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July 1, 2016

Open Thread: Friday, July 1

  7:00 am

This is the open thread for Friday, July 1.

“Yes, yes I am, master of my domain.”

This is a good place to post anything that would be off topic in other threads (articles of interest, polls, etc).

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Hmm … Newt Gingrich Flip-Flops on Free Trade

  3:24 pm

Politico has an interesting piece on rumored Donald Trump running mate Newt Gingrich in which details how the former House Speaker has suddenly and dramatically changed positions on the trade issues. The story is wroth a full read but, in summary, it details Mr. Gingrich’s decades-long advocacy of free trade agreements, most principally NAFTA, and how his sudden shift towards protectionism appears to be naked political ploy to get in line with Mr. Trump.

From Shane Goldmacher and Doug Palmer at Politico:

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, under consideration as Donald Trump’s running mate, is dropping his decades-long support of free trade deals and picking up Trump’s strongly protectionist position.

“I basically agree with Trump’s speech on trade,” Gingrich said in an email to POLITICO on Friday.

This will only fuel speculation, earlier reported by The Washington Post, that Speaker Gingrich has emerged as the leading contender to join Mr. Trump on the Republican ticket.

It is also a major blow to free market conservatives who have to this point been loath to support Mr. Trump, who’s speech advocating protectionist economic policies flies in the face for decades-long conservative orthodoxy on the issue. It appears clear that Mr. Trump has little to no interest in reaching out to free-marketeers to who believe (correctly) that free international trades raises all economic ships.

Mr. Trump was able to cobble together a plurality of Republican voters, the vast majority of whom are older, down-scale whites, to win the GOP nomination. But that will not be nearly enough to win a national general election. Trump’s stances on both foreign policy and international trade are anathema to many conservatives, who surprisingly now find themselves more in line with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on those issues.

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Veep Watch: Gingrich Leading Candidate, Christie, Others in the Mix – WaPo

  1:46 pm

Interesting piece in The Washington Post this morning regarding Donald Trump’s search for a running mate. As reported yesterday, New Jersey Governor and months-long Trump surrogate Chris Christie was given the formal documents to complete and return for the vetting process. Today, we learn that former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is also being considered, with The Post going so far as to call Speaker Gingrich “the leading candidate.”

From Robert Costa and Karen Tumulty in The Washington Post:

Donald Trump’s campaign has begun formally vetting possible running mates, with former House speaker Newt Gingrich emerging as the leading candidate, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But there are more than a half dozen others being discussed as possibilities, according to several people with knowledge of the process.

The upside to selecting Speaker Gingrich would be two-fold. One, he would, like Gov. Christie, excel in the role of attack dog and has been down the road in battles with the Clintons before and could certainly hold his own in a televised debate. Two, as a 10-term member of Congress who held the speaker’s gavel for four of those years, Mr. Gingrich no-doubt knows the mechanics of how Washington operates, something Mr. Trump has said he is looking for in a potential governing partner. He also brings a level of intellectual gravitas of which the Trump campaign is in dire need.

The downside to a Gingrich selection is simple; he is wildly unpopular. While it has been a while, over four years, since pollsters asked voters for their opinions on the former-Speaker, at last check he was -36% in the favorable/unfavorable numbers, almost as bad as Mr. Trump himself.

The Post also mentions a couple of the much-discussed names included Senators Bob Corker (TN) and Jeff Sessions (AL) who bring the inside-Washington experience Mr. Trump wants (and, frankly, would need). Another name mentioned in the piece is Indiana Governor Mike Pence, whom The Post claims would help boost Mr. Trump’s “tepid support” among hardcore conservatives.

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June 30, 2016

Veep Watch: Team Trump ‘Heavily Vetting’ Gov. Chris Christie

  4:07 pm

CNN is reporting that the Donald Trump campaign is vetting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a potential running mate. The report also states that the Governor has received the official paperwork for the vetting process. Gov. Christie, who endorsed Mr. Trump just 16 days after suspending his own presidential campaign in February, has long been rumored as a potential Vice Presidential candidate for Mr. Trump.

Washington (CNN) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a former Donald Trump rival turned top defender — is being vetted as a possible running mate for the presumptive Republican nominee, a source confirmed to CNN on Thursday.

Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives that Gov. Christie would bring the the Trump campaign.

One of the primary roles of a VP candidate is to serve in the role of ‘attack dog,’ something at which Gov. Christie would not doubt excel. Gov. Christie, as a former federal prosecutor who famously battled with a heavily-Democratic legislature in the Garden State and won victories over entrenched and well-funded teacher unions in the state, has a lengthy history as a successful political brawler.

Additionally, Gov. Christie and Mr. Trump have been friends for a long time, according to Gov. Christie himself, for 14 years, and it’s well-known the high value on which Mr. Trump places loyalty. Gov. Christie would also help reinforce Mr. Trump’s ‘tough-guy’ ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ shtick. Finally, the New Jersey governor brings a good measure of political experience from his two terms in Trenton and would be able to hold his own in a televised debate against whomever Hillary Clinton selects as her running mate.

As far as the downsides of picking Gov. Christie, they are many.

One, he will not bring any electoral or geographic value to the ticket. New Jersey is dark blue, will remain as such and both the top and bottom of the Republican ticket would be comprised of brash, loud-mouth East Coasters, traits that are unlikely to appeal to polite Midwesterners, folksy Southerners, or spacey Westerners, to borrow a term from Dave Gaultier. However, several other rumored running mates also do not deliver a state, even if they provide geographical balance; Governor Mary Fallin and Senator Jeff Sessions do not change the electoral maps as their states will be reliably red regardless of the VP candidate.

Secondly, Gov. Christie is wildly unpopular in both his home state, a 36% to 60% approve/disapprove rating according to Morning Consult, and with the conservative base of the Republican Party. The Governor is a donor to Planned Parenthood, endorsed the appointment of liberal jurist Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court and earned a rebuke from the NRA for signing firearm control legislation; all positions unlikely to win over conservatives who already harbor reservations on Mr. Trump’s commitment to the right to life and support for the 2nd Amendment. Governor Christie also delivered a high-profile speech in which he supported Paul Ryan-like reforms to federal entitlements, something Mr. Trump has taken off the table.

Lastly, the liberal media will do everything they can to make the infamous ‘Bridgegate’ scandal an albatross around Gov. Christie’s neck. For what it’s worth, the scandal was hardly a scandal at all; by all accounts it was done without the governor’s direct involvement (and possibly even knowledge) and those responsible were quickly handed their walking papers. However, as we all know, that will hardly matter to the MSM.

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Poll Watch (IBD/TIPP) Clinton Up 4% Nationwide

  3:03 pm

A just-released poll from Investors Business Daily / TIPP shows Democrat Hillary Clinton holding a 4% lead in a nationwide, two-way matchup with Republican Donald Trump. When Third Party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are included, Mrs. Clinton’s lead shrinks to just 1%.

IBD / TIPP – National General Election, Two-Way Race:

  • Hillary Clinton: 44% (45%)
  • Donald Trump: 40% (40%)

IBD / TIPP – National General Election, w/ Third Party Candidates:

  • Hillary Clinton: 37% (39%)
  • Donald Trump: 36% (35%)
  • Gary Johnson: 9% (11%)
  • Jill Stein: 5%

Favorable / Unfavorable:

  • Hillary Clinton: 39% / 60% (-21%)
  • Donald Trump: 37% / 62% (-25%)

National survey of 837 registered voters was conducted June 24-29, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted May 31 – June 5, 2016 are in parentheses.

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Poll Watch (Rasmussen, PPP): Pollsters Have No Clue What’s Going On, Pt. 2

  12:49 pm

Earlier this week a pair of polls were released by ABC and NBC News that showed an extremely large variance in the race for the White House. Today, another pair of polls, both from partisan outfits – Democrat-affiliated Public Policy Polling and Republican-friendly Rasmussen Reports – show different results in the presidential race. Rasmussen has Donald Trump up by 4% while PPP shows Hillary Clinton ahead by the same amount. Both are nationwide samples of close to 1,000 voters. Peculiar.

Interestingly, Rasmussen shows that in the one week since their last poll, Mr. Trump has gained four points while Mrs. Clinton has lost five. That is a major swing in a short period of time among a pair of candidates that have near-universal name recognition and have had their respective Party’s nominations wrapped up for some time. This won’t be a popular sentiment among some around here, but the Rasmussen poll has to viewed as an outlier as it the only poll of the nine currently used in the Real Clear Politics aggregate to show Mr. Trump with a lead. It is also one of the few nationwide polls (the other being the Trump-friendly Fox News poll) that does not include Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Rasmussen Reports (R) – National General Election:

  • Donald Trump: 43% (39%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 39% (44%)
  • Someone Else: 12% (11%)
  • Undecided: 5%

Survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted June 28-29, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted June 20-21, 2016 are in parentheses.

PPP (D) – National General Election, w/ Third Party Candidates:

  • Hillary Clinton: 45% (42%)
  • Donald Trump: 41% (38%)
  • Gary Johnson: 5% (4%)
  • Jill Stein: 2% (2%)
  • Undecided: 7% (13%)

PPP (D) – National General Election, Two-Way Race:

  • Hillary Clinton: 48% (47%)
  • Donald Trump: 44% (41%)
  • Not Sure: 7%

PPP (D) – Three-Way Choice:

  • Hillary Clinton: 43%
  • Donald Trump: 38%
  • Giant Meteor Hitting the Earth: 13%
  • Not Sure: 7%

National survey of 947 registered voters was conducted June 20-21, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted May 6-9, 2016 are in parentheses.

H/T to The Argo Journal.

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Open Thread: Thursday, June 30

  7:00 am

This is the open thread for Thursday, June 30.

“Boy, imagine liking wigs to the point it becomes a career choice.”

This is a good place to post anything that would be off topic in other threads (articles of interest, polls, etc).

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June 29, 2016

Poll Watch (Ballotopedia): Clinton Destroying Trump In Swing States

  9:36 pm

Ballotpedia, an outfit that describes itself as ‘The Encyclopedia of American Politics’ conducted a series of polls in partnership with Evolving Strategies, a data research firm, in seven swing states – Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – and the results are nothing short of disastrous for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. The poll results show that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win all seven states handily over Mr. Trump.

Interestingly, the firm also conducted polls that pitted two other prominent Republicans – Ohio Governor John Kasich and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan – against Mrs. Clinton. Unlike Mr. Trump, who lost all seven states, Governor Kasich wins five of the seven (IA, MI, OH, PA and VA) and Speaker Ryan beats Mrs. Clinton in three of the seven (IA, OH, VA).

When Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson is included, Mrs. Clinton still beats Mr. Trump handily in all seven swing states, but both Speaker Ryan and Gov. Kasich win in two (IA and OH) and are tied with Mrs. Clinton in Virginia.

Ballotpedia – Florida General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 51% (+14%)
  • Donald Trump: 37%
  • Hillary Clinton: 47% (+13%)
  • Donald Trump: 34%
  • Gary Johnson: 12%
  • Hillary Clinton: 45% (+7%)
  • John Kasich: 38%
  • Hillary Clinton: 44% (+8%)
  • John Kasich: 36%
  • Gary Johnson: 8%
  • Hillary Clinton: 47% (+8%)
  • Paul Ryan: 39%
  • Hillary Clinton: 43% (+7%)
  • Paul Ryan: 36%
  • Gary Johnson: 10%

Ballotpedia – Iowa General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 45% (+4%)
  • Donald Trump: 41%
  • Hillary Clinton: 38% (+2%)
  • Donald Trump: 36%
  • Gary Johnson: 16%
  • Hillary Clinton: 37%
  • John Kasich: 46% (+9%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 34%
  • John Kasich: 38% (+4%)
  • Gary Johnson: 16%
  • Hillary Clinton: 38%
  • Paul Ryan: 47% (+9%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 35%
  • Paul Ryan: 42% (+7%)
  • Gary Johnson: 13%

Ballotpedia – Michigan General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 50% (+17%)
  • Donald Trump: 33%
  • Hillary Clinton: 47% (+17%)
  • Donald Trump: 30%
  • Gary Johnson: 14%
  • Hillary Clinton: 41%
  • John Kasich: 42% (+1%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 42% (+4%)
  • John Kasich: 38%
  • Gary Johnson: 8%
  • Hillary Clinton: 45% (+6%)
  • Paul Ryan: 39%
  • Hillary Clinton: 44% (+9%)
  • Paul Ryan: 35%
  • Gary Johnson: 9%

Ballotpedia – North Carolina General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 48% (+10%)
  • Donald Trump: 38%
  • Hillary Clinton: 44% (+7%)
  • Donald Trump: 37%
  • Gary Johnson: 10%
  • Hillary Clinton: 42% (+1%)
  • John Kasich: 41%
  • Hillary Clinton: 40% (+1%)
  • John Kasich: 39%
  • Gary Johnson: 9%
  • Hillary Clinton: 43% (+2%)
  • Paul Ryan: 41%
  • Hillary Clinton: 41% (+2%)
  • Paul Ryan: 39%
  • Gary Johnson: 8%

Ballotpedia – Ohio General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 46% (+9%)
  • Donald Trump: 37%
  • Hillary Clinton: 41% (+7%)
  • Donald Trump: 34%
  • Gary Johnson: 15%
  • Hillary Clinton: 35%
  • John Kasich: 49% (+14%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 35%
  • John Kasich: 46% (+11%)
  • Gary Johnson: 9%
  • Hillary Clinton: 39%
  • Paul Ryan: 44% (+5%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 38%
  • Paul Ryan: 40% (+2%)
  • Gary Johnson: 12%

Ballotpedia – Pennsylvania General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 49% (+14%)
  • Donald Trump: 35%
  • Hillary Clinton: 46% (+14%)
  • Donald Trump: 32%
  • Gary Johnson: 13%
  • Hillary Clinton: 41%
  • John Kasich: 43% (+2%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 42% (+4%)
  • John Kasich: 38%
  • Gary Johnson: 10%
  • Hillary Clinton: 44% (+3%)
  • Paul Ryan: 41%
  • Hillary Clinton: 43% (+5%)
  • Paul Ryan: 38%
  • Gary Johnson: 9%

Ballotpedia – Virginia General Election:

  • Hillary Clinton: 45% (+7%)
  • Donald Trump: 38%
  • Hillary Clinton: 43% (+8%)
  • Donald Trump: 35%
  • Gary Johnson: 11%
  • Hillary Clinton: 40%
  • John Kasich: 45% (+5%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 39% 
  • John Kasich: 39% 
  • Gary Johnson: 10%
  • Hillary Clinton: 41%
  • Paul Ryan: 43% (+2%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 40%
  • Paul Ryan: 40%
  • Gary Johnson: 10%

Ballotpedia partnered with Evolving Strategies and surveyed voters across seven states (June 10 – 22) regarding their vote preference. Evolving Strategies and Ballotpedia surveyed 4,242 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.0%.

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Poll Watch (Fox News): Clinton Leads Trump By 6% Nationwide

  8:30 pm

Another day and another bad poll result for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and this one comes from the very, very Trump-friendly Fox News.

The latest Trump News Fox News poll shows that presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton has doubled her lead over Mr. Trump, from three points to six points, since the news pro-Trump propaganda outfit’s last poll in early June. When respondents were given a choice of candidates that included Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico again hits double-digits, pulling 10% support.

Worse still for Mr. Trump, the poll shows that a majority (51%) of Republicans would prefer a nominee other than him while only 37% of Democrats say the same about Mrs. Clinton.

Trump News Fox News – National General Election, two-way race:

  • Hillary Clinton: 44%
  • Donald Trump: 38%
  • Other / Wouldn’t Vote / Don’t Know: 17%

Trump News Fox News – National General Election, w/ Gov. Johnson:

  • Hillary Clinton: 41%
  • Donald Trump: 36%
  • Gary Johnson: 10%
  • Other / Wouldn’t Vote / Don’t Know: 14%

Who Would You Rather Have as Democrat Nominee (among Democrats):

  • Hillary Clinton: 58%
  • Bernie Sanders: 37%

Who Would You Rather Have as Republican Nominee (among Republicans):

  • Someone else: 51%
  • Donald Trump: 48%

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers June 26-28, 2016 among a random national sample of 1,017 registered voters (RV). Results based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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Poll Watch (Quinnipiac): Clinton Holding Slim Nationwide Lead

  2:13 pm

The usually-reliable Quinnipiac University released the results from their latest poll this morning and, given the results of other public polls that have come out in the last couple weeks, this one cannot be described as anything other than an outlier. Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a scant 2% lead in both a head-to-head matchup with Republican Donald Trump as well as in the more-realistic four-way race that also includes Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Quinnipiac National General Election, two-way race:

  • Hillary Clinton: 42%
  • Donald Trump: 40%

Quinnipiac National General Election, w/ Third Party Candidates:

  • Hillary Clinton: 39%
  • Donald Trump: 37%
  • Gary Johnson: 8%
  • Jill Stein: 4%

Favorable / Unfavorable:

  • Donald Trump: 34% / 57% (-23%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 37% / 57% (-20%)
  • Jill Stein: 5% / 7% (88% have not heard enough)
  • Gary Johnson: 11% / 11% (77% have not heard enough)

National survey of 1,610 registered voters was conducted June 21-27, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 2.4 percentage points.

 

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