With an intense and combative debate behind her and top Republicans privately questioning whether to revoke their support for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is looking to run up the score – banking as many votes as she can now before a race with no shortage of twists and turns takes another one.
On Monday, Clinton will campaign in two battleground states, with two deadlines in mind. She arrives first in Detroit on the eve of Michigan’s voter registration deadline, to urge supporters in the heavily Democratic city to ensure they and their friends will be able to cast a ballot on election day.
Then in Ohio she will highlight early voting, which begins there Tuesday.
Donald Trump’s supporters are now citing one more reason they believe the presidential debates are rigged against him: seating arrangements.
A plan by the Trump campaign to seriously rattle Hillary Clinton was thwarted at the last minute, when the Commission on Presidential Debates warned campaign officials not to seat some of Trump’s guests in the candidate’s family box, as first reported by the Washington Post.
But these were no ordinary guests. These were three women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting them, and a fourth who charges Hillary Clinton with callously defending in court the man accused of raping her as a child. Trump advisor Rudolph Giuliani told the Post the seating plan was designed to make a scene.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will not campaign with Donald Trump and told House GOP lawmakers to make their own decisions on whether to support the presidential nominee.
The speaker has long said his priority was to save the House majority, but his explicit refusal to defend Trump at a crucial time was a stunning acknowledgement of the potential electoral loss.
Trump chastised the speaker for his comments. "Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee,'' Trump tweeted.
At least one of the women Donald Trump invited as his guest to the debate Sunday night as part of his effort to paint Bill and Hillary Clinton as victimizers of women received a cash payment from a pro-Trump organization.
A super PAC founded by former Trump campaign senior advisor Roger Stone has paid $2,500 to Kathy Shelton, an Arkansas woman sexually assaulted as a child by a man whom Hillary Clinton was appointed to represent in court. Trump called out Clinton for her work on the case during a testy exchange Sunday, as he sought to deflect attention from the recently disclosed video in which Trump appears to brag about sexually assaulting woman.
The payment, first reported by the Associated Press, came in May from the Committee to Restore America's Greatness PAC. Campaign finance records describe it as being made for "contract labor.” Stone told the AP that Shelton "was extensively interviewed on video about her experience with Hillary Clinton and was paid for her time."
Congress is on recess with lawmakers scattered around the country on the campaign trail. Republican leaders arranged the call as they navigate the fallout from the tape of Trump's sexually aggressive comments about women.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appears to be fully on board with the Trump campaign. The vice presidential nominee, during interviews on cable news shows, threw cold water on talk that he had considered bolting from the ticket after the disclosure of a videotape featuring Trump’s boasts of sexually assaulting women.
“It is absolutely false to think at any time we considered dropping off this ticket,” Pence said on CNN. “I look forward to campaigning shoulder to shoulder with Donald Trump.”
Pence also waved away the disagreement his running mate said the two have about how to handle the civil war in Syria, saying the debate moderator Sunday night misrepresented Pence’s position.
Another reminder that focus groups can be an exceedingly unreliable reflection of the wider electorate came last night when two widely publicized snap-studies of undecided voters reached exactly opposite conclusions.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz reported that the voters he had been watching were so impressed by Donald Trump that he is back in the race. The Luntz focus group has been extensively covered by mainstream news networks, including CBS.
But over at CNN, the voters assembled might as well have been watching a different event. They said Trump got crushed. Only one undecided voter in the group of 29 said Trump had won the debate.
Confronted with a videotape in which he appeared to be bragging about sexually assaulting women, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded by lashing out at rival Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton. He held a news conference before the debate that included women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, and then he invited them to be his guests at Sunday night's second presidential debate. He spoke highly of them during in a heated debate exchange in which he accused the Clintons of far worse misdeeds than himself.
But Trump has not always spoken so favorably of the Clinton accusers. In fact, the last time they dominated the news, he described the situation as being “from hell” and the accusers as a “really unattractive group.”
“I don't necessarily agree with his victims, his victims are terrible,” Trump said during a 1998 interview with Fox News. “He is really a victim himself. But he put himself in that position.”
Hillary Clinton won Sunday night's debate by a wide margin, according to a CNN/ORC poll of people who watched. Of those polled, 57% said they found Clinton the victor. After the first presidential debate, an even larger margin of viewers polled by CNN/ORC had concluded Clinton won.