The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers


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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Handful of pollsters predict secret Trump voters | Positive Trump polling stirs debate | Dems question Biden’s final week travel decisions | Texas results foreshadow state of the country | Trump changes election night plans | Biden’s rainy rally exactly 12 years after Obama’s | Kanye buys 2-page ad in NYT | Best Halloween costumes



OK, so what’s the deal with the polling? Most say Biden is ahead, but some say Trump is:



Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, “Most pollsters show Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE with a sturdy and stable lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE at a time when tens of millions of people have already voted and there is almost no time to change the course of the race.” https://bit.ly/3eb8JuV

Yes, but… (!): “A handful of contrarian pollsters believe Trump’s support is underrepresented and that election analysts could be headed for another embarrassing miss on Election Day.” 

From The Trafalgar Group, the only nonpartisan polling group to show Trump’s 2016 lead in Pennsylvania and Michigan: “Trafalgar’s Robert Cahaly says there is a hidden Trump vote that is not being accounted for in polls that show Biden on a glide path to the White House. ‘There are more [shy Trump voters] than last time and it’s not even a contest,’ Cahaly said, adding that it’s ‘quite possible’ that the polling industry is headed for a catastrophic miss in 2020.” 

What we knowhttps://bit.ly/3eb8JuV

To put this into context — ‘Trump’s chances hinge on a polling screw-up way worse than 2016’:

Via Politico’s Steven Shepard, “President Donald Trump still has a path to a second term. But it would take a polling debacle that would make 2016 look like a banner year.” https://politi.co/37RGyA9

Where polling stands: “In most of the core swing states, Joe Biden has maintained a stable — though not overwhelming — lead over Trump in polls over the past few months, continuing into the final week of the election. Some of the state polling averages have tightened slightly since the last debate, though Biden remains consistently ahead. In three live-interview polls of Florida all released on Thursday, Biden led Trump by between 3 and 5 points.” 

For context (!): “It’s not impossible, but you have to squint to see how Biden’s lead won’t hold up on Election Day. Even signs that were more apparent four years ago — whether in real-time or in retrospect — are more ambiguous this year.”


Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester, “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump in the swing states of North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania less than a week out from Election Day, according to a new Hill/Harris battleground poll.” The numbershttps://bit.ly/37Rkyp3



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Texas is a state that will tell us A LOT about the state of the country:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “The result of the presidential election in Texas will say a lot about where American politics is right now — and where it’s headed. If Democratic nominee Joe Biden carries the state, President Trump is on his way to a landslide defeat.” https://bit.ly/3oHaftG

It doesn’t even have to be a landslide to be interesting: “If the result is even close, the Lone Star State will be flashing a bright warning sign for the GOP, especially when it comes to the electoral downside of Trump’s approach, including his hard-line rhetoric on immigration.” 

And if Trump wins easily in Texas: “It will be a sign that many important parts of the country remain out of reach for Democrats.”


Pennsylvania. https://bit.ly/3mzHvBe

The dark horse in the race:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3kLv30H


Happy Friday! Tomorrow is Halloween — and we are four days until Election Day! 

I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and the best Halloween costume photos to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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I believe we call this ‘nervous energy’:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, “Democrats are largely confident about Joe Biden's chances of winning the White House, but are second-guessing some decisions the Democratic nominee’s campaign made with his late travel schedule.”https://bit.ly/3kO9nRO 

For example: “The backseat driving includes criticism of the campaign's decision to send Biden to red-state Georgia on Tuesday instead of focusing on a must-win state like Michigan or Wisconsin. Biden's running mate Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Biden pledges to work with mayors MORE (D-Calif.) is also headed to Texas on Friday, where she will make three stops across the state.” 

How Democrats have reacted to Biden and Harris spending time in Georgia and Texashttps://bit.ly/3kO9nRO

Tidbit — 2008 to 2020:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2HS7iW3


Trump changes his election night plans:

Via The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Maggie Haberman to pen book about Trump's life and legacy Pence to spend time in Florida as Trump refuses to concede MORE, “President Trump has called off plans to appear at the Trump International Hotel on election night and is likely to be at the White House instead, according to a person familiar with the plans.” https://nyti.ms/2TEAv9G

Cue Salt ‘n’ Peppa please — ‘Let’s talk about fund-rais-ing, lets’s talk about you and the GOP:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Republicans are facing a post-election reckoning about how they cultivate small-dollar donors.” https://bit.ly/2TDcb8e 

How so: “Regardless of who wins on Nov. 3, GOP lawmakers and officials say there needs to be a party-wide discussion about how to better fundraise as the coronavirus pandemic magnifies the importance of digital efforts at a time when in-person events are dramatically scaled back.”  

From Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R-Texas):  “I’m sure we’ll be going to school on how the Democrats are so successful, because we just can’t afford to be outspent by these huge margins and expect to be successful.”  

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump keeps tight grip on GOP amid divisions MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate: “Asked if the party needed a post-election examination of how to better cultivate small-dollar donors, [Thune] replied: ‘Oh my gosh, yes, absolutely, yeah.’ ‘They’ve created a mechanism that’s very effective, and we’re trying to catch up,’ Thune said, noting Republicans ‘were just getting crushed.’ ”



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The good news, a coronavirus relief package is more likely in a few weeks:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Lawmakers in both parties see a deal on a new coronavirus relief package as more likely in the lame-duck session, once the political pressures of the 2020 elections have abated.” https://bit.ly/35ORQ5n

What we knowhttps://bit.ly/35ORQ5n


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 8,950,742

U.S. death toll: 228,696

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


Oh man, this thread is funny:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3e9bk8G 

Starting with Alabamahttps://bit.ly/3oFL0Yy




Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2HS2EI1


The House and Senate are out. President Trump is campaigning in Michigan and Wisconsin. Vice President Pence is in Nevada and Arizona. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is in Texas.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Michigan.

12:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves Reno, Nev., and flies to Arizona.

2:40 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Wisconsin. 

5:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump flies to Minnesota.

10:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump returns to the White House. 

10:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence returns to the White House.


1 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Mich. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3jDM1wN

1:45 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) campaigns in Fort Worth, Texas. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3jKJWyW 

3:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a campaign rally in Flagstaff, Ariz. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2TDK1Ks

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wis. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3jJlZbc 

4:45 p.m. EDT: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden campaigns in St. Paul, Minn. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2GfNtYw 

5:25 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) campaigns in McAllen, Texas. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3ecbEUe 

5:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a campaign rally in Tucson, Ariz. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3jD8gCN 

6:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Rochester, Minn. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3eanEFA

7:25 p.m. EDT: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden campaigns in Wisconsin. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2HORjrM 

8:35 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) campaigns in Houston. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2TzI3L3


Today is National Candy Corn Day.

Wow, A+ Halloween costumes:

–  Meet Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight health care: AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is up to 90 percent effective It's time for COVID-19 disaster relief ... for mothers Fauci: US could see 'well over 300,000' COVID-19 deaths MORE and Deborah BirxDeborah BirxWhite House largely silent on health precautions for Thanksgiving The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Pence, Biden wage tug of war over pandemic plans Fauci, Birx urge Americans to take precautions against virus in rare White House appearance MORE: Via an Instagram post from artist Candice Bergen:https://bit.ly/35MHSlh

–  This is uncomfortably accurate, but also well played: Via @alienwithnojob, here’s the perfect encapsulation of 2019 vs. 2020 in a costume: https://bit.ly/3ehfDyP

– Celebrities are going all out this year: Here’s a list from InStyle of a few celebrity costumes: https://bit.ly/37V6P0r

Have you seen any better costumes? Let me know!

And to get your Halloween off to a festive start, here are elephants smashing pumpkins and having a grand old time: https://bit.ly/2HIATRR