Everyone Got It Wrong… Well, Almost Everyone

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Everyone got it wrong… well, almost everyone. Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, and a respected conservative political strategist with more than 30 years of experience, got it right consistently throughout the 2016 election cycle:

And check out this nugget from Frank’s most recent piece in Townhall, “Trump’s Path to 270 Is Easier Than You Think,” which was published two weeks ago:

But what if we challenge some assumptions? Imagine that these polling turnout models are oversampling Democrats by a couple percentage points, overestimating turnout for Hillary Clinton and plugging in numbers that would even exceed President Obama’s historic turnout in 2008 and 2012 — and when you investigate the cross-tabs on some of these polls, you absolutely see evidence of this taking place. What if the polls are getting it wrong, even slightly?

And what if there is a true Bradley Effect taking place with Donald Trump that is impacting polling results, i.e. a statistically significant number of Trump voters who are afraid to publicly announce, even to an anonymous pollster over the phone, that they are Trump voters in fear of social backlash, especially following the aggressive attempts by the radical left to intimidate and silence Trump voters by using charged language and even by threatening violence?

Continue Reading

Six Lessons from Donald Trump’s Great Victory

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Congratulations, President-elect Trump. Congratulations to the historic, never-before-seen governing majority he assembled. It’s time to hope I was wrong and work for President Trump’s success — for America’s success.

Here are my first six takeaways from last night’s historic victory:

1.) The RNC’s “Autopsy” from 2012 got it exactly wrong in arguing the key to victory was less social conservatism and more of the standard GOP economic message. One key to Trump’s victory was to combine social conservatism with a new populist economic message. White evangelicals voted for him in record, never-before-seen numbers: 81 percent to 16 percent according to exit polls. That tops George W. Bush’s record of 78 percent in 2004.

2.) Latinos were the dog that didn’t bark. Build a wall, chastise Mexican immigrants as rapists, threaten to deport illegals — despite Trump’s often unusually harsh tone, he actually gained slightly more of the Latino vote than Romney did, 29 percent versus 27 percent. In Florida, he won 33 percent of the Latino vote. Apparently, Hispanic voters care less about immigration than elites think they should.

3.) The biggest loser last night was the donor class. According to OpenSecrets.org, Trump raised $250 million — less than half of the $687 million Clinton raised.  Trump demonstrated that you can lose the money primary and still win the election. Television is no longer king. This is a huge opportunity for social conservatives in particular; as donors recognize giving to super PACs is just padding the pockets of consultants who make money whether they win or lose, they are going to be looking for new more effective political vehicles. Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

New Poll: Majority of Voters Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Politico and the Harvard School of Public Health teamed up last month to conduct a poll of voters on issues related to healthcare. Among the topics included in the survey was the Hyde Amendment and whether the federal government should allow taxpayer money to go toward funding abortion.

Here was the full wording of the question:

Medicaid is the largest government program that pays for health care for low-income people. Currently the federal government prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid. Do you favor or oppose changing this policy in order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions?

Notice that the words “Hyde Amendment” and “taxpayer” were not used in the question. One might have expected, given the choice of wording, that the results would be less than favorable for upholding Hyde.

However, the opposite actually turned out to be the case. Among all respondents, 58 percent said they would oppose Medicaid funding being used to pay for abortions, while only 36 percent said they would support it. Predictably, responses lined up somewhat reliably along party lines — the split was 57 percent support versus 36 percent oppose for Hillary Clinton voters, and 19 percent support versus 77 percent oppose for Donald Trump voters.

Even more interesting, though, was this additional detail provided by the report:

On this question, women are slightly more supportive than men of abortion coverage under Medicaid, but the differences are statistically insignificant.

Continue Reading

After Obamacare Bombshell, Polls Show Trump Gaining

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

In my post yesterday, I speculated that news of skyrocketing insurance premiums under Obamacare might spur a further surge in the polls for Donald Trump. The newest polling numbers being released now seem to confirm this.

On RealClearPolitics, the six national polls which were taken either during or after October 25th (the day after the Obamacare news broke) show Trump’s gap to Hillary Clinton down to 3.5 points in a two-way race. When expanded to a four-way race, seven polls show Clinton’s lead even smaller — only 3.1 points.

When the media focus is on Clinton and the Democrats, Trump is the clear beneficiary. The only question now is whether Trump can avoid drawing negative attention back to himself in the next 11 days.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Trump’s Path to 270 Is Easier Than You Think

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“It’s over. Trump can’t win.” That’s the narrative the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media have relentlessly promoted over the past several days. The problem with that narrative is that it is a bald-faced lie. This election is nowhere near over. Not even close!

Let’s take a look at the electoral map. Remember, to become the next president of the United States, Trump needs to win 270 electoral votes. Conversely, he needs to hold Hillary Clinton to 269 electoral votes because, with a Republican House of Representatives, a 269-269 tie is likely to also result in a Trump presidency.

Trump’s baseline amount of electoral votes is 158. Let’s assume Clinton’s baseline is 239 — we will generously cede her Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), New Mexico (5), and three of Maine’s four electoral votes.

If this is a fixed reality, Trump must win the following states to get to 265 electoral votes (ordered from easiest to win to most difficult):

Utah

Utah just became a battleground state as Independent candidate Evan McMullin has been surging recently. It truly is a three-way race at the present. The most recent poll, conducted on October 23 and 24 by Heat Street/Rasmussen, gave Trump a narrow 32-29-28 lead over McMullin and Clinton, respectively.

Georgia

[…]

Read the full article at Townhall.com.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project. Continue Reading