Weekly Political Update

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The AAOPAC 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:  35
 
Inside the Numbers: 10 Facts About the Electoral Mood
 
Our weekly update this week was written before most major post-debate polls were released, so we are looking at other items instead:
 
1.         In the first major post-debate poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports, there was a net swing of six points towards Hillary Clinton from their prior poll.  Clinton leads this poll 42-41, after trailing Trump 44%-39% the week before the debate.
2.         The thought that lots of Republicans are going to vote for Clinton is partially true and partially false at the moment.  Both Clinton and Trump have 79% of the likely voters in their political party supporting them, but Clinton has just a few more Republicans crossing over to vote for her  (13% of all likely Republican voters support Clinton) than Trump has in Democrats crossing over for him (10% of all likely Democratic voters support Trump).
3.         15% of voters approve of the job Congress is doing and 77% of voters disapprove.  This despite the fact, reelection rates are on pace to top 85-90% of incumbents.
4.         34% of voters think the federal government is doing enough to prevent future acts of terrorism on our home soil.
5.         7% of voters report losing a friend or ending a friendship because of their views on this year’s Presidential race, the same percentage as report losing a relationship in prior presidential years.
6.         65% of voters say the current state of the country does NOT justify the harsh language used in political campaigns this season. 
7.         47% of Trump voters believe the campaign’s harsh language is justified given the state of affairs in the country.  Just 17% of Clinton voters and 21% of undecided voters feel the same way.
8.         Independents are long thought to be the difference in many elections but it is harder than ever to read their intentions this election season.  A four-day poll conducted this week and concluding before the first debate showed that Independent voters likely to vote in November preferred Trump over Clinton 27%-20%, while 29% of those Independents currently favor one of several other candidates, and 20% of Independents are undecided. 
9.         Another major poll shows Independents prefer Trump by 12 points over Clinton.

Presidential Overview
If we were Secretary Clinton’s campaign this week:
  • You would have sent a nice gift basket to everyone on the team who helped out with debate prep.
  • You would have your fingers crossed that the weekend polls that come out on October 1 show you in the range of a 7-10 point lead for a meaningful bounce out of the debate.
  • You would be preparing for the second debate to be different, with an opponent more focused on hitting your weaknesses, including personally sensitive issues.
  • You would smiling that this week the media is asking questions about your opponent’s health problems and not yours.
  • You would be wondering why it is you aren’t doing better with independents in the polls out this month.
If we were Donald Trump’s campaign this week:
  • You would acknowledge that the path to winning over independents will come from having some measure of depth to your solutions on core issues like terrorism, job creation, immigration, and healthcare.
  • You would realize your worst fears about media bias were realized in the debate questions Monday night and prepare accordingly for round two.
  • You would lock the candidate in a room with a team to memorize a basic battle plan to use the next debate to focus on the core weaknesses of your opponent.
  • You would be tightening the visit schedule to focus on: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. 
 
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) 54% to 37%
  • 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) 44% to 36%
  • Pennsylvania: Katie McGinty (D) leads Senator Pat Toomey (R) 49% to 46%
  • Wisconsin: Former Senator Russ Feingold (D) leads Senator Ron Johnson (R) 52% to 42%
If the election were held today and the polls were correct, the Senate would be in a 50-50 tie where the tie is broken by the incoming Vice President.
 
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.
 
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health. The Congressman voted in favor of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Congressman 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 and imposing a two-year delay of the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health coverage (the Cadillac tax) until 2019.
 
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and potentially the next full chairman.  The Congressman voted in favor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2012, which sought to repeal the medical device tax. The Congressman also voted in favor of the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The Congressman voted in favor of repealing the ACA in 2013 and 2015. The Congressman 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 and imposing a two-year delay of the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health coverage, the Cadillac tax, until 2019.
 
Oct. 4, 2016

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