Newsletter: Today: What the Polls Won’t Tell You

President Trump talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 4.
President Trump talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 4.
(Pool Photo)

The polling data tell us one thing. The reality of the midterm election may be different, depending on some key groups of voters.


What the Polls Won’t Tell You

Ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election, the poll numbers indicate — and political operatives in both parties believe — that Democrats will win back control of the House and make significant gains in state capitals, while Republicans keep a slim margin of control in the Senate. But as President Trump’s victory in 2016 showed, upsets happen. Washington bureau chief David Lauter looks at the big question marks (including Latino voters and blue-collar white voters) and provides the latest results from the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.


The Real House Races of Orange County

After the election, could Orange County no longer have any Republican members in the House of Representatives for the first time since the 1930s? That the outcome of the House races there is even in doubt shows you how much the onetime home of President Nixon and TV host Wally George has changed. The numbers show there’s not so much a rising blue tide as an ebbing red one in a place with a long and convoluted history of conservatism.

More About the Election

-- Some veterans say Trump is politicizing the military by sending troops to the border days before the midterm election.

-- These are the billionaires hoping to sway control of Congress.

-- It’s a campaign frenzy as House candidates make their final dash across Southern California and the Central Valley.

-- To measure the real base of California’s Republican support, look no further than Trump’s approval numbers.

-- Where California governor candidates John Cox and Gavin Newsom stand on the top issues.


-- As Georgia’s GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp competes against Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor, he’s announced an “investigation” into the state’s Democratic Party.

Secession Talk Over … Trader Joe’s?

In Georgia, the governor’s race between Kemp and Abrams isn’t the only one raising eyebrows. Voters about 20 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta will decide whether to form a new city by seceding from the city of Stockbridge. The twist: Only those in the most affluent parts will vote. Backers of the proposal say it’s aimed at bringing more upscale businesses like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but others say it’s more about class and race.

One Giant Panda Experiment


Giant pandas are one of the enduring symbols of Chinese culture, but ensuring their survival has put scientists to the test. Researchers in China have figured out how to breed them, but saving the species from extinction will mean sending captive pandas into the wild. At one center, keepers dressed in panda suits deliver bamboo and administer care. But the job isn’t as glamorous as it looks: The suits are soaked in panda urine to obscure human scent.

A Chinese researcher dressed in panda costume holds a panda cub before transferring it to a new living environment at the Hetaoping giant panda wild training center.
(Wang Xiwei / Imaginechina)

Sign up to get Today’s Headlines delivered to your inbox. »



-- Trump boasts he’s turned around American industry. With the election at hand, here are the facts.

-- Columnist Steve Lopez checks in with a couple who sometimes cringe at Trump but are still sold on the president.

-- This wrestling villain praises Hillary Clinton and invokes Obamacare. Meet the Progressive Liberal, who’s body-slamming his way through Trump country.

-- Another Southern California boom in home prices is cooling. Is a crash looming? Probably not, but that’s a matter of debate.



-- The Beatles’ “White Album” came out 50 year ago, and the task of remastering the anniversary edition went to the original producer’s son.


-- For a small Jewish congregation in Visalia, the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue gives a new sense of urgency to security.


-- Sources say LAPD surveillance caught Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas in a sex act with a subordinate officer just before his sudden retirement.

-- The race for Los Angeles County sheriff could have a historic outcome. It was never supposed to be this close.

-- A Maywood teacher was arrested after being caught on video punching a student who had repeatedly used a racial epithet and threw a basketball at him.



-- If you saw Sunday night’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” you might want to read this.

-- Misty Copeland is on a mission to bring ballet to mass audiences with Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”

-- Barbra Streisand has dozens of questions that she thinks voters should be asking themselves.



-- In North Dakota, many reservation-based Native American voters are facing a voter ID law they believe is aimed at them.

-- Iranians in dozens of cities marked the 39th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran with government-organized rallies that doubled as a show of defiance against the renewal of American sanctions.

-- Ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine who hold Hungarian passports are finding themselves in the middle of a political storm that could have much larger implications.



-- CBD-infused products are being sold everywhere in California, but are they legal? That’s where it gets complicated.

-- When it comes to credit scores, don’t believe the “no credit is as bad as bad credit” myth.


-- The Rams’ dreams of a perfect NFL season were ruined in a 45-35 loss to the New Orleans Saints, but the players seem sort of relieved to have the pressure off. Up next: the Seattle Seahawks.


-- The Kings’ somewhat nightmarish start to the NHL season prompted them to fire coach John Stevens. Up next: Willie Desjardins as interim coach.


-- Finally, homeless people in Orange County may get a place to live other than a riverbed.

-- Where is Bill Clinton‘s #MeToo reckoning?


-- Once again, for your reference: The complete list of L.A. Times endorsements for Tuesday’s election.


-- Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is trying to wiggle out U.S. sanctions, and he just might do it. (New York Times)

-- To debate or not to debate Steve Bannon? This is the story of one person who did. (The Atlantic)


-- Believe it or not, PowerPoint is having a comedy moment. (Vulture)


If you see William Shatner pedaling his e-bike in the hills of the San Fernando Valley, give him some room. It’s a part of how the 87-year-old actor stays fit, along with horseback riding, swimming and weights. But nothing beats the bike. “Suddenly you’re seeing neighbors, riding to the grocery store,” he says, “and giving the bird to cars.”

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at