Thursday, September 15, 2016

Last Call For The Fraud Squad

Years of Republicans undermining the voting process has led to the widespread and erroneous belief that America's elections are rigged, with one in three Americans believing that votes will not be counted correctly in November, and that 46% believe voter fraud happens regularly.

Nearly half of Americans say that voter fraud occurs at least somewhat often according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a viewpoint at odds with studies showing it rarely occurs in U.S. elections. 
The poll also finds 63 percent of voters are confident that votes in this year’s presidential election will be counted accurately, down from about 7 in 10 in 2004. 
Republicans and Donald Trump supporters express the greatest concern about voter fraud and election accuracy -- worries which the GOP nominee has stoked on the campaign trail. The dynamic marks a reversal from 2004, when Democrats were more doubtful about the legitimacy of the vote. 
The Post-ABC poll finds 46 percent of registered voters say voter fraud -- described as multiple votes being cast by a single person, or an ineligible person casting a ballot -- occurs very or somewhat often, while 50 percent say it occurs occasionally or rarely. 
Over two-thirds of Trump voters say voter fraud occurs often, compared with less than one-third of Clinton supporters. Whatever the partisan differences, at least one-fifth of every major demographic and political group says voter fraud occurs somewhat or very often. 
The prevalence of voter fraud appears to be widely overestimated. A 2012 investigation by the News21 investigative reporting project published in The Washington Post found only 2,068 cases of alleged voter fraud had been reported since 2000, including only 10 cases of voter impersonation over the entire period. A separate study by Loyola Law School professor Justen Levitt found 241 potentially fraudulent ballots over a 14-year period out of 1 billion ballots cast. 
The Post-ABC poll also finds a sizable gap in skepticism of vote counting accuracy between Clinton and Trump supporters. Just under half of Trump supporters (49 percent) say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident” will be counted accurately, while just 18 percent of Clinton supporters are similarly skeptical.

So again, what happens when Trump loses in November?  These folks aren't just going to shrug and go "oh well" and behave, as the last eight years can attest to the mass delegitimization of the federal government.

That's a problem across the board.

Nailing The 45-Yard Field Goal

As pollsters switch over to their likely voter models and away from registered voter models, we're now starting to see state polls showing a much tighter race across the board.  Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri are no longer considered anything close to competitive, and talk of the Av-Hill-Lanche is somewhat muted at this point.

Ed Kilgore reminds us that if the likely voter models at this point truly are correct, then the possibility of a Trump win is disturbingly real.

Sometimes you can get lulled into complacency by win-probability projections that sound immutable but really aren’t. Citigroup put out a warning about that today: 
A new note from Citigroup Inc. says that while the firm still puts the probability of Hillary Clinton securing the U.S. presidential election at 65 percent, investors are not taking the remaining chance of a win by Donald Trump very seriously. 
“A 35 percent probability for a Trump victory is more meaningful than investors may be appreciating,” the team, led by Chief Global Political Analyst Tina Fordham, writes in a note published on Tuesday. “Political probabilities are not like blackjack — there is only one roll of the dice, and 35 percent probability events happen frequently in real life.” 
The Upshot, which rates Clinton at an even higher 79 percent win probability, offers this sobering analogy: “Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 45-yard field goal.” 
So, in the fourth quarter of a very close game, when that placekicker trots out onto the field with everything on the line, how confident are you that he will nail that “high-probability” field goal? Are you a tad nervous? 
Those who have laughed off Donald Trump’s chances while believing his election would represent a turn for the worse in their own lives should be nervous right now.

Once again, I don't think the Trump will win and I believe voters will turn out to stop him.  But Clinton does have to make that field goal in November.  That means being able to execute on the fundamentals, and that's where Clinton's campaign does have the advantage.

Intercourse With Various Members Of The Genus Rattus

Republicans understand two things about politics: First, that black voters are the heart and soul of the Democratic party, and second, any efforts by the GOP to peel us away from voting blue is always "newsworthy" no matter how ridiculous.  But this time it really is worth noting, as I see our friend Bruce Carter from "Black Men for Bernie" is back...and now he's teaming up with the Trump campaign.

Promising to deliver Donald Trump and the Republicans the highest percentage of black votes since 1965 Voting Rights Act, the founder of Black Men for Bernie is now launching Trump for Urban Communities.

Bruce Carter is touting the effort “largest ground game in the country” targeted at black voters — with a platform focused on urban investment, self-sufficiency, and resources for small businesses. “It’s about teaching people how to fish instead of giving them a fish and walking away,” Carter told BuzzFeed News in an interview. 
He said he’s aiming to place 2,000 staffers in North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania, hiring them to make direct voter contact and pitch Trump’s gospel by setting up barbershops as “our information hubs.” This would be an enormous project; by comparison, Hillary Clinton’s campaign had about 700 staffers total in recent months. 
Carter believes his “partnership” with the Trump campaign is “ten times the value” of an endorsement. “A partnership means that both [sides] have an obligation to do something. It allows me to hold people accountable.” 
“It’s about getting people to buy into the partnership. No other campaign has considered spending this kind of money.” 
Carter said he had assurances from top Trump aides that the candidate and campaign was committed to making the effort successful, but he didn’t have specifics on what the Trump campaign plans to spend on Trump for Urban Communities. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. A website for the outreach strategy previewed by BuzzFeed News describes it as “a movement to ensure that Donald Trump wins the presidency and the Republicans retain Congress during the 2016 Election.” 
Carter criticized political parties and campaigns who send staff from outside of areas instead of hiring inside communities where people need help. “We’re going to have train them and teach them how to market Donald Trump.” 
The site also features video clips of Louis Farrakhan slamming Clinton as “a wicked woman,” clashing with Barack Obama on the debate stage, and her using the term “superpredators” in a 1996 speech. “We cannot afford to allow a self-serving POTUS and the Democrats to prevail, especially in light of the Supreme Court appointments (one to potentially three) that will occur this election cycle,” the site reads.

Who knew that the endgame of the anti-Clinton grift targeting black voters was to recycle the playbook and ride the Trump Train?

Oh wait.


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