For Trump’s Path to 270, It All Comes Down to One State

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last Friday, The Pulse 2016’s Frank Cannon and Jon Schweppe laid out the most likely path to 270 electoral votes for Donald Trump, arguing that if he were to win all the closest toss-up states at that time, he would need only one more state to go his way in order to overtake Hillary Clinton.

After a week, it looks like the final piece of the puzzle for Trump may be New Hampshire. New polling in the Granite State has been very favorable to Republicans, and the RealClearPolitics average now has Trump leading by 1.5 points with just four days to go.

However, a Trump victory is still far from certain, given how close the race remains in several battleground states. The RCP polling averages in four states (and Maine’s 2nd congressional district) are currently within two points:

In order for Trump to reach 270, he must win each of these states and ME-2 — or else he must win another one or more states where Clinton’s polling lead is more robust. It’s a tall order, though far from an impossibility.

However, of the above states, one holds a place of particular importance if Trump hopes to pull out a win on Tuesday: Florida. And it’s not just because he is slightly behind in the polling right now. Continue Reading

Did These Catholic Bishops Just Take a Swipe at Tim Kaine?

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: US Department of Education via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has really been struggling lately when it comes to Catholics. It all started with the emails released by WikiLeaks that showed a number of Clinton staffers mocking Catholics and revealing their plans to undermine Catholic teaching. That may have been at least in part responsible for a poll out this week showing Clinton down 13 points to Donald Trump among Catholic voters.

Now, as Election Day nears, a number of Catholic bishops appear to be taking implicit — if not overt — swipes at Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

Just take, for example, a recent statement to Virginia Catholics from two of the state’s bishops, Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo. Loverde and DiLorenzo mince no words when it comes to addressing two erroneous positions which have been advanced by Kaine during the campaign: the idea that one can be personally opposed to abortion while still supporting its legality and the idea that the Church can change its teaching on marriage. The bishops forcefully reject both these “areas of confusion,” and it is difficult not to read in this a rebuke of Kaine also:

The first area of confusion is that one can be “personally” opposed to abortion, yet continue to publicly support laws which allow it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of both natural law and Church teaching. The common good and Christian charity compel us to work toward overturning – not supporting or acquiescing to – all unjust laws.

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Voters Should Embrace Life and Reject Physician-Assisted Suicide

While Trump vs. Clinton is the contest on most Americans’ minds this election year, an even more important struggle has quietly emerged which could significantly impact our nation: that of life vs. death.

Earlier this week, the Washington, D.C., City Council voted to advance the “Death with Dignity” Act, legislation which would make D.C. one of six American jurisdictions allowing legalized physician-assisted suicide. The bill now moves on to Mayor Muriel Bowser, who a spokesman said “expects the bill to become law.”

And in Colorado, Proposition 106 is on the ballot this year, a “medical aid in dying” initiative that’s modeled after legislation that was debated and rebuffed in the state legislature. If the initiative succeeds, Colorado would become the third state to legalize assisted suicide by popular vote.

The assisted suicide movement caught fire after Brittany Maynard publicly declared her intention to end her life with help from her doctor, with the blessing of the Oregon state government. Proponents of this self-styled “death with dignity” argue that it is based out of compassion and respect for the individual seeking death, because they are preserved from further suffering in the face of a terminal illness.

However, unfortunately, recent news has shown the opposite. In California, where assisted suicide is legal, we learned last month that a patient’s chemotherapy treatment was no longer covered by her insurer — suicide pills were considered instead a more financially viable option for both the patient and her medical insurance provider.

This reeks of cold calculation rather than human compassion. Continue Reading

Black Pastors Express Deep Concern over Clinton’s Stance on Abortion, Religious Freedom

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Earlier this week, a group of 26 African-American religious leaders signed an open letter to Hillary Clinton requesting that she meet with them to discuss issues of importance to the black community. They then went into details on a number concerns they hope to hear her address, including two issues which have become particularly problematic for Democrats: abortion and religious freedom.

On abortion, the letter slams Clinton for saying in a speech last year that people’s beliefs “have to be changed” on the issue, a comment which the church leaders write “is reminiscent of totalitarianism.” They then go on to chastise her for failing to protect “the lives of the innocent” unborn, especially unborn African Americans:

…[O]ur opposition to abortion is a logical outgrowth of our view that there must be justice for all. Particularly relevant is the innocence of the unborn child. The Bible places an extremely high value on human life and particularly on the lives of the innocent who are under the special protection of God. Those who take the life of the innocent violate a key biblical principle as well as a fundamental principle of natural justice.

Abortion in the black community has had a catastrophic impact. Nationally there are 365 black babies aborted for every 1,000 that are born. Blacks account for roughly 38% of all abortions in the country though we represent only 13% of the population. In New York City, the situation is absolutely dire.

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Six Days Left: Trump Has a Lot of Outs

When poker players are drawing to a straight or a flush, they will often talk about having a certain number of “outs” — i.e. how many cards are left in the deck that can make their hand, allowing them to win the pot.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a winning hand yet, but he has a lot of outs.

Last Thursday night, we wrote at Townhall about Donald Trump’s easier-than-you-think path to 270 electoral votes. We explained that Trump could get to 265 by winning Utah, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the time, this still seemed like a somewhat daunting task, albeit one that was within the realm of possibility.

But now? Well, Trump’s lot has improved significantly in these states since Thursday night, as Hillary Clinton’s lead appears to be fading fast:

Utah

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +5.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +6.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +0.2%

Georgia

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +2.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +5.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.9%

Iowa

Ohio

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +1.1%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.3%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.2%

Arizona

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.5%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +4.5%

Florida

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.6%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +0.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.1%

Nevada

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +2.0%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +1.6%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +3.6%

North Carolina

Obviously, these states are still too close to call, but Trump now is tied or enjoys small leads in all eight of them. Continue Reading

Good Monetary Policy Is Too Serious a Matter to Be Left to the Fed

Photo credit: Kurtis Garbutt via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

US News and World Report‘s Andrew Soergel reports that “With White House in Sight, Trump, Clinton Plan Fed Renovations: No matter who wins the election, times are likely changing at America’s central bank.”

“The Fed” really is a synecdoche for monetary policy. Monetary policy used to be, off and on, a significant factor of presidential campaigns. In this election cycle, the monetary policy issue has only arisen occasionally and has not become a major issue of contention.

Pity. It really deserves to be front and center.

What is widely regarded as the most striking speech in presidential campaign history was William Jennings Bryan’s 1896 convention speech concluding:

If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

Read the full speech here. It electrified the Democratic convention and propelled the young Bryan to the 1896 Democratic presidential nomination and two more. He lost all three times — including in 1896.

As economic historian Brian Domitrovic observed, at Forbes.com:

In 1896, Bryan opposed the gold standard because it had coincided with the 1-2% per year deflation that the country had been experiencing since the 1870s.

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Poll: Trump Takes a Six-Point Lead in N.C., McCrory within One Point

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

North Carolina offers a great glimpse into trends in the battleground states this election. A WRAL poll by SurveyUSA taken after the FBI scandal broke shows Donald Trump has suddenly jumped to a six-point lead. Almost a third of North Carolina voters chose “trustworthiness” as their most important quality in picking a president, and they are breaking for Trump by 83 percent. He’s also cut the gender gap with women from 13 points down to 7 points while upping his gender gap among men from 9 points to an astonishing 23 points.

But the FBI scandal — blown up YUGE by her decision to attack the FBI for doing its job — is not Hillary Clinton’s only problem, although the media is focusing on that story. On health care, an issue that in early October favored Clinton by 39 points, Trump has cut her lead down to 13 points. The huge leap in Obamacare premiums is clearly hurting voters in their pocketbook — and, by extension, Clinton’s election numbers.

Meanwhile, the same poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory virtually neck and neck with Roy Cooper, 47 percent to 48 percent.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Is Trump Outmaneuvering Clinton on TV?

Photo credit: flash.pro via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Last month, I wrote about the Associated Press’ interactive tool that allows us to see where both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — as well as the various super PACs supporting or opposing them — are spending money on TV ads. You can check it out here.

At the time, the situation looked somewhat dire. Week to week, the Trump campaign was getting outspent by the Clinton campaign at least 5 to 1, and sometimes by more. Things have improved dramatically since.

Trump’s October TV Ad Spending:

  • October 2 – October 8: $6,723,974
  • October 9 – October 15: $10,299,758
  • October 16 – October 22: $13,974,642
  • October 23 – October 29: $15,248,878

Clinton’s October TV Ad Spending:

  • October 2 – October 8: $24,615,578
  • October 9 – October 15: $27,178,214
  • October 16 – October 22: $27,184,236
  • October 23 – October 29: $38,631,418

The Clinton campaign still has quite an edge, but the Trump campaign has at least been competitive in October. It’s also interesting to see where both campaigns are spending:

Clinton’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 16 – 22):

  • Florida: $7,021,119
  • Pennsylvania: $3,211,502
  • Ohio: $3,164,488
  • North Carolina: $2,508,899
  • Nevada: $1,812,832
  • New Hampshire: $1,464,935
  • Colorado: $1,117,840
  • Iowa: $1,033,225
  • Arizona: $530,750
  • Georgia: $161,322

Clinton’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 23 – 29):

  • Florida: $10,467,397
  • Ohio: $5,027,531
  • Pennsylvania: $4,746,023
  • North Carolina: $4,059,559
  • Nevada: $2,667,294
  • New Hampshire: $1,675,522
  • Iowa: $1,337,795
  • Arizona: $1,315,618
  • Georgia: $537,814
  • Colorado: $380,067

Trump’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 16 – 22):

  • Florida: $3,480,950
  • Pennsylvania: $1,485,646
  • Ohio: $1,218,202
  • North Carolina: $970,203
  • Colorado: $837,662
  • Nevada: $835,366
  • New Hampshire: $799,516
  • Virginia: $560,140
  • Wisconsin: $471,857
  • Iowa: $334,879

Trump’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 23 – 29):

  • Florida: $4,226,822
  • Pennsylvania: $1,679,017
  • Ohio: $1,401,368
  • North Carolina: $1,268,145
  • Nevada: $936,952
  • Colorado: $821,342
  • New Hampshire: $533,966
  • Wisconsin: $520,879
  • Iowa: $411,696
  • Virginia: $403,090

Trump’s TV ad spending is much more concentrated than Clinton’s. Continue Reading

New Poll: Is Trump Likely to Win North Carolina?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The new Elon University poll may have bad news for Hillary Clinton: With just a week to go, she and Donald Trump are in a virtual dead heat, 42 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent of North Carolina voters still undecided. But when pressed, the undecideds favor Trump 27 percent to 18 percent.

Meanwhile despite massive spending against him by the LGBT lobby, among others, including a series of video ads from Lennie and Pearl, the new poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper are dead even at 44 percent apiece. Cooper and McCrory are both holding their own party members (89 percent and 91 percent, respectively) while independents are tilting to McCrory, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Sen. Richard Burr has pulled out a  slim lead over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, 43.5 percent to 40 percent.

Meanwhile, the RealClearPolitics average has Clinton up by 2 points, Cooper up by 3 points, and Burr up by 0.8 points.

It’s coming down to the wire on this one.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Poll: N.C. Voters Say They Oppose HB 2, But Support What It Actually Does

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Given the seemingly endless barrage of negative media coverage which has been aimed at North Carolina’s House Bill 2, including moves by corporations, sports entities, and celebrities to punish the state, it’s no surprise that the name “HB 2” has been tainted in the eyes of many voters. Just the latest evidence of this came in a recent Charlotte Observer poll, which showed 55 percent of North Carolinians want HB 2 to be repealed, versus 32 percent who support it.

However, when the Observer asked voters how they felt about the bill’s primary goal — namely, preventing any person from using any bathroom, locker room, or shower based on their claimed “gender identity” — the responses were much different:

Support remains for one of the bill’s key provisions – overturning a Charlotte ordinance that let transgender people use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. Nearly half the voters agreed the policy could lead to sexual predators attacking victims in bathrooms, while 42 percent disagreed.

This is reminiscent of a similar North Carolina poll conducted by Civitas earlier last month. When voters in that poll were asked simply whether they supported or opposed House Bill 2, opposition prevailed 55 percent to 37 percent. But when those polled were given a full description of the legislation’s goals, as well as a description of the Charlotte Ordinance it overturned, their responses flipped, with 49 percent saying they thought HB 2 sounded more fair versus 35 percent who did not. Continue Reading