By Washington DC bureau chief Zoe Daniel
Just three and a bit weeks from the presidential election: how low can it go?
Over the past week the national conversation has swung from Donald Trump’s toxic comments about using his fame to sexually dominate women, to the numerous sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton, to Hillary enabling Bill’s cheating behaviour and then back to allegations that Donald Trump touched women inappropriately.
It should be said he vehemently denies the allegations and the various accusations against Bill Clinton have not been prosecuted.
But no-one’s letting that stop them slinging mud as the campaigning hits fever pitch.
As well as the allegations of intimidation to hide Bill’s behaviour, Hillary Clinton is also facing new pressure over WikiLeaks revealing a series of email conversations between her campaign staff.
Apart from showing that she employs some double language in relation to her policies depending on her audience, they also show concern within her campaign that the deep trust issues about her within the electorate may prevent her from winning.
(And, importantly, give away campaign chairman John Podesta’s secrets for making risotto.)
Meanwhile the Republican Party has begun to eat itself, with powerful House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he’ll no longer defend or campaign for Mr Trump.
That’s creating all sorts of internal havoc as Trump loyalists accuse those deserting the campaign of disloyalty, while those bailing out say they can’t, in good conscience, back Mr Trump anymore, even though the exodus is trashing his chances of getting elected.
And then there are the polls.
Using a four-way split, which includes the Green and Libertarian candidates, Hillary is up as much as 11 points. If we revert to the polling average, she’s up around six, which is outside the margin of error.
The battleground states are fascinating, with several traditionally red states now in play for the Democrats.
Take a look at these poll numbers for Utah, by the way. It’s been Republican since 1964.
Here’s our recent interview with the so-called spoiler Evan McMullin, if you’re interested in what he’s about.
“If we don’t win this election, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know.” – Donald Trump speaking to supporters at a rally in Ocala.
“It makes you want to unplug the internet and just look at cat gifs.” – Hillary Clinton when discussing allegations against Mr Trump.
He continues to do the rounds for Hillary – this week up in Maine. However, he also tweeted that election day should be a public holiday, which is not only a good idea but probably a vote winner. You should’ve brought that one up sooner, Bern!
By the numbers
65 seconds – that’s how much more Donald Trump spoke during Sunday’s second presidential debate. In total, Trump spoke for 40 minutes and 10 seconds, according to CNN. On the other hand, Hillary spoke for 39 minutes and five seconds.
The week of golden gifs and vids
Could there be any better fodder?
Clark and Dawe