 percent.
Jake Miller reports at CBS:
So Clinton was judged the winner of the debates, and over the course of the debate season, her standing among voters has improved markedly. But correlation isn’t necessarily causation, and we should be careful not to blame her rising numbers on the debates alone.
There’s no denying Clinton had some strong moments in the debate that may have helped her – her attacks on Trump’s tax returns, his remarks about women, and his temperament targeted Trump on issues that voters have already identified as weaknesses. And Trump likely did himself no favors with his promise to prosecute Clinton, if he’s elected, and his refusal to say he’d accept the election results if he doesn’t win.
But consider what else Trump has had to grapple with in recent weeks: A controversy over his fat-shaming of a beauty pageant contestant; the revelation that he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years; a tape in which he brags about groping women without their consent; a series of women coming forward to claim he did just that. And that’s just the greatest hits reel.
Given that parade of scandals, it seems reasonable to assume that events outside the debate halls may have had a greater impact on the shape of the race than anything that happened onstage. And there’s some survey evidence to suggest that most people don’t watch the debates to be persuaded – they watch them to root for their team.
At ABC, Liz Kreutz and Candace Smith explain that he even messed up an easy chance to seem nice.
Donald Trump was booed Thursday night at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner after delivering a series of jabs at his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, including trying to riff on a controversial remark he made at the latest presidential debate about her being a "nasty woman." Clinton also didn’t play nice, however her jokes appeared to be more well-received by the crowd.
The dinner in New York, to benefit charity, is supposed to be a light-hearted roast where the presidential candidates take jabs at themselves and each other, but the event came just a day after the particularly nasty third presidential debate.
During the debate, the candidates didn't shake hands or acknowledge each other before or after the forum.
Trump, who spoke first, tried at first to keep things light-hearted, but quickly turned to harsh criticism about Clinton, who he described as “corrupt.” His remarks drew boos from the crowd, unprecedented for the event in the memories of observers.

Democrats Lead in Early Voting

Philip Bump reports at The Washington Post:
No matter what nonsense occurs for the next 18 days of the presidential election, it makes no difference for at least 4 million Americans, since they've already voted. If Donald Trump's poll numbers plunge through the basement floor or if Hillary Clinton suddenly stumbles: No matter. For these happy citizens, they don't have to care one iota, save for some potential buyer's remorse. Those 4 million people, a number making up 3.1 percent of the total vote in 2012, are free.
Most of them voted during a period when Hillary Clinton had a national lead -- a narrow lead, if they voted a few weeks ago or a large lead if they voted more recently. So while it's probably not a surprise that early vote tallies in several swing states show a shift to the Democrats since 2012, it still means that Clinton has a greater percentage of banked votes than President Obama did at this point four years ago.
Catalist, a voter data firm that works mostly with Democratic campaigns, provided The Post with early vote numbers from several battleground states that allowed us to compare current returns with the number of ballots returned in years past. In seven states for which returned ballot data was available by party, Democratic ballots made up a larger percentage of what had come back by the 20-day mark (that is, by 20 days before Election Day) than in 2012 (or in 2008 for Florida). In some cases, like Arizona and North Carolina, the shift to the Democrats was substantial.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More Hacked Emails

A new batch of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta posted to WikiLeaks today reveals a variety of new allegations, including the charge that Clinton vetted billionaires and businessmen who donated to her foundation as potential running mates.

General Motors CEO and chairwoman Mary Barra, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz were each considered as vice presidential candidates. All donated to The Clinton Foundation.

Podesta also organized the potential running mates into “rough food groups” that distinguished them by classifications such as race and gender. The recent leak also includes Clinton staffers pondering an Antonin Scalia replacement on the day he died, discussing the Justice Department’s investigation of Clinton and politicizing Black History Month, as well as Podesta calling Bernie Sanders a “doofus.”
At Politico, Blake Hounshell reports:
 Hillary Clinton’s aides debated whether to include a shoutout to Israel in an early version of her stump speech, ultimately concluding that it wasn’t worth the possible blowback from Democratic activists.
According to a hacked email chain that begins on May 15, 2015, Clinton’s top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, found himself at odds with the former secretary of state’s political advisers when he suggested adding “a sentence on standing up for our allies and our values, including Israel and other fellow democracies, and confronting terrorists and dictators with strength and cunning.”
“I though this was largely for her TP with public events not fundraisers. Do we need Israel etc for that?” communications adviser Mandy Grunwald responded.
“We def need the etc. I think good to have Israel too,” Sullivan replied.
Chief strategist and pollster Joel Benenson chimed in: “Why would we call out Israel in public events now? The only voters elevating FP [foreign policy] at all are Republican primary voters. To me we deal with this in stride when an if we are asked about FP.”
“She was Secretary of State,” Sullivan shot back.
“I'm w Joel,” wrote campaign manager Robby Mook. “We shouldn't have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.”
Zachary Warmbrodt adds at Politico:
Hillary Clinton's campaign advisers disagreed about how tough the former Secretary of State should be when it came to the "revolving door" that circulates people between jobs in Washington and Wall Street, according to email conversations released by WikiLeaks.
The dispute arose in a string of August 2015 messages - unverified by the campaign - where aides provided input on an op-ed that Clinton planned to publish with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
The piece, which later ran on the Huffington Post, was written in support of a bill Baldwin had introduced in the Senate to slow the revolving door and restrict companies from giving bonuses to departing employees headed into government.
Top Clinton policy aide Jake Sullivan said he was worried that the thrust of the op-ed was "if you work in the private sector and come into government, you are an inherently suspicious character."
Campaign manager Robby Mook pushed back, suggesting that a tougher tone would help in the Democratic primaries.
"I don't think the average voter will be sensitive to alienating people who go in and out of government. My concern from a primary perspective is appearing to protect the status quo, which I think people will believe (with a bit of prompting from Warren and others) is corrupted," Mook said, likely referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat had been promoting the legislation as "as a bill any presidential candidate should be able to cheer for."
Sullivan conceded, "I know that I sound like I am protecting the plutocrats."
"But there is a line here," he added. "If we go across it we're just demagoguing."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Summing Up Recent Events

Trump is circling the drain.

Michael Gerson sums up:
In recent days, Trump has sneered at the looks of a woman who accuses him of sexual assault, denigrated the appearance of Hillary Clinton, proposed to drug-test his opponent, used his campaign to promote what appears to be a Russian covert operation, asserted that Clinton has held secret meetings with international bankers “to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty,” attacked “Saturday Night Live,” promised to jail his opponent and contended that the “whole election is being rigged.”

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rigged! Trump Contradicts Giuliani

Jake Sherman and Steven Shepard report at Politico:
The American electorate has turned deeply skeptical about the integrity of the nation's election apparatus, with 41 percent of voters saying November's election could be "stolen" from Donald Trump due to widespread voter fraud.
The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll -- conducted among 1,999 registered voters Oct. 13 through Oct. 15 -- shows that Trump’s repeated warnings about a “rigged” election are having effect: 73 percent of Republicans think the election could be swiped from him. Just 17 percent of Democrats agree with the prospect of massive fraud at the ballot box.

The public sentiment is beginning to reflect Trump's campaign message. Over the last week, the GOP nominee has intensified his criticism of the U.S. electoral system, much to the chagrin of elected Republicans, who think it threatens the peaceful transfer of power. Trump calls the process rigged, and has said the media is colluding with Hillary Clinton to throw the presidential race in her favor.
When Jake Tapper asked about allegations of "rigging," Giuliani said:
When [Donald Trump] talks about a rigged election, he's not talking about the fact that it's going to be rigged at the polls. 
What he's talking about is 80% to 85% of the media is against him.
On Twitter, Trump then contradicted Giuliani:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Why Nixon Did Not Contest the 1960 Election as "Rigged"

Trump says that 2016 "looks like a rigged election."

If I were to demand a recount, the organization of the new Administration and the orderly transfer of responsibility from the old to the new might be delayed for months. The situation within the entire Federal Government would be chaotic. Those in the old Administration would not know how to act — or with what clear powers and responsibilities — and those being appointed by Kennedy to positions in the new Administration would have the same difficulty making any plans.

Then too, the bitterness that would be engendered by such a maneuver would have incalculable and lasting damage throughout the country. And finally I could think of no worse example for nations abroad, especially those who were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box. It is difficult enough to get defeated candidates in some of the newly independent countries to abide by the verdict of the electorate. If we could not continue to set a good example in this respect in the United States I could see that there would be open season for shooting at the validity of free elections throughout the world.

Faith, Facts, and a Dangerous Divide




Pew reports on epistemic closure:
In the contentious weeks leading up to Election Day, voters are deeply divided over the candidates, major issues and the nation’s past and future course. And, in a new survey, most voters say these differences even extend to disputes over basic facts.
Fully 81% say that most supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump not only disagree over plans and policies, but also disagree on “basic facts.” Just 18% say that while Clinton and Trump supporters often differ over plans and policies, they can agree on basic facts.
Ironically, this is a rare point of agreement among the supporters of Clinton and Trump. Comparably large shares of registered voters who back Clinton (80%) and Trump (81%) say the two sides are unable to agree on basic facts.
 Nathaniel Persily and Jon Cohen write at The Washington Post that many Americans have lost faith in the system, and will not accept the election's legitimacy.
Those were the stark findings from a survey we performed from Oct. 6 through Oct. 8 of more than 3,000 registered voters, fully 40 percent of whom say: “I have lost faith in American democracy.” Six percent indicate they’ve never had faith in the system. Overall, barely more than half — just 52 percent — say, “I have faith in American democracy.” (Most respondents completed the survey before the Oct. 7 release of the video in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women, but the responses of those surveyed afterward were indistinguishable from those who answered the day before.)
 This cynicism is widely shared across the electorate, but significant partisan differences emerge on this question, as on so many others. More than 6 in 10 voters backing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton express faith in U.S. democracy, compared with just over 4 in 10 of those backing her Republican rival. Most of Trump’s supporters say they’ve lost confidence in the basic mechanism of governance in the United States.
...
When asked in this SurveyMonkey Election Tracking poll if they would accept the result should their candidate lose in November, just 31 percent say they definitely would see the outcome as legitimate. Nearly as many (28 percent) say it is either “unlikely” that they would accept the result or that they definitely would not. Again, Trump’s supporters were more apt to say they would question the legitimacy of a Clinton victory than vice versa, but sizable shares on both sides, representing tens of millions of Americans, indicate they would not accept the legitimacy of the next president of the United States.
Edward-Isaac Dovere reports at Politico:
A measure of where things stand already: asked Saturday at a Trump rally in New Hampshire whether there could be an armed rebellion if Clinton wins, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster at first pegged the chances of it only at “highly unlikely.”
“There's going to be a rebellion, yeah. Everybody's tired of the system,” said Fred Steadman, a 57 year-old semi-retired man who was at Trump’s Saturday night rally in New Jersey, sure already that the election is rigged.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hillblazers

Shane Goldmacher reports at Politico:
Clinton calls them her “Hillblazers,” campaign bundlers who have given or raised at least $100,000 for her campaign. And she has erected an unparalleled and unprecedented infrastructure of 1,133 such people — nearly double the number of any past presidential candidate, including President Obama four years ago.
While Clinton and her advisers like to tout her small online donors, it is these bundlers in more than 40 states and four foreign countries who form the true backbone of her financial operation. Combined, this elite $100,000-and-up club has amassed a minimum of $113 million for Clinton and the Democratic Party — and the actual figure is likely far, far higher than that. (The biggest bundlers typically collect millions for campaigns.)
...
Among her bundlers are celebrities (Will Smith) and sports stars (Earvin “Magic” Johnson), Hollywood directors (Steven Spielberg and George Lucas) and corporate executives (Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg), Wall Street-types (Marc Lasry), media executives (Haim Saban and Anna Wintour) and members of Congress, including her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, who helped raise more than $100,000 for Clinton before he joined the ticket in July. The Clinton campaign said 45 percent of its bundlers are women.
There are also federal lobbyists, from whom the Democratic Party under Obama refused to accept money, a prohibition that has since been rolled back.
Via Wikileaks:
And when Saban wrote to Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, on March 15 of this year to say he was “very happy…relieved” at their recent primary victories, Mook wrote back: “Thank YOU for making it possible!!”
Saban and his wife have given a combined $10 million to Clinton’s super PAC, and hosted that $5 million evening at their Beverly Hills home for Clinton’s campaign in August 2016.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The GOP's California Problem

The GOP is winning fewer and fewer House seats in California:

1994...48%
2004...38%
2014...26%

It is not just the district lines.  Look at the GOP share of the state's two-party presidential vote:

1988...51.8%
1992...41.4%
1996...42.8%
2000...43.8%
2004...45.0%
2008...37.7%
2012...38.1%

Also consider party registration;

GOP % of registration
60-day report

1992...39.6%
1996...36.8%
2000...35.0%
2004...35.0%
2008...32.3%
2012...30.1%
2016...26.8%

What underlies the GOP's problem.  Perhaps the most important reason is demographic.

Percent of Californians Identifying as Non-Hispanic "White Alone"                  

1980...66.6%
1990...57.2%
2000...46.7%
2010...40.1%
2015...38.0%

The GOP is holding its own among white voters.  Other groups, not so much.  PPIC looks at the party registration of likely voters in 2016.  Here are GOP shares:

White...39%
Asian...24%
Latino...17%
AfrAm..06%

The Democratic coalition is younger

............18-34.....35-54...55+
Dem.....21..........32........47
Rep.......09.........36.........55

To survive, the California GOP has to do a lot better among Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and young people.

Donald Trump is not helping.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Happens When You Don't Do a Vulnerability Study

Kevin Cirilli reports at Bloomberg:
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rebuffed political aides’ requests to research his past, people familiar with the matter said, a decision that contributed to his campaign being caught unprepared for the past week’s barrage of claims he mistreated women.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, requested that Trump submit himself to a forensic evaluation that is traditional for any public figure seeking office, according to people granted anonymity to speak freely about the campaign’s start-up days last year. Opposition research would allow Trump’s new political team to prepare for potential attacks on his candidacy.

Paul Manafort and his team made a similar request when they took over the reins after Lewandowski, who was ousted this June.

Trump declined, the people said, and the issue became a point of contention among his closest political advisers and some long-time employees at the Trump Organization. Trump spokespeople Jason Miller and Hope Hicks didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Now, Trump is fighting an onslaught of scrutiny of his behavior toward women, less than one month before voters cast final judgment on him and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Some of the scrutiny is a result of Trump’s own words, including in a 2005 video that surfaced Friday where he bragged about being able to do “anything” to women because of his fame.
Both the New York Times and People magazine reported fresh allegations Wednesday from women who say Trump touched them inappropriately, without their consent. The candidate has flatly denied all accusations, tweeting that the incidents never happened.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wikileaks, Clinton, Sanders

The New York Times reports on the latest batch of stolen Clinton emails on WikiLeaks:
The Clinton camp seemed unprepared for the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders. 
For all the planning, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides appeared blindsided by the popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders’s populist message in the Democratic primary. Concern over Mrs. Clinton’s economic message seemed to reach a breaking point after Mrs. Clinton lost to Mr. Sanders by 22 percentage points in the New Hampshire primary.
“Message needs to be more positive, upbeat, hopeful,” an adviser wrote to Mr. Podesta. “Bernie is saying we can change the world. Her msg is ‘No, we can’t’ because …”
The adviser expressed particular concern about young voters gravitating to Mr. Sanders’s promise for revolution. “Bernie’s ads feature young ppl saying why they are voting / supporting him,” she wrote. “Hillary’s ads need to be young people — all under 45 and a smattering of older ones — validating her. 
But the campaign did get a heads-up later from a D.N.C official about some of Sanders’s efforts.
In January, Donna Brazile, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, passed on an email from Mr. Sanders’s African-American outreach team about how it was planning to host a Twitter-related event.
“Thank you for the heads up on this, Donna,” responded Adrienne Elrod, one of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides.
Ms. Brazile, a longtime party operative, later replaced Debbie Wasserman Schultz on an interim basis as D.N.C. chairwoman on the eve of the party’s national convention, a change that came after leaked emails revealed that Democratic officials had conspired to harm Mr. Sanders’s bid for the party’s nomination.
Clinton’s team was keenly aware of how vulnerable her Wall Street ties made her appear next to Sanders.
Her aides decided in January that she should avoid talking about Wall Street at an event in Nevada during her primary fight with Mr. Sanders.
“Don’t know that it is most effective contrast for her,” wrote Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s communications director. “Seems like we are picking the fight he wants to have.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

California Registration Numbers

Compare the California voter registration numbers for July 7 and September 9:

................................Democratic ...Republican... No Party Preference

July 7.......................8,155,831.....4,898,389.....4,212,484

Sept 9......................8,251,570......4,888,719.....4,267,218
  • Democratic registration went up by 95,739 
  • NPP registration went up by 24,734 
  • Republican registration went down by 9,670 
To the extent that voter enthusiasm drove these numbers, the passion was strongly on the Democratic side. California Republicans have a steep mountain to climb, and Trump has made it even steeper.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Clinton, Trump, Insider, Outsider

In lucrative paid speeches that Hillary Clinton delivered to elite financial firms but refused to disclose to the public, she displayed an easy comfort with titans of business, embraced unfettered international trade and praised a budget-balancing plan that would have required cuts to Social Security, according to documents posted online Friday by WikiLeaks.
The tone and language of the excerpts clash with the fiery liberal approach she used later in her bitter primary battle with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and could have undermined her candidacy had they become public.
Mrs. Clinton comes across less as a firebrand than as a technocrat at home with her powerful audience, willing to be critical of large financial institutions but more inclined to view them as partners in restoring the country’s economic health.
In the excerpts from her paid speeches to financial institutions and corporate audiences, Mrs. Clinton said she dreamed of “open trade and open borders” throughout the Western Hemisphere. Citing the back-room deal-making and arm-twisting used by Abraham Lincoln, she mused on the necessity of having “both a public and a private position” on politically contentious issues. Reflecting in 2014 on the rage against political and economic elites that swept the country after the 2008 financial crash, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged that her family’s rising wealth had made her “kind of far removed” from the struggles of the middle class.
Gold for Trump, right?  Not exactly.

In 2013, Trump wrote:
I think we've all become aware of the fact that our cultures and economics are intertwined. It's a complex mosaic that cannot be approached with a simple formula for the correct pattern to emerge. In many ways, we are in unchartered waters.
The good news, in one respect, is that what is done affects us all. There won't be any winners or losers as this is not a competition. It's a time for working together for the best of all involved. Never before has the phrase "we're all in this together" had more resonance or relevance.

My concern is that the negligence of a few will adversely affect the majority. I've long been a believer in the "look at the solution, not the problem" theory. In this case, the solution is clear. We will have to leave borders behind and go for global unity when it comes to financial stability.

Education and Employment Trends Underlie Populist Anxiety

Pew reports:
The number of workers in occupations requiring average to above-average education, training and experience increased from 49 million in 1980 to 83 million in 2015, or by 68%. This was more than double the 31% increase over the same period in employment, from 50 million to 65 million, in jobs requiring below-average education, training and experience.1

At the same time, the national survey – conducted May 25 to June 29, 2016, among 5,006 U.S. adults (including 3,096 employed adults) – shows how deeply Americans have internalized these trends:
Many see personal upgrading as a constant: More than half (54%) of adults in the labor force say it will be essential for them to get training and develop new skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace. And 35% of workers, including about three-in-ten (27%) adults with at least a bachelor’s degree, say they don’t have the education and training they need to get ahead at work. Many are already taking action or being required to do so by their employer or by licensing requirements in their jobs: 45% of employed adults say they got extra training to improve their job skills in the past 12 months.
The public sees threats to jobs coming from several directions: Eight-in-ten adults say increased outsourcing of jobs to other countries hurts American workers, and roughly the same share (77%) say having more foreign-made products sold in the U.S. has been harmful. Significant shares also cite increased use of contract or temporary workers (57%) and declines in union membership (49%) as trends that are hurting, rather than helping, workers. At the same time, global markets for U.S.-made products are seen as helpful for workers by 68% of adults. And seven-in-ten say the rise of the internet and email has been a net positive.

 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nuclear Trumplosion

John Avlon writes at The Daily Beast:
Mark down the date: October 7, 2016, is when Donald Trump lost the presidency.
I’m usually reluctant to play the pundit-prediction game but Independent and Republican women aren’t going to bounce back from this one. Not when the GOP nominee is caught on tape talking about hitting on a married woman “with big phony tits” “like a bitch” and how part of his M.O. is “grabbing pussy” because “when you’re a star” “you can do anything.”
This entire campaign has been an exercise of the electorate being slowly simmered in a pot of boiling water, losing our sense of outrage amid a steady of onslaught insults and lies. But sex and cruelty resonates in a way that financial scandals or demagoguery just don’t.
 Two years after the married woman, Nancy O'Dell, rebuffed his sexual advances, Trump tried to fire her from the MissUSA pageant.

Leigh Ann Caldwell reports at NBC:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah is just one of a handful of Utah politicians who released strong statements against Trump. Chaffetz, who had previously endorsed Trump, said Friday night that the latest reveal on Trump has caused him to draw the line. He said he withdraws his endorsement.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has never come out in support of Trump but went further than he has publicly before saying on Facebook that Trump is a "distraction" and that "it's time for him to step aside."
The current governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, said he "will not vote for Trump" and former Gov. Jon Huntsman, who just endorsed Trump last week, rescinded his endorsement and told the Salt Lake City Tribune that "the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket."