Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Americans believe the moderators of the debates will attempt to aid Hillary Clinton…

According to reports:

“Moderators at the presidential debates will help Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump, according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports finds that 46 percent of likely U.S. voters think the presidential debate moderators — this year consisting of NBC’s Lester Holt, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News’s Chris Wallace — will try to help Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, in the upcoming debates.

Only 6 percent believe the moderators will try to help Trump, the Republican nominee, while just 32 percent say the moderators will try to be unbiased.

The Rasmussen findings largely came down along party lines: Seventy-eight percent of Trump supporters think the moderators will try to help Clinton, while 56 percent of those who support Clinton feel the moderators will attempt to be unbiased.

Only 2 percent of Trump supporters feel the moderators will try to help their candidate.”

Trump. left, Glenn, right

Darryl Glenn has taken the lead over incumbent Democrat Senator Michael Bennett out in Colorado as momentum continues to grow for the popular Black Conservative… Donald Trump is also surging in the Rocky Mountain State and is now in position to win the state’s electoral votes…

According to Breitbart:

“Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado, has taken a lead over incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett. Glenn, at 45 percent, leads Bennet—at 43 percent—with 12 percent of voters unsure of for whom they will vote in the Senate race. That slight lead for Glenn is good news for an outsider candidate—and strong Trump supporter—who in other recent surveys has struggled.

With regard to Glenn’s performance in this poll, Caddell said that “there are people voting for him who do not know him—and there’s a certain sign of being dragged along.”

Trump is also doing well.

“In Colorado, a swing state with 9 electoral votes, Trump leads Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton by 4 points—outside the survey’s 3.5 percent margin of error. Trump, at 41 percent, leads Clinton—who has just 37 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson takes 6 percent and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party takes 6 percent, and 10 percent of the voters polled are undecided. The poll, conducted from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23, surveyed 799 registered voters in Colorado.”

Hillary has been busted with yet ANOTHER private email address…

According to Politico:

“Hillary Clinton used a previously undisclosed Gmail account during her tenure as secretary of state, as revealed in summaries of interviews released by the FBI on Friday.

According to one unnamed former aide, the Gmail account was set up in 2010 after he purchased an iPad for Clinton so that she could read “articles of interest” sent to her.

“[NAME REDACTED] stated that she could not view the articles on her Blackberry and the iPad and email account were set up as a way to test a different delivery method,” the FBI’s account of the interview reads. The unnamed aide said he was “fairly sure” the Gmail account wasn’t used after its initial setup, however.
The aide also recounted how, “after he gave the Secretary the iPad, the Secretary fell asleep holding the unopened packaging in her arms.”

“This struck [NAME REDACTED] as funny because, in contrast, he would not be able to sleep if he had just received a new iPad,” the summary reads.”

Breaking this morning, according to reports:

“The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council made its first endorsement for a candidate running for an elected office, the Trump campaign said Monday.

Chris Crane, the president of the National ICE Council, described the men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the “last line of defense for American communities.”

“Our 5,000 officers, underfunded and undermanned, are responsible for enforcing immigration laws in a nation of 320 million people,” Crane said in a statement.

“Our officers come into daily contact with many of the most dangerous people in the world – cartel members, gang members, weapons traffickers, murder suspects, drug dealers, suspects of violent assault – yet ICE Officers are unable to arrest or are forced to release many of the most dangerous back into U.S. communities due to unscrupulous political agendas and corrupt leaders.”
Crane slammed President Obama for implementing “unconstitutional executive orders” and criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for embracing them.”

The Briefing, Vol. IV, Issue 38

This week:

  • Clinton’s lead remains both small and shaky
  • Trump gains ground in crucial Pa.
  • Trump still needs to do better — first debate offers him a prime opportunity

In a new campaign video for the International Laborers’ Union, Hillary Clinton offered her usual wooden delivery. After listing off her positions and accomplishments, she said to her remote audience: “Having said all this, ‘Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?’ you might ask.”

That’s a question that a lot of Democrats are asking themselves right now. And not a few Republicans, too.

Shaky lead: Clinton, of course, has her issues, as Friday night’s FBI document dump once again reminds everyone. That is probably enough to explain the lack of a 50-point lead. But with Donald Trump closing the national gap and improving his numbers in several key states, one thing seems clear: There is a much bigger appetite out there for what he’s selling than most people believed when he began or even when he clinched the nomination.

It’s still quite possible to imagine a Trump collapse, but it’s been wrongly predicted many times before. For the moment, he seems headed at least toward a close finish with Clinton, and possibly even a narrow win with a plurality of the popular vote. Politicos are wondering less about whether this election will end in a disaster for Republicans down-ticket, and more whether Trump might somehow be able to pull it off.

Nate Silver, the prognosticator at fivethirtyeight.com, has declared that Clinton’s lead is a lot less safe right now than President Obama’s was at any point in 2012. And bear in mind when you read that, an awful lot of people thought Mitt Romney was going to beat him, right up to the last moment on election day.

Silver’s argument hinges on the fact that Clinton doesn’t have big leads in swing states the way Obama did. Trump is either competitive or leading in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Maine, and now perhaps even Pennsylvania. And Clinton has to view last Thursday’s Quinnipiac poll of Colorado — an outlier for now, showing her and Trump tied — with great trepidation.

Electoral College situation: Since last week, it seems that Trump has quite surprisingly nailed down Iowa, something previous Republicans have really struggled to do. (Recall that George W. Bush lost there narrowly in 2000, but narrowly won in 2004.) At least in this state, the popular pro-Trump thesis that he could bring along voters who don’t usually back Republicans seems to be coming in true.

Absentee ballot requests there have fallen off by nearly half (to 52,000) for registered Democrats from this point in 2012, whereas Republicans have increased their more modest number of requests by more than 40 percent (to 20,000). Again, though, this might be just as much about lagging enthusiasm for Clinton. Either way, it’s good news for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and it suggests that the 2014 push by the GOP to catch up with Democrats on early voting in that state continues to bear fruit.

One other small gain we mentioned previously: Trump now appears to have a very large lead in Maine’s second congressional district, which is worth one electoral vote whether he manages to carry the whole state or not. (The latest poll has him trailing by three.) Maine, like Nebraska, awards two of its electoral votes to the statewide winner and one to the winner of each congressional district.

But the biggest move in Trump’s favor came over the weekend in the form of a new poll of Pennsylvania from Muhlenberg College. This poll had shown Clinton ahead by nine points earlier this month, but in the new poll, she leads him by just three points in a four-way contest. If this is at all accurate, it means the state is within reach for Trump.

Pennsylvania has been accurately referred to as Clinton’s firewall. If it goes to Trump, his path to victory becomes more than just notional. To be sure, it’s not enough for him to win — that would also require wins in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. But it at least gives him a path. Without Pennsylvania, Trump would be left depending on a low-probability win in New Hampshire, in addition to wins in Ohio, Florida and Nevada, and even then he might only end up in an Electoral College tie if Clinton picks up one vote from Nebraska.

But if he somehow overtakes Clinton in Pennsylvania, Trump wouldn’t even need to worry about Nevada (where he narrowly leads) or New Hampshire (where he trails badly). He’d have a real chance of becoming president.

Still, despite the terrible month Clinton has suffered so far, he hasn’t managed to catch her there yet. If he is to win, he still needs a big boost of some kind, beyond the setbacks Clinton has suffered so far from her health scare and her FBI problems.

Debate night: And this, of course, makes tonight’s debate all the more important.

A few notes about presidential debates in general, and this one in particular:

  1. The first one is usually the most important. It tends to get the highest ratings, and it sets the tone for all the others. That’s not to say that second debates don’t matter — Reagan, for example, recovered from a poor first debate in 1984 with a very memorable second debate. But if Trump is to make a move on Clinton, and to persuade voters outside his base that they should give him a second look, this debate is surely his best shot.
  2. Debates don’t usually determine the outcome of elections unless something extraordinary happens. There have been cases — especially for lower offices — in which debates have been decisive, but this usually isn’t the case for president. Then again, this election, like 2000 and 1976, is one in which it seems close enough that one big gaffe by either candidate could really matter.
  3. Because he still trails where it matters, Trump really needs to land a knockout, or better, for Clinton to knock herself out.
  4. The expectations in this debate are higher for Clinton, given that she’s running on a platform of experience and competence.
  5. Trump, although he needs this debate to come out positive for him, mostly has to avoid embarrassing himself. And note that not everything that would be considered an embarrassment for most politicians can necessarily be viewed as affecting Trump the same way.
  6. Clinton is in a very fragile position at the moment. She’s seen her polling support collapse all over the map. A single pointed question about her emails, if she handles it poorly, could well be enough to send her over the edge and into another couple weeks of floundering.
  7. Clinton needs a strong and competent performance to pull out of her campaign’s current tailspin. A good debate could reverse that trend if it leaves viewers with the impression that she’s a safe bet and Trump is simply too volatile and too risky to elect.

 

Senate picture: Democrats appear to have given up on tying at least one Republican Senate incumbent to Trump. In New Hampshire, National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar observes that Democratic senate nominee Maggie Hassan hardly brings him up anymore, whereas previously he was a staple of her campaign.

And of course, the fact that Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is running 11 points ahead of Trump (and basically tied or carrying the narrowest of leads) suggests that the strategy just wasn’t working.

Another way of interpreting this, of course, centers around the lack of enthusiasm for Trump’s opponent. Clinton may well win, and she will probably win New Hampshire either way, but she is not like Obama. She is not about to drive record or near-record youth turnout and Democratic margins that can help carry a whole bunch of down-ticket Democrats over the finish line with strong coat-tails the way Obama did in 2008 and 2012.

Meanwhile, Trump’s surge in Pennsylvania could help Pat Toomey, who has been weighed down to date by Trump’s underperformance there. His numbers, ranging between the mid-40s to the high 30s, still give great cause for concern that he might end up a casualty.

Donald Trump says one of Bill Clinton;s former lovers will be his guest at the debate…

According to The Hill:

“Gennifer Flowers, the woman that Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair with, said she would accept Donald Trump‘s invitation to seat her in the front row of Monday’s presidential debate against Hillary Clinton.

“Hi Donald. You know I’m in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!,” read a tweet from what appears to be Flowers’s account.

In a tweet earlier Saturday, Trump offered to bring Flowers to the debate, in response to the attendance of billionaire Hillary Clinton supporter Mark Cuban. Cuban said on Thursday that he accepted an invitation from Clinton to sit in the front row at Monday’s presidential debate.”

Kim Kardashian is having second thoughts about supporting Hillary Clinton…

According to reports:

“Reality TV megastar Kim Kardashian is “on the fence” about possibly voting for Donald Trump after being a longtime Hillary Clinton backer.

Kardashian said she became uncertain in her support for Clinton after talking to Caitlin Jenner, who has been a Republican for most of her life.

“At first I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m so Hillary,’ but I had a long political call with Caitlyn last night about why she’s voting Trump. I’m on the fence,” Kardashian said in a magazine interview, according to The Huffington Post.

Last summer, Kardashian signaled her support for the Democratic nominee when she was asked if she thought that Clinton would be the first woman elected president.”

Read Ted Cruz’s Endorsement Of Donald Trump:

“This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.”

Breaking this afternoon, according to reports:

“Multiple sources close to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say he will finally endorse Donald Trump as soon as Friday, according to Politico.

It is unclear whether Cruz plans on just pledging to vote for the GOP presidential nominee or offering more substantial backing.
Cruz has repeatedly refrained from backing Trump after their bitter clash in the Republican presidential primary.

The senator shocked listeners by refusing to endorse Trump during his speech at the Republican National Convention in July, where he was booed.

“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” he said.”

If Hillary Clinton has cough issues at Monday night’s debate against Donald Trump, she will just have to deal with it…

According to Drudge:

“If presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton slips into a coughing fit or any other medical crisis during Monday’s high-stakes debate, she will have to power through, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!

“There are no commercial breaks,” a commission source explains. “Period.”

Debate moderator Lester Holt does not have the authority to cut away from the stage during the epic 90-minute showdown. And microphone audio for either of the candidates is not to be manipulated.

Clinton has experienced severe coughing episodes throughout the election year. During a Labor Day campaign stop she suffered a 4-minute choking marathon.

Monday’s throwdown could top out at 100 million viewers, making it the biggest political event in history.”

 

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