Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Could Ted Cruz Get the Boot in 2018?

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is currently running four points ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 Texas Senate election – 35%-31%, according to a just released poll. I would not get too excited by these numbers. It’s very early. And those are incredibly low numbers for both candidates. That’s a huge number of undecideds.

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WTF Happened With The Carl Vinson?

Sean Spicer got asked about the Carl Vinson mystery today. It was … well, it was sad. Spicer basically said ‘Oh, you misunderstood what we meant. Sucks to be you.’ (Actual quotes and more here.) That’s silly. Here’s what happened or rather what I think we can be fairly confident happened based on the totality of evidence and anonymous sources at the Pentagon reported in the press. (TPM’s Matt Shuham is just published a detailed timeline of the events in question here.)

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My Take on Tonight's Result in GA-6

Okay, we can’t quite call this a wrap yet. But it certainly looks like the Georgia 6th congressional race is going to a run-off. What does that mean? I was fairly pessimistic that Ossoff could win outright tonight. Would have been great if he could have, for obvious reasons. It looked doable early. But it wasn’t to be.

Here’s my takeaway.

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Live George Results Pt #2

10:06 PM: DeKalb votes are all in. Ossoff improved on Clinton’s number by 1.6% (58.6% > 57%) He’s currently up 1.5% on Clinton’s number in Cobb County (41.4% > 39.9%) with 96% reporting. He’s way up in Fulton but only 16% so that’s largely meaningless at this point.

9:59 PM: Okay, seems pretty clear this is going to a run-off. Almost all the vote is in in Cobb (GOP) and DeKalb (Dem) Counties. Fulton is still mostly out. Trump beat Clinton narrowly there, by about 2.5% points. Ossoff is currently at 50.1% with 50% reporting. So hard to see how he doesn’t fall below 50%.

9:42 PM: Looking more like Ossoff comes in under 50%. Maybe one or two points shy.

9:30 PM: Okay, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Report says we’re going to a run-off, i.e., Ossoff under 50%. I wouldn’t say that’s definitive. Other really good data people aren’t willing to make a prediction yet. But he’s one of the best number crunchers in the business.

9:21 PM: Worth keeping in mind if Ossoff comes in just under 50%: the rest of the Dem field looks to be at upwards of 1%.

9:13 PM: This is going to be really close. Personally, I’m a bit more pessimistic than I was a half hour ago. But over or under 50% still entirely possible.

9:06 PM: I think basically we’re where we’ve been all evening – numbers that are necessary but not sufficient (as Dkos folks put it earlier) for Ossoff to hit 50%. One thing that seems clear now is that the election day vote was very large. In general, that’s a hopeful sign for Republicans since they’re expected to do better on election day rather than early vote. So far though even those election day numbers make 50% still possible for Ossoff. So this isn’t necessarily good or bad for Ossoff but a potentially hopefully sign for GOP to keep Ossoff under 50%.

8:49 PM: We’re still seeing pretty much all data that is consistent with Ossoff getting 50% of the vote but by no means proves that he will.

8:43 PM: BREAKING: We’re going to be looking at number from individual precincts for a while. You’re welcome.

8:34 PM: Ok, opening up a new thread. Where are we? There are some cautiously optimistic signs for Democrats – and in this case I call optimism getting 50%. All the results I’ve seen suggest Ossoff is coming in right in the range he’d need to hit 50%. But in the range. So by no means a sure thing and the uncertainty of special election turnout makes it very hard, really all but impossible to model final results based on this area or that. The best way to put it is that we’re not seeing the kinds of individual precinct results which put Ossoff out of the running for 50%. In the hunt, by no means a sure thing.

Live Georgia Results Here

I’ll be following the Georgia results here as they come in.

8:26 PM: As long as we’re talking early numbers that could simply be wrong, here’s the way I’d put the current numbers. There’s not much data that is inconsistent with Ossoff taking 50% of the vote. Ossoff was expected to win the early vote. But he seems to be winning it by more than was expected. GOP has to put up pretty solid election day numbers to keep him under 50%. Here’s what the Times Nate Cohn just said on Twitter: “the Election Day vote better be great for the GOP. Because the early vote is simply much better than expected for Ossoff.” That sounds right to me. But he knows how to interpret these numbers and I really don’t.

8:17 PM: I’d say the precinct by precinct data is showing some signs of hope that Ossoff can get over 50%. Impossible to tell but some notes of potential optimism in those numbers. The gist is that he seems to be over-performing, not wildly over-performing, in DeKalb County. But that’s the Dems’ best county in the district.

8:14 PM: Want to try it yourself at home? Josh’s Twitter list of smart election/data crunchers, live blog from Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

8:13 PM: Miscellaneous in the moment reports that I can’t draw any clear pattern from.

8:05 PM: You’d think with one suburban district they’d be able to report the results a bit more quickly. Don’t Erdogan me, bro … Late Update: “Poll workers have to collect and drive memory cards from voting machines to county offices. Takes time.” source.

7:59 PM: Impossible to make any firm estimates or predictions based on so little data. But that doesn’t stop people from trying. The folks I trust seem to be split on whether this looks good or not for Ossoff going over 50%. Definitely in the ballpark of what he’d need. But not enough for us to know either way.

7:53 PM: We’re getting the first results out of Georgia. They’re from DeKalb county. And they’re very strong for Ossoff – 71%. But we would expect these first votes to be very strong. These are decent numbers. But don’t be fooled by that high number.

Trump Collapsing With Base (SAD!)

As we wait to see whether Donald Trump’s unpopularity will allow a Democrat to squeak through and win a thoroughly Republican district in suburban Atlanta, let’s look at an eye-popping new poll. President Trump’s popularity has collapsed among a key base constituency: Russians.

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Report: "Facebook Killer" Dead

NBC is reporting that Steven Stephens, the alleged “Facebook killer” out of Cleveland is dead after shooting himself after a pursuit in Erie, PA

NYTimes Bestseller Bianca Bosker hosting Q&A in the Hive, Thurs. @ 2p.m.

New York Times bestseller and award-winning journalist Bianca Bosker will be joining us in the Hive, Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to talk about all things food and wine. Feel free to send her questions about wine pairings, sommelier training and more. Submit your questions at any time below or join us Thursday at 2! If you'd like to participate but don't have TPM Prime, sign up here.