In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Donald Trump’s calls for vigilante poll watchers prompts all sorts of concerns -- for voters, for election workers and for other lawmakers on the ballot getting dragged into the mess. But for the Republican National Committee in particular the rhetoric brings up a very delicate but significant issue that has its roots in a 1981 court case that has had lasting implications for its Election Day activities.

Trump’s comments urging elections monitoring has drawn attention to the consent decree the RNC signed in 1982 that banned the very sort of “ballot security” measures Trump has encouraged from his supporters. If there’s reason to believe the RNC was participating, it could be found in violation of the decree, which could keep the committee under its restrictions for another eight years. That would be a major set back for the RNC, given the decree is set to expire in 2017.

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The criticisms of Donald Trump refusal to say that he would accept the results of the election were broad and impassioned, with even pundits on Fox News calling his answer at Wednesday's night's debate "political suicide," " a totally wrong answer" and "not the way we play politics."

"The headline out of this debate, as far as I can tell, is the refusal to say he would accept the results of the election. That doesn't happen usually in America," Brit Hume said. "It's newsworthy, it's controversial, it is a big deal. And so the question, is that something that will help him? I doubt it."

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Donald Trump presented a grossly inaccurate view of abortion in the United States, and not surprisingly, misled in his interpretation of Hillary Clinton's position on late-term abortions during the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night.

Trump described a world, where, if Clinton had her way, "you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby."

"Because based on what she is saying and based on where she's going and where she's been, you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb. In the ninth month. On the final day. That's not acceptable," he said.

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As Donald Trump amps up his allegations that the election will somehow be rigged against him, he and his surrogates have latched on to a myth that fraudulent votes somehow swung North Carolina to President Obama's favor in 2008.

Trump himself referenced the theory -- that was first put forward in a flimsy and controversial 2014 Washington Post op-ed -- from the stump in a speech in Wisconsin Monday evening, where he told the crowd, "It is possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina.”

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Donald Trump is engaging in an unprecedented campaign of voter fraud fear-mongering. Not only is he putting Americans’ trust in the bedrock of U.S. democracy at risk, but what he has urged his supporters to do -- in stump speeches across the country -- would, if carried out, likely be a form of illegal voter intimidation.

Civil rights groups are already gearing up for an especially tense Election Day. Meanwhile, the federal government has been hobbled by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling in its ability to monitor elections in places with histories of voter intimidation. Of particular concern are states with loose open carry laws, where already, some armed Trump supporters have shown an interest in making their presence known at voting sites.

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There was a moment in the second presidential debate that was so uncharted in American political history that it bears repeating: Donald Trump threatened to sic a special prosecutor on Hillary Clinton and jail her if he wins.

That chilling moment stood out even in one of the most dizzying weeks of a dizzying campaign, with Trump caught on tape bragging about groping women, numerous women coming forward to confirm he groped them, and him denying that these particular women were attractive enough for him to have groped. He also managed to insinuate that he didn't find Clinton all that attractive either, and he openly wondered why women weren't making similar sexual misconduct allegations about President Obama.

Former Republican Attorney General Michael Mukasey called Trump's debate barb that Clinton would be in jail if he were president a "watershed moment." The New York Times wrote this week how Trump's mere suggestion of locking up his political opponents reminded political scientists, not of American democracy, but of "troubled democracies abroad" in Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Historians who spoke with TPM about the way in which this election has defied the norms of presidential politics cited it as one of the starkest ways in which 2016 has– perhaps irreversibly– redefined our country's democratic system, but not the only one.

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It's a profound paradox that Donald Trump's deputy campaign manager David Bossie finds himself in today.

He is fighting for a candidate who is facing an onslaught of allegations that he groped and forcefully kissed women over several decades, the same kind of sexual impropriety that Bossie spent decades of his life alleging former President Bill Clinton was involved in.

Bossie helped write the playbook against the Clintons. He personally hit the pavement and investigated Clinton's sexual improprieties under the guise of moral superiority. His reputation on the House's Oversight Committee was that of a man laser-focused on uncovering every facet of Whitewater no matter how obscure.

"The secret spinner," Newsweek dubbed him in a 1996 profile where it chronicled his devotion to unmasking the Clintons as the corrupt face of American politics.

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SPRINGFIELD, MO – Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) was having a good day on the campaign trail, when yet another Donald Trump controversy popped up. The biggest one yet.

Blunt had just finished up an event at his alma mater Missouri State University, where he got to inform the school's chorale group they would be performing at January’s inauguration, prompting joyous tears among the singers. He was on his way to an Obamacare roundtable with health insurance professionals, where he would be able to tease out GOP talking points against the Affordable Care Act, while showing off his policy chops.

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