Bonus Quote of the Day

“If we had party unity, we couldn’t lose this election to Hillary Clinton… The people are very angry with the leadership of this party, because this is an election that we will win 100 percent if we had support from the top. I think we’re going to win it anyway.

— Donald Trump, in an interview with Reuters.

Trump Says Clinton Could Cause World War III

Donald Trump told Reuters that Hillary Clinton’s plan for Syria would “lead to World War Three,” because of the potential for conflict with military forces from nuclear-armed Russia.

Said Trump: “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”

He added: “You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk.”

Clinton Leads Trump By 12 Points

A new Democracy Corps (D) survey shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump, 50% to 38%, with Gary Johnson at 5%.

Key finding: “There is a chance to translate Clinton’s emerging landslide into a wave down ballot. In a simulated contest where the Republican congressional candidate argues they are needed as an independent check on Clinton, the Democrats move into a 9-point lead in the congressional match-up after the Republican is attacked.”

Yes, It’s the Longest Campaign Possible

Washington Post: “To make things more excruciating, Election Day happens to be scheduled on the latest possible day this year. America votes not on the first Tuesday in November, but on the first Tuesday after a Monday in November — i.e., any time between Nov. 2 and Nov. 8. Because November 1 falls on a Tuesday, we have almost an entire extra week of campaigning this election. In fact, it’s the latest election date since George Bush faced off against Michael Dukakis in 1988.”

Jeff Greenfield: “It’s become just about all anybody can say: ‘I can’t wait for this election to be over.’ It also is very likely to become a textbook case of: ‘be careful what you wish for.’ If you think this contest has demonstrated fault lines in our political system, I have news for you: Come January, we may all be standing close to the San Andreas fault of government dysfunction.”

Trump’s Biggest Fear Is Losing Status

New York Times: “The intense ambitions and undisciplined behaviors of Mr. Trump have confounded even those close to him, especially as his presidential campaign comes to a tumultuous end, and he confronts the possibility of the most stinging defeat of his life. But in the more than five hours of conversations — the last extensive biographical interviews Mr. Trump granted before running for president — a powerful driving force emerges: his deep-seated fear of public embarrassment.”

“The recordings reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace. They capture the visceral pleasure he derives from fighting, his willful lack of interest in history, his reluctance to reflect on his life and his belief that most people do not deserve his respect.”

“In the interviews, Mr. Trump makes clear just how difficult it is for him to imagine — let alone accept — defeat.”

Rauner Pours $46 Million Into Legislative Races

With little more than two weeks until Election Day, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) personal investment in eroding the ranks of legislative Democrats led by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) has grown to nearly $46 million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“The massive influx of cash represents the election-year battle lines playing out in Illinois after more than a year of fighting between Rauner, the first-term governor, and Madigan, the nation’s longest-serving speaker, over the future of the state.”

Will Trump Have a Closing Message?

Rick Klein: “If you believe Donald Trump’s version of the race, or something in its vicinity, he’s down but not out. Lacking another debate and trailing Hillary Clinton in resources, he needs something dramatic to change directions – or at least get those on the sidelines suited up on his behalf. His overriding message in recent days has been about the ‘rigged election’ – a rallying cry for anger, though not necessarily voting.”

“He is, of course, attacking the polls he once touted at the top of all his big speeches. He has also, in recent days, threaten to sue his accusers, along with the usual jumps on headlines – Wikileaks revelations, Obamacare rates, etc. The freewheeling style has gotten him this far. But it’s hard to discern a strategy behind Trump’s campaign style now, with two precious weeks still to play with.”

Women Actually Win Just as Often as Men

New York Times: “When women run for political office, they are just as likely as men to be elected. The main reason they are so underrepresented is that they don’t run in the first place.”

“The so-called ambition gap has a few causes, researchers say. Women are less likely than men to be encouraged by parents, teachers or party leaders to run — yet they are also less likely to run without being prodded. They underestimate their abilities and assume they need to be much more qualified than men to run for the same office.”

Republicans Should Be Very Worried

Charlie Cook: “For sev­er­al weeks many Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates and op­er­at­ives have been fret­ting that Don­ald Trump’s mis­be­got­ten can­did­acy could cause the bot­tom to fall out for GOP can­did­ates in Sen­ate, House, gubernat­ori­al, state le­gis­lat­ive, and oth­er down-bal­lot races. While their con­cerns were le­git­im­ate, it seemed too soon for the GOP to pan­ic. After all, the Don­ald Trump brand and the Re­pub­lic­an Party brand were cer­tainly not one and the same. Hil­lary Clin­ton’s neg­at­ives were so high that a land­slide seemed un­likely. And in quite a few races the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates for some of these of­fices were not ex­actly of top shelf.”

“So while pan­ic should not be the GOP’s at­ti­tude right now, ex­treme worry seems ap­pro­pri­ate. The bot­tom has not fallen out for can­did­ates down the bal­lot, but many Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates are see­ing their num­bers turn to purple or even blue. One vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an poll­ster said privately on Monday morn­ing that he felt ‘sick to his stom­ach.’ In some cases, can­did­ates are weighed down by their as­so­ci­ation with Trump. In oth­er cases, Trump is caus­ing nor­mally stal­wart Re­pub­lic­an voters to lose heart. They see the GOP pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee go­ing down in flames and don’t want to be part of a Hil­lary Clin­ton coron­a­tion, so they’re con­tem­plat­ing not vot­ing at all. When people re­port a lack of en­thu­si­asm about vot­ing, that of­ten res­ults in their drop­ping out as “likely voters” in opin­ion polls, caus­ing the op­pos­i­tion can­did­ate’s sup­port levels to bal­loon.”

Obamacare Premiums Will Spike Next Year

Associated Press: “Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another ‘Obamacare’ controversy days before a presidential election. Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.”

However, the Huffington Post reports the law’s financial assistance “will protect millions of lower-income families from these premium increases, and others can find relief by switching to different plans next year to save money.”