Top Five States to Watch Tonight

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

With just a few hours now separating us from the first election results, here are the five states I’m watching most closely tonight:

1.) North Carolina

Obviously, North Carolina is a key swing state in the presidential race, which is likely to be very close, but I’m even more interested in the results of the gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper.

We’ve been talking about this race for months. McCrory has been under fire from a coalition of radical progressives, corporate bullies, and special interests for his support for HB 2, a bill that stopped an effort in Charlotte to redefine gender and give grown men the right to shower and access changing areas with young girls in public facilities.

The fate of HB 2 — and our best line of defense in the progressive war on gender — rests completely on the results of this race.

2.) New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) is a strong conservative representative in New Jersey who came under fire for criticizing the NRCC for financially supporting Republican candidates who support same-sex marriage. Millions of dollars from outside special interest groups have since poured into New Jersey’s 5th congressional district to defeat Garrett in his race against special interest lobbyist Josh Gottheimer. With the NRCC declining to help Garrett at all, and with only a small coalition of conservatives refusing to abandon him, there’s no doubt he’s an underdog heading into tonight. Continue Reading

Republicans Never Dreamed of Winning These States — Until Trump Came Along

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Much attention is being paid this election to the relatively small polling leads Donald Trump holds in many traditional Republican strongholds — states such as Texas, Utah, South Carolina, and Georgia to name a few. This led, especially during the summer, to speculation of a Hillary Clinton blow out, with both liberal pundits and staunch #NeverTrump’ers pushing the narrative that Clinton could be poised to flip many red states into the Democratic column.

What these pundits have ignored, however, is that while Trump’s leads in red states have indeed been unusually small, he has also been running much more competitively in blue states where Republican candidates normally don’t stand a chance.

Take the following states, for example:

Maine

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 15 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 7 points

Michigan

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 9 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

Nevada

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 5 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 1 point

New Jersey

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 17 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points (The only poll taken in the last two months shows Trump down only 4 points)

Rhode Island

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 28 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 3 points (Based on one poll)

Wisconsin

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 7 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

So what does this all mean? As Trump moves into the high-40s and closes in on 50 percent in national polling, Republicans will find that they are competitive in states that no other recent GOP nominee — and probably no alternative candidate — would have had any hope of winning. Continue Reading

Flipping the Narrative: Can Trump Expand His Electoral Map?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last week, The Pulse’s own Jon Schweppe gave a detailed rundown of possible electoral strategies Donald Trump can take if he hopes to beat Hillary Clinton. As Schweppe pointed out, based on polling and past election results, Clinton and the Democrats have a significant, built-in electoral advantage, and it would take a very good showing for Trump in numerous swing states — especially Pennsylvania and/or Virginia — to soundly defeat her.

This has been the storyline in much of the mainstream media’s election coverage. Take, for example, the Politico story earlier this week, “Trump’s shrinking swing state map,” which suggested that Trump’s path to victory is growing slim and that Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia are already out of reach for Republicans – apparently not taking into account the two most recent Virginia polls showing a race within the margin of error. The Washington Post sounded a more upbeat note in an article yesterday, “Donald Trump finally seeing signs of life in key swing states,” though the story was still one of a serious uphill climb remaining for Trump.

All this analysis assumes, however, that the race will come down to the same dozen or so swing states, and that the unique dynamics of this election will still not serve to expand the electoral map beyond that. While this is not necessarily an unreasonable assumption, there are signs this could be changing.

Some attention is already being paid to the way in which Hillary Clinton could be putting traditionally red states into play for the Democrats, such as Georgia, Utah, Mississippi, and even (gasp!) Texas. Continue Reading

Christie Backs Historic School Funding Reform, Tax Cut

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Yesterday in Somerset County, New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie proposed an amendment to his state’s constitution that, if enacted in a referendum next year, will apportion state aid to local school districts on a per pupil basis.

What would this mean when fully phased in? Each district would receive $6,599, multiplied by the number of students going to school in that district. Aid to special education programs would continue unchanged. This would replace the current system imposed 40 years ago by the New Jersey Supreme Court in which 59 percent of the state aid goes to 23 percent of the student population.

Christie was of course immediately accused by Democrats and New Jersey media of succumbing to racism, since evening out the aid system would reduce budgets in the poorest districts. But the governor noted that the greatest beneficiary of the current system, Asbury Park, has a high school graduation rate hovering around 66 percent, based on a state subsidy of $33,699 per student. He also noted that inner cities like Newark have charter schools achieving superior performance outcomes with per pupil costs about half that of the conventional public schools. Given this track record, it would seem likely that inner-city students and parents will be the biggest winners if the reform becomes law.

Democrats represent many of the suburban school districts that would be able to enjoy the largest cuts in property taxes, a category in which New Jersey leads the nation. Continue Reading

Breaking News: NJ Assembly Votes to Delay Common Core

New Jersey General Assembly Chamber (photo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Here’s an astonishing sign of the grassroots rebellion sweeping the country as more parents and educators experience the Common Core tests and curriculum being implemented. The New Jersey Assembly, controlled by Democrats, voted 63-7 to delay a key part of the implementation of the Common Core: the use of the tests to evaluate either teachers or students.

Democrats have 48 of 80 seats.

Maggie Gallagher is the editor of ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading