Based on its analysis of the polls, FiveThrityEight currently gives Donald Trump an 11.9% chance of winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes on November 8. In its aggregate of all recent polls in Pennsylvania, RealClearPolitics finds that in a two-way race, Hillary Clinton leads with 49.2% and Trump trails at 40.0%.
With collapsing support, Trump seems to have concluded that the only way he can win in a state like this is by promoting a stop-the-vote campaign targeting minority voters.
The Los Angeles Times reports: In remarks with strong racial overtones, Donald Trump told a mainly white rural crowd in Pennsylvania on Friday that vote fraud could cheat him out of victory and vowed to dispatch police who support him to monitor polls in “certain parts” of the state.
“We’re going to have unbelievable turnout, but we don’t want to see people voting five times, folks,” the Republican presidential nominee said at a rally in Altoona, Pa.
After months of racially charged violence between Trump supporters and protesters at his rallies, the comments raised the specter of confrontations on election day in precincts with many minority voters.
Trump, who previously suggested the Nov. 8 election would be rigged for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said he’d “heard some stories about certain parts of the state, and we have to be very careful.”
“Maybe you should go down and volunteer or do something,” Trump told the audience, bemoaning Pennsylvania’s lack of voter identification requirements.
“We have a lot of law enforcement people working that day,” he said. “We’re hiring a lot of people. We’re putting a lot of law enforcement — we’re going to watch Pennsylvania, go down to certain areas and watch and study, and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”
Trump’s remarks came two weeks after a federal appeals court struck down a voter ID law in North Carolina, another presidential battleground state. The law targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision” in an effort to suppress the black vote, the court found. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: After telling an audience in Altoona, Pa., that he would seek their help in policing the polls in November to root out voter fraud — something that even the state of Pennsylvania has noted doesn’t exist in any meaningful way — Donald Trump’s campaign nationalized the effort on Saturday morning. Now eager Trump backers can go to Trump’s website and sign up to be “a Trump Election Observer.” Do so, and you get an email thanking you for volunteering and assuring you that the campaign will “do everything we are legally allowed to do to stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election.”
There are any number of problems with this, again starting with the fact that the frequency of in-person voter fraud in elections is lower than getting five numbers right in the Powerball. But there’s a potentially bigger legal problem noted by election law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine: Trump’s unnecessary effort could be violating a prohibition against voter intimidation that applies to the Republican Party. [Continue reading…]