Countdown to Election Day 2016: What you need to know today

Tracking the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION DAY (Nov. 8): 10 days

LATEST NEWS

With 10 days to go …

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton returns to South Florida today with a clear challenge: refocus her campaign a day after it was rocked by an FBI announcement.

The effort faced another distraction early Saturday afternoon: The Associated Press and other news organizations reported that Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other administration officials objected to FBI Director James Comey informing Congress of another investigation potentially involving Clinton’s already controversial email practices. The federal agency gave no details about the case, but it was reported to have been sparked by an unrelated probe into sexting by Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton confidant Huma Abedin.

News of Department of Justice resistance to the announcement is sure to fuel renewed charges by GOP nominee Donald Trump and Republican leaders that the administration is working to cover up the email issue.

On Friday, Trump seized on the FBI announcement saying: “We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office. … This is bigger than Watergate.”

Clinton defiantly called on the FBI to release more information.

“Voting is underway, so the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” Clinton said during a campaign stop in Des Moines.

The announcement capped a week that, for Clinton, began a lot more confidently than it ended.

Clinton was riding a surge of confidence as she entered the campaign’s homestretch after the Oct. 19 final debate with Trump. Meanwhile, the Republican candidate and part-time Palm Beach resident continued to stumble. The release of an audio tape of what Trump termed “locker room” talk was followed by a dozen women stepping forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.

But the week’s fortunes changed, first, as a series of conflicting polls suggested the outcome of the presidential race remained undecided, especially in key battleground states, including Florida. That was followed by reports of sharp increases in Obamacare exchange costs from 2017. In addition, more Wikileaks revelations again put Clinton’s emails and the Clinton Foundation in an unwelcome spotlight for Democrats.

Finally, on Friday, the FBI announcement stunned Clinton’s campaign.

WHERE ARE CLINTON, TRUMP TODAY?

Clinton will start the day at rally in Daytona Beach, and then appear with Jennifer Lopez in Miami’s Bayfront Park Amphitheater.

Trump is campaigning in Golden , Colo., and Phoenix, Ariz.

Also stumping …

For Clinton: Bill Clinton is at rallies in Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden is in Nevada and Chelsea Clinton is in Michigan.

In Jacksonville, Fla., Democratic leaders Reta Jo Lewis, Leah Daughtry, Yolanda Caraway, and Secretary Alexis Herman will embark on a “Black Girl Magic” tour and campaign.

WHO’S VOTED?

As of Friday, more than 150,000 people have voted in Palm Beach County, and more than 3.25 million people have voted in Florida. Early voting ends Nov. 6.

LOCAL CELEB WATCH

In Miami, Clinton will be joined by Lopez and Marc Anthony, Gente de Zona, DJ Extreme & Radio Personality Enrique Santos.

In Riviera Beach, actress Alfre Woodard campaigned for Clinton and local Democrats at a breakfast.

In Riviera Beach, actress Alfre Woodard campaigned for Clinton and local democrats at a breakfast.

POLL RESULTS: WHERE THEY STAND

Poll results as of Saturday, Oct. 30

LA Times/USC: Trump 46, Clinton 44

ABC News Clinton 47, Trump 45

Poll results as of Friday, Oct. 29

Rasmussen: Clinton, Trump tied at 45 each

IBD/TIPP: Clinton 44, Trump 41

STORIES THAT MATTERED MOST

Who is Anthony Weiner and how is he connected to Hillary Clinton?

Trump says he may sue over ‘illegal’ 2005 ‘Access Hollywood’ video

Trump v Clinton: College professor correctly called the last 8 elections

3.25 million Floridians have voted; 40.8% of ballots from GOP, 40.1% from Dems

Erica Garner rips Clinton campaign for emails about her father’s death

CANDIDATES’ LATEST TWEETS

Hillary Clinton at Palm Beach State: Every vote counts

On her 69th birthday, in what might be the most important state on Election Day — what else is new? — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told an overflowing crowd Wednesday at Palm Beach State College to vote, and make sure their friends vote, and, if possible, vote early.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an early voting rally at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an early voting rally at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

“We need to work for the next 13 days, and here in Florida, voting could not be easier,” she told a crowd in a gymnasium at the college west of Lake Worth.

Clinton staffers, quoting the local fire marshal, said the gym was at its capacity of 2,100 and overflows watched a video feed from an auxiliary room.

Clinton even directed those in the crowd who haven’t done so yet to head right from the rally to the Palm Beach County Lantana Road branch library, just three miles away. It’s one of 15 sites where early voting started Monday and runs through Nov. 6, just two days before Clinton faces off with GOP nominee, and part-time Palm Beacher, Donald Trump.

In a reference to the tumultuous 2000 presidential recount, she said, “We can’t take our foot off the gas. Every vote counts. Just ask my friend Al Gore.”

Clinton noted that already more than 200 million people nationwide, more than 50 million of those young people, have registered to vote, and 10 million nationwide already have cast ballots, “2 million of them right here in Florida.”

Clinton again attacked Trump’s refusal to say he’d respect the vote, saying, “nobody who’s ever run for president has ever said that.” She said that, as Secretary of State, she visited countries that really do rig their elections.

Clinton didn’t refer to this week’s news that premiums for the Affordable Care Act were shooting up. But State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, chair of the Republican Party of Florida, said in a statement issued Tuesday, “On the heels of Obamacare premiums increasing at an average of 25 percent, Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Sunshine State will be a stark reminder of how big government policies like Obamacare will continue stifling our economy, restricting small business expansion and killing jobs.”

Clinton did give a shout-out to Republicans and independents who might be at her rally, saying, “It’s not just what we’re against. It’s what we’re for.”

Clinton put in a plug for U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, who she said, unlike incumbent Marco Rubio, “has not been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.” And she talked up Randy Perkins, who’s running for Murphy’s former seat, although she did call him “Randy Parker.”

Frankel, Deutch stump for Hillary at Palm Beach State rally

 

Frankel
Frankel

No surprise; in attendance at Wednesday’s Hillary Clinton rally at Palm Beach State College were local Democratic members of Congress Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch.

Noting today is Clinton’s birthday, Frankel said,.“we’re going to elect her as a birthday present.”

Asked about a new Bloomberg poll that, unlike other recent national surveys, puts Trump ahead, Frankel said, “we always knew Florida was going to close. That’s why Hillary’s here.”

Deutch said he wasn’t worried about the news this week that premiums for the Affordable Care Act were shooting up. He said he hasn’t heard Trump offer any alternative.

Crowds gather for 11 a.m. Hillary Clinton rally at Palm Beach State

 

Bruce Bennett/The Palm Beach Post
Bruce Bennett/The Palm Beach Post

LAKE WORTH — More than an hour before Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was set to speak at 11 a.m., crowds were filling in the floor of the gymnasium at Palm Beach State College, west of Lake Worth.

They lined a barrier in front of the podium where Clinton will speak, while others filled bleachers behind the rostrum and beneath a stored-away basketball hoop assembly.

Before doors opened at 9 a.m., lines wound around the sprawling campus. Youngsters, millennials, retirees and people in wheelchairs stood, wearing signs and buttons with the candidate’s “H” icon or signs saying “Love trumps hate,” a dig at GOP challenger, and part-time Palm Beacher, Donald Trump.

Patricia Ortiz-Guittierez of Delray Beach, an immigrant from Colombia, stood with his nephew, MIchael Ortiz of Coconut Creek in Broward County, who was voting for the first time — and already had, by mail,

“America is a country that welcomes everybody,” she said, taking a shot at Trump’s immigration stances. She’s a citizen, and already has voted as well.

For the last few days, Trump and Clinton have been criss-crossing the state, a critical battleground in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

On Tuesday, as Clinton worked a crowd in Broward County, Florida GOP chair and State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia was hammering her on reports that premiums for the Affordable Care Act are shooting up.

“On the heels of Obamacare premiums increasing at an average of 25%, Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Sunshine State will be a stark reminder of how big government policies like Obamacare will continue stifling our economy, restricting small business expansion and killing jobs,” he said.

Clinton praises Murphy during campaign stop in Broward

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton used her campaign stop at Broward College Tuesday to praise U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, continuing her campaign’s push for congressional victories that could make life easier for her if she wins the presidency.

An estimated 1,750 Clinton backers turned out to see Clinton, opening another two-day swing that will take her to Lake Worth and Tampa on Wednesday.

Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for complete coverage of Clinton’s trip.

Hillary Clinton campaigned at Broward College on Tuesday. (Wayne Washington/The Palm Beach Post)
Hillary Clinton campaigned at Broward College on Tuesday. (Wayne Washington/The Palm Beach Post)

Kaine to make plea for early voting in West Palm

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, is expected shortly at the Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach to urge Floridians to vote.

Today is the first day of early voting in Florida, and the Clinton-Kaine campaign is expected to make frequent stops in the Sunshine State as Election Day draws near.

Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for complete coverage of Kaine’s swing through West Palm Beach.

Supporters wait for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia Monday at Meyer Ampitheater in West Palm Beach. (Wayne Washington/The Palm Beach Post)
Supporters wait for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia Monday at Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. (Wayne Washington/The Palm Beach Post)

Hillary Clinton to hold rally Wednesday at Palm Beach State College

Hillary Clinton in West Palm Beach in March. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Hillary Clinton in West Palm Beach in March. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has added to this week’s Florida swing a stop at Palm Beach State College at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Clinton will hold rallies Tuesday afternoon at Coconut Creek, in northwest Broward County, and then Wednesday afternoon in Tampa following her suburban Lake Worth appearance, her campaign said Monday.

She’s timing the rallies to Monday’s start of early voting in Florida. It runs through Nov. 6 in Palm Beach County.

“Clinton will urge Florida voters to take advantage of in-person early voting,” a campaign release said.

The suburban Lake Worth event  is at Palm Beach State is at 4200 S Congress Ave. The event is at its Elisabeth W. Erling Gymnasium. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Florida mail-in ballots close as Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton election nears

More parties look to join federal lawsuit over voter registration deadline.

Election Day is three weeks away, and Florida’s role in the presidential race is well-documented. Some people aren’t waiting to  Nov. 8. More than a half-million already have voted by mail.

While the ballots won’t be opened and counted until election day, the political breakdown offers some hints about the result.

Here are some early numbers from the Florida Division of Elections:

So far, statewide, 2.43 million mail-in ballots are outstanding. The party breakdown is pretty even: 981,771 Republican, 941,157 Democrat. Another 58,105 are “other” and a whopping 446,413 are “no party.”

Of 513,089 ballots already turned in, the split’s nearly the same: 210,707 Republican and 210,734 Democrat, with 14,359 “other” and 77,289 “no party.”

The breakdowns are especially interesting this year because many Republican leaders have hesitated to endorse their nominee, Donald Trump, in his race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In Palm Beach County, 19,827 ballots are outstanding. Of those, 5,898 are Republican, 10,357 Democrat, 658 “other” and 2,914 “no party.”

Of the 141,341 ballots already submitted in the county, 40,864 are Republican, 70,504 Democrat, 4,139 “other” and 25,834 “no party.”

Voters are choosing candidates for president as well as state, county and local offices. They also will be voting on a proposed 1-cent surcharge to the county’s 6 percent sales tax to pay for roads, bridges and schools. Early voting runs from  Oct. 24 through Nov. 6. The deadline to ask that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to you is 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

To see a sample ballot for your races, or for more information, contact the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections at 561-656-6200 or visit www.pbcelections.org.

Statewide Rep Dem Other NPA Total
Vote-by-Mail Not Yet Returned 981,773 941,157 58,105 446,413 2,427,448
Voted Vote-by-Mail 210,707 210,734 14,359 77,289 513,089
Palm Beach County Rep Dem Other NPA Total
Vote-by-Mail Not Yet Returned 5,898 10,357 658 2,914 19,827
Voted Vote-by-Mail 40,864 70,504 4,139 25,834 141,341

 

 

The Latest: Trump in West Palm attacks media over stories of accusers

UPDATE 2:15: A seething and outraged Donald Trump, at a rally in West Palm Beach, attacked the press Thursday for reporting accusations by a slew of women who say they were victims of the billionaire’s unwanted sexual advances.

The Republican presidential nominee’s appearance at the South Florida Fairgrounds was the first time he addressed the new accusations by four women — two of whom claim they were groped by him at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago.

The Post’s complete coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign for president

He called the reports in The Palm Beach Post, The New York Times, and People magazine as “pure fiction and outright lies” and said the stories were a coordinated effort between the media and his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump speaks at the South Florida Fairgrounds at a rally today. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Donald Trump speaks at the South Florida Fairgrounds at a rally today. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Browse photos from today’s rally

“The most powerful weapon employed by the Clinton political machine is the corporate media, the press,” Trump said. “For them, nothing at all is out of bounds.”

Trump attacked “dishonest reporters” and vowed to “rise above the smears and ludicrous slanders.”

Before Trump took the stage, first lady Michelle Obama at another rally in New Hampshire gave a blistering speech against Trump, noting the Republican nominee bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone on “Access Hollywood.

Trump supporters fill the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds for a rally today. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Trump supporters fill the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds for a rally today. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Browse photos from today’s rally

“When you are a star, they let you do it,” Trump says on the audio tape. At the debate with Clinton on Sunday, Trump wrote off the audio as “locker room talk.”

The first lady said, “This is disgraceful. This is intolerable” and said Trump’s excuse was “an insult to decent men.”

“This wasn’t locker room banter,” she said.

Trump told the raucous crowd in West Palm Beach that the media coverage of his accusers’ claims was an effort to destroy his anti-establishment populist movement. “I take all these slings and arrows gladly for you,” he said.

The crowd at Donald Trump's rally today at the South Florida Fairgrounds. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
The crowd at Donald Trump’s rally today at the South Florida Fairgrounds. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

But Trump also said the stories were taking a personal toll. “I will not lie to you , these false attacks are absolutely hurtful,” the real estate mogul said. “It is reprehensible beyond description. It’s totally corrupt.”

Maria Vitale, 46, of Loxahatchee, was in attendance at the rally and said she didn’t outright disbelieve the stories of Trump’s accusers, but she didn’t care either.

“I’ve been inappropriately fondled and grabbed by men? Men are men, I don’t care,” said Vitale, whose T-shirt was emblazoned with the slogan,”Finally, a candidate with balls.”

“To come out at this time, you just want attention. Whether it’s true or not,” she said.

The Palm Beach Post in an exclusive this week reported that Mindy McGillivray said Trump groped her 13 years ago while she was at his Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago.

Trump did not address the Post’s story specifically at the rally.

People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff also came forward to say she was also attacked by Trump at Mar-a-Lago during an interview about his wife, Melania.

Trump said he spoke to Stoynoff in a public place at Mar-a-Lago with “people all over the place.”

“This invented account has already been debunked by eye-witnesses,” Trump said but did not give any details.

Mindy McGillivray at Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 24, 2003, the day she claims she was groped by Donald Trump. Photo courtesy of Davidoff Studios
Mindy McGillivray at Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 24, 2003, the day she claims she was groped by Donald Trump. Photo courtesy of Davidoff Studios

The New York Times has a separate story detailing the stories of two other women about unwanted sexual advances by Trump in the early 2000s, including one who said the billionaire tried to put his hand up her skirt.  Lawyers with the Trump campaign demanded an immediate retraction and threatened to sue the newspaper.

Trump said that the Times did not check out the stories of the women. “These events never happened,” he said.

The current firestorm engulfing Trump occurred after the  “Access Hollywood” audio surface. Trump apologized but then during the debate wrote off the controversy “locker room talk.”

Mindy McGillivray told The Post Thursday morning that she stands by her accusations, which the Trump campaign has denied.

“I’ve had a hard time getting sleep,’’ she told The Post, adding she noticed TV trucks outside her home last night and this morning.

McGillivray denied suggestions they’ve heard on media shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign asked her to go forward with her story. She told The Post she decided on her own to go forward because she said Trump lied during the debate.

It’s important “to set a good example for my daughter,’’ she told The Post. “It’s a respect issue for all women. If something like this happens to you, you should speak up.’’

Fort Lauderdale Attorney Adam Horowitz knows how hard it is for victims of sexual assault – be it rape or unwanted kissing and groping – to come forward.

But it was the last straw when they saw Trump during Sunday’s debate deny he ever forced himself on woman despite audio tape of him bragging about it. Trump had to be forced to answer the question by the moderator CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“Nothing gets a victim more irate as the perpetrator denying it and making excuses for his behavior,” Horowitz said. “He was not taking ownership of his action and they also knew they weren’t alone.”

Bill Clinton makes case for Hillary’s candidacy on Belle Glade stop

With US Congressman Alcee Hastings at his side, former President Bill Clinton speaks on the campaign trail for his wife Hillary Clinton Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in Belle Glade. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post
With US Congressman Alcee Hastings at his side, former President Bill Clinton speaks on the campaign trail for his wife Hillary Clinton Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in Belle Glade. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Former President Bill Clinton spent his 41st wedding anniversary campaigning for his wife in Belle Glade Tuesday, making the case for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as the best way to get the education and infrastructure improvements he said the country desperately needs.

“She’s the best change-maker I’ve ever known,” Bill Clinton said. “I’ve known her a long time.”

The trip, Bill Clinton’s first to Belle Glade, was part of his wife’s ongoing and relentless effort to win the Sunshine State. About 440 people came to the hear him speak, according to estimates from Belle Glade’s mayor, Steve Wilson.

Clinton’s appearance came as Donald Trump has sought to tar the Clinton campaign with allegations of the former president’s inappropriate conduct with women.

President Clinton made no mention of those allegations, nor did he reference the firestorm scorching the Trump campaign in the aftermath of recently released video where the celebrity real estate mogul is boasting about his own misconduct with women.

Indeed, Bill Clinton did not utter Trump’s name. The closest he came was in reminding his wife’s supporters that many foreign policy experts have already rendered their verdict on the election.

“Dozens and dozens of them said they couldn’t be for her opponent,” Bill Clinton said.

Hundreds enthusiastically greeted the former president at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center at Palm Beach State College.

Bill Clinton’s appearance in Belle Glade was the first of three he’s scheduled to make in Florida today. He is expected to make other stops in Lee County and in Pinellas County.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will campaign in Miami with former vice president Al Gore.

Excited Belle Glade community members cheer as former President Bill Clinton speaks on campaign trail for his wife Hillary Clinton Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post
Excited Belle Glade community members cheer as former President Bill Clinton speaks on campaign trail for his wife Hillary Clinton Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Before the former president took the stage, several elected officials took the stage to tout Hillary Clinton and blast Trump.

Wilson noted that the prospect of “the history of the first female president of the United States of America” should be enough to spur people to register and vote.

McKinlay, whose district includes Belle Glade, ripped Trump for his comments about women.

Telling the crowd that she has two daughters, McKinlay said: “If any man in this country thinks it OK to refer to them as a piece of…I won’t say it because there are too many pastors in the room. That is not the message that we need to send to the country and to the rest of the world.”