First Read's Morning Clips: New NBC|SurveyMonkey Tracking Poll

OFF TO THE RACES: Clinton up 6pts in NBC|SurveyMonkey tracking poll

Our new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll shows Clinton with a six-point lead.

From NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald: “Should Democrats use Donald Trump against other Republicans or use other Republicans against Trump? That question is dividing Democrats this year, as Hillary Clinton’s campaign has sought to drive a wedge between Trump as the GOP standard bearer at the same time Democrats in down ballot races have been more interested in chaining the unpopular Trump to their Republican opponents. Now, with Trump underwater in almost every poll and Republicans retreating from him, Clinton’s campaign and its surrogates are aligning their own message with that of down-ballot Democrats.”

NBC’s Alex Jaffe notes that downballot Republicans are criticizing Trump’s claims that the election is “rigged.”

And from the Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton’s advisers are privately worried that Trump’s calls for his supporters to stand watch at polling places in cities such as Philadelphia for any hint of fraud will result in intimidation tactics that might threaten her supporters and suppress the votes of African Americans and other minorities. The Democratic nominee’s campaign is recruiting and training hundreds of lawyers to fan out across the country, protecting people’s right to vote and documenting any signs of foul play, according to several people with knowledge of the plans.”

ABC: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested tonight that House Speaker Paul Ryan does not want a President Trump because of his own political ambitions in 2020. When asked by ABC News’ Tom Llamas before a campaign event tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin, whether he believed Ryan wanted him to win the race to the White House, Trump responded, ‘Well, maybe not, because maybe he wants to run in four years or maybe he doesn’t know how to win.'”

Melania Trump says her husband was “egged on” to make lewd comments. And she says she tried to steer Trump away from characters like Howard Stern and Billy Bush.

From the Wall Street Journal: “More than 50 retired general and flag officers have signed a letter denouncing Republican Donald Trump’s candidacy to be commander in chief, saying he is unfit because of his attitudes toward women and sexual assault. A chief concern is that his election could imperil progress in long-running efforts to stem the problem of sexual assault in the U.S. military.”

“Documents released Monday in the Hillary Clinton email investigation show intense disagreement last year between the State Department and the F.B.I. over whether some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails should be considered classified, including a discussion of a possible “quid pro quo” to settle one dispute,” writes the New York Times. “The new batch of documents indicated that in one particular case, a senior State Department official, Patrick F. Kennedy, pressed the F.B.I. to agree that one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails on the 2012 Benghazi attack would be unclassified — and not classified as the bureau wanted. What remained unclear from the documents was whether it was Mr. Kennedy or an F.B.I. official who purportedly offered the “quid pro quo”: marking the email unclassified in exchange for the State Department’s approving the posting of more F.B.I. agents to Iraq.”

Trump is proposing a five-year ban on executive branch officials and lawmakers who want to become lobbyists.

From the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. labor unions are plowing money into the 2016 elections at an unprecedented rate in a frenzied effort to help elect Hillary Clinton and give Democrats a majority in the Senate. According to the most recent campaign-finance filings, unions spent nearly $110 million on the elections from January 2015 through the end of August, a 38% jump from $78 million at the same point in the 2012 election, and nearly double their 2008 total during the same period.”

The anti-Trump group Not Who Are campaign is hand-delivering more than 5,000 letters from people explaining that Trump doesn’t represent their values. The letters will be delivered at Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas at 1:30 pm ET, and will hold a press conference — in front of this mobile billboard — at 5:00 pm ET.

About last night.. Florida edition. The Miami Herald wraps last night’s Florida Senate debate between Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy: “Over 57 heated minutes, Murphy, the Democratic challenger, repeatedly attacked Rubio for his absenteeism during his first term as U.S. senator and for his continued support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Rubio, meanwhile, highlighted embellishments Murphy made to his academic and professional résumés and what he called Murphy’s “record of doing absolutely nothing” in his first two terms in Congress… Near the end of the debate, Rubio grew frustrated with Murphy’s repeated insinuations that Rubio doesn’t support women and he had ammo ready to volley in return. He referenced an old photo of the 33-year-old Murphy, which shows him with his arm around a woman, appearing to grab her breast. GOP activists have occasionally circulated the photo on Twitter for weeks.”

About last night… Pennsylvania edition. From the Inquirer, on the debate between Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty: “Toomey — who has refused to say whether he’ll endorse Trump — did add some new insight into his thinking, arguing that Trump would “probably sign legislation that would be constructive” like repealing Obamacare and imposing new sanctions on Iran. Toomey has refused to say if he will endorse Trump, but said he “probably” will announce a decision before Election Day (three weeks away). Last week he had suggested he might not say. McGinty was happy to let the issue fester, citing Toomey’s statements that he is “unpersuaded” so far.”

About last night… Ohio edition. From, on the debate between Rob Portman and Ted Strickland: “Both candidates said they support finding a way for undocumented immigrants to remain in the country, though they differed slightly when it came to what their status should be. Strickland said he “very strongly” supports finding a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Portman said he favors a “path to legalization” for undocumented immigrants who come forward and pay a fine and back taxes – except for those with a criminal record, whom Portman said should be deported.”

Barack Obama is eyeing his legacy, writes the Washington Post: “All presidents hope to have some say in how they are judged by history, usually relying on august farewell addresses and blockbuster memoirs. But Obama has started earlier and seems more publicly strategic than his predecessors about framing his legacy. He is determined to get the jump on his critics about how his presidency is preserved for posterity. So far, a central theme has been to cast himself as the rational actor in an arena full of irrational ones.”

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