2016 Elections

Jake Ryan

Judy Johnston stood in a small office in a Fern Creek shopping center on Saturday with two Donald Trump campaign yard signs tucked beneath her arm. Her pink fingernail polish popped against the dark blue letters on the sign.

She glanced at her hand and then shook it away. Her nails needed a touch-up.

“I have a lady who does my nails that’s from Vietnam,” she said.

Johnston is a staunch Trump supporter. On Saturday, a group of volunteers opened an office in Fern Creek that’ll serve as an unofficial campaign hub for efforts to bolster support for Trump in Louisville.

The Republican presidential nominee has been sliding of late, with controversial remarks about everything from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to the family of a fallen U.S. soldier catching up to him in the polls.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Is Donald Trump considering wavering on a key campaign promise?

That's what several news reports published over the weekend suggest. And while the Trump campaign issued a statement denying any shift on immigration policy, top surrogates and campaign operatives hinted that a change just might be on its way.

The issue: what to do with the estimated 11 million immigrants already living in the United States illegally.

Since he entered the presidential race last year, Trump insisted they would have to be expelled from the country, despite the logistical and humanitarian questions a mass deportation would present.

"You're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely," he told MSNBC in November 2015.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both had a second month of strong fundraising in July, the month that they claimed their parties' nominations.

In monthly reports filed Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission, Trump reported raising $36.7 million, his best month of the campaign. The total includes $2 million he contributed in a matching contributions drive.

Hillary For America reported receipts of $52.3 million, more than in any previous month, including her first White House run in 2008. Her campaign has $58.5 million in cash-on-hand, almost exactly $20 million more than Trump.

The campaign claimed $103 million on hand for itself and two joint fundraising committees, the Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary Action Fund. The joint committees can use higher contribution limits; contributions are distributed among the campaign and national and state Democratic committees. But the $103 million figure isn't official; the joint committees don't file reports again until Oct. 15.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Just over two months after Paul Manafort was brought on to bring some structure to Donald Trump’s presidential bid, the Washington insider has resigned from the campaign.

In a statement Friday morning, Trump said that Manafort offered his resignation. The candidate said he is “very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process.”

“Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success,” Trump continued.

Manafort had been leading the campaign as chair, but his resignation comes just days after a shakeup at the top of the operation — Trump hired two new top campaign officials, widely seen as a demotion for Manafort.

Gerald Herbert/AP

In an effort to save his flagging presidential candidacy, and two days after shaking up his campaign, Donald Trump expressed "regret" for sometimes saying the wrong thing and causing "pain."

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said reading from a TelePrompTer at a campaign event Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C. "I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."

Here's video:

Charles Krupa/AP

Hillary Clinton's increasingly dominant lead in the presidential race is solidifying many Republicans' worst 2016 fears that Donald Trump will cost the party not only the White House but also control of the Senate.

"The bottom is starting to fall out a little earlier than expected," says a top Senate GOP campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of the race. "We started off with a very difficult map. No matter what, this was going to be a very difficult year."

The aide says Trump's ailing campaign is an additional drag on the Senate battlefield. The end result, the aide concedes, is a likely Democratic takeover this November.

That candor is widely — if still privately — shared by increasing numbers of Senate GOP campaign operatives who believe that Trump is destined to lose the presidential race and that the Republican Party's short-lived, two-year majority will go with it.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Donald Trump often questions whether Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy enough to be president. This week, he took up another line of attack: that Clinton is in failing health.

Claims about Clinton's health have circulated for years but have gained new traction recently, in part thanks to a comment by Trump and questions raised by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

They're adding fuel to an online volley of conspiracy theories saying that Clinton's use of stools and pillows as well as stumbles by the candidate are evidence that she is in poor health. On Wednesday afternoon, a story topping the Drudge Report was headlined "MUST SEE: Photos of Hillary Clinton Propped Up on Pillows." The article is largely a collection of photos showing Clinton sitting at various events with pillows situated behind her lower back.

There is no evidence that Clinton is in poor health. In fact, the Clinton campaign points out that her "stamina and focus" allowed her to endure an 11-hour Benghazi hearing and that Trump drew his own share of criticism after a doctor released a letter saying he would be the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

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A new poll released Wednesday has good news for Indiana Democrats.

The poll shows Democrat Evan Bayh leading Republican Congressman Todd Young by seven points in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Bayh is leading Young 48 percent to 41 percent.

Bayh’s candidacy is especially important to the Democrats nationally in their effort to take control of the Senate.

The Monmouth University poll shows a tight race for governor.

Republican Lieutenant Gov. Eric Holcomb holds a one percentage point lead over Democrat John Gregg.

The poll has a margin of error of nearly five percentage points.

Edelen And Jones’ Political Project Seeks New Ideas, Leaders

Aug 17, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s former state auditor and the host of the state’s most popular sports talk radio show have launched a new nonprofit political organization they say is focused more on generating ideas than electing people to office.

Former Auditor Adam Edelen and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones formally launched the New Kentucky Project on Tuesday.

The group aims to have chapters in all 120 counties governed by an executive committee. Members will pay $20 annual dues, or $10 for college students. It will focus on education, health care, modernizing the state’s economy and other hot-button political issues in Kentucky.

The group signals the return of Edelen, the former state auditor who was preparing a run for the U.S. Senate before he lost re-election to former Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon.

And it is the first political work for Jones, whose show has become a must-stop for candidates seeking statewide office.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is shaking up his campaign staff, after a series of missteps that led to slumping poll numbers.

Trump has tapped Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News to serve as chief executive of the campaign. Pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as Trump's campaign chairman. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

"I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years," Trump said in a statement. "They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win."

Bannon has been in charge of Breitbart News for a period in which it has been a strong platform for the kind of populism and fierce opposition to illegal immigration that gave rise to Trump's candidacy in the Republican primaries. A campaign release highlighted that Bloomberg Politics has called Bannon the "most dangerous political operative in America."

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More than 36,000 Kentuckians have used the Commonwealth’s online voter registration system -- setting a new record five months since its launch.  

More than 10,000 people used the portal GoVoteKY.com to register to vote for the first time, including more than 2,700 18-year-olds.  

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says online voter registration improves the accuracy of voter rolls and will lead to a major cost savings for the state.  

"The energy surrounding our new online voter registration system is amazing," said Grimes. "These new numbers prove that Kentuckians are excited about online registration." 

More than 26,000 have used the system to make a change or update to their registration. The system's oldest user was a 98-year-old.

Donald Trump's missteps since the conventions have put Hillary Clinton in a dominant position.

If the election were held today, according to the latest NPR analysis of polling, demographics and on-the-ground reporting, Clinton would win in a landslide of 2008 proportions. She has solidified her leads in key battleground states and crosses the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House in the NPR Battleground Map with just states where she already has a significant lead.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Hillary and Bill Clinton paid $3.2 million in federal income tax last year, a rate of 34.2 percent. Their 2015 return was released today by the Clinton campaign, almost five months after they signed it for filing.

The Clintons overpaid the Treasury and got a refund of more than $1 million.

The couple's income plunged last year. Adjusted gross income for 2015 was $10.6 million, compared to $27.9 million for the previous year. Charitable contributions accounted for 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Clinton is releasing the returns for two reasons: transparency and the opportunity to bash Donald Trump. The Republican nominee has refused to make his 2015 tax data public.

"Donald Trump is hiding behind fake excuses and backtracking on his previous promises," said Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for the Clinton campaign.

J. Tyler Franklin

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he still supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, despite the latest firestorm that has erupted over Trump’s most recent remarks about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

McConnell addressed the Middletown Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Many say Trump encouraged violence this week when he suggested “maybe there is” something supporters of the Second Amendment could do to stop Clinton from choosing Supreme Court justices. Trump’s campaign said he was referring to the political weight of the National Rifle Association and gun-rights advocates.

Met with laughter from the crowd, McConnell declined — tongue-in-cheek — to respond when asked what he thinks about Trump.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Editor's note: NPR fact-checked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's economic speech on Monday.

Trump delivered an address Monday to the Detroit Economic Club, outlining a plan to cut taxes and get rid of regulations. Today was Hillary Clinton's turn, where she argued that her plan would boost the middle class while Trump's plan "would give trillions in tax cuts to big corporations, millionaires, and Wall Street money managers."

Clinton spoke at Futuramic Tool & Engineering, an advanced manufacturing facility in Warren, Mich. Clinton has been talking about her jobs plan for weeks now, visiting factories and small business. Her address was meant as a contrast to Trump's dark vision of the state of American manufacturing and focus on coal and steel, industries that have been in steep decline for more than a generation.

As she's talked about the economy, Clinton has faced a couple of challenges; convincing white working class voters that she feels their pain and condensing her five point economic plan into something simple, catchy and satisfying.

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