If you only read one thing: You can count the number of days remaining until Election Day on one hand, and like last night's World Series Game 7, just when you think it’s over, the race surprises in new ways. Both campaigns took out ads during the heart-attack-a-minute game as they sought to deliver their closing arguments to sports fans—particularly those in the swing, but leaning-GOP state of Ohio. Trump’s ads both reinforced his "change" argument and attacked Clinton over her private email server, her foundation and her high-priced speaking fees. Clinton’s ads struck at her core argument against Trump—his temperament–as she ran her “mirrors” spot of children watch Trump’s insults and attacks, and a national security spot questioning Trump’s judgment to serve as president.
The latest early and absentee votes point to a narrow Clinton lead in key battlegrounds, while national surveys indicate that the bottom is holding for Clinton in the wake of the reopened FBI investigation into her emails.
Clinton is turning out every last surrogate for the final stretch, including her husband and daughter, the president, the vice president and key Democratic Party officials. Flooding the zone on the ground, Clinton is betting that the they can boost enthusiasm and turnout.
Trump has been remarkably on message in the closing week, so much so that he had to remark on it himself in Pensacola, Fla., Wednesday night. “We’ve gotta be nice and cool,” Trump said. “Nice and cool. All right? Stay on point, Donald. Stay on point. No sidetracks, Donald.” In recent days he’s focused his speeches on Obamacare—still politically divisive— and Clinton’s emails, rather than taking the bait offered by Democratic surrogates to attack women and minorities. Meanwhile, Melania Trump will hit the trail solo for her husband Thursday, delivering a speech in Pennsylvania, where the campaign is struggling with suburban women.
How the 2016 election turned into a referendum on the treatment of women. Why James Comey couldn’t keep the FBI above politics. And how the media got smarter about calling elections.
Here are your must reads:
How the 2016 Election Turned Into a Referendum on the Treatment of Women
The 2016 election is a referendum on what women can be--and what men can get away with [TIME]
How the Media Got Smarter About Calling Elections
How you'll learn the results next week [TIME]
Why James Comey Couldn’t Keep the FBI Above Politics
He tried and failed [TIME]
RNC Advised Against “Ballot Security” Efforts By Members With State Party Roles
The Michigan and Pennsylvania party chairs — who are both RNC members — went ahead with such activities anyway [BuzzFeed]
Why President Obama Is Going on the Radio
Outreach to low-propensity Democratic voters Clinton needs [TIME]
Early Voting: Tighter Race, But Still Good Signs for Clinton
Ground game paying off [Associated Press]
Veterans, Feeling Abandoned, Stand by Donald Trump
After bearing brunt of foreign adventurism, they find solace in a different message [New York Times]
Secret Recordings Fueled FBI Feud in Clinton Probe
Agents thought they had enough material to merit aggressively pursuing investigation into Clinton Foundation [Wall Street Journal]
"We don't operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made." — Obama asked about FBI Director Comey's letter about the Clinton email investigation
“We need a new president, Donald Trump, to be the most powerful Republican in America.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell breaking his silence on Donald Trump
Bits and Bites
Mitch McConnell Breaks Months of Silence on Donald Trump [Associated Press]
Life on the Inside: Mike Pence’s Turbulent Trip with Donald Trump [National Review]
Republican Party to Air Spanish-Language TV Ad That Doesn’t Mention Donald Trump [Wall Street Journal]