It Wasn’t Plagarism…Oh Well, Never Mind, It Was. And While We’re At It….It Was an Illeagal In-Kind Donation Too!

This is the most incompetent campaign in the history of campaigns.

So first Melania’s speech plagarised multiple sentences from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. 

Then the campaign denied it was plagiarism and spent 36 hours arguing the definition of plagiarism with journalists, citing among other things: My Little Pony, Akon, John Legend, and Kid Rock.

Then the speechwriters leaked the final draft of their version of the speech to clear their names, something every speechwriter in America will tell you violates the norms ofs their profession.

Then the Trump organization released a letter from the staff writer responsible for the whole mess. In it, she tells a story that involves Melania reading Michelle’s speech to her over the phone BECAUSE SHE ADMIRED MICHELLE, and this staffer then somehow transcribing the parts of the speech Melania liked into the text of the speech. But let me repeat that: she liked Michelle Obama, the woman the right loves to despise, that she wanted to use her words about honesty and integrity and hard work in her speech!

While that was happening, the Chief Strategist for the Republican Party was on CNN arguing the old party line that it wasn’t plagiarism.

And if that wasn’t all enough – her letter was released on Trump Orgnaiztion letterhead, which means that she was doing this while working for his firm. Under federal election law, that’s an illegal in-kind donation! And not in a way that’s in the usual gray zone of campaign finance law. This is as black and white as you can possibly get.

Is this real life?

So we’ve gone from “Trump hires only the best of the best, and those who disappoint him will be fired” to “Trump is so loyal to his employees that he won’t even fire them when they humiliate his wife” in under 48 hours.

RNC Convention – Day Two Live Blog

I’m late to this, as I actually had to do some work today, but better late than never?

11:17p No wait…the highlight of the night had to be Ben Carson going off script to discuss Hillary’s connection to Lucifer.

11:10p Chris Matthews is right: the people who hate Hillary are already Republican voters, and this entire convention is devoted to hating Hillary. But Ron Fournier is totally wrong: this approach has nothing to do with scaring undecideds, because there aren’t any of those. There are unaffiliated voters, but that isn’t the same thing as undecided. Fournier must long for the days of the Cold War, when bipartisanship was achieved through the exclusion of huge numbers of Americans and as a result of the threat of nuclear annihilation. Oh god do I hate Fournier….

11:00p The highlight of the night for me has to be Donald Trump, Jr., a man so thoroughly born to entitlement that he doesn’t even have his own name, ranting against “self-satisfied people at the top, our new aristocrats.” That’s fantastic.

10:54p The self-proclaimed avocado enthusiast is closing the night. Why do they keep doing this, having speakers speak after the big names? It makes no sense.

10:47p This night isn’t nearly as fun as last night. I’m bored. Oh and for the record? Read Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, both because it’s brilliant, and because it’s hilarious how closely the conservative movement has adhered to its principles for the past half century. They might not know it, but they’ve much more closely followed his blueprint than have Democrats.

10:41p “The prepared remarks did not include references to Lucifer.” Up next: an actor and avocado grower!

10:37p Beware of Hillary! She will cultivate the children for their votes!

10:34p And now Dr. Ben Crason and his brains. The media has an agenda! And they don’t know what they are talking about! And be “weary” of Republican elites! Use your brain people!

10:28p Judging from the reactions on MSNBC and CNN, the Trump Jr. speech must’ve played very differently in that room than it did in this one.

10:23p Wow did Tiffany Trump make a horrible awful synth-pop record. Wow. You’ve got to check this out.

10:16p The son of a billionaire continues ranting against the wealthy….do they have any idea how absurd that sounds? 

10:14p Another Benghazi rant. These people are insane. This is like a series of disconnected rants from Rush and Hannity combined comments from a 4Chan thread. And wow is the dude a capital-D Douchebag.

10:12p A rant against lawyers and accountants and the people at the top from a Trump. Are you kidding me? And wait…now a rant against risk? This makes no sense whatsoever.

10:07p This speech from Jr. Seems to be premised on the idea that people don’t already know who Donald Trump is. Also, did he just take a shot at guys from Wharton? He did, but that makes no sense. Or rather, it makes as much sense as Donald Trump and his sons being men of the people.
10:00p The party that is the party of the constitution and of respect for the rule of law is demanding that their political opponent be locked up despite the fact that all of the investigations conducted under the constitution and the rule of law found that no charges could be brought. But please proceed with the screaming and the ranting. Please proceed, governor.

9:51p OK this isn’t nice, but wow….Tiffany Trump is very strange looking. Oh wait, this party is opposed to political correctness, so I’m encouraged to say this yes? Also what the hell is the point of this speech? She loves dad, which is nice, but what about this has anything to do with an election?

9:49p It’s just endlessly over the top nonsense from Christie, interspersed with unhinged anger from the floor. Oh, and for the record: Christie deleted Bridgegate texts from his phone, sent emails from private accounts and private servers, and ultimately “lost” one of the phones he used to do it all. But yeah, right, Hillary is uniquely evil.

9:44p More angry white people waving their arms around and screaming “lock her up.” I get it. If you’re a member of the base you love this, but do they have any idea how this actually looks to the rest of us? There’s a really solid case to be made against her, but this is most definitely NOT how you do it. This is so over the top, so blood thirsty, so obviously unhinged that it’s hard to watch…As a partisan I’m thrilled, but as an American I long for a day when we have reasonable and responsible Republican Party.

9:42p The incoherence of this foreign policy critique is amazing. It essentially comes down to the idea that whatever happened, it was Hillary’s fault. Does it matter that some of these policies were continuations of Bush Administration policies? Of course not. Does it matter that many of these issues were and are entirely outside of the control of the President of the United States? No. Clinton is personally to blame for Assad and Boko Haram? Just stop, you are embarrassing yourselves.

9:40p Libya’s economy is in ruins? THAT is Hillary’s fault? Are you kidding? Abductions in Nigeria are Hillary’s fault? Is Trump running for President or Emperor?

9:38p “Lock her up,” screams the crowd. Can you imagine the reaction if Democrats had chanted that about Colin Powell or Condi Rice? Do these people understand how dangerous it is to criminalize the opposition in this manner? 

9:35p Oh dear….here comes Chris Christie. He’s Donald Trump’s friend! And Trump is strong and genuine and decent….but let’s not talk about him, let’s talk about Hillary! Do these people realize how silly they sound? 

9:31p It’s worth noting that Drudge appears to be so obsessed with the implosion of Fox News that he’s paying almost no attention to the conventions tonight.

9:21p Good god Paul Ryan is boring. He’s overly earnest in an Opie-esque way, but maybe that appeals to Boomers? And geez…does he realize that the President’s approval rating has been over 50% for more than 6 months now? Does anyone at this convention recognize the problem that presents for their campaign?

9:18p This from one of the premiere Hillary-haters in the land, Andrew Sullivan, is priceless: “And, yes, he’s right about her lies. She cannot help herself. But her lies are trivial and pathetic, rather than massive, shameless and endless. She is a mediocre politician in our liberal democratic system. Trump is a direct, grave and imminent threat to the very system itself.”

9:15p Wait…does Mitch McConnell realize that the issues people care about in 2016 aren’t the ones that people cared about in 2012? Also, did anyone else notice that he only barely mentioned this party’s nominee? 

9:08p The man-turtle hybrid speaks! Boy is he a stereotypical establishment politician. And boy has the establishment become indistinguishable from Fox News. But look….this whole idea that Hillary is a flip-flopping liar might’ve made for a good line of attack but for the fact that they’ve nominated someone who is even worse. And while I’m ranting, can I note for the record that we’re now half way through the second night of the convention and they’ve still not addressed the fact that Bush’s time in office led to several historic disasters? It’s like they think if they don’t mention him we’ll forget that he existed. 

RNC Convention – Day One Addendum

Good lord….Melania Trump and/or her speechwriters plagiarized a major chunk of her speech tonight from Micehlle Obama’s convention speech in 2008. 

The story apparently broke immediately on Twitter as Melania was giving the speech, and it’s all over everywhere now. Here’s a quick summary, but you really need to see it for yourself to get just how awful it is. You do this in my college class and you are failing the semester. I mean it’s not even close.

Now earlier in the night, Melania claimed to have written the speech almost entirely on her own, but that’s probably not true. And early word from the campaign is that they are going to circle the wagons and blame the media. That’s Trump’s style, but good lord is that insane. He claims to be a genius leader who only produces great things, and THIS is what he gives us? 

Is this real life? Are you kidding me? It’s not just plagiarized. It’s plagiarized from MICHELLE FREAKING OBAMA?!?! And ask yourself: if Michelle Obama had been found to have plagiarized this much of Laura Bush’s speech, and if the part she plagiarized was all about honesty and hard work, would anyone have given her or the Obama campaign a pass? OF COURSE NOT.

UPDATE: And the speech included a Rick Roll too? I jokingly noticed this earlier, but…I now ask this in all seriousness: was this sabotage? What else are we going to find was in there?

RNC Convention – Day One Live Blog

Ok final thought…As bizarre as that entire first night was, I still think that what happened before the prime time speeches was actualyl more important. First, Manafort picked a fight with the Republican Governor of Ohio. Then, the Chairman of the convention shut down a movement led by conservatives in Colorado, Utah, and Virginia to open a debate on the rules of the convention. Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Utah – three of those are swing states that could determine the outcome of the election, and the fourth is one of the most die-hard Republican states in the union. If Trump is to have a shot at winning the general, he’ll need the grassroots activists in each of these states serving as foot soldiers in this campaign. Voter enthusiasm is a wildly overrated concept, but the importance of grassroots activist enthusiasm can’t be overstated. Picking a fight with the grassroots activists in four crucial states seems…well…not terribly helpful?

All for tonight….more tomorrow! 

11:23p OK so I was sitting here wondering why this speech from Ernst was scheduled for so late in the evening given that it’s filled with all of the best lines of attack on Hillary, and then it hit me: if Trump can’t stand Hillary’s yelling, then there’s no way Ernst  was going on while Trump was in the building. I don’t think that was an accident at all, no matter how much it will be portrayed that way.

11:17p I’m sorry but Sen. Ernst is so boring I couldn’t think of what to write. But then she said the three magic words about terrorism and I woke up! “Yes…boo!” Also….if you don’t like the way Hillary delivers speeches, how can you possibly like her?

11:00p “That’s right! Lock her up! Use hashtag #NeverHillary.”

10:59p Flynn is now blaming Obama for hiding the truth about bin Laden. Well, I suppose it is true that Obama hid bin Laden at the bottom of the ocean.

10:54p Gen Flynn says “War is about winning” and that we need to call failed tyrants by their names. He’s claiming a complete lack military preparedness, and yet he spent his whole life as an officer responsible for preparing the military to do battle. Uh…. Oh now we get to “Obama is to blame for ISISf” without any reference to Bush or the Iraq war. And the silence in the room is deafening.

10:50p Josh Marsahll on Rudy: “”It’s like Giuliani has spent the last fifteen years living together with 9/11 in a two bedroom apartment of his mind. It’s a dark picture.”

10:48p Wait no….the headliner wasn’t last! Hog castratin’ Sen Earnst yet to come.

10:42p And thus ends day one, I think. Huh. That was….weird? Careening from one out of context to the next, from happy to sad to scared to…good god that was strange. As one of my good friends said early on, “These are not my people.” That’s never been more clear to me than tonight.         

10:36p “You judge a society by how it treats its citizens.” Well, I mean yes, but…this is supposed to be a deep thought? Also, this speech is much funnier when you replace “this nation” and “this great nation” with “my boobies.” Yes, it’s childish, but try it. You won’t be able to stop laughing once you do.

10:32p Have you noticed that Melania does Blue Steel each time she pauses? Also, come to think of it, so does Trump!

10:29p She’s now assuring us that Trump loves his country and will never give us up or let us down. Sing it with me!

10:24p Well…here’s comes Melania. She’s going to squint at us now I’m sure. 

10:17p Trump will lead by leading! They’re coming to kill us!!! BE AFRAID!!!  There’s no more elections!!!! THIS IS IT!!!! DONALD TRUMP. IS THE AGENT OF CHANGE!!! IM WAVING MY ARMS WILDLY AND YELLInG AT YOU!!!! ALSO REAAAAAAGAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!! GREATNESSSSSSSSSSSS USAAAAAAAAAAAAA YEAAARGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

10:14p Wait…so Hillary is responsible for the chaos in Libya because we deposed that tyrant, but Republicans aren’t responsible for the chaos in Iraq because…what…because Obama? Do these people even think through what they are saying?

10:11p Rudy has said the margic words! Our enemies see us as weak because we won’t sue the right words? On a night of unhinged rants, this is something special.

10:03p Oh god…here comes Rudy. Be afraid! Which I swear I wrote before he started ranting about people being afraid. The endless desire of these people to live in glorious time amidst a glorious fight really never ceases to amaze me. And wow….I forgot how weird Rudy is. “One America! AMERICA!!! WHERE DID IT GO?!?! HOW DID IT FLOAT AWAY?!!?”

9:59p As bad as Tom Cotton is as a speaker, Jeff Sessons is worse. “These are extreme numbers.” Down with extreme numbers! And down with things that Obama and Clinton have never actualyl opposed!

9:53p Our enemies define the world in which we live? Our rules of engagement are ludicrous? Do these people realize we have no idea what they are talking about? Yes, unshackle our soldiers, unbind  them from the rule of law! Huh…apparently Trump isn’t opposed to fighting more and better wars?

9:48p It’s amazing that we’re nearly two hours in and the former Republican President Bush has not been mentioned once. VP Cheney just got his first shout out, but not Bush. These people act like the times before Obama were fantastic, but the times before Obama were the times of Bush. We all remember this, don’t we?

9:28p Republicans now cheering the idea of respecting and deferring to authority. What happened to the bloody tree of Liberty? Peaceful protest leads to anarchy? What happened to the love of the Bill of Rights? What happened to the love for the actual Tea Party?

9:24p “Blue Lives Matter in America.” Well yes, of course they do. No one denies this. In fact, as we all know, we value their lives so much that we make it almost impossible to prosecute them when they break the law. But good god, no…I don’t want to get into this fight, because this fight hurts my head. We can value both the lives of cops and of average citizens. All reasonable people know this, no matter their political party. So please just stop pretending like this is an either/or proposition. At the very least, please go back to All Lives Matter, k?

9:20p “Am I safer than I was 8 years ago,” they ask. Well…I don’t feel more unsafe than I did for years ago, but if I did, would I want Trump to be president? No. I suppose I’m not the audience for this question, but… Also, whomever this McCaul dude is, he’s an awful speaker.          

9:18p Hillary Clinton is +62 among Hispanics, but Trump is planning an outreach tour, so….no, that won’t change.

9:13p “Trump is sent from God.” Is the point of tonight to show people whose children were tragically killed? The theme of the night death?

9:09p Talking heads pointlessly blatering….here’s some video of the chaos that broke out over the rules fight earlier today. And here’s video of a former US Senator calling this fascism and complaining about brown shirts.

9:00p Thinking more….I think it was just stupidity. Why would he bigfoot this on Fox and not on CNN? That speech was perfectly designed to motivate the Fox audience and he bumped it from the air. I can’t even…

8:56p OK so…apparently Trump preempted not just the Benghazi film but also the super-emotional and storage speech by the grieving mother. This was either an admission that the speech was backfiring and thus a deliberate attempt to get it off the air, or it was even more clueless than I had thought. I’m guessing the former, but I wouldn’t bet against the later.

8:50p Props to Andrea Mitchell for pointing out that most of the controversy around Benghazi comes from the fact that it was a CIA Annex, and that the administration went out of its way at the request of the CIA to hide that fact. AS THEY SHOULD HAVE, BECAUSE IT WAS A SECRET CIA ANNEX IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR ZONE. Everything that happened during the attack and since flows directly from that fact. Oh, and for the record, the Republican Committee investigating Benghazi found no evidence for any of these theories of stand-down orders. The committee tried for YEARS to connect Hillary to the events that night and they could not do it. Does anyone honestly believe that conservative Republicans in congress are hiding this evidence?

8:49p Don’t forget that Andrew Sullivan is back for the week and live blogging. That was always when he was at his best. Weirdly, I remembered that just after unknowingly making an identical point as him.

8:33p OK I’m not going to comment on the presentation of the grieving mother, other than to say that my best guess is that most people have no idea what she’s talking about, and that the claim that Hillary is personally responsible for the death will seem utterly bizarre to most. But leaving that aside…the RNC is currently showing its film on Benghazi, and not only is it not being covered on CNN or MSNBC, but Trump just preempted it’s airing on Fox by calling in to Bill O’Reilly’s and doing a phone interview. The presumptive nominee is preempting his own convention!

And finally, for the record: can you imagine what would’ve happened had a speaker at the Democratic convention said they hold Geroge Bush or Condi Rice personally responsible for the death of their son in Iraq? If a speaker had said that Condi should be in prison because of that death? Republicans would’ve rightly lost their minds.

8:27p I’m sure this Navy SEAL did something epic, but he’s coming across as somewhat unhinged.

8:00p OK let’s get at this

6:33p Some Politico headlines right now: Cuccinelli on rules rebuff: ‘This is disgusting’; Chaos erupts on GOP convention floor after voice vote shuts down Never Trump forces; Trump, Ohio GOP at war as Cleveland convention begins; Sen. Mike Lee: ‘We are now in uncharted territory‘; Anti-Trump delegate promises ‘more insurgency

6:05p The Colorado delegation is PISSED at what the RNC has done. Colorado is a very key state in the upcoming election, and the coverage of this within that state is going to be really interesting to watch. And good luck getting the party die-hards in the state to work for the campaign. Some of the North Dakota delegates who were previously all-in on Trump are now out. One of the members of his finance committee in ND has just resigned his position. “If they were going to lose, just let them lose and let off steam…these are volunteers, and they’ve been crushed.” Yikes!

The difficulty for the party here is that this movement isn’t really about Trump. The people that appear to be most angered here are some really die-hard, grassroots conservatives, the people the state parties rely on to raise money, knock on doors, make phone calls, hold rallies, and whatnot. They are the heart and soul of the party, and at least at this moment, even many of the ones who supported Trump are furious at the campaign’s attempts to centralize power. And they would be, right? The genuine conservatives in the party really do truly hate the consolidation of power, and they’ve been working for years, in some cases decades, to decentralize power inside their party. Many of them had hoped Trump would be a vehicle for that decentralization, but over the last few weeks they’ve begun to catch on to the fact that Trump has no interest in pushing their agenda. They had hoped to use convention rules to push forward their reform agenda today, but the RNC and the Trump campaign worked together to essentially ignore the rules and shut them down. If I had to guess, I’d say this has few serious short-term consequences at the convention but lots of serious long-term ones for the party. But we’ll see…

5:55p “It is a weird way to start the day, but it is very Trump-like.” Well, yes. People continue to be amazed by the fact that this election is close, but it’s not hard to understand once you accept the power of partisanship in American elections. People don’t change their minds. They never have. Elections have never been about persuasion. They’ve always and only been about turnout. I realize that this doesn’t fit with most of the narratives that you’ve been sold over the course of your lives, but I promise you, there’s a mountain of research that backs up my claims. Politics is based on tribes, not issues, so no, Trump’s craziness isn’t altering things much because there’s almost nothing that would alter things much. All that really matters is who turns out in November, and who turns out is driven by a combination of internal factors like GOTV campaigns and external factors like extreme economic shocks.

5:45p Here’s Bloomberg’s take on the floor fight: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-18/republican-rules-panel-said-to-quash-anti-trump-effort. Again, not saying this will alter the outcome of either the convention or the election, rather recording what’s happening as it happens for those who care. This very rarely happens at conventions, so whether there are short-term, long-term, or non-term consequences for this, it’s worth noting in and of itself.

5:40p Kaisich is laughing off Manafort’s comments from this AM calling him an “embarrassment.” Manafort is obviously “moving forward,” since he like Trump never apologizes and never back peddles. Some say this makes them both “master persuaders,” but those are people who confuse bullshitters for persuaders.

5:26p The RNC has said it will NOT be releasing the names of the people who withdrew. Given that we already know the states that withdrew their support for the petition — Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, and DC — it won’t be long until we find out in each delegation handled this. And as you’d expect, so far this is the only thing anyone on either CNN or MSNBC is talking about. I don’t need to turn on Fox to know they aren’t talking about it.

5:08p Some details – the petitions from several states were withdrawn under the theory that some of the people who signed them didn’t understand what they were signing. Given that the petitions called for nothing more than an on-the-record vote, this seems….unlikely.

5:00p “This is not a sanctioned protest” are not words that should ever be uttered in America.

4:55 Trump’s surrogates just said this will all be good for ratings, and that its all just “disgruntled Romney-ites”. That’s…an odd defense…

4:45p Getting to this a bit late, but here we go…

The day started with a huge fight between the Trump campaign and the Governor of Ohio, John Kaisich. Manafort called him “an embarrassment” to the party, which is an odd thing to do given that he’s very popular in Ohio and that Republicans can’t win the White House without winning Ohio.

Then, a pretty big fight broke out over the convention rules. Two different movements had come together in advance of the convention – the Stop Trump people, led by US Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and the grassroots reform people, led by Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli. I’ll post a review of the later when I have time to find one, but in the short-term let’s stick to the convention itself. Over the past few days this group had been gathering signatures to force a roll call vote on the convention rules, but after submitting the necessary signatures to the Chair, the Chair used some back-channel maneuvering to throw out some of the signatures and deny the vote. In reaction to this move: the floor erupted into a chaos of boos; the Colorado delegation walked out of the convention; a delegate from NH who once was a US Senator calls the move by the convention chair “fascism”; Ken Cuccinelli declared himself to be “furious,” said it was “cheating,” and compared it to not following the constitution.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah is now meeting with leaders of both movements to strategize their next move.  Honestly, I’ve no idea why they decided to take this hard line approach to dissent. Right now, there are very few people watching this convention, and if they’d gotten all of this relatively meaningless dissent out of the way today, it would never have been a story. And yes, it absolutely might yet still all go away. But it also might not, so stay tuned….

And FWIW: No, I don’t think this will lead to Trump not getting the nomination. But yes, this will be one of many things that shapes the narrative that comes out of the week. Because no, these people aren’t going away.

Noisy Polls Are To Be Expected

She’s up! She’s down! He’s closing! He’s fading.

Nate Cohn at the NYT does a truly fantastic job of laying out yet another reason why shifts in the polls don’t mean what people seem to think they mean. It’s all a function of normal distributions and bell curves, and in many ways it’s just like baseball, but with one HUGE exception: there’s only one game day in politics – Election Day – so polling streaks are entirely meaningless until and unless they represent a fundamental change in expected voter behavior. Nate explains:

If Mrs. Clinton leads by 4 points, you should expect polls that show her with a big lead or locked in a tight race, with others clustered around the average. That’s more or less what we saw this past week. It’s a lot like baseball. Even great baseball players go 0 for 4 in a game — or have rough stretches for weeks on end. On the other end might be a few multihit nights with extra-base hits, or a spectacular few weeks. Sometimes, these rough stretches or hot streaks really do indicate changes in the underlying ability of a player. More often, they are just part of the noise inevitable with small samples. Taking more polls is like watching more at-bats, and you need many if you want to be confident about whether a candidate is ahead or tied.

polls

 

 

A Note On Summer Polls [UPDATED]

There are all kinds of reasons to ignore the polls in the summer, but understanding the issues raised here will serve you well once we get into the fall.

If you’ve read the news over the last 48 hours, you’ve undoubtedly heard that the race has “tightened” and that Hillary’s “negatives” are rising. Most, but not all, of this is being driven by the results of Quinnipiac’s polls. It’s way too early for polls to mean anything of lasting importance. The only contest that matters is the one that happens on Election Day, so this contest isn’t like a regular season GSW game where the team can run up the score in the first three quarters and then coast at the end. Just as the Warrior’s ability to blow out Cleveland in the regular season meant nothing once they met in the NBA Finals, so too here.

That said, the movement in the polls does teach us something about polling itself, so it’s worth spending a moment or two looking at the polls driving this latest wave of otherwise pointless stories.

This early out, the pollsters can do nothing more than guess at what the eventual turnout will look like. The pollsters at Quinnipiac, to their credit, explicitly say as much in their own explanations of their latest results. As they explain, they used “guess work” to predict that white voters will account a much larger share of the vote in 2016 than they did in either 2012 or 2008, and more specifically that whites will turn out at levels we haven’t seen in decades WHEN MEASURED AS A PERCENTAGE OF THOSE WHO VOTE. And yes, that’s in all caps because it is an essential point to understand. They aren’t simply predicting a surge in white turnout; they are instead predicting a surge in white turnout that isn’t accompanied by a similar surge among non-whites. They are, in essence, predicting the Republicans will be much better at mobilizing their base than Democrats will be at doing the same AND that they will do so in ways that are unprecedented in our modern hyper-partisan era.

That might end up happening, but this far out there’s no reason whatsoever to think it will. If we were a few weeks from the election AND there was real evidence to suggest this would happen, then these findings would be meaningful. Not only is there no evidence yet that this will happen, this far out it’s not even yet possible for there to be reliable evidence suggesting this will happen. So when they say it is “guess work,” they REALLY mean it, which is why they and all other pollsters should be ignored until September.

But hey…since we’re guessing…I’ve made the prediction before and I stand by it: non-white participation as a percentage of the vote will hit roughly 1/3 of the voting population, up from the approximately 30% we hit in 2012. My best guess has been and will remain precisely the opposite of Q’s. I’m not going to change, but they might! Either way, we’ll have ourselves an answer on Election Day.

Much more here from Vox.com

UPDATE: Just in from Marist, polls that show a totally different race. Why? Haven’t seen the internals yet, but when they are available I bet they show a much less white electorate than Q is predicting. Elections in a partisan age are about turnout, not persuasion. One of the campaign’s is building a turnout machine, the other seems to want to rely totally on free media. Will be interesting to see how it all goes down…