24 September 2016

Election Update: The Case For And Against Democratic Panic & President Trump? There’s only one way to stop it happening & Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren make the pitch to millennials for Clinton 24,23 &18SEP16

"Never seen otherwise smart people in so much denial as they are about Trump’s chances. Same mistake as Brexit"
Nate Silver

DEMOCRATS don't have any time to relax before election day,  8 NOV 16. The Clinton campaign has to strengthen their get out the vote efforts. They need to do more to persuade +Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters that they should be supporting Hillary Clinton, stressing the fact that libertarian candidate gary johnson does not support Sen Sanders campaign platform and is actually anti progressive politically. Much depends on donald drumpfs performance at the Presidential debate this Monday, 26 SEP 16. Hillary must compassionately make her case for her candidacy for president, persuading the American electorate she can be trusted to be a strong, sane CIC / Commander-In-Charge and is committed to fight for the progressive policies of the DNC's presidential campaign platform. This analysis of the state of the race from +FiveThirtyEight and  +The Guardian .....
Last Friday, I wrote an article entitled “Democrats Should Panic … If The Polls Still Look Like This In A Week.” Well, it’s been a week — actually eight days — since that was published. So: Should Democrats panic?
The verdict is … I don’t know. As of a few days ago, the case for panic looked pretty good. But Hillary Clinton has since had some stronger polls and improved her position in our forecast. In our polls-only model, Clinton’s chances of winning are 61 percent, up from a low of 56 percent earlier this week, but below the 70 percent chance she had on Sept. 9, before her “bad weekend.”
The polls-plus forecast has followed a similar trajectory. Clinton’s chances of winning are now 60 percent, up from a low of 55 percent but worse than the 68 percent chance she had two weeks ago.
I’d love to give the polls another week to see how these dynamics play out. Even with a fairly aggressive model like FiveThirtyEight’s, there’s a lag between when news occurs and when its impact is fully reflected in the polls and the forecast. But instead, Monday’s presidential debate is likely to sway the polls in one direction or another — and will probably have a larger impact on the race than whatever shifts we’ve seen this week.
There’s also not much consensus among pollsters about where the race stands. On the one hand, you can cite several national polls this week that show Clinton ahead by 5 or 6 percentage points, the first time we’ve consistently seen numbers like that in a few weeks. She also got mostly favorable numbers in “must-win states,” such as New Hampshire. But Clinton also got some pretty awful polls this week in other swing states: surveys from high-quality pollsters showing her 7 points behind Donald Trump in Iowa, or 5 points behind him in Ohio, only tied with him inMaine, for instance. The differences are hard to reconcile: It’s almost inconceivable that Clinton is both winning nationally by 6 points, and losing Ohio (for example) by 5 points.
usually tell people not to sweat disagreements like these all that much. In fact, most observers probably underestimate the degree of disagreement that occurs naturally and unavoidably between polls because of sampling error, along with legitimate methodological differences over techniques such as demographic weighting and likely-voter modelling.1. If anything, there’s usually too little disagreement between pollsters because of herding, which is the tendency to suppress seeming “outlier” results that don’t match the consensus.
Still, the disagreement between polls this week was on the high end, and that makes it harder to know exactly what the baseline is heading into Monday’s debate. The polls-only model suggests that Clinton is now ahead by 2 to 3 percentage points, up slightly from a 1 or 2 point lead last week. But I wouldn’t spend a lot of time arguing with people who claim her lead is slightly larger or smaller than that. It may also be that both Clinton and Trump are gaining ground thanks to undecided and third-party voters, a trend which could accelerate after the debate because Gary Johnson and Jill Stein won’t appear on stage.
In football terms, we’re probably still in the equivalent of a one-score game. If the next break goes in Trump’s direction, he could tie or pull ahead of Clinton. A reasonable benchmark for how much the debates might move the polls is 3 or 4 percentage points. If that shift works in Clinton’s favor, she could re-establish a lead of 6 or 7 percentage points, close to her early-summer and post-convention peaks. If the debates cut in Trump’s direction instead, he could easily emerge with the lead. I’m not sure where that ought to put Democrats on the spectrum between mild unease and full-blown panic. The point is really just that the degree of uncertainty remains high.
Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.  

President Trump? There’s only one way to stop it happening

hate to be an alarmist, but Donald Trump could be on course to be elected president of the United States – and the decisive moment may well come on Monday night. That’s when he faces Hillary Clinton in what is expected to be one of the most watched events in television history. The TV debates are perhaps the last chance for her to persuade the American people that this man is unqualified for, and unworthy of, the presidency and poses a genuine threat to the republic.
If that sounds like panic, then I’m not the only one. Sweaty-palmed nausea has become a leading symptom among those who tremble at the prospect of a Trump presidency. The latest Slate Political Gabfest podcast is called The Time to Panic Edition. Number cruncher Nate Silver, who gives Trump a 40% probability of winning, triggered another round of liberal angst this week when he tweeted that he had “Never seen otherwise smart people in so much denial about something as they are about Trump’s chances. Same mistake as primaries, Brexit.”
The source of the alarm is not so much the national polls, where Clinton is a few points ahead, but surveys from those battleground states where the presidency will be decided. In the last week, polls have put Trump in front in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and, most neuralgic of all, Florida.
So low are expectations for his performance on Monday – where it is assumed that his opponent, a seasoned debater, will wipe the floor with him – that if Trump manages to speak in vaguely coherent sentences and not deliver a misogynist insult to Clinton’s face, his advocates will declare that he looked “presidential” and anoint him the winner. If he can somehow persuade wavering voters that he is not so ridiculous as to merit automatic disqualification, he will have cleared a crucial hurdle.
And for all her experience, Clinton heads towards this first, and therefore most important, debate facing some serious obstacles. She’s been advised that she mustn’t interrupt too much or talk over Trump: apparently voters react badly to seeing a woman act that way. According to a New York Times report well sourced from inside Hillary’s debate preparation team, “she does not want to be seen as pushy and play into gender stereotypes”. This was not something Barack Obama, or husband Bill, ever had to worry about.
 Activists in Berlin dismantle what they called a Wall of Hate showing Donald Trump in front of the Brandenburg Gate on 23 September. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
But Trump himself presents her with an unprecedented conundrum. How does she take on a candidate who lies and lies and lies? One reporter following Trump has taken to logging the falsehoods he tells each day: no small task.
Take two areas where you’d assume that to be caught in untruth would be terminal for a presidential candidate. Trump has been exposed for serial lying over 9/11, falsely claiming to have lost hundreds of friends that day; to have seen thousands of Muslims cheering the fall of the twin towers; and to have helped in the rescue effort. He even milked cash from a 9/11 relief fund.
This week he was found to have raided $258,000 from the charitable foundation that bears his name to settle assorted legal problems. Earlier he dipped into that same charity box, filled by others’ donations, to pay for a larger than life $10,000 painting – of himself. He lies about 9/11. He lies about charity. But on he strides.
Donald Trump
 “But Trump himself presents her with an unprecedented conundrum. How does she take on a candidate who lies and lies and lies?’ Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
So where can Hillary begin? If she calls him a liar, he’ll hit back over her use of a private email server, calling her Crooked Hillary, knowing that some 60% of Americans believe she’s dishonest. The risk is that he’ll use her experience and expertise against her, casting her as the boring know-it-all against the freewheeling, entertaining guy who relies on good old gut instinct.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a show we’ve already seen. In 2000 Al Gore was clearly the more accomplished, ready-for-office candidate. But he came across as impatient and pompous against the looser, backslapping George W Bush. Never mind that one was a visionary on the issue of climate change while the other would lead the US into the catastrophic invasion of Iraq. On the night, Bush came across better on TV.
Which brings us to a core problem facing Hillary Clinton. Polls show there are millions of voters, especially young ones, who agree in big numbers that Trump is a racist and a sexist, unqualified for America’s highest office – but who are refusing to back Clinton. One survey of 18- to 34-year-olds recorded dire numbersfor Trump, but still found only 31% supporting Clinton, with 29% preferring libertarian Gary Johnson and 15% the Green candidate Jill Stein. If those numbers are replicated on election day, Trump will win.
This too stirs queasy memories of 2000. In that year, a small but significant bloc on the left voted for Ralph Nader instead of Gore. More than 90,000 voted for Nader in Florida, a state Gore was eventually deemed to have lost by just 537 votes. Had even a tiny fraction of those Naderites decided to hold their nose and choose Gore instead, there would have been no Bush presidency – and no Iraq war.
I know this is a sore, and contested, point among those who chose Nader, who to this day blame Gore for not doing enough to appeal to the left (forgetting perhaps that he also had to appeal to centrist voters in order to win the election). But the basic case is surely clear. In a two-party system like America’s, if you want to stop Trump, then a vote for Johnson or Stein will not do it. Only a vote for Clinton can prevent a white nationalist bigot becoming the next US president.
You might think this is all so obvious that it barely needs stating. But 2000 can seem like ancient history to those who don’t remember it. And here, younger voters are not to blame. Older liberals haven’t seared the Bush calamity into the minds of the next generation. They never turned 2000 into a cautionary tale of the cost of third-party indulgence. As the New Republic put it this week, “Liberals have failed to teach millennials about the horror of George W Bush.” (Republicans, meanwhile, bang on about the supposedly dismal presidency of Jimmy Carter to this day, just as British Conservatives invoked the 1979 “winter of discontent” for over three decades. It is the centre-left that is oddly reticent about exploiting its opponents’ history of failure.)
So now, even though the hour is late, this is the case Democrats must make. That this is an exceptional election because Donald Trump represents an exceptional menace, to America and to the world. It is indeed a referendum on Trump and the only way to vote no in that referendum is to vote Clinton. She may not be the candidate of your dreams, but she’s all that stands between you and an American nightmare.
You don’t have to love her. You don’t even have to like her. You’re not saying she’s flawless (though the current Democratic platform is its most progressive in 30 years, thanks in part to the challenge of Bernie Sanders). As Joe Biden puts it, “Don’t compare her to the Almighty. Compare her to the alternative.” And the alternative is President Trump.
  • This article was amended on 24 September 2016 to clarify the details of the Slate podcast.
  • Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren make the pitch to millennials for Clinton

    Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
    Hillary Clinton dispatched two progressive icons to Ohio this weekend to reverse course with millennials — an increasingly substantial voting bloc that has drifted away from the Democratic nominee. 
    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigned on college campuses throughout the state after several polls this week indicated that Clinton’s lead with young voters had nearly evaporated. In Ohio, according to a Suffolk University poll released this week, Trump is even leading Clinton by 11 points, 43 percent to 31 percent, among 18 to 34 year-olds. 
    Sanders, the overwhelming favorite of young voters​ in Ohio’s March primary, attacked Trump’s campaign for “bigotry” before touting Clinton’s plan to take on student debt and repeated rallying cries to get out the vote on Saturday. 
    “Eighty-three percent of American families should be able to send their kids to public college and universities tuition free​,” Sanders said to an auditorium filled with students at the University of Akron. “So when you go out and talk to your friends and they say, ‘Oh God I’m not going to vote it’s a waste of time everybody is terrible,’ ask them how much they’re going to leave school in debt with. Ask them about that.”
    Warren, meanwhile, electrified a Cleveland crowd with what was perhaps her most forceful and urgent condemnation of Trump to date on Sunday morning. 
    “Trump has more support from Aryan nation and the Ku Klux Klan than he does the leadership of the Republican Party,” Warren said during an appearance at Cleveland State University. “For years, Trump has led the charge on the birther movement, and only when his handlers tied him down and made him, did he finally admit that it wasn’t true. What kind of a man that does that? A man with a dark and ugly soul, a man who will never be president.” 
    The Massachusetts Senator also played the part of cheerleader, pumping her fists as she sang praises of Ohio Senate candidate Ted Strickland, who is lagging in the polls behind incumbent Sen. Rob Portman​. Warren shouted “I’m with Hillary,” before urging the group of students, parents and grandparents to register to vote and volunteer for the campaign. 
    The frenzied crowd reveled in Warren’s flogging of the Republican party. Even actor John Lithgow, the Clinton celebrity surrogate who introduced Warren and Strickland, wanted a selfie with the Massachusetts Senator on the rope line. 
    Still, support for Clinton’s progressive surrogates in the room doesn’t appear to have translated to real enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee just yet. 
    “I was an avid Bernie supporter and now I’m undecided,” Ryan Wile, a 20 year-old student from Akron, told CBS News. “I mean, I’m anti-Trump but I don’t know if I’ll vote for her. She flip-flops a lot. I’m leaning her direction but I don’t know.”
    Tommy Watral, a 19 year-old student at Kent State University from Mentor, Ohio who served as a delegate for Sanders to the Democratic Convention, flatly stated that he was voting for Clinton because she was the nominee and the alternative to Trump. “That’s just how it is,” he said. 
    “She’s struggling especially with the youth vote because we have so much access to information so we can look up her voting records and what she has done as First Lady and Secretary of State,” Watral explained of the lackluster enthusiasm. 
    Sarah Melissa Miller, a 31-year-old voter from Canton, Ohio, was critical of Clinton’s style, saying “when she first starts talking her voice sounds flat.” 
    “But when you actually listen to her, and how she feels about the issues, you realize she is actually working more for younger people than the other candidates,” Miller said. 
    Nevertheless, the outreach was welcomed by members of the generation that Obama won by 29 percentage points over Mitt Romney in 2012. 
    “The fact that Sanders is actually endorsing her is really important because I wasn’t really the biggest fan of hers but now that I see that he is going out of his way to promote who she is, I think it’s super important,” said Zach Fradette, a 21-year-old student from Westerville, Ohio. 
    Brooke Babyak, a 27 year-old Clinton supporter from Akron, Ohio, who was in attendance at Warren’s event in Cleveland on Sunday said Warren’s brand as a champion for young people and infectious enthusiasm would certainly benefit Clinton. 
    “Warren has a lot of ideas for changing how college is paid for and addressed the issues that younger voters are for,” Babyak said. “Hillary has these same ideas and if they can combine that with the enthusiasm, it’ll help.” 
    Watral even offered some unsolicited advice for the Clinton campaign with regards to Sanders’ role in the campaign. 
    “I think he should really just do a college tour until voting day to get college students voting enthusiasm up because now it’s just faltering,” he said. 
    According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia would have flipped from blue to red without the youth vote in 2012. 
    Fortunately for Clinton, she has amassed a bench of powerful surrogates who have vowed do whatever it takes to get the former Secretary of State elected. 
    Clinton’s most popular resource, First Lady Michelle Obama, campaigned with Tim Kaine at George Mason University in Virginia on Friday. There, to chants of “four more years,” she made an explicit appeal for Clinton.  
    “Let’s be clear, elections aren’t just about who votes, but who doesn’t vote. And that is especially true for young people like all of you,” Obama said. “Without those votes, Barack would have lost those states and he definitely would have lost that election. Period, end of story.” 
    Supporters and critics alike have suggested that Clinton’s message has been overshadowed by her near constant attacks on Trump. “Millennial voters want to talk about the issues. That’s what will get them to the polls. They aren’t scared of Donald Trump,” Symone Sanders, the Vermont Senator’s former National Press Secretary, tweeted on Saturday. 
    Clinton is scheduled to give a speech aimed at millennial voters at Temple University in Philadelphia on Monday where she’ll lay out her plans to make debt free college and community college available to students.