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Essential Politics: Trump gets hit with more accusations and fires back

Essential Politics: Trump gets hit with more accusations and fires back
(LAT)

By the time the votes are cast on Nov. 8, this may turn out to be the most important "year of the woman" election ever held.

Yes, that term has been used before. But in 2016, in the campaigns of both major presidential candidates, the voices of women are louder than ever before.

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Good morning from the state capital. I'm Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers, and Thursday begins with another furious round of stories examining allegations made by women against Donald Trump for his past behavior.

On Wednesday afternoon, the New York Times broke the story of two women from different generations coming forward to accuse the GOP nominee of inappropriate advances. Team Trump immediately fired back, arguing it was unfair to "reach back decades" for the accusations.

Which is, of course, exactly what Trump's campaign has done in its effort to attack former President Bill Clinton.

News of other accusations broke late Wednesday night, and Trump's lawyers then demanded a retraction of the original story.

Meantime, some of the Republicans who excoriated Trump last week over the shocking 2005 video seemed to have backed off from their outrage when it comes to whom to vote for on election day.

Trump, campaigning in Florida on Wednesday, chalked up the state of the race to a "sinister deal" involving the Washington, D.C. establishment, the media and more.

It's hard to believe all of this won't again surface in the final presidential debate, next Wednesday night -- even though the debate is now slated to focus on the future of the U.S. Supreme Court and the candidates' stances on illegal immigration.

THE (TOBACCO) ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE

Thanks to my colleague Christina Bellantoni for filling in on newsletter duty on Tuesday, as I struggled to make my way back from hurricane flooding in my home state, North Carolina. And everywhere I went, there was a flurry of Trump and Clinton yard signs.

Tobacco Road, as we call North Carolina, may now be a key to winning the White House. Lisa Mascaro takes a closer look at the Tar Heel state's role in this election, and how Democrats think there's a way to win in a Republican-dominated state that seemed out of reach.

FLORIDA VOTER DEADLINE EXTENDED

In the nation's biggest battleground state, Florida, voters are getting more time to register to vote. It's a victory for Democrats, who sued to extend the deadline over the objections of Republican Gov. Rick Scott. The federal judge agreed that Hurricane Matthew, which forced evacuations in some areas of Florida, made it necessary to push back the date until Oct. 18.

MILLENNIAL VOTERS IN THE SUNSHINE STATE

Contrary to its stereotype as a retirement haven for those escaping the cold of the East Coast or Midwest, Florida now has more millennials than it does residents over the age of 65.

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Mark Z. Barabak writes that it's these voters, key to victories by President Obama, who are now a major target -- and question mark -- for Hillary Clinton.

CLINTON NOW TOPS TRUMP IN OUR TRACKING POLL

For the first time in a long time, Clinton has topped Trump in the USC/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll. The poll has generated a lot of attention over the past few months because of its unique methodology.

Questions about the poll? David Lauter has our FAQ.

EMAILS CONTINUE TO SURFACE AS CLINTON RALLIES

Clinton was in another closely watched battleground state on Wednesday: Colorado. There, she attempted to laugh off a few hecklers, even as reports surfaced that some are organizing to try to highlight her husband's past indiscretions.

Even so, the Democratic nominee continues to find the apparent emails of her closest advisers being published for public consumption. On Wednesday, emails published by Wikileaks offered a glimpse into the Clinton team's press strategy, and how long she could avoid questions from reporters.

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.

TWO, YES TWO, PLASTIC BAG PROPOSITIONS ON NOVEMBER'S BALLOT?

When voters go down the list of the 17 statewide propositions on their ballots this November, they could be confused when they reach two measures placed there by a trade group seeking to overturn the state's landmark 2014 ban on plastic bags.

Javier Panzar takes a look at the differences between Proposition 67, a referendum asking voters whether to keep or kill the bag ban law, and Proposition 65, an initiative that would send the proceeds from paper bag sales to a state fund for environmental projects.

ONE HANDY GUIDE

Our team put together a ballot box guide to California's propositions. You can read our editorial board's positions on each measure, and get in-depth coverage on everything from school bonds to condoms.

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

WE WANT YOUR MAILERS!

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.

TODAY'S ESSENTIALS

-- George Skelton writes this morning that if only Trump had acted in the past year the way he did in the final few minutes of Sunday's debate, he'd be the favorite in the race.

-- Larry Flynt says he's thinking of moving to Canada if Trump wins on Nov. 8.

-- It's back, and it's going to be spectacular! Join me, Christina Bellantoni and Seema Mehta at another Los Angeles Times Debate Watch Party, Oct. 19 at the Ace Hotel. RSVP here.

--- Republican congressional hopeful Justin Fareed dropped his support for Trump over the weekend. Now his campaign is arguing semantics, saying his "personal support" of Trump during the primary did not constitute an actual endorsement.

-- The Democrat in a closely watched L.A. race for the Assembly bought campaign signs for his GOP opponent. And he added Trump's name to them.

-- The congressional challenge by longtime Democratic pol Richard Alarcon against fellow Democrat Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) isn't looking promising. Alarcon has raised only $29.80 in campaign cash. Now, he says he's not "actively campaigning" for the job.

-- Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $500,000 to the Proposition 56 campaign to increase the state's tobacco tax.

-- Christina Bellantoni is moderating a congressional debate between Rep. Steve Knight and Democratic challenger Bryan Caforio Thursday evening in Palmdale. What would you ask? Tweet her your questions.

-- Also Thursday, The Times' Robin Abcarian will moderate a debate about Proposition 64 and legalized 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.

LOGISTICS

Miss yesterday's newsletter? Here you go. Did someone forward you this? Sign up here to get Essential Politics in your inbox daily. And keep an eye on our politics page throughout the day for the latest and greatest. And are you following us on Twitter at @latimespolitics and @LATpoliticsCA? Please send thoughts, concerns and news tips to politics@latimes.com.

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