Newsletter: Essential Politics: This is what an unshackled Donald Trump does on the campaign trail


If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton would scramble to the end to turn out the vote, consider these words of warning from her special guest in Miami-Dade on Tuesday.

Former Vice President Al Gore evoked the ghosts of the 2000 election while campaigning for the Democratic nominee. “Your vote really, really, really counts,” he said. “You can consider me as Exhibit A.”

I’m Christina Bellantoni, and this is Essential Politics.

Clinton’s focus might be turnout among the Democratic base, but Donald Trump is all over the map when it comes to the Republican Party. Tuesday found Trump lashing out against the GOP in an unprecedented embrace of intraparty warfare — especially with just weeks to go until the election.

Throughout the day, Trump signaled that pursuing his personal feud with top establishment Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan or Arizona Sen. John McCain would take priority for him over preserving what unity is left in the Republican Party.

Noah Bierman and Evan Halper report that worried chatter about what this could do to the vote on Nov. 8 only seemed to irritate Trump further. On the campaign trail, on television, at a private fundraiser and on Twitter, Trump promised he would embrace an even more caustic and outrageous campaign style now, at one point saying he was glad he can shed the “shackles.”

As if to make good on his promise, Trump released a jarring campaign advertisement feeding into conspiracy theories on the right about Clinton’s health.

But by the end of the day campaigning in the in the Florida Panhandle, Trump stuck to slamming Clinton and revelations from the WikiLeaks email dump, Melanie Mason reports from the Sunshine State.

What does any of this mean for Mike Pence? Bierman notices that the vice presidential nominee is now the most prominent establishment conservative speaking on Trump’s behalf, with all the risk and reward that entails.


The gerrymandering of districts that helped build the GOP congressional majority is now working to make the Trump-Republican Party fracture worse, Lisa Mascaro reports.

Here’s the dilemma: Republicans have to run from Trump to hold onto swing votes, even if that angers some core supporters. But in secure, heavily conservative GOP districts, Republicans face the opposite pressure: to cleave fast to Trump, who remains popular despite statements that have alienated many voters.

And while some other Republican lawmakers here have backed away from Trump over the last few days, at least three California House Republicans say they aren’t going anywhere, Sarah Wire reports.

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.


WikiLeaks has disclosed another large batch of what it says are hacked emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon appears to have been communicating last year with Justice Department officials about an open records lawsuit seeking access to the former secretary of State’s emails, according to one of the leaked messages.

Podesta is accusing Trump allies of being behind the leaks.


Rep. Loretta Sanchez may have helped craft a plan for Obama to defer deportation for people brought into the country illegally as children and undocumented parents of American citizens, but the record doesn’t show that she brought the issue to the president’s attention.

Sanchez, co-chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Immigration and Border Security Task Force, hasn’t played a public role in reforming U.S. immigration policy, and her comment during last week’s debate putting herself in the middle of the talks was a bit unexpected, Wire reports.


Come November, voters will weigh a proposition that seeks to restore bilingual education in California. The ballot measure seeks to repeal a law approved by voters in 1998 that requires all children to learn and speak only in English in public schools, unless parents request otherwise.

Supporters say the current policy places barriers on the development of bilingual and multilingual programs and harms students competing for jobs in a global economy, where knowing multiple languages is an asset. Opponents, most notably billionaire Ron Unz, author of the 1998 law and failed Senate candidate, contend the system is working.


Our team put together a ballot box guide to California’s 17 propositions. Learn our editorial board’s positions 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.


Less than a month is left before the November election, and California voters are seeing the proof in their mailboxes, hanging on their doorknobs and each time they turn on a computer or TV.

Have you received a barrage of campaign mailers this election season? Are you bombarded with information about local races and propositions? We want to hear from you.

Send images of campaign mailers and door-hangers, mp3 recordings of robo calls or links to web ads to politics@latimes.com. Include your name, city, state and age, and tell us about the material you’re sharing.

Your submissions may be featured on our site.


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

President Obama, campaigning for Clinton in North Carolina, said Trump’s “Access Hollywood” comments would offend any “decent human being.”

— Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred, who has felled many a politician, is taking on Trump and his treatment of women.

— Pence had a fascinating exchange with a voter in Iowa Tuesday. “Our lives depend on this election,” a woman told him at his event. “If Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I’m ready for a revolution because we can’t have her in.” Pence’s response: “Don’t say that.”

— Democrats have a wide edge among Latino voters.

— A Spanish-language ad for Democratic candidate Emilio Huerta that focuses on his mother’s legacy in the Central Valley is hitting Spanish-language channels. He’s running against Rep. David Valadao and is counting on Latino voters to try to unseat the Republican.

— U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris released a pair of television ads that tout her efforts as state attorney general to protect children. Sanchez is expected to release her first general election campaign ad soon.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s famous pet Pembroke Welsh corgi, Sutter, has fallen critically ill and his prognosis from an animal hospital is “likely to be very poor.”

— On Tuesday, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ gun control PAC endorsed U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). The same day, onetime presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina campaigned for Bera’s Republican challenger, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, at a fundraiser.

— We took a look at the presidential nominees’ competing tax plans.

— I’ll be moderating a congressional debate between Rep. Steve Knight and Democratic challenger Bryan Caforio on Thursday evening in Palmdale. What would you ask? Tweet me your questions.

— Also Thursday, The Times’ Robin Abcarian will moderate a debate about Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana at the Los Angeles Press Club in Hollywood. It’s free and open to the public.

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


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