Marco Rubio speaks at his victory party last night in Kissimmee, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)

THE BIG IDEA: In Florida’s presidential primary this March, Donald Trump beat Marco Rubio by 19 points – forcing him to drop out. Last night, just five-and-a-half-months later, Rubio won the Republican primary for another term in the Senate by 53 points.

Rubio received 1,028,282 votes yesterday, on par with the 1,077,221 votes Trump garnered in March.

He decisively defeated Carlos Beruff, who sank more than $8 million of his own fortune into the race. The homebuilder had tried to channel Trump in many ways, including with a brash tone and by advocating for a temporary halt on immigration from the Middle East.

Rubio now faces Rep. Patrick Murphy, who easily beat Rep. Alan Grayson to win the Democratic primary.

-- I asked the senator yesterday afternoon as he waited in Miami for returns to start coming in why he was able to come back so strongly after getting whipped so badly. “It was a different kind of race with a different set of opponents,” he said by telephone. “My feeling is … that it’s not that Republican primary voters in Florida didn’t like us. It’s just that they wanted something different for president at this moment in our history. That ultimately is the story of the presidential primary in general.”

“Defeat is not something that builds up your confidence,” he added. “It’s humbling. And you learn from it. … Not that we took things for granted, but you can’t take anything for granted. Every cycle is new. You constantly have to earn people’s support. You also learn, or at least it was reaffirmed to me, how upset people are about the way things are going and how upset people are about both political parties. The argument I believe people are making in both parties is that what we have now does not work. And we need to dramatically change things. … It’s not that we didn’t understand that before going in, but sometimes you have to go through it to get a full sense of how truly upset people are.”

Rubio works the room at his election night party. (John Raoux/AP)

-- Looking ahead: If he plays his cards right, Rubio will enter 2020 as a top-tier candidate for the Republican nomination.

A decisive win in November would help wash away some of the bad taste that remains in a lot of people’s mouths from the final days of his presidential bid. “You know what they say about men with small hands,” Rubio memorably said. (He now expresses regret for embarrassing himself by going into the gutter.)

Assuming Trump loses and he wins—both outcomes suggested by the polls 10 weeks out—Rubio will be able to offer a potential roadmap out of the wilderness as Republicans begin a fresh period of soul searching.

-- Everything that made Rubio attractive as a potential GOP standard bearer when Mitt Romney lost in 2012 would only be accentuated by a Trump defeat:

He’s still the son of Cuban immigrants and can talk about his modest upbringing as the son of a bartender.

His relentless message discipline, even to a fault of becoming robotic, limits his gaffes. Many Republicans will put a premium on finding someone who does not put his foot in his mouth every day.

He’ll have shown he can win statewide – including with headwinds from Trump and presidential-level turnout – in the biggest battleground.

With the exception of immigration and sugar subsidies, Rubio’s bona fides as a movement conservative are basically unchallenged. In contrast to Trump, he’s a hawk who supports free trade – the traditional positions of the party.

Without an obvious establishment favorite like Jeb Bush to vacuum up money, he could build up an impressive war chest.

He still has a devoted core of supporters in the four states that kick off the nominating process.

One of Rubio’s biggest liabilities – his lack of experience – will be less of a problem with nearly a decade under his belt in the world’s greatest deliberative body.

And he’d still be able to prosecute a case for generational change against Hillary Clinton, who will be 73 in Nov. 2020. Rubio will still only be 49.

Rubio arrived at the party with his kids. (John Raoux/AP)

-- Republicans historically nominate whoever is considered next in line. Ronald Reagan did not win the nomination until his third try. Had George H.W. Bush not run and lost in 1980, he would not have become Reagan’s running mate and then succeeded him in 1988. Richard Nixon lost the 1960 election (and a 1962 bid for California governor) before his 1968 comeback.

-- I was not convinced it was wise for Rubio to get into the Senate race in June, but what’s happened in the intervening two months has seemingly validated his gambit. He did not have as tough a primary as he might have. He leads Murphy by 6 points in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls. And thus far he’s done better than expected at threading the needle between supporting Trump and not recanting the substantive criticisms he leveled during their primary contest. 

He could have run for governor in 2018 but that would have been harder because he’d need to almost immediately start running for president after taking office. And he would not have been able to clear the GOP field. If he had left the Senate despite pleas from Mitch McConnell, and Republicans lost their majority by one seat, he would have been blamed.

Assume for the sake of argument that Trump is going to lose. He and his biggest fans will blame people like Ted Cruz and John Kasich for staying on the sidelines. Both the Texas senator and Ohio governor will need to fend off attacks, assuming they run in 2020, that their refusal to endorse Trump is to blame for Clinton’s presidency, especially if the final outcome is close. Rubio, on the other hand, will need to respond to criticisms from other potential candidates—such as, hypothetically, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse—that his support for Trump was unprincipled.

-- But first Rubio must win the race right in front of him.

Beruff was defiant in defeat. “I made the miscalculation of taking Mr. Rubio at his word that he wouldn’t seek re-election if he lost the presidential primary,” the businessman said in a lengthy statement last night. “Even in March he re-iterated that he has told people ‘10,000’ times that he is not running for re-election. I guess I was silly to believe the words of a Washington politician. … We did not yield to the Washington political establishment, and even though we did not win, I make no apologies.”

Murphy will now attack Rubio as an opportunist, emphasizing all the times he said he hated the Senate. His campaign has also put out a series of web videos contrasting Rubio’s attacks on Trump during the primaries with him now offering support (though it is somewhat nuanced).

He tweeted this last night:

And, if he returns to Washington, Rubio must demonstrate he is serious about governing. He had the worst attendance record for a while, and some of his Senate colleagues feel he has been insufficiently engaged with his duties as a member of the Intelligence Committee. He’ll need to figure out a way to score some more legislative achievements if he wants to run as someone who can be effective.

Rubio takes the stage last night. (John Raoux/AP)

-- Here are some additional highlights from my interview with Rubio:

The most recent Monmouth poll had Clinton up 9 points and Rubio up 5 points. Why are so many Floridians planning to vote for both you and Clinton at the same time? “Over time, whether it’s in the Senate or before that as Speaker of the House, you create relationships with voters who come to identify you for the things you’ve done and not just simply what they read about in the national press. That’s helpful. But I’ve always felt that our message and … our platform and the things we fight for are things that appeal to a broad segment of America and a broad segment of Florida, not just narrow windows. That’s the way we’ve been campaigning since I ran for Senate six years ago. It was part of our presidential race, and it’s a key part of this race now. I hope that will continue.”

How much do you think the crossover support you’re getting is because you’re campaigning to be a check and balance on overreach by either Trump or Clinton? “Perhaps more in this election than in others, but I believe it’s always been the proper role of the Senate to act as a check and balance on the excesses of the executive.”

You talk about how frustrated the Republican electorate was in the primaries, and how they wanted to try something different. Do you think that desire is temporary? Will it subside? “The Republican primary is indicative of a sense that election after election nothing changes. People are frustrated, and they finally decided that they were going to send a very clear message that they want things to work a little differently. And you can’t underestimate the fact that there are millions of people in this country who are really hurting. They’ve been left behind by the economy. The job they used to have is gone. It’s now done by a machine or in another country. They thought they were going to be retiring soon, but they can’t. … Their house is worth half what it was once worth. And they feel like no one is fighting for them. They see everyone else being fought for, but they feel like nobody is fighting for them. That sentiment came through loud and clear in the Republican primary. It’s still alive in general in this campaign, and it something that needs to be paid attention to.”

How has losing in the presidential race made you a better candidate? “Ultimately people want to see results. Unfortunately, the political process and multiple other institutions in our society – higher education, the media, the banking sector, the financial sector, large corporations – people feel like all of those things have failed them, not just government. That frustration has continued to build and manifest itself in different ways. I’ve felt that way myself … but (running for president) gave me a fuller appreciation of how powerful that sentiment has become in our country.”

Murphy is attacking you for refusing to commit to serve a full six-year term. Do voters care? “I’m sure there’s some that might, but my bottom line on that is no one can tell you where they’re going to be in four, five or six years with certainty. No one can say that to you. What I can tell you for sure is I am running to be a U.S. senator because I want to be in the Senate. Because I believe that from the Senate I can help shape the agenda and direction of this country. … I am fully prepared to allow the Senate to be the last elected office I ever hold.”

“If my thoughts were about running for president in 2020 or beyond, running for reelection at the last minute in the toughest state in the country, in one of the most expensive states in the country, after coming off a long presidential campaign, is not the ideal or logical choice. When I got into this race, I understood it would be a hard and difficult race. But I felt it was the right decision given the direction it was going and the unacceptable outcome that we could lose the majority in the Senate. And as a result the ability to, for example, influence the direction of the Supreme Court.”

Do you get any satisfaction from Trump embracing positions on immigration that he attacked you for holding throughout the primaries? “I don’t know about satisfaction. I wouldn’t couch it that way. My view is that’s where the majority of the American people are. The majority of the American people want the border secured and illegal immigration brought under control. The majority of the American people want our legal immigration system reformed so that it works better and we change the criteria by which people enter the country, so that it’s more merit based. If we do those two things, the majority of the American people understand that we need to do something reasonable but responsible with someone who has been here for a long time and is willing to pay a fine and start paying taxes and seek legal status. The majority of the American people also understand that, if you’re a criminal, you need to be deported as quickly as possible.” He said the lesson of the 2013 experience is that comprehensive bills will not work, and that reform needs to happen in a more piecemeal way.

If you were the nominee, how much do you think you’d be beating Clinton by? “I have no idea. I honestly try to learn from the past but I don’t try to look towards the past. Because if you’re looking in the rearview mirror, you’re going to crash. You’ve got to look through the windshield. You’ve got to look forward. That’s how I try to live life … I can’t go back. None of us can.”

Corrine Brown (Mark Wallheiser/AP)


-- In Arizona, John McCain won his GOP primary with 52 percent. Former state Sen. Kelli Ward got 39 percent. Now, the senator faces well-funded Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in a state where the presidential polls are close and strong Latino turnout could sink him.

-- Facing a 22-count federal indictment and redistricting, Florida Rep. Corrine Brown (D) became the fifth House incumbent to lose a primary this year. She lost to state Sen. Al Lawson.

-- Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz beat Bernie Sanders-backed challenger Tim Canova by 14 points (57-43).

-- Other notable results, via Mike DeBonis:

  • Former Rep. Joe Garcia narrowly beat businesswoman Annette Taddeo, who had the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to challenge incumbent Carlos Curbelo (R) In the Miami-area 26th District.
  • GOP fundraiser Francis Rooney, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, beat Chauncey Goss, son of former CIA director Porter Goss, in the solidly-red 19th district seat vacated by Curt Clawson.
  • Alan Grayson's wife lost the primary to fill her husband's seat, which he gave up to run for Senate. The victor, state Sen. Darren Soto, will become the first person of Puerto Rican descent to represent Florida in Congress.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (Susan Walsh/AP)


-- The GOP nominee will jet to Mexico City for a meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto this afternoon, just hours before his speech on immigration in Arizona. From Robert Costa, Karen DeYoung and Joshua Partlow: "Peña Nieto last Friday invited both Trump and Clinton to visit Mexico. ... Trump, sensing an opportunity, decided over the weekend to accept the invitation and push for a visit this week ... Peña Nieto tweeted that he believes in dialogue in order to 'promote the interests of Mexico in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are.'"

Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon "played a key role in devising" the trip, convinced that Donald needs an audacious move. "Bannon said it offered Trump an opening to make headlines and showcase himself as a statesman who could deal directly with Mexico. Trump was intrigued by Bannon’s proposal and agreed, but not all aides and allies were as enthusiastic. ... Early this week, representatives for Trump contacted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico about his intentions. ... Trump’s representatives were told privately by officials that it would be logistically difficult for Trump to visit. But the businessman’s proxies insisted that Trump would not delay his plans. Overseas visits by senior U.S. officials normally require weeks of intricate planning on both sides, as every movement and meeting is plotted."

Several Mexican politicians were quick to criticize the meeting: "Miguel Barbosa, an opposition senator with the left wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, tweeted about Trump: 'Your presence in Mexico is not welcome. Get out! You come to take a photo with those you’ve offended.' A Mexican presidential hopeful with the right wing National Action Party, Margarita Zavala, tweeted that even though Trump was invited to Mexico, he was not welcome. 'Mexicans have dignity and we reject your discourse of hate,' she wrote."

A Clinton campaign official confirmed that they received a letter requesting an in-person meeting with the Mexican leader and have not responded: "Secretary Clinton last met with President Pena Nieto in Mexico in 2014 and our campaign is in a regular dialogue with the Mexican government officials," the aide said. "She looks forward to talking with President Pena Nieto again at the appropriate time."

-- The trip raises the stakes for Trump's speech in Phoenix, where he is expected to lay out with more specificity which undocumented immigrants he would deport if elected. He seemed to soften his stance last week -- to focus on deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records and not those who haven't done anything illegal --  but that opened him up to charges of hypocrisy from his key supporters. But then Donald Trump Jr. insisted on CNN last night that he was not "softening on anything." Jose A. DelReal, Jenna Johnson and Sean Sullivan explain that Trump is caught between advisers, and that he's torn between alienating hardliners and appealing to swing voters he'll need to prevail.

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The Islamic State says one of its longest-serving and most prominent leaders, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, has been killed in Syria.


  1. ISIS announced the death of senior leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, its chief spokesman and an expert in social media and crude terror attacks outside Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon reported the Syrian national was targeted in an airstrike but cautioned that it was too early to confirm his death. The Russians this morning took credit and said they also launched their own strike, the same as the Americans. (Missy Ryan and Greg Miller)
  2. Thousands of employees who review patents for the federal government cheated taxpayers out of at least $18.3 million as examiners billed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for almost 300,000 hours they never worked. The IG for the Commerce Department, which oversees the patent office, determined that the real scale of fraud is likely double those numbers. (Lisa Rein)
  3. The Chicago police chief recommended that five officers be fired for their role in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old black teenager in 2014. Jason Van Dyke, who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, is among the group. (New York Times)
  4. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) hinted he may not serve out his term. "When I was called a racist, I just lost it. There's no excuse," he told a local radio station of his profanity-laced voicemail for a Democratic legislator. "We're considering a whole lot of different options right now." (WVOM)
  5. A Democratic state representative says Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) left him a threatening voicemail after he refused to switch parties. “I want you to be very aware of what the impact of those decisions will be as it relates to you, your seat, your district, etc., uh, just so that we have all the cards on the table,” Bevin says in a recording, posted by the Louisville Courier-Journal. He denies wrongdoing.
  6. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in New Jersey. It's the second time as governor he's vetoed a proposed minimum wage hike. (Newark Star Ledger)
  7. President Obama commuted the prison sentences of 111 inmates, setting a record in the month of August. It's part of the president's push to ease punishments for non-violent drug offenders. ( Mark Berman)
  8. Ahead of Obama's trip to Asia, China has charged an American consultant with espionage. The government claims that Sandy Phan-Gillis, 56, was spying after she was arrested in March 2015 while traveling with a trade delegation. (Emily Rauhala)
  9. A coalition of conservative groups is trying to get Republicans to punt decisions over a long-term government spending bill until early 2017. The current continuing resolution that funds the government expires on Sept. 30. The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners are lobbying lawmakers not to allow a short-term patch they think will get loaded up with expensive goodies. (Kelsey Snell)
  10. George Soros has channeled more than $3 million into seven local district-attorney campaigns in six states this year. The Democratic mega-donor has used state-level super PACs to back African American and Hispanic candidates who support sentencing reform in Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. (Politico’s Scott Bland)
  11. Toxic levels of lead found in the soil of an Indiana housing project have forced 1,100 poor, mostly African American residents -- including 670 kids -- to find new homes. (New York Times)
  12. U.S. farm incomes will hit their lowest point this year since 2009, deepening pain in the Farm Belt amid a multiyear downdraft in commodity prices. (Wall Street Journal)
  13. Olympic champion Katie Ledecky says she hopes to swim at the 2020 games in Tokyo. The Bethesda native told WTOP she’s leaning toward majoring in psychology or government at Stanford. (Scott Allen)
Hillary speaks with neighborhood children yesterday following a fundraiser at a private home in Sagaponack, N.Y. (Andrew Harnik/AP)


-- A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton, according to a fresh Washington Post/ABC poll: 41 percent of American adults have a favorable impression of Clinton, while 56 percent have an unfavorable one. She was at 48/50 after the DNC. Trump continues to be unpopular: 35 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of him, compared to 63 percent unfavorable. For context: At this point in 2012, Obama had a +6 favorable-unfavorable rating while Mitt Romney was at 35-51, his worst so far that year. Clinton’s 41-56 negative favorability margin is nearly the same as Romney’s four years ago, while Trump’s 35-63 is worse than any past major-party nominee since the 1980s, pollster Scott Clement notes.

“Interestingly, Clinton's numbers appear to have dropped since that early August poll mostly in groups that have been very supportive of her,” Aaron Blake notes. “Her favorable rating among women dropped from 54 percent to just 45 percent. Among Hispanics, it went from 71 percent to 55 percent. Among liberals, it went from 76 percent to 63 percent.”

-- The State Department says about 30 emails recovered by the FBI in its probe of Clinton's email server could be linked to Benghazi, reports the Wall Street Journal's Byron Tau. "The new documents were found among the roughly 15,000 emails forensically recovered ... as part of its investigation into whether she or her aides mishandled classified information ... Those emails were turned over to the State Department in the wake of the FBI probe, which resulted in no charges against Mrs. Clinton earlier this year. The messages are expected to be made public in the coming months. The State Department couldn’t say how many of the 30-odd emails previously have been made public, raising the possibility that some were among the 55,000 pages of emails already provided to the State Department by Mrs. Clinton’s attorneys and released to the public. The department also couldn’t say with any certainty that the identified messages were related to the Benghazi attacks."

Clinton and Obama get barbecue after a rally in Charlotte on July 5. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

-- President Obama will make at least a dozen appearances on Clinton's behalf in battleground states between now and Nov. 8, reports The New York Times. All of them will be focused on mobilizing his base, not persuading new voters. He'll focus especially on young voters and African Americans. "'The president’s focus is on getting the Obama coalition to the polls,' said Jen Psaki, the White House communications director. Most of his appearances will be timed to coincide with voter registration deadlines and the start of early voting ... On Sept. 13, for example, Mr. Obama will appear at a rally in Philadelphia, four weeks before the last day that Pennsylvanians can register to vote ... His visits are likely to be concentrated in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa ... Mr. Obama will generally campaign without Mrs. Clinton."

-- Clinton will “make the case for American exceptionalism” in a speech at the American Legion convention today. A campaign official says in an email that “she will call for maintaining America's military and diplomatic leadership in the world”: “She will argue for maintaining America's strong commitment to the alliances that keep us safe, the values that make us great, and the men and women in uniform who represent the best of our country. Her vision offers a direct contrast to Trump, who would walk away from our allies, undermine our values, insult our military -- and has explicitly rejected the idea of American exceptionalism. Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his attacks on ‘American exceptionalism.’ Clinton will talk about her own experience as the daughter of a WWII veteran, a Senator on the Armed Services Committee and secretary of state.”

-- Ahead of the Legion speech, the campaign is rolling out an endorsement from James Clad, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush. “In razor sharp contrast to her opponent, Secretary Clinton is ready, steady and prepared,” he says in a statement. (Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried, now a professor at Harvard Law, endorsed her yesterday.)

-- Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother who became a national leader of the anti-war movement 11 years ago this month by protesting against George W. Bush in Crawford, says she dislikes Clinton and Obama just as much, if not more. From an op-ed for Independent Journal Review: “Since Bush has left office (in the orderly and lawful way, not in handcuffs) and we're almost through with the two-terms of the current War President, I almost feel sorry for Bush. (Almost, I said). Where's the outcry against Obama's wars? The occupy movement did not address these issues. I have tried to hold three protest camps since Obama has been president. Instead of thousands of people, there were tens in attendance. ... While Donald Trump’s rhetoric is being scrutinized and analyzed, Hillary Clinton’s actual record of support for war, war, and more war, has been sanitized.”

-- Pressure keeps mounting on the Clintons to sever ties with the Clinton Foundation. "The foundation has become a distraction, politically speaking," said progressive Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary. "Cut the ties to the family. What's at stake is the big prize. The big prize is not the Clinton Foundation. It's the presidency of the United States." (WSJ)

-- The New York Times's editorial board also goes there, calling for Clinton to immediately ban donations from foreign entities and corporations: "If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments."

-- Justice Dept. officials are weighing whether to retry ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and conservatives are comparing the case against him to alleged special access given to donors of the Clinton foundation while Hillary was secretary of state. Rachel Weiner and Matt Zapotosky explain the distinction as prosecutors see it: "Both situations involve questions about whether wealthy supporters got special access to government not available to ordinary people. But there is no clear evidence that Clinton did anything because of donations that her charity received, and unlike McDonnell — who received golf outings, vacations and other personal financial benefits — Clinton pocketed nothing herself."

Trump reads from a teleprompter in Everett, Washington, last night. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)


-- During a Seattle rally last night, Trump again called on African Americans to vote for him, arguing the Democratic Party's ties to slavery and Jim Crow laws are why black voters shouldn't give their votes to Clinton.  From Sean Sullivan: "It is the Democratic Party that is the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, and the party of opposition," he said, drawing boos from the supportive crowd, which was heavily white.

-- STAT News profiles Trump's now-infamous doctor: "As a medical student, Dr. Harold Bornstein wore his hair long, sat in the back of class, and wrote poetry under the pseudonym 'Count Harold' ... Bornstein has mostly kept to himself since releasing the letter. But in interviews with STAT, many former classmates and patients have portrayed him as a caring and knowledgeable doctor who, nonetheless, harbors some oddball tendencies. While in medical school at Tufts, classmates said "He composed fabulist poems for fun ... A classmate provided STAT a copy of the poem, which was based on the friend group’s real-life outing to a wrestling match in November of 1972. In the poem, ‘ten strange souls’ who had ‘waited for weeks’ scored seats ‘five rows from the action.’ They ‘screamed for blood’ as the wrestlers grappled. By the end of the poem, ‘the Ten’ agree to return in a month for the Roller Derby.”

-- Tim Kaine took Trump to task for the over-the-top doctor's letter during an appearance in Eerie, Pa., calling on him to release "credible" information about his health.

-- At the same rally, Kaine suggested Trump wouldn't be tough enough on Russia if he were elected. “He’s encouraged Russia already to get in and screw around with our elections," John Wagner reports.

-- Media outlets banned by the Trump campaign will officially be part of the print pool rotation covering the GOP nominee, which begins this week. “BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Politico and The Post are among the blacklisted outlets that will be part of the pool rotation, which begins this week," writes Politico's Hadas Gold. "We just wanted to thank you for your patience over the past few weeks,” reads an email sent to the Trump pool list, which will be managed by reporters from The New York Times and Time magazine. “But we are pleased to announce that after some start-and-stop negotiations with the Trump campaign, we are debuting our full print pool this week.”

Soraya Marquez, the state coordinator for Mi Familia Vota, and her crew hit a Puerto Rican neighborhood trying to get Latinos to register to vote in Kissimmee, Florida. (Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)


-- The complexion of the Latino vote in FLORIDA is changing to become less Republican. Ed O'Keefe and Sean Sullivan explain: "Unlike a generation ago, when the state’s large Cuban American population was devoted to the GOP, these new Latino voters are less likely to support Republican candidates ...  and they are increasingly unlikely to register with either political party. “No Party Affiliation” voters — known as “NPAs” in local political vernacular — now account for 26 percent of Florida’s electorate, the fastest-growing bloc in the state, according to the latest state voter statistics ... Home to nearly 1.1 million Puerto Ricans, the Sunshine State could surpass New York as the largest home of island transplants by the end of the year. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are not immigrants, but many consider Trump’s harsh attacks on immigrants an offensive affront to the entire Hispanic diaspora."

-- A massive Spanish-language ad campaign to boost Latino voter registration in ARIZONA will start today, O'Keefe reports. A public service announcement produced by the state's largest Spanish language television and radio stations will air 2,500 times before Election Day on Univision and Telemundo. The campaign is being orchestrated by "Mi Familia Vota" (My Family Votes) and is aimed at registering 95,000 Latinos before November.

-- “The slow pace of attracting campaign volunteers and contacting voters led the RNC to replace its IOWA state director two weeks ago, after officials in the campaigns of Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. David Young complained,” the Journal’s Reid Epstein reports. Trump’s team is only now recruiting county chairmen in for his campaign in Iowa.

-- A Monmouth University poll puts Clinton up 8 points (48-40) in PENNSYLVANIA among likely voters, with Gary Johnson at 6 percent.

-- The Clinton campaign sent an unspecified number of mailers in UTAH targeting disaffected Republicans. The mail piece includes the image of a stern-looking woman above a paragraph that says: "You care about your community and the future of the country. That's why the thought of Donald Trump as president is so alarming." (Salt Lake Tribune)

Tom Cotton (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

-- 2020: Tom Cotton isn’t waiting until November to start campaigning in Iowa. The Arkansas senator will headline the Scott County GOP Reagan dinner on Oct. 11 in Bettendrorf. He already worked the Hawkeye State’s delegation at the Republican convention last month, along with wooing delegates from New Hampshire and South Carolina. The 39-year-old joked to an Iowa GOP breakfast in Cleveland: “I’m the only politician who will speak to you this week who loves Iowa so much that I married a girl born in Iowa.”


The buzz is all about Trump going to Mexico:

But there was some reason to dance at this Trump rally yesterday:

Trump's campaign manager says the media is ignoring that the polls are tightening:

Defeated tea party Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) had this to say about Target's revenue decrease:

John Boehner is happy to be free:

Obama got a thank you tweet:


This morning the president will travel to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, to attend the 20th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit and speak about climate change. Then he will fly on to Honolulu. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the 2016 Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders. Obama will remain overnight in Hawaii. Joe Biden is in D.C. for meetings.

Trump starts the day with fundraisers in California, then goes to Mexico and then flies on to Phoenix. Clinton goes to the American Legion convention.


The head of U.S. Central Command warned Iran against provocative naval maneuvers, saying that operations by “rogue” Iranian commanders could result in direct U.S.-Iranian military engagement. “I think the big concern here is miscalculation,” Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters at the Pentagon. “I am concerned about rogue commanders, rogue Iranian Quds force naval commanders who are operating in a provocative manner and are trying to test us.” (Missy Ryan)


-- There is a Code Orange alert for unhealthy air quality today, but the Capital Weather Gang still forecasts that better weather is on the way for the holiday weekend: "This last day of August is a hot and humid one, as so many days before it have been. Tomorrow, though, we begin to transition to a cooler and more comfortable air mass. The nicer air should stick around through much of the holiday weekend, although some showers are now possible Saturday into Sunday."

-- The Nationals beat the Phillies 3-2.


The International Space Station captured timelapse footage of Hurricanes Lester and Madeline churning toward Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean and of Hurricane Gaston in the Atlantic.

Funny or Die spoofed Trump's doctor:

Here's a first look at a new Freedom Partners Action Fund ad attacking Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania: 

Watch the woman who said signer Chris Brown threatened her with a gun: