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July 1 Poll Report

July 1, 2019

July 1 Poll Report


            Good morning everybody.   Cory Booker won yesterday’s poll in a landslide, burying Kirsten Gillibrand by a 57-24 margin.   This is the summary of yesterday’s vote:






































            I think there is a general perception that Booker may have helped himself in the debate of last week, but also, Gillibrand may not have helped herself.  In the modern Democratic party, the more you represent a marginalized group, the more of a natural base you have.  Buttigieg has a natural base of support in the LBGT community, Castro among Latinos, Yang among Asian-Americans.  An attractive woman presenting a mainstream appearance is not at a disadvantage, I don’t think, but anyone presenting a centrist appearance needs to project as  substantial.   My impression was that by returning constantly to the theme of reproductive rights, she was trying to build on a base of support that’s not really there; I mean, it is there, but (a) it’s not very large, and (b) she doesn’t actually own it. 

            Anyway, Booker had a good day, which doesn’t help him tremendously because Gililbrand, who is a lightweight, was the heavyweight among those he was beating; he beat Gillibrand 57-24 vs. an expected 46-35, but he beat Ryan only 57-13 vs. an expected 46-10, which isn’t actually a win, at all.  Removed from the data was the poll of May 11th, which was Abrams (47%), Trump (28%), Yang (15%) and Gabbard (11%).  The essential effect of the removal of that poll is to transfer a certain amount of support from Abrams to Yang.  Since yesterday:

            Andrew Yang is up 30 points as a result of the May 11th poll no longer being considered relevant.  This pushes Yang ahead of Gillibrand and ahead of Abrams, moving him from 12th place to 10th, and with a rapidly sinking target just ahead of him in 9th place.  It also puts Yang on the "green list" for the first time, the green list being the candidates highlighted in green below because they are up 25% in the last 30 days. 

            Cory Booker is up 14 points as a result of yesterday’s poll.

            Tulsi Gabbard is up 9 points as a result of the removal of the May 11th poll from the data.

            Tim Ryan, who I praised after the debate for making the valid point that the Democratic Party needs to be concerned about its elitist image, is up 8 points as a result of his performance in yesterday’s poll.

            Stacey Abrams, who is not running but who has not said that she will not run, is down 36 points as a result of the elimination of the May 11th poll from the data.  She was also in the May 12th poll, and will probably lose some more points tomorrow as a result of the elimination of that one. 

            These are the current standings:



















































































































de Blasio



            If you will forgive me an off-topic rant here, not off-topic because it is about politics, but not about the election.  Last week the Supreme Court ruled more or less against the Trump Administration in the fight over whether the census forms can ask people whether they are citizens.  The essence of the decision was (a) there is no reason the government can’t put a question about citizenship on the census form; it’s been done many times before, but (b) YOU can’t do it NOW because you lied to us about why you wanted to do it.  I mean, I read John Roberts’ opinion, and that’s what I got out of it, which seems to be different than what anybody else got out of it: Roberts was really annoyed with the Trump administration because they lied to the court about why they were trying to do this, and you are not supposed to do that; you are not supposed to lie to the court in court filings.   You may be right on the law, but you are not deserving of what you are asking for. 

            We have these periodic battles about Supreme Court cases that seem to be immense at the time, but then later you look back at them and say "What was that all about?"   That’s my take on this one:  we’re going to look back on it and say that it doesn’t amount to anything, and also that Roberts was the one guy who got it right all the way down the line:  that IS the law, but you cannot win Court cases by lying to the Court. 

            But why did the Trump Administration adopt a pretense about why they were doing this?  Because they couldn’t tell the truth.  If they had told the truth about why they were doing this, they would have been admitting bias, and also  admitting that they were using the census system for political advantage.  Had they done so, they would have lost the case because you cannot use the census system for political advantage. 

            But there is something in this which is very good for the Republican party, and this is the point that I was trying to get to; it seemed like an obvious point to me, but nobody else has made it so I am going to.   Another case like this, a kind of tempest in a teapot type issue that may make its way to the Supreme Court in 2020 or possibly in 2021 if Trump is re-elected, has to do with the President’s tax returns.   The Democrats are trying to get the IRS to turn loose of Trump’s tax returns, but they cannot state honestly in court filings why it is that they want access to the tax returns.  They want to get them to embarrass the President.  If they state honestly that they want to get them to embarrass the President then they will lose the case, so they are adopting a pretext. 

            If Roberts uses the same logic in the IRS case that he used in the census forms case, then Trump will win the case.  And I would predict that he will win the case, because I would predict that Roberts will use the same logic—that a case which has as its foundation a misrepresentation of the facts cannot prevail on the basis of that misrepresentation.   The legal system just doesn’t work if people are allowed to lie to the court about what it is that they are actually trying to do. 



COMMENTS (26 Comments, most recent shown first)

BTW, it is not true that the Democrats are asking for Trump's tax returns to embarrass him, any more than, say, ballplayers try to play well in order to get laid. :-)

That might be a reason, but it's not the reason. There are multiple reasons, including what we might call the more legitimate reasons, not that it's not legitimate to have part of your motivation being to try to get laid, or to embarrass a president who so invites and deserves to be embarrassed to the greatest extent legitimately possible.
5:25 PM Jul 5th
Les, you have been had. You write as though you ‘know,” but you do not. Among other things, emoluments does apply to him. There are 3 clauses; perhaps you were apprised of just 1, which certainly would not be surprising for some outlets.
7:38 PM Jul 3rd
I never cited minority opinions. I used the actual text of the Constitution and multiple times examples of presidents accepting emoluments.

Btw, minority opinions are a big deal. They affect later decisions. Why else would justices spend time on them.


FWIW, Hillary committed a crime every time she sent an email using her private, unsecured server. Obama sent her emails. He had guilty knowledge. That’s why the fix was in.
12:56 PM Jul 3rd
I never cited minority opinions. I used the actual text of the Constitution and multiple times examples of presidents accepting emoluments.

Btw, minority opinions are a big deal. They affect later decisions. Why else would justices spend time on them.


FWIW, Hillary committed a crime every time she sent an email using her private, unsecured server. Obama sent her emails. He had guilty knowledge. That’s why the fix was in.
12:56 PM Jul 3rd
I never cited minority opinions. I used the actual text of the Constitution and multiple times examples of presidents accepting emoluments.

Btw, minority opinions are a big deal. They affect later decisions. Why else would justices spend time on them.


FWIW, Hillary committed a crime every time she sent an email using her private, unsecured server. Obama sent her emails. He had guilty knowledge. That’s why the fix was in.
12:56 PM Jul 3rd
[u]"I would be interested in the evidence about George Washington accepting foreign money as president. This is not a precedent that our country follows."]

It sure is. Here you go:

I have personally seen an emolument George Washing accepted from a foreign government. In Mount Vernon hangs the key to the Bastille. Lafayette gave it to Washington. At the time Lafayette was a French government official.

Washington accepted a full length portrait of King Louis XVI from the French ambassador.

At a public Washington purchased land in the new capital district. He asked a British official to help him find renters.

The Articles of Confederation had an emoluments clause. General Washington owned stock in and received dividends from the Bank of England, during the American Revolution.

Obama received copyrights from foreign governments for his books.

There are other examples at the links.

As the text of the Constitution shows, the emoluments clause doesn't even apply to the president, only appointed officials. The Senate asked Alexander Hamilton for a list of civil officers and employees of the United States government. Hamilton's 90 page response did not include the president, vice president, senators, or representatives.

5:29 PM Jul 2nd
BrianFleming and shthar

None of the charges you listed have anything to do with the Trump campaign conspiring and coordinating with the Russian government. The Attorney General found "investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." Mueller didn't dispute this characterization. Democrats wouldn't have been so upset about the Mueller Report if it vindicated.

In the recent past American officials have had inappropriate dealings with Russia:

- Someone pressed a "Reset" button with Russia.
- Someone let Russia get back in the Middle East.
- Someone let Russia buy 20% of our uranium after receiving donations from businesses with ties to the Kremlin.
- Someone said he'd be more "flexible" in a second term if Russia behaved during his reelection campaign.
- Someone gave Russian hackers access to top secret emails.

I'm not holding my breath for an investigation of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In 1984 Ted Kennedy tried to get Andropov to help defeat Ronald Reagan's reelection. In 1980 Jimmy Carter told Ambassador Dubrynin that he'd make significant concessions if the Soviets helped him get a second term.

It looks like the Democrats are engaging in projection.

4:56 PM Jul 2nd
Don't forget....(cue Wacky Sax)

Papa dopoulos
Rick Gates
Richard Pinedo
Alex van der Zwaan
Konstantin Kilimnik
13 Russian nationals
three Russian companies

and good ol Roger Stone!
1:05 PM Jul 2nd
I love the line:

"Mueller spend 2 years and $30 million, finding no evidence of collusion."

Why is Paul Manafort, formerly the Trump campaign Chairman, in prison for tax and bank fraud and why did he plead guilty to witness tampering and conspiracy to defraud the United States?

Why did Michael Flynn, formerly National Security advisor to the President plead guilty to knowingly making "false, fictitious and fraudulent" statements to the FBI about conversations and communications with the Russian Ambassador?

Why is Michael Cohen, the Presidents longtime personal lawyer, in prison for campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud on behalf of the President and his campaign?

Seems like the money spent on the investigation has found some pretty serious crimes by some people who had remarkable access to the President.

9:44 AM Jul 2nd
I would be interested in the evidence about George Washington accepting foreign money as president. This is not a precedent that our country follows.

Here is where I read Emoluments allegations, which are countless and not necessarily reported as news. Search by official and don't forget the president's family--
9:03 AM Jul 2nd
A supreme court dissent means about as much as a cow's opinion. It's a moo point.

Whether Mueller found evidence of collusion or not is a matter of opinion. And the only opinion that matters now is the Attorney General's.

Course in a couple of years, any states attorney could take the mueller report and use it to file charges against any private citizen they want.

11:18 PM Jul 1st
It is not about embarrassement, it is in the country's best interest to have their Presidential candidate's tax information, so we know where conflicts of interest might lie. He was elected anyway. We should consider it a reason not to re-elect him. I guess most people won't make that consideration. It is one of hundreds of serious considerations that a huge number of American voters overule, because Trump is their guy.
10:58 PM Jul 1st
I think Bill is drawing a good comparison.

To Bert's points,

1. Precedent, historically censuses have frequently included a question regarding citizenship. Clearly not a requirement in either case.
2. Trump has said a lot of things, as well as a lot of congressman, it does not mean that he has to honor his statement. Again it is not a required act by the president or any candidate.
3. If there was evidence that he had specifically helped his business interests through his political actions then they should start a formal investigation based on that evidence. Would you personally be open to a review of your personal financial records to see "if" you committed a crime?

I am not a Trump fan and did not vote for him and dearly hope that a Republican will make a decent run at him but the Democrats focus is looking for evidence without a reasonable case but they are looking for political hay.
7:52 PM Jul 1st
As it happens, the Supreme Court accepted another case last week involving a related issue -- the "Bridgegate" appeal from New Jersey, which presents the question whether an official can be convicted of fraud based on her motive for doing something (in that case, punishing the mayor for not endorsing the governor's reelection, versus conducting a traffic study of the best way to allocate the lanes). The petition for review contends that politicians do this sort of thing all the time (plow the streets in their supporters' neighborhood before their opponent's neighborhood without admitting it, etc.), while the government says the behavior in this case was way over the line.
7:17 PM Jul 1st
I think you have a point about the Trump tax returns thing but as some people have pointed out below, it's a bit less cut and dry. The reasons for Democrats' wanting the tax returns revealed are, at a minimum, complex and even if they weren't, we're still talking about a discourse with a great many participants ranging back to 2015, when Trump was a candidate and most observers would have assumed he'd either be beaten or obliged to reveal more information about his taxes. So it's kind of a slow-moving nightmare and maybe you're right to say the Democrats have gotten obsessed over it.

But the Trump census thing isn't like that. It's a narrow, quasi-invented tactic narrowly designed for political advantage and there are only about 10 people involved in crafting that brief, which literally stems from one individual.
5:50 PM Jul 1st
When the Democrats request Elijah Cummings tax returns they'll be taken seriously by the intellectually honest:​onflict-of-interest-tax-violation
5:49 PM Jul 1st

"There is Constitutional rule that says the President should not make money off foreign powers."

Article 1, Section 9 says "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

Article 2, Section 4 states "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

[Emphasis added in all quotations.]

So the president is not a civil officer of the government. If he was the clause would read "... and other civil Officers …" The emoluments clause doesn't apply. George Washington conducted personal business with foreigners. He presided over the Constitutional convention.

Election Legitimacy and Tax Returns

[T]he man has so far pulled a con on the people who (almost) voted him into office …"

Trump won fair and square. There's no "almost" about it. The con job was the Democrats persuading so many people that Trump colluded with Russia. Their probable reasons:

1) Hillary Clinton couldn't admit she squandered victory. Democrats are historically poor losers.

2) They wanted to distract Trump from his work.

3) They wanted to distract from their dubious spying on Carter Page. Law enforcement claimed in the search warrant that they verified Christopher Steele's research. They didn't. Comey and Brennan are covering their tracks.

Mueller spend 2 years and $30 million, finding no evidence of collusion.

There's no legislative purpose for Trump's tax returns to be given to Congress. They just want to embarrass Trump. If they're legitimate oversight Congress would just ask the IRS to identify any problems with Trump's recent tax returns. Obama never published his college transcripts or application to practice law. Was he hiding something. I suspect Trump would be embarrassed if it turned out he's not as rich as he claims. That's not a crime.

5:21 PM Jul 1st
So the Trump administration is using the census for a political advantage much like the Democrats not wanting the question to appear on the census. It works both ways. However, let's get back to the law and precedence. Here is Judge Thomas' dissent:

In March 2018, the Secretary of Commerce exercised his broad discretion over the administration of the decennial census to resume a nearly unbroken practice of asking a question relating to citizenship. Our only role in this case is to decide whether the Secretary complied with the law and gave a reasoned explanation for his decision. The Court correctly answers these questions in the affirmative. Ante, at 11–23. That ought to end our inquiry.

The Court, however, goes further. For the first time ever, the Court invalidates an agency action solely because it questions the sincerity of the agency’s otherwise adequate rationale….

The Court’s holding reflects an unprecedented departure from our deferential review of discretionary agency decisions. And, if taken seriously as a rule of decision, this holding would transform administrative law. It is not difficult for political opponents of executive actions to generate controversy with accusations of pretext, deceit, and illicit motives.
2:44 PM Jul 1st
Steven Goldleaf
It's not the returns per se that I've been salivating over, Terry (but thanks for the designation as your good friend) but where they'll point us. (Moscow, primarily.) I suspect he'll also become the poster boy for "made shit-tons of $$$ (by our standards), paid zilch in taxes," wresting that title away from Bezos. To me, this is the scandal generally, how little the uber-rich pay in taxes, and how the system is designed to perpetuate that injustice, while you and I go through an acre of hell every April 15th. It's not a good look for him, in any case, and this is what Bill calls "embarrassment." And it is, but like the ads used to say, he earned his embarrassment the hard way--he earned it.​
2:24 PM Jul 1st
A good friend of mine has been salivating at the thought of Trump's tax returns for several years now, and I don't really understand why. We saw one of his returns that showed a loss of nearly a billion dollars, and it didn't make a ripple in anything.

Trump, for all his faults, is not a crook (sorry, not intended as a Nixon pun). I don't mean he's some morally sturdy, upright citizen, or that he has never violated the law. I just mean those tax returns are unlikely to reveal anything we don't already know.

The problems related to having Trump in the White House aren't really about how crooked he is, and they never have been. He's not Lex Luther. For one thing, he's not that smart. But more importantly, he's not that crooked.

Casey Anthony almost certainly killed her daughter through reckless neglect, but there was no evidence that she intended to kill her daughter. I think that's what we'd find with Trump's tax returns. You ain't going to find Putin's fingerprints or some massive foreign connection, some smoking gun. You'll find reckless neglect, and since it's Trump you'll find that the rest of us taxpayers footed the bill for his reckless neglect. But I'd be pretty shocked if you found any actionable intent to defraud.

He's like Uncle Duke in Doonesbury. He likes to work within the system. My own opinion is that this whole run-for-president and turn into everyone's angry uncle act came about because he got frustrated with the system, because it kept beating him.
2:17 PM Jul 1st
Once again, they're not TRYING to get his tax returns. The law says, they get to look at his tax returns.

He is trying to stop them by not obeying the law.

Do we all get to not obey the law cuz we don't like the REASON someone is trying to get us to obey it?

Or just rich people?

1:41 PM Jul 1st
Steven Goldleaf
"I know! I'll behave in public in a way that will suggest that there is certainly embarrassing information in my tax returns, so when the Dems ask to see them, I can argue to the court 'Hey, this is all about proving that the embarrassing stuff they don't have proof for is true, so you can't allow them to look at it!' MAGA!"
12:59 PM Jul 1st
Agree 100% with Bill's logic about the tax returns. Agree with Steven's and bertrecords' comments as well. There are legitimate oversight reasons to look at them. It's really a question about whether the Dems screw it up by making public comments to the contrary that force Roberts to invoke the logic he used on the census.
12:10 PM Jul 1st
While the Democrats presumably want to see Trump's tax returns because they implicitly believe there is probably material there that would be embarrassing to him (such as overstating his personal wealth, for example) and therefore politically advantageous to themselves, they can also have at the same time the explicit belief that there is a legitimate Congressional oversight function in knowing what individuals, business enterprises, and foreign governments with an interest in American public policy have been delivering money to the President of the United States. I don't know that I would characterize this as misrepresentation of the facts as applies to the administration in the census case. Hope that makes sense...
11:58 AM Jul 1st
Steven Goldleaf
Embarrassing Trump is merely a tertiary side benefit. That he would be embarrassed--nay, humiliated--by revealing the same tax returns that every other President since Nixon has revealed simply demonstrates the secondary benefit: the man has so far pulled a con on the people who (almost) voted him into office, and the Congress is fully empowered to look into this con game via the emoluments clause.​
11:34 AM Jul 1st
Why does Congress want the president's tax returns?
1. Every president since Nixon had made them public.
2. The president said he would release them after the election, but didn't.
3. The administration seems to enact policy to help countries where he has business relationships and hurt countries where his family does not. There is Constitutional rule that says the President should not make money off foreign powers.
I don't get why you say Democrats are lying about this.​
11:21 AM Jul 1st
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