Paths to 270

In the final four days until Election Day, the race is close and likely to stay that way. Hillary Clinton’s advantage on the electoral map is fragile, and Donald Trump has ways to win.

CNN sketched out a number of scenarios for Trump to reach 270 electoral votes.

In one of them, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Iowa are all must-wins. In the first two, the RealClearPolitics polling average shows Trump and Clinton tied. In the latter two, he looks to be ahead.

But that’s not enough. He either would have to take another big state where Clinton has been leading — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia or Michigan — or two from the smaller states in contention, which include Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

Clinton’s slide in national polls seemed Thursday to have stabilized, with perhaps a slight rebound. She was up 2 points in an ABC News-Washington Post survey that had her down 1 point on Tuesday. She’s 3 points ahead in a CBS News/New York Times poll.

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The big ugly

More than 8 of 10 voters said this campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited, according to the final pre-election New York Times / CBS poll. Both nominees continue to be seen by a majority as dishonest and are viewed unfavorably. 

Clinton: Trump and bigotry

Seeking to boost black voter turnout in North Carolina, Clinton portrayed Trump as indifferent or hostile to the rights of African-Americans.

She noted he was endorsed by a Ku Klux Klan publication (which the Trump campaign renounced), reminded voters that he called for the execution of the wrongly accused “Central Park 5” and refused to apologize even after they were exonerated. See Yancey Roy’s story for Newsday.

Elsewhere in the state, Trump gave a closing argument of sorts. He called Clinton “the candidate of yesterday” and vowed the “biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan,” the end of “every unnecessary job-killing regulation,” the rebuilding of a “depleted military” and the protection of gun rights. See Newsday’s story by Emily Ngo.

The take-away: New York groove

Clinton and Trump will be back in their home state on election night, with hoped-for victory celebrations less than 2 miles apart in Manhattan.

Though not a battleground for voters, New York has been the venue for highlights and lowlights of the campaigns and has produced some notable members of the supporting cast, including Rudy Giuliani and Anthony Weiner. See Dan Janison’s column for Newsday.

Now starring Anthony Weiner

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A new Trump ad says Clinton State Department emails that exposed “America’s most sensitive secrets” were found on “pervert Anthony Weiner’s laptop.”

The claim gets ahead of what is actually known — which is not much — about the FBI’s examination of a computer used by Weiner and his now-estranged wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Trump, echoing a Fox News report, also said Clinton is likely to be indicted from an intense FBI probe of the Clinton foundation. ABC News and NBC News said their sources debunked the story.

A Trump FBI pipeline?

Two days before FBI Director James Comey dropped his news grenade about the revived Clinton email investigation, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani was dropping big hints about “a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this thing around.”

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Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, has close ties to present and former FBI agents and officials, reports The Daily Beast. When Comey announced in July that he was not seeking criminal charges, Giuliani said the decision “perplexes numerous FBI agents who talk to me all the time.”

Separately, WikiLeaks has a new disclosure: Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's communications director, telling chairman John Podesta in an e-mail with news clip attached: "Get a big fat 'I told you so' on Comey being a bad choice.'"

Such as @realDonaldTrump?

The topic of Melania Trump’s first solo speech since the Republican convention was, to put it mildly, a surprise: cyberbullying.

Social media has become “too mean and too tough,” rife with insults based on “looks and intelligence,” she said. As first lady, “It will be one of the main focuses of my work.”

Before and since becoming a candidate, Donald Trump’s Twitter feed has been a platform for personal invective against foes and critics.

What else is happening

  • Newsday’s 2016 Voters Guide is now online, with profiles of every candidate and proposition on Long Island ballots
  • A Politico/Morning Consult survey examined whether there is a significant “hidden” Trump vote from people who don’t want to admit to pollsters that they support him. The answer: Probably not.
  • Among Hispanic voters, Clinton leads Trump 67% to 19%, according to a Washington Post/Univision poll.
  • Pro-Trump billionaires including Robert Mercer and William Doddridge are pouring bigger bucks than Trump into the GOP candidate's efforts in crucial counties and swing states.
  • Haim Saban, the billionaire Univision chairman, is drawing extensive notice as a big and close Clinton backer.
  • Trump is 'signaling' he wants to appoint his finance chairman, Goldman Sachs alum Steve Mnuchin, as secretary of the treasury, Politico reports.
  • The Trump campaign urged supporters to volunteer as poll watchers for urban areas, but doesn’t appear to have signed up many, The Associated Press reported. In Pennsylvania, a federal judge rejected a GOP effort to import poll monitors to cities from rural and suburban counties.
  • Clinton will be joined at her campaign windup rally Monday night in Philadelphia by President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama and Chelsea Clinton.
  • U.S. government officials worry hackers from Russia or elsewhere may try to undermine the election and are mounting an unprecedented effort to counter cybermeddling, NBC News said.
  • Eric Trump, one of the candidate’s sons, agreed with a Denver radio interviewer that former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke “deserves a bullet.”
  • Creating fake pro-Trump news for Facebook posts has become a booming industry in the Balkan nation of Macedonia, BuzzFeed reports. Why Trump? His supporters generate more clicks, which means more money.