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Debate Live Blogging #3

10:10 PM: Trump's ignorance of basic military concepts is amazing.

10:09 PM: "I think it's basically fallen."

10:09 PM: "He and I haven't spoken. But I disagree."

10:06 PM: "We're old. We're tied and exhausted."

10:01 PM: This is a very different debate. The first 15 or 20 minutes were terrible for Trump. Since then he's done much better. It's hard to evaluate Trump because his manner is so caustic. But just in the most basic sense he's got in his key attacks against Hillary. So that's different. He does seem more prepared than he was on round one. Not a high bar, but more prepared.

9:53 PM: Trump said he and Putin were friends and had great chats.

9:51 PM: Trump's supporters in the audience sure seem pretty voluble.

9:46 PM: Lots of evidence that jihadis are rooting for a Trump presidency because they think he'll be the best thing that ever happened to them.

9:44 PM: Seems like one former RNC Chair thinks it's not going well.

Debate Live Blogging #2

9:42 PM: "In some form has morphed into an extreme vetting."

9:38 PM: Lie. This is an urban legend. No one saw bombs lying around.

9:36 PM: The moderators are being pretty hard on both candidates, which is good. But we're more than a half hour in and I think we've had maybe two audience questions?

9:29 PM: I had a few psychologists suggest to me after the first debate that Clinton had been coached on a method shrinks use to challenge and thus diagnose narcissists. I have no idea whether that's true. But she clearly has it in her mind to hit him with the ego injuries that make him blow up.

9:27 PM: At this point, Trump is basically running through the Breitbart table of contents.

9:24 PM: "Because you'd be in jail."

9:23 PM: I think this is probably the first time one presidential candidate threatened to jail the other one on stage.

9:21 PM: I don't know if others see it but Trump's run of Bill attacks feels like it just fell flat. Like okay, we've basically heard that all before. It's not kryptonite.

9:17 PM: And there we go. Billpocalypse.

9:16 PM: I'm sure Trumpers are going to be saying wonderful things about Raddatz and Anderson.

Apocalypse Debate Live Blogging #1

9:14 PM: It's almost like Clinton's got a very practiced way of engineering a Trump explosion.

9:12 PM: I can't believe any of this is happening.

9:11 PM: I've always wondered what that sudden inhale is.

9:10: PM: "Locker Room Talk" ...

9:07 PM: Note that Clinton here is passing on a chance at a pretty obvious attack.

9:06 PM: I guess we're past handshakes.

9:02 PM: Wow, Wolf Blitzer just asked whether so many family members in the hall will prevent both candidates from going into the gutter. Really, Wolf?

8:58 PM: Oh hey, did I mention I have a book about Trump and Trumpism coming out?

8:51 PM: Random debate trivia. Tonight's debate is being held on the campus of Washington University. That's actually where I spent a decent amount of my youngest years. From birth to 6 years old. My dad was a graduate student at Wash U and my mom worked there. They'd both been undergraduate students there - though from very different backgrounds and at different times. We lived in nearby U City. About half the pictures of me from when I was a little kid are running around the Wash U campus.

8:45 PM: I'm not predicting it. But I think there's a decent chance Trump doesn't mention Bill's history at all. It's hard to believe after all the build up. But he choked with the President of Mexico. He choked with the Pastor in Flint. He choked in debate number one with Hillary. He seldom goes there when his opponent is there in front of him. I figure he will. But don't be totally surprised if he doesn't.

8:42 PM: Astute and inspired debate blogging will appear here shortly.

You've Got To Be Kidding

Donald Trump just held a press conference in St. Louis 90 minutes before the debate with three of Bill Clinton's most prominent accusers, including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick. (The fourth woman sitting with Trump was a child rape victim whose attacker Hillary Clinton defended when she was a lawyer.)

Electoral Scoreboard Update

We'll be updating you every day from today to election day with our constantly updated TPM Electoral Scoreboard - bookmark it and return often. It includes every state poll when it's released. Today the Scoreboard stands at Clinton 341, Trump 186, as Ohio moves from Toss Up to Lean Clinton. Arizona is currently the only state in the Toss Up category. Click on the map below to visit the full-interactive TPM Electoral Scoreboard with detailed trend estimates, ratings and all the polls in every state.

Escape From This Deplorable Election!

If the build up of election awfulness is becoming too much for you, take a time out to listen to the 5th episode of my new podcast where we travel back three thousand years to the twilight of the Bronze Age to talk to historian and archeologist Eric Cline about his fascinating book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed. Truly fascinating stuff.


Yesterday I noted that there were two conversations going on in the GOP. One is party elites and officeholders finally distancing themselves or fully cutting ties with Donald Trump. The other is GOP voters themselves. They only started to make themselves heard yesterday afternoon when they booed and heckled Paul Ryan, Nevada Senate candidate Joe Heck and others in afternoon rallies. We can now see them in a fuller light in the first post-Trump Tape poll.

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Keep This In Mind

As we see numerous elected Republicans disavow Donald Trump and withdraw their support, let's remember the endless number of things that they were willing to tolerate. Everything. The whole list. If this was too much, all the rest was apparently okay. But there's another point too. Donald Trump has never been ahead through the entire race. But he's been on a full skid since the first presidential debate on September 26th. For anyone who had eyes to see it, it was clear before yesterday afternoon's revelations that Trump was almost certainly going down to defeat. If he were still just a bit behind in the polls, would they be walking away from him now? I think the question answers itself.

The Other Shoe Drops

You may have thought the shoe dropped yesterday or at various other points in the campaign. But the big one, in electoral terms, just dropped in the last hour. In any case, Trumpism has more than two shoes to work with. Last night, GOP electeds all agreed to issue statements of condemnation of Donald Trump, maintain their endorsements and hunker down. Today there's been a steady stream of Republicans, especially those in tight races, abandoning Trump. As I said in my previous post, all the abandonments can do is leave the GOP in an acutely vulnerable electoral limbo - with zombie Trump, a name on the ballot, either dropped out or disowned by his party. But now we have the real players returning to the stage.

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Trump's Unstoppable Drift to Election Day

It's not that I feel the least bit sorry for them. They made their bed with eyes wide open. Nor is ethical or civic decision very hard. But as a purely political matter, the choice now faced by Republicans in tight reelection battles must be an excruciating one - particularly for embattled senators like Ayotte, Toomey, Heck and the rest.

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