* I’m old enough to remember that time during the Republican presidential primary when all of the candidates were flexing their muscles about how strong they’d be in the battle to defeat ISIS. Things have been pretty quiet on that front lately – except for this from Trump:


That’s why this story from Tim Arango, who is embedded with the forces that have re-taken the eastern part of Mosul, is a must-read.

For the first time in more than two years, residents of eastern Mosul enjoyed a day without the Islamic State. As Iraqi security forces drove the muddy streets of the neighborhood, families stepped from the gates of their driveways, waving, flashing two-fingered victory signs and yelling, “Heroes!” Others held white flags.

Some men, in ankle-length Arab gowns in the jihadist-regulation style, were smoking cigarettes, while others had them tucked behind their ears. They were celebrating the Iraqi forces’ victory over the Islamic State in their area by savoring some of the small pleasures banned under more than two years of militant rule.

“We are very, very happy,” said one man, Qais Hassan, 46, surrounded by soldiers. “Now we have our freedom.” The Islamic State, he said, had “asked us to implement religion. But they had nothing to do with religion.”…

Parents said they were hopeful that their children, out of school for two years, could return to classrooms. One father, Mohammed Mahmoud, 33, said he was grateful that he no longer had to worry that his young daughter would be forced to marry an Islamic State fighter.

“What worried me the most was my daughter,” Mr. Mahmoud said. “Because they have no religion. I consider me and my family born again today.”

* How far down the rabbit hole have Republicans traveled? Far enough that Rep. Issa sounds like the reasonable one.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is locked in a tight re-election race, on Wednesday told Republicans already threatening to impeach Hillary Clinton before she is even elected to “calm down” because it will never happen.

“Okay, I’m gonna say, be the adult in the room and say ‘calm down, back off, it’s not gonna happen.’ The fact is we have impeached and removed from office nine federal judges in our history, no members of the executive branch, not a president, not a vice president, not a cabinet officer, so floating that word is usually a fairly reckless thing,” Issa told 760 KFMB San Diego radio’s “Brett Winterble Show” when asked to respond to those floating impeachment, according to a clip highlighted by CNN.

* Predictions that POTUS and FLOTUS would be Hillary Clinton’s not-so-secret weapons during this campaign have proven to be true. That’s why this announcement is so huge:

Hillary Clinton’s final event before Election Day will feature President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton all campaigning together in Philadelphia.

* President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina writes about “The Election Polls That Matter” and why that gives Clinton a clear advantage.

The best campaigns don’t bother with national polls — I’ve come to hate public polling, period. In the 2012 race we focused on a “golden report,” which included 62,000 simulations to determine Mr. Obama’s chances of winning battleground states. It included state tracking polls and nightly calls from volunteers, but no national tracking polls…

Today, campaigns can target voters so well that they can personalize conversations. That is the only way, when any candidate asks about the state of the race, to offer a true assessment.

Hillary Clinton can do that. To my knowledge, Donald J. Trump, who has bragged that he doesn’t care about data in campaigns, can’t.

Here’s proof that the Trump campaign doesn’t care about data:

* A lot of narratives have taken hold during this campaign and tend to persist regardless of whether or not they reflect the truth. Here is some data that busts up a huge narrative of this campaign.

Voters in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania – three competitive states in the Nov. 8 election that form the bulk of a region dubbed the Rust Belt for its swaths of shuttered factories – favor Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, on the issue of trade, according to the polling, with some respondents citing how international trade can bring down prices.

* For perhaps one last time, Republicans REALLY should have paid attention to the recommendations in their party’s autopsy after the 2012 election.

According to the latest data from our national tracking poll, Latino Decisions projects that between 13.1 million and 14.7 million Latinos will vote in 2016. This estimate represents a three percent to five percent increase over the 2012 Latino turnout rate which, coupled with the dramatic growth of the age-eligible Latino population, will yield between 1.9 million and 3.5 million additional Latinos voters in 2016 compared to the 11.2 million who voted four years ago.

Latino Decisions also projects that 79 percent of Latinos will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, 18 percent for Republican nominee Donald Trump, and the remaining three percent voting for other candidates.

* Finally, to add a little flavor to that last item, here’s a powerful ad from the Clinton campaign.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.