German Lopez, Vox: There will be no more presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Hopefully.) The final debate looked, at first, like it could have been pretty normal. At the start, there were some Trumpy moments -- but for the most part, it appeared like both candidates, thanks to Trump's slightly better behavior, were going to mostly stick to the issues. Then Trump happened. By the end of the debate, Trump had insulted Latino immigrants in Spanish, continued to say that he would not concede the election if he lost, and called Clinton "such a nasty woman." In many ways, it was a fitting end to what's been a very odd election season.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: The presidential campaign is entering its final weeks, and unless the polls are completely off, Donald Trump has very little chance of winning -- only 7 percent, according to the Times' Upshot model. ... Everyone who endorsed Trump in the past owns him now; it's far too late to get a refund. And voters should realize that voting for any Trump endorser is, in effect, a vote for Trumpism, whatever happens at the top of the ticket. First of all, nobody who was paying attention can honestly claim to have learned anything new about Trump in the last few weeks. So any politicians who try after the election to distance themselves from the Trump phenomenon -- or even unendorse in these remaining few days -- have already failed the character test. They knew who he was all along, they knew that this was a man who should never, ever hold any kind of responsible position, let alone become president. Yet they refused to speak out against his candidacy as long as he had a chance of winning -- that is, they supported him when it mattered, and only distanced themselves when it didn't. That's a huge moral failure, and deserves to be remembered as such. read more
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Donald Trump is not necessarily a better candidate than Hillary Clinton when it comes to appointing Supreme Court justices and said Republicans wouldn't approve any Clinton nominee to the Supreme Court. "I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up," McCain said Monday. "I promise you. This is where we need the majority." McCain said he didn't know if Trump would be the advocate conservative voters need to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia's empty seat on the court. "I don't know because I hear [Trump] saying a lot of different things," McCain said.
Donald Trump vowed Saturday to sue the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct in recent weeks. "Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign," Trump said during remarks in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. "Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over." In the last two weeks, at least 10 women have come forward accusing Trump of inappropriately touching them. Their allegations came after a 2005 videotape surfaced of Trump bragging about being able to grope women and get away with it. Trump often threatens to file lawsuits without actually doing so.
Hillary Clinton won the final presidential debate, topping Donald Trump by a 13-point margin according to a CNN/ORC poll of debate watchers, giving Clinton a clean sweep across all three of this year's presidential debates. Overall, 52% who watched tonight's matchup thought Clinton did the best job, to the 39% that thought Trump did. She also won the YouGov poll, 49 percent to 39 percent.
John Cassidy, The New Yorker: The real value of the WikiLeaks documents is one the hackers may not have intended. The documents, particularly the speech extracts, portray Hillary Clinton as she is: a hard-headed centrist who believes that electoral politics inevitably involve making compromises, dealing with powerful interest groups, and, where necessary, amending unpopular policy positions. Addressing a General Electric Global Leadership Meeting in January, 2014, she said, "I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be." Answering a question in March, 2014, at an event organized by Xerox, she said that the country needs two "sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties." These sentiments won't win over many [Bernie] Sanders supporters. But they might actually reassure moderate Democrats, independents, and even some Trump-loathing Republicans who are thinking about crossing party lines. read more
Justin Levitt, Washington Post: I've been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the court. And since then, I've been following reports wherever they crop up. ... To be clear, I'm not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix. So far, I've found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below. To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period. read more
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin topped both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a new Utah poll released Wednesday. The survey, from Emerson College, showed that McMullin had 31 percent of support -- while Trump had 27 percent and Clinton had 24 percent in the state. The margin of error for the poll was 3.6 percent, according to a release detailing the results. McMullin, a Mormon businessman who was formerly a CIA operative, had been climbing in recent Utah polls as Trump struggled in the state.
Hillary Clinton has vaulted to a double-digit advantage in the inaugural ABC News 2016 election tracking poll, boosted by broad disapproval of Donald Trump on two controversial issues: His treatment of women and his reluctance to endorse the election's legitimacy. Likely voters by a vast 69-24 percent disapprove of Trump's response to questions about his treatment of women. After a series of allegations of past sexual misconduct, the poll finds that some women who'd initially given him the benefit of the doubt have since moved away. All told, Clinton leads Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in the national survey, her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent.
Early voting kicked off on Thursday in the key swing state of North Carolina, and voters turned out to the polls in droves. Across the state, but especially in the urban centers of Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem, voters waited for hours to cast a ballot. The heated races for president, governor, and senator are certainly driving the high turnout, but cuts to early voting sites in some counties and the elimination of straight-ticket voting may be exacerbating long wait times. read more