Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 Republican National Convention Presidential Nomination Roll Call Tally

Roll Call Tally from Day Two of the 2016 Republican National Convention (7/19/16)



--
Announced totals at the conclusion of the Roll Call of States (via Speaker Ryan)
Trump 1725
Cruz 475
Kasich 120
Rubio  114
Carson 7
Bush 3
Paul 2

That represents only 2446 delegates in total; 26 short of the 2472 delegates. The final count shorted Cruz and Rubio nine delegates, Kasich five delegates and did not account for the three abstentions.  That squares the 26 delegate discrepancy.


--
State tallies that differed from tallies called out by the Secretary of the Convention
Alaska
Secretary call:
Trump 28

Delegation call:
Trump 11
Cruz 12
Rubio 5

Explanation: Though it has been traditional for the Alaska Republican Party to grant the request by candidates who have dropped out to hold on to their delegates, that practice is not rules-based. Granting the requests of Cruz and Rubio is inconsistent with the reallocation process described in the Alaska Republican Party rules. That was the procedure that the Alaska Republican Party filed with the Republican National Committee in fall 2015 under the provisions of Rule 16(f).

(Washington) District of Columbia
Secretary call:
Trump 19

Delegation call:
Rubio 10
Kasich 9

Explanation: Under the bylaws of the Republican Party in the District of Columbia, if only one name is placed in nomination at the convention, then all of the delegates from the district are bound to that candidate. Although Rubio and Kasich were the only candidates to qualify for delegates in March 12 convention in the nation's capital, neither had his name placed in nomination at the national convention. Under rule, then, that shifted all of 19 delegates to Trump.

Nevada
Secretary call:
Trump 14
Rubio 7
Cruz 6
Carson 2
Kasich 1

Delegation call:
Trump 16
Rubio 7
Cruz 6
Kasich 1

Explanation: The Nevada Republican Party rules allow several options to candidates who have dropped out. Candidates can have their delegates reallocated to candidates still in the race, release them to be unbound or hold on to them. Reporting from Nevada was that Carson opted to release those delegates and that they had subsequent to that aligned with Trump. The Secretary, nonetheless, called out the original allocation based on the February caucus results.

Utah
Secretary call:
Trump 40

Delegation call:
Cruz 40

Explanation: Like Alaska and Washington, DC, the rules of the Utah Republican Party include provisions for the reallocation of delegates following a candidate dropping out of the race for the nomination. Once Cruz discontinued campaigning after the Indiana primary in early May, his 40 Utah delegates, by rule, were reallocated to the only remaining candidate in the race, Trump.


--
State Tallies Different from the FHQ Bound Count (Changes compared to the data in the spreadsheet above)
Arkansas:
Trump +9
Rubio -9

Colorado:
Trump +4
Cruz +1
Abstain +2

American Samoa (all unbound to begin):
Trump +9

Guam (all unbound to begin):
Trump +9

Iowa:
Trump +23
Cruz -8
Rubio - 7
Carson -3
Bush -1
Fiorina -1
Huckabee -1
Kasich -1
Paul -1
* If only one name is placed in nomination, then all of the delegates from the Hawkeye state go to that candidate under Iowa GOP rules.

Louisiana:
Trump +13
Rubio -5
Cruz -3
Uncommitted -5

Michigan:
Trump +26
Cruz - 11
Kasich -15

Missouri:
Trump +4
Cruz -4

North Dakota (all unbound to begin):
Trump +21
Cruz +6
Carson +1

Oklahoma:
Trump +11
Cruz +4
Rubio -12
Uncommitted -3

Oregon:
Trump +5
Kasich -5

Pennsylvania (54 unbound to begin):
Trump +53
Cruz +1

Vermont:
Trump +5
Paul +2
Kasich -7

Washington:
Trump +3
Uncommitted -3

West Virginia:
Trump +4
Uncommitted -3
Kasich -1

Wyoming:
Trump +2
Kasich +2
Uncommitted -4

NOTE: FHQ would speculate that most of the movement above is a function of delegates becoming unbound under the release procedures called for in state party rules. Delegate selection is key thereafter. In most cases, those delegates moved toward the presumptive nominee, Trump. In other states, the movement was toward Trump and others. A third group that could be added to fill this picture out is states whose delegations opted to follow the original allocation results. All of this is speculative, however, and requires following up.


--
Roll Call of States Sequence
Rule 37 calls for an alphabetical sequence, but 1) allows states to pass and 2) the 2016 convention agreed without objection to allow New York (presumptive nominee Trump's home state) to go out of turn (in order to allow the Empire state tally to put Trump over the 50% mark in terms of delegates required to win the nomination).

The roll call went in that order with only a few exceptions:
Michigan passed and moved to the end of the roll as called for in Rule 37.
Pennsylvania deferred to New York (see above) and moved to the end of the roll.

Once Wyoming finished the original alphabetical sequence, the roll call moved back to Michigan and then Pennsylvania in that order.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thoughts on a Motion to Suspend the Rules on the Presidential Nomination Roll Call

In the wake of the defeated attempt to force a roll call vote on the rules package at the Republican National Convention -- summary from FHQ forthcoming -- there have been a number of questions and comments lobbed FHQ's way about the possibility of a suspension of the rules on the nomination roll call vote on the second night of the convention. Let's look at this from a few angles.

First, under the Rules of the US House of Representatives, a suspension of the rules is typically a maneuver to streamline the consideration of legislation. It is a tool used to move non-controversial legislation through the body quickly. This was the context in which Jonathan Bernstein and I were talking about it last night as things wrapped up in Cleveland. In other words, given how day one progressed -- the afternoon portion anyway -- Trump forces and the Republican National Committee may have some interest in skipping the roll call. Passing over that step would likely to voting on the nomination by acclamation as the convention will do for the vice presidential nomination and similar to what Democrats did in the midst of their 2008 nomination roll call vote.

Again, the streamlining function is the usual usage of a suspension of the rules. Yet, another way of looking at it is as a delay tactic; a move like the attempted roll call petition on day one. In both cases, the intention was or could be to slow down a Trump nomination and embarrass the presumptive nominee at his own convention. As described in Rule 32 of the Rules of the Republican Party a motion to suspend the rules is always in order and requires first the support of a majority of delegates in one state, but that it be seconded by the majority of delegates in seven additional states.

Now, if one followed the proceedings from Cleveland on day one, one might be tempted to say, "Here we go again." Indeed, that eight state barrier is awfully reminiscent of the seven state barrier mandated in Rule 39 to force a roll call vote. This means that the result is a battle of the wills to some extent.

Do delegates defeated last Thursday in the Rules Committee and again on their attempt at a symbolic roll call vote on the rules package on the floor want to go through another likely loss? How much is that worth to them?

Do Team Trump and the RNC want another situation where they have the numbers on their side, but once again risk appearing heavy-handed quashing yet another attempted rebellion on national television?

Those are tough questions to answer; known unknowns if one will. But there are a few other pieces to this puzzle to throw out there.

First, Free the Delegates' ringleader, Kendal Unruh (CO), was not terribly specific in her comments after the failed roll call attempt about next steps. The direction she did provide seemed to be focused more on delegate challenges to the (intra-delegation) roll call tallies allowed under Rule 37(b). That, however, is a dead end given Rule 16(a)(2) and the changes to Rule 37(b). Those challenges will go nowhere.

Second, Rule 32 only describes the procedure for making a motion to suspend the rules. Not wordy in the first place, the rule is silent on what comes next. That would imply that the US House rules fill the void.  In the House, the standard operating procedure following a motion to suspend the rules is limited debate and a vote on the motion. To pass, the motion would need to receive the support of  two-thirds of the body.

Again, this is exactly what happened in Denver in 2008 during the roll call vote for the Democratic nomination. Then-Senator Clinton made a motion to suspend the rules, stop the roll call (but still count the votes) and nominate then-Senator Barack Obama by acclamation. But that was an attempt at party unity. In the context of the 2016 Republican National Convention, such a motion -- particularly on the part of Trump and the RNC -- would produce the exact opposite effect; further deepening the divide within the convention if not the broader party.

Look, Trump and the RNC want their roll call, but at what cost. The question for day two may end up being how willing they are to put up with (what they will view as) further delay maneuvers that do not represent the majority of delegates. Given that the majority of delegates behind any attempted delays have been and are Cruz supporters and that their standard bearer has been no stranger to thumbing his nose at (parliamentary) business as usual, the Trump forces and RNC may have their hands forced one more time.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Five Takeaways from the 2016 Convention Rules Committee Meeting

It would be easy to get lost in all the parliamentary procedure of the marathon, one day session the Republican Convention Committee on Rules pushed through a day ago. All the maneuvering aside, though, there were actually a number of noteworthy actions that emerged from the committee's work that will stretch through 2016 and remain influential into the 2020 cycle. Here are five:

1. Presidential nomination study committee
Much as it did eight years ago in Minneapolis, the Rules Committee created a temporary body to consider some of the thornier presidential nomination process questions outside the convention. The scope of the 2009-10 Temporary Delegate Selection Committee concerned just the ins and outs of the primary calendar (leading to additions like the proportionality requirement, for example). However, the newly created temporary committee on presidential nominations has a seemingly broader scope. Everything from delegate apportionment (Rule 14), the calendar (Rule 16) and penalties (Rule 17) will be on the table.

But why not just deal with this all at the convention?

As proponents yesterday in Cleveland collectively put it, the intent was to give the Republican Party the time and space to adequately consider those matters. The argument, as was later borne out in even limited discussion on Rules 14 and 16 matters, was that a maximum two day Convention Committee on Rules was not sufficient to fully consider controversial rules destined to stir up lengthy debates.

Unlike a 2013 subcommittee the Republican National Committee chartered with much the same goal, this committee will likely have a membership that encompasses more than merely Standing Rules Committee members. Instead the new 11 member study panel will potentially have a wider, more representative membership. Of course, the rule vested the power to select the membership in the national committee chair.

Like the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee, this new committee is likely to meet in 2017 with the goal of providing the RNC with recommendations to act on in 2018.


2. Rule 12
Summer 2018 is the cut off for action on any changes to Rules 1-11 and 13-25 in the Rules of the Republican Party because of Rule 12. That measure, added at the 2012 convention, has been in the crosshairs of opponents since Tampa. Breaking with tradition, the five line Rule 12 more explicitly gave the RNC the power to make changes to the aforementioned sets of rules.

Unlike the rule that gave rise to the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee after 2008, though, Rule 12 shifted a more sweeping set of rules-making powers away from the convention and toward the Republican National Committee. The trade-off is that the rule allows the party to adapt to changes that may emerge outside the convention and before the next presidential nomination race.1

Generally, the Rule 12 battle lines (and those of the Romney-led changes in 2012) have been drawn between the RNC proper supporting the latter view and some of the more grassroots elements and traditionalists within the party down to the rank-and-file in favor of the former. That meant that any vote like the one to strike Rule 12 from the rule book was a potential early-day proxy of the similarly divided vote that was expected later on unbinding the delegates.

The amendment to strike Rule 12 from the rulebook failed, garnering only 23 votes in the affirmative.


3. Inaction on Rules 14 and 16
Those two actions -- creating a study committee and retaining Rule 12 -- allow the RNC not only the ability hereafter to make rules changes outside the convention, but give the national party the space to fully consider some of the more time-consuming aspects of the presidential nomination process. All of that is contained primarily within Rules 14-17.

Surprisingly, no amendments were offered to Rule 17, the penalties regime that contributed to a much smoother pre-primary period (especially with respect to the formation of the presidential primary calendar, but also the finalizing of state party bylaws affecting the allocation process). Rule 17 aside, however, every additional measure brought before the Rules Committee failed. Not only was an attempt to force proportionality on the carve-out states voted down, but so, too, were a series of proposals to grant various bonus delegates to states under the Rule 14 apportionment formula.

In that vein, amendments were considered and voted down to add additional bonus delegates to the state-level at-large pool based on Republicans in a state's congressional delegation, and then for having Republican governors. The proposal that received the longest debate was over whether to provide a 20% bonus to states with closed primaries. As with the rest, this amendment was voted down as well. Unlike some of the rest the closed primaries incentive had been a part of morning side negotiations between a grassroots conservative group of delegates and the RNC. When a deal fell through there, the closed primary provision became vulnerable to the same lopsided results that continued to occur with some of the more controversial measures.

Part of what neutered any serious consideration of these proposed changes was the study committee the committee had voted on earlier in the day. A constant refrain throughout the consideration of this section of the rulebook was that the committee just did not have the time in two days of potential meetings at the convention to adequately dispatch with changes. The existence of a future study panel strengthened that argument and gave the majority group of Trump/RNC delegates an escape hatch from potentially time-consuming debate that could delay the progress of the full body in considering changes to all 42 rules.

Essentially, the study committee allowed the Convention Committee on Rules to hit the pause button on any changes to the presidential nomination process for now. However, the RNC will revisit those matters later and outside of the convention.


4. Binding/Unbinding
After failing to attack the specific binding language in Rule 16, the headline act -- the attempt to unbind the delegates to vote their conscience -- shifted into the third segment of the RNC Rules meeting. But before the conscience clause amendment to Rule 38 (the Unit Rule) was even raised, an amendment to Rule 37 from Nevada Rules Committee member, Jordan Ross, came before the committee. The Ross amendment and subsequent vote had the effect of taking the wind out of the sails of the Free the Delegates movement in the Rules Committee.

Rather than freeing the delegates, the Ross amendment moved in the opposite direction, adding more specific language to Rule 37 (and later Rule 38 as well) explicitly binding delegates based on the results of primaries and caucuses. Operationally, all this entailed was the addition of the phrase "nothing in the rule shall prohibit the binding of delegates pursuant to Rule 16(a)(2)" to the current text of Rule 37(b) and Rule 38.

The one-sided vote in favor of the change to Rule 37(b) laid bare what would come on the subsequent vote on Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh's conscience clause amendment that came up next in the sequence. But while the Free the Delegates proposal seemingly came in like a lion, it left the vote of the Convention Committee on Rules a lamb.

Assuming this package of rules changes passes muster with the full 2016 convention, Republican delegates in 2020 will more clearly than ever before be bound based on the results of the primaries and caucuses then. Yes, the convention will continue to have the ability to set its own rules, but such a change will require a significant grassroots movement to organize such a push. Even then, as this 2016 process has demonstrated, arguing to change the rules midstream is an uphill battle after millions of primary voters and caucusgoers have expressed their preferences.


5. The Infamous Rule 40
The final noteworthy change that came out of the committee's meetings was to Rule 40(b). Like Rule 12, this rule triggered some dissatisfaction in Tampa that has persisted for four years. Unlike Rule 12, Rule 40(b) loomed over the discussions of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination process from at least 2014. The reason is that because so many candidates initially entered the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, the eight state majority threshold described in the rule seemed to potentially project a stalemate at the convention over the nominee. Even as the field winnowed, the Rule 40 doomsday scenarios morphed from no one meeting that threshold to multiple candidate reaching it (while others did not).

This controversy -- the complication -- was not lost on the members of the Rules Committee. In a unanimous vote, the committee voted on an amendment to revert the eight state majority threshold to its pre-2012, five state plurality level. Rules Committee chair, Enid Mickelsen, even interjected after passage that, "this thorn that has been in our flesh...for four years now that caused such disappointment and so much trouble has finally been removed."

While Rule 12 survived, then, the eight state majority Rule 40 did not.

--
All of this and more will go before all 2472 delegates on the first evening of the convention after the Rules Committee has convened one last time. Further debate could come up on the floor via the use of minority reports. But if the series of votes in Rules are any indication, that is an uphill climb for opponents of the package even if they have the signatures.



--
1 As proponents of Rule 12, like New Hampshire's Steve Duprey argued, the rule laid the ground work for action by the RNC on the creation of the committee that examined the presidential primary debates process for 2016. But it also facilitated changes to the rules pushed through by the Romney team in Tampa. Chiefly, that included reinstating a mandatory proportionality requirement that had become optional, shrinking the proportionality window by two weeks and tweaking the penalties on rules-breaking states. In that regard, Rule 12 was actually used to scale back some of what 2012 delegates like Virginia's Morton Blackwell have called Romney's power-grab.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Mechanics of the Rules Committee and Minority Reports

There is some dispute over whether the Free the Delegates push has enough support on the Convention Committee on Rules to force a minority report to unbind the delegates onto the floor before the full Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland. At this point, on the cusp of the preliminary meetings of the Rules Committee, it looks close.

But what is a minority report and how would it operate as the convention gavels in next week?

At its most simple, a minority report is exactly what it sounds like. It is an outlet for a minority faction on a convention committee -- whether rules or platform, etc. -- to provide an alternative to the (majority) report passed by the committee. Both reports are then considered by the full membership of the convention.

Rule 34 of the Rules of the Republican Party lays out the mechanics. Those opposed to the rules package passed by the committee must have the support of at least a quarter of the committee. On the 112 member Rules Committee, that is 28 delegates. Now that a committee majority seems out of the question for the forces attempting unseat Donald Trump, that 28 delegate threshold has become the goal. And the Free the Delegates faction is approaching if not at or over that mark depending on who one asks.

However, the rather short rule in combination with the sequence of the convention proceedings obscures the fluidity of the rules package between now (the Rules Committee meetings) and Monday when the convention commences. And that affects the likelihood of a minority report making it out of committee and onto the floor.

While the rules of the convention (and of the party) will be considered in the Rules Committee for the next two days and will vote on a package, that package of rules recommendations will not be finalized until one last committee meeting Monday before the convention kicks off. That means that there is time for further tweaking of the rules and/or continued lobbying of delegates in the interim period. This was the same period four years ago in Tampa in which the proposal to give candidates the ability to accept or reject delegates bound to them was stripped out of the package.

That the rules can change or proposed changes can be made to draw additional support for the committee (majority) report means that the rules -- that majority report -- is something of a moving target. As a result, those behind a minority report push may not always have a handle on what they are providing an alternative to or even what their alternative should be.

Moreover, time works against a minority report in several additional ways. Those initial votes in committee on particular amendments give both sides -- majority and minority or Trump/RNC and Free the Delegates -- an idea of who is with them and who is against them. These two days of preliminary meetings, then, serve as a forum to identify those folks; to identify who needs to be whipped to support one side or the other.

This is similar to what happened earlier this week coming out of the Platform Committee. There was a push there to offer a minority report/resolution to the platform. An actual report was circulated and signed. In some cases it was unsigned. But all that did was identify who the majority need to lobby to solidify the majority and deny the minority report.

If a Rules minority report emerges early -- and really, even if it does not -- then all that does is provide the Trump/RNC contingent with time and the knowledge of who they need to convince. And because the rules package will not have seen its final committee vote, there is time to offer proposed changes to bring more folks onboard. Again, stripping out the approval/rejection provision in that interim period solidified the majority and firmed up it support heading into (what was still a somewhat contentious) floor vote in 2012.

Finally, timing is important in one other respect. If keeping a minority together in the face of the above was not difficult enough, those attempting to submit a minority report have to turn it in to either the Rules Committee chair, vice chair, secretary or the secretary of the convention within an hour following the final Monday vote. That seems easy enough. But that is four individuals in a crowded convention hall and a minority faction has to locate one of them with the clock ticking. And depending on how long that last Rules meeting lasts, that may run into the beginning session of the convention proper when the floor vote will happen. The consideration of the committee reports is the first order of business for the convention.

None of this is to suggest that the Free the Delegates faction in the committee or within the entire convention cannot succeed. However, they will have more obstacles facing them than will their opposition.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Yue's Proposal to Freeze the 2012 Republican Rules

Some of the rules proposals for Cleveland are starting to leak, and Ari Melber has what one might call a status quo proposal from Oregon national committeeman, Solomon Yue. Here is the language of the simple change to Rule 42:
The Rules adopted by the 2012 Convention, as amended under Rule 12, shall constitute the Rules of the Republican National Committee and the 2016 Republican National Convention. Any amendments herein to these rules, as adopted by the 2016 Republican National Convention, shall take effect at the adjournment of the 2016 National Convention and constitute the Rules for the Republican National Committee and the temporary Rules of the 2020 National Convention. 
This rule replaces what has been the rule establishing the temporary rules for the next convention. Standard protocol within the Republican Party has always held that a convention of delegates crafts the rules that will govern their conduct. Furthermore, those rules serve as a temporary baseline from which the next succeeding convention can work. This saves the party from having to start from scratch for each convention. However, that process also tends to create something of a negative inertia that can make change more difficult (especially in a potentially highly charged setting like a national convention).

Yue's proposal breaks from that sequence. Rather than having the Convention Committee on Rules wrangle over new rules or rules changes for the 2016 convention, this change would have them haggling over the temporary rules for the 2020 convention. Any changes in Cleveland would take effect when the 2016 convention adjourns.

One way of looking at this is that freezes the current rules and punts any changes to after the convention. Setting that baseline is a powerful action as described above. And FHQ has often argued that that baselining is a powerful institutional function. Those are the rules unless there is agreement if not consensus about changing them at the convention or later by the RNC itself. That can be a high bar.

Another way of looking at this, though, is that it locks in the 2012 rules for 2016 but also sets any changes to Rules 26-42 in stone for another four years -- from Cleveland to the 2020 convention. The most controversial of those rules is the oft-maligned, too often over-discussed Rule 40. That eight state majority threshold could be changed and locked in -- again, as a placeholder -- in Cleveland for 2020. Given how often that rule came up in 2016, this would seem significant. On some level it is.

Yet, the overall scope of this change is pretty minimal, long term. In the short term, it absolutely would solidify Trump's nomination in Cleveland if passed through the Convention Rules Committee and by the convention. But unless that rules package calls for the post-convention elimination of Rule 12, then the Republican National Committee would retain the ability to amend the rules that would govern 2020 nomination process.

That makes this proposal a potentially weak bargaining chip in the broader discussion of the rules. If, to get it passed, concessions were made on changes to the future nomination process rules to lock, under this proposal, the 2012 rules in place for Cleveland, then those on the opposition side -- against Yue's proposal -- would almost have to call for the elimination of Rule 12 to remove any possibility that the RNC would revisit and alter those changes.

In the end, that is a hypothetical situation. And given the make up of the Convention Committee on Rules -- stacked with members of the RNC -- it is unlikely that any such sort of bargaining over the rules will occur. However, it is helpful to unpack all of this to see where the discussion might go and what the logical aims and ends of Yue's proposal are.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Electoral College Map (6/28/16)



Polling Quick Hits:
A wave of battleground polls from Public Policy Polling (four of the six states are in the middlemost column in the Electoral College Spectrum below; the most competitive states):

Arizona:
Of the six polls, only the Arizona survey showed Donald Trump in the lead. Yes, that four point edge was just outside the margin of error, but Trump's share in the poll was his highest in the state all year. However, it was not enough to push his average in the Grand Canyon state to his side of the partisan line. Arizona still projects as a Clinton state, but only by a narrow margin.

Iowa:
The polling drought in Iowa got a bit more relief, but, like last week, it was another poll from PPP that showed a slight Clinton advantage in the Hawkeye state. That drew the margin in Iowa a little closer and lodged the state firmly in the toss up area tipped toward Clinton. At this point, Iowa is still a want for Democrats, but is not a need. It remains superfluous to the chase for 270.

New Hampshire:
The picture in New Hampshire is similar to the one in Iowa: the margin inched toward being more competitive but without taking the Granite state out of the category it has been in for the last two weeks. But whereas Iowa was a toss up state for Clinton, New Hampshire is a heavier lean in the former secretary's direction.

Ohio:
In perennial battleground, Ohio, the PPP survey was right in line with where the extant polling has placed the race. Trump is flirting with 40 percent with Clinton a nearly three points clear of him. If that stands, Ohio will end up about where it was in 2012; approximately D+3. Ohio has not really moved then. However, Florida is running less competitive by comparison and Colorado more so as compared to 2012. The usual caveats apply though: More polling, more polling, more polling.

Pennsylvania:
So far, Pennsylvania is doing what Pennsylvania does: inching closer to the partisan line, cycle over cycle. The polling in the Keystone state has consistently shown Clinton ahead during all of 2016 and this latest PPP survey is no exception. The difference, at least as compared to past cycles, is that the Democrats' advantage is shrinking. Pennsylvania is a little more than a point more Republican in average than was the result in 2012, but is still hovering close to the boundary between the toss up and lean Clinton categories.

Wisconsin:
Wisconsin is the least competitive of the states polled in this series of surveys from PPP. It is also the least competitive of the six in the averages. While Pennsylvania is on the Watch List below on the cusp of pushing over into the Lean Clinton category, Wisconsin is one step up teetering on the brink of shifting back into the Strong Clinton category. This PPP poll only confirmed that.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
WA-12
(164)
VA-13
(249)
GA-16
(164)
LA-8
(55)
VT-3
(10)
NJ-14
(178)
PA-203
(269/289)
MS-6
(148)
SD-3
(47)
MD-10
(20)
WI-10
(188)
FL-293
(298/269)
UT-6
(142)
ND-3
(44)
RI-4
(24)
NV-6
(194)
OR-7
(305/240)
AK-3
(136)
NE-5
(41)
MA-11
(35)
MI-16
(210)
OH-18
(323/233)
IN-11
(133)
AL-9
(36)
IL-20
(55)
NM-5
(215)
IA-6
(329/215)
TX-38
(122)
KY-8
(27)
NY-29
(84)
CT-7
(222)
NC-15
(344/209)
SC-9
(84)
WV-5
(19)
DE-3
(87)
ME-4
(226)
CO-9
(353/194)
TN-11
(75)
ID-4
(14)
CA-55
(142)
KS-6
(232)
AZ-11
(364/185)
AR-6
(64)
OK-7
(10)
MN-10
(152)
NH-4
(236)
MO-10
(174)
MT-3
(58)
WY-3
(3)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Clinton's toss up states plus Pennsylvania), he would have 289 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 Florida and Pennsylvania
 are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning Pennsylvania and Trump, Florida, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Clinton and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.


The Watch List adds Arizona to the the previous (6/27/16) update.



The Watch List1
State
Switch
Alaska
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Arizona
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Colorado
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
Missouri
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
to Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Tennessee
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Utah
from Toss Up Trump
to Lean Trump
Virginia
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Wisconsin
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.


Monday, June 27, 2016

The Electoral College Map (6/27/16)






Polling Quick Hits:
Changes (June 27)
StateBeforeAfter
ColoradoLean ClintonToss Up Clinton
MaineStrong ClintonLean Clinton
WisconsinStrong ClintonLean Clinton
Arkansas:
The Hendrix College survey out of the Natural state provides yet another poll in what has been a deep red state over the last four presidential election cycles. Anything out of reliably red states is valuable data at this point as those states are the most underpolled in 2016. Arkansas was the sixth most Republican state in 2012. There were no polls there that showed the race then any closer than 20 points. Yet, in 2016, the first survey out of the state has presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, up only 11 points. Sure, it is early and this is just one poll, but Arkansas joins Kansas, Utah and Texas as red states that are closer in the early polling of 2016 than in the past.

Colorado:
Yes, polling in gap states like Arkansas, where there has been little polling so far is valuable, but battleground polling is just as important. That is especially true in Obama-era swing state, Colorado, where polling has been severely lacking in 2016. Much of that has to do with the fact that Republicans in the Centennial state opted not to have a preference vote in their March caucuses (and thus there was less need to poll), but even given that, there has been a surprising shortage of survey work in Colorado. However, the first 2016 survey in the 2012 tipping point state shows a tight race.  Early on the overall picture on the state level has shown a slight swing (about a point and a half) toward the Democrats since 2012. However, Colorado -- and this is reflected in just one poll after all -- has drawn closer and toward the Republicans.

Florida:
YouGov also polled in Florida and essentially reaffirmed the small advantage Clinton has had in the Sunshine state in the FHQ graduated weighted average. Since May there has been a range in polling there from Trump +1 to Clinton +8 and this survey falls right in the sweet spot in between.

Maine:
The polling from UNH in New Hampshire has been widely variable over the last two presidential election cycles, so take their first foray into Maine for 2016 with something of a grain of salt. Clinton's seven point lead statewide is narrower than anything since 2000 and is actually closer to the eight point edge (Bill) Clinton had in the Pine Tree state in 1992. The common bond across those cycles was a third party candidate taking more than five percent of the vote. That share -- the one for "others" -- in this UNH poll was at 19 percent. The key will be whether that trend persists in subsequent polling. Not far behind that in importance is if Trump maintains a lead in the second congressional district (a result that would net him an electoral vote even if he loses statewide).

[*It is worth noting that the congressional district level samples in this poll consisted of fewer than 250 respondents.]

North Carolina:
Like Florida, the YouGov poll in North Carolina basically was in line with where the average has had it: tipped ever so slightly toward Clinton. The Tar Heel state is on the Clinton side of the partisan line in the Electoral College Spectrum below, but it continues to be superfluous to the Democrats' efforts to retain the White House. Keeping it out of the Trump column makes it very difficult for him to get to 270. That is even more true when the alignment of states is considered.

Texas:
On some level, one could argue that the YouGov survey in Texas echoes the closer than typical result from the recently released Leland Beatty poll. The margins are similar (in the Lean Trump range) and Trump is underperforming Romney's 2012 share of the vote in the Lone Star state. However, the Leland poll likely would have been slightly different had the nearly one-third of the respondents in the undecided category had been pushed on their preference. That may not have closed the gap between Romney and Trump, but it likely would have decreased it some. Still, the picture in Texas, for now, is one of a red state staying red in 2016 but taking on a lighter shade in the process.

Wisconsin:
The last of the YouGov polls is currently an outlier in the context of the other polling in Wisconsin. There have been other polls in the Badger state that have shown a Lean Clinton range margin, but this is the tightest of any of the 2016 polling the state. The Trump share is in line with where it has been in other polling, but the Clinton share is at its lowest point of any survey of Wisconsin. That is enough to bring Wisconsin just below the line between Strong and Lean Clinton. However, the state remains on the Watch List below.


The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
WA-12
(164)
VA-13
(249)
GA-16
(164)
LA-8
(55)
VT-3
(10)
NJ-14
(178)
PA-203
(269/289)
MS-6
(148)
SD-3
(47)
MD-10
(20)
WI-10
(188)
FL-293
(298/269)
UT-6
(142)
ND-3
(44)
RI-4
(24)
NV-6
(194)
OR-7
(305/240)
AK-3
(136)
NE-5
(41)
MA-11
(35)
MI-16
(210)
IA-6
(311/233)
IN-11
(133)
AL-9
(36)
IL-20
(55)
NM-5
(215)
AZ-11
(322/227)
TX-38
(122)
KY-8
(27)
NY-29
(84)
CT-7
(222)
OH-18
(340/216)
SC-9
(84)
WV-5
(19)
DE-3
(87)
ME-4
(226)
NC-15
(355/198)
TN-11
(75)
ID-4
(14)
CA-55
(142)
KS-6
(232)
CO-9
(364/183)
AR-6
(64)
OK-7
(10)
MN-10
(152)
NH-4
(236)
MO-10
(174)
MT-3
(58)
WY-3
(3)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Clinton's toss up states plus Pennsylvania), he would have 289 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 
Florida and Pennsylvania are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning Pennsylvania and Trump, Florida, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Clinton and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.

The Watch List adds Arkansas and Colorado, and loses North Carolina from the the previous (6/23/16) update.


The Watch List1
State
Switch
Alaska
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Colorado
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
Missouri
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Tennessee
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Utah
from Toss Up Trump
to Lean Trump
Virginia
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Wisconsin
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.




Recent Posts:
On the Federal Lawsuit to Unbind Virginia Delegates

The Electoral College Map (6/23/16)

The Latest Installment of Stop Trump and the Rules


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Saturday, June 25, 2016

On the Federal Lawsuit to Unbind Virginia Delegates

A new front has opened in the late-stage, intra-party battle over the Republican Party nominating Donald Trump in Cleveland. Those against the New York tycoon's nomination now have a multi-pronged approach that stretches beyond pushing for changes through the Convention Committee on Rules to now include legal action. A lawsuit has been filed in federal court by a Virginia delegate, Beau Correll, seeking relief from prosecution under Virginia code should he not vote for Trump at the convention.

There are advantages to allowing a convention of delegates to set the rules that will guide them as the Rules of the Republican Party allow. It grants the group the ability to tailor rules to suit a given convention at a given time and place. However, there are drawbacks to this approach as well. This lawsuit is one of them. The complaint the plaintiff brings in this case is expansive, but it boils down to a problem with the uncertainty of the rules that will govern the 2016 convention. If it was certain at this time -- that is, if the Republican Party had a locked-in set of rules -- that Rule 16(a)(2) was going to be in effect in Cleveland, then this case would be moot. There would literally be no potential for injury. In this instance injury is prosecution in Virginia for not following the candidate binding at the national convention as laid out in state law.

Even if the delegate voted contrary to how they were bound and even if the delegation chair from their state called out that "improper" vote in the tally, the secretary of the convention is charged under the current Rule 16(a)(2) with not recognizing that vote and announcing and recording it as bound. One could counter that that delegate vote was cast and contrary to the binding. In the sequence, that offending act according to Virginia state law precedes the secretary of the convention not recognizing it. The problem there is that there is no one at the convention from the Virginia State Board of Elections to say, "Beau Correll didn't vote according to how he was bound."

Furthermore, procedurally, the delegation chair does not call out individual votes. He or she announces the tally from the state. The bind breaker would not be known, then, unless there was a public poll (not a secret ballot) of the delegation by the chair of the delegation (and either the chair or another delegate comes forward with the revelation that someone has broken their bind). However, there is no procedure for this sort of voting in Republican Party of Virginia rules. Under those state party rules, there is no need for such a vote or poll of the delegation. Those results are already locked in based on the results of the March 1 presidential primary in the state.

All that is laid out in the Declaration and Statement of Qualifications that all delegate candidates in Virginia had to submit to run for delegate vacancies in the first place. Here is the important third and final paragraph from that form:
I further acknowledge, understand, and agree that if elected and if given the ability to vote at the Republican National Convention, my vote on the first ballot will be bound by the results of the March 1, 2016 Virginia Presidential Primary, in accordance with the Allocation Resolution adopted by the RPV State Central Committee on September 19, 2015. I further acknowledge that all costs associated with my candidacy and potential service as a National Delegate Alternate are my own responsibility. [Emphasis is FHQ's]
Now, the language here does leave open the notion that Virginia delegates will vote at the convention. Yet, that vote on the presidential nomination is bound based on the results of the primary under state party resolution and not state law. That is an important distinction because this lawsuit is being brought against the penalties in state law and not state party rules. State party actions bind the Virginia delegates.

What is missing is clear guidance from the party as to how the delegation chair is to behave at the convention. If the chair takes the vote in the primary as guide, then there is no need for a poll of the delegates. By extension that means that there is no potential for rogue action on the part of a delegate, no discovery of it and thus no violation of the state law. But if a vote is held -- and it would have to be public and/or someone from the Virginia State Board of Elections (or some representative from the state) would have to be there at the time of the vote -- then the potential exists for a violation of state law.

The Republican Party of Virginia has most of its bases covered on this one; that it is the governing authority over the process in Virginia and not state law. But it is not air-tight. The if associated with the actions of the delegation chair cited above is part of that. However, there is also the matter of state law versus state party rule/bylaw/resolution. The Rules of the Republican Party -- Rule 16(b) -- gives precedence to state party actions over state law. Yet, since the rules are not set in stone, and will not be until the convention in Cleveland, that cover is not officially there. Unlike Rule 16(a)(2), though, Rule 16(b) is not controversial and is likely to be carried over by the 2016 convention.

Though the complaint is long, this lawsuit essentially amounts to those two questions. The rest of it is just a series of distractions. State law simply is not the guiding force over delegate selection and allocation in Virginia, though there is the potential for prosecution on the grounds of violating the binding established in that law. Decided narrowly, a federal court could deem the state penalty unconstitutional. But the Republican Party of Virginia has measures in place to bind the delegates without that. That is an in-house, intra-party battle the courts have generally been unwilling to weigh in on, leaving it up to the party to settle. And the matter will be settled at the convention in Cleveland, starting with the Convention Committee on Rules.


Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (6/23/16)

The Latest Installment of Stop Trump and the Rules

The Electoral College Map (6/21/16)

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