Hillary Clinton works the rope line after her speech last night at Arizona State University. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

With Breanne Deppisch

THE BIG IDEA: One in five voters in 2012 were college-educated white women. Mitt Romney won them by six points, according to exit polls.

Our fresh Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll, which has Hillary Clinton ahead by just two points among all likely voters nationally, finds that Donald Trump is losing college-educated white women by 27 points.

If the Republican nominee were anywhere close to Romney’s 52 percent support level among this traditionally Republican-leaning constituency, he would likely win the election. But drilling into the crosstabs of our polling and reviewing credible, state-level data demonstrate how highly unlikely it is that this constituency will waver in the final days. It is one of the reasons that, even though the race has tightened pretty dramatically, Clinton retains a significant structural advantage.

A supporter holds a sign as Hillary Clinton speaks in Manchester, N.H. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A gender gap is nothing new. Democrats tend to perform exceptionally well with unmarried and minority women. A Pew study in July found that there was no difference in candidate support between men and women in 1972 and 1976, but since 1980 women writ large have preferred Democratic presidential candidates by an average of eight points.

Our national tracking polling shows that the race has moved back toward something close to this historic norm. Men prefer Trump by 11 points (51-40) and women prefer Clinton by 11 points (52-41).

Clinton is ahead only 11 points among women overall because Trump is running up his margin among white women without college degrees. They favor him by 28 points, 61 percent to 33 percent, despite the dozen women who have now come forward publicly to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

But the preference for Clinton among college-educated, white women matters a great deal because they habitually turn out to vote at higher rates than almost every other group of voters, including less-educated women. So, in an election with lagging enthusiasm, this constituency packs a bigger punch.

A young girl looks up to watch Clinton speak in Tempe. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

-- The chasm among women is getting picked up in several battleground surveys. The Post’s Virginia poll this week, conducted with the Schar School, found Clinton up six points overall. She led by 14 points among white women with a college degree, and Trump was ahead by 39 points among non-college white women.

The Marquette Law School poll, released yesterday afternoon, placed Clinton up six points in Wisconsin. Hillary is ahead by 21 points among college-educated white women and two points among non-college white women.

“It’s just brutal,” said Ted Kanavas, a former Wisconsin GOP state senator who co-chaired Romney’s 2012 campaign in the state and reluctantly supports Trump. “The gender gap is important and very real. It’s been a trashy election. The race that [Trump] ran has made for a trashy election. So we’ve got to acknowledge that, and next time we’ve got to do better.”

Melania, Tiffany and Ivanka Trump cut the ribbon at the Trump International Hotel last week. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

-- The Trump campaign is trying to make a late play for college-educated white women. His wife, Melania, will give a speech today in the Philadelphia suburbs, her first public address since the Republican National Convention, when she plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. The campaign said she will preview “the kind of first lady she will be.” Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump will make four stops — starting the day in the Detroit suburbs and then flying to New Hampshire for talks in Manchester, Hollis and Nashua. These are suburbs where Donald is underperforming. Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, is traveling around Ohio as part of a “Women’s Tour,” accompanied by two African American women with a following on YouTube (Diamond and Silk), her husband’s executive assistant and former "Apprentice" star Omarosa Manigault.

These might not be the best surrogates to woo the kinds of college-educated women Trump needs, but they will probably still be more effective than Jeff Sessions, the Alabama senator who was recently deployed to Iowa to headline a “Women for Trump” event….

-- Clinton has explicitly focused on women in her closing argument. She stumped in Florida on Tuesday with Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe whom Trump called “Miss Piggy.” Clinton is on TV with a 60-second spot that features clips of Trump saying that letting women work outside the home is dangerous, that he goes “through the roof” if dinner is not ready when he arrives home and bragging about being able to grab women by their genitals because he is a celebrity. Trump is also seen in the ad talking about going into dressing rooms to look at underage girls as they change.

-- Many of the final ads in down-ballot races are aimed at female voters. Evan Bayh’s wife Susan, for example, talks to camera in his closing commercial about how the former Indiana senator trying to make a comeback was her “nurse” after she was diagnosed with brain cancer:

House Majority PAC, the main Democratic outside group focused on the House, uses the “Access Hollywood” video in several of its closing spots. Hitting the Republican candidate in an open seat just west of Philadelphia, a female narrator says: “He supports Trump even after he was caught bragging about sexually assaulting women. Despite Trump calling women bimbos, dogs, disgusting and fat pigs, [Lloyd] Smucker supports Trump stronger than ever.”

Vulnerable Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who rescinded her Trump endorsement after the 2005 video emerged, told a New Hampshire radio station yesterday that she would not want her teenage daughter to be alone with either Trump or Bill Clinton. "I wouldn't want my daughter in the room with any of them," the senator said.

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The Cubs celebrate after winning the World Series. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in extra innings. It was a victory “for the young, the old and the long dead, too,” writes Thomas Boswell. “They lifted the silly ‘curse’ of Murphy the Goat and roused the spirits of a worldwide legion of interwoven sufferers who share a passion and an affliction — a lifelong freely chosen Cubness. Because this game went beyond the baseball surreal, because it provided forgetfulness and forgiveness for several Cubs who might have been enormous goats, including reliever Aroldis Chapman and Manager Joe Maddon, it seemed to encapsulate the team’s long history of staring into the abyss. Only this time, at long last — it only took a century or so — the abyss blinked.

Anthony Rizzo reacts to the final out:

(David Maxwell/EPA)

Cubs fans embrace outside Progressive Field as The Curse ends: 

(Justin Merriman/Getty)

The scene in front of Wrigley Field in Chicago:

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

After Clinton finished her second-biggest rally of the campaign, addressing an estimated 15,000 supporters on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, she stuck around to watch the end of the game backstage on an iPad tethered to an aide's phone live-streaming via Slingbox. "Her staff … paced around nervously as the game went into the bottom of the tenth," an aide emails.

Hillary held an aide's "W" after the win:

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

DRIP, DRIP, DRIP -- THE LATEST ON THE EMAILS:

-- Senior FBI officials were informed about the discovery of new emails potentially relevant to Clinton’s private email server investigation AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before James Comey notified Congress, Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima report. “The officials said that Comey was told that there were new emails before he received a formal briefing last Thursday, although the precise timing is unclear.” The information goes beyond the details provided in the letter that Comey sent to lawmakers last week, in which he declared that he was briefed just one day before his announcement about the additional emails.

-- Secret recordings of a suspect talking about the Clinton Foundation fueled an internal battle between FBI agents who wanted to pursue the case and corruption prosecutors who viewed the statements as worthless hearsay, the Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett and Christopher M. Matthews report. Agents, using informants and recordings from unrelated corruption probes, thought they had found enough material to merit “aggressively” pursuing the foundation investigation that began in 2015, based on claims made in the conservative book “Clinton Cash."

Beginning in February, FBI investigators and public-corruption prosecutors became increasingly frustrated with each other — laying bare tensions that still exist today. The roots of the dispute reportedly lie in a disagreement over the strength of the case, broadly centered on whether Clinton Foundation contributors received favorable treatment from the State Department. “At the center of the tension stood the U.S. attorney for Brooklyn, Robert Capers, who some at the FBI came to view as exacerbating the problems by telling each side what it wanted to hear," the Journal reports.

-- President Obama faulted Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, addressing the FBI director's decision for the first time in an interview and emphasizing there is “no evidence” that Clinton violated the law. “I do think that there is a norm that when there are investigations, we don't operate on innuendo, and we don't operate on incomplete information, and we don't operate on leaks,” Obama told NowThis News. “We operate based on concrete decisions that are made. When this was investigated thoroughly last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department … was she had made some mistakes but that there wasn't anything there that was prosecutable.” (David Nakamura)

-- The North Carolina teen who reportedly received the lewd “sexts” from Anthony Weiner triggering the events leading to this 11th-hour donnybrook blasted Comey, accusing the FBI director of putting politics ahead of her own well-being and subjecting her to a rash of unwanted media attention. “The FBI asked for me to speak to the media as little as possible. I have tried to stay quiet, but Comey has upset me,” the now 16-year-old told BuzzFeed (though she isn't named in the story). “The last thing that I wanted was to have this become political propaganda. I told my story originally to protect other young girls that might be a victim of online predators. I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me. I thought if I cooperated … my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. I have been even been blamed for … costing Hillary the election. Why couldn’t your letter have waited until after the election, so I would not have to be the center of attention the last week of the election cycle? I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me.

-- Weiner has checked himself into a sexual addiction treatment center, according to an unconfirmed Daily Mail report. (Emily Heil)

-- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), suggested that Republicans may try to impeach Clinton after she takes office. "Assuming she wins, and the investigation goes forward, and it looks like an indictment is pending at that point in time," he said on Fox News. "Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial. They would go to the Senate and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place." (Washington Examiner)

Hairdresser Deir Dos Santos and investment manager Gina Miller, the two lead claimants in a case at England's High Court, welcome the court's ruling today that the British government requires parliamentary approval to trigger the process of exiting the European Union. 

-- A British court dealt a “severe blow” to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to begin the Brexit process next year, ruling that she first must obtain Parliament’s approval before acting. From Griff Witte: The decision “greatly complicates” May’s stated plan to trigger Article 50 by the end of March at the latest, and will involve members of a Parliament that largely opposed the Brexit this summer. May will now have to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court  a move that could extend proceedings well into next year.

-- Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke participated in a U.S. Senate debate at Dillard University, sparking violent student protests over his appearance at the historically black college in New Orleans. "No Duke, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.," students chanted outside the venue. Duke, who is polling in the low single digits to replace the retiring David Vitter, attacked Jews and the media during rambling tirades. The voters of Louisiana are poised to soundly reject him and his hateful ideology next week. (Travis M. Andrews recaps. Esquire also just posted a long profile of Duke by Olivia Nuzzi.)

Here is two minutes of footage from the protests outside the venue:

"The truth is that anybody who stands up ... and tells the truth ... is going to be a target of the media, just like Donald Trump," Duke said. "Just watch what's happening to Donald Trump." Click below to watch an out-of-control Duke scream at the moderator:

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. An Iowa man suspected of killing two police officers in “ambush-style” killings was taken into custody. Police said 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene had previously been involved in several tense altercations with law enforcement officers, including one incident just weeks ago. (Mark Berman, William Wan and Travis M. Andrews)
  2. The chairman of Metro’s board, Jack Evans, urged a federal takeover of D.C.’s beleaguered transit system. While some regional officials were surprisingly open to the idea, others warned there would be little appetite in Congress to foot the bill. (Robert McCartney, Lori Aratani and Martine Powers)
  3. Investigators believe they might have found the skeletal remains of Amelia Earhart on a desolate Pacific island, possibly solving the decades-long mystery of her 1937 disappearance. Their findings could upend the widely held belief that she died in a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
  4. Gawker settled with Hulk Hogan for $31 million, ending a years-long fight that drove the media company into bankruptcy. In a blog post, Gawker founder Nick Denton said he was confident that an appeals court would have reduced the verdict, but he said doing so would have “cost too much and hurt too many people.” (Bloomberg)
  5. A new anti-collusion lawsuit by the federal government accuses AT&T and DirecTV of leading an illegal plot against the Dodgers Channel, teaming up to keep the L.A. baseball team off the air. (Brian Fung)
  6. South Korean authorities are continuing to investigate Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the president who allegedly used her access and influence to embezzle money and handle classified documents. Choi, the daughter of a religious cult leader, seems to have advised Park on “everything from her wardrobe to speeches about the dream of reunification with North Korea." (Ishaan Tharoor)
  7. The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales apologized for 30 years of “forced” adoptions following World War II. Officials estimate the church oversaw more than half a million of the forced adoptions during this period, pressuring unwed mothers to give up their children. (Samantha Schmidt)
  8. An Islamic State leader said he is “confident” about holding Mosul, speaking in an audio recording as U.S.-backed forces continue an offensive into the Iraqi city. In his remarks, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi also called on militants to invade Turkey. (Reuters)
  9. Amnesty International was evicted from its Moscow offices without warning, after Russian authorities claimed the human rights group was “behind on rent.” Amnesty officials say they have documents to prove otherwise. The event raised questions about whether the eviction was linked to pressures in Russia against groups perceived as challenging the government. (David Filipov)
  10. CSIS, the Washington-based think tank, is trying to conduct a covert public opinion poll in Pyongyang, attempting to figure out what North Koreans really think of the Kim regime. The survey is likely the first of its kind in the country, where residents can be jailed, or worse, for expressing anything other than wholehearted adulation for their leaders. (Anna Fifield)
  11. Thousands of South Africans gathered to demand the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, after allegations that he allowed wealthy families to influence certain Cabinet post selections to benefit their businesses. (AP)
  12. D.C. school officers attempting to help a three-year-old locate his ID from his backpack found a loaded semiautomatic pistol instead — including 15 bullets and one loaded in the chamber. The boy’s father, who dropped him off, insisted that he has “no connection” to the weapon in question. (Keith L. Alexander and Perry Stein)
  13. Who is buying holiday food from Neiman Marcus’s website? That’s the question many people are asking after the store released its ridiculously expensive “gourmet” menu. Customers can choose from items such as a tray of frozen collard greens  $66 a pop  or splurge on $80 baked beans. (Maura Judkis)
The crowd at Clinton's rally in Tempe, Ariz. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

FRESH POLLS SHOW A TIGHTENED RACE:

-- In The Post-ABC tracking poll, enthusiasm for Clinton is back on par with enthusiasm for Trump after a dropoff. Over the weekend, after the FBI announcement, 43 percent of Clinton supporters in our tracking poll said they were “very enthusiastic,” below Trump’s 53 percent. Trump’s advantage in enthusiasm has shrunk to only two points in the last two days of interviewing. Now 48 percent of Clinton supporters call themselves “very enthusiastic,” compared to 50 percent for Trump. (Our pollsters Scott Clement and Emily Guskin explores this further here.)

-- The CBS-New York Times poll shows Clinton up three percentage points (45-42) nationally. She was up nine in their mid-October survey. Six in 10 voters said Comey’s bombshell announcement is unlikely to change their vote. Another third say it makes them less likely to cast their vote for Clinton.
-- CNN-ORC polling puts Clinton up two in Florida and four in Pennsylvania. Trump tops her by four in Nevada and five in Arizona. 

-- WBUR shows Trump up one in New Hampshire (40-39), with Kelly Ayotte ahead by six. Clinton led by three in their poll three weeks ago. Both results are well within the margin of error. The survey was in the field Saturday through Tuesday, immediately after the Comey news.

-- The University of Denver has Clinton and Trump tied in Colorado at 41 percent. Clinton holds a 45-38 advantage among early voters, however.

-- Quinnipiac University has Clinton leading by five in Pennsylvania, three in North Carolina and one in Florida. Trump holds a five-point lead in Ohio.

-- Monmouth University finds Clinton up four in Pennsylvania. She led by 10 in October and eight in August. Democratic Senate candidate challenger Katie McGinty leads Republican incumbent Pat Toomey by three. The race was tied in October, while McGinty had a four-point lead in the summer.

-- A Fox 2 Detroit Mitchell Poll finds Clinton’s lead eroding in Michigan to only three points. She's lost ground with male voters, 18-44 year olds and voters over 65. 

-- These polls can be a little confusing. Here is the bottom line from our in-house handicapper Stu Rothenberg: “The cake was baked in this race. Then James B. Comey threw it away. Now another cake is in the oven. It is still likely to be an identical copy of the first cake, though probably a bit smaller. … Clinton remains the favorite (in both the popular and electoral votes), though a less comfortable one than a week ago.

“In the fight for the Senate, Republicans are now close to even money to hold their majority,” Stu adds. “Open-seat hopeful Joseph J. Heck (R-Nev.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) look better off than they did a week ago, though that does not mean any or all of them will win. The outlook for Senate control is now a virtual toss-up, though with greater downside risk for the GOP.

-- The Fix’s Chris Cillizza concludes that “Clinton still has a solid hold on the 270 electoral votes she needs,” but he outlines four possible paths to victory that Trump still has. “None of the four maps gives Trump more than 273 electoral votes,” he concludes. “Even in the rosiest scenarios I cooked up using our electoral map tool, I could barely get Trump to 300 electoral votes.” (Check out Chris's maps here.)

Obama greets supporters at a rally for Clinton. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE:

-- President Obama expressed concern about early data that shows lower-than-expected black voter turnout in critical states, including North Carolina and Florida. “The African American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be,” Obama said on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” explaining that his record is on the line. “I need everybody to understand that everything we’ve done is dependent on being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things I believe in." A few hours later, he hit the theme again in North Carolina: “So I hate to put a little pressure on you, but the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders." (Greg Jaffe)

-- Alarmed by the problematic numbers, Democrats are going into overdrive to activate African Americans. Three examples:

Priorities USA released a closing ad aimed at the community, contrasting clips of Obama urging African Americans not to “fall for what Donald Trump tries to do” with clips of Trump talking as if every black person lives in a horrifying hellscape. It will run in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida. (Watch here.)

The Clinton campaign released a radio ad called “DISRESPECT” that highlights Trump’s leadership role in the birther movement. It will run in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. (Listen here.)

The Democratic National Committee launched another radio ad titled “When You Vote,” which will air on urban stations in those same states (as well as markets like St. Louis, Milwaukee and Indianapolis). It features the president saying, “Civility is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Respect for women is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot.” (Listen here.)

-- The Republican National Committee responded last night by releasing its own ad aimed at black voters, but the narrator notably does not mention or allude to Trump at any point during the 30 seconds. She merely says “vote Republican” over stock footage of smiling African Americans. The committee said it will air on BET and TVOne.

-- Meanwhile, white nationalists are plotting an Election Day show of force, with the KKK, neo-Nazis and militias detailing plans to monitor urban polling places in a bid to suppress the black vote. From Politico’s Ben Schreckinger: “Neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin plans to muster thousands of poll watchers across all 50 states. His partners at the alt-right website ‘the Right Stuff’ are touting plans to set up hidden cameras at polling places in Philadelphia and hand out liquor and marijuana in the city’s ‘ghetto’ on Election Day to induce residents to stay home. The National Socialist Movement, various factions of the Ku Klux Klan and the white nationalist American Freedom Party all are deploying members to watch polls, either ‘informally’ or, they say, through the Trump campaign.” (The Southern Poverty Law Center said Anglin and his cronies are “serial exaggerators.")

THE DAILY DONALD:

-- Trump struggled to stay on point in Pensacola, Fla., last night, stopping mid-speech to give himself a pep talk. “We’ve gotta be nice and cool,” he said, speaking during his final rally of the day. “Nice and cool. All right? Stay on point, Donald. Stay on point. No sidetracks, Donald!”

“Trump has a reputation for parroting information that he hears, whether it be statistics, an idea for a victory speech, a circulating conspiracy theory or a particular turn-of-phrase,” our Jenna Johnson explains from the trail. “Campaign staffers have found that those who are physically closest to Trump, especially for conversations on his plane, have the greatest opportunity to influence him. Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner have been traveling alongside the nominee in recent days; a possible explanation for the surprisingly on-message Trump. He has even lavished an unusual amount of praise on fellow Republicans  and has, in turn, seen party leaders more publicly embrace him.”

-- The Donald called for an immigration “merit” system at the rally, saying his administration would accept “tremendous” numbers of legal immigrants. “I want people to come in. I want tremendous numbers of people to come in,” Trump said in Pensacola. “And we’re going to have that big, beautiful door in the wall. This isn't the first time Trump has called for an immigration merit system, Jenna notes, though such remarks are not typically part of his campaign speeches. It's unclear what would qualify as a "merit" in such a system, however.

-- Trump will ring in election night at the Hilton Midtown hotel in Manhattan, Sean Sullivan scooped — a relatively low-key affair for the "superstitious" Republican nominee: “The hotel is couple of blocks away from Trump Tower, where the GOP presidential nominee launched his campaign last year. But the atrium in Trump Tower is a privately owned public space, making it a problematic spot for a private campaign event. Trump was fined $10,000 by the City of New York for holding his launch there. It's also quite small for an election night event. The campaign rented a ballroom in the Hilton but expects to do a small event  at least compared to most of Trump's big rallies." In 2012, Mitt Romney spent $25,000 on a fireworks show over Boston Harbor that never went off after he lost to Obama. No such plans are in the works for Trump. A source said Trump “doesn't want to jinx things” by planning a big victory celebration.

-- “Some Who Saw Change in Obama Find It Now in Trump,” by Yamiche Alcindor in the New York Times: A CBS poll found 7 percent of voters who supported Obama in 2012 now back Trump. Interviews with more than a dozen of them revealed a common theme: The message of change that inspired them to vote for Obama is now embodied by Trump, whom they see as a “brash outsider” to shake things up. Gary Kerns, 42, called himself a “bandwagon voter,” drawn to the most popular candidates. In 2008, Kerns voted for Obama because he was moved by his charisma. “Obama was blazing hot,” he said. “There was momentum with him." Now, he sees Obama-like energy in Trump’s candidacy. "Let’s roll with the hot hand," he said.” Others felt duped by Obama and frustrated by personal circumstances. Some complain that the first black president bungled his response to racially charged killings. “Have you ever seen somebody that talks so good and makes you feel that he is in your favor, he’s in your corner, but the truth of the matter he’s not?” said Chuck Linton, a retired military veteran. “That’s Obama.”

Ted Cruz drops out on May 3 in Indianapolis. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

-- Ted Cruz will join Mike Pence on the trail today, stumping alongside the Republican vice presidential nominee for the first time at events in Iowa and Michigan. The joint appearances come as a shift after Cruz and Trump’s hostile rivalry during the Republican primary, in which Cruz slammed Trump as “utterly amoral” and Trump linked Cruz’s father to the JFK assassination. (Politico)

-- “Life on the Inside: Pence’s Turbulent Trip with Trump,” by National Review’s Tim Alberta: “We struck the runway with a thud and felt the wheels clawing for traction on the rain-blanketed tarmac, but it hardly seemed an emergency. Except that it was: The plane had slid off the runway altogether and sliced through a concrete track.... ‘I didn’t realize it,’ Pence told us of the accident, ‘until I saw mud on the front windows.’ Of course, it’s impossible to survey the wreckage from inside the plane. This has been the story of Pence’s time as Trump’s running mate. [Pence] is not oblivious to external perception; he has been stung by criticisms from onetime allies in the evangelical and conservative worlds. Yet down the stretch of this campaign he has tuned them out, retreating deeper into the safe confines of Trump’s bunker to block out the antagonism and gloom. Pence is now willfully insulated — from the possibility that Trump may indeed have committed sexual assault; from the harshest critiques of his decision to join the GOP ticket; and from the reality that its defeat is likely.”

-- Mitch McConnell broke his self-imposed silence on Trump yesterday, making his strongest statement of support yet on behalf of the Republican nominee. "We need a new president, Donald Trump, to be the most powerful Republican in America," McConnell said, speaking at a Kentucky rally. "If America votes like Kentucky, we'll be fine.” (AP)

-- Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said he’s now “inclined” to vote for Trump, sharply reversing himself after urging his party's nominee to drop out of the race just last month. "I wait on events,” he said in an MSNBC interview. “I’ve just been surprised so much in this race. I don't have to cast my absentee for another four or five days and I wait on events.… I'm inclined to cast it for [Trump] but I have to wait and see what happens..."

-- Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon characterized Trump’s campaign as part of a “sea change” reshaping American politics, seeking to tie the campaign to a broader nationalist movement. “This whole movement has a certain global aspect to it,” Bannon said on Breitbart News Daily, a radio program he formerly hosted and said he will host again after the election. “People want more control of their country. They want borders. They want sovereignty. It’s not just a thing that’s happening in any one geographic space.” (BuzzFeed)

-- Jerry Falwell Jr. cut a radio ad for Trump to shore up wavering evangelicals that is airing on Christian radio stations: “I believe Jesus was instructing us to be good citizens and to vote when He said, ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.’ … As Christians, we cannot allow our Supreme Court to be stacked with liberal justices who will transform America and threaten our freedoms. … I ask you to join me.… Stand up for our shared, Christian values. Stand with me and vote Donald Trump for president.” (Listen here.)

-- Plaintiffs in the Trump University lawsuit are arguing that statements made by the real estate developer on the campaign trail this year should be admissible in court. The move comes after Trump’s attorneys filed documents seeking to block all references to Trump's presidential campaign  including his tweets, speeches and advertisements  on the grounds that such citations could "unfairly sway the jury." The Trump University trial is slated to begin at the end of this month. (CNN)

-- A Trump presidency could imperil Los Angeles’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. From USA Today: “A Trump presidency would make it very difficult for Los Angeles to try to win over IOC voters from Islamic and Latin countries, as well as female IOC members, four people involved with U.S. Olympic efforts [said].…  One person said that a Trump victory on Election Day next Tuesday would be an 8½ to 9 on a 10-point ‘catastrophe’ scale for L.A.’s chances. Another referred to it as ‘the ultimate disaster movie."

-- Another illustration of how Trump is affecting how the world sees us: A British town announced it will burn a 36-foot statue of the Republican nominee in a bonfire on Saturday. It’s part of an annual tradition that includes fireworks and a parade, per USA Today.

Hillary speaks at the UA Local 525 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union in Las Vegas yesterday. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE DAILY HILLARY:

-- Clinton made her final pitch to undecided voters in Las Vegas, asking Americans to imagine how a President Trump would conduct himself in the Oval Office. From Abby Phillip, Jenna Johnson and Matea Gold: “Someone who demeans women, mocks the disabled, insults Latinos and African Americans,” Clinton asked, “What would it be like to have that person in the most powerful office in the world?” She continued, “The truth is, we really don’t have to guess. We just have to look at everything he has said and done in his career and in this campaign.” Clinton painted a dire picture for women, immigrants, Muslims and African Americans in a Trump administration, urging supporters to persuade “everyone they know” to vote.

-- Clinton's campaign is doubling television ad spending in Arizona to more than $1 million, even as new polling suggests that Trump is reversing his slide in the state. From Anne Gearan: “Part of the Democratic strategy is to force Trump, with less cash on hand and a much smaller ground operation, to work for a state that has been seen as an easy Republican victory in recent presidential elections. Arizona has voted for Republican by large margins in each election since 2000, but Democrats hope that a large and growing Latino population can begin to change that in the long term.” In addition, her campaign is expanding its air presence in Colorado, Virginia, Michigan and New Mexico with six-figure buys.

-- Clinton’s decision to resume ads in Colorado and Virginia and launch new ad campaigns in New Mexico and Michigan is vindicating many Republicans, who use the purchases as evidence her campaign is failing in its final days. But this is not necessarily so, writes James Downie. In fact, Obama’s campaign used the very same strategy in 2012. “With a week to go in 2012, [Obama’s] campaign expanded where it was buying advertising, adding Pennsylvania and Michigan after weeks of no commercials." At the time, some observers considered these moves a sign that Obama was on the defensive. In the end, he won Pennsylvania by five points and Michigan by nine. “With three weeks to go, Clinton had $171 million in cash of hand. There is simply no reason for her not to spend every penny to win. These are not the moves of a campaign trying to change the electoral math. They are the moves of a campaign confident of where it sits today and how it will do on Nov. 8."

-- Obama blasted Sen. Richard Burr by name while stumping in North Carolina, slamming the Republican senator’s “troubling” rhetoric and his failure to distance himself from Trump. Referring to the fact that Burr was just caught on tape joking with gun owners about shooting Clinton — something he has since apologized for — Obama said, “That’s not something we do.” “If a Democrat did it, I would condemn it in a hot second,” Obama added, saying it was unacceptable to joke about committing violence against public officials. (Juliet Eilperin)

POTUS also lit into Burr and other Senate Republicans for suggesting an indefinite blockade of Supreme Court nominees: “Right now, because a lot of them think that Trump will lose, they're already promising even more unprecedented dysfunction in Washington, which is pretty hard to do,” he said at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “They're promising years of investigations, years of hearings.  More shutdowns.  More obstruction. … More repeal votes. Some are saying they won't appoint a ninth Supreme Court justice at all. … Senator Burr, just said that, if Hillary wins, he'll do everything he can to block all Supreme Court nominations. Now, keep in mind that the reason they said they would not have a hearing or vote for my Supreme Court nomination, bucking all of American history, was because we thought the American people should decide the next Supreme Court justice. Now they're saying, well, if they don’t decide the way we want them to decide, maybe we won't even do that. Eleven years ago, Richard Burr said a Supreme Court without nine justices would not work. Well, what changed? Only Republican presidents get to nominate judges? Is that in the Constitution? I used to teach constitutional law. I've never seen that provision!”

-- Joe Biden in Palm Beach Gardens: “You win here in Florida, it is all over. We can go to bed early on election night!”

-- Some women are organizing Clinton supporters to wear WHITE as they head to the polls, harking back to a color often worn by suffragists in protests during the early 1900s. One woman in Little Rock organized a gathering of 200 Clinton supporters to wear white and vote early on the Democratic nominee’s birthday. (Boston Globe

PUNDITS INVEIGH AGAINST TRUMP:

-- “To vote for Trump as a protest against Clinton’s faults would be like amputating a leg because of a sliver in the toe; cutting one’s throat to lower one’s blood pressure,” former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum writes in an op-ed for The Atlantic: “I more or less agree with Trump on [immigration]. … But that was before Trump expanded the debate to include such questions as: ‘Should America honor its NATO commitments?’ ‘Are American elections real or fake?’ ‘Are handicapped people comical?’ We don’t have to analogize Trump to any of the lurid tyrants of world history to recognize in him the most anti-constitutional personality ever to gain a major-party nomination for the U.S. presidency. I cannot predict whether Trump would succeed in elevating himself ‘on the ruins of public liberty.’ The outcome would greatly depend on the resolve, integrity, and courage of other leaders and other institutions.… What we should all foresee is that a President Trump will certainly try to realize Washington’s nightmare. He must not be allowed to try.”

-- “It is mystifying that so many Republicans, after criticizing Mr. Obama for eight years for showing insufficient pride in the United States, would attach themselves to someone who has such contempt for the country, its institutions and its values,” The Post’s Editorial Board writes. “We believe, as we have said, that Ms. Clinton is well-prepared to serve as president. But even voters who disagree — who believe that Ms. Clinton is unqualified or ethically distasteful — cannot realistically argue that she represents a danger to the republic. Mr. Trump is such a danger. Only by forgetting or ignoring what he has told us could Americans decide otherwise.”

-- Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat argues that it is irresponsible for the pro-life community, if they’re playing the long game, to support Trump: “So long as your polity offers mechanisms for eventually changing unjust laws, it’s better to accept the system’s basic legitimacy and work within it for change than to take steps, violent or otherwise, that risk blowing the entire apparatus up. … Not because it is guaranteed long-term victory in that scenario or any other. But because the deepest conservative insight is that justice depends on order as much as order depends on justice.”

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

Gary Johnson speaks in New Hampshire. (Libby March/For The Washington Post)

-- “Was 2016 a missed opportunity for libertarians?” by David Weigel: “In 2015 and 2016, for months at a time, the rise of libertarian-minded candidates sparked questions about whether a ‘libertarian moment’ had arrived. Sen. Rand Paul’s high-profile run for president rattled Democrats who worried about the shifting millennial vote. [And Gary] Johnson, an asterisk in the 2012 campaign, found hundreds of reporters following his 2016 bid. ‘I think the Libertarian Party will grow by leaps and bounds,’ he said. Some of that has happened. But it’s less than libertarians expected, and it comes as both the Democratic and Republican parties sprint further from their views. [Sanders], not Rand Paul, became 2016’s breakout star with young voters; his campaign found millions of them saying they preferred socialism to capitalism. [Meanwhile, Trump’s] takeover of the Republican Party moved it further from the Koch sweet spot on immigration, policing and entitlements. This has been the year of the alt-right more than the year of the libertarian — far more.”

-- “2016 has not been a good year for men,” by Mary Jordan: “Loud on nastiness, the presidential campaign has quietly ushered in an upside, according to many women’s rights activists. They see a new realization of how rampant nonconsensual sexual behavior is. And, according to interviews with activists in 10 states, more men now feel obliged to condemn it because silence implicitly condones it.”

-- “Lance Armstrong’s latest race: Outrunning a $100M U.S. fraud claim in U.S. court,” by Spencer S. Hsu: “Cyclist Lance Armstrong was in federal court in Washington on Wednesday backed by a new team: his lawyers. The Texan who rode to worldwide glory in seven Tour de France wins, mostly sporting U.S. Postal Service logos, is trying to stop the government from collecting $100 million in damages it says he owes taxpayers for lost promotional value after he admitted to doping. Armstrong argues that the Postal Service got more than its money’s worth as his sponsor from 2000 to 2004 and was at court as his four attorneys pressed the point, sunglasses folded on the table in front of him, jotting notes and leafing through case exhibits. The long-running and complicated federal fraud suit involving Armstrong dates to 2000 and has gone through more twists and turns than the Alpine climbs and switchbacks that once established his reputation.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

"Somebody in the Dallas metropolitan area super-glued razor blades to the bottom of a Trump campaign sign this week and plunged it into the ground outside an early voting polling place," Katie Mettler reports. "It was left directly in front of the official polling site sign ... blocking 'vote here' directions, so a do-gooder decided to relocate it at about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday. But in the early morning darkness, he didn’t see the sharp, shiny line protruding from the sign’s edge. He lifted — and the blades sliced."

At a Trump rally in Florida, supporters held up target practice signs with Clinton's face. From a Tampa Bay Times reporter:

Trump called out NBC reporter Katy Tur at a rally: 

Journalists and commentators rallied around her:

The hashtag started trending:

Frank Luntz was called out for circulating a false rumor:

Scott Walker's mom rooted for the Cubs:

Bill Maher sat down for an interview with Obama:

Listen up for this word from Pence:

Early voting took place in D.C.'s jails:

John McCain offered a pre-election reminder of his family's history of service:

It's that time of year -- Capitol Hill is starting the process of getting its Christmas tree:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

-- New York Times, “Why Sexual Harassment Persists in Politics,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg: "Senator Claire McCaskill got a powerful tutorial about life as a woman in politics when she became a state legislator in 1983, and asked the House speaker on the dais his advice for getting legislation passed. 'Claire,’ she recalls his saying … ‘did you bring your kneepads?’ It has been 25 years since Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas before an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee, [propelling] the term sexual harassment into the national spotlight. [But now], once again, the nation is debating gender roles ... In this tumbling forth, there is another little-noticed truth: Politics and legislatures, like many other environments, remain rife with sexual harassment — and young people, including men, are particularly at risk, and still reluctant to speak out.”

-- FORESHADOWING? “The day Melania Trump was sworn in as president,” by Univision’s Gerardo Reyes: “The president-elect descends the stairs of an airplane wearing a long, elegant coat and waves to unseen supporters. Secret service-style bodyguards allow a TV crew to approach on the tarmac. The low budget video purports to show ‘the first woman president of the United States on the day of her inauguration,’ … [Ironically], the supposed president is none other than a 23-year-old Melania Knavs … It's one more, albeit trivial, detail from the little known life of the would-be first lady of United States.” (One scene shows her signing off on an immigration document.)

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“’Vote Trump’ painted on burned Mississippi black church,” from The Clarion-Ledger: “Authorities investigating a historically black church burned Tuesday night in Greenville also found ‘Vote Trump’ spray-painted on the side. Mayor Errick D. Simmons called the attack on the century-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church ‘a heinous, hateful and cowardly act,’ which is being investigated as a possible hate crime. It's the latest violence during a presidential election cycle that has turned increasingly ugly. Last month, someone burned a Republican headquarters in North Carolina, spray-painting a message on the side of the building, ‘Nazi Republicans leave town or else.’”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“Chico State Athletic Program: Don’t Say Offensive Words Like ‘Coward’ and ‘Spaz,” from National Review: “California State University, Chico’s athletic program has launched a ‘We Don’t Say’ initiative instructing players not to use words like ‘coward’ or ‘spaz’ to ensure ‘care and inclusivity.’ Other no-no phrases include ‘just kill me,’ ‘you’re a failure,’ and ‘like a girl,’ [along with other more offensive racial slurs] … According to the school’s athletic department website, the campaign features a series of posters that say things like, ‘I don’t say coward because you can’t judge someone else by your own standards’ and ‘I don’t say the N word because demeaning someone based on their ethnicity is unacceptable.’” The posters will be hung around athletic facilities across campus.

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Trump is in Jacksonville, Fla., Berwyn, Pa. (where he will be joined by Melania), Concord and Selma, N.C. Kaine campaigns in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Sanders speaks in Youngstown and Cincinnati, Ohio. Pence is in Prole, Iowa, Portage, Mich., and Moon Township, Pa.; Donald Jr. is in Denver and Fort Collins, Colo. and Las Vegas; Ivanka stops in Oakland County, Michigan and Manchester, Hollis and Nashua, N.H.; and Eric is in Hudson, Claire, Chippewah Falls and Weston, Wis.

At the White House: Obama stumps for Clinton in Miami and Jacksonville, Fla.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

Asked if he’s worried about potentially facing six months in prison, Sheriff Joe Arpaio told MSNBC: “No, it would be in a federal prison. I can eat good. But no, I’m not going to jail. What are you kidding? We’ll fight this to the bitter end.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

-- Some showers, along with record-setting temps, are expected in D.C. today. Our friends at the Capital Weather Gang forecast: “Clouds should start to gather by midmorning but the warmup is still likely to be impressive. Showers are expected to begin scattering across the region by early afternoon and timing will determine whether we capture records or fall short in the mid-to-upper 70s. My bet is we just make it. There could be a rumble of thunder in some parts of the area but rain amounts are still mainly enough to settle the dust and little more. Winds are brisk from the west with gusts into the 20s when the showers arrive.”

-- The Wizards lost to the Raptors 113-103.

-- The African American Museum will begin allowing walk-up entry on weekdays later this month. The timed passes – which have been used to curb overflow at the popular new museum – will still be required on weekends. (Peggy McGlone)

-- In a Post op-ed about Comey’s announcement, former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray recounts what it is like when federal authorities weigh in publicly during your campaign. “In March 2014, one week before the beginning of early voting in D.C.’s Democratic primary, then-U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen dropped a bombshell on my mayoral reelection campaign. He brought the kingpin of a political crime operation into court, announced that he’d struck a plea deal – and … for all intents and purposes, asserted that I was a co-conspirator and would soon be indicted. Before what became known in District politics as ‘Machen Monday,’ my campaign substantially led every public poll. … That lead, however, quickly evaporated, and there was no time to recover. A year and a half later, long after the November general election, the U.S. attorney’s office ended the case. No charges were filed against me, nor was an iota of wrongdoing suggested. The case was much ado about nothing, but my reelection was sabotaged, and District voters were duped. … Nothing is more important to candidates than the trust they build with voters. And nothing is more fragile. Law enforcement has an unrivaled ability to shatter that trust. Accordingly, it should not behave like a bull in a china shop.”

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Rob Portman is spending $1 million to air a closing, straight-to-camera ad from the floor of a factory that made the flags which were hoisted over Iwo Jima and on the moon:

Seth Meyers argued the campaign has revealed the real Donald Trump:

Scandal’s fictional President Tony Goldwyn imagines how a feminist president would react to the 2016 election for Vox:

Jon Stewart tore into Trump in a rare public appearance:

Anthony Weiner might destroy not one but two political careers, according to Stephen Colbert:

James Franco starred in a new EMILY's List ad promoting Clinton:

Clinton's campaign released a new ad targeting Latinos (check it out here in Spanish):

The Republican National Committee did the same (Spanish version here):

This "Women Vote" video imagines a day in the life of President Trump's America:

Comedian Louis CK explained his support for Clinton:

Several Clinton supporters imagined a mock "intervention" with Ivanka to ask how she could possibly support her father:

Finally, on a lighter note, here are some sleepy puppies:

And here's Beyonce's performance at last night's Country Music Awards: