The Cable

Battleground ’16: Desperate Trump Takes Drastic Debate Measures

Trump's debate performance won't be enough to stem the GOP bloodletting, or lock up the vote.


LAS VEGAS — At a GOP watch party for the second presidential debate, wild cheers went up when Donald Trump told Hillary Clinton if elected president, he’d throw her in jail, making abundantly clear that revelations he’s bragged about sexually assaulting women have not swayed his faithful supporters. The event was well-equipped, offering “Lock her up” t-shirts for sale.

A week ago, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and one of Trump’s closest advisors, told FP that the coming week would make or break the Republican nominee’s embattled campaign. The last 72 hours seemed to point to the latter, with GOP leaders crawling over each other to make it to the proverbial fire escape — including the party’s Senate candidate in the battleground state of Nevada, and on Monday morning, current House Speaker Paul Ryan.

But Gingrich also said that for the second presidential debate, a town hall format initially intended to focus thematically on foreign policy, were Trump to be pressed on national security strategy or specifics: “He ought to blow them all off.” 

That’s pretty much what he did, and his supporters ate it up. But his base won’t be enough to lock up the vote.

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.


Trump Shrugs Off Scandal, Backs Russia, and Throws Pence Under the Bus

The Republican nominee’s Hail Mary: Break ranks with his own running mate, and vow to put Hillary behind bars.



“When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.”

— Donald Trump in a video from 2005, a story broken by the Washington Post on Friday



As Panic Spreads, Embattled GOP Senate Candidates Call for Trump to Withdraw

Witnessing the GOP bloodletting from a frontrow seat in battleground Nevada.



Hillary Clinton for President of the United States

A Donald Trump presidency is among the greatest threats facing America, and the Republican standard-bearer is the worst major-party candidate for the job in U.S. history.

In the nearly half-century history of Foreign Policy, the editors of this publication have never endorsed a candidate for political office. We cherish and fiercely protect this publication’s independence and its reputation for objectivity, and we deeply value our relationship with all of our readers, regardless of political orientation.

It is for all these reasons that FP’s editors are now breaking with tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton for the next president of the United States.



39 vs 45

The percentage of voters who think Trump should end his presidential campaign compared to the percentage who think he should stay in the race, per a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted Saturday.



United States Accuses Russia of Using Hacking to Meddle in Election

“Only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” American spies say.

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.

Photo credit: Win McNamee / Staff

Molly O’Toole is a senior reporter at Foreign Policy, covering immigration, refugees, and national security. She was FP’s sole 2016 presidential campaign reporter, on the trail from New Hampshire to Nevada. Previously, she covered the politics of national security for Atlantic Media’s Defense One, where she reported from Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Before that, she was a news editor at the Huffington Post. Molly has also reported on national and international politics for Reuters, the Nation, The Associated Press, and Newsweek International, among others, from Washington, New York, Mexico City, and London. She received her dual master’s degree in journalism and international relations from New York University and her bachelor’s from Cornell University and in 2016 was a grant recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation. She will always be a Californian. @mollymotoole

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