AAO Weekly Political Update

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The AAO Political Action Committee is the active and visible political voice of the orthodontic profession.  Through your annual contributions to the AAOPAC, we are able to provide support for political candidates who we think will make sound policy decisions in the future.
 
As the election nears, we wanted to provide our AAOPAC donors and AAO members with some regular insights from our Washington lobbying team.  We want all AAO members to appreciate that the election choices made in November shape the policy decisions affecting how we deliver outstanding care to our patients, provide for our employees, and ensure the high standards of our valued profession.  And please, don’t forget to vote and to encourage your staff and patient families to exercise their most important of democratic rights to help determine our collective future.
 
Each week, we will try to give you some of the most important polling numbers impacting the races, plus highlight the state of play in the fight for the White House and control of each chamber in Congress.  Finally, we will give you a quick synopsis of why the AAOPAC has chosen to support various candidates in each party for the House or Senate.
 
We hope you enjoy these quick hitting weekly emails and please let us know how we can give you more information about what is going on in Election 2016.
 
Days until the election:  43
 
Inside the Numbers: 10 Facts about the Electoral Mood
 
1. Only 11% of voters consider Secretary Hillary Clinton to be honest and trustworthy.

2.   To put that into perspective, consider that the number of Americans who consider Secretary Clinton honest and trustworthy is just slightly above the number of Americans who thinks the federal government adds fluoride to water for sinister reasons other than dental health.
 
3.   As we close in on the election, voter enthusiasm on both sides of the partisan divide are roughly equal.  78% of Trump supporters are “very interested” in the election compared to 75% of Clinton supporters.
 
4.         66% of Trump supporters plan to “definitely” vote for him in the election while 68% of Clinton voters plan to “definitely” vote for her in the election.

5.   The country is equally split on if we are making economic progress or if the economy has stalled out.  45% agree with Secretary Clinton that the economy is on the rise, while 48% of voters agree with Donald Trump’s assertion that the economy has lost ground.
 
6.   Voters have a slight preference for Donald Trump on the economy (46%-41%) and on being honest and straightforward (41%-31%).
 
7.   Secretary Clinton holds substantial leads on being a good commander-in-chief (48%-33%), immigration (50%-39%), the temperament to be President (56%-23%), and the knowledge and experience to be President (60%-23%).
 
8.   In a generic ballot question on which party voters prefer to control Congress, 48% of voters preferred Democrats while 45% prefer Republicans.

9.   Most national polls show Libertarian Gary Johnson polling in the 8-10% range, and when voters are forced to make a decision in a Clinton-Trump match-up without third party candidates, it appears Johnson voters split fairly equally.
 
10. President Obama’s job approval is 50% or higher for the fourth straight month, an excellent sign for Secretary Clinton’s chances to win a third straight Presidential term for the Democratic party.

Presidential Overview
 
If we were Secretary Clinton’s campaign this week:
  • We would be pretty pleased that, after a tough two weeks, most national polls show us moving back out to a 4-6 point lead.
  • We would be loving the latest reported fundraising numbers that show us stretching our financial advantage over Donald Trump as we enter the last 50 days of the campaign.
  • We would be buying up all remaining ad time in battleground states since our opponent doesn’t look like he wants to pay to be on TV.
  • We would be pleased that state-level polls show us with a firewall in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado that mean Donald Trump has very few paths to the White House.
  • We would be planning for two debates scenarios on Monday night - one with Donald Trump the bombastic “say anything” reality TV star and the other one with the more restrained and disciplined candidate we have seen Mr. Trump as over the last six weeks.  If this debate is about our opponent, we win.
  • We would be worried that the riots in Charlotte may push North Carolina swing voters to Trump and reinforce some of his security-first messages.
If we were Donald Trump’s campaign this week:
  • We would be trying to coach the candidate up for the debates so he focuses on his opponent and avoids taking the bait on topics that undermine our standing with swing voters.  If this debate is about our opponent, we win.
  • We would be praying for a big television audience for the debate and a candidate performance that rises to the occasion, because any path to victory likely starts with showing we can fight Secretary Clinton to at least a draw.
  • We would wonder what we need to do to get Gary Johnson voters to move in our direction in the next six weeks because, like Ross Perot in 1992, Johnson is looking like a third-party candidate that delivers a Clinton to the White House even as he prevents her from winning a majority of the popular vote.
  • We would be worried that the riots in Charlotte will convince swing voters in North Carolina and elsewhere that they need to stick with President Obama’s team in the election.
  • We would remain focused  at rallies and in commercials on how anemic some economic numbers are and how the Obama-Clinton team can’t solve our slow-growth issues.
 
Latest Senate Battleground Polls
  • Arizona: Senator John McCain (R) leads Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D) 57% to 38%
  • Florida: Senator Marco Rubio (R) leads Congressman Patrick Murphy (D) 43% to 34%
  • Illinois: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D) leads Senator Mark Kirk (R) 41% to 39%
  • Indiana: Former Senator Evan Bayh (D) leads Congressman Todd Young (R) 46% to 41%
  • Iowa: Senator Chuck Grassley (R) leads Patty Judge (D) 56% to 39%
  • Missouri: Jason Kander (D) leads Senator Roy Blunt (R)  42% to 40%
  • Nevada: Congressman Joe Heck (R) leads state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) 43% to 36%
  • New Hampshire: Senator Kelly Ayotte leads Governor Maggie Hassan (D) 47% to 45%
  • North Carolina: Senator Richard Burr (R) leads Deborah Ross (D) 43% to 37%
  • Ohio: Senator Rob Portman (R) leads Governor Ted Strickland (D) 51% to 37%
  • Pennsylvania: Senator Pat Toomey (R)leads Katie McGinty (D) 46% to 45%
  • Wisconsin: Former Senator Russ Feingold (D) leads Senator Ron Johnson (R) 52% to 42%
AAOPAC Featured Candidates
For each edition of update, we will highlight at least one Democratic candidate and one Republican candidate the AAOPAC has provided financial support to in this election cycle.
 
This week we focus on candidates that AAO President Dr. DeWayne McCamish met with personally while visiting Washington, DC last week.
 
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) is the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee, and she frequently meets with members of the American Association of Orthodontists.  When she was Chairman of the Small Business Committee several years ago, she worked with the AAO to allow a practicing orthodontist to testify before the Committee.  The Congresswoman voted in favor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2012, which sought to repeal the medical device tax. The Congresswoman also voted in favor of the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011. She also voted in favor of the FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, postponing the medical device tax for two years.
 
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a first-term Senator on the Small Business Committee.  Senator Rubio ran for President of the United States and suspended his campaign in March of 2016. In June, he announced he would seek re-election to the Senate. Senator Rubio has supported Congressional measures to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and has argued to oppose any legislation that “would not go far enough”. The Senator voted in favor of the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.
 
Sep. 26, 2016

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