A new set of Senate polls from Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling shows close races for three closely watched Democratic-held seats.
In Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has 44 percent support, against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner with 43 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent. The poll was conducted from July 17-20. The pollster's analysis describes the political mood in Colorado: "The Democratic incumbents aren't very popular, but their Republican challengers aren’t exactly setting the world on fire either."
In North Carolina, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan leads Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis, 41 percent to 34 percent, plus another 8 percent support for Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh. The survey was also conducted from July 17-20, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. The pollster's analysis attributes Hagan's lead to the unpopularity of the state legislature: "The big question though is whether she’ll be able to sustain this bigger lead once they’ve gone home," or if the race will tighten up again.
And in Montana, Republican Rep. Steve Daines leads Democratic Sen. John Walsh — who was appointed to the seat earlier this year — at 46 percent to 39 percent. This survey was conducted July 17 and 18, with a margin of error at plus or minus 4.1 percent. In a somewhat interesting twist, the last time PPP checked in on this race was way back in November of last year — and previously had Daines leading Walsh by an even wider margin of 52 percent to 35 percent, showing that Walsh might be starting to at least close the gap a little. Eric Kleefeld
Russia has lost its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, having been ousted by a vote Friday among the 193 member countries of the United Nations. Russia had been a member of the UNHCR since its creation in 2006.
Membership to the 47-member council is appropriated geographically, and Russia was competing with Hungary and Croatia for two available seats allotted to Eastern Europe. In the elections Friday, Russia received only 112 votes, while Hungary and Croatia received 144 votes and 114, respectively. Russia has been widely criticized for human rights violations, particularly with its treatment of LGBT individuals and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Also Friday, Saudi Arabia — another nation with a spotty human rights record, as New York Times United Nations reporter Somini Sengupta notes — won one of the seats available for Asia. Egypt, Iraq, China, and the United States were also elected to the council. Kimberly Alters
Donald Trump praised the FBI's decision to reopen it's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, calling it "brave" and a chance for the bureau to "right the horrible mistake that they have made."
"We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office," Trump declared to his audience in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Video: Trump reacts to Clinton/FBI news: “Perhaps finally justice will be done.” https://t.co/3EDrIVpdb6
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) October 28, 2016
Trump joked that, "With that being said, the rest of my speech is going to be so boring. Should I even make the rest of my speech?" But he continued to return to the topic, saying, "I think [the FBI is] going to right the ship, folks, I think they're going to right the ship" and "this is bigger than Watergate."
Trump claimed he had only been told the news 10 minutes before taking the stage; Clinton has been in the air "with no wi-fi for the last two hours," Politico reports.
Stocks screeched downward on Friday after the FBI announced it would be investigating new emails linked to Hillary Clinton's use of a private server while serving as secretary of state. "Stocks turned negative after the report of the new probe. Many analysts have said that markets were pricing in a Clinton victory in November," NBC News reported.
— BI Markets (@themoneygame) October 28, 2016
The Dow has dropped more than 100 points since the Clinton-FBI news broke 20 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/P4GWz78ny5
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) October 28, 2016
Trump jitters. https://t.co/6FP5k9lGYv
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) October 28, 2016
The FBI is reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server that she used while serving as secretary of state, NBC News has learned. FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to Congress that "in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation … I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 28, 2016
Analysts at NBC pointed out that there would have to be "pretty dramatic information in these emails to change the previous conclusion."
"Could be a big deal. Or nothing," Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief David Corn observed.
In July, the FBI recommended no criminal charges for Clinton, but Comey did call her handling of classified information in emails "extremely careless" during his congressional testimony. Jeva Lange
Dogs may be man's best friend, but let's be honest — a dog's best friend is her chew toy. One couple decided to surprise their pooch Jolene with a real-life version of her favorite squishy, Gumby. The result is completely aww inducing.
@JSpiegel2 Ahahahahaha, the stunned look on the dog's face! Priceless!
— Crooked Angela (@angledge) October 28, 2016
Watch the completely adorable surprise unfold below. Jeva Lange
Clinton's help desk told John Podesta that the phishing attempt that resulted in WikiLeaks was a 'legitimate email'
The hack and leak of campaign chairman John Podesta's emails has resulted in a major headache for the team behind Hillary Clinton. But as it turns out in newly released WikiLeaks emails, Clinton's own IT help desk might be accidentally responsible for the emails getting out.
Last week, Motherboard reported that the hack resulted from Podesta falling for a phishing attempt that was disguised as Google alerting him that his account had been compromised. "The phishing email that Podesta received on March 19 contained a URL, created with the popular Bitly shortening service, pointing to a longer URL that, to an untrained eye, looked like a Google link," Motherboard wrote. "Inside that long URL, there's a 30-character string that looks like gibberish but is actually the encoded Gmail address of John Podesta. ... That's the link that opened Podesta's account to the hackers."
But when Clinton's IT team was alerted to the fake email, they actually confirmed it was "legitimate."
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 28, 2016
"This is a legitimate email," Charles Delavan, part of Clinton's IT team, seemingly confirmed, as can be seen on the WikiLeaks page here. "John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account."
I’m beginning to worry about the security of HRC’s private server, too. https://t.co/Fgial7Z1TP
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 28, 2016
Of course, this is not the first time concerns about Clinton's email security have come up. Many of the candidate's critics have expressed concern over possible vulnerabilities in the private email server she used while serving as secretary of state. Jeva Lange
Marco Rubio really wants to hold onto his Senate seat, he swears — but it seems like Florida voters may not be so sure.
After his failed presidential bid, the Florida Republican swore up and down he'd be a "private citizen" come January 2017, right up until he reversed course and announced he'd run for re-election to the Senate. Rubio's flip-flop was largely interpreted in part as an effort to help Republicans hold onto their Senate majority, with Rubio being a strong candidate against Democratic opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy. But a new Public Policy Polling survey shows Rubio locked in a dead heat with Murphy:
— Luke Brinker (@LukeBrinker) October 28, 2016
Public Policy Polling surveyed 742 likely Florida voters for this poll from Oct. 25-26, and the results have a 3.6-point margin of error. But while the poll shows the two men in a dead heat, its results also hint at how either candidate can get a leg up in the race: PPP noted that undecided voters are "looking at gun violence prevention as a major factor in their upcoming vote," with 72 percent of these undecided respondents supporting background checks for all gun sales.
Rubio has said he was moved to jump back into the Senate race in part by the deadly June attack on an Orlando nightclub, where a lone gunman killed 49 people — though last December he voted against a measure that would have expanded background checks.
Rubio has also been attempting to distance himself from Donald Trump, who trails Hillary Clinton in the same PPP poll by 4 points in the Sunshine State. But Rubio has affirmed that he'll be voting for Trump, so whether Rubio's delicate dance around the Republican nominee will help or hurt him remains to be seen. The RealClearPolitics average of polls of the Rubio-Murphy race shows the incumbent hanging on to a 3.6-point lead — but it also shows Murphy has been steadily gaining support in recent weeks. The two held their second and final debate Wednesday at Broward College near Fort Lauderdale, which you can read more about at the Miami Herald. Kimberly Alters