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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We have another premium national phone poll (NYT/CBS) this morning showing a very tight race between Clinton and Trump. In a head to head, it's Clinton 46%, Trump 44%. When third party candidates are added they both drop to a tie at 42%. Two things that jump out to me aside from the near tie at the top are these points. One is that this is first Times/CBS poll with a likely voter screen. Among registered voters, it's Clinton 46%, Trump 41%. Now that doesn't mean it's really a five point spread. But it does suggest that assuming these likely voter screens are accurate, that the race has always been closer than the polls suggested.

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The first perspective to have on the polls is that the polls have been slowly trending in Trump's direction for a few weeks. That is happening. There are various sources of noisiness in the data. But when you step way back the trend in Trump's direction is real and indisputable.

It's particularly disquieting from a Democratic perspective to see Trump now holding apparent leads, albeit small ones, in Florida and Ohio. As we know, from sad history, winning Florida and Ohio (by whatever means) made George W. Bush president twice.

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So we've got two significant polls out today from Ohio, one from Bloomberg/Selzer and another from CNN/ORC. The first shows Trump with a 5 point edge and then second with 4 points, in head to head matchups. CNN also has a Florida poll out which also shows Trump up by 4 in Florida. That pushes Ohio and Florida into the "lean Trump" category and pushes Trump over 200 electoral votes for the first time in The TPM Electoral Scoreboard, which now stands at Clinton 254, Trump 236.

Better news for Democrats, a new national Quinnipiac poll, which has tended to have a GOP house effect of late, gives Clinton a 5 point lead.

Leave it to The New York Post to make the Trump Clan seem not totally stupid. Our staff has now definitely nailed down that the Post put down the wrong date for the magazine which contained nude photos of Melania Trump (then Melania Knauss) and more importantly appeared to place her in the United States a year earlier than she should have been. Well, the Post said it was the January 1996 issue but turns out it was the February 1997 issue. Sad!

Some folks always figured that the real point of the Post story was to publish - lightly covered over - pics of Knauss naked with another woman and they really weren't focused or particularly care what any dates were. Those folks appear to be vindicated.

In that lawyer letter released by the Trump campaign lawyer Michael Wildes says Melania Trump could not have participated in a photo shoot in 1995 because her first legal entry into the country was in August 1996. When the lawyer interviewed Melania she remembered that the photo shoot happened after October 1996. So all good.

But wait! The New York Post article which first reported the risque photo op reports that the photos appeared in the January 1996 issue of Max magazine. Did the Post get this pretty critical detail wrong?

[Late Update: Well, maybe so? I've now heard that the magazine issue was actually January 1997. Which would mean the Post screwed up and the Trump timeline could be right! Indeed, we've confirmed that the Jan 96 did not have Cindy Crawford on the cover, as the Post claimed.]

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The Trump campaign has released a letter from a lawyer who has represented Donald Trump's modeling agency who reviewed her immigration history and now attests that Melania Trump was in the United States 100% and is totally good to go.

We're trying to piece together this morning what appears to be another epic flip flop from the Trump campaign on the release of medical records. Yesterday the idea was that Trump was going to on Dr. Oz's show and release his medical records then. Now we're hearing that's not going to happen after all.

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Is Trump losing the key Kremlin constituency in the home stretch of the campaign? The Putin SuperPac's work on Trump's behalf has been a critical assist to Trump and a thorn in the side of Hillary Clinton. This was true as recently as last night when suspected Russian intelligence agent (or creation) 'Guccifer 2.0' released a new trove of Democratic emails. But this morning there's new emails from Colin Powell in which Powell says among other things that Trump is a "national disgrace" and "international pariah". Now it's possible that Russian political operatives didn't fully grasp the impact of these emails, thinking they would embarrass Powell as opposed to goad Trump into some new self-destructive act. But the upshot is that what political operatives call the so-called 'Putin primary' may not actually be over.

I've gotten depressingly familiar with protester beatings at Trump rallies. In the 21st century perhaps the iconic trappings of politics will be the flag, motherhood, apple pie and revenge beatings. Let's hope not. In any case, here's a new case that ups the ante and still has the capacity to shock. 69 year old Shirley Teeter, who wears an oxygen mask and lugs around a tank to support it, was protesting outside a Trump rally in North Carolina when a feral Trump backer turned on her and punched her right in the face. Cold-cocked her, as Shirley put it.

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LiveWire

Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…