The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: America Goes All In

The third, and final, presidential debate will take place tonight in Las Vegas.

David Goldman / AP

Today in 5 Lines

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in the third, and final, presidential debate, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET at the University of Nevada. The student newspapers of Clinton’s and Trump’s alma maters joined forces to endorse the Democratic nominee for president. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said that she doesn’t believe there will be widespread voter fraud in the presidential election, but said there is “a larger conspiracy” working against Trump. NATO said in a statement that a gunman killed two Americans, a soldier and a civilian, near a military base outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. There are more than 200 million people registered to vote in the United States, marking an all-time high in the country’s history.

The Final Presidential Debate

We’re following the final presidential debate live here. For more, read Russell Berman on Donald Trump’s plan to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. Check out Adrienne LaFrance on algorithmic analysis of campaign coverage. And join us as we follow Trump and Clinton down the homestretch of the presidential race.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Never Say Never: Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has “increasingly embraced the rhetoric and logic of the extremist far right in American history.” His political success gives the American public reason to doubt the fate of democracy now more than ever. (Larry Diamond)

  • ‘The Tide of Hate’: Anti-Semitic death threats against journalists have significantly increased in 2016, according to a new report. The data may foreshadow the type of treatment all journalists will likely face in the digital age—regardless of whether Trump becomes president. (Emma Green)

  • One Step Too Far?: Donald Trump has received pushback—both from Democrats and his own supporters—for insisting that the presidential election is rigged. But what is it about this particular claim that generates more anger than his prior attacks? (David A. Graham)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


A student standing in for Hillary Clinton is captured on the large monitor during a rehearsal for the third presidential debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. David Goldman / AP

What We’re Reading

A Game of Senate Roulette: Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey has broken from party doctrine to support tighter gun regulations. Will this risky bet help him hang on to his Senate seat come November? (Rebecca Nelson, The Trace)

Donald’s Surrogate-in-Chief: Scottie Nell Hughes has become a familiar face on television. But among Trump’s surrogates, she “has the distinction of being the OG,” writes Olivia Nuzzi. Why is she so loyal to Trump? And how does she avoid becoming “calloused”? (GQ)

What’s Happening in Colorado?: Since 2015, Colorado Springs has seen a number of teen suicides—and it appears to be getting worse. Decades of national research indicate the trend may, in fact, be contagious. (Max Kutner, Newsweek)

‘Drawing the Line’: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to review a long-running fight in North Carolina over gerrymandering. But many local voters feel their concerns will be drowned out by the presidential election. (Max Blau, Guardian US)

Back on the Streets: Many civil-rights activists in the United States believe the police arbitration system, which is meant to hold law enforcement accountable for their infractions, is failing. Here’s why the issue is so complicated. (Alan Neuhauser, U.S. News and World Report)


Mapping the Vote: The New York Times Upshot analyst Nate Cohn and editor Toni Monk explain what the 2012 presidential election results can tell us about America and the 2016 election. Check out the map here.

Question of the Week

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump tweeted his distaste for Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live, calling the show “boring and unfunny.” But the show, which has been poking fun at presidential elections since 1976, is experiencing its highest ratings in eight years. Back then, Tina Fey famously guest-starred to play then vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

What are your favorite SNL election skits—and why?

Send your answers to, and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Candice Norwood (@cjnorwoodwrites)