Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The advance word we're getting is that in his remarks this morning, Trump will follow the lead of his press release yesterday and claim that Hillary Clinton invented and advanced birtherism even though this claim has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked. It seems that Trump will seek to hang his hat on a confidential memo Clinton's 2008 strategist Mark Penn wrote in which he said that Obama's 'exotic' background was a liability not a strength. But Clinton never took up this advice, which is good because Penn is a notorious moron. (See my posts going back a decade on this point.) But more importantly, Penn never suggested Obama wasn't born in the United States or wasn't a US citizen. The fever swamp of Birtherism was already swamping at the time. Clinton had nothing to do with it. Even Trump had nothing to do with its origins, as far as I know. But he quickly became its greatest champion.

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In an interview late Wednesday evening on the tarmac in his private jet in Canton, Ohio, Donald Trump doubled down on history of birtherism. Speaking to The Washington Post's Robert Costa, Trump suggested he is not inclined to soften his pitch of his positions, even as he tries to appeal to voters outside of his base. He also struck a defiant tone, trumpeting his rising poll numbers, attacking CNN's Anderson Cooper and claiming the Clinton campaign had made up the phrase 'alt-right.'

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With the inclusion of this afternoon's Fox Poll, the Polltracker Average is now exactly tied. Clinton 43.8%, Trump 43.8%.

As I mentioned a short while ago, who riffs about "gas chambers" in joking conversations or to illustrate some mundane aspect of the news of the day. There's gallows humor, even about the Holocaust, even among Jews. But this just seemed weird.

Is this how the Trump family talks?

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As I hope I've made clear, bad polls from NYT/CBS, Bloomberg/Selzer, CNN/ORC, etc. - you can't dismiss those. Even if the internals look funny to you. Those are each premium phone polls with strong, national reputations. Emerson, which released another group of polls today, you can dismiss. They are one of the few landline only pollsters around today. And their way of adjusting for that shortcoming ("3 point decrease in Conservative opinion and a 3 point increase in Liberal opinion to offset the bias in land line only telephone polls") just doesn't cut it as a serious way of doing a poll, as I noted a couple weeks ago.

As of this morning, The TPM Electoral Scoreboard stands at Clinton 254, Trump 242. Pretty close to a tie. But beneath those numbers there are major shifts in the electoral landscape that transcend the dynamics of this election.

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