Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump rushed off stage briefly during rally

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Donald Trump begins his day in Florida and ends it in Colorado. Hillary Clinton heads to Florida and Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump is rushed off the stage in a chaotic moment at a Nevada rally but later returns

Donald Trump was rushed off stage during a rally in Reno on Saturday night by Secret Service agents, but he returned to finish his speech, the brief episode injecting a moment of uncertainty late into a long day of campaigning.

Someone in the crowd shouted “gun,” the Secret Service said, prompting a flurry of commotion. No weapon was found but a man was taken into custody, the agency said. He was released and told reporters he had been holding a sign that said “Republicans against Trump.”

“We will never be stopped, never ever be stopped,” said Trump when he arrived back on stage at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. “I want to thank the Secret Service; these guys are fantastic.”

Trump’s rally was his third stop — and state — of the day, and his rhetoric in Reno risked further inflaming Latinos and Asian Americans who plan to vote in Nevada on election day. He told graphic stories of murders committed by immigrants in the country illegally.

“A Trump administration will end this nightmare of violence,” he told the crowd.

Moments later, Secret Service agents surrounded Trump and rushed him off the stage. Chaos erupted in the crowd just in front of him. Heavily armed police and what appeared to be men wearing helmets leaped over barricades into the crowd.

Reporters traveling with Trump were not close enough to see exactly what was happening in the commotion, which went on for about six or seven minutes before the campaign ordered the journalists to leave the convention hall.

Uniformed officers wearing helmets and carrying what appeared to be machine guns were next to the press.

After several more minutes, reporters were ushered back into the hall and Trump resumed speaking. Trump thanked the Secret Service in a statement later Saturday.

With early signs of a surge in early voting by Latinos in Nevada, Trump alleged earlier in the rally, without evidence, that election officials in Las Vegas had left polls open beyond closing time so that Democrats could be bused in to vote against him.

“Folks, it’s a rigged system,” the Republican presidential nominee told a few thousand cheering supporters. “It’s a rigged system, and we’re going to beat it.”

Trump’s allegation came as he was devoting crucial hours of the campaign’s final weekend traveling to Nevada and Colorado, battlegrounds where Latino voters pose a serious challenge for a candidate whose signature proposal is a wall to keep Mexicans out of the U.S.

From the beginning of his campaign, Trump’s rallies have been boisterous affairs, but many have been peppered with dark moments as Trump drew protests for his divisive rhetoric and harsh stances on Latinos, Muslims and others.

Perhaps most notably, a campaign stop in Chicago in March was canceled after dissolving into chaos and some violence, with punches being thrown and a handful of people bloodied.

The next day in Ohio, Secret Service agents surrounded a startled Trump when a man hurdled a barrier and tried to come on stage. He was quickly detained.

And in July, a 19-year-old British man was arrested at a rally in Las Vegas after he tried to take a police officer’s gun inside a theater where Trump was to speak. The man, Michael Sanford, said he drove to the rally from California intending to kill Trump. He later pleaded guilty to related federal charges.

8 p.m.: This story was updated with a statement from the Secret Service.

7:20 p.m.: This story was updated with background on episodes at earlier Trump rallies.

6:50 p.m.: This story was updated with details from the rally.

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Obama tells blacks to vote, because ‘Barack is personally asking them’

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Obama extolled the virtues of Hillary Clinton and warned of the dangers of Donald Trump, and then he boiled it down to a personal appeal:

“I need you to go out and just nag the heck out of folks who aren’t voting,” Obama said Friday. “I need you to tell them that Barack is personally asking them.”

It was no coincidence that he took this message to Fayetteville State University, a historically black college in North Carolina, the battleground state with the highest percentage of black voters.

Troubled by early voting statistics, Obama is exhorting black voters to turn out for Clinton as they did for him. But Obama faces a host of challenges in trying to hand Clinton his share of record-breaking black votes in 2008 and 2012. Not only is he not on the ballot, but Democrats also worry that Donald Trump and the Republicans are trying to suppress black votes.

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Hillary Clinton set to focus on Michigan in final days

(John Locher / Associated Press)

It’s a reliably blue state in general elections, but Hillary Clinton’s campaign is not taking it for granted.

The Democratic nominee is set to hit the trail in Michigan on Monday, along with top surrogate President Obama. On Sunday her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will also visit the state.

An average of several recent polls from the Rust Belt state shows Clinton with a 5-percentage-point lead over Donald Trump, the Republican nominee.

Michigan hasn’t voted for a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Still, Trump has appealed to white blue collar voters, who are likely to help him in states like Michigan as well as Ohio and Iowa.

Clinton’s campaign says the strategic reason for stops in Michigan is simple: It doesn’t have early voting, so now is the ideal time to rally supporters.

“We have tried to calibrate our schedule to be in states at the peak time for voting,” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said Saturday. “Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire have nearly all ballots cast on election day.”

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A long line and lots of patience as voters cast early ballots in Ohio

A crisp fall day of possibilities beckoned, so what were thousands of Ohioans doing this fine Saturday?

Standing patiently in line, waiting to vote.

In a scene rare for most American elections — though becoming common in recent weeks — Franklin County residents showed up en masse on Saturday to cast ballots before Tuesday’s election.

Traffic was jammed for miles around. The scene was as boisterous as it was touching, with food and drinks being passed out and catchy music playing.

Republican and Democratic volunteers touted their candidates to a line of people that stretched hundreds and hundreds of yards from the elections office, sandwiched between a video games seller and a music store in a strip mall.

Ed Leonard, director of the elections board, said the county, one of the most contested in a contested state, was headed for another day of giant turnout.

“Yesterday we exceeded the total number of early votes from all of 2012, and we still have three days to go,” said Leonard, estimating that a little under 6,000 people would pass through the line and into the voting booths on Saturday.

Eric Pinkett, the retired director of transportation for Columbus’ school district, said he was drawn to the early voting site by the presidential race.

“I just wanted to get it done early,” Pinkett said. On Tuesday, he plans to spend the day helping to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton.

Like Pinkett, many in the crowd were African American, a group among whom early voting rates have ebbed this year compared with President Obama’s two elections.

“Apathy,” Pinkett said when asked why the enthusiasm level was lower this year.

“President Obama is a hard act to follow. He’s very charismatic, very articulate. He really inspires people.”

“Hillary is more of a doer, not the fire-me-up person, but she’s in there getting it done.”

Pinkett said he spent a little less than an hour waiting in line, about average for the day. Afterward, he was headed to find out how he could help Clinton in the campaign’s closing days.

The crowd in Columbus was mostly young and nonwhite, two categories that would seem to play in Clinton’s favor.

Before Saturday, about 30,000 Franklin County early voters were Democrats and another roughly 30,000 were unaffiliated, the elections director Leonard said. Just over 10,000 were Republicans.

At least two of them also waited their turn in line Saturday, to cast ballots for Donald Trump.

One Trump supporter said she came because she’d be out of town on election day; another said she would be working a 12-hour shift Tuesday, making voting that day impossible.

“I’m from Arkansas; I know all about Hillary Clinton,” said the second woman, who would not give her name. So how did she vote?

“Republican all the way.”

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No proof that the RNC is working with Trump on vote monitoring efforts, judge says

A federal judge in New Jersey has turned down Democrats’ request to slap sanctions on the Republican National Committee, saying there’s no evidence that the national party itself is conducting prohibited “ballot integrity” operations.

In a ruling Saturday, U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez said lawyers for the Democratic National Committee failed to prove that the RNC was working on such measures with Donald Trump, who has repeatedly exhorted supporters to go into “certain areas” to make sure the election is not being stolen.

The RNC has been governed by a consent decree in a case here ever since 1982, following a state election in which groups of men went to voting places in minority areas saying they were part of a “National Ballot Security Task Force.” Democratic lawyers argued that the court should step in and sanction the RNC in light of Trump’s comments, and a plan by Trump advisor Roger Stone to organize “Stop the Steal” squads to quiz voters leaving the polls.

But the judge noted that the court decree applies only to the national committee, not state Republican parties or the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the RNC have tried to distance themselves from Trump’s comments. The general counsel for the RNC, John Phillippe, has told the Trump campaign that the committee would not be participating in any attempts to scout for voting fraud on election day.

Another Republican lawyer on Friday said at a hearing that the RNC doesn’t control Trump and can’t be held accountable for his calls to supporters to stop a rigged election.

Those Trump statements have spawned similar last-minute court cases around the country. On Friday, a federal judge in Ohio issued an order barring Trump and Stone from any conduct to harass or intimidate voters on election day.

In his ruling, Vazquez also denied the Democrats’ request to extend the consent decree beyond next year, when it’s set to expire. However, the judge left open the possibility that Democrats could use the case to dig deeper into any Republican voter suppression operations after the election.

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Speaker Paul Ryan is back on board with Trump

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is back on the Trump train.

The Republican never has been an enthusiastic supporter, most recently saying he would vote for the party’s presidential nominee but not campaign for him, following Donald Trump’s comments of lewd behavior toward women. But on Saturday, Ryan made a final case for the GOP presidential candidate.

“Take a look at what a unified Republican government can get you. And then vote Republican — Donald Trump, our Senate candidates, and our House candidates — so we can start turning things around,” Ryan wrote on “If Republicans do not turn out — if we sit this one out — we will open the door not just to Hillary Clinton, but also a Democratic Congress eager to give her a blank check.”

Ryan is crisscrossing his home state of Wisconsin after having campaigned for Republicans in states across the nation to save the GOP majority in Congress. He is working the final days before Tuesday’s election to help fellow Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who is in a tight reelection battle against Democratic former Sen. Russ Feingold.

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Obama on voter suppression: ‘If you actually want to vote, then you can vote’

(Saul Loeb/Getty Images )

Voter suppression is a major concern among Democrats, especially in battleground states where Republican-led legislatures have altered voting laws.

But with three days until the election, President Obama says he isn’t buying it.

“We disempower ourselves all the time. You can’t tell me that all those folks who don’t vote are doing so because somebody’s turned them away or somebody’s intimidated them, no,” he said in an interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC on Friday night. “It’s because they decided they had something better to do.”

Obama has campaigned furiously for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, in recent weeks, urging voters — primarily African Americans — to the polls to support her.

Record turnout among blacks helped propel Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012 in states like Florida and Ohio. So far, as expected, turnout based on early voting is down among blacks in those states. In an effort to boost turnout, Clinton has turned to musical artists, such as Beyonce and Jay Z, to host concerts.

In his interview with Sharpton, Obama added, “The notion that somehow voter suppression is keeping you from voting, as systematic as Republicans have tried to make voting more difficult for minorities, for Democrats, for young people, the truth of the matter is, if you actually want to vote, then you can vote.”

On Monday, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, will join Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, for a get-out-the-vote rally in Philadelphia.

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Hillary Clinton cuts rally short after downpour, but not before racing around South Florida hunting for votes

A Hillary Clinton rally was cut short by a downpour here on Saturday, but not before she raced around the state in a down-to-the-wire effort to drum up excitement in this crucial battleground state.

Her schedule was a reminder of the tightly disciplined campaign her team has run, with events and messages carefully tailored to individual communities on whose votes she is counting.

The first stop was a West Miami community center where people have been voting early, a big focus for Clinton as she tries to lock down support — particularly from Latinos — before election day arrives.

Clinton worked the rope line alongside Jencarlos Canela, an actor and singer born in Miami to Cuban parents. “We’re going to do this,” she told supporters.

Then Clinton beelined to a storefront field office in the Little Haiti neighborhood, where she pledged to be a good partner in the White House.

“I care so much about doing this. But I can’t do any of it unless I win,” she said. “Let’s make it happen.”

It already was starting to rain, and Clinton carried an umbrella back to the motorcade, which whisked her to Pembroke Pines for a rally. Broward County is a Democratic stronghold, where Clinton wants to run up the score in order to secure a statewide victory.

It began pouring a few minutes after she took the stage, and Clinton kept her remarks short.

“Let’s get out! Let’s vote for the future!” she said.

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Supreme Court says Arizona may punish some who deliver mail-in ballots to polling places

The Supreme Court weighed in on behalf of Arizona’s Republican leaders Saturday and cleared the way for them to enforce a new state law that makes it a felony for anyone other than family members and caregivers to deliver mail-in ballots to official polling places.

The high court in a brief order with no registered dissents blocked a ruling of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which on Friday had halted enforcement of the new law.

It is not clear what will happen now. County election officials had said they did not plan to vigorously enforce the new law. However, the Arizona Republican Party said it was training volunteers to watch and report people who were seen dropping off ballots.

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Melania Trump appears briefly on the campaign trail

Melania Trump made a rare campaign appearance with her husband in North Carolina on Saturday as he tried to lock down one of the tightest battleground states.

“We both treasure freedom and democracy that America stands for, and we both treasure honest and patriotic Americans like you,” Trump’s wife told supporters at an airport hangar rally where North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who is fighting for reelection, also briefly appeared.

Trump, who planned to campaign later in the day in Nevada and Colorado, called Democratic rival Hillary Clinton “the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the presidency.”

“If she ever got into the Oval Office, Hillary and her special interests would rob this country blind,” he said.

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Sheldon Adelson has his sights — and his money — set on defeating legal marijuana

(Justin Lane/AP)

After doling out nearly $100 million four years ago to help Republican presidential hopefuls, Las Vegas casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson has spent nowhere near that total this election cycle.

But in a late push to defeat a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana in Nevada, Adelson is opening his pocketbooks locally.

In the past month, Adelson, who owns the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which oversees resorts nationwide, has spent $3.3 million to defeat the state’s legal marijuana effort.

Measures to legalize pot are on the ballot in five states: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

Public approval of legal marijuana is accelerating, similar to the country’s quick evolution in favor of same-sex marriage.

Still, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have not endorsed legalization efforts.

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Anthony Weiner’s sexting and Jay Z’s salty language are on Donald Trump’s mind 3 days before the election

Donald Trump couldn’t resist a lewd joke Saturday as he reveled in the FBI’s search of a “treasure trove” of email for links to Hillary Clinton’s private server, messages that were found on the computer of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

“Anthony Weiner has probably every classified email ever sent,” Trump told a few thousand supporters here at a morning rally. “And knowing this guy, he probably studied every single one in between using his machine for other purposes.”

After days of adhering closely to prepared remarks, the Republican nominee loosened up as he opened the final weekend of his run for president in the crucial battleground of Florida, the state he calls his “second home.”

Trump joked about the profanity used by rapper Jay Z at a Clinton rally Friday in Cleveland.

“I actually like Jay Z, but you know the language last night oooooohhhh. Oooooohhhhh,” said Trump, whose own foul language is featured in Clinton’s advertising. “Can you imagine if I said that? He used every word in the book.

“I’ve never said what he said in my life, but that shows you the phoniness of politicians, and the phoniness of the whole system,” Trump said.

For the second day in a row, Trump made a point of mentioning a Texas supporter, state Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller, who slapped Clinton with a vulgar term in a tweet this week.

When a heckler interrupted Trump, the crowd booed, and Trump called out to security: “Get ’em out.”

Trump turned his ire next toward the news media penned behind metal barricades in the center of the room “these lying, thieving people back here.” His supporters turned around and booed loudly.

Trump went on to make fun of President Obama for his difficulty in getting a Clinton rally crowd to stop harassing a protester this week. “Just like the way he runs the country: Nobody listens to him,” Trump said.

Trump scanned the overwhelmingly white crowd waving campaign signs.

“Oh, I love those signs: ‘Blacks for Trump,’ ” said Trump, who is highly unpopular among African Americans.

“That seems to be the big surprise so far of this election blacks for Trump,” he said.

He later vowed to fix the problems of blacks with no education and no jobs in urban neighborhoods so dangerous that they get shot when they walk down the street to buy a loaf of bread.

“To the African American community, I say: What the hell do you have to lose?” he said to a round of applause.

Trump also was cheered when he vowed to “cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations,” a pledge not universally welcomed in a low-lying state where cities already are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to cope with periodic flooding brought on by rising sea levels.

When Trump broached immigration, the crowd chanted, “Build that wall!”

“You know what? The harder they fight us, the higher it goes,” he responded.

His main focus, though, was Clinton. The presidency, he said, requires a lot of energy, but “she goes home and she goes to sleep.”

Obama’s Justice Department protected her from criminal prosecution for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of State, he claimed. Anybody else “would have been in jail two years ago.”

“Lock her up!” the crowd chanted over and over. “Lock her up!”

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In weekly GOP address, Donald Trump calls for help in ‘electing Republican majority in Congress’

(Chris O’Meara/AP)

He’s battled with Republicans since he entered the presidential race, but on Saturday, it was all about unity for Donald Trump.

Delivering the Republican weekly address ahead of election day, a tradition for the party’s nominee, Trump called for unity as he seeks to defeat Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

“I’m asking for your vote and your help in electing a Republican majority in Congress,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, after audio surfaced of Trump making lewd comments about women, many Republicans denounced his candidacy, and some have called on him to step aside.

On the campaign trail, as Democratic rival Hillary Clinton boasts high-profile surrogates like President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Trump has mostly campaigned alone, still drawing crowds in the tens of thousands.

In the weekly address, Trump looked back to a speech he gave last month in Gettysburg, Pa., where he outlined his first 100 days in office if elected.

“We will also immediately fix our terrible trade deals and stop the jobs from leaving our country,” he said, adding his plan “includes a pledge to end illegal immigration, and end it rapidly.”

Trump is on the campaign trail in four states on Saturday, holding rallies across the country from Florida to Colorado.

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TV news prepares for a record-setting election night with Trump vs. Clinton

(AFP/Getty Images)

If the wild, unpredictable 2016 presidential campaign is a reality show starring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, think of election night as the series finale.

Based on the record-shattering ratings for the debates and all-time audience highs for the cable news networks during the past year, it’s likely that Tuesday will be the most-watched night of election coverage ever.

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Donald Trump is racing across seven states in the campaign’s final weekend

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

With the election just three days away, Donald Trump set off Saturday morning on a closing weekend circle of the nation, with stops planned in Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The Republican presidential nominee has had trouble matching the star power of rival Hillary Clinton’s entertainment lineup for the campaign’s closing days.

The morning after Clinton’s appearance in Cleveland with Beyoncé and Jay Z, comedian Joe Piscopo warmed up a few thousand Trump supporters at the candidate’s rally Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

On Friday night, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus opened for Trump at a packed sports arena in Hershey, Pa.

With polls showing a tight race to the finish, Trump has been careful to minimize the risk of any last-minute mistakes.

He has been sticking closely to prepared remarks on blocking Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and other staples of his campaign, including scathing rhetorical assaults on Clinton’s integrity.

With his packed weekend itinerary, Trump is trying to overcome Clinton’s edge in nearly every state where he plans to campaign. Polls show Trump running slightly ahead in Iowa, but a bit behind in Florida, North Carolina and Nevada.

He is struggling to overcome Clinton’s wider leads in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Read more on the key battleground states >>

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Hillary Clinton stumps in Florida and Pennsylvania

Hillary Clinton is campaigning in two crucial states on Saturday, starting in Florida and ending in Pennsylvania, where she hopes to cut off any chance Donald Trump has of winning the presidency.

Her first scheduled event is a rally in Pembroke Pines in Broward County, a Democratic stronghold where Clinton needs heavy support. She’s also counting on a surge in Latino turnout in the state.

Then Clinton flies to Philadelphia, where her campaign is holding a concert with pop star Katy Perry. The campaign has been holding a series of concerts to drum up excitement with young voters.

Unlike Florida, Pennsylvania does not have early voting, so Clinton is focusing more attention there in the closing days of the campaign.

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Democrats take slender early voting lead in Florida, look strong in Nevada

Democrats took a slight lead in Florida’s all-important early voting period Saturday after trailing slightly on Friday, according to statistics posted by state election officials.

But the margin is hardly one to sit on, a little more than 7,000 votes out of 5.7 million cast so far. More than a million voters are not registered to either of the major parties.

The trends are being watched carefully in Florida, which Donald Trump needs in almost any path to victory. And the state has proved extremely close in recent presidential elections.

Things are also looking up for Democrats in another top battleground state, Nevada, according to Dave Wasserman, who understands the numbers as well as anyone as an editor at the Cook Political Report.

Republicans and the Trump campaign believe they remain in a good position. They said on Friday they were outperforming Mitt Romney’s 2012 early voting numbers when combining ballot requests, return rates and early in-person voting in Florida, Iowa, Michigan and North Carolina.

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A Republican lawyer says the party can’t control what Donald Trump says about monitoring polls

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

For months, Donald Trump has whipped up supporters by directing them to go into cities with sizable minority populations to make sure the presidential election is fair.

“So important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen,” Trump said in Pennsylvania last month, encouraging people to watch voting in “certain areas.”

Those statements put the Republican National Committee in an uncomfortable spot. The party has been bound by a federal court consent decree for three decades that bars efforts to police the polls on election day, on the grounds that they might intimidate minority voters. In courtrooms across the country, Democratic lawyers are pushing for orders to prevent what they fear will be widespread GOP efforts to confront or harass voters on Tuesday.

On Friday, with Democrats seeking an injunction that finds the RNC violated the consent decree, an RNC lawyer told a federal judge in Newark, N.J., that the party can’t be held accountable for what Trump says.

“Is the [Democratic National Committee] really contending that the RNC has control of Donald Trump?” said the attorney, Bobby Burchfield. “That would be a news flash.”

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Our next president will inherit an extremely polarized electorate, California poll finds

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times))

In California, there’s at least one thing that Hillary Clinton supporters and Donald Trump supporters can agree on: If their candidate loses on election day, they want the victor put under a microscope by Congress.

The simmering hostility and hyperpolarized electorate may, at the very least, provide cover to politicians who continue with the partisan bickering and Washington gridlock that has frustrated voters for years.

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll asked likely California voters backing Clinton and Trump whether they wanted their member of Congress to “work with” or “act as a check and balance” on the newly elected president if their candidate loses Tuesday. Here’s what they said:

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Lopez: Here’s your Democracy in Action index as our national mud bath enters its final days

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)


We don’t know what awaits us Wednesday morning and beyond. But we know that the most hostile, vulgar, sensational, depressing, divisive, racially charged and humiliating mud bath many of us have ever witnessed is about to leave a permanent stain on the history books.

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In Orange County, mostly white residents heed Donald Trump’s call to be on the lookout for voter fraud

This year’s contentious election has led some people in California to sign up to monitor polling stations. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Linda Reedy has long been convinced that voter fraud was afoot, with ballots cast even by people who were not American citizens.

But it wasn’t until after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump began to sound the drumbeat of rigged elections and asked supporters — particularly in hotly contested battleground states — to monitor polling stations that the 53-year-old Laguna Niguel resident finally heeded the call of the election day poll observer.

Reedy not only trained to become an observer, she opened her home this week for others to learn from a coordinator for the private Election Integrity Project how to keep an eye out for irregularities on Tuesday.

“I just want to make sure that people who are eligible to vote are able to vote,” Reedy said. “And that they aren’t being cheated or manipulated by any party.”

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Opinion: Real conservatives warn of the perils of a Trump presidency

(David Horsey / Los Angeles Times )

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