Early signs show Hillary Clinton may have made Texas competitive

New York Times poll shows Clinton with seven-point lead in North Carolina

Trump implies he does not provide employees with health insurance

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8.53pm BST

Clad in a red tie and a camouflage “Make America Great Again” cap, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump mounts the stage in Sanford, Florida, with a swipe at Fox News for estimating the crowd as “small.”

“The media, folks, is no good. They’re no good,” Trump says. “Very dishonest.”

8.49pm BST

Watch it here live:

8.47pm BST

He just wanted to bring voting back!

Justin Timberlake is in hot water with the Tennessee authorities after Instagramming his visit to the voting booth yesterday, apparently running afoul of legal restrictions against using phones to record images in a polling location.

8.36pm BST

A former aide to Republican governor Chris Christie reiterated today that a now-infamous email she sent saying “time for some traffic problems” near the George Washington bridge in 2013 referred to a traffic study, not a political retaliation plot, the Associated Press reports.

Related: Bridgegate: former Christie aide defends 'traffic problems' email in testimony

8.15pm BST

Clinton: “It’s going to be a close election. Pay no attention to the polls... don’t get complacent. We need to turn people out.”

8.14pm BST

Clinton gets off a George Washington/Trump joke in Florida:

"This all started when George Washington refused to be king," Clinton says. "Donald Trump probably would've called him a loser."

Hillary Clinton's response after crowd in Coconut Creek bursts into "Happy Birthday" (she turns 69 tomorrow) pic.twitter.com/pNBV0sP9dF

8.12pm BST

How much you want to bet Trump breaks this law in New York in two weeks?

Narcissists, know your rights! pic.twitter.com/4yMEuXhPbJ

8.10pm BST

Former secretary of state Colin Powell, a Republican who served under George W Bush, will vote for Hillary Clinton for president, he’s telling people.

Powell had shown annoyance with Clinton earlier this year when she appeared to blame him for her use of private email as secretary of state. “Her people are trying to pin it on me,” Powell said in August.

Colin Powell will vote for Hillary Clinton, he tells @mitchellreports after saying same at Long Island luncheon this afternoon

Colin Powell is apparently over being annoyed with Clinton -says at Long Island Association he plans to vote for her, and condemns Trump.

7.59pm BST

Clinton and Murphy take turns slagging off Marco Rubio:

.@PatrickMurphyFL takes the stage before Clinton in Coconut Creek. Quickly mentions Donald Trump and Marco Rubio in same sentence.

One of @PatrickMurphyFL's favorite lines adopted from FLOTUS: "When Donald Trump goes low, Marco Rubio is right there with him."

Crowd at Coconut Creek breaks into a rendition of Happy Birthday for Hillary Clinton. (Her birthday is tomorrow.)

7.56pm BST

Here’s a live stream of the Hillary Clinton event, with senate candidate Patrick Murphy having just spoken:

7.52pm BST

Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who’s Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson’s running mate, has released a statement saying that it’s an honor to have been involved in the race – and that however voters vote, it should not be for Trump.

Weld does not, in the statement, withdraw his own candidacy to be vice president. But he as much as admits that the Libertarians don’t have a chance this time – hoping instead for “a place in our national political dialogue – and goes on to appeal “particularly to those Republicans who feel that our President should exhibit commonly accepted standards of decency and discipline.”

In the final days of this very close race, every citizen must be aware of the power and responsibility of each individual vote. This is not the time to cast a jocular or feel-good vote for a man whom you may have briefly found entertaining. Donald Trump should not, cannot, and must not be elected President of the United States.

7.16pm BST

We’re getting ready to hear from Hillary Clinton in Coconut Creek, Florida, in Broward county north of Miami. We’ll have a live stream when the time comes.

The mention of Marco Rubio's name draws loud boos at Clinton's rally in Coconut Creek over his opposition to climate change.

I meant climate change denial. It's been a long day. https://t.co/x5DXURgysJ

7.15pm BST

While polling has found that Miami’s community of exiled Cubans appears to be breaking away from its reliable pattern of voting overwhelmingly Republican this year, Donald Trump has secured the endorsement of the veterans association of the Bay of Pigs:

Trump in Miami thanks the Veterans Association of the Bay of Pigs, which had never endorsed any candidate in its history til now. pic.twitter.com/xQsR6ECvAF

Trump thanked the Bay of Pigs veterans, saying they had been “fighting for a free Cuba, fighting for the values of freedom liberty that unite us all. The same values that are at stake in our election, where I’m hearing we’re doing very very well in Florida.”

Trump at one point displayed a baseball cap with the number 2506 on it, and said “2506, that’s a special number huh?” [Brigade 2506 was the CIA-backed Cuban exile group that attempted to overthrow the Castro regime in 1961.]

7.06pm BST

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, now...

Anyone who knows FL early voting patterns in '08/'12 knows this means that Trump has already lost the state. Done. https://t.co/vxcnAKkIbE

Early voting results in FLORIDA so far

• DEM: 658,177
- 525,076 by mail
- 133,041 in-person

• GOP: 665,092
- 556,058 mail
- 109,034 person

@TWTWsports @FrankLuntz GOP led by far, far, FAR more in FL early vote in '08 and '12. Got crushed in former, still lost latter. It's over.

6.44pm BST

“I think she’s going to go down at a minimum as a great senator. I think she is a great wife to a president, and I think Bill Clinton was a great president... we had no war, the economy was doing great, everybody was happy... Bill Clinton was a great president... Hillary Clinton is a great woman and a good woman... a wonderful woman... a little bit misunderstood... a very smart woman, a tough woman...”

It goes on and on.

Donald Trump basically cutting a campaign ad after the 2008 election for his lifelong friends, the Clintons. Wow. pic.twitter.com/9Q71NaTFOR

6.32pm BST

“No, I have no interest in Trump TV,” Trump told Cincinnati’s 700WLW radio Tuesday morning, in remarks flagged by Politico. “I hear it all over the place. I have a tremendous fan base, we have a tremendous base. We have the most incredible people, but I just don’t have any interest in that.”


Related: Trump TV launches on Facebook: live from New York, it’s the far right

6.21pm BST

In a 2009 would-be consolation note to actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston after their son Jett passed away at the age of 16 after suffering a seizure while on a family vacation, Donald Trump “expressed his condolences to Preston, but not before he mentioned the time he tried to sleep with her,” Mother Jones reports:

Trump wrote a blog post dedicated to Preston on the website of the now-defunct Trump University, which has been sued by the state of New York and former students over claims of fraud. [...]

“A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up,” he wrote on the Trump University website. “She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta.”

6.05pm BST

New Monmouth poll of Arizona

Trump: 46%
Clinton: 45%

Not counting Bill Clinton’s reelection, the state has not gone Democratic in a presidential race since Truman. The Monmouth poll finds incumbent Republican senator John McCain with a comfortable double-digit lead in his reelection bid:

five-term incumbent John McCain holds a 10 point lead over Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. The race stands at 50% for McCain and 40% for Kirkpatrick, with 4% supporting the Green Party’s Gary Swing.

4 in 10 voters in Arizona say they already voted per Monmouth. Among them:

Clinton: 52%
Trump: 42%

5.56pm BST

Pussy Riot have released a new song celebrating the vagina, in an unashamed feminist riposte to Donald Trump and his boast that when he meets beautiful women he “grabs them by the pussy”.

The Russian punk band’s latest video Straight Outta Vagina, released on Tuesday, features Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova wearing white clerical robes and trademark balaclava, plus a chorus line of men and women sitting in toilet cubicles and standing at urinals. There is also an inflatable duck.

Related: Pussy Riot's new video slaps down Donald Trump and celebrates the vagina

5.34pm BST

Hillary Clinton released a gripping new video featuring a woman who says she was denied housing in one of Donald Trump’s apartment complexes because of the color of her skin.

5.11pm BST

Retired general John Allen reprises his role at the Democratic national convention in a new ad for Clinton:

New Clinton TV ad features ret. Gen. John Allen, who says Trump's rhetoric on ISIS "implies a complete ignorance of the reality". pic.twitter.com/H9iy8LDAtZ

Trump to FL TV: "I’ve been endorsed largely, at least conceptually, by the military” ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? https://t.co/16YMnoYSNF

5.05pm BST

Are you working on your map? Here’s Fox News – with Clinton winning the election with 307 electoral votes (including Florida) not even counting toss-up results:

UPDATED @FoxNews 2016 Scorecard - Iowa & Maine's 2nd CD go lean R to toss-up, Indiana moves solid R to lean R pic.twitter.com/9SMpuhws5f

4.46pm BST

Inside Donald Trump’s One-Stop Parties: Attendees Recall Cocaine and Very Young Models – Michael Gross writes in the Daily Beast:

Both confirmed that Trump, as I’ve reported, used to host parties in suites at the Plaza Hotel when he owned it, where young women and girls were introduced to older, richer men. This is hardly aberrant behavior in the modeling business. Indeed, it is standard operating procedure.

But both men also put Donald Trump in the room with cocaine, very young women and underage girls, and rich, old men there to—pardon my language, but if the Times can say pussy on its front page, I can say this—fuck them.

4.36pm BST

4.32pm BST

In the past hour, Trump has tweeted seven times. Six of his tweets were about spiking Obamacare premiums (see earlier). The other tweet is a shrill reaction to news of Clinton’s early voting strength:

Get out and vote! I am your voice and I will fight for you! We will make America great again! https://t.co/XXvLRlhSaz

4.25pm BST

Barack Obama is still president until the 20 January inauguration of the next president.

But after the election, Obama is outta here... for a week at least:

No matter what happens Nov. 8, @POTUS is leaving the country. White House announces he will travel to Greece, Germany & Peru Nov. 14-21

4.17pm BST

This is quite a read.

We obtained 5 hours of interviews that reveal Trump's fear of failure and embarrassment. Story and podcast: https://t.co/Kyjt1um3uY

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.

IVANA TRUMP: So he goes and stops, and he says, “Come on, baby. Come on, baby.” I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. ... He could not take it. He could not take it.

4.10pm BST

Hillary Clinton turns 69 tomorrow.

.@HillaryClinton gives a thumbs up when asked about how Stevie Wonder performed last night at her fundraiser/early birthday party. pic.twitter.com/vxKHN3aZn7

4.02pm BST

This is a two-part challenge, actually. The first part is, go to 270towin.com and fill in the electoral map how you think it will come out. What’s your final electoral vote tally?

The second part is, predict what time the election will be called. You may find this AP record of when each state was called in 2012 useful. The 2012 election was called by AP at 11.38pm ET.

My current electoral map, prediction-wise. I think all swings will swing away from Trump at this point, for obvious reasons. pic.twitter.com/oo7c7VdQou

That map would elect a president before polls close on the west coast -- first time since 1996. https://t.co/nFrJXdVkVG

3.27pm BST

Florida Democrats are keeping pace with Republicans in the first two days of early voting in Florida...

After 1.6m Floridians voted in person and by mail, Dems close to catching GOP in early votes. Just 0.43% margin nowhttps://t.co/v0DD8Weq5r

When it comes to in-person early voting, Democrats tend to outperform Republicans but that doesn’t usually happen until after a full weekend of early voting, particularly after the Sunday “Souls to the Polls” events where African-Americans cast ballots in person after church.

Frankly for the fans of the home team, it is all good news.

Democrats entered the day down after about 2 weeks of vote by mail returns (and about 1.2 million ballots) about 20,000 votes. This 1.7% GOP advantage compares to a GOP advantage of 5% in 2012.

3.03pm BST

Via Politico:

Doral GM David Fedder says 95% of employees get healthcare, so very few on Obamacare.

Trump employees parading onto stage to say say nice things about him and working for Trump, at Trump National Doral pic.twitter.com/I9dolCmQEc

2.59pm BST

OK, Trump’s talk about his employees “having a tremendous problem with Obamacare” has just been further muddled by his saying “we take great care of people,” meaning they don’t use Obamacare?

Trump now says his employees are "not worried about health care because we take great care of people" ... So he does provide benefits?

Trump: "All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare."

This is the very best quote to start the day with. It's...beautiful. https://t.co/fx7YSohQ8U

@dmartosko @Bencjacobs He also said his employees were angry about Obamacare. He doesn't know how it works.

Classic Trump, claiming his employees are "having tremendous problems" with Obamacare AND claiming credit for providing them w/ healthcare.

Responding to Q shouted by reporter about whether his employees are on Obamacare, Trump said, "Some of them, but most of them no." https://t.co/MZKRb28BR0

2.54pm BST

Model fight!

We love these kinds of dialogues because they’re interesting and they throw light on how election modeling works and they’re almost certainly good for the overarching quest to model elections well.

@JustinWolfers: I'm just going to say this once, but you make some very lazy critiques. Build a model yourself and see how this stuff works.

@JustinWolfers: Still lazy. But it's interesting that prediction markets have tracked 538 polls-plus *almost exactly* thru the campaign.

@JustinWolfers: You probably also know that most models in low-n environments are overfit and overconfident. We work hard to avoid that.

2.48pm BST

Trump appears to claim that he does not provide his employees with employer-subsidized health care, forcing them onto the Obamacare exchanges?

Trump: "All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare."

Don't his employees get health coverage through their employer? https://t.co/TLZpncca5S

Trump just said his employees are having a hard time with Obamacare.... so .... he doesn't provide benefits?

2.43pm BST

The Trump pool reporter today is BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray, who here reports on an open event we’re just learning the nature of. “Trump hotel event in Doral. He’s currently talking about the hotel’s ‘tremendous success,’ she tweets:

Not the first time Trump's managed to trick the press into covering what is basically a promotional event for a Trump property.

2.41pm BST

Let’s check in on early voting in Nevada. Reno?

Dems won early voting for third straight day in swing county Washoe by substantial margin. pic.twitter.com/q3wxuqvPH5

Democrats added 5,000 votes to their lead in Clark County on Monday. It's now more than 23,500 raw votes. Statewide: 22K. On par with 2012.

Obama, of course, won in NV by 7 in 2012. https://t.co/vY3PtsBIpG

2.36pm BST

Whatever Trump’s event is this morning, he has assembled employees of his Doral national golf club for it. Here’s the scene:

Trump doing photo op with Doral employees — with blinding sun directly behind them. Top-notch advance work. pic.twitter.com/6lAiC0DSlI

2.32pm BST

“You’ll Likely Be Reading One Of These 5 Articles The Day After The Election” – that’s the title of a fun new piece by Cook political report editor Dave Wasserman for FiveThirtyEight. Wasserman imagines a Clinton landslide, a Clinton majority, a 2012 redux, a Clinton squeaker – and, yes, a Trump upset.

The piece rather brilliantly imagines the turnout and loyalties of various demographic groups underlying each imagined result, as well as likely down-ballot effects.

After one of the worst polling misses of all time, election “forecasters” and experts were left scratching their heads. Trump credited his “Silent Majority” for swarming polling places and himself for leading a blue-collar revolution. Indeed, turnout among whites without a college degree surged from 55 percent in 2012 to 64 percent in 2016, and Trump carried them by 35 percentage points. Validating the “shy Trump voter” theory, Trump defied expectations by nearly tying Clinton among whites with a college degree.

2.07pm BST

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, the AP reports:

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.

Anxious to see what @realDonaldTrump will do today to distract from the news of the 25% Obamacare premium increase

One would expect a GOP nominee to hold a press conference with people whose Obamacare premiums have increased, or something.

2.03pm BST

Trump’s press pool reports that they’ve been called to his Doral national golf club outside Miami for an event on whose nature they remain uninformed. Stay tuned.

1.33pm BST

Hello and welcome to our live-wire coverage of the 2016 race for the White House. It’s a mere fortnight until election day. Though with early voting getting under way in earnest – more than 7 million people have cast ballots already – we’ve actually already arrived.

Texas jumped into the early voting game yesterday the only way Texas knows how: bigly. Voting was way up in the state’s five biggest counties, the Texas Tribune found, in a sign that could indicate that Hillary Clinton really has made the state semi-competitive, in the face of all relevant precedent.

My back of the napkin: Early voting up by average of 57% today in Texas' five biggest counties compared to first early voting day in 2012 pic.twitter.com/cnEOtUA1KB

This is what happens when a state becomes a battleground, people start believing their vote matters https://t.co/vOqUeeGQSZ

Clinton leads by 7 points, 46-39 percent, in the final Upshot/Siena poll of North Carolina https://t.co/hIKoOUlwsH

We were all in a bit of a frothy lather over this being the long-awaited rollout of Donald Trump’s real 2016 endgame – a 24-hour news empire to go toe-to-toe with Fox News for the eyeballs of America’s far right. At last, Trump would reveal his true intentions.

Instead, we got a grown man asking where the craft services table is.

Related: Trump TV launches on Facebook: live from New York, it’s the far right

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