June, 2016

Clinton Has Major Advantage In TV Ad War

Rick Klein: “Much has already been made of the advertising jump enjoyed by Hillary Clinton, whose 12-1 ad spending edge this month means she and her allies have spent $20 million more getting their message out than has Donald Trump and his backers. But is that head start about to get even longer? Speaking Tuesday night in Ohio, Donald Trump suggested that he won’t start spending in battleground states until after the Republican National Convention.”

Said Trump: “She is spending money like – like I’ve never seen before. I figure we start spending it after the convention, which is going to be a tremendous success.”

“Tremendous success or not, this leaves Trump spotting two whole months to Clinton at the start of the general election – critical time Democrats are using to define the opposition. Even if this is being driven by strategy, as opposed to necessity, it’s possible we’ll look back at this period and talk about avoidable campaign miscalculations. Trump has seen his standing erode since he locked down the nomination – six weeks before Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee. Clinton and her forces have been freed up to make their case without meaningful pushback on the airwaves.”

Trump Trailing Badly In Key Battlegrounds

A new Democracy Corps (D) survey shows Donald Trump’s Rustbelt strategy is faltering badly.

“He is losing to Clinton by 8 points across the Rustbelt battleground states and runs no better than Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But more important, Clinton is beating Trump by 8 points in the more demographically diverse battleground states, outperforming Obama in Florida by 10 points, North Carolina by 13 points, and Arizona by 4 points. That grows the Electoral College map for Democrats and produces an Electoral College earthquake.”

“These results understate what is possible for Clinton because the Bernie Sanders and Millennial vote is not yet fully consolidated behind her. Johnson is winning 22 percent of the millennial vote, though the building Democratic unity and endorsements may erode that.”

Clinton’s Top Aide Frustrated by Use of Private Email

“A top aide to Hillary Clinton said the former secretary of state’s use of a private e-mail server to conduct government business on at least one occasion got in the way of Clinton’s work and left the aide frustrated,” Bloomberg reports.

“Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and now the vice chair of her presidential campaign, was being deposed about the context of a November 2010 e-mail she sent Clinton that they ‘should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.’ Prompting the note, according to the e-mail chain released last week by the State Department under the Freedom of Information Act, was a missed scheduled phone call, one of a number of communications mishaps detailed in Clinton’s 55,000-page e-mail record.”

A Brutal Month for Trump

First Read looks at how Donald Trump squandered the month of June:

  1. The polls: Trump now trails Clinton by six points nationally in the RealClearPolitics average, when Clinton’s lead had been just one point in late May.
  2. The money: He had just $1.3 million in the bank, according to the last campaign-finance report, versus $42 million for Clinton.
  3. The ads: For the month, Clinton and her allies outspent Team Trump over the battleground-state airwaves, $26 million to $0, though the NRA starts spending $2 million on Trump’s behalf in battlegrounds starting today (more on that below).
  4. The travel: Despite having a month-long head start on Clinton in getting to the general election, the only battleground states that Trump has visited more than his rival are Pennsylvania (2 visits to 1), Florida (1 to 0), and New Hampshire (2 to 0, including today’s event), while Clinton has the advantage in Ohio (3 to 1) and North Carolina (2 to 1, including Tuesday’s upcoming appearance with President Obama).
  5. The controversies: Whether it was the attack on the federal judge or his reaction to the Orlando terrorist attack, the attention Trump received in June was mostly negative. Per our NBC/WSJ poll, 55% of all voters said they had less favorable impression of Trump from what they had seen, heard, or read of him, compared with 20% who had a more favorable view (-35). Clinton’s score here was 38% less favorable, 27% more favorable (-11).

Why a Top McCain Aide Won’t Vote for Trump

Mark Salter: “He’s an ignoramus whose knowledge of public issues is more superficial than an occasional newspaper reader’s. He casts his intellectual laziness as a choice, a deliberate avoidance of expert views that might contaminate his ill-informed opinions. He excused his failure to consult professionals before commenting on the Brexit vote by dismissing foreign policy advisers in general, including his own… He’s a charlatan, preposterously posing as a business genius while cheating investors, subcontractors, and his own customers. He’s rich because his father left him a great deal of money… He possesses the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old. He can’t let go of any slight, real or imagined.”

“Whatever Hillary Clinton’s faults, she’s not ignorant or hateful or a nut. She acts like an adult, and understands the responsibilities of an American president.”

Bill Clinton Met Privately with Attorney General

“Amid an ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of email and hours before the public release of the Benghazi report, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton,” ABC 15 in Arizona reports.

“The private meeting took place on the west side of Sky Harbor International Airport on board a parked private plane.”

Cleveland Quintuples RNC ‘Protest Insurance’ Coverage

“Cleveland officials on Wednesday voted to buy a $50 million ‘protest insurance’ policy for the Republican National Convention — a five-fold increase over what was previously approved — in a tangible sign that city officials now believe the risk of hosting the event is larger than what was initially believed,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Boris Johnson Will Not Run In Britain

“The race to succeed David Cameron as prime minister of Britain was turned upside down on Thursday when Boris Johnson, widely seen as the leading candidate, chose at the last minute not to run, after his close ally Michael Gove challenged him for the job,” the New York Times reports.

“The unexpected turn of events was the latest political aftershock from Britain’s vote last week to leave the European Union, and it could benefit another candidate, Theresa May, the home secretary, who laid out her case on Thursday for why she should lead the party.”

BBC: “Mr Johnson’s unexpected – and dramatic – announcement that he would not stand for Tory leader or prime minister, positions he is long thought to have harboured ambitions for, has dramatically altered the race.”

Trump Slams Rivals for Not Endorsing Him

Donald Trump hammered his former GOP rivals for not endorsing him, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “It was a rough campaign, and I wasn’t nice, but they weren’t nice either. Honestly, you sign a pledge, you’re supposed to honor the pledge.”

He added they they were “really sore losers” and said they only signed the pledge so he would do so as well: “They broke their word, and in my opinion, they shouldn’t be allowed to run for office again… because what they did is disgraceful.”

Kaine Took $160K In Gifts

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) “took advantage of the state’s lax gift laws to receive an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor,” Politico reports.

“Now a leading contender to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Kaine reported more than $160,000 in gifts from 2001 to 2009, mostly for travel to and from political events and conferences, according to disclosures compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.”