Labour’s turn?

There has been unrestrained glee from Andrew Little and the Labour camp at the resignation of John Key, but they need to be careful.

Labour have long seen Key as the thing stopping them from having their turn in Government again. They have persisted in trying to batter Brand key, without much success.

Labour came away from last weekend’s Mt Roskill successful by-election with confidence, and Key leaving looks like the icing on their general election campaign cake.

But they should be wary of becoming overconfident and thinking that they can now cruise to ‘their turn’ in Government.

A change of Prime Minister doesn’t fix Labour’s problems.

Little has shown glimpses of confidence and less impersonal parrot approach over the last week but he has a way to go to look like a possible Prime Minister.

Labour ranks still don’t look strong. Their most prominent MP over the past year, Phil Twyford, has raised a few eyebrows over his behaviour. He publicly attacked journalists (who aren’t likely to return the favour with favourable coverage) and has done some odd things on Twitter.

Twyford is heading Labour’s campaign team.

Labour have to earn the trust of voters. One of their weaknesses for years is their sense of ownership of votes, their assumption that when National has done their dash Labour will automatically benefit.

I don’t think Labour is seen yet as deserving of ‘their turn’.

Little has to improve his public performances. He has to appear as better informed about issues and he has to appear has himself more, not as a reciter of political platitudes and PR.

And it would help if a few other Labour MPs stepped up markedly. While signs of friction have diminished there are few signs of a team working together that is capable and confident.

Winning an election is not just a matter of people warming to Little when they see he looks like a decent well meaning guy.

Labour still have to portray themselves as worthy of running a government and managing the economy – so Grant Robertson has a lot to do if he wants to contribute.

Labour as a party has to look capable, but they also have to appear able to be the real deal alongside Greens, who they have become co-dependant on.

And they also have to convince voters they could manage a coalition with both Greens and Winston Peters.

The prospects have improved for Labour, a little bit.

But ‘their turn’ won’t fall into their laps next year. Whenever the general election is it will be as much a challenge for Labour as it is for National with a new leader.

I’d currently rate Little 6/10 at the moment, and Labour 5/10. They have to get closer to 8/10 to earn a victory.

The next election?

It’s fascinating to contemplate when our next election will be. It could be anywhere from March to November.

Will Bill English want to get another budget done and dusted before an election? Or will he seek a mandate first?

If David Shearer resigns as seems likely, will they go for a by-election and then a later general election?  If there is no by-election there will have to be a general election within 6 months, which would make it mid year (winter time).

English won’t have fond memories of the winter election in 2002 when he led National to a horrible result of 20.93%.

The options look like:

  • General election as soon as possible, say March
  • General election mid year, June/July
  • By-election in My Albert, then a general election in September/October

Key and English will already have known about Shearer’s possible resignation and are likely to have already considered these scenarios.

key would probably like an early election now he has decided to go, as would David Cunliffe and possible others who have decided not to stand again.

Given National’s reliance on polling it may come down to whether their support holds or drops in the short term.

If their support drops quickly National may prefer to try to build it back up before going to an election.

If their support holds up they are more likely to go to an early election.

The public won’t get to see much polling over the next month or two.

Green beats anti-immigration in Austria

James Shaw distances the Greens from populist politics:

Trump/Brexit nationalist populism isn’t an inevitable trend: former Green leader beats far-right candidate in Austrian presidential election

Opinion polls suggested that the re-run Austrian election could be too close to call but ex-Green independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen looks to have defeated far right anti-immigration candidate Norbert Hofer by what looks like a reasonably comfortable margin.

Will Shaw consider leaving the Greens and standing as an Independent? That would be a bit tricky under our party dominated MMP unless he won an electorate seat, but one vote amongst about 120 is unlikely to hold much sway.

The Austrian presidency is just a ceremonial role but there was international interest in whether the far-right ‘populist’ candidate would win.

BBC: Austria far-right candidate Norbert Hofer defeated in presidential poll

Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has lost Austria’s presidential election.

On Facebook, he described himself as “infinitely sad” and congratulated Alexander Van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, on his victory.

The elections had been seen as a sign of how well populist candidates might do in upcoming elections in the EU, though the post is ceremonial.

The result is sure to be welcomed by establishment parties and officials in the EU.

France, the Netherlands and Germany all face elections next year in which anti-mainstream and anti-immigration parties are gaining ground.

A referendum under way in Italy is being closely followed for further signs of anti-establishment populism, with polls suggesting a setback for centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Polls were a wee way off again…

…the Austrian results surprised many.

Opinion polls in the run-up to Sunday’s vote suggested the result was too close to call.

Projections based on early results now give Mr Van der Bellen roughly 53% to 46% for Mr Hofer. The margin could change, but officials said the result would not.

…showing that they can only be used as a guide, not a prediction.

And this result suggests that elections around the world are not following any particular pattern, even if there is an increase in anti-immigration support.

Interesting that Van der Bellen doesn’t sound very Germanic, and while the President-elect was born in Vienna, according to Wikipedia his family are immigrants who were refugees:

…an aristocratic Russian-born father of mixed Baltic German, Dutch, and Estonian descent, Alexander Konstantin (1898–1966), and an Estonian mother, Alma (née Siibold [Siebold, Sieboldt]; 1907–1993), who were both refugees from Stalinism. His parents successively held Russian, Estonian, and Austrian citizenship.

More on Van der Bellen:

Van der Bellen is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Vienna. A member of the Austrian Green Party, he served as a member of the National Council from 1994 to 2012, and was chairman of the parliamentary club and federal spokesperson of his party from 1997 to 2008.

He ran as a nominally independent candidate supported by the Green Party in the 2016 presidential election, and finished second out of six in the first round before winning the second round against Norbert Hofer, a member of the Freedom Party of Austria.

US marijuana ballots

A number of states in the US voted on marijuana issues. From the Fivethirtyeight election blog.

(This is a work in progress, I’ll update it as more results become available.)

Over the last 20 years, 25 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized or decriminalized medical marijuana, 15 have legalized the use of cannabis oil and four (plus D.C.) have approved recreational marijuana entirely.

And today, nine more states are voting on marijuana measures — five (Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada) to legalize recreational marijuana, and four (Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota) to legalize medical marijuana.

Amidst all the legal changes, the country has become a whole lot more comfortable with the idea of legal pot: a Gallup poll shows support climbing from 25 percent in the mid-90s to 58 percent in 2015. Support has increased in all age brackets, and young adults now overwhelmingly support legalization (71 percent of them). “It’s our generation’s Vietnam,” said Brian Vicente, an activist and partner at the marijuana law firm Vicente Sederberg, of the current push to legalize the drug.

Medical

Florida

If the ballot measure in Florida passes, it will legalize medical marijuana for specific debilitating diseases. Florida is particularly interesting because low-THC marijuana is legal in the state when consumed by a method other than smoking. The ballot measure would make it more widely available to patients.

The marijuana ballot measure in Florida passed by a landslide, legalizing medical pot for specific debilitating diseases. 76.9% in favor, and 29.1% opposed.

When Florida voters legalized medical marijuana tonight, it became the 26th state (plus D.C.) to legalize or decriminalize the drug. That means over half of all states in the U.S. have made medical marijuana legal. Now activists are looking toward California, where polls have not yet closed, to sway societal attitudes. The state could be massively important for the movement to legalize marijuana.

North Dakota

A yes vote on the ballot measure in North Dakota is a vote to legalize medical marijuana to treat specific debilitating medical conditions. A similar measure failed to reach the North Dakota ballot in 2012 after thousands of fraudulent signatures were found.

North Dakota’s ballot measure regarding marijuana has passed, legalizing medical marijuana for specific debilitating medical conditions. The Associated Press called the measure with 69 percent of precincts reporting, saying 64% voted in favor and 36% were opposed.

Arkansas

If the ballot measure in Arkansas passes, medical marijuana use for patients with qualifying conditions will become legal. A medical marijuana initiative was defeated in Arkansas in 2012. The marijuana would be taxed, with half the revenue going to vocational training and the other half divided among the general fund and other state programs.

The marijuana ballot measure in Arkansas passed, legalizing medical marijuana for specific debilitating medical conditions. 53% percent in favour,  47% opposed.

Montana

If the ballot measure in Montana passes, it will repeal the three-patient limit for medical marijuana providers, giving qualifying patients easier access to the drug. Voters have had a wild ride with marijuana legalization in Montana.

Medical marijuana was legalized in 2004, and the rules were amended in 2011 to stop advertisements for it and limit the scope of the business for providers and prescribers. Advocates tried unsuccessfully to repeal it in 2012. Then, after the 2011 bill was tied up in courts for five years, it went into effect in August.

Recreational

California

If the ballot measure in California passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana, as well as grow up to six plants and consume marijuana it privately. Medical marijuana is already legal in California.

If the measure passes, it will create two new taxes: one at $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, with exceptions for certain medical marijuana sales; the second would be a 15 percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. Revenue from these taxes would be spent on drug research, treatment and enforcement; health and safety grants addressing marijuana; youth programs; and preventing environmental damage resulting from illegal marijuana production.

The marijuana ballot measure in California passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults ages 21 and older. 55% in favor, 45% opposed.

Marijuana is now legal on the Pacific coast from Mexico to Canada.

Massachusetts

If the ballot measure in Massachusetts passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana, grow up to six plants for personal use and consume marijuana privately. Its use would be regulated similar to how the state handles alcoholic beverages. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state.

If the measure passes, the state will create the Cannabis Control Commission to oversee marijuana legalization. A 3.75 percent tax would be placed on marijuana sales. Revenue would be placed in a Marijuana Regulation Fund to pay for administrative costs. Cities and towns would be allowed to add a local tax of up to 2 percent.

The marijuana ballot measure in Massachusetts passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults age 21 and older. 54% in favor, 46% opposed.

Maine

If the ballot measure in Maine passes, adults age 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and consume it privately. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state.

A 10 percent tax would be placed on marijuana sales.

Colorado

While the state of Colorado has already legalized recreational marijuana and statewide ballots there don’t feature any questions about marijuana legalization, the ballot in the county of Pueblo sure does. Voters are weighing two marijuana issues there today. If issue 300 passes, voters will ban recreational marijuana sales in the city of Pueblo. If issue 200 passes, all marijuana facilities across the county will be shut down by Oct. 31, 2017.

Nevada

If the ballot measure in Nevada passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults who do not live within 25 miles of a marijuana retail store would be allowed to grow up to six plants.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in the state.

A 15 percent tax on the drug would be spent first on enforcing the measure; remaining funds would go to K-12 education. As in many other states voting this into law, current medical marijuana facilities in Nevada would be encouraged to transition into recreational marijuana facilities.

The marijuana ballot measure in Nevada passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults ages 21 and older. 54% in favor, 46% opposed.

Colorado’s End of Life Options Act

From the US election (Fivethirtyeight):


Colorado Votes ’Yes’ On Medical Aid In Dying

ABC News has called a win for Colorado Prop. 106, the “End of Life Options Act.” This makes Colorado the fifth state with legislation to allow terminally ill people access to medication to humanely end their lives.

Colorado Votes On An End-Of-Life Measure

In 2014, the story of a young woman with fatal brain cancer began making the rounds online and on TV news shows. Twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard knew she was dying, and she wanted to do so on her own terms, by taking prescribed medication if her pain became resistant to morphine and unbearable. This desire prompted her to move to Oregon, where, by the time she died on Nov. 1, 2014, she had become perhaps the most widely known user of Oregon’s Measure 16, called the Death with Dignity Act. Maynard’s activism brought new attention to right-to-die legislation, and her widower, Dan Diaz, has lent his support to Colorado Proposition 106, the End of Life Options Act, which would make Colorado the fifth state to permit some form of assisted suicide.

Modeled on Oregon Measure 16, Proposition 106 would allow terminally ill patients (those with less than six months to live, as determined by two doctors) to take a lethal dose of medication. To receive the drugs, the person would be required to voluntarily request it three times — twice orally and once in writing — with witnesses present. The measure would also criminalize the coercion of patients.

A September Rocky Mountain PBS and Colorado Mesa University showed that 70 percent of registered voters favored the measure. Advocates include Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Boulder and Denver Medical Societies. A February 2016 survey of members of the Colorado Medical Society, the largest physicians organization in Colorado, found that 56 percent of respondents supported “physician assisted suicide.” The Catholic Church and disability rights groups are among those rallying against the measure, and the Denver Post also has come out against it, over concerns that it could “entice insurers to drop expensive treatments for terminal patients.”

Trump threatens anarchy

The poll slide for Hillary Clinton seems to have paused at least, but still leaving the presidential election result in doubt.

WikiLeaks continues to drip feed what amounts to attacks on Clinton.

And Donald Trump and some Republicans have increased their rhetoric that appears to be an unprecedented attack on democratic processes.

Trump’s campaign has been notable for his threats to investigate and imprison Clinton should he become President.

Added to this are threats of impeachment and constitutional disruption that could make the United States ungovernable.

Clinton’s situation may be precarious, but open threats by her opponent to effectively wreck the US government must be many degrees worse.

New York Times editorial: Donald Trump’s Impeachment Threat

Donald Trump and other embattled Republican candidates are resorting to a particularly bizarre and dangerous tactic in the closing days of the campaign — warning that they may well seek to impeach Hillary Clinton if she wins, or, short of that, tie her up with endless investigations and other delaying tactics.

Of all the arguments advanced by the Trump forces, this has to be among the most preposterous. In effect, what they’re saying is, Mrs. Clinton won’t be able to govern, because we won’t let her. So don’t waste your vote on her. Vote for us.

In a rational world — you know, one that values comity and progress in the national interest — this line of argument would be seen as incendiary at worst and hopelessly wacky at best. Not so in Trumpland, where the candidate himself warns (as he did in Miami on Wednesday) that a Clinton victory would “create an unprecedented and protracted constitutional crisis,” raising the specter that government would be severely hobbled by congressional Republicans’ open-ended investigations and a determination to impeach Mrs. Clinton. All this even if she was fairly elected by a majority of American voters.

“Haven’t we just been through a lot with the Clintons?” Mr. Trump asked. “The work of government would grind to a halt if she were ever elected.”

The tactic is a rejection of the nation’s need of a functioning government.

If Trump is serious this is a very serious threat to the US. And it isn’t just Trump, some Republicans are joining with what amounts to threats of anarchy.

Other Republican candidates in tight races have picked up this theme. The G.O.P. phrase du jour is “constitutional crisis,” depicting a hog-tied executive and a Republican Congress obsessed with perpetuating their demonization of Mrs. Clinton. Senator Richard Burr, campaigning for re-election in North Carolina, took the Trump fantasy one step further, telling supporters: “Could she pardon herself? And the answer is yes.”

Rudy Giuliani, one of Mr. Trump’s most zealous acolytes, echoed this cry to carry the battle forward into a Clinton administration. “I guarantee you in one year she’ll be impeached and indicted,” Mr. Giuliani promised Iowa voters this week. “It’s just going to happen. We’re going to sort of vote for a Watergate.”

…the Republicans’ impeachment threat demonstrates their gathering disrespect for democracy. If they can’t gain control of government fairly, they’ll simply undermine it.

If Clinton loses I can imagine she will find it difficult to say anything like what Gore said in 2000 after the Supreme Court ruled…

...the Florida recount was called unconstitutional and that no constitutionally valid recount could be completed by the December 12 deadline, effectively ending the recounts.

Gore strongly disagreed with the Court’s decision, but said “for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”

Wikipedia

But it appears that Trump has no concerns about ‘unity as a people’ nor ‘the strength of our democracy’.

Trump is effectively threatening anarchy – “a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems”.

If Trump ends up losing and backing off his threats he is still likely to leave a an ununited state of chaos, having incited his supporters so much in advance.

Destruction of a democratic republic

Is the US democratic republic in a process of self destruction, or is it just in an awful mess that is somehow recoverable?

The Democrats allowed Hillary Clinton and her cabal to pursue her ambitions despite serious flaws and risks.

The deeply divided Republicans enabled Donald Trump to become their candidate, who has dragged the campaign down to new lows.

And the FBI directory has kicked over the rubble.

Charles Lane at Washington Post: Here’s how you destroy a democratic republic

With the 58th presidential election under the U.S. Constitution now less than a week away, it is clear that the 228-year-old document is not achieving one of its central purposes.

James Madison intended it to curb “factious spirit” — what we call “partisanship” — which he correctly identified as the bane of popular governments, both those that had existed before 1788 and the ones in the 13 newly independent American states.

Yet today’s Republicans and Democrats are so divided that they no longer seem like citizens of the same nation or acknowledge even the same factual reality.

Among the many manifestations of out-of-control factious spirit, none is more dismaying than the obeisance Republicans have paid their party’s patently unfit presidential candidate, Donald Trump, out of a combination of opportunism, blind factional loyalty and hatred of his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

None is more dangerous, though, than the potential partisan politicization of federal law enforcement, especially its investigative arm, the FBI.

If you really wanted to destroy a democratic republic, the surest way would be to turn its prosecutors, investigators and intelligence-gatherers into the instruments — actual or perceived — of a political party.

Whatever the result next week, the United States of America will be in a fractured, fractious state.

If Trump wins, Democrats would consider it an FBI-engineered victory.

If Clinton wins, she would face the awkward predicament of working on anti-terrorism and other vital efforts with an FBI director still pursuing a Republican-encouraged investigation of her emails.

It’s harsh piling too much blame on Comey, much of the damage had already been done by both candidates and both parties.

The US is unlikely to be a happy place. Is their democratic republic irreparably damaged?

It is likely to take a far better leader than either Clinton or Trump to patch up the damage.

US polls closing pre-FBI effect

The US presidential election has been rocked by a vague FBI announcement of an investigation into emails that may have some link to Hillary Clinton’s controversial email server.

The FBI asnnouncing an investigation in advance is unusual, and announcing it less than two weeks before an election with early voting already under way in many states is unprecedented.

There has been no claim of proof of wrongdoing. FBI director James Comey stated “…the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant”.

However Donald Trump is claiming charged and convicted, and his chanting crowds have sentenced Clinton already.

Nate Silver: Election Update: The FBI Is Back — This Time With Anthony Weiner

The emails apparently came from electronic devices belonging to Anthony Weiner, the former congressman, and his wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Clinton, and surfaced as part of an investigation into lewd text messages that Weiner sent to underage women. It isn’t clear that the emails directly implicate Clinton, and the reporting I’ve followed so far suggests that in a legal sense, Comey’s decision to inform Congress may be something done out of an “abundance of caution.”

But in a political sense, there’s certainly some downside for Clinton in the appearance of headlines containing the words “FBI,” “investigation” and “email” just 11 days before the election.

But it’s too soon to tell what level of ‘downside’ there is for Clinton via polls, although they have been closing up prior to the FBI bombshell of bugger all.

We’ve reached the point in the campaign in which there are so many polls coming in — state polls, national polls, tracking polls, one-off polls — that it’s really nice to have a model to sort out all the data. A couple of days ago, the model was beginning to detect tenuous signs that the presidential race was tightening.

Now, that seems a bit clearer. Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is now 5.7 percentage points in our polls-only model, down from 7.1 points on Oct. 17.

The RealClear Politics rolling average is now +4.6% in Clinton’s favour.

And Trump’s chances of winning the election have recovered to 18 percent from a low of 12 percent. Trump’s chances in our polls-plus forecast are 21 percent, improved from a low of 15 percent.

A number of sources have reported that Clinton’s support had remained fairy stable at around 46/47%, but Trump’s had been creeping up in the low forties.

FiveThirtyEight prediction trend:

536polltrend29102016

The Clinton camp will be following polls more anxiously over the next few days.

 

US campaign: dirt in all directions

The race to the bottom in the US presidential election continues with accusations of dirty campaigning from both directions.

Project Veritas has released another video claiming that Hillary Clinton has been directly involved in deliberate disruption of Donald Trump rallies including inciting violence (no evidence provided).

But Frank Luntz accuses Breitbart of collusion with campaign disruption.

Who to believe?

wrestlewithapig

Fox News: Trump campaign: Video shows Clinton coordinated with liberal group to incite crowds

Donald Trump’s campaign charged Monday that new undercover video shot by a conservative activist proves Hillary Clinton “directly” coordinated with a liberal group that’s been accused of inciting violence at Trump rallies.

The latest video from Project Veritas allegedly showed a Democratic operative – who previously had been linked to individuals accused of planting provocateurs at Trump events – bragging about receiving orders from Clinton to deploy Donald Duck-suited protesters to Trump events.

“In a totally disqualifying act that is a violent threat to our democracy, Hillary Clinton directly involved herself in inciting violence directed at Trump supporters,” Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement, demanding an investigation. 

The third Project Veritas video, released Monday, shows how the plan came together to have an activist in a duck costume follow Trump with a sign reading, “Donald ducks releasing his tax returns.” The footage features Democracy Partners head Robert Creamer suggesting the plot came from the Democratic presidential nominee herself.

There’s no evidence that the duck stunt incited anyone to violence, despite the Trump campaign statement.

However, the video points to alleged collaboration between the Clinton camp and the group tied a separate purported incitement scheme disclosed in the first two Project Veritas videos released last week. 

“It’s what we would call unethical, illegal, dirty tricks,” former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. “It’s like paying people to break up Trump rallies and beat people up, and then have the press report for two months that Trump has violent rallies when in fact they people were paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.” 

But Politico reports: Breitbart coordinated with liberal activist and organizer who disrupted GOP primary campaign events

A liberal activist and organizer coordinated with reporters from the conservative news site Breitbart during the primaries to cover his disruptions of events for candidates such as Sen. Marco Rubio.

Aaron Black, an associate with Democracy Partners and a former Occupy Wall Street organizer, worked with the pro-Trump site Breitbart, tipping it off about his stunts, exchanging raw video and coordinating coverage, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Black has resurfaced recently as one of the people featured in undercover video from the Project Veritas group. In the video, he claims to work for the Democratic National Committee. Though he does not appear on their payroll, his bio at Democracy Partners credits him with “working closely with the Democratic National Committee” during the 2012 election cycle. Black in the video says he helped organize protests in Chicago that led to Trump’s cancellation of a rally there in March.

According to the source, Black coordinated with Breitbart via email, phone and in person, including when he dressed up as a robot and trolled Marco Rubio’s events. The relationship was described as very friendly. An article subsequently published on Breitbart featured video footage of a physical confrontation between Black and Rubio’s New Hampshire campaign chairman.

“He worked directly with Breitbart’s political team on the ground in the primary states to sabotage Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz, and elect Trump as nominee of [the Republican] party,” the source told POLITICO. “[Black] was coordinating with [Breitbart’s] top staff to rabble rouse against Rubio at rallies.”

That Breitbart had supported Trump over Rubio and Cruz is already known. The site has been a reliable source of pro-Donald Trump material, a relationship that was made official when Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon was appointed Trump’s campaign CEO in August. Bannon subsequently took a leave from his role at Breitbart.

But their willingness to work with a progressive activist perhaps goes to show how far they were willing to go to take down candidates.

Just as it’s easy to cherry pick polls to support one side or the other it’s easy to find claims and accusations that paint either the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign as dirty.

This is complicated by the involvement of activists working from outside the campaigns, like Breitbart, WikiLeaks and Democracy Partners.

Here’s a photo of the (Trump/Clinton) campaign:

PigWrestling.jpg

Range of US polls

About the only certainty about US presidential polls is that it is futile reading much from single polls. There are a lot of polls, and the results are all over the place.

FiveThirtyEight still gives Hillary Clinton an 85% chance of winning. The RealClear Politics  rolling average has been fluctuating a little around the +6% level for Clinton (today it is back up slightly).

Recent polls show how variable they are:

rcppolls24oct2016

Rasmussen and the tracking polls have tended to favour Trump in the past but more recently have been running close to even, while the ABC poll gives Clinton a huge lead.

Perhaps more pertinent  are the polls for Florida and North Caroline that Trump probably needs to win to get the key Electoral College numbers he needs.

Apart from the polls there are several things working against Trump:

  • Time – only two weeks to try and turn a bad run around
  • The Republican Party is split in it’s support of his campaign
  • The Democrats are said to have a much better ‘on the ground’ organisation
  • Early votes are reported to favour Clinton
  • Trump