5 Necessary Post-Debate Updates: Miss Universe Abuse, Election Hackers, and More

This week was one for the ages, not just in terms of this particular election, but in terms of U.S. politics in general. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to break records and make history, for better or for worse. Monday’s debate, in case you hadn’t heard, was the most-watched ever, raking in 84 million TV viewers and many millions more web streamers—that’s more than the last most-watched debate, between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, and even more than the finale of Seinfeld, America’s fave sitcom.

Next week, we’ll see the vice presidential candidates face off—with far less fanfare and fewer viewers, no doubt—with two more presidential debates to follow before October ends. But I think it’s safe to say that no matter how wild the next few debates get, it’ll be tough to top the anticipation, anxiety, and intensity that surrounded Clinton and Trump’s first one (more on that below). With just over a month until Election Day, make sure you’re registered to vote—and catch up on the latest campaign news worth knowing, below.

Trump Continues to Abuse Former Miss Universe

Since fat-shaming (“Miss Piggy) and racist slurs (“Miss Housekeeping”) weren’t enough, Trump is reaching a new low with his latest tweet targeting former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. This morning, he hinted called Machado “disgusting” in a tweet that hinted Machado has a sexual past she should be ashamed of in the form of a sex tape. Not that we should be surprised by any of this, but it’s still somehow shocking how despicable Trump can be. He’s running for president, and still has time to bully this poor woman who’s been a target of his abuse for years?

Machado won the Miss Universe beauty pageant in 1996, and that’s when Trump (a pageant producer) began verbally abusing her. According to The New York Times, Machado had anorexia and bulimia, and had to see therapists for years after Trump’s abuse, which went on when she was just 18. She gained a few pounds after her win—12, to be exact—and Trump, who was a producer of the pageant, seized the opportunity to make unbelievably sexist and racist comments. “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” he told Fox News. He also went with her to a gym, where he posed for photos while she worked out, while he said, “This is somebody who likes to eat.” I have no words.

Trump’s Own Supporters Admit He Lost the Debate

While determining who wins a presidential debate is clearly a subjective effort, in the aftermath of Monday, expert analysis as well as polls have come out strongly in favor of Clinton. But Trump is (shocker!) having a little trouble accepting that. While campaigning in New Hampshire this week, he said, “Every single online poll said we won… I had to fight the anchor all the time on everything I said. What a rigged deal, I tell you, we’re in such a rigged system, it is terrible.” Well, Trump, that’s true—the system is rigged, but not in the way you’re talking about. NPR reports that every post-debate poll Trump cites saying he won are actually “unscientific Internet popularity contests… with no predictive value.” One actual scientific CNN poll found that 62 percent of voters thought Clinton had the best performance, while 27 percent said Trump did. Meanwhile, Trump is furious because his aides and advisors have conceded to reporters that he did indeed struggle in the debate.

Clinton Camp Prepares for Tough Florida Voters

Arguable debate win aside, Hillary Clinton needs to win actual votes in certain swing states in order to claim the White House in November, and Florida is one of the most important ones. To help up her odds of capturing undecided voters—minorities in particular—the campaign is pouring funds into advertising and sending Bill Clinton on a bus tour to incite enthusiasm in African-American crowds, according to Politico. Barack and Michelle Obama are also scheduled to hit the trail in Florida on Clinton’s behalf. Let’s see if pulling out all the stops gets her the votes she needs in the sunshine state.

Obama Spells Out Why Voters Need to Pick Clinton

Why should you vote for Hillary Clinton, no matter what your issues with her, no matter how imperfect she is, and regardless of which party you’re in? Simply because if you don’t, you’re helping to risk giving the presidency to Trump. That’s what President Obama said in an interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show on Wednesday: “If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump,” he said. He’s also said that people who choose not to vote are insulting his legacy, because a Trump presidency would quickly undo all the work he’s done in the last eight years. You’d think this was a concept that would be obvious by now—that forgoing voting altogether just because you don’t like your options, or voting for a lesser-known party out of principle is a deeply flawed way to stand up for your beliefs. Like it or not, one of these two will be president, so let’s all do ourselves a favor and pick the less atrocious one, shall we? I think we can all follow Barack and Bernie’s leads on this one.

20 States are Victims of Election System Hackers

NBC News reports that there have been hacking attempts on election systems in more than 20 states, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official, who said the DHS is “absolutely concerned” that hackers have the ability to cause confusion and chaos on Election Day. Only two of the successful breaches have been disclosed—on online voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona, which were linked to hackers in Russia. Even if the hackers don’t successfully do damage to any databases, if the hacks continue, it could cause the American public to doubt the security and truth of the election’s outcome. Let’s just hope we don’t wind up with another 2004 on our hands.

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