If you only read one thing: We’re almost there. Polls will close nationwide in a little over two weeks, and already millions of votes have been cast. As we enter the final stretch here is what we know. Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite to win on Election Day, with multiple paths to victory. Taking a favorable baseline map for Democrats and expanding it with an impressive field and early voting operation, she will bank enough votes in several key states to ensure victory before Nov. 8. Donald Trump would need to be perfect to win—picking up heavily contested states like North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. Given the state of polling, the ground game and the television air war such result for him remains unlikely—and that’s before factoring newly-competitive red states like Utah and Arizona. Two weeks out, there is greater uncertainty over just how large her margin is, and what the impact of that will be down-ballot. Polls have been somewhat inconsistent, and most Republicans are running at least several points ahead of Trump, meaning a shift in the margin of victory a few points either way can have a dramatic effect on the makeup of Congress.
With time running down, Trump is devoting ever larger portions of his stump speech to an airing of campaign grievances against Clinton, the media, polls, and members of his own party. His angry tirades are becoming his core message, further deepening both his hole with voters at large and the anger and resentment of his own supporters.
Meanwhile, Democrats are fretting about the Obama administration’s announcement that premiums for the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare will rise significantly next year. In a normal year this would dominate the news cycle, but Trump hasn’t seized on the issue, nor has he displayed the type of discipline to ensure that his message on the subject resonates. But it may be a significant boost to down-ballot Republicans who need all the help they can get.
Trump’s campaign manager saves face. His running-mate name-checks Dewey. And Obama gets funny about Trump.
Here are your must reads:
Trump at Raucous Rally: Clinton ‘Lies More Than Any Human Being’
As Election Day approaches, Trump grows more angry [Washington Post]
Obamacare Premiums Will Increase by Double-Digit Percentages Next Year
GOP gets a talking point [Associated Press]
Donald Trump Argues Polling Methods Are Rigged Against Him
Unskew the polls! [TIME]
Presidential Campaigns Haven’t Agreed To ‘Acceptable’ Post-Election Press Access
The White House Correspondents’ Association says not having a protective pool would be a “serious breach of historical precedent.” [Huffington Post]
How the GOP’s First Female Presidential Campaign Manager Manages Donald Trump
Trump’s campaign manager looks to save face
What’s in a Name? When It’s ‘Trump Place,’ It’s a Revolt
Marquee Trump property looks for a split [New York Times]
“You had this glamorous guy named Dewey…Truman wasn’t having any of it.” — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to Rush Limbaugh, comparing the 2016 race to 1948
“I’ve been endorsed largely, at least conceptually, by the military.” — Donald Trump to a Jacksonville TV station
Bits and Bites
Professor Joe Biden? [Politico]
GOP Looks to Ex-Marine Ward Baker in Bid to Keep Senate Control [Wall Street Journal]
Trump took $17 million in insurance for damage few remember [Associated Press]
Trump brand loses luster with affluent [Associated Press]
Poll: Young voters now coming through for Hillary Clinton [Associated Press]