The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all. Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at www.electreport.blogspot.com
Days until General Election: 79
Trump’s New Campaign Manager
This week in Trump’s campaign has been - hectic, to say the least. It all started last Sunday when Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was found having received a little bit of money from Ukraine. And by a little bit, I mean upwards of $10 million. Following this, and Trump’s recent comments regarding Russia, it was announced that the FBI has been investigating the companies who had sent the money to Manafort. There have also been some ties between Manafort and the invasion of Crimea, as well as between him and corrupt former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. (Read more here, here, and here). After all this, Manafort resigned. So, Trump needed a new campaign manager.
Where did he turn? To start, he named his campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon! Who is that?
“Stephen Bannon is an Irish-born British film director, film producer and music video director. He is best known for directing the films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Coneheads (1993) and the innovative music videos for a-ha's "Take on Me" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".”
Wait, never mind. That’s Steven Barron. Bannon is the owner of Breitbart, an alt-right pro-Trump site that features terrible people like Milo Yiannopoulos (that’s not just me being biased - just this week Yiannopoulos stole $100,000 that was supposed to go to charity!) He was also involved in the making of Clinton Cash.
For his campaign manager, he chose Kellyanne Conway. Conway had been one of Trump’s advisors for a total of a month and a half, and is also the head of the “Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC”. She also defended Todd Akin after he made an absolutely horrible statement about rape, and said the Republicans were wrong to criticize him.
Trump Is Still Mad at the Media
“I have been drawing very big and enthusiastic crowds, but the media refuses to show or discuss them. Something very big is happening!”
“The reporting at the failing @nytimes gets worse and worse by the day. Fortunately, it is a dying newspaper.”
And this doesn’t have to do with the media, but another couple of A+ quotes from his Twitter:
“They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!”
Guess Who’s Back?
Trump’s new foreign policy advisor is... Michele Bachmann! “Former Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said she has been advising Trump on foreign policy and issues of concern to Christian conservatives. She said Trump is right to call for more restrictive immigration policies.
“He also recognizes there is a threat around the world, not just here in Minnesota, of radical Islam,” she said.” (MPR News) Bachmann, a former 2012 presidential candidate, has about as much foreign policy experience as I do, and demonstrated that here by implying radical Islam is a major problem in Minnesota, and also the world.
Another twist in the non-issue that is Hillary Clinton’s email server happened this week when Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that Clinton must “provide written testimony under oath about why she set up a private computer server to send and receive emails while secretary of state” (NYTimes). This is bad news for all of us who thought we were done with this after Comey’s decision, but I don’t believe this questioning will lead to any great revelations one way or another.
Averages in key swing states:
Arizona: Trump +2
Georgia: Trump +0.5
Iowa: Clinton +0.3
Nevada: Clinton +1.7
North Carolina: Clinton +2.2
Ohio: Clinton +3
Florida: Clinton +4.1
Pennsylvania: Clinton +8.7
Virginia: Clinton +10.3
New Hampshire: Clinton +11.3
Senate Preview #4
Senator and former presidential candidate Rand Paul faces a tougher battle than he should in a state like Kentucky. His challenger is Jim Gray, mayor of Lexington. Polling shows Paul modestly ahead of Gray, but Kentucky has a history of electing moderate Democrats (just ask Steve Beshear).
Rating: Likely R
David Vitter, who lost the 2015 gubernatorial race to John Bel Edwards thanks to brilliant attack advertising, is not running for a third term. Now, Louisiana’s elections work differently than most. On November, candidates from every party will be on the ballot, and the top two will advance to a runoff. Because of the magnitude of the field this time, there is thus a distinct possibility that white supremacist, former Klan leader, and former State Senator David Duke does a good enough job to make the runoff. So far, polling shows John Neely Kennedy with a large lead, but that was before Duke’s announcement, which cited Trump as a major factor in his decision to run.
Rating: Safe R, but if it’s Duke vs. a Democrat that could change
Barbara Mikulski’s years in the Senate have ended, and her successor will likely be Chris Van Hollen. Van Hollen, a US Representative, fought a tough primary against Donna Edwards, another Representative. Van Hollen ultimately won by 15 points and faces Kathy Szeliga, State Delegate.
Rating: Safe D
This Week In World Elections
Gabon: Next Saturday, Gabon heads to the polls to vote for their next president. Their campaign season of 2 weeks makes ours look... very, very, very long. President Ali Bongo Ondimba is expected to win re-election. Other than some question on whether Ondimba is legally allowed to be president, since there are rumors that he was adopted, he should be able to win easily.
Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!