Decision 2016

On The Trail


Leigh Ann Caldwell

Senate GOP PAC Spending Last-Minute $25 Million to Save Senate

The Sen. Mitch McConnell linked Senate Leadership PAC is throwing an additional $25 million into Senate races.

This Hail Mary move comes in the final two weeks of the election, and on the day that the Cook Political Report determined that Dems could pick up five to seven Senate seats, effectively switching control of the Senate from Republican to Democrat.

The $25 million is going to run television advertisements in six states: Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Missouri and Indiana. All seats except Nevada are held by a Republican and at risk of a Democrat winning. The news was first reported by Politico.

Ian Prior, spokesperson for the super PAC, told NBC News, "Holding the Senate in this environment is going to be tough, but if Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer want the majority they're going to have a hell of a fight on their hands for the next two weeks."

They would not detail who their last-minute donors are, and it's notable that the super PAC got a huge infusion of cash last month when Sheldon Adelson gave the super PAC $20 million.

Andrea Mitchell

Colin Powell Says He Will Vote for Clinton

Colin Powell said Tuesday that he is endorsing and voting for Hillary Clinton, NBC News has confirmed.

Powell, who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, most recently as President George W. Bush's Secretary of State, endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

He has been highly critical of Trump, calling him a "national disgrace" but has also been critical of Clinton. But unlike many Republicans who say they can't vote for Trump but have also said they can neither back Clinton, Powell has come out for Clinton.

He has been a tangential figure this election cycle as hacked emails show that Powell told Clinton when she was beginning her tenure as secretary of State that he used his personal email while at State.

Texas Politician's Wife Urges Voters To Help Get Her Husband Out of the House

Texas' Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty "really doesn't have any hobbies," according to his wife, Charlyn.

That's why he spends nearly all of his time talking about the issues facing his constituents, much to his wife's frustration and annoyance.

In a tongue-in-cheek political ad, the badgered commissioner's wife begs voters to re-elect her Republican husband, just to get him out of the house. Daugherty rolls her eyes and sighs throughout the ad as her husband talks business nonstop.

The ad has been viewed nearly 2 million times on Facebook, and shared by more than 11,000 viewers who, judging from the comments, appear frustrated by the negativity that has characterized the 2016 campaign season

Mark Murray

A Republican is Winning in Bernie's Vermont

Poll after poll over the last several weeks has contained good news for Democrats. But not this one - in deep-blue Vermont.

A poll from local news station WCAX shows Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott leading Democrat Sue Minter in Vermont's gubernatorial race by seven points among likely voters, 47%-40%.

Incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) is retiring.

Is there a Bernie Sanders Effect going on? The pollster who conducted the survey think so, saying Hillary Clinton "may have burned some Vermont voters in her race against Bernie Sanders, dampening Clinton's support, with a trickle down effect for Minter," per WCAX.

Notably, Sanders didn't endorse Minter until this month.

New Dem anti-Trump Ad Features Mushroom Cloud

A new super PAC started by former senator Bill Bradley is behind an intense new anti-Donald Trump ad that mysteriously started appearing on Ohio local television this week, the group announced Tuesday.

Taking a page from President Lyndon Johnson's 1964 campaign against Republican Barry Goldwater, the ad features images of a mushroom cloud and nuclear test footage, intermixed with Trump telling MSNBC host Chris Matthews that he doesn't understand why the U.S. builds nuclear weapons if it's not willing to use them.

"One nuclear bomb can kill a million people," says the narrator of the new ad, which is running in the Columbus, Toledo, and Cincinnati media markets, supported by a $750,000 buy. "That's more than all the men, women, and children living in Columbus, Ohio."

Bradley, a former NBA player and New Jersey senator who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2000, called his new group the 52nd Street Fund. The name is a reference to a WH Auden poem Johnson referenced in his famous "Daisy" ad, which also featured a mushroom cloud.

"During these final days of the campaign, it's important to focus on the real stakes for America. Donald Trump's finger on the nuclear button is a horrifying prospect. His temperament and absence of experience makes him a danger to all Americans," Bradley said in a statement.

Rudy Giuliani Says Voters Should Expect 'a Couple of Surprises'

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told "Fox & Friends" Tuesday that voters should be ready for "a couple of surprises" heading their way from the Donald Trump campaign.

Without offering specifics, Giuliani said the surprises "would turn Trump's campaign in a little bit of a different way" and "get their message out there."

"I think it will be enormously effective, and I do think that all of these revelations against Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact," he said.

Mark Murray

Cook Political Report: Democrats Poised to Win Senate

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report, one of the country's most respected political forecasters, believes Democrats are poised to gain between five and seven Senate seats, more than enough to win control of the chamber in November.

"Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania where Clinton has established a lead. In fact, of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him," the Cook Political Report says.

It adds, "Early voting is underway in 27 states, so Republicans don't really have much time to turn things around, and Trump won't be any help, especially his campaign doesn't really have a ground game to speak of."

To win control of the Senate, Democrats must gain a net of four seats if Clinton wins the presidency (because the vice president would break a 50-50 tie). If Trump wins, Democrats would need to pick up five seats to win back the chamber.

Trump in 2008: Clinton 'Is a Great Woman"

Donald Trump has maintained throughout the campaign that his past support for Democrats was due to his business interests and has argued that as a former player in the politics game, he's in the best position to change the rules. Recently though, NY1 re-upped an interview from 2008 in which the now-GOP nominee has glowing praise for his Democratic opponent.

"I think she's going to go down, at a minimum, as a great senator," Trump said. He called Bill Clinton a "great president," adding, "Hillary Clinton is a great woman." You can find the full interview below:

Tim Kaine Slams Marco Rubio in Miami

MIAMI — Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine knocked Florida Senator Marco Rubio on his home turf Monday for continuing to support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"Let me just quote Marco Rubio," Kaine said to the crowd at Florida International University, right in Rubio's hometown. "He called Donald Trump 'dangerous' and he called Donald Trump a 'con artist' but he's supporting Donald Trump... I don't get it, how you could call somebody a dangerous con artist and support them? Because we've seen Republicans around the country who have been willing to stand up and say, 'I don't tolerate what Donald Trump is doing.'"

Kaine repeated his criticism hours later at an event in the shadow of Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach.

Monday's comments mark an extremely rare instance in which Kaine has specifically said anything negative about Republican candidates for U.S. Senate at one of his rallies. The Virginia senator has been praised for being respected by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and if Kaine and Clinton are elected, he will serve as president of the Senate in his role as vice president.

With the end of the race in sight, Kaine's remarks are part of a larger Clinton campaign strategy, a campaign aide said, to add an extra focus to down-ballot races, to help shore up votes for a Congress more likely to support their agenda and to call out Republicans who have not ruled out voting for Trump.

"It's not enough just to have a president," he said. "You have to have a Congress who's willing to work with the president and the better that Hillary Clinton does here in Florida, and elsewhere, the more likely she's gonna have a Congress to work with her to get things done. You can't take anything for granted."

Elizabeth Warren: 'Nasty Women Have Really Had It With Guys Like You'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren continued her strong campaign push for Hillary Clinton on Monday, leveling a stern warning to Republican nominee Donald Trump that his offensive remarks about women will come back to bite him.

At a joint rally with Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Massachusetts senator hit Trump for calling his Democratic rival a "nasty woman" during the third and final presidential debate last week.

"I've got news for you, Donald Trump, women have had it with guys like you. And nasty women have really had it with guys like you," said Warren.

"Get this, Donald," she added: "Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart, and nasty women vote. And on November 8, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever!"

Warren also urged voters to reject Republican-backed economic policies that only help "the rich and powerful." Once again, she used Trump's own words against him.

"Donald talks a big game about how the game is rigged," said Warren. "Donald Trump is right: The game is rigged. It's rigged for guys like Donald Trump. And I say it's time to fight back."

State of the Race

Clinton 48%
Trump 37%
Johnson 7%
Stein 2%
Oct. 10 - Oct. 13 Poll
Jul.Aug.Sep.Oct.Nov.Registered VotersLikely VotersElection Day0102030405060%Jun. 19 - 23Nov. 8
Clinton 46%
Trump 41%
Johnson 7%
Stein 3%
Oct 17. - Oct. 23 Poll
Jul.Aug.Sep.Oct.Nov.Registered VotersLikely VotersElection Day0102030405060%Jun. 6 - 13Nov. 8
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NBC News Battleground Map







270 Needed to win
LikelyDemocratLeanDemocratTossupLeanRepublicanLikelyRepublicanStripes indicate splits in ME and NE's votes, whichare awarded by district and statewide popular vote.
North Carolina
South Carolina
New Mexico
New Hampshire
South Dakota
North Dakota
Nebraska (CD2)
Maine (CD2)

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