Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Done with Donald Chronicles: Mo

I'm going out on my own limb here to suggest that I see signs of momentum this weekend, and it's for Hillary Clinton.

The big news continues to be the Latino vote.  The New York Times story Hillary Clinton Appears to Gain Late Momentum on Surge of Latino Voters:

Hispanic voters in key states surged to cast their ballots in the final days of early voting this weekend, a demonstration of political power that lifted Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes and threatened to block Donald J. Trump’s path to the White House.

Several media outlets confirm what the Clinton campaign suggested yesterday: On the basis of huge early voting, Nevada is going for Clinton.  There is increasing hope for Florida, (where Hillary campaigned in the rain), and Arizona may be moving in her direction.

One of the aspects of the Clinton campaign ground game noted by Politico involves star performers with the candidate or surrogate, physically tied to voting opportunities. Ahead of President Barack Obama's appearance with James Taylor, for example, the local operatives handed out tickets across the street from an early voting site in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Voting turnout there jumped 80 percent compared to the previous day, making it the single largest voting day there so far — and bumping up county-wide turnout 16 percent by itself.

It's been noted that Clinton has scheduled stops in Michigan and New Hampshire, and will end the campaign in PA--states where she's been ahead, and are usually Dem.  New Hampshire aside, it's not unusual for a Dem candidate to finish the campaign in such states.  Clinton is also campaigning in Ohio, where public polls show her behind.

Trump on the other hand is seeing some usually R states slip away, and is trying to pick off a big Dem one--desperately trying, according to Eric Levitz.

On the final weekend, Clinton is campaigning with musical and sports stars familiar to the local crowds (she had Steelers in Pittsburgh, she'll have LeBron James today in Cleveland) and her high-powered surrogates are barnstorming all across the map.

Trump's appearances are mostly solo, except for his family.  Not even Rs want to campaign with him--and thanks to convictions of his closest aides on corruption, Chris Christie can't.  When House Speaker Ryan relented and said he would appear with Trump, Trump cancelled the event.

 And Trump is back going off script again--or, to put it another way, as unhinged as ever.

Trump's final argument TV ad is a dark, global conspiracy alt.right screed which Josh Marshall calls anti-Semitic.  This, by the way, is almost classic Hitler stuff, without actually saying the word Jewish.

Hillary Clinton's final argument will be made in two TV ads, very upbeat and positive.

Politico and the Washington Post are playing up the drama, but once you get into the stories, there isn't much to support Trump movement except tea-leaf reading and quoting Trump.  A WPost story on early voting trends is substantive but mostly cautionary.

This story notes the decline in African American early voting in North Carolina, but attributes it to reduced early voting opportunities.  It doesn't mean these voters won't eventually show up.  As Benjamin Wallace-Wells writes in the New Yorker, black people in North Carolina are continuously engaged in civil rights struggles, including for their vote.  President Obama alluded to this in his recent appearances there.  As he also said, if Hillary wins North Carolina it may well mean she's won the presidency.

There was good news in the ABC tracking poll, with Clinton expanding her lead to 5 points: Key finding: “Even though both candidates are remarkably unpopular, there’s more affirmative voting for Clinton than for Trump, a factor that can motivate turnout. A majority of her supporters mainly support her, rather than opposing Trump. That’s pretty much reversed for Trump: 51 percent of his backers mainly oppose Clinton, rather than supporting him.”

If other polls bear this out--or more precisely, if this is true that there is more affirmative voting for Hillary--that translates into final weekend momentum.

Finally, I hadn't actually read the New Yorker endorsement of Clinton--it certainly isn't a surprise. (Speaking of endorsements, Hillary has scored an historic high number and proportion, including many unprecedented ones.)  But I just noticed the teaser for it, which actually says it all in vintage New Yorker fashion:

The election of Clinton is an event that we would welcome for its historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief.

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