washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

J.P. Green

Political Strategy Notes – Battleground States One Day Out Edition

At CNN Politics Marshall Cohen reports that “Democrats take the lead in Florida early voting,” and notes that “More than 5.7 million Floridians have already hit the polls after about two weeks of in-person early voting. So far, 2,268,663 Democrats have cast their ballots and 2,261,383 Republicans have already voted…The numbers provide clues on who is voting and which party is turning out to vote. And while the numbers track voters’ party affiliations, not all Democrats are voting for Clinton, and not all Republicans are supporting Trump….The milestone is a boon to Hillary Clinton’s chances of carrying the Sunshine State and its 29 electoral votes — a prize so large that it would help her close off most of Donald Trump’s paths to victory…But it’s not all good news for Democrats: Their current lead is significantly smaller than the turnout advantage they had over registered Republicans at this point in 2008.” S.V. Date adds at HuffPo, “Of the early votes cast by Friday, close to one-third of the Hispanic voters had never voted in an election before. And polling makes clear that they are overwhelmingly voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.”

From “An early sign Trump is being out-organized: A big Democratic advantage in Nevada voting” by WaPo’s Philip Bump: “In 2012, Clark County made up more than two-thirds of all of the votes cast, and the county backed President Obama over Mitt Romney by 15 points — and by a margin of 101,000 votes. Clark County’s early vote and absentee turnout so far is 76 percent of the total votes cast in that county in 2012…More votes doesn’t necessarily mean more votes for the Democrat, of course. And in Clark County, the percent of early and absentee ballots cast by Democrats during the first two weeks dropped from 47.6 to 45.8 percent. The percentage of Republicans returning ballots, though, also fell, from 33.1 to 32.1 percent of the electorate. Over that period, the density of the parties in registered voter pools fell about the same amount — with the difference being an increase in nonpartisan voters. In 2012, that group made up 19 percent of the early/absentee vote; this year, it’s over 22 percent. As Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman notes, that’s a group that leans heavily young and nonwhite.”

At The Charlotte Observer Jim Morrill and Tim Funk report, “Democrats cast more early votes than any other group, but have not caught up to their 2012 numbers. Republicans, on the other hand, were running 11 percent above their 2012 performance, with nearly 100,000 more votes. Republicans credited the increase to efforts aimed at boosting GOP registration since 2012…But it is unaffiliated voters – who nearly match Republicans in registration – who have seen their early voting numbers jump the most: up 38 percent from four years ago…Who are they?…An analysis by Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill found that they tend to be younger. The median age of unaffiliated voters is 43. It’s 52 for voters registered with a party. And more than half first registered in North Carolina in 2010 or later.” However, adds Funk and Morrill, “African-American early turnout was also down 11 percent compared with 2012 as of Saturday afternoon. That’s a concern for Democrats.”

From the Dayton Daily News comes this nugget from “Ohio Democrats need to rethink strategy” by Thomas Suddes: “Two certain things about Tuesday: All 16 Ohioans with seats in the U.S. House will be re-elected thanks to rigged congressional districts. And U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a suburban Cincinnati Republican, will win a second term by routing his Democratic challenger, former Gov. Ted Strickland…As for the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump slugfest, it appears, at this writing, that Trump may join the Richard M. Nixon Club: As noted before, the Nixon Club is composed of GOP nominees, like Nixon in 1960 and Thomas Dewey in 1944, who carry Ohio but don’t win the presidency…Given how safe Ohio’s congressional seats are, you have to wonder why anyone donates to 16 foolproof Ohio congressional campaigns. Maybe it’s because nothing says, “take my calls – please,” like a big check sent to the campaign fund of a safe-seat legislator…In some parts of the world, agreed, that might be considered little better than paying-for-access. That’s why Ohioans are so fortunate that their members of Congress, like General Assembly members, display such lofty ethical standards and unfailing rectitude.”

In his post, “What to watch in Virginia on election night,” Graham Moomaw of the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes “Most polls indicate Clinton will follow in the footsteps of President Barack Obama by putting Virginia in the Democratic column for the third straight presidential election…But the race appears to be tightening in the campaign’s final stage, giving Republicans hope for a more interesting night with Trump potentially in position to grab the state’s 13 electoral votes…Recent Virginia polls showed Clinton with a 6- to 7-point lead. In 2012, Obama won the state over Republican Mitt Romney by roughly 4 points…With growing, increasingly diverse populations, Loudoun and Henrico counties are perhaps the best barometers of Virginia’s political winds…As microcosms of a purple state trending blue, both counties were once reliable GOP territory but went to Obama in 2008 and 2012. Four years ago, Obama won Henrico by nearly 12 points, and Loudoun by around 4.5 points. Democrats will want those margins to grow, while Republicans will want to see them fall back into more competitive territory…The numbers coming out of Chesterfield County, a key GOP stronghold, will serve as an indicator of Republicans’ enthusiasm for their nominee…A big Trump vote in Chesterfield, typically among the earliest to report results on election night, could signal strong Republican turnout and help offset Clinton’s gains in large Democratic localities. Weakness in Chesterfield would suggest Republicans are in for a disappointing night.”

In Colorado The Denver Post’s John Frank observes, “The University of Denver poll released Wednesday found Clinton and Trump deadlocked at 39 percent in a four-way race, in a survey of registered likely voters conducted Saturday through Monday…The third-party candidates combined for 15 percent with another 8 percent undecided. The poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.2 percent…The DU poll used live interviews on landlines and cellphones. It featured fewer Latino voters than expected to cast ballots and also less unaffiliated voters…Two other polls in recent days show the race closing in Colorado with Clinton holding a three-point lead within the margins…Among voters who already cast ballots, Clinton sits in a much better position at 45 percent to 38 percent for Trump — a number that appears to support early voting figures showing Democrats with a 23,000 ballot advantage.”

“The most dramatic shift has been in Pennsylvania. Polls long showed a tossup between incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, but the race is clearly tilting in McGinty’s direction now. Our polls-plus forecast gives her a 74 percent chance of winning, and McGinty hasn’t trailed in a poll in over two weeks and has opened up her largest lead in the FiveThirtyEight polls-plus forecast for the entire year…Voters in Pennsylvania appear to be treating the presidential and Senate races as one, as Hillary Clinton and McGinty have about equal chances of winning the Keystone State. That’s bad news for Toomey, who was always an odd fit in Pennsylvania: He’s very conservative; the state leans blue. Toomey was elected in a midterm year; such elections have had more Republican-friendly electorates of late, and that was true in 2010, when Toomey won amidst a national GOP wave nationally. He was always going to have more trouble in a presidential election cycle.” — from Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.

In Wisconsin:

I’m a little skeptical about the notion that GA is a swing state this year. For one thing, two Democratic dynasty candidates named Nunn and Carter both lost state-wide races by 8 points in 2014. Granted, mid-term elections have a built-in Republican edge, but still, 8 points is a lot. On the other hand, Sean Colarossi’s post, “Clinton’s Superior Ground Game Could Put Her Over The Top In Neck-and-Neck Georgia” at PoliticusUSA.com makes an interesting point: Not only are Clinton and Trump in a stat tie in the latest NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll; By all reports, Democrats have mobilized an impressive GOTV effort, and Trump has an exceptionally-weak ground game in the peach state. As Colarossi puts it, “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.”


Political Strategy Notes

“Five days before Election Day, the margin between the candidates is narrow, with 45 percent of likely voters supporting Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, to 42 percent for Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee. The difference is within the poll’s margin of sampling error…Fewer than one in 10 likely voters say they may still change their minds about whom they will support on Tuesday, and both candidates have about equal support among their party’s voters. Political independents, who backed President Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, in 2012, are currently split…At this point in the 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney were deadlocked in polling averages, and Mr. Obama went on to win the election by a four-point margin.” — from “Hillary Clinton Still Leads a Tighter Race, Times/CBS News Poll Shows” by Megan Thee-Brenan.

At The Upshot Nate Cohn explains why “Early Vote in North Carolina Seems Consistent With a Clinton Lead.” Cohn observes, “So far, nearly 600 of our respondents have voted early — basically a full poll’s worth of early voters. For this analysis, we’ve weighted this subsample of validated early voters to match the demographic characteristics of early voters by age, race, party, sex and 2014 vote history…Over all, Mrs. Clinton leads among these early votes by 51 percent to 39 percent in the three-way race, and by 53-39 in the two-way race.”

More evidence that Clinton’s batleground states ground game gives her an edge: “Mrs. Clinton has a considerable lead over Mr. Trump among newly registered voters in Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina combined, 47 percent to 31 percent,” writes Cohn in another Upshot post exploring why “Donald Trump Can’t Count on Those ‘Missing White Voters” Cohn adds “Democrats have a modest advantage among voters who registered since 2012, 34 percent to 28 percent…But the newly registered voters nonetheless solidly lean toward Mrs. Clinton, based on our polling data and voter records. They’re disproportionately young and nonwhite…Newly registered voters who aren’t affiliated with a major party lean to Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump by 42 percent to 21 percent; Gary Johnson runs a close third, with 20 percent.”

Watch the Nevada Senate race, where one of the most impressive Democratic candidates Catherine Cortez Masto, is running against Rep. Joe Heck, who outgoing Sen. Harry Reid calls “an absolute stooge for these right-wing nut cases.” The Koch brothers are heavily bankrolling Heck’s campaign, and a win by Cortez Masto would signal a strong pro-Democratic trend in the west and launch the first Latina U.S. senator. The New York Times editorial board has a good update on this key race.

James Hohman argues that “College-educated white women are Hillary Clinton’s firewall” at The Daily 202: “One in five voters in 2012 were college-educated white women. Mitt Romney won them by 6 points, according to exit polls…Our fresh Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll, which has Hillary Clinton ahead by just 2 points among all likely voters nationally, finds that Donald Trump is losing college-educated white women by 27 points…If the Republican nominee was anywhere close to Romney’s 52 percent support level among this traditionally Republican-leaning constituency, he would likely win the election. But drilling into the crosstabs of our polling and reviewing credible, state-level data demonstrates how highly unlikely it is that this constituency will waver in the final days. It is one of the reasons that, even though the race has tightened pretty dramatically, Clinton retains a significant structural advantage.”

Regarding the so-called ‘enthusiasm gap’ cited in recent polling, Hohman also notes, “In The Post/ABC tracking poll, enthusiasm for Clinton is back on par with enthusiasm for Trump after a drop off. Over the weekend, after the FBI announcement, 43 percent of Clinton supporters in our tracking poll said they were “very enthusiastic,” below Trump’s 53 percent. Trump’s advantage in enthusiasm has shrunk to only two points in the last two days of interviewing. Now 48 percent of Clinton supporters call themselves “very enthusiastic,” compared to 50 percent for Trump.”

Philip Bump writes in his polling update at The Fix: “Polls, as we say again and again, are snapshots — and belated ones at that. Like a Polaroid of a horse race taken in the home stretch that we would have to wait to see develop. The race has moved on, but we can make guesses about where it’s going from where it was. The short version is that Clinton is still poised to win. The medium-length version is that the race seems as of it will be a lot closer than it looked two weeks ago. The long version, implied above, is that continued movement away from Clinton and toward Trump nationally could solidify those 265 electoral votes for Trump — and maybe open up some options for those other five he needs.” In other words, Trump has some closing momentum, but time may be on Clinton’s side. And, of course, no polling can gauge GOTV prep, and by all accounts, Clinton’s team has bigger groud game.

It pains me to admit that Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s ad is very well-done, even though he is more likely to cost Ohio jobs with his economic policies, than protect them. Here Portman projects his understanding of Trump’s strongest messaging issue “protect American jobs,” tweaks it for Ohio, shows concern for working people at their workplace and wraps the whole damn thing in the flag. Dems could do worse:

 

The Democratic ad that is getting the most positive buzz has to be Missouri senate candidate Jason Kander’s “blindfold” spot. In the ad, Kander confidently assembles an AR-15 assaul rifle blindfolded, while touting his military experience, patriotic service and his support of background checks, all the while demonstrating his energetic persona. The ad has been credited with giving Kander a solid boost in the race and may bring another potential Democratic rising star:


Trump’s Still-Growing Litany of Lies, Corruption Stains GOP’s Closing Week

The final week of campaign 2016 will undoubtedly set new records for broadcasting political ads, which may or may not have much influence. Late-breaking news, however, may actually have more influence on voter turnout.

Comey’s October nothingburger dominated the first days of the closing week. But now the scandal-hungry media is looking elsewhere for stories to capture the attention of growing numbers of Americans who are bored by the mere mention of the word “emails,” and new revelations about Trump’s lies, sleazy  business ethics and corruption give them plenty of fodder. As Michael Tomasky writes at The Daily Beast, “what happened Monday was that Trump was hit with three big stories”:

1. CNBC reported—based on one source, it must be said—that earlier in October, Comey had argued privately that it was too close to the election for the U.S. government to name Russia as the hacker of Democratic emails. That disclosure was made by the government, just without the FBI’s name on it. Obviously, it was a disclosure that caused some discomfort for the Trump campaign, tied as the candidate is to Russia. The obvious question, if this story is accurate: Why was Oct. 7 too close to the election for the FBI to help create a news story that might have been bad for Trump, while Oct.28 was not too close to the election for the FBI to single-handedly create a news story that was bad for Clinton? Inquiring minds want to know.

2. NBC News reported the FBI has launched a preliminary investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia. Manafort, of course, is not the candidate and is no longer affiliated with the campaign. So this isn’t necessarily an A-1 bombshell. But the existence of NBC News’s “law-enforcement and intelligence sources” who wanted to put this out screams to us that there’s a civil war brewing in federal law-enforcement circles and that for every pro-Trump leak, we can expect some countervailing pushback.

3. And finally, breaking just after 9 p.m. Monday night, the big one: The New York Times detailing how Trump used a questionable tax-dodge technique to “avoid reporting hundreds of millions of dollars” in what was supposed to be taxable income. This is a complicated one, but, according to the Times, as far as the IRS is concerned, a dollar of canceled debt is the same as a dollar of taxable income; tax must be paid on the canceled debt. But Trump used a maneuver that allowed him to avoid paying federal tax on the canceled debt—he avoided paying as much as $50 million a year for 18 years, the paper said. And it was a maneuver that his own attorneys said was dodgy. The article quotes numerous tax experts as saying that what Trump did here was outrageous.

As Tomasky concludes, summing up Trump’s legacy, “his entire adult life has been spent cheating everyone who had the misfortune to cross his path.”

Add to these three stories new revelations, such as Trump being caught on tape lying about his votes for President Bush. From Andrew Kaczynski’s CNN post, “Trump said in 2005 that he voted for George W. Bush. In 2009, he claimed he never did“:

In a 2009 radio interview with Don Imus uncovered by CNN’s KFile, Donald Trump claimed he did not vote for President George W. Bush. Four years earlier, in an interview on Fox News following the 2004 presidential election, Trump said the exact opposite: that he did vote Bush despite his opposition to the Iraq War.

As recently as January of this year, Trump said he voted for Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections…Speaking with Imus in February 2009, Trump said, “You know how I feel about Bush, and I think you got to feel that way, also.”
“I never voted for him,” responded Imus. “I never voted for him, Donald.”…”You’re good, then. I didn’t either, by the way,” Trump said, “You’re good. I just thought that guy was a dimwit. You looked at it, and he just didn’t look like he was all there…You look at his eyes, I mean he’d make a speech and you’d look at him and you’d say, ‘Does he even know what he’s reading?’ This guy, he was a horrible president,” said Trump.
Trump’s answer on Imus is a direct contradiction to what he told Bill O’Reilly in January 2005, the day before then-president Bush was to be inaugurated for his second term…”All right. You didn’t vote for Bush, did you?,” O’Reilly asked Trump.
“Actually, I did,” said Trump…I voted for Bush because I think he’s got certain things that are excellent, including a tax policy that’s excellent and going to prove to be excellent,” Trump said. “But I am not a big fan of the war in Iraq, and I’ve let a lot of people know about it, and perhaps that’s being proven to be correct.”
In a January 2016 interview, also with O’Reilly, Trump was asked if he voted for Bush twice.
“I did vote for Bush twice, yes,” Trump said. “I don’t think he did a particularly good job. I think he got us into Iraq which was a disaster. But I voted for Bush, yes.”
We’ll see if the big media gives Trump a closing week free pass on being caught on tape lying about his own record. There are lots of other Trump stories that merit more coverage than Clinton’s emails. Read Jared Holt’s Media Matters post, “Trump Has 75 Ongoing Legal Battles — Which Media Are Ignoring During Their Breathless FBI Letter Coverage” for a few highlights.

Political Strategy Notes

For a well-reasoned take on the latest Clinton email distraction, read Ed Kilgore’s New York Magazine post, “The Latest Phase of the Clinton Email Brouhaha Won’t Save Trump,” in which he writes” “the underlying “story” of the emails isn’t some sort of bombshell, and the odds are that the negative attention and any lingering substantive concerns among voters will be too little, too late to make much of a difference.”

I’m wondering if Comey’s election meddling could backfire by re-energizing Clinton supporters, some of whom may have been lulled into not voting by her strong polling and also by causing some of the few remaining undecideds to be disgusted by Comey’s October nothingburger. As Vice President Walter Mondale once put it, “Where’s the beef?”

Washington Post reporters Robert Costa and Abby Phillip note, “According to the latest Washington Post-ABC poll, a majority of all likely voters is unmoved by Comey’s decision, which has spurred a fierce backlash from Clinton backers.” As for clues about what the candidates’ best internal polling is indicating, Phillip and Costa note that Trump is heading for Wsiconsin and Michigan today, while Clinton is focusing on Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid has written to F.B.I. Director James Comey warning “Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be clear intent to aid one political party over another,” the letter says. “I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act,” which bars government officials from trying to influence elections. As Pete Williams and Tom Stelloh write at nbcnews.com, “Reid also accused Comey of shielding Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from scrutiny over his connections to Russia, saying “it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination” between Trump and his advisers and the Russian government.” It sure looks like Reid is right, but it would be very hard to prove. The F.B.I. director can, however, be fired by the President or impeached by congress.

Early Turnout Tilts Toward Democrats in Swing States,” report Jeremy W. Peters and Matt Flegenheimer at The New York Times. “At least 21 million people have voted so far across the country. In the states that are most likely to decide the election — among them Florida, Colorado and Nevada — close to a quarter of the electorate has already cast ballots. While their votes will not be counted until Election Day, registered Democrats are outperforming Republicans in key demographics and urban areas there and in North Carolina, where extensive in-person voting began late last week and which has emerged as one of the most closely contested battlegrounds for the White House and control of the Senate.”

Will some progressive sugar-daddy/mama concerned about young voter turnout please fund projects like this in every state: USC “Students Develop New App to Increase Voter Turnout,” reports Sofia Bosch at the Daily Trojan. “Andrew Jiang, Michael Lim, Lucas Johnson, Alex Teboul and Arush Shankar won Spark SC’s Futurethon, a 48-hour hacking competition, with BallotView. The free and nonpartisan app allows voters to preview their state’s local ballot, learn details about each measure and candidate and save a receipt of their choices to take to the polls.”

At Campaigns & Elections, Laura Packard has “5 Cost-Effecive GOTV Plays,” a good read for Democratic campaigns with a little extra cash on hand.

You want a bipartisan consensus? Try Ariel Edwards-Levy’s “Most Americans Think Voting Should Be Easy” at HuffPo, which notes “Democrats say by a 68-point margin, 80 percent to 12 percent, that the government should work to make voting easy; Republicans agree by a much slimmer 11-point margin, 51 percent to 40 percent. Independents fall in the middle, saying by a 28-point margin, 53 percent to 25 percent, that painless voting should be a goal, with the remainder unsure.”

Democrats, here’s your Halloween scare for the day: “Perhaps the most egregious [NC] county is Guilford, a county of 517,600 people, of which 57.9 percent is White, and gave Obama 58 percent of the vote in 2012. The county opened 16 in-person early voting locations in 2012, but has only their central election office open in 2016. The number of in-person voters on the first Thursday and Friday was 21,560 in 2012, but was only 3,305 in 2016, a decrease of 18,255 or 85 percent.” — from Nico Pitney’s HuffPo article, “This Is What Actual Voter Suppression Looks Like, And It’s Appalling: In one county, a reduction in polling places has helped cut early voting by 85 percent.”


Dems Press Case Against Split-Ticket Voting, Tie GOP Candidates to Trump

Greg Sargent’s Plum Line post, “The GOP has a new strategy to hold Congress. Here’s how Democrats will fight it” previews dueling messaging for the final two weeks of the presidential campaign. As Sargent explains,

Republicans scrambling to salvage control of Congress amid Donald Trump’s downward tailspin have hit on a new message: A GOP-controlled House and Senate are necessary to act as a check on President Hillary Clinton. The message basically argues for divided government as a way to prevent her from going too far, in effect admitting that the presidential race is a goner.

But Democrats insist that this message will be a non-starter, and they shared new internal polling with this blog that they argue backs up their claim. Dems say they can rebut the Republicans’ line of attack by pointing out that they are openly, explicitly promising more obstruction in Washington, something swing voters and independents despise.

Sargent notes that pro-Republican PACs have ads loaded that are designed to gin up fear of a ‘rubber stamp’ congress ready to Give HRC free reign. He notes that Democratic internal polling, with all of the appropriate caveats, indicates voters in 30 contested House districts are more inclined to vote for the Democratic congressional candidate by a margin of 50 to 40 percent.

Further, adds Sargent, “66 percent of respondents expect Republicans to try to block Clinton even if it means more gridlock and inaction in Washington, while only 23 percent think they will work constructively with Clinton, meaning they’re prepared to believe GOP control means more obstruction.”

Recent history indicates that split-ticket voting in presidential election years is declining. The Republicans hope that 2016 will prove to be an exceptional year and the Democratic nominee will prove to be more of a drag down-ballot, but statistical evidence of that happening is scant at best. If Clinton is a drag down-ballot, Trump is a leaden anchor.

“Republicans want this argument to be about whether Congress will stand up to overreaching President Hillary,” says Sargent, “while Democrats want it to be about whether Washington is going to function again or whether we’re going to see more of the same gridlock and dysfunction that GOP control of the House meant during the Obama years.”

The Republicans have already done a thorough job of branding themselves as the party of obstruction, as most recently demonstrated in John McCain’s comments. As Jonathan Bernstein notes at Bloomberg View,

We’ve heard hopeful claims lately that the Republican Party could be a normal, healthy, functional political party if it hadn’t accidentally nominated Donald Trump. But John McCain has reminded us that this is not the case.

McCain, speaking in support of Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, said: “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.”

It’s probably too much to hope that McCain will pay the appropriate price for his nakedly obstructionist comments, even though Clinton is doing better than expected in Arizona. Democrats need only to remind voters of other GOP leadership comments openly urging endless gridlock, and they’ve got plenty of examples. If American voters are genuinely fed up with Republican obstruction, the GOP has a very tough sell two weeks out.

The implicit message behind the GOP strategy is an admission that their presidential candidate is going to lose, which may further depress turnout of Republican voters, or drive many of them to vote for a third party candidate, like Gary Johnson. “Ultimately,” concludes Sargent, “a lot of this may end up being determined by how big a margin Clinton runs up in victory.”

Democrats have every reason to be optimistic about winning back Senate control. A net Democratic pick up of four senate seats is not that much of a stretch, particularly with such a deeply-flawed presidential candidate providing the face of the G.O.P.

I’ve seen estimates that Dems will win back the House speakership on Clinton’s coattails, if she wins the popular vote by 7 percent to double-digits. “The House of Representatives was thought to be out of play because it is so affected by partisan redistricting as to require a seven-plus-point swing to Democrats for them to net the more than 30 seats required to recapture the chamber,” writes David Malet at The Conversation. But such ‘rules of thumb’ matter a lot less down-ballot than which party cranks up the better GOTV effort. In that regard, early voting indications, weak Republican turn-out operations and other signs point to a bad outcome for the Republicans.


Political Strategy Notes

For your response, the next time some Trump defender charcterizes the Republican nominee as some sort of champion of working people: “…Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans…who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them…Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages…n addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.” — from USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills.

It’s not enough to sell our candidates to the public. We must also work on improving the party’s image. If Dems won’t define the party, Republicans will. This is an OK start, but Democrats need a continuous series of ads that define what the party has accomplished and what it means to be a Democrat.

More required reading for Democrats: “Here’s how to fight Trump’s ballot bullies” by WaPo columnist Colbert King, who writes, “Trump has called for his supporters to stand watch at polling places in “certain areas,” a tactic that could be aimed at intimidating and suppressing the votes of African Americans and other minorities…“And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about,” Trump said at an Ohio rally in August. “Right? You know what I’m talking about.”…Expect Trump’s vigilantes to hover at the polling places of people who don’t look like them. They will be taking a page from their forebears, who used poll taxes, literacy tests and violence to challenge and suppress the black vote…Trump and his posse make GOTV all the more urgent…National civil rights groups, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, intend to come out in force nationwide with volunteers trained to serve as a first line of defense against the intimidators…Pastors have to take to their pulpits and preach on exercising this basic right. Closer to home, the influential Metropolitan AME Church is spearheading “Ready, Set, Vote” to stir up voters, especially millennials, to go to the polls…National organizations such as the Links Inc., a group of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 41 states and the District, are devoting the month to mobilizing voters.”

In their Washington Post article, “Buoyed by rising polls, Clinton shifts to a new target: the House and Senate,” Philip Rucker, Ed O’Keefe and Mike Debonis write “Hillary Clinton is pouring $1 million into Indiana and Missouri in the campaign’s final weeks — not because the Democratic presidential nominee thinks she can carry those reliably Republican states, but because she believes that, with an extra push, Democrats can win the Senate and governors’ races there…In Michigan, the Clinton campaign is propelling a late surge by Democratic state legislative candidates to regain their House majority. In parts of Maine, Nebraska, Virginia and other states, Clinton volunteers are touting Democratic congressional candidates in their phone calls and fliers to voters. And as Clinton rallied supporters across Pennsylvania on Saturday with running mate Tim Kaine, she touted Senate hopeful Katie McGinty and attacked her GOP opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, as beholden to presidential nominee Donald Trump…“As we’re traveling in these last 17 days, we’re going to be emphasizing the importance of electing Democrats down the ballot,” Clinton told reporters Saturday night.”

Politico’s Scott Bland illuminates Democratic funding strategy to win a House majority, and observes: “To date, more than a dozen Democratic challengers are benefiting from such “hybrid” advertising, getting extra hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The technique has been a small but consistent part of Democratic strategy in recent years, but new legal guidance has also allowed Democrats to share costs on ads linking their opponents to Trump on policy…“You have a historically unpopular Republican presidential nominee, which increases the appeal of doing this sort of thing,” said a Democratic operative. “If you can find a way now that you only have to pay 50 percent of an ad, and link your opponent to Trump, and that makes strategic sense in the district, that’s a no-brainer.”..The cost-sharing has turned into a critical tool for the DCCC, as it suddenly tries to compete in more districts and support little-known challengers made unexpectedly viable by Trump’s late slide.”

Less than three weeks from the election, there is a stat tie for the presidential race in GA, with Trump at 44, Clinton at 42 and Gary Johnson at 9, according the the Atlanta Journal Constitution poll released October 21st.

“…New analytical tools by physicists at The City College of New York promise a quicker and remarkably accurate method of predicting election trends with Twitter….Hern´an A. Makse, Alexandre Bovet and Flaviano Morone have developed analytic tools combining statistical physics of complex networks, percolation theory, natural language processing and machine learning classification to infer the opinion of Twitter users regarding the Presidential candidates this year…”Our analytics, which are available at kcorelab.com, unleash the power of Twitter to predict social opinion trends from elections, brands to political movements. Our results suggest that the multi-billion public opinion polling industry could be replaced by Twitter analytics performed practically for free,” concluded Makse.” reports phys.org in the post, “Physicists develop analytics to predict poll trends.”

In his FiveThirtyEight election update, Nate Silver explains why “Trump May Depress Republican Turnout, Spelling Disaster For The GOP.” As Silver notes, “The nightmare scenario for the GOP is that high-information Republican voters, seeing Trump imploding and not necessarily having been happy with him as their nominee in the first place, feel free to cast a protest vote at the top of the ticket. Meanwhile, lower-information Republican voters don’t turn out at all, given that Trump’s rigging rhetoric could suppress their vote and that Republicans don’t have the field operation to pull them back in. That’s how you could get a Clinton landslide like the one the ABC News poll describes, along with a Democratic Senate and possibly even — although it’s a reach — a Democratic House.”

These maps from FiveThirtyEight raise a lot of interesting questions:


Trump’s Election-Bashing, Clinton’s Vision Edge Point to Democratic Victory

The third presidential debate was not likely a game-changer, but early polling indications suggest that it added momentum to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

As Glenn Thrush put it at Politico:

CNN’s quickie post-debate poll gave Hillary Clinton a solid but decisive edge – 52 to 39 percent – not good for a guy who needed a big win, but not fatal either. The problem is one of narrative: Every single sentient being in the press watching the debate, and not currently on the payroll of the Trump Organization, knew instantly that his refusal to accept the results of the election (foreshadowed by a similar feint during the primaries) was the moment of the debate, and quite possibly the most important moment of the campaign.

At The Independent Feliks Garcia reports:

…The latest YouGov poll also declared Ms Clinton the clear winner on Wednesday night. Out of 1,503 registered voters who tuned into the debate, 49 per cent of participants said Ms Clinton came out on top. Thirty-nine per cent of voters argued that Mr Trump won the contest while 12 per cent claimed it was a tie…A large majority, 68 per cent, of those surveyed said that the candidates should “pledge to accept the result of the election” – which included 51 Republicans. Only 14 per cent opposed such a pledge, while 18 per cent did not know…When it came to temperament and fitness, Ms Clinton dominated. Sixty-nine per cent said that Ms Clinton demonstrated “excellent” or “good” knowledge of policies, as opposed to Mr Trump’s 40. Some 59 per cent of viewers surveyed also found Ms Clinton presidential, while Mr Trump only earned 40 on this point.

Former RNC Chair Michael Steele called Trump’s implicit threat to discredit the results of the election if he didn’t win was “a disqualifying moment” during Chris Matthews post-debate discussion at MSNBC. In his Washington Post column, Dana Milbank wrote,  “The refusal to accept this bedrock principle of democracy was shocking, even for a candidate who had told audiences about a “rigged” and “stolen” election. And it should pour hot lava on any notion that Trump is going to revive his candidacy in the final 20 days.”

“Clinton’s core claim is that Trump is a dangerous man who lacks respect for American institutions and American democracy,” concludes E. J. Dionne, Jr. in his syndicated column. “On this central issue, Trump chose to prove Clinton right.” In her New York Times column, Gail Collins agreed, noting “O.K., two critical takeaways. Trump won’t promise to concede if he loses, and if he wins, he gets control of the nukes. These are the only things you need to think about for the next two and a half weeks.”

Worse, Trump has put his fellow Republicans in a bit of a trap, as Ed Kilgore notes at New York Magazine,

…In effect, Trump was saying he’d only accept the election results if he wins…This posture is not going to win over any swing voters, and we can only hope that a segment of his base is horrified as well. At a minimum, he has opened the door to a wholesale declaration of independence by down-ballot Republican candidates. Maybe Trump cannot win, but many of them can, and it’s hard to imagine they will refuse to accept the integrity of their own elections.

Trump blundered on other topics, as well. In one of Clinton’s strongest moments she eviscerated Trump’s history of demeaning women and adroitly used the opportunity to underscore her vision,

“He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere that doesn’t know what that feels like. So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is. I think it’s really up to all of us to demonstrate who we are and who our country is and to stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president, how we want to bring our country together, where we don’t want to have the kind of pitting of people one against the other, where instead we celebrate our diversity, we lift people up, and we make our country even greater.”

Considering all three debates as one long one, it is clear that Trump had almost no moments where he showed the maturity and measured judgement he needed to inspire confidence that he has a more compelling capacity for world leadership. If Trump’s gambit was to persuade the few remaining fence-sitters that he was more prepared, he failed miserably. If Clinton’s end goal was to show that she alone had the skill set and vision to be a credible President of the United States, she succeeeded impressively.

At Vox, Ezra Klein wrote,

The polling tells the story. As Nate Silver notes, on the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton led by 1.5 points. Before the second, she was up by 5.6 points. Before the third, she was winning by 7.1 points. And now, writing after the third debate — a debate in which Trump said he would keep the nation “in suspense” about whether there would be a peaceful transition of power, bragged about not apologizing to his wife, and called Clinton “such a nasty woman” — it’s clear that Trump did himself no favors. Early polls also suggest Clinton won…And it’s not just the presidential race. Betting markets now predict Democrats will win the Senate. Polls have started showing Democrats in striking distance of the House. The GOP has collapsed into a mid-election civil war, with the party’s presidential nominee openly battling the speaker of the House.

The hope for Democrats is that Trump’s divisive messaging and the GOP’s civil war will damage prospects for Republican down-ballot candidates. This morning there is even more reason to believe that hope will become a reality.


Political Strategy Notes

Democrats, don’t skip The New York Times opinion pages forum on “How to energize demoralized Voters,” featuring four articles by leading academic researchers on the topics: Same-Day Registration and Increased Absentee Voting Would Help; Why Get-Out-the-Vote Drives Rarely Work; Teach Civic Responsibility to High School Students; and Direct Voter Contact Is Key to Boosting Turnout.

Republican pollster Whit Ayres, quoted in Bill Barrow’s AP article, “For Donald Trump, low-turnout strategy is unlikely to work,” puts it charitably “Any strategy of trying to drive down turnout in a democratic election is not the most noble of motivations to begin with…And there’s just no chance for it work.” Barrow adds, “Ayres, the Republican pollster, said elections that are “reasonably close” and involve “clear consequences” usually generate higher turnout. “I’d say this election meets both standards,” he said.”

Clinton leads by 6 points in batleground states, according to a new CBS News/YouGov poll of more than 4,000 voters. Clinton leads by by 15 points with women and Trump is down 7 points from last month with Republican women.

At The Daily Beast Patricia Murphy explains why “Democrats Worry About Hillary Clinton’s Ground Game: Hillary Clinton has a better ground game than Donald Trump’s, but it still falls far short of the campaign network Democrats in some critical states consider the gold standard: President Obama’s.” Murphy notes, “The good news for Democrats is that the Clinton ground game is vastly superior to Donald Trump’s. A FiveThirtyEight analysis shows that in terms of field offices, the Clinton operation is far outpacing Trump’s. Clinton has 489 field offices nationwide, compared to 207 offices for Trump…Clinton’s numbers don’t come close to replicating the Obama operation, which had 789 field offices in 2012. The pattern holds for battleground states. In Florida, Clinton has 68 offices, compared to for 29 Trump, but 103 for Obama. In Virginia, Obama had 61 offices, compared to Clinton’s 27 and Trump’s 11. In Ohio, she has 75, while Trump has 22. Obama had 131 Ohio field office…“Barack Obama had an army of volunteers in 2012. You could flip a switch and knock on one million doors in Florida in a weekend,” said a Democratic operative involved in GOTV efforts for the party in 2008, 20012, and 2016. “There is no Hillary army. Not even close. In tight races, that matters.”

In other worrisome news, Philip Bump reports that “Early voter registration numbers don’t suggest big surges among Democrats or women.”

Marianna Sotomayor reports at nbcnews.com that more than a half million new immigrants may not be able to vote in November, owing to a backlog in processing their applications at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Julia Sonenshein’s Politico post, “Revenge of the White Working-Class Woman: The white blue-collar vote isn’t the GOP monolith everyone thinks: It’s splitting fast, and Donald Trump is just part of the reason” should provoke some hand-wrining inside the Trump campaign. “…over the past several months, that seemingly rock-solid core has started to fracture—and the fracture has widened dramatically this week for one key reason: Most of the white working class is actually female. And working-class white women now appear to be jumping off the Trump train…The first polls to emerge since the release of the “Access Hollwood” videotape now show a historic gender gap splitting what might be the GOP’s most important constituency. The fracture was already apparent back in August, when a four-way poll showed Trump’s lead over Clinton among white men without a college degree was 40 percent, but only 12 percent among women without a college degree. This week, after the 2005 videotape was released, that number stayed roughly the same for blue-collar men—Trump is still up in that group by 43 percentage points—but it tanked for women, to a low that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s, with the exception of Bill Clinton in 1996. According to the first post-videotape poll, among white women without a college degree, Hillary Clinton had pulled even.”

Millennials Are Now Moving Toward Clinton, But Will They Turn out and Vote?” At Alternet, Steven Rosenfeld explores the evidence in Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund/Democracy Corps polling.

Carlos Maza and Coleman Lowndes have a disturbing report at Media Matters: “VIDEO: CNN Has A Trump Surrogate Problem: The Network Is Paying Professional Trump Supporters To Derail Negative Segments About Trump.” Icky.


Political Strategy Notes

‘To walk, or to walk back’ Trump support seems to be the question of the day for Republican Senators and House members conflcited about Trump’s mess and what it does to their ‘base.’ In his NYT report, “Some in G.O.P. Who Deserted Donald Trump Over Lewd Tape Are Returning,” Jonathan Martin elaborates: “While Mr. Trump had already lashed out at Mr. Ryan on Twitter and in a Fox News interview, his decision to use his own campaign event to hurl attacks at the speaker caused a new wave of fear among Republicans that their now “unshackled” candidate, as he described himself earlier in the week, might use his rallies to similarly attack local Republican lawmakers who have refused to support his candidacy. (They also had to deal with new revelations about Mr. Trump’s behavior, like a report that he had walked into a Miss Teen USA dressing room as contestants were changing, and another report that two women had accused him of groping them.).”

For an update on specific GOP politicians, The Times is also offering “More Than 160 Republican Leaders Don’t Support Donald Trump. Here’s When They Reached Their Breaking Point.”

At The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky clarifies the tally in percentage terms, which clearly indicate that the GOP is still Trump’s party, despite his declarations to the contrary: “Monday, McCain joined what in panting media shorthand is usually called something like the “long and fast-growing list” of Republicans who’ve withdrawn their support from Trump. Looked at one way, the list is indeed long. It includes about 15 GOP senators. But another way of saying it is that the list does not include nearly 40 of them. It includes around 25 GOP House members, which means it does not include about 215. It includes a half-dozen governors, but does not include more than 25. Adding it all up, among senators, House members, and governors, a hefty 85 percent still officially back this man who is obviously unqualified and hasn’t a small-d democratic cell in his body”

From Nate Cohn’s “The Savvy Person’s Guide to Reading the Latest Polls” at The Upshot: “Until a candidate approaches 50 percent, it’s hard to know whether the lead is because of party unity or because the candidate has won over the key voters needed for victory. This is especially true in a reliably red or blue state: A Democrat who has 40 percent of the vote in Arizona still has a lot to prove, even with a lead. He or she hasn’t yet won the Republican-leaning voters who decide the state’s elections…Usually, anything at 46 percent or above is a good indicator of real strength. Less than that, and you have to wonder about undecided voters.”

WaPo’s Kelsey Snell and Karoun Demirjian explain why “House Democrats believe Trump troubles give them real shot at retaking majority.” As they note, “Democrats think that Republicans are now stuck in the impossible position of either embracing their party’s presidential nominee and alienating swing voters critical to maintaining their hold on Congress or rejecting him and angering their base…While a generic ballot tests shows a Democrat up by 7 points over any Republican lawmaker, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s poll — conducted nationwide by the Global Strategy Group — shows the Democratic candidate has a 12-point edge if the Republican recently withdrew their support from Trump. If a Republican lawmaker continues to support Trump, the private polling shows they are at a similar 12-point deficit.”

Jim Galloway reports at The Atlanta Constitution-Journal that Margaret Hoover, Republican founder of a Super PAC dedicated to putting gay rights on the conservative agenda and great grand-daughter of President Hoover, articulates a point of view shared by a growing community of worried GOPers: “I really hope that Donald Trump loses spectacularly. For my version of the Republican party to be ascendant, I need a definitive loss,” said Hoover at a Georgia State University panel on the presidential race. “I need for that idea of what the Republican party is to really be disproved as viable, politically. If it’s very, very close you’ll embolden hold-outs who say, ‘Let’s wait four more years and do this again.’”

Social pressure matters a lot in increasing voter turnout, reports Simon Greenhill at The Daily Californian: “A study by UC Berkeley economics and business administration professors, in collaboration with professors from the University of Chicago and Harvard quantifies how much social pressure influences would-be voters…The researchers found that people’s concern about being asked whether they voted in the 2010 congressional election increased turnout by two percentage points and argue that doubling how often people are asked if they voted could increase turnout by two percentage points more…Previous studies have found that mailed get-out-the-vote campaigns increase voter turnout by an average of just 0.2 percentage points…“Two percentage points will open the margin where an election is decided,” said Stefano DellaVigna, the study’s lead author. “If the campaigns encourage people to ask others more, this could have a really sizable impact on turnout.””

Campaigns can administer social pressure, but facebook may be the most efficient instrument for administering peer-group pressure to go to the polls and vote on election day. It is certainly growing in influence as a news source, reports  Kanyakrit Vongkayitkajorn at Mother Jones. “About 60 percent of Americans now get news through social media, according to the Pew Research Center, up from nearly 50 percent in 2012. Facebook is the most widely used platform, and it also leads the pack in terms of getting news to its users: two-thirds of Facebook users said they sought news on the site, Pew found.” Facebook has its limits as a vehicle for influencing swing voters, since “friends” share political perspectives more often than not. But that very weakness is a source of srength, when it comes to guilt-tripping friends who are pondering whether to vote at all. Jennifer Moire noted at Adweek, “A study in Nature released last month reveals that a single Facebook message increased turnout by 340,000 votes in the 2010 midterms.” For more on this topic, read “3 Ways to Harness Facebook for GOTV” by Brian Ross Adama, digital consultant to Democratic campaigns and advocacy groups at Campaigns & Elections.

Lest Democrats drift into an unseemly October gloat, David Leonhardt has a sobering reminder of glaring weaknesses that must be addressed to prevent 2018 reversing gains won in 2016: “For one thing, Democrats haven’t yet hit on a successful strategy for turning out voters in midterm elections. That hurts them in congressional and governor races, as well as in state legislatures, which in turn allows Republicans to control the gerrymandering process…Democrats have also failed to build a strong bench of candidates. This year, Democrats did not even field a candidate in some districts. In others, the Democratic candidate seems too weak to create a competitive race. The Republican group that oversees its House campaigns recently chortled about the Democrats’ “embarrassing recruiting failures and primary losses for their chosen candidates.”


Conservative Evangelical Leaders Bailing from Trump Campaign?

If you have been wondering where conservative evangelical Republicans draw the line regarding their support of Trump, the moment of truth may have arrived, as evidenced by couple of recent statements from religious leaders.

In his Washington Post opinion page article, “Donald Trump has created an excruciating moment for evangelicals,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, writes:

This past weekend, political analysts described the situation inside the Trump campaign as “DEFCON 5,” an acknowledgment that the revelations of a sexually explicit taped conversation with Trump posed the prospect of immediate defections from key Trump constituencies, and evangelicals are at the top of that list.

..How could “family values voters” support a man who had, among other things, stated openly that no man’s wife was safe with him in the room? A casino titan who posed for the cover of Playboy magazine? A man who boasted that he did not repent of his (well-documented) sins and would not?

Citing “a marriage of convenience between evangelical Christians and the Republican Party” which  resulted from “the divide over issues like abortion and the definition of the family,” Mohler explains that conservative evangelical tolerance of Trump’s excesses thus far were largely due to their opposition to Hillary Clinton, who became their lightening rod for liberal values.

However, adds Mohler,

…This year, the Republican nominee is, in terms of character, the personification of what evangelicals have preached (and voted) against. Married three times, flaunting Christian sexual mores, building his fortune and his persona on the Playboy lifestyle, under any normal circumstances Trump would be the realization of evangelical nightmares, not the carrier of evangelical hopes.

…The release of the sexually explicit tape revealed Trump in a light that must be the worst nightmare for the candidate’s campaign. It revealed a sexual predator, not merely a playboy.

Further, says Mohler, “Trump’s horrifying statements, heard in his own proud voice, revealed an objectification of women and a sexual predation that must make continued support for Trump impossible for any evangelical leader.”

Mohler is just one voice. But consider Joshua Dubois’s post “Powerful Evangelical Women Split From Male Church Leaders to Slam Trump” at The Daily Beast. A Dubois writes about Beth Moore,  who preaches in arenas and writes perennial best-sellers on religious lists:

“I’m one among many women sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn’t. We’re tired of it,” Moore said. She also had a word about evangelical leaders still supporting Trump: “Try to absorb how acceptable the disesteem and objectifying of women has been when some Christian leaders don’t think it’s that big a deal.”

Moore’s broken silence about the 2016 race—rooted in her own experience with sexual assault—signals a widening gender divide between evangelicals. Increasingly, moderate and conservative Christian women are speaking out about Trump’s brand of misogyny and divisiveness, and condemning support for the nominee or silence about him from male evangelicals.

“When Christian women like Beth Moore choose to publicly speak about their own experience with sexual assault, it signals to me that they do not feel heard or understood by fellow Christian leaders who continue to support Trump,” Katelyn Beaty told me. Beaty, until recently the print managing editor of Christianity Today, the country’s largest evangelical Christian publication, is the author of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World. “Moore and others are saying to their fellow leaders, the one-in-six statistic”—of women who have experienced sexual assault—“includes me. When will you believe me and stand up for me?”

Dubois adds that “Her comments sent ripples around the evangelical world and were seconded by Christian mega-speaker and author Christine Caine. Sara Groves, the Dove Award-nominated Christian artist, told me, “Someone like Beth can go a long way in helping Evangelicals recognize these major blind spots.”

Further, notes Dubois, “Dr. Russell Moore—head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and a leading conservative Christian voice against Trump—says he is hearing privately from women like Groves and Moore all the time.”

“I have heard from many, many evangelical women who are horrified by Christian leaders ignoring this as an issue,” Moore told me. He says these women leaders have “spent their entire life teaching girls to find their identity in Christ and not in an American culture that sexualizes and objectifies them”—and they are now disgusted that evangelical men are not standing up and speaking out. Nish Weiseth, popular Christian blogger and author said that when it comes to Christian men still supporting Trump, “Disappointed seems like too soft a word. It’s devastating.”

None of this is to suggest that conservative evangelicals will be voting for Clinton in large numbers, and certainly they will continue to hold their strong views on topics like reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and other “family values” issues. But it looks like many conservative evangelicals, particularly women, will not be voting for Trump — and that’s good news for Clinton. And if a significant number stay home, that’s good news for down-ballot Democratic candidates, as well.