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First Read's Morning Clips: Clinton Maintains Lead Post-Debate

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
Image: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, Florida, USA - 30 Sep 2016
Hillary Clinton at a rally at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, Florida, on Sept. 30, 2016.Larry Marano/REX/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

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

Our latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll shows Clinton’s lead over Trump essentially unchanged since the debate.

Mike Pence and Tim Kaine are largely unknown to voters going into tonight.

Tim Kaine will get the first question in tonight’s debate at Longwood University.

Kaine is taking a studious approach to the big showdown, writes NBC’s Kailani Koenig.

And NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard writes that voters could see a smoother side of the GOP ticket in Mike Pence tonight.

From the Washington Post: “On Tuesday, the Indiana governor and Virginia senator meet for the first time face to face, sharing a stage in Farmville, Va., during a 90-minute debate that will be watched by millions and could help define their respective careers. Their mutually friendly style could make for a less cutthroat environment than last week’s presidential debate. Their lack of common knowledge of each other adds to the expectation they will spend more time attacking the presidential nominees, Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, than each other.”

With the two VP candidates, one issue that the top of the ticket has largely neglected will be in the spotlight: Personal faith.

Trump supporters see “good business” in his reported $916 million loss.

The New York Times: “For a single businessman to declare losses approaching $1 billion is so extraordinary that it caused several accountants and lawyers consulted by The Times to blanch. The precise breakdown of that figure — specifically which Trump enterprises were responsible for how much — remains murky, hidden in a schedule attached to Mr. Trump’s returns that has not become public. But a review of public records and interviews with those who were present makes clear that it was decisions Mr. Trump made at the helm of his business empire during the 1980s that led to its nearly imploding.

And the Washington Post: “The disclosure also raises new questions about the degree of Trump’s personal financial involvement in the Trump Organization’s first four bankruptcies. Though he has repeatedly drawn a distinction between the company’s bankruptcies and his personal finances, the tax documents indicate he may have used losses stemming from his bankruptcies to benefit his personal fortune.”

NBC’s Katy Tur and Benjy Sarlin: “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office on Monday ordered the Donald J. Trump Foundation to "immediately cease soliciting contributions" after a report that the charity lacked the proper authorization to seek public donations. "The Attorney General's office is the sole regulator of charities in New York State, and when evidence of clear misconduct is brought to our attention, we take action," a spokesman for the attorney general's office said in a statement.”

Julian Assange is promising a “significant” leak related to the election.

Is Rudy Giuliani out-Trumping Trump?

An RNC official has deleted a tweet lauding a new “Willie Horton-style” attack against Tim Kaine.

Joe Biden took Trump to task for his comments about soldiers suffering from PTSD. (Trump’s campaign says his remarks have been taken out of context.)

From one of us(!): “A group opposed to Donald Trump's presidential candidacy is deploying eight ordinary Americans to highlight Trump's past insults and controversies in this presidential contest.”

Writes POLITICO: “Trump’s haphazard campaign, ignoring standard practice, relies largely on mining his boisterous, battleground state rallies to amass his early-vote totals. Clinton’s effort is more methodical and traditional, hinging on an extensive field organization to drive its advance voting strategy. As Trump allies see it, it’s a test of the real estate mogul’s magnetism versus Clinton’s technical mastery.”

A new Franklin & Marshall poll shows Clinton up 47 percent to 38 percent in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, down the ballot in New Hampshire: “New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she "misspoke" earlier Monday night when she said she would “absolutely” point to Donald Trump as a role model for children.”