Midway through the first presidential debate, the Republican nominee’s performance started to deteriorate. The post The Night Trump Unraveled appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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The Night Trump Unraveled

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reacts during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26 in Hempstead, New York.Whenever possible, I like to watch presidential debates with partisans—or, during primaries, with people supporting a specific candidate—to observe their reactions in real time, before the conventional wisdom can harden. Last night, then, I joined Texas Democrats at Scholz Garten in downtown Austin, and found an interesting pattern among the people I spoke with after the debate concluded: though they all felt that Hillary Clinton had won, as one might expect the blue team to do, they remained nearly as anxious as they were prior to the debate. It’s a measure of how strange this entire election cycle has been, I suppose, that so many Americans, on both sides, feel uncertain about their own perceptions, and everyone else’s. In any case, the conventional wisdom has…View Original Post

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Showdown at Eight O’Clock

The stage is set for Monday night's presidential debate between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University on September 26 in Hempstead, New York.With 45 days left until the general election, and early voting already underway in several states, polls show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump among national voters by just two points, and as Nate Silver notes, at FiveThirtyEight, uncertainty abounds about how well her campaign will perform in the homestretch. Anxiety, too: though Clinton has apparently been preparing for the debates, and Trump has not, the fact that she is expected to outperform him raises the question of whether he can “win” the debate simply by outperforming the unusually low expectations people have for him. The first presidential debate—from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York—starts at 8 p.m. central time tonight, and will run for 90 minutes, without commercial breaks. The Verge has gathered a list…View Original Post

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Ted Cruz Caves

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at the CNN republican presidential debate last December, months before Trump beat Cruz in the primary and Cruz eventually endorsed his one-time opponent.Ted Cruz wants, above all else, to be president. He’s spent years working and strategically plotting toward achieving that goal. After endorsing Donald Trump today, Cruz’s chances of becoming president have, it seems to me, nearly evaporated. I’d heard rumblings last week that Cruz, who had shocked most observers by refusing to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, was wavering on the subject. So the news that broke today was therefore not entirely unexpected, but it does have a certain surreal quality. This is a disastrously bad decision on Cruz’s part, and one that he will come to regret. He fully deserves the criticism and scorn being heaped on him today and the realization he will have—albeit only now that it’s…View Original Post

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This One’s on Us, Sid

Sid MillerDuring the past few weeks, many politically minded Americans have, understandably, been focused on the rapidly approaching showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Still, I encourage Texans to take a moment to celebrate our agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller. In April, the Texas Rangers began an investigation into whether he misused taxpayer funds to take two trips earlier this year. On Tuesday, the Travis County District Attorney’s office announced that the investigation had been concluded, and that it will not result in criminal charges. Lauren McGaughy, at the Dallas Morning News, explains that Susan H. Oswalt, the Travis County DA, did not exactly exonerate Miller. In fact, he admitted to the Rangers that he had received a “Jesus shot” on the first trip, to Oklahoma;…View Original Post

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Where Texans Agree

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In DallasI’ve spent much of this week on the road, criss-crossing the state talking to Texans about the upcoming election. Like most political observers, I have some thoughts about whether Hillary Clinton was right to say that some Donald Trump supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables,” but for now I’ll just offer an observation: during all these conversations, the only Texan who brought up the subject, other than me, was David A. Jones, the co-host of Houston’s Red, White, and Blue, at the outset of a taping  yesterday. It makes sense that those of us in the media, or the political commentariat more generally, have devoted so much time and attention to Clinton’s characterization of Trump’s supporters. But the gaffes we remember, in my view,…View Original Post

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