Home 2016 elections Friday News: “Trump is Russia’s useful fool”; “The FBI Is Trumpland”; Trump’s...

Friday News: “Trump is Russia’s useful fool”; “The FBI Is Trumpland”; Trump’s Terrifying Transition Team


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, November 4. Just one more weekend and Monday until this nightmare of an election finally happens. Make sure you know when and where you’re voting, have an acceptable form of ID, and of most importantly vote for Democrats up and down the ballot! Also, check out Rachel Maddow speaking to Spencer Ackerman, national security editor for The Guardian, discuss “concerns about connections between the Donald Trump campaign and the FBI, particularly the New York field office, and the apparent willingness of some in the FBI to politicize the bureau to help Trump.”

  • Final 2016 Roanoke College poll of Virginia shows Clinton with 7-point lead

    Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds a 7 percentage point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia (45%-38%), according to the latest Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson trails with 5 percent of likely voters, Green Party candidate Jill Stein captures 2 percent, and Independent Evan McMullin garners 1 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided. In a two-way Clinton-Trump matchup, Clinton’s lead extends to 9 points (49%-40%). Clinton led by 9 percentage points in the last Roanoke College Poll (45%-36%) in early October.

    The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 654 likely voters in Virginia between October 29 and November 1 and has a margin of error of +3.8 percent. The Poll was conducted after the announcement by FBI director James Comey that the organization was reopening the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
    Small differences mask larger swings

    IPOR was in the field with a poll when Comey made his announcement on October 28. At that time, we had interviewed 766 likely voters, and Clinton enjoyed a 50%-32% lead over Trump. The decision was made to continue interviewing but treat subsequent days as a “new” poll because of the potential impact of the announcement. Some questions were deleted in order to complete the poll on a timely basis, but the overall protocol was unchanged.

    We think that Clinton’s margin decreased by so much for two reasons. First, as we shall see, there is evidence that the renewed email investigation did impact some voters’ decisions. Second, we do not think the entire shift was caused by that announcement, but we believe that the 18-point margin both represents the zenith for Clinton support (because the headlines had been dominated by negative Trump stories for weeks) and the results were probably at the top of the margin of error in Clinton’s favor.

    Is the renewed FBI inquiry important? Respondents who said they would vote for another candidate were asked if the announcement influenced them to switch from Clinton to another candidate; 7 percent reported that it had influenced them. Similarly, 10 percent of those who were undecided said the investigation had influenced them to switch from Clinton to undecided. Not surprisingly, only 2 percent of Clinton supporters said they were now thinking about supporting another candidate.
    Both candidates still viewed in unfavorable light

    Both candidates are still viewed unfavorably by voters. Clinton’s favorable ratings (40% favorable; 47% unfavorable) and those of Trump (25% favorable; 58% unfavorable) are statistically unchanged from the last RC Poll.

    Clinton is still thought to be more qualified to be president by 69 percent of respondents (41% very qualified; 28% somewhat qualified) compared to 42 percent who said Trump is qualified (10% very qualified; 32% somewhat qualified). A majority of respondents said she at least somewhat understands the problems of people like them (54%), while 44 percent said the same about Trump. Again, a majority (53%) said that Clinton represents their issue and policy preferences, while 47 percent said the same of Trump.

    Economic issues continue to be uppermost in voters’ minds, judged as most important by 24 percent of likely voters. Other issues mentioned as most important to voters include character/honesty (10%), health care/Obamacare (9%), and immigration (6%). Nearly three in four respondents (73%) are at least somewhat confident that the nation’s votes will be accurately counted, but 14 percent are not too confident and 11 percent are not at all confident they will be accurately counted. Fully 93 percent of Clinton supporters are confident all votes will be counted accurately compared to 51 percent of Trump supporters who are confident.

    “Few people thought this race would tighten to this degree, but this campaign has had more twists and turns than switchbacks on a steep mountain road.”

    Dr. Harry Wilson, director of Roanoke’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research
    Candidate support “gaps”

    The most evident and intuitive gaps in support are race (whites favor Trump 47%-37%; blacks favor Clinton 79%-6%), marital status (those who are married favor Trump 47%-38% while those never married support Clinton 60%-17%), and gender (men favor Trump 41%-39%; women favor Clinton 50%-35%). Clinton still leads among ideological moderates 47%-30%, but Trump barely leads among Independents (38%-36%). Clinton claims the support of 89 percent of Democrats, while Trump claims 80 percent of Republicans.
    President Obama; direction of the country

    A majority (57%) of likely voters think the country is on the wrong track, while 35 percent think it is headed in the right direction. A majority (55%) has a favorable view of President Obama, while 35 percent hold an unfavorable view.


    “Clinton’s lead is narrowing,” said Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. “If Donald Trump can rally the reluctant Republicans who still do not support him, then the race could be very close.”

    “Few people thought this race would tighten to this degree, but this campaign has had more twists and turns than switchbacks on a steep mountain road.”

    Interviewing for The Roanoke College Poll was conducted by The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. between October 29 and November 1, 2016. A total of 654 likely voters in Virginia were interviewed. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The random digit dial sample was obtained from ASDE Survey Sampler and includes both Virginia landline and cellphone exchanges so that all cell phone and residential landline telephone numbers, including unlisted numbers from Virginia exchanges, had a known chance of inclusion. Cellphones constituted 38 percent of the completed interviews.

    Questions answered by the entire sample of 654 likely voters are subject to a sampling error of plus or minus approximately 3.8 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. This means that in 95 out of 100 samples like the one used here, the results obtained should be no more than 3.8 percentage points above or below the figure that would be obtained by interviewing all likely voters in Virginia who have a home telephone or a cell phone. Where the results of subgroups are reported, the sampling error is higher.

    Quotas were used to ensure that different regions of the Commonwealth were proportionately represented. The data were statistically weighted for gender, race, age, and political party. Weighting was done to match the demographic groups’ representation in the 2012 Virginia exit poll. The margin of error was not adjusted for design effects due to weighting.

    The poll that was in the field on October 29 employed the same methodology as above except that weighting also included the region variable, which was not proportional at that time due to the early termination of the poll. Some questions were deleted from that questionnaire, but they all followed the “vote” variable, so that could not have impacted the “vote” question.


    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities.

    Household Survey Data

    The unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.8 million, changed little in October. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August 2015. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics declined to 5.7
    percent in October, while the rates for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women (4.3
    percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.6 percent), and
    Asians (3.4 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

    The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 218,000 over the month to 3.7 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 2.0 million in October and accounted for 25.2 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)

    In October, both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the
    employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, changed little. These measures have
    shown little movement in recent months, although both are up over the year. (See
    table A-1.)

    The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as
    involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged in October at 5.9 million. These
    individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time
    because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

    In October, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
    216,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
    were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
    job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

    Among the marginally attached, there were 487,000 discouraged workers in October, down by 178,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

    Establishment Survey Data

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October. Thus far in 2016,
    employment growth has averaged 181,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. In October, employment continued to trend up in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities. (See table B-1.)

    Health care employment rose by 31,000 in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+13,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 415,000 jobs.

    Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in October
    (+43,000) and has risen by 542,000 over the year. Over the month, a job gain occurred in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Employment in management and technical consulting services continued to trend up (+5,000).

    In October, employment in financial activities continued on an upward trend (+14,000), with a gain in insurance carriers and related activities (+8,000).

    Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing,
    wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and
    hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.

    The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

    In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents to $25.92, following an 8-cent increase in September. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.8 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.72 in October. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from +167,000 to +176,000, and the change for September was revised up from +156,000 to +191,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 44,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.

  • ephas

    In the meantime, at 4 am Friday before election Del. Cole files bill to change method of allocating electoral votes allocation via Congressional Districts. http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB1425

  • Early voting up sharply in Virginia compared to 2012 (per VPAP)


  • Andy Schmookler

    About the FBI. Is it safe to say that some agents in the FBI have leaked information in contravention of FBI rules and perhaps of laws?

    If so, would it be possible for an investigation to establish who in the FBI broke agency rules and/or the law?

    And if so to both, I would hope that after the election, those agents who sought improperly to use their trusted position to influence the presidential election would be identified and fired.

  • True Blue

    This was a welcome bit of news, about Republicans falling short on voter registrations in Virginia:


    • LOL, such as shame eh? 🙂