In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A slew of post-convention polls has set the stage for the rest of the presidential race, and Donald Trump has a long way to go.

The first batch of top line numbers are in, and they show Hillary Clinton pulling away from the narrow lead she had over Trump going into last month’s conventions. Her lead, in polls taken in the last few days, varies from three to nine percentage points, depending on which poll you’re looking at.

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At some point, when gearing up to run for president for a second time, Hillary Clinton decided that she was not going to run away from the reality that she could be the first female presidential nominee of a major party ticket. Judging by the reception her achievement received in Philadelphia this week, it was a wise decision.

In interviews with TPM throughout the Democratic National Convention, Clinton delegates brought up -- often unprompted -- the historical nature of her nomination, a milestone her campaign has also embraced.

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PHILADELPHIA -- After six years of dozens of Obamacare repeal votes, campaign ads in which GOP candidates literally blow the law into smithereens, and a consistent political tenor that has treated the Affordable Care Act as if it was the most divisive piece of legislation passed in American history, Hillary Clinton believes she can bring Republicans to the table to make it better, rather than destroy it.

Or at least, that’s what her advisers say, many of them appearing on panels and mingling at events during the Democratic National Convention attended by lobbyists, advocates and other professionals with vested interests in the law.

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PHILADELPHIA – Eight years after President Barack Obama made history and won his party’s nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver, African-American voters at the convention in Philadelphia are reflecting on what that victory has meant for them and whether Hillary Clinton– a pioneer on the gender frontier –will be able to pick up where he left off.

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PHILADELPHIA – After Donald Trump's blockbuster press conference Wednesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) predicts that even her Republican colleagues might be plotting to go into the voting booth come November and cast their ballot clandestinely for Hillary Clinton.

"I will tell you this. I would bet serious money that most of my Republican colleagues vote for Hillary Clinton," McCaskill told TPM in a sit-down interview Wednesday. "They care that much about their country. There will be some that won't ... it will be a secret, but I have an awful lot of confidence in a lot of my Republican colleagues."

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PHILADELPHIA-- Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and Defense secretary, slammed Donald Trump and the comments that he made Wednesday suggesting the Russians should hack Hillary Clinton's emails and release them publicly.

"In my over 50 years in public life, this is the screwiest damn election I've ever seen," Panetta said.

After noting that he had served under nine presidents, Republican and Democratic, Panetta said, "This is the first election where there's only one candidate who has the experience, temperament, the understanding of the world to be commander-in-chief."

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PHILADELPHIA – If there was anything the delegates at the Democratic convention had in common with many of their Republican counterparts in Cleveland, it's that they never expected Donald Trump to top the GOP ticket. But his unlikely takeover of the Republican Party has raised the stakes and added new dimensions to the coming election --for Hillary Clinton supporters and her progressive skeptics alike.

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