Presidential Polls 2012: Romney Ahead 5 Points, Donald Trump Announcement, and Everything You Should Read on Wednesday

Big story: Donald Trump Surprise: Financial Pundit Claims Trump Has Obama Divorce Papers (from PM Pundit Ashley Howe) – Donald Trump plans to reveal a big surprise concerning President Obama on Wednesday. The blogosphere has been up in arms over what it could be, but should we even care?

Gallup Daily Tracking – Romney 51, Obama 46. Washington Post/ABC Tracking – Romney 48, Obama 48. Americans United for Change in Florida – Obama and Romney tied at 47% each.

Akin 2.0 – Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is under fire for comments suggesting that pregnancies occurring from rape are the result of God's will. At a Tuesday night debate when Mourdock was asked about his position on abortion, he said the procedure should be allowed only to save the life of a mother. "I know there are some who disagree and I respect their point of view but I believe that life begins at conception," Mourdock said. "The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother." Mourdock added: "I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." 

Trouble for Romney – Mourdock unseated long-time Indiana Senator Dick Lugar in a bitter Republican primary back in May. Just one day ago, Mitt Romney appeared in a new ad telling Indiana residents to vote for Mourdock. "As senator, Richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care," Romney says in the ad. "With so much at stake, I hope you'll join me in supporting Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate."

Will Romney Reverse Course? A spokesperson for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he disagrees with Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments on rape and abortion. "Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views," said Romney press secretary Andrea Saul in a statement. Romney is supportive of allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest. Saul did not respond when asked if Romney continues to endorse Mourdock or if he would ask the candidate to stop airing the ad. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called on Romney to “request that the ad featuring him…be taken off the air.”

More Details Emerge on Benghazi Attacks – (via CBS) "CBS News has obtained email alerts that were put out by the State Department as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. These emails contain the earliest description so far of what happened at Benghazi the night of the attack.
At 4:05 p.m. Eastern time, on September 11, an alert from the State Department Operations Center was issued to a number government and intelligence agencies. Included were the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI. "US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack" -- "approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM (Chief of Mission/embassy) personnel are in the compound safe haven."
At 4:54 p.m., less than an hour later, another alert: "the firing... in Benghazi...has stopped...A response team is on site attempting to locate COM (embassy) personnel."
Then, at 6:07 p.m., State sent out another alert saying the embassy in Tripoli reported the Islamic military group "Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibilty for Benghazi Attack"... "on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli."
The emails are just a few in what are likely a large number traded throughout the night. They are likely to become part of the ongoing political debate over whether the administration attempted to mislead in saying the assault was an outgrowth of a protest, rather than a planned attack by terrorists."

One Chart Says it All – What you should study if you're starting college today: http://bit.ly/zudWL9

Another Kind of Debate – Just one day after the third and final Obama vs. Romney presidential debate, four third party candidates held a debate in Chicago last night, moderated by Larry King. 

For a full recap, see editor Mike Luciano's live blog here

Thank you to our team of dedicated live bloggers: Judith Ayers, Dave Stacy, Silvia Cruz, Richard Lorenc, Seamus Light, Bart Gruzalski, and James Street. 

Top PolicyMic Stories – The Biggest Foreign Policy Threat to the United States is the United States (Kristian Davis Bailey) – Forget Iran. And Pakistan. And even Afghanistan. Here's everything Obama and Romney should have mentioned at the foreign policy debate, if only they had the courage.

Meet Malleable Mitt Romney, aka the Real Reason These Debates Are Pointless (Seth Fraser) – Since the first presidential debate, we have seen a different Mitt Romney. What is responsible for this shift to the middle and will it help him to win the election?

Presidential Halloween Costumes: 14 Ways You Can Dress Like the Most Powerful Person in the World (Meg Charlton) – Get out your rubber ears, cigars, and peanuts. How to dress like our presidents this Halloween.

What We’re Reading – 2008 called. It wants to know what happened to Obama (Gawker); Romney flashback: Let Detroit go bankrupt (NY Times). Ohio has a 50-50 chance of deciding the election (NY Times); Colleges hope for post-debate bump (WSJ); 6 October Surprises (Politico); An open letter to Ann Coulter (Special Olympics Blog); Ask a banker: What's a derivative? (NPR); Change.org is changing is stance on the GOP (Huffington Post); 22 things you probably never knew about the presidents (Buzzfeed); Why do we vote on Tuesdays? (The Society Pages).

Dessert – Bark Obama, Meet Mutt Romney (Vanity Fair).

* Correction: In yesterday's newsletter, I incorrectly wrote that Syria is land-locked. I guess I'll have to join Mitt Romney and study up on my Middle East geography. Big thank you to my expert fact-checkers for holding me accountable: Eron Armour, Dewan Ahmed, Kevin May, Paul Leuck, Alex Boodrookas, Therese Postel, and Jonathan Feldman.

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