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Arch-Weasels Cling to the Trump Train

As part of our commitment to data journalism here at TPM, today we're introducing TPM’s Guide To GOPers Hopping Off The Trump Train. As things get bleaker for Trump, more and more Republicans are trying to distance themselves from what appears to be a building reputational disaster for the GOP and all associated with Trump. But all are not created equal. So we've created a three part taxonomy. "Ready for Hillary" for Republicans who've taken the ultimate plunge and announced they will vote for Hillary Clinton. "Holdouts" are those who have announced that they will not vote for Trump but either refuse to say who they will vote for or have announced that they will vote for someone other than Hillary Clinton. "Arch-Weasels" are those Republicans who have made increasingly harsh criticisms of Trump, sometimes questioning his fitness for office and even his sanity but still endorse him for President and say they plan to vote for them. Given this effort to fudge and weasel out of the most elemental question a politician faces, the "Arch-Weasel" designation should speak for itself. Click here to read the Guide and please send in suggestions for revisions, additions and so forth.

Your Update

The TPM Electoral Scoreboard moves to Clinton 318, Trump 164, as North Carolina moves from the Trump column to Toss-up. Meanwhile, a new poll from NBC/SurveyMonkey pushes the PollTracker Avg to Clinton 49.6%, Trump 39.3%, a spread of 10.3 points, Clinton's highest margin of the election season.

Quote of the day: "We beat a lot of people in the primaries and now we have one person left. And we're actually doing pretty well there." - Donald Trump.

WTF Is Up with Georgia?

It caused a bit of a stir when Georgia went into the Toss-Up column in the TPM Electoral Scoreboard. Then it moved to Clinton. And now Hillary Clinton is up 6 points in Georgia in the PollTracker Average. The average is heavily driven by three polls from August which are Clinton +7, Clinton +4 and tie. What's worth remembering is that while Georgia has been a reliably red state for a generation, the margins haven't been in the blowout territory like other red states. McCain won the state by 5.2 points in 2008 and Romney won by 7.8 points in 2012. When one candidate is up by a substantial margin, as Clinton is at least for the moment, you're going to see that across the map. But still: up by 6 points in Georgia. What's up with that?

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No Longer a Bounce

The conventional wisdom is that you don't really know the impact of the conventions until everything settles out a week or two after the second convention. We're coming up on that threshold. And as you can see from the trend chart going back to July 1st, this is no longer just a bounce.

At the risk of stating the obvious, a bounce is something that goes up and then comes down, at least part of the way back down. But Clinton's trend line continues to rise.

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Deep Lobbying

If you haven't already, take a look at the series The New York Times is running on corporate capture of DC's think tank's. I flag it not only because it's an important, very deep-dive look at an important topic but also because it was a topic I focused a great deal of time on before I started and then just after I started TPM when I was still a full-time reporter. My interest was first piqued by what a close friend of mind called 'deep lobbying.'

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Where We Stand

As of this morning, The TPM Electoral Scoreboard currently stands at Clinton 318, Trump 179 and 41 electoral votes currently in the Toss-Up column. Notably, that 318 is without Ohio or Iowa which both haven't been polled in a few weeks.

The PollTracker Avg puts the popular vote at Clinton 46.9% to Trump's 40%.

Essence of Trumpism

From this morning's speech: "Our roads and bridges fell into disrepair, yet we found the money to resettle millions of refugees at taxpayer expense."

Who Bigfooted Donald?

With all the tumult of the last few weeks, I'm trying to take some bit of a break this weekend to keep charged for the next three months. But here's one question I'm pondering and which I haven't seen a good answer to. When Paul Ryan and John McCain started criticizing Trump over the Khan family affair, he tried to overawe them with the threat of not endorsing them in their primaries. I doubt either particularly cared for themselves. But for the party brass that was clearly a bridge too far. Would he go to war with every member of Congress who didn't toe the line? The bigger threat was his gratuitous insults to Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who's in the fight of her political life and looks increasingly likely to lose.

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