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Poll: Trump Trails Clinton By 8 points After Tape Scandal, Debate

By Chris Kahn

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump has fallen further behind Hillary Clinton and now trails her by 8 points among likely voters, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, with 1 in 5 Republicans saying his vulgar comments about groping women disqualify him from the presidency.

The national tracking poll was launched after Sunday night’s second presidential debate, where Trump was pressed to explain his comments in a 2005 videotape about grabbing women’s genitalia. He described the remarks, which first surfaced on Friday, as “locker room” banter and apologized to Americans.

The poll released on Tuesday showed Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had increased her lead over Trump, the Republican nominee, to 8 percentage points on Monday from 5 points last week.

When asked to pick between the two major-party candidates, 45 percent of likely voters said they supported Clinton while 37 percent supported Trump. Another 18 percent said they would not support either candidate.

Trump was under pressure during Sunday’s debate to restore confidence in his struggling campaign after dozens of lawmakers repudiated him over the weekend. He hammered Clinton’s handling of classified information while serving as secretary of state and referred to her as “the devil.” At one point, he said he would jail Clinton if he were president.

Among those who said they watched at least portions of the debate, 53 percent said Clinton won while 32 percent said Trump won. The results fell along partisan lines, however: 82 percent of Democrats felt Clinton won, while 68 percent of Republicans felt that Trump won.

Among likely voters who watched the debate, 48 percent said they supported Clinton while 38 percent supported Trump.

‘LOCKER ROOM TALK’

In the 2005 Access Hollywood video Trump boasted about making unwanted sexual advances toward women. “When you’re a star they let you do it,” he is heard saying.

Some 61 percent of those polled said that “lots of men” occasionally engage in similar conversations, and 46 percent, a plurality, said it was unfair to judge someone on conversations “that they did not intend for anyone else to hear.”

Most of those polled said they believe Trump is a sexist, but they were split on whether his comments disqualify him from being president. Some 42 percent of American adults, including 19 percent of registered Republicans, said Trump’s comments disqualified him, while 43 percent said they did not.

Among Republicans, 58 percent said they want Trump to remain atop their party’s ticket, and 68 percent said the Republican leadership should stand by him.

The video doesn’t appear to have worsened Trump’s standing among women, who mostly had a low opinion of him already, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling over the past 12 months.

When asked to pick between the two candidates, about 44 percent of women chose Clinton while 29 percent selected Trump – roughly the same proportion as measured in polls conducted before the weekend.

Trump, however, appears to be shedding support among evangelicals, who are usually a wellspring of support for Republican presidential candidates. Monday’s poll showed that Trump had only a 1-point edge over Clinton among people who identified as evangelicals. That’s down from a 12-point advantage for Trump in July.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is conducted online in English in all 50 states. The poll of 2,386 American adults included 1,839 people who watched the debates, 1,605 people who were considered likely voters due to their registration status, voting history and stated intention to vote in the election. Among the likely voters, the poll counted 798 Democrats and 586 Republicans.

The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 2 percentage points for the entire group, 3 points for likely voters and the debate watchers, 4 points for Democrats and 5 points for Republicans.

National opinion polls have measured support for the candidates in different ways this year, yet most agree that Clinton is leading and that her advantage has strengthened as the general election approaches.

RealClearPolitics, which tracks most major opinion polls, shows Clinton ahead of Trump by an average of 7 percentage points, and that her lead has grown since the middle of September.

(Reporting by Chris Kahn, editing by Ross Colvin)

Hillary Clinton speaks to children at Overtown Youth Center in Miami, Florida, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

State Secret: Why Down Ballot Races Matter So Much

In a 1932 dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis noted that the benefit of America’s federal structure is that “a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

During my two terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner, I was lucky enough to get the chance to put the Brandeis proposition into practice. There, we succeeded in establishing a broad network of farmers markets, providing state certification and labeling for organic products, promulgating comprehensive pesticide protections, creating food marketing co-ops, encouraging farmers to grow high-value nonconventional crops (from apples to wine grapes), financing and developing locally-owned ag processing facilities, opening the doors of corporate-controlled commerce so small farmers and food artisans could sell their products in supermarkets and even in international markets, and promoting both water conservation and the use of renewable energy sources. Brandeis’ “laboratory” realized!

But — oops — meet unintended consequences of Brandeisian theory: The gaggle of small-minded, far-right extremists who’ve grabbed the levers of gubernatorial power and established notoriously regressive regimes in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kansas, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Texas. These governors share an uncanny uniformity in the policies (written by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC) they push and the political language they use — as if operating from a common plan, advancing the same duo of governmental goals:

—To increase the power and profits of the corporate interests that put up the campaign cash that keep the governors in office by delivering subsidies, no-bid contracts, special tax breaks, and regulatory benefits.

—To knock down working-class and poor people by such despotic actions as suppressing voter turnout, destroying unions, bashing immigrants, militarizing police forces, slashing education budgets, corporatizing government programs, cutting human services for the needy, holding down wages, using theocratic piety to invade women’s bodies and rights, and autocratically pre-empting the democratic authority of activist citizens and local governments.

So while state (and local) offices offer myriad opportunities to create progressive democratic change, those laboratories of democracy are equally available to Dr. Frankenstein right-wingers (funded by the Koch Brothers and their cartel) who seek to engineer regressive plutocratic changes. And in recent years the forces of corporate rule have been building a national political structure that — brick by brick — locks in plutocratic power. Key to this scheme is systemically investing in the takeover of such state posts as governorships, legislatures, judges, redistricting boards, and regulatory agencies. Meanwhile, liberal strategists, funders and political operatives have largely avoided the gritty work of building democratic power through state campaigns. Instead, they have focused almost exclusively on the more glamorous, high-dollar races for President and Congress.

The right wing has recognized that while the media and both major parties are riveted on this year’s macabre (thanks to The Donald) contest for the White House, that’s hardly the only race that matters — and at least one progressive leader agrees: “Trump and Hillary are taking up all the oxygen,” says Nick Rathod, head of State Innovation Exchange, a policy consortium. “But, really, he explains, “where policy making is getting done is the states.” Having lost 913 state legislative seats since 2010, Democrats should be crying Mayday, for Republicans now control 68 of America’s 99 state legislative chambers — more than any time in our history. This includes 23 “trifecta” states where the GOP controls the governor’s office and both legislative chambers. In case the Democratic Party needs a Civics 101 refresher course, these state chambers will be redrawing — ie, gerrymandering — congressional districts following the 2020 census.

So, perhaps it’s time to for the Democrats’ strategic geniuses and the rest of us to pay a bit more attention to state representative and state senate races.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Webpage at www.creators.com.

New Polls Show Clinton Ahead, But The Race Is Tight In Battleground States

New polls conducted immediately after FBI director James Comey’s recommendation that no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton over her private email server use still show the presumptive Democratic nominee ahead of Donald Trump. But the race has tightened.

While one poll released on Wednesday found Trump ahead in key swing states, three polls in the same swing states as well as national polls showed different results.

Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday shows Trump leading Clinton in Florida and Ohio by three points and two points respectively, within the poll’s margin of error. The same poll shows the two candidates tied in Pennsylvania at 41 percent each. The poll was conducted over an unusually long period of time, from June 30 to July 1.

The Quinnipiac’s polling methods have drawn criticism in the past from Democrats, who argue that the racial composition and education level of those questioned in the samples work against Clinton. The pool of poll respondents in Florida is 29 percent Democrat.

Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown pointed to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a primate email server while Secretary of State as a possible reason for the poll’s results.

“She has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty,” said pollster Peter Brown.

But three new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls have Clinton leading Trump with registered voters by three points in Iowa and by nine points in Pennsylvania. They show a tie in Ohio with each candidate at 39 percent. Clinton has a six point lead over Trump in Ohio in March.

The polls were conducted from July 5 to 10, after the FBI’s decision not to recommend charging Clinton with a criminal offense.

National polls also show Clinton ahead of Trump. In this week’s NBC News/ SurveyMonkey online tracking poll, Clinton is ahead by three points. This system “tracks voter preferences and attitudes on a weekly basis throughout the 2016 election cycle,” polls from national sample of 7,869 registered voters, of which 2,059 are registered Republicans and 2,634 are registered Democrats.

“We know the battlegrounds are going to be close til the end. That’s why we need to keep working so hard. Trump is a serious danger, folks.” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon in a tweet responding to the polls.

 

Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are seen in a combination of file photos taken in Henderson, Nevada, February 13, 2016 (L) and Phoenix, Arizona, July 11, 2015.  REUTERS/David Becker/Nancy Wiechec/Files

Three New Polls Show Clinton Leading Trump

Polls released this week, after FBI director James Comey’s recommendation that no criminal charges be brought against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, show the presumptive Democratic candidate ahead of her Republican counterpart Donald Trump. The polls were taken in the days before Comey’s surprise press conference announcement.

According to Democracy Corps’ most recent poll, Clinton has widened her lead over Trump, now leading him by 11 points, with 48 percent support. Trump polled at 37 percent, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polled at 8 percent. The poll was released on Friday and surveyed 900 likely voters, mostly by phone, during June 23th-28.

A Democracy Corps analysis found that this is first time in their poll’s history “the presidential vote margin for Democrats exceed the Democrats’ party identification advantage: in this case, Democrats hold a 6-point advantage in party identification and an 8-point advantage with Republican and Democratic leaning-independents.”

The newest Pew Research Center poll released on Thursday, also conducted in June, shows Clinton leading Trump by 9 points, with 45 percent of support. Trump took second place with 36 percent of support, Johnson scored 11 percent support, and 8 percent of respondents said they were undecided. They survey consulted 2,245 adults, of which 1,655 were registered voters, via telephone.

The Pew poll shows Trump ahead with white voters, with 51 percent of support, and Clinton ahead with Black and Hispanic voters, with 91 percent and 66 percent respectively.

The poll also showed high levels of interest in the elections and high dissatisfaction with the options:

Fully 80% of registered voters say they have given “quite a lot” of thought to the election, the highest share at this point in any campaign since 1992. Four years ago, 67% of voters said they had given a lot of thought to the election, and at this point in 2008 – the previous election in which both parties had contested nominations – 72% did so.

43% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans – say they are satisfied with their choices for president.

Reuters/ lpsos poll released Tuesday, gathered July 1-5, also shows Clinton expanding her lead over Trump to 13 points — she was ahead by 9 points in the previous poll. In the latest poll, which surveyed 1,441 American adults, 46 percent supported Clinton, 33 percent supported Trump, and 22 percent said they did not support either candidate.

 

Photo: he images of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump are seen painted on decorative pumpkins created by artist John Kettman in LaSalle, Illinois, U.S., June 8, 2016.     REUTERS/Jim Young