Newsletter: Essential Politics: A party divided as Trump moves right along


It was a day that (further) exposed deep divisions within the Republican Party.

While House Speaker Paul D. Ryan signaled a partial break from Donald Trump, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus made clear the party is sticking with its nominee.

And the candidates moved right along as if little had changed.

I’m Christina Bellantoni. Welcome to Essential Politics. Four weeks from today, Americans will be voting for the next president.


Trump was back on the trail in Pennsylvania, seemingly ready to put the lingering controversy, and his subsequent apology, behind him. Melanie Mason reports from the Keystone State that Trump appeared more feisty than chastened on the stump and his faithful fans said they remained loyal even after the nominee’s rough weekend.

Hillary Clinton is launching a new television advertising campaign highlighting Republicans who say they’ll vote for her over Trump as a way to exploit GOP divisions.

Campaigning in Ohio, Clinton used Trump’s critique that she had done nothing over her three decades of work to line up her resume with his — saying she’d take the Osama bin Laden victory over “The Celebrity Apprentice” any day.


Speaking of Trump’s television career, our Entertainment team took a sharp look at reality show mogul Mark Burnett and the difficult position NBC finds itself in after a long relationship with Trump.


Trump shocked the political world with a surprise event before Sunday’s debate in which he was flanked by four women who have accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing. Three of them say the former president made unwanted sexual advances or raped them; the fourth, Kathy Shelton, criticized Hillary Clinton for representing the man accused of assaulting her as a child. (Records show Shelton was paid $2,500 by a pro-Trump super PAC.)

Evan Halper and Chris Megerian take a closer look at the allegations Trump is using to distract from his own problems with female voters.

And we remind readers that Trump once criticized these very women for their looks.


Clinton took a double-digit lead over Trump in a prominent national poll, as the Democratic ticket continued to push supporters to vote early. California’s voting officially kicked off, something Clinton championed Monday.

Get the latest from the campaign trail on Trail Guide and follow @latimespolitics. Check our daily USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times tracking poll at the top of the politics page.



With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Florida, Democrats asked Republican Gov. Rick Scott to give residents more time to register to vote in the crucial battleground state. Scott refused, but a federal judge appears sympathetic to Democrats’ argument. He ordered a one-day extension and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.


Mike Farrell rose to fame in the 1970s as Army doctor Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt on the popular television series “M*A*S*H” Over the past three decades, he has wielded that Hollywood fame to bring attention to social and political issues around the world. But perhaps his most significant impact in California, lawyers and advocates said, has been his work to end the death penalty.

Jazmine Ulloa profiles Farrell, the author of Proposition 62, which would abolish the practice and replace the punishment with life without parole. It is one of two competing measures voters will weigh on the Nov. 8 ballot. And he is not without his fierce opponents.


Our team put together a ballot box guide to California’s 17 propositions. Learn our Editorial Board’s position on each measure, and get in-depth coverage on everything from school bonds to condoms.

For in the moment coverage, keep an eye on our Essential Politics news feed.



— It’s back, and it’s going to be spectacular! Join me at another Los Angeles Times Debate Watch Party, Oct. 19 at the Ace Hotel. RSVP here.

— Former Orange County Republican Rep. Robert Dornan, who is a radio talk show host in Virginia, called Clinton the “most evil woman I’ve seen in politics.” But Dornan, who was known as “B-1 Bob” and lost his congressional seat to Loretta Sanchez in 1996, was a Ben Carson supporter in the primary and isn’t too hot on Trump. Asked if he’ll vote for Trump in November, he was blunt, telling Phil Willon: “I don’t know.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer has endorsed Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in his re-election fight against fellow Democrat Ro Khanna.

— Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence was back on the campaign trail Monday, praising his running mate.

— Our reporters annotated excerpts of the town hall debate. Check it out.

— An average audience of 66.5 million viewers tuned in.

— The Times’ Readers Rep explains how the Trump tapes tested our editorial standards and deadlines.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not a fan of national anthem protests.

— Our fashion team evaluated the awkwardly named bow on Melania Trump’s debate-night blouse.

— Who will win the November election? Give our Electoral College map a spin.


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