Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is in Trouble

The country’s most famous sheriff, Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, has served in his position for 23 years. He’s been elected six consecutive times by his constituents. However, a new poll by the Arizona Republic may have Sheriff Arpaio sweating.

A poll conducted by Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite has Arpaio trailing his democratic challenger, Paul Penzone, by almost 15 points: 45.9 percent to 31.1 percent.

The shock poll was conducted amid federal prosecutors’ announcement that they would be filing a criminal contempt charge against Arpaio for racial profiling. While always being a controversial figure, analysts believe the recent negative press is damaging Arpaio’s reelection hopes.

The incumbent sheriff’s team has countered that the poll is flawed and their own internal polling shows him beating Penzone by eight points. They claim Arizona Republic’s method included respondents who are not as likely to vote.

When looking at Arpaio’s past election results, the status of this campaign may not be completely surprising. While winning fairly easily, Arpaio has steadily lost ground every four years. In 2000 he won by a spread of 40 points. In 2004 he won by 26 points. In 2008 he won by 13. And in his latest in 2012, he only won reelection by six points.

This trend should be daunting for Team Arpaio.

There is still good news for the famous sheriff. He touts name recognition even some national candidates wish they could have. Arpaio has raised $1.2 million this election cycle. That’s a jaw dropping amount for just a county sheriff and it’s four times more than his challenger, Penzone.

Sheriff Joe needs to start spending. Quickly.

October Surprise: Consumers, Democrats Battered By Terrible Obamacare News

The news broke last evening, but it didn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. We've known all along that Obamacare's rate hikes were due just before the election, and independent analysts have been tracking the law's 2017 premium spikes for months. Now the Obama administration has been forced to reckon with reality: The president's signature domestic "accomplishment" is failing. These aren't right-wing lies, or whatever. This is official HHS data:

Premiums for a crucial category of Obamacare plans on will rise by 25 percent on average next year, more than three times larger than this year's price increases, the Obama administration said Monday. By comparison, average prices for the second cheapest silver-level plan — which is used as the benchmark to determine premium subsidy levels — had increased by just 7.5 percent on average in 2016 and 2 percent in 2015...Federal health officials also confirmed that roughly one in five people in the states that use must shop from only one insurer following decisions by several major national and regional insurers to pull back from the Obamacare marketplaces in 2017. On average, exchange customers will have 30 plan options to choose from for 2017, down from 47 this year...HHS says 15 new insurers will enter the exchanges in 2017, while 83 insurers are dropping off the marketplaces. About 80 percent of customers will have at least two companies to choose from; just more than half will have at least three. The Obama administration expects 13.8 million people nationwide to pick a plan during the upcoming open enrollment season, about 1 million more than signed up this year.

Compared to this year's disaster, consecutive average increases of "just" 7.5 percent may seem "affordable," but a combined 15 percent rise in rates over a two year period is a clear failure unto itself. Americans were promised substantially reduced premiums for all consumers.  And now they're going through the roof. I discussed the four big takeaways from the administration's announcement with Brit Hume last evening, via Right Sightings:

(1) Average benchmark premiums increasing an average of 25 percent.

(2) While 15 insurers are jumping into the Obamacare marketplaces, nearly six times as many are withdrawing, including several major insurers (triggering another round of cancellations).

(3) Approximately one out of five Obamacare consumers will have to "choose" from among one or zero plans in their area.

(4) The total marketplace enrollment anticipated by the administration for 2017 is 13.8 million people. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office initially projected that enrollment would be north of 21 million by this year.

This finalized official data -- which doesn't take into account skyrocketing rates on non-baseline plans that are hammering millions of people across the country -- serves as a timely reminder that the reason we have this unpopular, harmful law is because Democrats were handed full control of the elected branches of government in 2008. As the liberals who are responsible for this mess demand "fixes" that entail even more spending and more government intrusion (and harsher tax penalties to punish people who can't afford the unaffordable coverage), it is essential to keep Congress out of Democratic hands. Every single Republican running for federal office should pound relentlessly at this theme and on this issue for the next two weeks.  Who's up for some flashbacks? Whoops:

Congressional Democrats marched right along and saluted, repeating the lies ad nauseam. Just a few months ago, Kathleen Sebelius' successor at HHS penned an op/ed assuring Americans that premiums weren't increasing as much as they might have without the law, and begging voters to disregard predictions of "doom."  That spin looks especially foolish now; plus, "your rising costs could be worse, maybe" wasn't the promise on which the law was sold:

Take a bow, Democrats:

Watch: Trump Introduces Employees While Campaigning in Doral, Florida

Speaking with Trump National Doral Miami resort employees at a rally in Florida, the Republican nominee Donald Trump once again promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare after it was announced yesterday that premiums were skyrocketing.

"I can say all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare. You folks, this is another group. Is that a correct statement?” he said, pointing to the crowd of employees. “You look at what they're going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare. So we'll repeal it and replace it. But this is about jobs. And we have thousands of employees in Florida."

Before bringing up nearly a dozen employees to speak on stage, Trump made it clear that most of his properties are operated by minorities.  

“The most important thing are the employees, and we have many, many employees. We have over a thousand employees, well over a thousand employees at Doral. Eighty percent of them are Hispanic, right?” he said, turning around to the crowd behind him as it cheered the statistic. “We have 80 percent Hispanic. People don't know these things. And they are. They have done a fantastic job.”

This Adorably Honest Ad For A Local Election In Texas Has Gone Viral

This election cycle has been one full of mud-slinging and nastiness, so this oddly charming and amusing ad out of Texas is a breath of fresh air. Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, a Republican, is running for re-election, and for the sake of Gerald's wife, Charlyn, let's hope he wins.

Watch the clever ad here:

While the ad debuted in early October, it was recently discovered and has gone viral over the past few days. The ad is being praised for its humor, as well as for being "unusually pleasant" during this rough campaign season.

Daugherty has served as Travis County Commissioner from 2002-2008, and was elected again in 2012.

President Obama Reads More "Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel

President Barack Obama appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night, where he again partook in the "Mean Tweets" series, reading a series of unkind tweets about himself on camera.

The tweets were sent from a variety of people, including a mother who was angry that her daughter shared a birthday with the president, as well as Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Watch here:

This was the second time Obama has appeared on Kimmel's "mean tweets" series. In March of 2015, the president's video on the show became the most-viewed video in the history of the show.

PA Senate Race: In Their Last Debate, Toomey Realizes Why McGinty Overlooks Clinton's Lies

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) had a light bulb moment during the final Pennsylvania Senate debate with his Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

Toomey brought up an embarrassing moment on the campaign trail when McGinty claimed she was the first member in her family to go to college. It was soon discovered her brother had graduated from college years ago.

"Maybe it's Katie McGinty's problem with the truth that allows her to overlook Hillary Clinton's chronic lies," Toomey concluded.

In other words, they're two peas in a pod.

Yet, Toomey didn't exactly properly defend the Republican nominee, either. When asked if he was going to vote for Donald Trump, Toomey deferred.

"I don't think my constituents care that much how one person is going to vote." 

Toomey and McGinty also sparred over the Iran Deal, gun control, health care, abortion, and negative campaign ads. They failed to find common ground on anything. 

RealClearPolitics has Toomey with just a 2-point advantage.

Techie Proves Donna Brazile's Emails Weren't Doctored, Despite Claims

When Fox News’ Megyn Kelly confronted Donna Brazile over a Wikileaks email that shows the interim DNC chair giving Hillary Clinton the exact wording to a question before a town hall event, Brazile claimed the emails were doctored. But now, one tech blogger says it’s quite easy to prove they weren’t.

Tech blog Errata Security took up the challenge, finding the email Brazile sent to campaign adviser Jennifer Palmieri and ran it through a verification program.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a system employed by many email servers, including, to verify emails to recipients and avoid spam filters. The system sends a DKIM "key" to the receiver to verify the sender and confirm the email hasn’t been tampered with.

Consequently, bloggers ran the DKIM keys included in this and other emails through verification software, which in turn validated the Palmieri email as both real and undoctored. 

Cybersecurity expert Robert Graham detailed the process in his post for Errata Security and told Fox News the validation “took less than five minutes.”

 Graham is so confident the verification program is accurate that he’s offering a $600 BitCoin challenge to anyone who can doctor an email and still have it show as verified after running through DKIM software.

Undercover Video Shows Dem Operative Saying Clinton Wanted Trump Trolled By Donald Duck

In the third undercover video released by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas on Monday, Democratic operative Robert Creamer revealed a plan to troll Donald Trump that could put Hillary Clinton in hot water.

According to Creamer, Clinton personally approved a plan to have a nonprofit group use Donald Duck mascots to troll Trump at his rallies over his refusal to release his tax returns.

“In the end, it was the candidate, Hillary Clinton, the future president of the United States, who wanted ducks on the ground, so by God we would get ducks on the ground,” Democracy Partners’ Creamer says in the video. “Don’t repeat that to anybody.”

In the video Creamer said the group originally planned to use mascots of Uncle Sam, but it was Clinton who wanted Donald Duck—a messaged relayed to him by Hillary For America Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds.

“Christina Reynolds calls,” he says, “saying, ‘I have good news and bad news. The good news is the candidate would like to have a mascot following around ... Trump. But the bad news is she wants it to be Donald Duck.’ “My answer is, ‘Christine, if the future president wants ducks, we will put ducks on the ground,” he says boastfully.

If Clinton and the DNC did coordinate with the group Americans United for Change, it constitutes ‘illegally coordinated campaign expenditures,’ according to Project Veritas.

AUFC is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, allowing it to conduct limited amounts of electioneering as long as it doesn't directly advocate voting for or against candidates.

It also doesn't have to publicly identify its donors, distinguishing it from super PACs which must disclose their income sources but can electioneer more aggressively.

The Federal Election Commission prohibits campaigns from working with outside groups where a tangible dollar amount is tied to back-and-forth communications.

Money spent to buy the duck costume, pay staff to wear it, and publicize each campaign stunt would be considered an illegal campaign contribution to Hillary For America.

“The connection between Creamer, President Obama and Hillary Clinton is undeniable as are the campaign law violations,” O’Keefe said. “If it looks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, and if it walks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. They broke the law.”

Why Sanders Hopes WikiLeaks Doesn't Hack His Staff's Emails

Bernie Sanders said he has no right to criticize Hillary Clinton's campaign for mocking him in newly released WikiLeaks emails. Why? Because his staff's emails are probably just as bad.

“Trust me, if they went into our emails — I suppose which may happen, who knows — I’m sure there would be statements that would be less than flattering about, you know, the Clinton staff,” Sanders told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday.

In WikiLeaks' newest email dump, the media discovered that Clinton staffers called Sanders a "doofus" in the midst of their Democratic primary fight. Clinton campaign chair John Podesta also dismissed Sanders' health care plan, arguing it was authored in a "leftie alternative universe." 

Oh, and that it "sucks."

Clinton herself has been caught writing off Sanders followers as basement dwellers who were easily brainwashed by Sanders' lofty proposals.

The Vermont senator is turning his cheek to these revelations, simply noting, "that's what happens in campaigns." Yet, the months long fight against Clinton in the Democratic primary proves the animosity between the two camps goes beyond the campaign trail. The election has exposed Sanders and Clinton's major differences, for instance, on war and Wall Street. The Vermont senator hammered Clinton repeatedly for her vote for the war in Iraq, often using it to question her judgment. He also, as we've highlighted several times on Monday after she received praise from Goldman Sachs, criticized her for her cozy connection with Wall Street. You can see why his eventual endorsement of Clinton confused his progressive followers. 

One thing's for sure: WikiLeaks has made those joint Clinton-Sanders bus rides a whole lot more awkward.

Stronger Together.

Watch: Legendary Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden Joins Trump

Republican nominee Donald Trump has gained the support of yet another legendary college sports figure.  

Bobby Bowden, coach of the  Florida State Seminoles football team from the 1976 to 2009, is a two-time national champion and 12-time ACC champion.

 "I love his slogan ... I love what he said about making America great again," said Bowden, who rallied supporters in Tampa, Florida. Bowden said his wife had already voted for Trump and that his daughters will, too.

Bowden is not the only legend in college sports to have endorsed Trump. Coach Bobby Knight of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program endorsed the candidate just days before the Indiana primary, a move in which many said influenced the election results.  Two weeks before hand, Ted Cruz led Donald Trump by 16 points in the state.  

Trump Campaign Launches Nightly Facebook Show

The Donald Trump campaign launched a nightly Facebook Live show Monday night which will provide campaign footage for his supporters, and feature interviews with his campaign surrogates. It will go live every night until November 8.

The campaign will air the program at 6:30 p.m. from Trump Tower in New York City. The half-hour coverage will go live right before Trump’s 7 p.m. rallies, Trump’s advisers Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims told Politico. The show will also include conservative pundit from The Blaze Tomi Lahren.

“This is a HISTORIC movement. Together, we will once again make a government by, for, and of the people! Help us close out the final weeks of this campaign strong and WIN,” Trump wrote in a Facebook post that also include a link to a fundraising page.

His campaign has denied this new Facebook telecast is a preview of the rumored "Trump TV" should he lose the election.

The first Facebook video follows Trump during his campaign rally in Tampa, Florida and features interviews with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and the RNC's Sean Spicer. Watch below.

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty To Helping Friend Attempt To Join ISIS

A Virginia cab driver has pled guilty to helping his friend join ISIS back in January.

Mahmoud Elhassan, 26, drove Joseph Farrokh, 29, to a rest stop prior to his flight to Syria, before driving back to northern Virginia. Elhassan was arrested at a mall after Farrokh was arrested at the airport, and he was charged with attempting to help a terrorist group as well as giving false statements to the FBI. The pair was arrested after an FBI informant alerted authorities about Farrokh's plans to join ISIS.

Elhassan insists that he himself was not planning on traveling abroad and joining ISIS.

From the Washington Post:

Elhassan, 26, pleaded guilty Monday morning to attempting to help a terrorist group and giving false statements to the FBI. He admitted that he introduced Farrokh to the informant at Farrokh’s wedding last fall and spoke numerous times about ways to get to Syria. He also lied to investigators, claiming that his friend had flown out of Dulles International Airport to attend a funeral in California.

He may yet go to trial on a charge of conspiracy to provide material support. He says that he himself never tried to go abroad.

Farrokh was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison earlier this year. He was reportedly obsessed with the idea of being a martyr in Syria, and turned to Islam while recovering from an opioid addiction.

Five other people in Northern Virginia have been charged with attempting to aid or join ISIS.

Watch Live: Trump Campaigns in Tampa

GOP Lawmakers Slam Pentagon For Demanding Soldiers Repay Bonuses

Two California lawmakers had harsh words for the Pentagon Monday over the effort to recoup bonuses that were improperly given to soldiers to reenlist a decade ago.

The bonuses, which were supposed to be for soldiers in high-demand assignments, were given during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than 10,000 servicemen in order to meet recruitment goals.

But lawmakers say the Pentagon’s move to recover roughly $20 million is “disgraceful” and “insulting.”

In a letter written to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a former Marine and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said “even the simple request of asking soldiers to repay money contingent on reenlistment is disgraceful and insulting." 

"In fact, I find it difficult to believe that either you or your leadership team was aware that such a boneheaded decision was made to demand repayment — and I ask that you utilize your authority to influence a solution, including a possible legislative fix if determined necessary, that's in the best interest of the individuals and families impacted," he added.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) echoed his remarks, saying the effort to make soldiers pay back the bonuses is both “immoral” and “extremely troubling.”

"The Department of Defense should immediately halt the retrieval of these debts, and when Congress returns in November, I will insist this issue be permanently resolved with language in the National Defense Authorization Act awaiting final passage in both Chambers," Issa wrote in a letter to Carter on Monday. 

"It is unconscionable that the burden of bureaucratic malfeasance and corruption over a decade ago is being borne by heroes who stepped forward, put themselves in harm’s way and fought to keep our nation safe. Please immediately inform our offices, in addition to the appropriate Congressional committees of jurisdiction, of the steps you will be taking to promptly fix this problem -- and in a way that makes whole every one of these veterans," he wrote.

Issa also asked the chairmen of the Armed Services Committees to include a provision in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to put a stop to the effort to recoup the money.

Here's People's Best Efforts To #DescribeTheElectionInAGif

Over the weekend, the hashtag #DescribeTheElectionInAGif trended as people sought to condense the 20-month campaign into a short animated image. 

Here are some of the best, funniest, and most accurate examples:

And, of course:

Days After Obama's Glowing Review, Obamacare Premiums to Rise Almost 25 Percent

Some lovely news on a Monday afternoon. The damage done by Obamacare is about to get 25 percent worse. New government data released on Monday shows that customers under the silver plan, the most popular plan under the Affordable Care Act, are going to suffer financially.

The benchmark silver plan -- upon which federal subsidies are based -- will cost an average of $296 a month next year. That figure is based on prices for a 27-year-old enrollee in the 39 states that use the federal exchange, plus the four states and Washington D.C. that have their own exchanges.

Guy previewed this expensive outcome last week.

As CNN Money notes, insurers are also running away from ACA as fast as they can, with a handful of states only offering one insurer in the federal exchange.

The number of carriers will drop to 228 next year in the federal exchange and selected states, down from 298 in 2016. Some 21% of consumers returning to the exchanges will only have one carrier to chose from, though that insurer will likely offer multiple plan choices.

This unfortunate news comes just a few days after Obama's A+ review of his signature legislation on Friday. Obamacare was so great, he said, that many Americans don't even know they're benefitting from it.

He was more accurate when he made the following comparison.

New York Rejects Free Market Innovation, Passes Law Killing Airbnb

Governor Andrew Cuomo once again reminded us that liberal government means a government that rejects innovation in the marketplace. After complaints from union groups and hoteliers, the liberal governor signed a law placing a fine of up to $7,500 on anyone who uses a home sharing site to advertise a short-term rental apartment - essentially killing the operation of Airbnb.

The reasoning for the legislation is based on debunked myths purported by hotel groups. They claim Airbnb is fostering an environment where real estate owners can potentially buy up entire properties and then operate “illegal hotels” by using room-sharing services.

The problem with this argument is that it simply isn’t true - and couldn’t be according to Airbnb’s own concessions to New York legislators. Over 95 percent of New York Airbnb hosts sharing their whole home for rent advertise no more than one to share. On top of that, Airbnb agreed to enact a rule forcing hosts to advertise only one property for rent.

That wasn’t good enough for Democratic constituencies, thus it wasn’t enough for New York politicians.

Proponents of the legislation claim the law protects the “little guy” and will stop Airbnb from purportedly raising living costs. A large swath of Airbnb hosts are young professionals and millennials who use the sharing service to help them with rent and deal with the high costs of living that comes with residing in New York City. Go figure.

The past few years we have seen a wave of sharing services materialize onto the international stage. It’s been described as a new wave of market innovation the world sees every generation as capitalism continues to bring new ideas and products to the forefront.

The sharing economy is just another subset of our 21st century economy. Instead of embracing the benefits of new ideas, self-described “progressives” are once again showing they are far from heralding progress.

Airbnb isn’t sitting on its hands. They are already suing to block the new law.

Democratic Operative: I Didn't Watch The O'Keefe Tapes, But I'm Confident We Don't Have People Committing Illegal Acts

On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s This Week, host (and former Clinton operative) George Stephanopoulos brought up the latest investigation conducted by James O’ Keefe’s Project Veritas group that shows Democratic operatives plotting violence at Trump rallies, voter fraud schemes, and creating hubs of communication for pro-Clinton super PACs.

Clinton campaign pollster and adviser Joel Benenson was on the panel and admitted that he hasn’t seen the tapes of O’Keefe’s yearlong investigation into this dark web of operatives within the progressive Left, but he’s confident that their people aren’t doing anything illegal.

“Both of those operatives [Bob Creamer and Scott Foval] have now resigned, and they did receive money from the DNC; they were sub-contractors. Isn’t this exactly the kind of behavior you all have been complaining about?"

Benenson was ready for his talking points:

Well, it’s a video of somebody [O’Keefe] who has a track record of doctoring videos. These people have resigned, whether they were talking to him on camera, or whether there was some snippet there that’s been manipulated and taken out of context, I don’t know. It’s actually the first time I’ve seen the video, George.

Benenson then said it was an act of desperation for Republicans to focus on this and not the words of Donald Trump, who he noted has egged on violent acts at his rallies in the past. Well, so did Vice President Joe Biden, who said he wished he could go back to his high school days so he could beat up Trump for his lewd remarks about women. Ladies, where would you be without creepy Joe Biden wishing he could time travel and commit acts of violence on your behalf.

Yet, back to This Week, Stephanopoulos asked Benenson, “Are you confident that you don’t have other operatives out there doing exactly the same thing?”

“I’m pretty confident. I mean, I think as I said, we’re talking about a guy who has a track record of doctoring videos, these people resigned, as you said—and if this was happening day-in and day-out, we would know about it,” replied Benenson before reiterating how Trump incites violence at his rallies.

It’s clear that Benenson hasn’t seen the videos. Did you ever ask yourself why these two guys resigned, Benenson? If he had, he would know that Veritas caught how Clinton operatives plotted to shut down Trump’s Chicago rally, which was successful. He would see that Scott Foval and others plotted to instigate the violence at these rallies in order to put the Trump campaign in a negative light with the national media. And now, we have new footage showing that Hillary Clinton was directly involved in the Donald Duck operation, where activists dressed as a duck to prod Trump for not releasing his taxes at campaign events. It began at the DNC, but it was then handed over to Americans United For Change, which Foval and Creamer both work for, to get “ducks on the ground.” The expenditures were handled by AUFC, but they were getting their orders from the Clinton campaign. As O’Keefe noted, this is illegal coordination between a presidential campaign and a super PAC, Americans United For Change. But then, Benenson probably knew what was going on, as Lady Macbeth hatched this operation.

Sen. Crapo Says He's Voting for Trump After All

After first pulling his endorsement for the Republican nominee, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is now saying that he'll be voting for Donald Trump in the general election. Crapo rescinded his endorsement after audio of Trump making crude comments was released in mid-October.

According to Crapo, it is now necessary to vote for Trump to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president and appointing justices to the Supreme Court.

Crapo had previously called on Trump to drop out of the race and pass on the nomination to his running mate, Mike Pence.

No, That Podesta/Wikileaks Email Doesn't Prove Democrats Are Rigging Media Polls

This story started making the rounds on social media over the weekend, eventually catching fire due to Trumpworld's desperation to latch onto any piece of "evidence" -- no matter how embarrassingly ludicrous -- that the election is "rigged." (Reminder: The media turned exceedingly negative on Trump after the primaries, and the Clinton email investigation was highly questionable, but the electoral process itself is above-board and widely untainted). This latest conspiracy theory is that a Wikileaks-hacked email from John Podesta "proves" that Hillary's campaign is colluding with the mainstream media to rig the polls to make it appear as though Trump is losing. Trump himself appeared to amplify the bogus storyline on Twitter, because of course he did:

Here's what "the the Trump" is referring to:

See? They're deliberately oversampling Democrats to make it look like Trump is losing!  Or not.  The only thing that's remotely accurate about any of this is that Podesta used the word "oversamples," and mentioned "media polling" in the email.  But there's less to this supposed 'gotcha' than meets the eye.  Much less.  First of all, oversampling is an long-established polling practice with a very specific definition, described here by Pew Research (via Bradd Jaffy):

For some surveys, it is important to ensure that there are enough members of a certain subgroup in the population so that more reliable estimates can be reported for that group. To do this, we oversample members of the subgroup by selecting more people from this group than would typically be done if everyone in the sample had an equal chance of being selected. Because the margin of sampling error is related to the size of the sample, increasing the sample size for a particular subgroup through the use of oversampling allows for estimates to be made with a smaller margin of error. A survey that includes an oversample weights the results so that members in the oversampled group are weighted to their actual proportion in the population; this allows for the overall survey results to represent both the national population and the oversampled subgroup.

Click through for an explanation of how this methodology applies to African Americans, a subgroup Pew uses to illustrate how oversampling works. There is nothing controversial here. Oh, and Podesta's email was sent in January...of 2008. So his brief missive on polling comes from two presidential cycles ago, during the Democratic primary.  Bottom line: Even a cursory inspection reveals that this isn't what some people think it looks like.  If you're jonesing for a "the polls are wrong" argument, the Kentucky case study is probably your best bet at this stage.  I'll leave you with Trump's campaign manager conceding the obvious -- "we are behind:"

Watch Live: Trump Campaigns in St. Augustine

Hillary Thanks Warren For Reining in Wall Street After Goldman Sachs Basically Endorses Her

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) used Donald Trump's insults to her own advantage on Monday. At a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in New Hampshire, Warren introduced the Democratic nominee with a message: "Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote." Her remarks were a play on Trump's insult that Clinton was a "nasty woman" at their third presidential debate last week.

Clinton thanked Warren for the introduction, before acknowledging the Massachusetts senator's fight against powerful banks.

"She is going to make sure Wall Street never wrecks Main Street again," Clinton said.

Clinton's comments come a day after Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he "engages" with Clinton and is supportive of her in this year's election.

Yet, this cozy relationship with Goldman Sachs did not come up in conversation in New Hampshire. Clinton simply told the crowd she is dedicated to changing the economy to make it "fairer for everyone."

For Clinton to show her face with Warren, a progressive hero, while she receives praise from Wall Street and refuses to release her transcripts from her Wall Street speeches, is rich.

Will Bernie Fans Think Twice About Hillary After Goldman Sachs CEO Praise?

Former Bernie Sanders supporters who sold out for Hillary Clinton (harsh, I know, but true) may want to do some soul searching following a new revelation from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. While not outright announcing he's voting for her next month, the way he praised her on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" suggests he's with her.

“I’m supportive of Hillary Clinton,” Blankfein said, according to a transcript provided by the network. “Yes, so flat out, yes, I do. That doesn’t say that I agree with all of her policies. I don’t. And that doesn’t say that I adopt everything that she’s done in her political career or has suggested that she might do going forward.”

Blankfein also praised the Democratic nominee's apparent willingness to engage with those sitting across the political aisle.

Of course, Sanders fans should bristle at Blankfein's praise for Clinton. The Vermont senator's impassioned criticism of Wall Street has been one reason he has attracted so many progressive fans. During the Democratic primary, he hammered Clinton for her lucrative Wall Street speeches and her refusal to release the transcripts. When she tried to claim she has stood up to the big banks at one of their debates, he mocked her

“Secretary Clinton called them out,” countered Sanders. “Oh my gosh, they must have been really crushed by this. Was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements?”

Additionally, new headlines reveal that donors are heavily financing Clinton's campaign. The Washington Times found that more than a fifth of the $1 billion donated to her was awarded by 100 well-to-do individuals and powerful labor unions.

Can progressive voters stomach the fact that people like Blankfein seem to want a Clinton win?

Frank Luntz On 2016: 'This Should’ve Been A Slam Dunk for the GOP'

As news organizations predict total Clinton victory, GOP pollster Frank Luntz isn’t one to offer such projections since there are enough undecideds across the country that can turn this election in Donald Trump’s favor. At the same time, Luntz did note on his appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation that he has never seen so many interparty battles raging at time when the party should be devoting all of their attention to defeating Hillary Clinton.

He added that there are Trump voters who will vote at the top of the ticket, but would refuse to vote down-ballot to send a message to the establishment, while you have independent voters who want to vote Republican down-ticket, but find that those candidates are too aligned with Trump.

Another criticism Luntz lobbed was that Trump’s Gettysburg speech this weekend, where he outlined his agenda for the first 100 days, should have been addressed weeks, or maybe months ago. He noted that when 70 million people watched the third and final debate last week, that’s when the agenda should have been articulated. After all, his own focus group showed that a) Trump dominates on trade; and b) even Hillary-leaning voters were more receptive to Trump’s language on the economy. But they all noted that they were thirsty for more details.

Trump has talked about how Romney lost a winnable election. This very well could be history repeating itself on November 8. Guy mentioned how the attacks on Clinton’s character are working, but it’s proven to be insufficient in terms of beating her. The latest CBS Florida Senate poll showed that 67 percent felt Clinton was dishonest, 56 percent feel she can’t relate to regular people, and a plurality said she served herself while being our top diplomat at the State Department. Maybe a little more detail from Trump and staying focused could have made all the difference and maybe reversed the media narrative we have right now.

Luntz noted that this campaign has prided itself in speaking for the workingman, the forgotten workers of this economy swallowed up by free trade and Obamanomics, but Trump’s attention has been on attacking the media, pushing back against the women accusing him of sexual misconduct (ineffectively), and the Republican Party (i.e. Paul Ryan). In that instance, the voice of the voters he claims to speak for is lost. While he does well about holding people accountable and on budgetary matters, he tanks when he lobs personal attacks on Clinton, especially Bill.

“I have never seen a campaign that has less discipline, less focus, less of an effective vision at a time when more Americans are demanding a change in how their government works. This should have been a slam dunk for the GOP,” said Luntz.

Reuters project Clinton to win 326 electoral votes, but Trump still has a slim path to 270. It is a grim picture. Even if Trump wins Ohio and Florida, he still short of 270. He needs to win Nevada and Colorado, which is a tall order this late in the game. If he loses Nevada and Colorado, he would need to win Pennsylvania, a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, to win the election. Again, another steep hill to climb. ABC News noted other ways Trump could go to get to 270, which include winning New Hampshire. Another state that looks out of reach two weeks out from Election Day.

A perfect combination of states with fewer electoral votes could also place Trump in the White House. Victories in all of the small states in play -- including Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and the second Congressional district of Maine -- would give Trump exactly 270 electoral votes. And although Iowa and Nevada appear within reach, a WMUR/UNH poll shows New Hampshire is leaning toward Clinton -- she’s ahead by a whopping 15 percentage points.


The wildcard options include: 1) winning Wisconsin, the second Congressional district of Maine, plus either Nevada or Iowa 2) winning Virginia and either Nevada or Iowa or New Hampshire 3) winning Michigan and the second congressional district of Maine and 4) winning Colorado, Iowa and either Nevada or New Hampshire.

There's still a lot of time to go, folks. Trump has a tall hill to climb, but we'll just have to see what happens on November 8.

Landslide: Reuters Projects 326 Electoral Votes For Clinton

As we get closer to Election Day, there will be a new flurry of stories showing how Hillary has an 85+percent chance of winning—and that her Electoral College count is going to be a landslide. It’s over, basically—that’s the theme. For Reuters, they’re projecting Clinton to win 326 electoral votes, with a 95 percent chance of winning:

In the last week, there has been little movement. Clinton leads Donald Trump in most of the states that Trump would need should he have a chance to win the minimum 270 votes needed to win. According to the project, she has a better than 95 percent chance of winning, if the election was held this week. The mostly likely outcome would be 326 votes for Clinton to 212 for Trump.

Trump came off his best debate performance of the campaign Wednesday evening but the polling consensus still showed Clinton winning the third and final face-off on prime-time TV. Trump disputes those findings.

And some national polls had the race tightening a wee bit this week though others had Clinton maintaining her solid lead. But the project illustrates that the broader picture remains bleak for Trump with 17 days to go until the Nov. 8 election.

Trump did gain ground in South Carolina where his slim lead last week expanded to seven points, moving it into his column from a toss-up. Unfortunately for him, he lost ground in Arizona, which is now too close to call.

On one hand, some in the GOP will rejoice—this means the end of Trumpism, the ignominious defeat of the alt-right. Well, I’m not so sure these folks are leaving just yet. Second, Clinton would be president. Why is that a good thing? It’s a nightmare for the country. If this ends up being the end result on Election Day, it will not be without a sense of irony. When Mitt Romney decided to get on the Never Trump train, the billionaire lashed out at him, blaming him for losing a winnable election. In 2016, Reuters’ Electoral College map closely resembles that of 2012 (Romney got 206 electoral votes), and this was yet another winnable election for Republicans that we pissed away thanks for nominating flawed candidates, but I don’t want to get into “I told you so” games—though that’s a point of inevitability post-election I’m afraid.

Again, how many epitaphs have we written for this political campaign? Every time Trump looks like he’s about to collapse, he regroups. He survives. It very well could be a drumming by Clinton, but we shall reserve judgment until Election Day. We have polls showing him trailing by four, six, nine, and now twelve points. Some have it at a virtual dead heat (i.e. LA Times), while other have him leading by a point (Investors Business Daily). Now, that doesn’t mean that all is well either. Texas and Arizona are now in the toss-up column, Florida is moving to the Democrats—all of this spell disaster on November 8. If we lose Florida, forget everything else—the jig is up. Even Trump campaign manger Kellyanne Conway said that they’re behind. But the RNC seems to have delved into fantasyland to combat these developments, with Chairman Reince Priebus saying that Trump is going to do better with black voters this cycles than with McCain and Romney, with the added notion that Trump is going to win because “people have had enough.” Yeah, let’s not kid ourselves; Trump is going to do poorly with Hispanics and black voters—and we don’t know if he’s going to win the election. This spin makes the Right look desperate and embodies everything that liberals think about conservatives—that we’re detached from reality.

There is one theory that Trump’s campaign seems to be hedging on, which is that there’s a swath of voters who don’t like to be polled, and if a firm contacts them—these voters tell lies to protect themselves. It’s a fear Democratic pollsters have this cycle, that the people they poll, like the one’s saying they’re either voting for or leaning towards Hillary Clinton, are really voting for Trump. It’s our version of the shy Tory theory, in which the 1992 election in the U.K. projected a Labour win, only to end with the Conservatives winning the most votes ever cast in a British election. It’s impossible to gauge, but if this is the case, it shows how embarrassing these two candidates are for voters for either party. Right now, it’s all about stopping Clinton. And 45 percent of Republicans seem pretty dead set on making that happen, as this cohort has said they will not accept the election result that ends in a Trump defeat.