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Wake Up To Politics - November 3, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

5 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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Election Central

  • Whiteboard Thursday Once again, the Wake Up To Politics whiteboard returns to show the state of polling in the presidential race. The updated map is below. Each state is colored according to its RealClearPolitics polling average: if Trump or Clinton leads by double-digits, the state is considered to be "strong" in their category (and is colored dark red or dark blue); if Trump or Clinton leads by four to nine points, the state "leans" towards that candidate (and is colored light red or light blue); if neither candidate leads by more than three points, the state is a tossup (and is not colored in at all):
  • On the back of the whiteboard, the electoral vote breakdown can be seen: if the totals for the two candidates are added up, Clinton stands at 263 electoral votes, Trump at 199. That is very bad news for Clinton, who had 272 electoral votes in last week's whiteboard. That may just be the difference of nine electoral votes, but 270 is a majority, so those nine could be the difference between victory and bitter defeat. While polling no longer shows Clinton able to win without any of the battleground states, she still holds an advantage over Trump in that winning just one of the battlegrounds with at least 9 electoral votes (Arizona, Colorado, Florida or North Carolina) would propel her to victory, while Trump would need to win every single battleground of them, despite trailing for months in some states.
  • So what changed between last week and this week? Well, obviously, FBI director James Comey dropped his bombshell on Friday of last week, one day after the Whiteboard was published. In that time, the trend lines have clearly worked against Clinton: all five the five state changes in the past week are favorable to Trump. As shown towards the bottom of the whiteboard picture on the right, the difference in nine electoral votes comes from Colorado, where tightening polls have caused the state to move from lean Clinton to Tossup. In addition, Georgia and Ohio moved out of the Tossup category (which had 101 electoral votes last week) to lean Trump; Missouri and South Dakota moved from Lean Trump to Strong Trump. In total, Trump gained 34 electoral votes according to polling shifts in the week; he stood at 165 electoral votes last week.
  • The race is tightening, and the changes seem to be trending in Trump's direction. If Clinton has another week like the last one, could her lead slip away? Despite her sizable advantage now, it's always possible it could dissipate at any moment as the race appears closer than ever.
  • Today on the Trail All the presidential candidates and their surrogates are barnstorming the country today, collectively hitting every battleground state, in a frenzied final sprint to the finish line.
  • Donald Trump will hold four rallies in three key states, campaigning in Jacksonville, Florida; Berwyn, Pennsylvania; Concord, North Carolina; and Selma, North Carolina. Meanwhile, Trump's running mate will hit two additional battlegrounds, holding rallies in Prole, Iowa and Portage, Michigan, and then hold the ticket's second event of the day Pennsylvania, headlining a rally in Moon Township. Pence will be joined in Prole and Portage by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who will introduce Pence at both events and will fly on the VP nominee's plane in between them. These will be Cruz's first campaign events for the Trump/Pence ticket since dropping his primary bid against Trump earlier this year, and then endorsing his formal rival in September. The first state Cruz and Pence are visiting, Iowa, was won by Cruz in the presidential primaries earlier in the year.
  • On the other side, Hillary Clinton will join Trump in North Carolina, headlining "Early Vote Rallies" in Greenville and Raleigh. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her own primary rival, and singer Pharell Williams will also join Clinton in Raleigh. Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, will hold "Get Out the Vote Rallies" in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. In Phoenix, Kaine will deliver his remarks entirely in Spanish, "a first for an organized campaign rally during a US presidential campaign," according to the campaign.
  • Trump and Clinton each have a number of surrogates out today. Melania Trump and Karen Pence will campaign together in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, where Mrs. Pence will introduce Mrs. Trump for her first speech of the campaign since the RNC in July. Trump's son Eric will also hold a rally with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in Hudson, Wisconsin. Clinton's daughter is also campaigning for her today in Wisconsin: Chelsea Clinton will hold an "Early Vote Event" in Milwaukee. In addition, the Democratic VP nominee's wife will also campaign: Anne Holton holds "Early Vote Events" in Toledo, Ohio and Reno, Nevada. Finally, Bernie Sanders will hold solo events for Clinton in Youngstown and Cincinatti, Ohio, while President Barack Obama campaigns for Clinton in Miami and Jacksonville, Florida (hitting one of the same cities as Trump).
  • Between Trump, Clinton, and their surrogates: the campaigns will hit all nine states that could be considered "battlegrounds" today. The most-visited will be North Carolina, featuring three Trump events and two Clinton events; followed by Florida, with two Clinton events and one Trump event.
  • Also today: Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson campaigns in Portland, Oregon; Johnson's running mate Bill Weld campaigns in Kansas City, Missouri; and Independent candidates Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn hold a rally in Cedar City, Utah.

White House Watch

  • The President's Schedule As stated above, President Obama will spend the entire day campaigning for Hillary Clinton, on the third day of his four-day swing through battleground states.
  • Obama will speak at a Clinton rally in Miami at 11:15am, before departing Miami at 1:05pm and arriving in Jacksonville at 2:10pm.
  • At 3:15, Obama will headline a Clinton event in Jacksonville. At 4:15, he departs Florida to arrive back at the White House at 6:10.
  • Both of Obama's events today will be at colleges (Florida International University and University of North Florida).

Smart Reads

  • 45: Faces of the Next Administration POLITICO looks at potential Trump and Clinton West Wings.
  • "Portrait of a Clinton West Wing": bios of 12 Clinton insiders, plus their potential positions in a Clinton Administration. A number of staffers are predicting as holding the same positions at the White House as they are in the campaign their roles in the campaign at the White House, including communications director Kennifer Palmieri, press secretary Brian Fallon, personal aide Huma Abedin, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan. In addition, POLITICO also predicts that campaign manager Robby Mook and Cheryl Mills, Clinton's State Department chief of staff, would move into expanded roles as senior advisers, while Ron Klain, who led debate prep for Clinton and served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Gore and Biden, is the predicted Chief of Staff.
  • "Portrait of a Trump West Wing": Politico played the same game for Donald Trump, predicting that former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will become Chief of Staff, while the current campaign leadership (chairman Steve Bannon and manager Kellyanne Conway) will become a senior adviser and communications director, respectively. Top Trump surrogates Michael Flynn, Chris Christie, and Rudy Giuliani are placed as national security adviser, attorney general, and senior adviser, respectively.
  • "Was 2016 a missed opportunity for libertarians?": The Washington Post examines whether Gary Johnson wasted a golden shot at relevancy for the Libertarian Party. Despite initially-hgh polling, endorsements from six newspapers and one congressman, and another former GOP governor as his running mate, Johnson has been slipping in recent weeks. Part of that can be contributed to Johnson's many gaffes; particuraly in Utah, the rise of Evan McMullin has also hurt Johnson. And then there's the growing disconnect between public comments of Johnson and his VP nominee, Bill Weld, who has been actively campaigning against Trump and "vouching" for Hillary Clinton. “We purposely un-coordinate, other than the belief that we believe in each other,” Johnson told the Post. “Hey, he does not want Donald Trump elected. I don’t want to see Hillary Clinton elected. So I don’t see an issue with him going after Trump. I’m going after Clinton.”
  • "Some Who Saw Change in Obama Find It Now in Donald Trump": The New York Times interviews the Obama/Trump voters, Americans who supported Obama's change candidacy in 2008 and 2012 but now support Trump's call for change after their economic situation improved little in the last eight years. According to a CBS News poll conducted last month, 7% of Obama's 2012 supporters now plan to vote for Donald Trump.

Today's Trivia

  • Tuesday's Answer The question: how is Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) related to Founding-era Vice President Aaron Burr (of "Hamilton" fame)? The answer: the two Burrs are cousins, twelfth generations removed. Sen. Burr, on his father's side, is descended from the Vice President's brother, as the famed dueler has no direct descendants.
  • GREAT JOB...Marlee Millman, Daphne Feigin, Marjorie Melton, Steve Gitnik, and Rick Isserman!
  • Today's Question In honor of the Chicago Cubs' World Series championship last night...which U.S. president once worked as a radio announcer for Cubs games?
  • Answer by emailing me (trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com); correct respondents get their name in tomorrow's newsletter!
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", St. Louis Public Radio, the Political Junkie podcast, and on StoryCorps; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki"; and read about Gabe in Politico, the Washington Post, Independent Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salon, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light.