New State Polls Confirm Trump’s Upward Trend

On Friday, we broke down the Electoral College and proposed several different scenarios where Trump could win the presidency. He needs to perform well in 12 key battleground states.

Iowa and Virginia are two of those states. And according to a new pair of Emerson polls, Trump is winning in Iowa and virtually tied in Virginia.

  • Emerson (Iowa, 8/31 – 9/1): Trump 44, Clinton 39, Johnson 8 (Trump +5)
  • Emerson (Virginia, 8/31 – 9/1): Clinton 44, Trump 43, Johnson 11 (Clinton +1)

That being said, we should probably curb our enthusiasm. Trump still has a lot of work to do in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, according to a pair of CBS News/YouGov surveys.

  • CBS News/YouGov (Pennsylvania, 8/30 – 9/2): Clinton 45, Trump 37, Johnson 6 (Clinton +8)
  • CBS News/YouGov (North Carolina, 8/30 – 9/2): Clinton 46, Trump 42, Johnson 4 (Clinton +4)

But assuming Trump can manage a turnaround in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the importance of also winning Virginia, a state many pundits have already written off for the GOP, can’t be overstated. If Trump manages to win these four states, that would put the Electoral College count at 214-208 in favor of Clinton with eight battleground states undecided: Nevada (6), Arizona (11), Missouri (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), Florida (29).

In that scenario, Trump would have to be seen as a favorite.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project.



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E-Rate Is Another Failed Big Government Program, Why Not Double Down?

Among the silver bullets loaded into the education chamber has been, for many years, Internet access for schools. In the mid-1990s federal officials including President Bill Clinton, Internet inventor Al Gore, and Cool-Idea Guy Newt Gingrich all touted the educational benefits that were certain to flow from connecting every classroom to the worldwide web. This bipartisan enthusiasm led to the E-Rate program, enacted in 1996 as part of the Telecommunications Act. Paid for with a tax on long-distance telephone service, E-Rate provides subsidies for schools to help them access broadband service.

Twenty years and $40 billion later, how’s that working out? According to a recent study from Clemson University (Go Tigers!) and the Technology Policy Institute, not particularly well. The researchers analyzed data from North Carolina schools and found that the educational benefits of increasing Internet connections are approximately zero. In fact, there’s a small but statistically significant decrease in student achievement in schools that have used E-Rate funds to improve broadband access.

This E-Rate study was prompted by President Obama’s 2013 citation of the Mooresville, NC, school district as a success story – when computer facilities were upgraded, according to the President, student achievement soared. He thus proposed expanding the E-Rate budget from $2.25 billion to $4 billion a year. So the researchers gathered data from all N.C. public schools from 2000 to 2013 and analyzed if and how SAT scores in math and verbal reasoning changed as schools received E-Rate funding. They discovered, as researcher Dr. Thomas Hazlett reported, that “the more E-Rate funding a school received, the worse its students performed.”

According to Hazlett, this finding is consistent with previous studies. Continue Reading

Why I Cannot Stand Republican Operatives

This is why I cannot stand GOP operatives.

Politico is reporting that a group of nearly 70 ex-RNC staffers, ex-GOP Congressmen and ex-GOP Senators have signed a letter begging the RNC to drop its support for Donald Trump and instead focus the entirety of its financial resources on protecting GOP House and Senate majorities.

Via Politico:

“We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck,” states a draft of the letter obtained by POLITICO. “This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day.”

The irony of ironies is that this effort is being led by Andrew Weinstein, a vocal anti-Trump Republican whose major credential is serving as Director of Media Relations for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign. Let me remind folks about the outcome of that campaign. Bob Dole won just 159 electoral votes and lost the popular vote to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent.

I think it’s fair that people who have survived a disaster, as Weinstein did, can have an important perspective on avoiding a future disaster. But I have less respect for their position when their basic complaint is that Trump’s campaign does not fully resemble the disaster that was the 1996 Dole campaign, which Weinstein helped orchestrate. Continue Reading

The Pulse 2016 May Straw Poll Results

The results of the Pulse’s May Straw Poll are in. We want to thank everyone who participated in the poll. We received 367 total responses, and the full results were as follows:

Ted Cruz 39.8% 146 votes Ben Carson 9.8% 36 votes Scott Walker 9.8% 36 votes Marco Rubio 8.2% 30 votes Rand Paul 7.4% 27 votes Carly Fiorina 6% 22 votes Jeb Bush 4.6% 17 votes Mike Huckabee 3.3% 12 votes Rick Perry 3.3% 12 votes Bobby Jindal 1.9% 7 votes Rick Santorum 1.6% 6 votes Donald Trump 1.6% 6 votes John Kasich 1.1% 4 votes Chris Christie 0.8% 3 votes Lindsey Graham 0.8% 3 votes


The poll was conducted 5/13-5/15.

Please note that these results are not scientific. Continue Reading