Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Globe Special: Putting a Viser on the Electoral College Count

"Bruising contest now heads to swing states" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  July 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — Despite early speculation that Donald Trump’s powers of disruption will redraw America’s Electoral College map, blowing up the status quo and turning blue states red, campaigns and consultants in both parties are focusing tightly on the handful of swing states that traditionally determine presidential elections.

I thought so, and it still might.

Those states — Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia — are already inundated with television ads, candidate visits, and campaign staffers knocking on doors.

For the next 100 days, if the current pattern holds true, much of the country will watch from the sidelines as one of the most vicious and combative contests in modern history gets decided in places like Toledo, Ohio; Orlando; and the Denver suburbs.

Hasn't been that kind of year politically anywhere.

“It’s going to be a slugfest extraordinaire,” said Dave Carney, a New Hampshire-based Republican consultant. “Brutal by any modern comparison.”

Hillary Clinton enters the general election with almost every institutional advantage, which, in any normal race, would give her a significant advantage. She has raised far more money, she has a much bigger staff and better ground-game operations, and is planning to run far more ads.

SeeClinton adds $63m firepower in July fundraising

Trump told supporters that the campaign had raised an estimated $35.8m in July, and the Washington Post fact-checked for you.

And yet polls have shown the race at a tie, or with Trump in the lead, both nationwide and in many of the individual battleground states.

Trump’s team suggested during the primary that he would rip up the traditional political map and make usually Democratic Northeast states more competitive. But aside from New Hampshire, a toss-up state where Trump won big and Clinton lost resoundingly during the primaries, there is little evidence of that."

RelatedAyotte, despite criticism from Trump, maintains support

Still playing the good soldier, but what does she have to gain by continuing to support him when he doesn’t support her?

SeePoll has Ayotte down by 10 points to Hassan 

Looks like New Hampshire is going to go blue.

Clinton’s campaign is openly baiting Trump, urging him to spend time on traditionally Democratic states that her strategists view as a long shot to flip.

“I absolutely encourage Donald Trump to spend time campaigning in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey,” Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager, told reporters last week at a breakfast hosted by The Wall Street Journal.

It is a quirk of the Electoral College system that the votes of many Americans don’t really have an impact on the final outcome of presidential elections, because their states are so predictably Republican or Democratic. 

It's what the aristocrats who were the Founding Fathers came up with so the people wouldn't elect a populist.

And even among the 10 or so swing states that decide American presidential elections, there is an even smaller subset that occupy the most attention, because of their rich troves of Electoral College votes and persuadable populations. The winner needs to capture 270 Electoral College votes.

To be sure, advisers in both campaigns talk about fighting in states where their party hasn’t won in decades. Democrats dream of sending Clinton over the top in Arizona — or even, given its high Mormon population skeptical of Trump, Utah. Trump covets Michigan and Wisconsin, two states now governed by Republicans. But both campaigns know they cannot win the election without bringing some combination of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado into their column.

Still, there is debate about what is happening in 2016. Even with just 100 days to go to Election Day, Trump’s angry brushfire that swept the GOP primary could ignite in unexpected places, some consultants say.

“States that haven’t traditionally been in the mix are going to be in play,” Carney said. “I don’t think folks that live on the East Coast get it. The country is not happy. That’s why I think, in these other states — like Oregon and Minnesota and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan — things are not great. And there’s a giant anxiety about what’s going on.”

The race represents a common theme: change versus more of the same. In 1992, Bill Clinton represented “change’’ and then-President George H.W. Bush represented the status quo. In 2008, Barack Obama was the “change” agent.

Trump, the most unorthodox major party candidate in generations, is all about “change.”

That's something they say every four years to continue with the $tatu$ quo.

And even while Clinton has tried to cast herself as a “change-maker,” her quarter-century in Washington makes that argument complicated.

“This is a classic change versus status quo election,” Carney said. “If it was on policy, Hillary clearly would win. But this is not a micro-issue election. This is a fundamental direction of the country election.”

Adding another layer of unpredictability in the last 100 days is the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. They are hoping to offer refuge to the large swath of voters unsatisfied with both Clinton and Trump.

Bev Harris showed Howard Dean how third-party candidates help rig voting machines.

They could become a greater factor if they gain enough traction to meet the 15 percent threshold necessary to be invited to upcoming candidate debates, but polling to gauge their impact on the race right now is difficult.


Look at the Globe pushing for them in the debates when they wanted to keep Nader out!

A CNN national poll last week indicated that Trump’s lead grows slightly when Johnson is included in the survey. But a Reuters poll of Ohio voters showed that Clinton’s lead increases with Johnson in the race.

That means Ohio goes blue, and Trump will make history off he can work around that.

No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio, and it will be vital for Trump if he is going to forge a pathway.


As in other swing states, Ohio will showcase an odd dynamic of 2016: Trump is presenting himself as a populist, focusing on converting white rural Democrats who don’t trust Clinton, while Clinton is courting suburban Republicans who are nervous about Trump’s temperament.

$ort of tells you $omething, doe$n't it? 

General rule of thumb is support and vote for the poorer campaign.

The strategy played out during both conventions. Trump made overt appeals to disgruntled supporters of populist insurgent Bernie Sanders. From the Democratic stage in Philadelphia, prominent speakers hailed Republicans John McCain, Ronald Reagan, and Mitt Romney.

“I thought I was watching the 1988 Republican convention,” said David Cohen, a political science professor at the University of Akron, describing this year’s Democratic gathering. “It was an overt attempt to not link Trump to the Republican Party. It was a play to those Republicans who have moral reservations about supporting someone like Donald Trump.”


Trump's Road to the Republican Nomination
Cleveland Trump Stop
Clinton Lynching in Cleveland
Cruzing Out of Cleveland
Trump's Foreign Policy Platform
The Great Trump Debate
Trump Stuck in Cleveland

Clinton's Freeway to Philly
Clinton Chooses Kaine
Clinton's Convention
Disunity on Display at Democratic Convention
Ladies Night at the DNC
Clinton Convention Bloom(berg)ing!
Democratic Party Platform
Clinton's Coronation

I hope that did them justice.

In Ohio, Trump is likely to focus on coal country in the southeastern part of the state, while Clinton, in addition to the suburbs, will look toward driving turnout among minorities.

But Trump is likely to run into some roadblocks: He has been deeply critical of Ohio Governor John Kasich, one of his former presidential primary rivals. Kasich has refused to endorse Trump, and Trump has pledged to form a super PAC to try to defeat Kasich.

“It’s a baffling strategy,” Cohen said. “From the beginning of the Republican convention, Trump and his team have gone out of their way to alienate the Ohio Republican Party and the governor of Ohio.”

I wonder how he will vote.

Florida is likely to become the focus for both candidates because of a simple fact: If Clinton wins Florida, she then only needs to carry the states that Democrats have won in almost every election since 1992 — even if she loses Ohio and Virginia.

But while Trump has a home in Florida, and he easily defeated one of the state’s senators, Marco Rubio, during the primary, he lacks some of the ground troops that Democrats have used to defeat Republicans in the past two elections. The state has also grown more diverse — 24 percent of Floridians are Hispanic, compared with 17 percent in 2000 — which could make Trump’s hurdles even greater. He has alienated many Hispanics with anti-immigrant rhetoric.

“I think Donald Trump is going to have a really hard time here,” said Anthony Bustamante, a Florida-based Republican consultant. “Not because I don’t like him — I’ll be supporting him — but I don’t know that he’ll have the resources for a really effective ground game. TV is not enough. You need a ground game in Florida.”

Better check those polls again.

Trump is also at a disadvantage on the money front.

Clinton and the super PACs supporting her had $86 million in their accounts at the end of June, compared with $22 million for Trump, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.

Trump is also continuing the approach that worked for him during the primary campaign, but could be risky during a general election: spending very little on television ads.

As of mid-July, his campaign and super PAC supporters had reserved only $655,000 in television and radio ads, according to an analysis by Ad Age. Clinton had reserved $111 million across 10 states, with much of it concentrated in Florida and Ohio.

Clinton has aired a wide variety of ads, some of them softly touting her biography (“For Hillary, it’s always been about the kids,” one says) while others are hard-hitting against Trump (“Our children are watching. What example will we set for them,” says another, after Trump is shown using coarse language).

Trump’s campaign has yet to air a television ad during the general election, but a super PAC supporting him recently took out two ads, one in which Clinton is shown apparently speaking in India in 2005 saying, “I don’t think you can effectively restrict outsourcing.” The other shows black-and-white images of gritty factory workers as a narrator laments jobs that have gone overseas.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it around,” the narrator says, as the black and white ad changes to color. “It will be American steel that rebuilds our inner cities, it’ll be American steel that sends our skyscrapers soaring. It’ll be American hands, American workers that remake this country. We’re going to be working again.”

Now that the conventions are over, there are fewer big stages left to rewrite the fundamentals of the campaign. The four debates, beginning Sept. 26, could be among the most consequential moments.

These are the two least liked nominees in history. And one of the things Trump proved during the Republican primary was that no one goes negative better, or more often, than he does.

“Because both candidates have such high unfavorable ratings, both see it in their best interest to poison their opponent’s profile,” said Kevin Madden, a longtime Republican consultant and former adviser to Romney. “Don’t expect a very substance-driven campaign, but instead one that is really fought over attributes that will be increasingly personal and increasingly negative.”

At least it will distract your attention from the important issues.


Let's hit the campaign trail:

"If Donald Trump was hoping to stem some of the bleeding that his campaign has been suffering this week, he's not going to get any assistance from the pollsters at Fox News. A new Fox survey released Wednesday evening shows Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by 10 points — the largest margin since the end of the conventions. Perhaps even worse, Trump dipped back below 40 percent in overall support.

Fox asked respondents whom they'd pick in a head-to-head matchup or a three-way contest including Libertarian Gary Johnson. Running only against Trump, Clinton led by 10 points. With Johnson in the mix, she led by nine points, with Johnson pulling from both candidates about evenly.

The support for each candidate comes from the by-now-expected demographics. Clinton leads with women by 23 points; Trump leads with men by five. Clinton leads with black voters by 83 points (!); Trump leads with whites by 10. Of note: Clinton trails with independents by eight points, but gets 12 percent of the Republican vote to 5 percent of Democrats who say they'll back Trump.

The average of recent polls shows a clear separation for Clinton after the conventions, with Trump's post-convention peak quickly evaporating. A big chunk of each candidate's support comes from people who want to see the other person lose, but, as with the CNN-ORC poll released this week, Clinton's support is more heavily from people who want her to win. Trump's is more heavily from people who want Clinton to lose.

Some of the starkest differences are found in perceptions of each candidate's fitness for office. Neither Clinton nor Trump is seen as particularly honest; only about a third of the electorate sees either that way. But Clinton has huge advantages on temperament, qualifications and knowledge for the job.

The poll was in the field as the controversy over Trump's response to the family of Army Capt. Humayun Khan was raging. A staggering 69 percent of those who were familiar with the issue thought Trump's response was out of bounds, including pluralities of every single demographic group — even Republicans.

He fell for the trap


Unlike that CNN-ORC poll, Trump is still seen as the better candidate on economic issues, the issue that respondents in the Fox News poll ranked as the most important.

But that's clearly not enough to get a majority of them to back his candidacy.

The question for Trump, as it has been all week, is how he can turn this around — if he can. For Republicans who've been wavering on their support for their party's nominee, a gap this large in a poll from the outlet most trusted by their voters will certainly not make them feel more confident about standing by Trump's side...."

Look who is already jumping ship:

"Trump endorses Ryan in bid to heal GOP rift" by Nick Corasaniti New York Times   August 06, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In Green Bay, Donald J. Trump sought to move past a tumultuous week plagued with controversy that began with his disparaging of a Gold Star military family, continued with his remarks regarding Speaker Paul D. Ryan and included repeated proclamations about viewing a “secret tape” that showed Iran receiving pallets of cash from the United States.

Perhaps signaling that he was in a forgiving and unifying mood, Trump on Friday morning issued a rare admission of an error, explaining on Twitter that the footage he had thought was a secret tape was instead a widely shown clip of American prisoners arriving in Geneva after being released by Iran.

He wasn't wrong per se:

‘The only bit of news is that we paid cash. The reason is because we couldn’t send them a check and we couldn’t wire the money. We don’t have a banking relationship with Iran which is part of the pressure we applied on them.’’

That's straight from the horse's ass.

The endorsement of Ryan is unlikely to assuage some Republicans who are concerned by the combative and provocative Trump campaign and have grown frustrated that the nearly daily controversies have made it more difficult to focus on the perceived weaknesses of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

On Friday, Governor John Kasich of Ohio indicated in an interview with CNN that he was considering voting Democratic for the first time.

Why not? That's what he ran as in the primaries.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Kasich said in response to a question on the possibility that he would not vote for a Republican for president.

He added: “I wish that I could be fully enthusiastic. I can’t be. So I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end.”

In Wisconsin, a battleground state where Trump lost a primary decisively to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and endured unrelenting criticism from popular local conservative radio hosts, the speaker of the state House of Representatives greeted Trump with an open letter to fellow Republicans, saying, “We are Ryan Republicans here in Wisconsin, not Trump Republicans.”

Blue state.

“As Donald Trump has said stupid things and been rude to so many people over the past year, I usually chalked it up to inexperience and the spotlight of an incredibly hostile press,” the speaker, Robin Vos, wrote. “But since the convention, his lack of judgment has got to concern even the most ardent Trump supporters.”

Trump made his endorsement after striking notes of unity Friday afternoon at a rally in Des Moines. He praised Priebus, and complimented Pence, who was on the campaign trail with him for the first time since they had taken divergent positions on Ryan’s primary campaign.

“If you don’t like me, that’s OK,’’ Trump told the Iowa crowd. “Vote for Pence, because it’s the same thing.”

I hope not, Don.

SeeGOP frustrations with Trump mount as allies weigh options

Pence puts a better face on it.

Pence had echoed similar sentiments in his introduction of Trump: “We are united, this movement is united, and we’re going to elect Donald Trump as the next president of the United States of America.”

We probably will, but that doesn't mean he will be proclaimed the winner.

Trump also focused his message in Des Moines on Clinton, insulting her and President Obama.

“She is pretty close to unhinged,” Trump said, criticizing Clinton’s immigration and foreign policy positions, in particular her relationship with Iran.

He also floated a conspiracy theory that the National Security Agency had the 33,000 deleted e-mails from Clinton’s account (there is no record, report or indication that this is true).

There you go!


NSA whistleblower says DNC hack was not done by Russia, but by U.S. intelligence

NSA Whistleblower: Agency Has Hillary's Deleted Emails 

Yeah, it's a "conspiracy!"

The Clinton campaign has been quick to seize on Trump’s recent controversies.

At a rally Friday outside a brewery in Milwaukee, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, took aim at Trump for withholding endorsements of Ryan and McCain.

“We’re talking about jobs, and Donald Trump is basically shadowboxing with every enemy he can think of instead of talking about what Americans want to talk about,” he said....

I'm not finding that in what I read, either.


"GOP candidates aiming to escape Trump’s shadow" by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns New York Times  August 06, 2016

After a disastrous week of feuds and plummeting poll numbers, Republican leaders have concluded that Donald Trump is a threat to the party’s fortunes and have begun discussing how soon their endangered candidates should explicitly distance themselves from the presidential nominee.

For Republicans in close races, top strategists say, the issue is no longer in doubt.

In the world of Republican super PACs, strategists are going even further: discussing advertisements that would treat Trump’s defeat as a given and urge voters to send Republicans to Congress as a check on a Hillary Clinton White House.

For now, some of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents are simply hoping to avoid what they see as the taint of association with their standard-bearer.

Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, all blue.

Trump’s plunge in polls this past week, along with his dual attacks on the family of a fallen US soldier and the leadership of his own party, has convinced veteran Republican strategists that most of their candidates must navigate around the presidential nominee.

Plans for ads that distance congressional candidates from the top of the ticket have accelerated. At a recent conference of Republican donors, Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House, warned that even the party’s substantial majority in that chamber might be in jeopardy.

It could be another 2008? 

God help us all! 

It may come to pass -- as unbelievable as it sounds -- that a Republican House may be the last, best hope for humanity.

“The conclusion has become that the guy is incorrigible,” said Thomas M. Davis III, a former House member from Virginia who is still close to many of the party’s leaders. “He’s going to leave our candidates with no choice but to go their own separate way.”

Remember when Democrats were running away from Obama years ago, or the last two election cycles under Bush when Republicans told him to stay away?!

Trump’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but Friday night he tried to calm angry Republicans by endorsing, belatedly, the reelections of Ryan and senators John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Trump had been feuding with them after they criticized his ridicule of the parents of Humayun Khan, a Muslim American Army captain killed in Iraq. Khan’s parents had denounced Trump during the Democratic National Convention.

He didn't have a clue.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, had urged Trump to stand behind Ryan and the senators for the sake of party unity. Some leading Republicans have expressed hope that Trump can at least stabilize his campaign by Labor Day, but with such an erratic and belligerent candidate leading their ticket, many in the party have long seen a go-your-own-way strategy as inevitable.

Clinton opened a large lead last week in national polls, with a handful showing her leading by double digits. Perhaps more significantly, new surveys indicate that she has staked out leads in states Trump most likely needs to win the White House, including Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and that she is also close or edging ahead in Republican-leaning states such as Georgia, where at least one poll has her ahead.

Clinton’s advantage may ebb, but....

Plan for the worst, people.


I was told they were standing by their man, but....

Here come some early results:

Clinton Takes Kansas:

"GOP governor’s allies suffer in backlash in Kansas primary" by John Hanna Associated Press  August 03, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. — Governor Sam Brownback assured the public that the income tax cuts he championed would stimulate the Kansas economy, supply plenty of money for schools, and give other states a ‘‘pro-growth’’ policy model to follow.

See: Brown State

But voters, including many Republicans, appear to have rejected that idea in the face of budget woes and court battles over education funding. On Tuesday, they ousted 11 of the conservative governor’s allies in favor of more centrist candidates.

The GOP incumbents who lost in the primary included the Senate’s majority leader. Another three conservative House members were trailing Wednesday in still-undecided races.

‘‘It’s a mandate when you see the incumbents that supported the policies that have us in the position that we’re in today,’’ said John Skubal, a City Council member in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park who defeated a conservative state senator. ‘‘The people are saying they don’t work.’’

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the GOP-dominated Legislature slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging. That created concerns among educators about future spending on schools, even as many Republicans regarded the $4 billion-plus a year the state now spends as generous.

Mark Zrubek, a Republican store manager in Hutchinson, said he voted against Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce because he wanted a change.

‘‘I don’t like the way policies are going,’’ Zrubek said after voting for the eventual winner, former Hutchinson Community College president Ed Berger.

Some Republicans have admitted that Brownback’s tax cuts failed to bring as much growth as expected. The governor contends that regional and national economic trends such as slumps in agriculture and energy production are offsetting the benefits of the tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Supreme Court could rule by the end of the year in an education funding lawsuit. The issue before the justices is whether legislators must spend hundreds of millions of dollars more annually to fulfill their duty under the state constitution to provide a suitable education to every child.

Brownback’s election as governor in 2010 pushed the state’s politics hard to the right, and his allies ousted many of the Legislature’s moderates in 2012. The governor won reelection in 2014 in a tough race clouded by the state’s emerging budget problems.

Republicans have such large margins in both legislative chambers that they are likely to retain significant majorities after the November election. Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the governor looks forward to working with those majorities.

As for the primary results, Hawley said in an e-mailed statement, ‘‘Kansas is not immune from the widespread anti-incumbency sentiment we have seen across the nation this election season.’’

Would seem to bode well for Trump.

Mike O’Neal, chief executive of the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce, said anti-incumbent feelings are trickling from the presidential race all the way down the ballot. Even GOP moderates, he said, regularly describe themselves as fiscal conservatives to appeal to unhappy voters.

US Representative Tim Huelskamp, a Tea Party favorite who lost his GOP primary race in the First Congressional District of western and central Kansas, acknowledged the ‘‘wave against conservatives.’’

‘‘You have the poor economy and the bad poll ratings of our current governor,’’ Huelskamp said Wednesday. That would have dragged down ‘‘anybody.’’

In neighboring Oklahoma, another state run by GOP conservatives, anger over a budget crisis and cuts to public schools prompted dozens of political newcomers to run for office this year. Two House Republicans lost their seats in the June 28 primary. Only three GOP lawmakers had been ousted in primaries in the previous 16 years.

I think Trump will barely hold Oklahoma.

Victories by Kansas Democrats in November, coupled with the wins of the GOP moderates on Tuesday, could allow the two groups to form governing coalitions to bedevil Brownback during the term-limited governor’s final two years in office....


Time to get out of Kansas.

It's the economy, stupid: 

"Jobs report good news for all but Donald Trump" by Neil Irwin new york times  August 05, 2016

NEW YORK — It’s an election year, which means these numbers will inevitably be viewed through the prism of how they affect the chances of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to seize the White House. And to the degree a good economy (and good economic headlines) benefits the incumbent party, there’s no question this helps Clinton.

Or the lies about it anyway.

So far in the campaign, Clinton has resisted crowing about the strengths of the economy and while the proportion of Americans who were in the labor force — either working or looking for work — ticked up in July, it has only recovered a tiny sliver of its decline since the 2008 recession (it bottomed out last year and has recovered slightly).

If you try to search the latest Labor Department numbers for bad news, the closest you’ll find is a rise in the number of people who have been unemployed for 27 weeks — in other words, people who may say they want work but are becoming increasingly unattached from the habits of holding down a job.

So that creates a fascinating backdrop for the economic discussion during the homestretch of the election. The economy truly is growing, and job growth looks to be robust.

Expect Clinton to seek to show empathy for those who are being left behind even by this stronger recovery and avoiding claims that the economy is as robust as the headline numbers might suggest. And don’t be surprised if Trump repeats his claims that the economy is actually very weak.

Here’s an interpretation of the available data over the last several months that incorporates all these realities. You probably won’t hear it on the campaign trail, but if a candidate’s job was to provide nuance rather than get elected, this is what could be said:

That is when I put things in reverse.



US income gap widened last year as top 1 percent gained most
Few states match Mass. in income inequality
Boston’s income divide largest in US

Also seeTide may be turning against GOP fringe

Speaking of the fringe:

“During this presidential election season, opinions as to who the next president should be may differ. The ability to express those opinions openly and freely is the cornerstone of democracy in our country. Our concern is when people take it upon themselves to wrongly extend their ability of expression into vandalism and assault.” -- Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe, in a statement."

She did what? 

"Trump sweeps into N.H., mocks Clinton on ‘short circuit’" by Vivian Wang Globe Correspondent  August 06, 2016

WINDHAM, N.H. — Undaunted by controversies that have dogged him in recent days, Donald Trump landed in this battleground state Saturday night for a rally attended by hundreds of exultant supporters packed into a sweltering high school gymnasium.

“The last time I was here, we won,” Trump said, standing at a podium before a backdrop of American and New Hampshire flags. “And we’re gonna win again.”

The Republican presidential nominee arrived at Windham High School shortly after 8 p.m., and delivered a wide-ranging speech that touched on such subjects as the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic State, and China, but he repeatedly returned to attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump zeroed in on Clinton’s recent admission that she “short circuited” when describing the truthfulness of her remarks to the American people about her private e-mail server.

“Unstable Hillary Clinton — you saw where she basically short circuited? She short circuited. She used the term,” Trump said. “I think that the people of this country don’t want somebody that’s going to short circuit up there.”

He said Clinton lacks the temperament to serve as president, in apparent reference to similar criticisms she has lobbed at him.

“I have a winning temperament,” he said.

Trump also frequently highlighted his promise to secure the country’s borders from immigrants entering the country illegally, particularly from Mexico.

“Build that wall!” the crowd chanted in response.

Trump highlighted his endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 16,500 agents patrolling the country’s southwest border. In its March endorsement, the union described the dangers Americans face from drug cartels.

“You know in New Hampshire maybe better than anyone . . . exactly what they’re talking about,” Trump said.

Supporters, many who had waited hours for Trump’s appearance, began to trickle out halfway through his speech, overwhelmed by the heat. Trump made light of it: “Everybody tonight will lose on average 6.2 pounds. It’s so hot in here,” he said.

Trump’s appearance came a day after he endorsed New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte in her reelection campaign, despite blasting her several days earlier. Ayotte, a Republican seeking her second term, has criticized Trump for his comments about veterans and has said she will support but not endorse him.

Trump did not explicitly reference Ayotte during his speech but called for party unity.

Even if people don’t like me, you gotta vote Republican, because we’re gonna pick great justices,” he said, in reference to the empty seat on the Supreme Court. “Our Second Amendment is totally under siege.”

Trump concluded his roughly hourlong speech by describing how he would make America so great that New Hampshire would have to send a delegation to Washington to ask him to “stop winning.” The crowd jumped to its feet, roaring with approval.

Trump last visited New Hampshire in June. He won the first-in-the-nation primary there easily in February, with 35 percent of the vote — 20 points more than his nearest competitor.

The rally caps off a trying week for Trump, in which he has fallen in the polls and has drawn the ire of several prominent Republicans, including Ayotte, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Arizona Senator John McCain, for criticizing the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier.

At a rally in Portland, Maine, on Thursday, Trump also painted the state’s Somali population as dangerous, drawing a rebuke from Republican Senator Susan Collins, but many of the Trump supporters who lined up hours early to see their candidate said they are not concerned about the recent controversies. They were clear that their loyalties lie with the presidential candidate.

They “don’t think it really matters,” and they are right.

Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown helped to warm up the crowd with a joke and urged the crowd to vote Republican up and down the ticket in order to retain control of the House of Representatives and Senate, and to take the governorship of New Hampshire.

He said what?

He led them in another “USA” chant.

The AmeriKan version of "Sieg Heil!"

And he riffed on the usual flashpoints — the Iran deal, President Obama, and Benghazi — to the crowd’s delight.


They cut out out the comments of Jim and Janet Valliere, independents who voted Obama in 2008 but are now for Trump, as well as those of Michael Puliafico and Hector Cote. 

I suppose when you are supplying a narrative for a stolen and rigged election every vote does indeed count.

Trump’s visit to the Granite State followed two private fund-raisers at homes on Nantucket and in Osterville on Cape Cod.

Yeah, I see he was supposed to visit.


Of course, they did add stuff.

Better vote early and often.

They are calling North Dakota for Clinton in a surprise.

"At Harvard Law, Tim Kaine was driven by faith" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  July 31, 2016

CAMBRIDGE — On a campus brimming with aspiring politicians, no one predicted Tim Kaine would run for office, let alone second-in-command at the White House. He listened to Frank Zappa and Elvis Costello, talked earnestly about the women’s movement, racial injustice, and human rights, and spent part of his free time representing prisoners in parole and disciplinary hearings.

He arrived in Honduras in 1980, and wasn't that about the time all that Iran-Contra stuff started?

In March 1982, he organized classmates to lobby against the reinstatement of capital punishment in Massachusetts, invoking the state’s dark history of death sentences from the Salem witch trials to the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

“If we’re trying to teach that killing is wrong, the death penalty isn’t the way to accomplish that goal,” Kaine told the student newspaper, the Harvard Law Record, in an article that featured his efforts.

Years later, as governor of Virginia, he would preside over 11 executions, saying he was sworn to uphold the law, even ones he disagreed with.

In October 1982, after Lebanese militiamen allied with Israel massacred Palestinians in two refugee camps, Kaine signed a petition published in the Harvard Law Record that said that, while the signatories were “deeply disturbed” by the slaughter, “we believe it is especially important at this time to reaffirm our strong commitment to Israel’s inalienable right to exist.”

Meaning he was properly vetted.


I'm sure the vote in Virginia is going to stink to high heaven after all the monkeying around that is going to go on down there

Imagine if it goes to the Supreme Court again.

"During an interview on Fox News Channel’s ‘‘The O’Reilly Factor’’ this week, Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, speculated that people without proper identification ‘‘are going to vote 10 times.’’ Trump suggested at a rally Monday that he fears the general election ‘‘is going to be rigged’’ without offering any immediate evidence."

Also seeTrump’s “rigged” claim challenges US democratic system

And we can't have that called into question.

Everything has been flipped upside down, and they don't even report what Trump says anymore.

Intelligence briefings for Clinton, Trump could begin this week

They are worried Trump will leak them like JFK did to Nixon regarding Cuba.

Trump supporters continue to marinate in rage

Ronald Reagan vs. Donald Trump

Some hate speech is fine! 

If it’s liar vs. liar, Trump might win

Trump should release his tax returns

Why is he being audited by this administration and the Clinton Foundation not?

Trump’s economic advisers include 6 Steves, but not 1 woman

Donald Trump, son Eric draw fire for remarks on sexual harassment

It's the culture over there.

Ad executive put on leave after ‘shocking’ comments on diversity

An obvious Trump voter.

The more he wins he loses, so there is still no reason to panic.

That's enough clickbait, let's check the map:

"Swing states needed to win presidency

Colorado 9 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: Obama had two comfortable wins here, and the state’s Hispanic population could help Clinton make it a third straight win for Democrats. She is so confident of a recent lead in the polls that she stopped running ads in the state.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: Conservative areas may be receptive to Trump’s more strident rhetoric on foreign policy.

Iowa 6 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The Democratic nominee has won six of the last seven elections.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: He has tried to make a big and vocal push for evangelical voters, who make up a large slice of Iowa’s electorate.

Wisconsin 10 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The state hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984. She leads in current polls, and Democrats are motivated with trying to help Russ Feingold recapture his US Senate seat.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: The state has a Republican governor, and while Trump has struggled with some Republicans, he’s backed by three from Wisconsin: Governor Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

Ohio 16 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The state voted twice for her husband. Trump doesn’t enjoy a unified GOP. The state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, is a frequent and vocal critic of the GOP nominee.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: Some industrialized parts of the state have been hollowed out by globalization, and could be open to his antitrade rhetoric.

New Hampshire 4 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: Her family has a long history with the state, and independent voters tend to place a premium on national security, an issue where Clinton tends to get better marks.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: The state provided him with his first primary victory, with his message resonating with legions of working-class voters. Clinton also lost big to Bernie Sanders in the primary.

Pennsylvania 20 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The Democratic nominee has won in the past five presidential elections, and polls show her with a lead.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: His antitrade rhetoric could have appeal in towns with abandoned factories, and his bid to revive the coal industry could resonate in the northeastern part of the state.

Virginia 13 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The voter-rich Northern Virginia region is filled with highly educated voters who Trump struggles with. She can also lean on the state’s governor, her longtime friend Terry McAuliffe, and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: The rural regions are filled with voters that he fares well with, and prior to Obama, Republicans had a long streak of presidential victories.

North Carolina 15 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: The state has grown more diverse and has a sizable African-American population that helped her win in the primaries. She also may be able to take advantage of a backlash over the state’s ban on transgender bathrooms.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: Republicans have won a string of victories here, including Mitt Romney in 2012, and Trump’s antitrade proposals could resonate in communities where the furniture industry has struggled.

Florida 29 votes

Why Clinton thinks she’ll win: About a quarter of the state is Hispanic, a voting bloc that Trump has largely alienated.

Why Trump thinks he’ll win: He had a dominant performance here during the GOP primary, owns a home in Palm Beach, and has tried to appeal to evangelicals, who populate the Panhandle.


My total came up 373-165, Clinton.

Related: Electoral Calculus Points to a Trump Landslide Victory 

It should by historical standards, but that assumes a relatively fair and free election.


Kelly Ayotte should disavow Donald Trump — now

All the more reason to stick with him.

"Trump’s allies urge big donors to look past controversies" by Nicholas Confessore New York Times   August 08, 2016

NEW YORK — In meetings with party loyalists across the country, allies of Donald Trump are imploring senior Republicans and party donors to come to Trump’s aid, despite postconvention controversies that have left some in the party ready to abandon him.

The goal is to persuade thousands of the party’s most reliable patrons to overcome their lingering objections to the candidate most of them never wanted, and to help defeat a Democrat most of them want even less.

In the coming weeks, Trump and other campaign officials will attend a string of high-dollar fund-raisers organized with the Republican National Committee, hitting the summer haunts of the well-to-do in a last-ditch effort to tap into the party’s vast financial reserves.

On Monday in Detroit, Trump is scheduled to unveil detailed economic policy prescriptions, a speech his supporters hope will help Trump reset his campaign and remind wavering Republican donors of the contrast that he offers to Hillary Clinton on issues like taxes and regulation.

Clinton also will deliver an economic speech on Thursday before the same group that Trump is addressing, the Detroit Economic Club. The dueling Detroit addresses come as new polls show the Democrat gaining ground on economic issues.

I wonder if the bankrupt city government or water crisis will come up.

Aides say Clinton will argue that Trump is focused on the wealthiest Americans.

Like her and this whole yawning of wealth inequality the last eight years.

Gaylord T. Hughey Jr., an energy industry lawyer who formerly backed Jeb Bush, is now helping lead Trump’s fund-raising in Texas. “I think the traditional donor base was somewhat shocked by Trump’s nomination,’’ Hughey said.

Aides and fund-raisers for Trump concede that they need mainline Republican donors to swing behind Trump so that he will have enough financial firepower to compete with Clinton.

While Trump’s campaign has rapidly stepped up small-donor fund-raising, bringing in $64 million jointly with the Republican committee through digital and direct mail appeals in July, he is lagging behind Clinton on larger checks, particularly the six- and seven-figure donations that wealthy donors make to party organizations.

So Trump is getting Sanders-like contributions from the grass root crazies while Clinton is showered with loot from the wealthy?

And just as he asks for help, the party’s establishment donors are reeling from Trump’s decision to pick fights with the family of a deceased Iraq war veteran and the popular House speaker, Paul D. Ryan.

Donors supportive of Trump said in interviews that they were encouraging their peers to consider the downside of a Clinton administration: a liberal Supreme Court and economic policies pushed to the left by Senator Bernie Sanders and the Democrats’ newly empowered progressive wing....

It could be a lot worse than that.