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Much Ado About Nothing and the Two Weeks From Hell

Here's another interesting thing to consider about the last two months of the campaign.

I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that the second week of September was likely the moment of peak pearl-clutching for Democrats in the entire 2016 cycle. On September 9th, Clinton gave her 'deplorables' talk at a fundraiser. The story broke open the next day. Then the very next day, at a 9/11 memorial in New York City, Clinton collapsed because of some mix of pneumonia and acute dehydration. It seemed like a double whammy. And it did trigger several days of bad polls.

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Big Difference

Here's the trend chart for this year's race from June to the present compared to the 2012 presidential contest from June to election day.

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Commander-in-Chief of Trolling

In his press conference just a short while ago President Obama chastised Donald Trump for trying to discredit the US election process and went through the facts about the falsity of claims that US elections are affected by voter fraud. David gets at the deadly seriousness of the situation and the points Obama was making. But the juiciest parts came when Obama - clearly warming to the subject - taunted Trump for being a coward and a whiner (emphasis added for peak trolling moments) ...

"It doesn't really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you would want out of a president. If you start whining before the game is even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else. Then you don't have what it takes to be in this job because there are a lot of things -- times that things don't go our way, or my way. That's okay. You fight through it. You work through it. You try to accomplish your goals ... And so I would advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes ."


President Obama was mostly light-hearted and jokey in his Rose Garden press conference a few moments ago, clearly relishing how easy it is to get under Donald Trump's skin. Child's play, really. But don't let the tenor of his remarks obscure the underlying seriousness of the moment. A president of the United States was just urging the nominee of the leading opposition party to preserve America's democratic tradition of peaceful transitions of power.

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We Need Your Eyes and Ears

Not literally. We don't need your organs. But this is important. You can see our feature story today about voter intimidation in open-carry firearms states. I just mentioned below that Trump has hired one of the top voter suppression charlatans as his head 'elections monitor'. This story is going to emerge down at the ground level around the country, with local party operations setting up vigilante 'vote monitoring' efforts. But it won't only be official party operations, just as much or more it will likely be individuals or small groups doing what Trump is telling them to do: go to minority neighborhoods and look for evidence of 'vote fraud'. In the great majority of cases, that's illegal. But it is happening. We want to track examples not just on election day but as they take shape over the next three weeks. So if you see things in your local paper, websites, TV, on social media, anywhere, let us know. Send a note to our main comments email address which is linked just below the TPM logo at the upper left of the site and use the subject line "Trump Suppression." Thanks.

Gaming Out a Democratic Senate

Barring some sharp change in the course of the presidential race, it now seems very likely that Hillary Clinton will be become the 45th President of the United States next January. So attention now turns to what political landscape she'll face. That means the composition of the Congress. The outlook on that front is complicated by a number of factors.

Let's take a look.

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