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Trump no longer wants to ban Muslim immigration, Pence says

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

Donald Trump has changed course on another campaign plank, as vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said Trump no longer wants to ban Muslims from entering the country.

Pence, who opposed Trump’s proposed ban before being named Trump’s running mate, said Thursday “that’s not Donald Trump’s position now” when asked about the Muslim ban.

“Governor Pence’s flagrant attempts to mislead voters on his running mate’s positions aren’t fooling anyone,” said Zara Rahim, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign. “Not only has Trump proposed an unconstitutional immigration ban on an entire religion, but he’s suggested creating a database that tracks Muslims in this country.”

Hillary Clinton withdrew ads on the Weather Channel after Republicans attacked her for being insensitive during Hurricane Matthew.

Both candidates are busy preparing for the second presidential debate, which will be held Sunday night in St. Louis.

The polls open nationally in 31 days. Let’s get started.

The Muslim ban is no more

Mike Pence was initially against Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration, but remained largely silent on the issue after becoming his vice presidential pick.

Trump’s proposal appeared to change on Thursday, as Pence stood in front of a campaign bus in Pennsylvania and said “that’s not Donald Trump’s position now” when asked about the potential ban.

That’s not Donald Trump’s position now. Mike Pence, on Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration

Pence further clarifed his position on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“So not a ban on all Muslims?” Joe Scarborough asked Pence.

“Of course not,” Mr. Pence replied.

Clinton withdraws ads in the face of Hurricane Matthew

Clinton’s campaign made a relatively small buy on the Weather Channel this week. Normally that wouldn’t be news, but when the ads target Florida markets as a major hurricane threatens the state’s east coast, it becomes a political chess match.

Presidential candidates are careful with campaigning off of major natural disasters, as they balence looking like a leader without appearing crass.

After the GOP complained, Clinton’s campaign asked the Weather Channel to pull the ads until the storm passes.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said it was “unfortunate that Reince Priebus is trying to politicize the hurricane.” He said the campaign was in the process of buying TV nationwide on “100s of different” media outlets and the Weather Channel was a small part of it.

The second presidential debate looms

Trump and Clinton are largely inactive on the campaign trail until Sunday night’s debate at Washington University in St. Louis.

The debate will be a townhall format and CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate. Voters can submit potential questions online.

You can also watch the debate at the movies, if you’re so inclined. Notably, this debate will start at 8:30pm Eastern in contrast to the two previous debates which started at 9.

The debate could have an impact in four states where new polls show a tight race, New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan and Arizona. Arizona, traditionally a Republican stronghold, is in play for Clinton.

Links of note

Good luck trying to hack the election (McClatchy)

This former Republican congressman from Kentucky won’t be voting for Trump (McClatchy)

How a tiny Virginia college landed the vice presidential debate (Washingtonian)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

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