FROM Sam Wang
New evidence of excitement with only a day to go Some Red and Blue states may be turning purple in an increasingly polarized nation. Early voting and absentee ballots provide tea leaves for prognosticators, but there's still no consensus, despite what may be the largest turnout in history. It's not just the White House. Control of the Senate is also at stake. Incumbent Republicans have sent mixed messages about Donald Trump, while Democrats are working closely with Hillary Clinton's campaign. Massive turnout by Latinos could be crucial in several states. And the FBI is involved as never before. We have a round up.
Confused by political polling? You're not alone. On the average, national polls show that Hillary Clinton will likely defeat Donald Trump in next month's election. Trump's response is familiar. "They are phony polls put out by phony media and I'll tell you what all of us are affected by this stuff and what they do they try and suppress the vote that way people don't go out and vote but we're winning this race. I really believe we are winning" But, from time to time, polls show Trump doing better. Some news media report there's a close race, and Trump can claim he'll be the eventual winner. So how's a prospective voter to know how the election is really going? Is political polling an art or a science? We talk to some leading practitioners about how they come up with numbers that can influence the ultimate outcome — whether they're right or wrong.
Are Polls Trumping Political Reality? In a speech in South Carolina today, Donald Trump gave out the personal cell phone of Lindsay Graham, that state's US Senator and a fellow candidate for President. Trump also called Graham a "lightweight" and "an idiot." The Des Moines Register's editorial board has called Trump a "feckless blowhard" and asked him to drop out of the presidential primary. Today's Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump leading the field of 16 candidates—with 24%, the biggest showing any candidate has made so far this year. Yet the same survey shows that Republicans don't share Trump's views — even on immigration — and 54% say he doesn't reflect Republican values. Other surveys show the same contradiction. Is it all about saturation news coverage, or is something wrong with the polls? The question's especially important this year when the first debate will include only the ten candidates with the biggest numbers.
Gerrymandering and Political Gridlock on Capitol Hill Republicans warned about voter fraud in last year's elections, while Democrats said the big threat to a fair outcome was voter ID. But the real crime was gerrymandering, the re-drawing of Congressional district boundaries so that Republicans got a much bigger majority than they deserved. That's according to a Princeton scientist who wants the task of reapportionment every ten years transferred from state legislatures to independent commissions. Are the Red States of the South less Red than they appear to be? Is gerrymandering the reason Congress can't get anything done?
The Race is Even and the Stakes are High There's a lot at stake in tomorrow's election but, despite the claims of campaigns for the presidency and other national offices, the results are unlikely to bring about much immediate change.
The Race Is Even and the Stakes Are High Both parties claim they'll take the nation in different directions, but Washington gridlock will likely continue whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is in the White House. But this could still be a "milestone election” as Democrats and Republicans strive to build new coalitions in a racially changing nation. In the meantime, national polls show the race for the White House is neck and neck, while polls of battleground states make Obama the favorite. We look at ground game established five years ago and the mathematics of the Electoral College.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?