By Zeke J Miller
October 26, 2016

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump may still be running for president, but that doesn’t mean he’s not planning for his future. Thirteen days before Election Day the GOP nominee is opening a new hotel in Washington, bringing the national media to his second property in as many days. Meanwhile, aides are test-driving the makings of Trump TV, with a daily Facebook live stream that serves as an alternate reality echo chamber for his most loyal supporters—one where all the polls show Trump ahead and he’s on the path to certain victory. Trump’s campaign is increasingly relying on a pair of dubious arguments for why polls show him underperforming going into Election Day—that there are “hidden” or “shy” voters that either aren’t being captured by pollsters or are ashamed of saying they will vote for Trump. But neither of those theories are supported by data.

Hillary Clinton released a pair of ads Wednesday making her closing argument to the American people, highlighting the contrast between her experience and her rival’s bombast. And while Trump is opening his hotel, she is appearing with chef Jose Andres, who backed out of a restaurant in Trump’s new DC property after the candidate’s comments last year suggesting that most Mexican immigrants to the U.S. are rapists. (Trump is now suing Andres and fellow celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian.)

Hillary Clinton ended an 18-month cash-dash Tuesday night as she held her final fundraiser of the campaign, but surrogates and her running-mate are going to keep the money flowing in through Election Day. Trump, meanwhile, has ceased fundraising on behalf of the joint “victory” account he formed earlier this year with the Republican National Committee, meaning he is no longer raising large checks for the RNC’s technology and field efforts he is relying on.

Money is furiously flowing into down-ballot races, as Republicans struggle to save the Senate and Democrats look to make additional inroads in the House. Why a protest candidate matters in Utah. And Newt Gingrich has an on-air meltdown.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Why Donald Trump’s Latest Theories on the Election Don’t Hold Up
Why ‘hidden votes’ and ‘shy votes’ don’t account for his struggles in the polls [TIME]

Donald Trump Looks Beyond His Presidential Campaign in Final Stretch
An unconventional campaign stays off script in final weeks [TIME]

Hillary Clinton Knew About Donald Duck But Never Broke Law, Campaign Says
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it may not be a duck [TIME]

Trump Says Clinton Policy on Syria Would Lead to World War Three
Urges focus on ISIS, not Syria [Reuters]

Trump Halts Big-Money Fundraising, Cutting Off Cash to the Party
Clinton is done fundraising too, but she has surrogates raising cash for her through Election Day [Washington Post]

Panicking GOP Makes Major Last-Minute Senate Investment
$25 million from super PAC comes to defend GOP seats amid Trump threat [Politico]

Why Evan McMullin Hopes the Mountain West Holds the Future of Conservatism
The protest candidate has his moment in the sun [TIME]

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Warn of Doom in Dueling Speeches
Little sunshine in the Sunshine State [TIME]

Clinton Sticks With Obama’s Strict Lobbying Rules
For now [Politico]

What Drives Donald Trump?
Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show [New York Times]

Sound Off

“All these characters that want to run in four years, they can forget it. They’re wasting their time.” — Donald Trump alluding to those in the GOP planning to run in 2020 should he lose next month

“You are fascinated with sex” — Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly as he ducked questions on the women accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault

Bits and Bites

Inside the Secret Trump-Themed Bar on Capitol Hill [IJR]

Donald Trump Leaves a Car Wreck Behind [Cook Political Report]

Donald Trump: ‘I have no interest in Trump TV’ [CNN]

LGBT Group’s Ad Asks How Anyone Can Support Donald Trump [TIME]

Colin Powell Says He’s Voting for Hillary Clinton [TIME]

Anti-Trump Ad Warns Ohio Voters With Mushroom Cloud [TIME]

Hillary Clinton Campaign Video Highlights Trump Housing Discrimination Case [TIME]

‘You are fascinated with sex’: That Megyn Kelly-Newt Gingrich showdown was one for the ages [Washington Post]

Top Democrats steamed that party letting Rubio skate [Politico]

Trump Loyalists Planned Voter Intimidation Using Fake ID Badges, Fake Exit Polling [Huffington Post]

Clinton super PAC expands into House races [Washington Post]

A Washington ritual: Reading John Podesta’s stolen emails [Associated Press]

The Trump-Clinton Twitter war: Bludgeon vs. stiletto [Associated Press]

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