U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Clinton Weaknesses Spotlighted in New Poll

A close look at Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan reveals some of the challenges ahead for Hillary Clinton.

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Polling by Boston-based Emerson College has returned from its summer hiatus, and its surveys of three key states—while confirming Hillary Clinton’s edge in the presidential race—underscore the obstacles she faces.

  • She and Donald Trump are tied in Ohio at 43%, no surprise given that the state is a perennial battleground
    • Clinton has a slight edge in Pennsylvania, 46%-43%, giving credence to Trump’s focus on that state as a potential cornerstone to his White House bid
    • Most surprising is Clinton’s relatively slim lead—45%-40%—in Michigan, which at this stage in the last two presidential campaigns had ceased to be competitive
  • The three states together total 54 electoral votes; support from independents is fueling Trump in two of them  
    • In Ohio, the Emerson poll shows him with a 13-point lead among these voters—47% to 30%—and in Pennsylvania, he leads 43%-37%
  • That pattern hasn’t surfaced yet in Michigan, where the poll shows a virtual tie among independents, with Trump at 39% and Clinton at 38%
    • What hurts Clinton in Michigan is a poor showing among younger voters—the cohort that helped Bernie Sanders score an upset in the Democratic primary; currently in the Wolverine State’s 18-34 age group, Trump leads her 45%-33%
    • In Ohio, younger voters are among her strengths; she leads Trump among them 50%-32%
    • In Pennsylvania, it’s tight among this age group; she leads 42%-39%, according to the Emerson results
    • “Clinton had trouble in the primaries with independents and younger voters and it looks like it is carrying over to the general,” Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson’s Washington program, said in an interview
  • A national poll released today by New Jersey-based Monmouth University gives Clinton a 7-point lead, down from her 13-point advantage in a comparable survey earlier this month

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  • In the Monmouth survey, 34% of voters have favorable opinion of Clinton, while 51% view her unfavorably; for Trump, the number are 26% favorable, 57% unfavorable
    • 35% of all the respondents don’t view either candidate favorably, more than three times as many as in any election since 1984, Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute, said in statement

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  • Neither Clinton nor Trump had public campaign events scheduled today
  • Trump plans to hold a rally tomorrow in Everett, Washington, a visit that Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss called a “waste of time”; see story here
  • On Wednesday, Clinton is scheduled to speak in Cincinnati while Trump is set to give what he said will be a “major speech” on immigration in Arizona; the address comes amid a flurry of confusion about his position on immigration; see full story by Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur
  • Trump plans to make his first campaign appearance before a predominately black audience over Labor Day weekend when he visits Detroit, Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli reported; see full story here


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  • The Trump camp began an ad campaign today likely to cost as much as $10 million over the next week, USA Today reported
    • The ad buy is his biggest so far; the spot is focused on the economy and is slated to air in 9 battleground states, according to Trump camp
  • Trump’s ad spending shows signs of a surge, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Matthew Schettenhelm and Tamlin Bason wrote in note
    • While Trump didn’t fund any TV or radio advertising in July, late this month he launched a $4 million effort in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania
  • Clinton spent more than $25 million on media purchases in July and has disclosed $77 million of spending for ads coming in September and October


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  • Longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin is separating from her husband, former Representative Anthony Weiner of New York, following a report that he again exchanged sexually charged text messages and photos with another woman; see full Bloomberg story here
    • Trump, who has attacked Abedin and Weiner’s relationship over the last year, said in a statement Abedin “will be far better off without him”
    • The GOP nominee also said Clinton “was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information”
    • Trump said it’s “possible” the nation’s security has been “greatly compromised by this”
    • There’s no evidence Weiner had access to any sensitive material, and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter, told MSNBC that Trump’s claim is “ridiculous”
    • She said the billionaire businessman and everyone else should give the couple privacy
  • MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe, has started calling Trump “Amnesty Don,” a jab at the GOP candidate for suggesting that some undocumented immigrants could stay in U.S. legally, Washington Post reported
    • The hashtag #AmnestyDon began trending on Twitter
    • Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said a psychiatrist needs to check Trump, according to Politico
  • Bloomberg View’s Albert R. Hunt took at look at the electoral map
    • For about two-thirds of U.S. states—including the biggest, California and Texas—the Election Day outcome is a near-certainty; the battle is over no more than 15 states
    • Read Hunt’s column here
  • FBI uncovered evidence foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting agency to warn election officials across the U.S. to enhance security of their computer systems, Yahoo News reported
  • Clinton unveiled a plan for care of mental illness that includes a call to integrate “mental and physical health care systems so that health-care delivery focuses on the ‘whole person,’” including possible addiction treatment


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  • AZ: A “whiplash effect” arising from GOP Sen. John McCain “frequently critiquing Trump yet remaining on his side in the presidential race” has left him “in more political jeopardy than ever,” Washington Post reported
    • McCain opposed by ex-state Sen. Kelli Ward in tomorrow’s primary; winner to face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
  • FL: GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy “are campaigning as if they’d already won their parties’ nominations,” Associated Press reported
    • Rubio favored in tomorrow’s primary against homebuilder Carlos Beruff; Murphy expected to defeat Rep. Alan Grayson
    • Expected Rubio-Murphy matchup among nine Senate races rated as tossups by nonpartisan Cook Political Report; Republicans defending party in eight of those contests
  • NH: Sen. Kelly Ayotte endorsed by Manchester Union Leader’s conservative editorial page over ex-state Sen. Jim Rubens in Sept. 13 GOP primary
    • Ayotte is “almost always on the right side of the issue” and unseating her in primary “would hand Maggie Hassan a free ride to the U.S. Senate,” according to the editorial
    • N.H. Gov. Hassan unopposed in Democratic primary
  • PA: Senate Majority PAC, Democratic super-PAC, released TV ad saying “clear choice” exists between GOP Sen. Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty on energy policy, abortion rights, curbing gun violence
    • League of Conservation Voters Action Fund released TV ad saying “big oil polluters” have “friend” in Toomey, who “voted to protect their special tax breaks”
      • LCV ad refers to Toomey’s March 2012 vote against legislation to repeal tax breaks for big oil companies


  • IA-01, IA-03: Ex-Maryland Gov./former presidential candidate Martin O’Malley campaigned yesterday for Democrats Monica Vernon and Jim Mowrer, Newton Daily News reported
    • Vernon, former Cedar Rapids councilwoman, challenging GOP Rep. Rod Blum in eastern Iowa district; Mowrer, Iraq War veteran and former Pentagon aide, opposing GOP Rep. David Young in Des Moines-area district
  • MN-02: Democrat Angie Craig in TV ad said as a St. Jude Medical executive she developed veterans hiring program that is “rewarding their service with the good jobs they deserve”
    • Craig faces Republican talk-radio host Jason Lewis for competitive suburban district of GOP Rep. John Kline, who isn’t seeking re-election
  • NH-01: Republican businessman Rich Ashooh in TV ad said “honesty matters in public service” and “we need to bring integrity back to Washington,” as narrator refers to GOP Rep. Frank Guinta’s settlement of charges he violated campaign finance laws in his 2010 campaign
    • Primary is Sept. 13; Democratic nominee is ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who lost to Guinta in 2010 and 2014, defeated in 2012
  • NY-24: GOP Rep. John Katko’s campaign aired TV ad featuring praise from two businesswomen; one says lawmaker “understands working mothers,” other says he’s “a problem-solver” and “bipartisan”
    • Speaker Paul Ryan planned to attend fundraiser for Katko today in Syracuse, according to Syracuse.com
    • Katko seeking second term in Democratic-leaning district against Democrat Colleen Deacon, ex-aide to Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
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