Tag Archives: presidential race


In front of Worcester City Hall: folks react to Trump V. pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Ronald Reagan told a great anecdote whenever he had a set-back: the story was about a young teenage boy who came home and saw horse manure all around the house. The teenager became happily excited. Looking at the mess, the boy’s mother asked him why he was so happy. “Gosh mom,” said the teenager,” with all this horse manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere.”

Political earthquake

On November 8, 2016, a political earthquake off the Richter scale struck the United States of America. In a surprise few Americans have experienced in their lifetimes, Donald J. Trump captured the Presidency in an astounding upset. Against the findings of the pollsters, pundits, and political elites, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.

“I will be studying this for the rest of my life,” pollster Larry Sabado told Fox News, admitting that he, like so many others of his profession, blew it.

The 2016 Presidential election will fascinate historians and political scientists for generations to come. The accusations, name calling, and negative television spots will be pored over by analysts to see what worked and what didn’t. We can expect voluminous studies of the FBI’s and Russian intelligence’s rather brazen interventions in the electoral process. Which polls accurately predicted the outcome will be fodder for the pundits. The careers of political consultants will be made or broken.

Most importantly, how did Trump win, while making provocative remarks that in any other election would have instantly destroyed his candidacy?

“Trump did not create the forces that propelled his candidacy,” conservative columnist Patrick J. Buchanan wrote in a column published the day before the election. “But he recognized them, tapped into them, and unleashed a gusher of nationalism and populism that will not soon dissipate.”

Trade deals

Buchanan, who worked in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, ran for President in 1992 in the Republican primaries based substantially on his opposition to trade deals like NAFTA. Since then, Buchanan has stuck to traditional conservative ideals, denouncing the budget deficits caused by George W. Bush long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama or the Tea Party. In one memorable column, Buchanan said Bush made Bill Clinton, with his balanced budgets and controlled spending, look like Barry Goldwater.

But the two things Buchanan most railed against were the trade deals that deindustrialized America, and the “neocon” advocacy of America’s involvement in endless wars. The losers on both were America’s white working class, whose jobs were sent overseas to the benefit of the Republican elite, and whose sons and daughters were sent overseas to fight in places like Iraq.

Buchanan was an economic bellwether, a Paul Revere of the right who urged a return to the economic nationalism of Alexander Hamilton. The first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton called for the implementation of tariffs on imports to protect and promote American manufacturing.

America’s city, towns and suburbs were hollowed out in the three decades since Buchanan sounded his alarm. As the major industries faded away to China or Mexico, the smaller businesses in the supply chain began to close their doors leaving behind empty buildings, industrial park vacancies, and devastated inner cities. “Company towns” became as desolate as the steel mills of Ohio, as the companies fled in search of cheaper labor. The company towns often no longer had the company to support them. Many of these were in the rural parts of America, which turned out in droves on election day to vote for Donald Trump.

This writer saw this first hand during a visit to an insurance appraiser on West Boylston Street in Worcester. I had not been in that neighborhood in ten or fifteen years and was shocked at the number of closed restaurants, shuttered businesses and sense of economic dislocation that was palpable in a neighborhood which had once teemed as a hub of economic activity.

Populist billionaire

Trump was not the first “populist billionaire” who saw in the trade deals the undoing of America. In 1992 – the same year Buchanan sought the Republican nomination – Ross Perot ran as an independent, calling on the federal government to balance its budgets, invest in infrastructure, and opposing trade deals like NAFTA.

Perot would compare a Tennessee auto worker making $15 an hour to a Mexican making $1 an hour. Under NAFTA, said Perot, “the Mexican worker’s wage would go up to $8 an hour, while the American worker’s wage would go down to $8 an hour.”

“Doesn’t make you feel warm all over, does it,” Perot would sneer.

Perot was reportedly told by Republican political consultant Edward Rollins it would cost $130 million to finance a viable campaign. Perot apparently didn’t believe in himself enough to risk the money, and went on to place third as a fringe candidate.

Unique campaign

Trump didn’t mimic Perot’s mistakes. Trump ran for the Republican nomination instead of running as an Independent. Trump also put into his campaign the money necessary to win.

The Donald ran a unique campaign. It revolved entirely around Donald Trump. Trump flew from state to state for campaign rallies. He seemed to draw strength from the cheering throngs, and they responded in kind, growing stronger from Trump’s confidence and self-assuredness, their faith deepened, their commitment strengthened. Clinton’s campaign would bus voters directly from her rallies to the local city clerk’s office to register and vote. Trump’s supporters didn’t need to be bused to vote; they showed themselves able to get to the voting booth on their own.

Trump’s speaking tours reminded some of Harry Truman’s whistle stopping train tour of the country in 1948. Truman’s 1948 victory was probably the last time an America election surprised the people as much as Trump’s triumph did.

Trump’s rough edges appealed to America’s working classes as much as they appalled the political elites. Showing a marked disinclination towards political correctness, Trump vigorously denounced illegal immigrants, profiteering businessmen who shipped jobs overseas, ISIS, and other threats to the republic. He bluntly termed George W. Bush a liar and said Bush should have been impeached. Trump made himself an easy target for commentators of all stripes to sling their rhetoric at.

Looking back, it seems the more Trump was attacked, the more it solidified his base. “They believe Trump alone will secure the borders and rid us of a trade regime that has led to the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA,” noted Buchanan. “They believe Trump is the best hope for keeping us out of the wars the Beltway think tanks are already planning for the sons of the ‘deplorables’ to fight.”

Clinton ran a sophisticated Presidential campaign. Her debate preparation and performance were extraordinary. Her ground game was state of the art and would have, in any other election season, brought her victory.

What Clinton did not speak to was the anger felt by the large mass of white noncollegiate American males. They remembered a time when getting a good paying manufacturing job, buying a home, and raising a family on the man’s income alone seemed part of an American birthright. In this regard, Clinton’s gender likely counted against her. Bill Clinton’s incredible economic performance as President in the 1990s – the 23 million new jobs, the large budgetary surpluses – were apparently a distant memory to those traumatized by the Great Recession. Many of the millennials who came of age since the 2008 election had no personal memory of the 1990s boomtime.

Americans also thought that Trump would keep them safer. The 2016 election took place against a backdrop of terrorist attacks and mass murders by deranged or deluded jihadist wannabees and homegrown self-described “patriots”. Trump talked of walling off Mexico to keep out illegals, and stopping the flow of drugs to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic. In an America worried by the display of disrespect to lawful authority, Trump presented himself as a law and order candidate sympathetic to law enforcement.

Democrats made the same mistake with Trump in 2016 that they made in 1980 with Reagan. They believed that Reagan’s rhetoric was so bizarre and out of place with ordinary Americans that he would be easily defeated. The November 8, 2016, dramatic electoral denouement reminds one of the adage that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

FBI and the Russians, too

There is one other factor which needs to be recounted in looking at the 2016 election results. That is the intervention in the election of two outside entities: the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

“If Trump wins, I suspect he owes a big ‘thank you’ to Jim Comey,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted on election day.

Politico reported, “There is some evidence that Comey’s actions did erode Clinton’s lead in the polls. Before Comey’s bombshell announcement that he was investigating another batch of emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer, 538 [a polling website] gave Clinton an 81 percent chance of winning, but it dropped to a 65 percent chance after Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress.”

There is a good chance historians will conclude that Comey’s letter to Congress, announcing he was reopening the email investigation, destroyed Clinton’s campaign. The emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Weiner, who was the husband of top Clinton aid Huma Abedin, was being investigated for texting to a fifteen old girl pictures of Weiner half-naked.

The polls were trending towards Clinton at that moment, showing Clinton with double digit leads in the battleground states like Florida and North Carolina, which Trump later won. Political pundits at the time were talking of the Democrats being certain to recapture the Senate, and as to the many Congressional seats Clinton’s expected landslide coattails would bring in with her. The Democrats, at the time this is being written, picked up one Senate seat and seven House seats. Hillary Clinton was not the only potential winner knocked out of the box by Comey.

Trump got the news of Comey’s reopening of the investigation as he was getting ready to speak before a rally. Trump reportedly caucused with his campaign advisers, stepped off the plane, and the over the next eight days proceeded to vitriolically denounce with gusto “Crooked Hillary” for email crimes which she would surely be indicted for. Trump said the nation would be paralyzed by a constitutional crisis if Clinton were elected.

“Maybe the system is not as rigged as I thought,” commented Trump.

Fox News’ Bret Baier broadcast a report that sources at the FBI confirmed that five foreign intelligence agencies had hacked into Weiner’s computer and found confidential information. Baier’s statement was completely and totally false, but by the time he retracted the story two days later it had gone viral in the right-wing blogosphere.

This was enough to rally old time, Clinton-hating Republicans to get behind Trump. These newly enthused Republicans likely provided Trump’s margin of victory.

Vladimir Putin, a former agent in the Communist secret police, the KGB, had an old human motive for having the SVR dump, in the weeks leading up to the election, documents damaging to Clinton. Revenge. Putin blamed the United States for the breakup of the Soviet Union, and both Obama and Clinton for the colored revolutions in the Ukraine and eastern Europe. The SVR had hacked into Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email. and then proceeded to release them over WikiLeaks daily in batches, which Fox News in particular played up. The Clinton campaign must have experienced the daily release of embarrassing emails, showing infighting and backstabbing, like the slow drip drop of a Chinese water torture.

Comey’s announcement of his closing the reopened investigation was probably an attempt to make things right. That didn’t stop Trump, as fast as his mind could think and his tongue speak, from repudiating his position earlier in the day that the process was not rigged and the FBI would see justice done. Trump immediately reversed himself and took to once again denouncing a rigged system that would steal the election.

For Hillary Clinton, the damage was done. Comey’s October 28 announcement was a bell which couldn’t be unrung.
This writer, looking at the matter objectively with the end of the campaign and the passage of time, believes that Comey was altruistically motivated by a desire to announce the reopened investigation before someone inside the FBI leaked the Weiner emails. Comey, who is a person of conscience, is likely to spend the rest of his life torturing himself mentally for electing Donald Trump President.

The pony in the room

The noted historian Arthur Schlesinger wrote that American history has been one of cycles, in which pro-government liberals have alternated with small government conservatives.

Democrats will not have to refight old battles over Social Security and Medicare, which Trump has promised to preserve and expand. Trump has promised to replace Obamacare with something better, not leave elder health care to the tender mercies of the market place. He is not talking George W. Bush’s hogwash of privatizing Social Security. Trump recognizes the dangers of deficits, and is uniquely positioned to make the politically painful decisions necessary to balance the federal budget.

If Trump succeeds in reviving the manufacturing industries, he may be planting the seeds for a Democratic renewal. Democrats might want to see this as the pony in the room. A revitalized working class with a strong union movement might be the Democrats’ pathway back to power when the next liberal cycle begins.

Steve parked in Rose’s space … State of the Race: CLINTON DEPENDING ON “GROUND GAME” FOR VICTORY

Rah, rah, rah, Worcester! Get out and VOTE, THIS TUESDAY, NOV. 8! …(Go, Steve M., go!!!) pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

In the see-saw battle for the American presidency that has raged since the summer of 2016, Hillary Clinton is putting her faith in a well-organized effort to get out the vote, generically dubbed the “ground game” by observers. Clinton has set up a well-oiled machine to knock on doors, make phone calls, and use the Internet to the full extent possible, to turn out another 1% to 2% more voters in the so-called “battleground states.”

Politico.com (we’ve linked to it on this website! check out POLITICO.COM) has posted an excellent story on this subject. The website sent out questionnaires to a sizable group of functionaries from both parties. All the respondents answered anonymously.

“Democratic insiders are most confident in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin,” reported Politico. “They express more uncertainty in Florida and Iowa. Republicans, meanwhile, were split across these early voting states.” Republican insiders said 40% thought the GOP was doing the better job, 31% of the GOP said the Democrats had a better ground game, and 29% of the GOP said neither party’s ground game was superior to the other’s.

55,000 volunteer shifts

The Washington Post reported that Clinton had 55,000 volunteer shifts across the nation this weekend to get 3 million people to register or commit to vote before Election Day. “The Democratic nominee’s campaign is holding more than 1,000 events this weekend in Pennsylvania, 900 in Virginia, 500 in North Carolina, 250 in Ohio and 200 in Wisconsin,” said the Post.

Trump’s failure to set up a strong organization to register and get out to vote his key core constituency – noncollegiate white males – may rank, after his failure to prepare for the debates, as the second worst decision of his campaign. Dave Wasserman, an expert at the Cook Political Report, told the New York Post that 47 million noncollegiate whites, “more than half of them men”, didn’t vote in 2012. Wasserman noted: “There are no indications they are registering for Trump in any real numbers.”

Let’s look at the trends on a state-by-state basis:

North Carolina

During his November 4, 2016, broadcast of the “O’Reilly Factor”, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly conceded to a political panel that if Clinton takes North Carolina, Clinton wins the election.

“Democrats have a plan and are executing it,” one North Carolina Democrat told Politico. “Republicans have no plan and frankly, no clue.”

Not exactly. Trump did start late in organizing his North Carolina infrastructure, but local Republicans have 24 offices across the state, 170 paid staffers, and an additional 700 trained organizers leading thousands of volunteers” the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. “She [Clinton] has 34 offices across the state and has hired hundreds of staffers,” the Journal article reported.

“Polls have long shown a tight race in North Carolina,” continued the Journal. “But a new Elon University survey of likely North Carolina voters shows Mrs. Clinton opening up a lead of 6 percentage points in the state.”


The sunshine state is the mother lode with 29 electoral votes. Trump must win Florida to have a pathway to 270 electoral votes. If Clinton wins Florida, it’s all over.

“Florida insiders in both parties say that, generally, Democrats and Republicans have fought to a draw thus far in early voting,” reports Politico. “One Florida Democrat conceded that Republicans have been stronger than expected. ‘My side did underestimate the GOP’s operation,’ the Democrat said. Among Republicans, the verdict was mixed.”

“’I think the [Clinton] effort is just slightly ahead of the built-in party apparatus Trump has working for him,’ said a Florida Republican to Politico. ‘However, Trump did begin hiring today for field — a little too late, of course — but at least he realizes what he is lacking.’”


Ohio is another “must win” state for Trump. The buckeye state is demographically ripe for Trump: a large noncollegiate white male voting segment, with comparatively fewer minorities than other battleground states, and wracked by the loss of manufacturing jobs during the great recession.

“But Clinton is counting on chipping away at Trump’s lead with a campaign organization that dwarfs the Republican’s operation,” reported Bloomberg Politics in October 2016. “She started building a political infrastructure in the state months earlier than Trump and now counts 64 offices with campaign staff across the state compared, with 31 offices that Trump has jointly with the Republican National Committee and local county party organizations.”

Trump spent less money than Clinton in Ohio on the all-important television buys. “Trump is focusing on building volunteers through rallies and maximizing enthusiasm from television coverage and social media,” said Bloomberg.

During a panel discussion Saturday on MSNBC, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean disputed that Democrats turning out in a largely Democratic county may be good for Clinton, as that county’s working class demographics favored Trump.

More Democrats have participated in early voting than Republicans in Ohio.

“Democrats have technically turned out more, but not to the level they’ll need,” one GOP organizer told Politico. “They’ll lose.”


Colorado, which voted for Obama in the last two elections, is another battle zone.

“The Clinton campaign has been very engaged in building a ground game and turnout operation and have a great deal of existing liberal infrastructure in the state to rely upon,” a Colorado Republican told Politico. “The Trump campaign, in contrast, has almost no ground game, has engaged in very little traditional campaign organizing, has done little direct mail or canvassing efforts, and seems to think a handful of rallies and last-minute television commercials can take the place of the hard work of actually asking individual voters to vote for him, and the state party has done very little to fill the void.”


Another campaign theater Trump needs to hit 270 electoral votes is Nevada.

“Democrats are slightly ahead of Republicans as a percentage of registered voters, but that is very typical for Nevada elections,” commented one Republican to Politico. “More Dems than Republicans vote early, while Republicans tend to prefer voting on Election Day. Also, in Nevada, we have a large percentage of independents and nonpartisan voters, which makes the raw number of Democrats and Republicans voting less predictive of the final results.”


Although this political chaos is enough to leave the head reeling, there is one more state which merits a look: Georgia, the home state of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Five days before the election, it’s probably not a good sign that the Republican nominee has to worry about Georgia,” writes Sean Colarossi on the politicususa.com website. “[T]he NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll conducted totally after the FBI fiasco, the two major candidates are in a virtual dead heat in the state. Trump gets 45 percent of the vote against 44 percent who prefer Clinton.

“With Trump’s operation far worse than Romney’s was four years ago and certainly inferior to Clinton’s, it’s conceivable that the Democratic nominee could outperform the polling by even more,” continued Colarossi. “If the latest poll of the Peach State is accurate, her GOTV [Get out the Vote] operation could be all she needs to steal the deep red state from Trump and put the election away early next Tuesday.”

Trump, with the self-assuredness that has characterized his persona during the entire campaign, scornfully noted the reports he might be in trouble in Georgia, and said at a campaign rally that of course Trump would take Georgia.

The impact

The impact a get out the vote organization can have been noted by Sasha Issenberg, author of “The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Campaigns,” and a consultant to Bloomberg Politics, in comments to the New York Post.

“The evidence we have is there is a big gap on resources and planning between the two sides, favoring Clinton,” said Issenberg. In states where the polls showed the two candidates deadlocked at 45%, asserted Issenberg: “Clinton is best positioned to turn that into 47 percent, while Donald Trump would end up at 44 percent.”

Political Analysis: How Hillary won the debates

By Steven R. Maher

Hillary Clinton’s decisive wins in the three Presidential debates was no accident. If she’s elected President on November 8, 2016, Clinton will owe her victory to a well planned and ruthlessly executed undertaking to provoke Donald J. Trump into destroying himself in front of American voters, by manipulating Trump’s own psychological insecurities against him. Clinton’s plans to do so were published by the New York Times on August 29, 2016, one month before the first debate on September 26, 2016.

“Rarely are debate preparations as illuminating about the candidates as a debate itself, but Mrs. Clinton’s and Mr. Trump’s strikingly different approaches to the Sept. 26 face-off are more revealing about their egos and battlefield instincts than most other moments in the campaign,” said the newspaper in the August 2016 article. “Mrs. Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders. Mr. Trump, a supremely confident communicator, wants viewers to see him as a truth-telling political outsider and trusts that he can box in Mrs. Clinton on her ethics and honesty.”
Primary contests differed

Both candidates were shaped by their completely different primary experiences. Clinton, apparently expecting a coronation, found herself barely able to fend off a challenge by Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist and comparatively unknown Vermont Senator. Clinton emerged from the primaries victorious, but shell shocked by her own negative ratings and performance. She understood her own shortcomings as a debater, and was open to new ideas. Clinton knew she needed a new game plan to win.

Trump’s road to the Republican nomination reinforced his inherent self-confidence, a cocksureness than often trespassed into arrogance, and sometimes into megalomania. Trump’s insurgency in the GOP began with a bellicose denunciation of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and to the amazement of both the political classes and pundits, continued as he won primary after primary. Trump systematically devastated his Republican opponents with slash and burn comments, tagging them with pejorative nicknames like “Little Marco”, “Lying Ted”, or “Low Energy”. Pundits repeatedly wrote Trump’s political obituaries, only to retract them after Trump won the next primary.

Trump understandably developed a belief in his own omnipotence. His rhetorical excesses and personal insults had given him the Republican nomination. Trump had no reason to believe the same tactics wouldn’t bring him victory in the general election.

“I can handle Hillary,” Trump told the New York Times. “I believe you can prep too much for those things [debates]. It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony – like you’re trying to be someone you’re not. I know who I am and how I got here.”

Clinton’s plan

Clinton set up a debate committee within her campaign. They conducted “a forensic-style analysis” of Trump’s debate performances. Unlike a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton refused to be silenced when Trump repeatedly interrupted her. Most of the time, she kept on speaking as Trump tried to talk over her. There were a few occasions where Clinton wisely said nothing and let Trump continue talking, recognizing that Trump’s line of argument was self-defeating.

Clinton seemed acutely aware that there would be a split screen during the debate, perhaps because during the primaries there was a split screen during her debates with Sanders. Trump, who usually had anywhere from three to sixteen Republican on the debate stage with him, seemed totally unaware that voters were watching him as he grimaced and grunted, assessing Trump partly on that basis. Clinton had a Reaganesque smile on her face as Trump spoke, while Trump looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas as Clinton talked. Clinton’s self-discipline was enormous.

Clinton’s campaign debriefed Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal”, Tony Schwartz, who lived with Trump for eighteen months while co-authoring the book. They consulted with psychologists about Trump, who advised Clinton how she could take advantage of Trump’s male chauvinism by identifying “trigger points” where Clinton could goad Trump with needling remarks; that Clinton was a woman was woven into the fabric of these trigger points.

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” said Schwartz. “He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”

Schwartz’s prediction was clairvoyant. Trump refused an offer from conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham to play Clinton in a mock debate. While Clinton spent precious, dwindling campaign days in mock debates with Democratic operative Ron Klain playing Trump, Trump stuck to his campaign rallies. And Trump did indeed act like a six grader during the third debate after Clinton called him Vladimir Putin’s puppet: “No puppet. No puppet,” Trump said. “You’re the puppet.”

Machado trigger

The first debate was a disaster for Trump. The last trigger point was the straw that broke Trump’s psyche – Clinton’s retelling of the Alicia Machado story, a Venezuelan beauty contestant Trump allegedly called “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight. Trump couldn’t let go of the Machado tale. He tweeted about Machado at 3:00 AM a few days later, an episode which raised questions about Trump’s mental stability and lack of self-discipline.

Each debate “followed the same pattern” wrote Ezra Klein on the Vox website. “Trump begins calm, but as Clinton needles him, he falls apart, gets angrier, launches bizarre personal attacks, offers rambling justifications for his own behavior, and loses the thread of whatever question was actually asked of him.”

Trump didn’t change his attitude toward debate prep. He refused to participate in mock debates. It was as if Trump had been overcome by inertia. During the third debate Trump admitted he did not prepare for the debate that day, but instead watched Clinton’s commercials attacking Trump all day long.

“We aren’t used to candidates winning not so much because of how they performed but because of how they pushed their opponent into performing,” concluded Klein. “But the fact that we aren’t used to this kind of victory doesn’t make it any less impressive. Hillary Clinton has humbled Donald Trump, and she did it her way.”


State of the Race: CHEW ON THIS, WORCESTER – the polls

Jett and Lilac…

…Downtown Worcester: On a cold afternoon this mom puts a plastic covering over the baby carriage to help keep her little one warm and out of the wind. pics:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Four days until the Presidential election, the polls continue to trend to Donald J. Trump.

States like Colorado, which were recently considered solidly blue, now are almost dead even.

For Democrats and Hillary Clinton, these are times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. Recently I was talking to a fellow political junkie about the election and he suggested watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Last Word” on MSNBC at 10 PM. On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, I took his advice and watched the show, and quickly grabbed the remote to record it. There was an excellent report on a poll of early voters which indicates that there may be an undercurrent of support for Clinton among “Never Trump” Republicans. A poll by “Targetsmart” and William & Mary of early voters show Clinton may be doing much better in the race than mainstream polls indicate.

• Targetsmart’s polling shows that Clinton is capturing 28% of Florida Republican early voters. Thus, when the early voters are merged with potential voters, the actual Clinton vote is 46% versus 40% for Trump. Mainstream polls have shown Trump dead even with Clinton in Florida. Targetsmart is “the only tracking survey with early voting returns in Florida,” said O’Donnell.

• The poll showed Trump leading Clinton in Arizona by 49% to 44%. The same poll shows incumbent Republican Senator John McCain ahead of challenger Ann Kirkpatrick by a 54% to 41% margin.

O’Donnell believes that 5% of the McCain voters voted for Clinton. Clinton has 33 Arizona field offices set up to organize voting by identified Clinton supporters. Arizona Republic reporter Dan Nowicki told O’Donnell that Trump had little organization on the ground in Arizona, and is relying on his campaign rallies and free media to get his voters to the polls. Despite the hit from the FBI probe, Clinton doubled her Arizona media buy to $1 million.

• In Wisconsin, the Marquette University poll – which is considered the gold standard for that state – had Clinton leading Trump by 46% to 40%. Democratic Senatorial candidate Russ Feingold is leading Republican Ron Johnson by a margin of 45% to 44%. The 4% difference between Trump’s standing in the poll and Johnson’s are, according to O’Donnell, Republicans favoring Clinton.

• In swing state Ohio, Republican Senatorial candidate Ron Portman is openly approaching Clinton supporters at campaign events for campaign sign locations. Most polls have Ohio dead even.

It may be too early to count Clinton out. She has invested millions of dollars into setting up field offices in the swing states to get out the vote. As the campaign dwindles down to the last few days and the polls continue to tighten, historians may credit Clinton’s election to her long ago decision to invest in her “get out the vote” organization.



By Steven R. Maher

It seems the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going all out to elect Donald Trump the next President of the United States. By accident or design, the bureau has done four things in the last week to discredit Hillary Clinton and shift what may be an unstoppable momentum to Trump. The FBI has jumped into this campaign with both feet.

• On Friday October 28, 2016 FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to the Chairmen of Congressional oversight committees updating his sworn testimony on the original investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. Comey said the FBI came across emails “pertinent” to the Clinton email scandal after seizing Anthony Weiner’s computer during an investigation of Weiner’s alleged texting to a fifteen-year-old girl. Weiner is married but separated from Clinton’s former chief of staff Huma Abedin. Comey said the FBI would investigate the newly discovered emails to determine if they contained classified data.

• On October 31, 2016 MSNBC reported that Comey had blocked the FBI from signing off on a report by U.S. Intelligence agencies that the Russians were behind the WikiLeaks dumps of Clinton Campaign Manager Joh Podesta’s email. Comey reportedly blocked the release because it was too close to the election. As MSNBC reported, their source stated “some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.”

• On Tuesday November 1, 2016 the FBI posted on its website 129 pages of files on Bill Clinton’s controversial 2001 last minute pardon of financier Marc Rich. The FBI claims this was a mechanical functioning of the Freedom of Information Act response mechanism, and the documents were not posted to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

• The FBI has been leaking like a sieve with highly critical leaks of Clinton. According to published reports, Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation out of fear that they would be leaked anyway, and to stave off a mass resignation of FBI agents.
Comey flouted two Justice Department policies: commenting on an ongoing investigation, and doing so in a manner that could affect an election. “We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” wrote Republican Jamie Gorelick, a former Justice Department official, in the Washington Post. “Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”

Trump seized on

Not unexpectedly, Trump seized upon Comey’s reopening of the investigation to lambast Clinton as guilty of all sorts of sins. The campaign, which had been heavily trending towards Clinton, immediately began to trend towards Trump. States such as New Hampshire and Nevada, once considered solidly blue, are trending to Trump.

Clinton’s campaign has been putting a brave front on recent developments, saying they expected the polls to tighten during the past week, that early voting trends favor the Democratic nominee, and that the electoral map demographics are in favor of Clinton. But unless something dramatic happens during the next six days, the FBI will bear the responsibility for electing Donald Trump President of the United States.

Want a good laugh?

By Jack Hoffman

You must admit one thing: This Republican nominating process has got to be the biggest joke of the century. Maybe it’s just the clowns? You know the old saying: Falling into a pile of shit and coming up with roses. It used to be that the Democrats didn’t know their right shoe from their left. And yet they elected the best presidents of the century. But the Dems are back with a leader that in time may be one of the greats. The big joke is the Repugs throwing their not-so-smart politics in the air, completely missing the wall in front of their faces and having it all fall into one big pile of elephant dung.

So the Republicans can’t talk issues and when they fail, they resort to social issues that I thought were settled 30 years ago. Don’t you just love listening to the biggest advocates of downsizing and sending work abroad stand up and with a straight face discuss jobs-jobs-jobs. Especially Mitt Romney talking about the jobs we need after his company, Bain Capital, made extra benefits by sending jobs packing and hiring folks at roughly $8 an hour. Benefits (for Mitt) meaning lots of money for Mitt. I’ll bet the Dems are still adding up all the jobs that Bain sent packing.

In case you missed MSNBC on a not such a big deal Super-Tuesday, filmmaker Michael Moore was being interviewed by TV host Rachel Maddow. “So, Micheal Moore, what about the controversial contraception issue? The black hole that Rush Limbaugh has so conviently put himself and his Republican cohorts into.

Michael Moore: “I just heard that 33 sponsors have just pulled out.” “Pulled out!!!”

If you don’t get the joke, go into another room and read it again.

Several months ago I wrote my reasons for why Mitt couldn’t make it. Two important reasons: He is a Massachusetts blue blood who has country club written all over him. He doesn’t no tidily watt about what’s “on the street.” Real life for real people (hence all those Romney gaffes we keep getting) This may be good for the Worcester Country Club gangs in the South who still are trying to keep not only blacks, but also Jews from their clubs. Second and most important: Romney is a Mormon. And if you spent any time in the South with all those born again wackaroos you know Mitt is not going anywhere. How this guy made it so big in business is beyond me. And let’s not forget he left MA with a 27% favorable rating.

Sure Romney balanced the state budget! It’s in the constitution! He didn’t raise taxes – he just upped the fees for almost anything and everything. Could his business success in the Olympics be attributed to the cool billion $$$ from that nasty government of ours he loves to criticize? The truth is the Mormons used their political might for that money.

And just when you thought Romney was going to win the fickle finger trophy along comes Santorum and his tribe of ____ (don’t make me.) like a 1 1/2 mile closure he is going to keep me laughing. That wasn’t until Santorum – “the messenger of God” – got into the race and started to tell us about the baby—I already told that one. OK, here it is again. Santorum and his wife a neonatal nurse at the t ime had a preemie baby that died within two hours of being delivered. The Mrs. and Mr. took the dead baby home so that the rest of the family could see what ma ma was carrying around.

One last thought: Remember, George W. Bush got to be President of the United States! So don’t take anything for granted. The Repugs already have 40% of the vote!

My computer is failing, so I’ll just quit while I’m ahead … .