August, 2016

Bachmann Says God Picked Trump

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said that Donald Trump was “raised up” by God to win in the general election, The Hill reports.

Said Bachmann: “This is one thing I know from the Book of Daniel: the bottom line of the Book of Daniel is this: it teaches us that the most high God lifts up who He will and takes down who he will.”

“I actually supported Ted Cruz. I thought he was fabulous but I also see that at the end of the day God raised up, I believe Donald Trump who was going to be the nominee in this election. I don’t think God sits things out. He’s a sovereign God. Donald Trump became our nominee. I think it’s very likely that in the day that we live in, that Donald Trump is the only individual who could win in a General Election of the seventeen who ran. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know but I do know that the Bible is true and that Daniel teaches the most high God which is one of God’s names is the one who lifts up who he will and takes down who He will…”

Why Is Clinton Avoiding Press Conferences?

The Lid: “Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump in almost all national polls, in TV ad spending and in nearly every measure of campaign organization. But she’s way behind on one tally that Donald Trump will continue to make into a talking point every day that goes by: Press conferences… Trump has held 17 press conference since the beginning of the year, compared to a big zero for Clinton.”

“Plenty of pols are media-averse — and Clinton’s decades in public life have certainly given her a wealth of examples of the risks associated with a media free-for-all. And her team counters that she’s participated in hundreds of one-on-one interviews throughout her campaign. But her avoidance of even casual gaggles with reporters this cycle has become nearly a campaign-defining condition.”

GOP Platform At Odds with the U.S. Constitution

Rick Hasen: “Going mostly (but not completely) unnoticed is the following statement in the Republican Party platform: ‘In order to preserve the principle of one person, one vote, we urge our elected representatives to ensure that citizenship, rather than mere residency, be made the basis for the apportionment of representatives among the states.'”

“Currently, congressional districts are apportioned based upon total population. If Republicans were able to actually follow through on this, it would mean that areas with large Latino populations, where there are more non-citizens, would lose representation compared to whiter, more Republican districts. It would shift more power in Congress to the Republicans.”

“But there’s a problem with this aspirational plan, something called the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides in Section 2 that “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” Last time I checked, non-citizens were still “persons.” So maybe this part of the platform is an oblique call for a constitutional amendment?”

Giuliani Explains Questioning Clinton’s Health

Rudy Giuliani writing in USA Today:

I did not come to a conclusion on this matter; I simply asked people to draw their own conclusions. I hope Secretary Clinton is perfectly healthy, and I feel that I have performed a public service if I can motivate the press to fulfill its responsibility to get the public the information it deserves — and the same standard should be applied to all candidates.

The Ground Game Gap

“As the presidential election marathon breaks into a final sprint, the Trump campaign faces a jaw-dropping gap in the ground game: Hillary Clinton currently has more than three times the number of campaign offices in critical states than does Donald Trump,” according to PBS Newshour.

“The contrast is a test for the conventional campaign model and points to the candidates’ stark differences in methods. Clinton is cleaving to the data-driven, on-the-ground machine that won two elections for Barack Obama. Trump, on the other hand, insists he does not need traditional campaign tactics to win the election, pointing to his overwhelming nomination victory achieved with a relatively small team and little spending.”

“Nevertheless, the ground game is poised to be critical in 2016. Undecided voters are becoming scarce, and targeted turnout may be the deciding factor on Nov. 8. That usually requires field offices with phone banks, organized volunteers and a coordinated effort to knock on doors and get people to the polls.”

Trump Partially Lifts Ban on Media Outlets

“Donald Trump’s ban on The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and other media outlets may not be over — but it does appear to have loosened,” CNN reports.

“Four of the news organizations that Trump has blacklisted from covering his campaign events — The Post, BuzzFeed, Politico and Huffington Post — are all listed on the September rotation for a new print press pool that will cover Trump.”

Grassley Might Be Open to Lame Duck Hearing

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “appears to have softened his stance on holding confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court,” the Huffington Post reports.

“Grassley said in May the Senate should not consider a nominee until the day the next president is sworn in. But… he said he could change his position and hold a hearing between the November election and Inauguration Day if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so.”

Said Grassley: “If we have the election, and there was a majority of the Senate changed their mind about doing it in the lame duck, as opposed to January 20, I don’t feel that I could stand in the way of that. But I don’t think I can promote that idea.”

Clinton’s National Lead Holds Steady

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump, 42% to 37%, followed by Gary Johnson at 6%, Jill Stein at 4% and Evan McMullin at 1%.

“A month ago Clinton actually led 46/41 but both she and Trump’s support has dropped by 4 points, with support for third party candidates increasing from 8% to 11% and the level of undecideds increasing from 5% to 10%. It’s a similar story in the head to head- Clinton’s 5 point lead is the same as a month ago, but now it’s 48/43 instead of 50/45 with undecideds increasing from 5% to 9%.”