Cruz Has Been Profiting from Trump for Months

Politico: “Just six weeks after he dropped out – and more than a month before Cruz would dramatically snub the nominee at the Republican National Convention – the senator quietly began renting his vast donor email file to his former rival, pocketing at least tens of thousands of dollars, and more likely hundreds of thousands, that can be used to bankroll the Texan’s own political future.”

“The exact details of Trump’s financial arrangement with Cruz are unclear, and loose federal record-keeping makes it impossible to verify. But an email rate sheet obtained by POLITICO shows that Cruz asks campaigns to pay more than $22,000 for the right to send a single email his list of 280,000 digital donors.”

Democratic Hopes of Winning Senate Fade

“Democrats are now facing a tougher road to capturing the Senate majority as the presidential race tightens and Donald Trump is not proving to be the dramatic drag on down-ballot candidates that Republicans once feared,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump’s resilience and faltering Democratic campaigns in battleground states means the fight for the Senate has settled into a knuckle-to-knuckle brawl likely to result in a chamber will be closely divided or potentially even tied.”

“Democrats can still manage to win the four or five seats they need to claim the Senate majority, but the battle has shifted from purple states that Barack Obama twice carried — Ohio and Florida — to Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, where Obama lost in 2012.”

Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 55% chance to win the Senate while The Upshot gives Republicans a 62% chance.

Clinton Has Focused on Trump’s Personality

Washington Post: “At a working group session in August, Clinton advisers met with a small group hand-picked by the campaign to help shed light on the Republican nominee. The focus on Trump’s personality suggests that Clinton’s approach on Monday may be quite different from her strategy in past debates — and that her campaign expects this event to be unlike any other.”

“The aides involved in debate prep including her longtime aide Philippe Reines, who has played Trump in mock debate sessions. They conferred for hours with campaign outsiders who were asked to offer advice about Trump’s personality and temperament, according to people familiar with the meeting. The meeting lasted several hours.”

Why Trump Should Not Be President

From the New York Times editorial board:

Voters attracted by the force of the Trump personality should pause and take note of the precise qualities he exudes as an audaciously different politician: bluster, savage mockery of those who challenge him, degrading comments about women, mendacity, crude generalizations about nations and religions. Our presidents are role models for generations of our children. Is this the example we want for them?

Trump Has a ‘Psychological Profile’ of Clinton

“Donald Trump’s team has created a detailed analysis of Hillary Clinton’s debate style — including her body language and verbal tics — with the goal of helping the GOP nominee exploit weaknesses during Monday’s debate,” Politico reports.

“The advisers believe that the profile proves that Clinton has significant weaknesses and that they have identified her ‘tells’ — words, phrases or gestures she uses when she’s unsure of an answer, or is trying to deflect her way out of an uncomfortable question, according to the operatives familiar with the preparations.”

 

Both Campaigns Shift Focus to the Moderator

Rick Klein: “The public’s expectations are clear: 47 percent of Americans expect Hillary Clinton to win Monday’s first presidential debate, compared to only 33 percent for Donald Trump. As for the campaigns’ expectations, they’re focused on the moderator. Critical to both sides is the role of Lester Holt. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on ‘This Week’ that it’s ‘unfair’ to expect Clinton to fact-check Trump… Mook’s counterpart on the Trump campaign, Kellyanne Conway, is working the refs from the opposite direction. ‘I really don’t appreciate campaigns thinking it’s the job of the media to go and be the virtual fact-checkers, and that debate moderators should somehow do their bidding,’ Conway said.”

“The focus on the man in the middle on Monday speaks to how nervous both sides are about the single biggest event of the campaign. But come Tuesday, fact-checks or not, it’s going to be the takeaways from Clinton and Trump – the pieces Mook and Conway both know they can only control so much – that’s likely to last.”

For members: Why Debate Expectations Matter

One Third of Voters Say Debates Will Help Them Decide

“One-third of voters say the presidential debates will be very important in helping them decide who to support for president, with slightly more Republicans than Democrats saying so,” a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

“Some 34% of registered voters said the set of three presidential debates that start on Monday in New York would be extremely or quite important to their decision. Among Republicans, 37% said the debates would be important to them, while 31% of Democrats said the same.”

Trump Campaign Quarrels Over Money Woes

“Frustration is growing within Donald Trump’s campaign over the Republican nominee’s yawning money gap with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — just as the presidential race heads into its final fall stretch,” Politico reports.

“Trump’s top advisers have held a series of tense conversations in recent days about how to close a fundraising hole that’s grown to over $200 million – a deficit that’s led Trump to essentially cede the TV airwaves to his Democratic rival. The discussions, which were relayed by more than a half-dozen sources, have veered into finger pointing, with some participants pinning the blame on the Republican National Committee or on Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman and a newcomer to the political scene.”

“The shortfall is putting Trump at a substantial disadvantage during the remaining few weeks of the campaign, as focus shifts to the clinical – and costly — process of bringing voters out to the polls.”