The last Trump-Clinton debate is tonight. We’ll get through it together

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight, we’ll soothe the bitterness of the presidential debate with a pen full of kittens; Styxx is closing; and Bernie Sanders is coming back to Maine (to sell books in South Portland).

Tonight’s party

— If you’ve RSVPed to tonight’s debate-watching/kitten-playing-with party, which starts in two hours, as of transmission of this email, we’ll see you then!

— If you have not RSVPed — but still want to come — there is no need to despair. Come by anyway. We can probably squeeze you in if you arrive around the start of the debate. We’ll give ticket-holders preference for entry if we’re getting too close to capacity.

— We’ll have a bunch of cheese pizzas from Pizzaiolo.

— If you want to play debate bingo, here’s one from the Seattle Times that works on your phone.

— We’ll also live-stream the kitten pen on our Facebook page for those watching at home.

Here are some debate-related links:

The Bangor Daily News will provide live updates Check out our site around the time of the debate. A team of reporters around the state — including here at our debate-watching party — will be providing analysis and reaction.

Where the Maine race stands ahead of Trump and Clinton’s last debateThe BDN’s Michael Shepherd (who will be at the party tonight [he’s the one who’s roughly 11 feet tall]) lays it out:

Donald Trump [visited] the state four times since March in a bid to pick off one of our four Electoral College votes by winning the rural, relatively conservative 2nd Congressional District.

That looked likely through September, when he held a double-digit polling lead in the 2nd District. But that’s up in the air, with the latest poll from the progressive Maine People’s Resource Center finding the 2nd District tied and Clinton up by 8 percentage points statewide buoyed by a large lead in the 1st District.

Glenn Thrush on what to watch for tonight“2. How low will Trump go? Last time, Trump suggested Clinton was the devil, said she had ‘hate in her heart’ and paraded Bill Clinton’s accusers in front of the debate stage. And that was 10 days ago, when he was doing better in the polls.”

‘Trump Needs To Win Tonight’s Debate, But That Would Only Be Step One — Five Thirty Eight lays out the odds against Trump, and how this debate is unlikely to put a big dent in Hillary Clinton’s lead.

Simply put, 7 percentage points is a big deficit. Forget third debates. Counting this year, there have been 21 presidential debates for which we have polling immediately before and after. Not one of them resulted in a shift in the polling of more than 6.1 percentage points. Tonight’s debate is very unlikely to vault Trump into the lead, but it’s probably Trump’s last shot to start giving Clinton a run for her money.

FWIW, kids picked Clinton — From USA Today:

Every four years since 1940, America’s schoolchildren have gone to the polls, casting ballots in a mock presidential election that has uncannily predicted the outcome of nearly every race — including all 13 contests since 1964.

This year about 153,000 students cast ballots. Their candidate?

Hillary Clinton, in a landslide.

In other news

Styxx’s owner explains why his nightclub is closing — Sam Hill, writing for Dispatch, interviewed Josh Moody, the owner of Styxx. The nightclub — which has been a part of the city’s LGBT scene for years — is closing in January.

Here’s why, according to the interview:

It’s a plethora of things. Honestly, I probably should’ve done it over two years ago, but I was waiting for something to change.

When I first came here, if my friends were going out, they were going to the gay bar. Now, people bar hop a lot more. This is a big bar, it fits over 300 people, so when we aren’t packed, it looks dead. On any given Friday or Saturday night, we have about 40 people walk in the door and walk right back out. They don’t stay, they don’t get a drink, they don’t say hi to the bartender. If any of them stayed for a drink, they’d all be here at the same time. But that’s not what they’re looking for. They’re looking for a party.

Winter used to be my best time, but there’s been a shift in the last three years. I don’t [see] some customers from October to May. They’re a lot more shut-in — Netflix and chill instead of going to the bar. Pre-internet, if you were gay and wanted to meet someone, you didn’t have the internet to do it. There wasn’t Grindr, Jack’d, Scruff, and the other bazillion apps you can log onto to hook up. You had to go somewhere, so of course the gay bar was busy.

People want more events. They want more, but they don’t want to pay more. Everything has to be free. Hire a band and people go, “Ah, man, a $5 cover?” People just don’t want to pay that anymore. And they don’t have to.

I don’t think we have the support that we used to.

Bernie Sanders is coming back to Maine to sell a book — Ray Routhier at the Press Herald has the details on the Nov. 21 event:

Tickets are required to attend the event and are available for purchase from the Books-A-Million store or online at The $28.49 price includes a copy of the book. Guests will have a chance to have a photograph taken with Sanders, but Sanders will not be signing books.

Thanks to national PAC, City Council candidate has an early — and big — fundraising lead — Jake Bleiberg reports:

Through a fundraising campaign that has drawn heavily on donors from around the country and began months before nomination papers were even available, City Council candidate Pious Ali is positioned to dramatically outspend his political opponents.

In an early, national push that’s unusual for a Portland City Council race, Ali’s campaign brought in $15,463 between February and July, according to finance reports filed with the city — more than $12,000 of which came from donations to political action committee ActBlue, which does online fundraising for Democrats across the country.

When Portland’s mayor had a militia shoot into a crowd —  Neal Dow was the worst.

The Big Idea

‘The rise and fall of Ken Bone: This is what happens when real humans become Internet memes’ — “The Internet is on the verge of ignoring what made this a memorable moment to begin with: Bone’s question was a reminder that this no good, horrible, very bad election affects actual humans, whose livelihoods are dependent on the outcome of the election on Nov. 8. … It’s about the everyday Americans who continue to be caught in the crossfire of an increasingly ugly race. It’s OK to make Ken Bone a star, but let’s remember that he’s a person first, not your meme.”

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @dsmacleod.

As always, like BDN Portland on Facebook for more local coverage.



Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.