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On the roster: Will racial unrest help Trump again? - Swing state polls shows roily race - Anti-Clinton PAC targets past pardons - The Judge’s Ruling: Due process is vital to freedom - ‘I’m riding it!’

Donald Trump’s previous high point in the campaign came after the last spasm of racial discord that gripped America, back in July in the wake of the massacre of five Dallas police officers.

He and his campaign clearly hope to replicate that outcome with the protests and riots still gripping Charlotte.

Speaking today in Pittsburgh, as well as in remarks Wednesday, Trump called for “a national anti-crime agenda to make our cities safe again,” including an expansion of New York’s now-defunct “stop and frisk” policy in which officers could pat down any individuals they deemed suspicious.

“Our country looks bad to the world,” Trump warned to his audience today. “How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?”

As he heads into the first presidential debate, Trump is reprising the theme he brought into his party’s July nominating convention: law and order.

Trump emphasizes what he says is deepening chaos in major American cities, an argument that sounds more convincing when juxtaposed with images of bloodshed, looting and tear gas in the streets of Charlotte.

Certainly in North Carolina, Trump could reasonably expect that his argument would be persuasive especially with white suburban voters alarmed at sight of their usually safe city looking like a war zone.

As Gov. Pat McCrory, R-N.C., declares a state of emergency in the Tar Heel State, voters would understandably be on edge.

The latest Fox News poll taken before the riots began shows Trump leading by 5 points in North Carolina, while a fresh survey from NYT shows the two candidates in a dead heat. But both polls would agree that Trump’s weeks of outreach to black voters in the racially roiled state have found little purchase. In both polls, Trump takes only 3 percent of the African American vote.

However, Trump’s outreach on urban crime and the struggles of black Americans would seem to be more about white suburban voters. By highlighting black violence in his outreach to African-American communities, Trump can not only been seen to be working against the broadly held perception that he is racist – a big turnoff for college-educated whites – but also keep the focus on the very issues that instill the most fear in white suburbanites.

It’s a twofer.

Trump’s 58 percent share of the white vote in the Fox News poll is one of his best showings we’ve seen in any swing state. Compare Trump’s showing of white voters in North Carolina to the 48 percent share he takes in Ohio or the 49 percent he is winning nationally among white voters.

So while there’s lots of good news for Trump with the riots in North Carolina, the anxieties about urban unrest and crime don’t seem to be translating on the national level.

In a new WSJ/NBC News national poll, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Trump by 6 points. But the real problem in the poll isn’t the horse race overall, but Trump’s performance in the ‘burbs. Trump trails Clinton 5 points with college-educated white voters, a group Trump’s predecessor, Mitt Romney won by 14 points.

As he prepares for the first presidential debate on Monday, Trump can be encouraged by the growing national concern about urban strife. Those fears give him a way to push the reluctant minivan set into his column.

But when he tried that at his last big moment at the convention, talking about “a moment of crisis for our nation,” it didn’t pan out very well.

The key for Trump will be to more subtly stoke anxieties of white suburbanites without sounding like he is a prophet of doom. That’s the test he’ll have to pass next week.

As many voters are still on this fence this election cycle, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump hope next Monday’s debate will sway those undecided into their column. But will the debates really be the determining test? What can we expect from these two next week? Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt give their take on what they think on “Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What” LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE.

“Commercial republics, like ours, will never be disposed to waste themselves in ruinous contentions with each other. They will be governed by mutual interest, and will cultivate a spirit of mutual amity and concord.” – Alexander Hamilton, “Federalist No. 6

The Atlantic takes a dive into what makes American universities the greatest research institutions in the world: “The American research university was born a century after the American Revolution, when Johns Hopkins University opened its doors in 1876. It was an amalgam of the British Oxbridge undergraduate system and the German emphasis on research; Hopkins’s focus on inquiry and experimentation drew the attention of some of the late 19th century’s great academic minds—people like Henry A. Rowland, who became the first president of the American Physical Society. America’s research universities, even in their early years, were far more open and democratic than their European counterparts.”

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Average of national head-to-head presidential polls:
 Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +3.2 points
[Polls included: ARG, WSJ/NBC, Fox News, NYT/CBS News and Quinnipiac University,.]

Average of national four-way presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump vs. Johnson vs. Stein: Clinton +3.2 points
[Polls included: WSJ/NBC, Fox News, NYT/CBS NewsQuinnipiac University, and Pew.]

Hillary Clinton
’s struggles with young and independent voters is giving Donald Trump the lead in three key battleground states according to new Fox News polls. Clinton is down 5 points in Ohio and 3 points in Nevada overall. In both states, Trump’s advantage comes from a hefty lead with independent voters of 19 and 20-points in Nevada and Ohio, respectively.

Also problematic for Clinton is her status with female voters. Clinton leads this group over Trump by 6 points in Nevada and 3 points in Ohio, a major change from President Obama who won this group in both states by double-digits in 2012. And in Nevada, Trump is also within striking distance of Clinton’s 3-point advantage with voters under 45-years-old.

And there is a cavalcade of other new state polling:

In Florida, Trump leads Clinton by a single point in a six-way (!) race, according to a Suffolk University poll.

In Wisconsin, Clinton leads Trump by 6 points in a head-to-head matchup and 3 points in the four-way race in a Marquette University Law School poll.

In Colorado, Clinton leads Trump by 7 points in a four-way race according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll.

In Virginia, Clinton is 7 points ahead in a poll from Roanoke College.

Anti-Clinton PAC targets past pardons - Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC has a new ad featuring the son of a man killed by a Puerto Rican terrorist group. The ad says the Clintons pardoned this group to gain political favorability for Hillary Clinton’s New York Senatorial campaign. The group says the digital ad buy is more than $100,000 and will run in the key swing states.

Pro-life action group hits airwaves in new ad - March for Life Action launches its first ad in key swing states leading up to Monday’s presidential debate. The ad features women making the case to viewers that pro-life positions are mainstream points of view and winning issues for candidates. The ad will air on both television and digital mediums through Monday in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia markets as well as the District of Columbia.

The Judge’s Ruling: Due process is vital to freedom - Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano cautions those calling for the accused New York City bomber to be stripped of his rights. “Due process -- fairness from the government, the right to silence, the right to counsel and the right to a jury trial with the full panoply of constitutional requirements and protections -- is vital to our personal liberties and to our free society as we have known it. If anyone who appears to have been motivated to attack Americans or American values based on some alleged or even proven foreign motivation could be denied the rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution by a government determination before trial, then no one’s rights are safe.” Read more here.

“Or maybe like a white power tie.” – Comedian Zach Galifiankis in an interview with Hillary Clinton after she said that she assumed Donald Trump would wear a “red power tie” to the first presidential debate.

America’s trust in political leaders hits a new low - Gallup

House panel recommends holding former Clinton IT aide in contempt - Fox News

GOP Senators claim Dems delay votes to keep them off the campaign trail - WashEx

Trump’s campaign paid his business $8.2 million - Politico

Government debt watchdog says Trump’s tax proposals would increase federal debt by $5.3 trillion - AP

Trump said he made his birther announcement so he could ‘get on with the campaign’ - The Hill

David Drucker goes behind Cruz’s coming capitulation to Trump - WashEx

“You are selling Power Play way too short when you refer to it as ‘inanity.’ Power play was what made you far and away my favorite political commentator. I was rarely able to watch it live but I would regularly watch it in its entirety while doing dishes after dinner. Where else would I have been able to learn about the political news of the day as well as nearly wet myself over comments such as Charles Hurt’s ‘after hours’ vests. It was a sad day when the 30-minute Power Play went away…I second the request to be able to watch your new show online in its entirety just as I used to watch Power Play. I would happily watch the commercials as well if it would give me the opportunity to experience pure political broadcasting excellence on my schedule. Keep up the good work!” – Matt Nelson, Los Alamos, N.M.

[Ed. note: What a delightful thing for you to say, Mr. Nelson! It gives me a very happy feeling to know that I was there with you and the steel wool dispatching the baked on, caked on remnants of dinner. And as for Mr. Hurt’s fashion choices, as the weather cools I believe you will see the return of his Wild West vest and other unusual wardrobe staples. This time of year, it is always good to keep an eye out for blood or feathers on his jackets as I believe he often comes to the studio directly from dove hunting.]

“I’ll tell you what, I so look forward to reading the halftime report every day to get all the election lowdown. It makes my day to get the political news and poll numbers with a dose of humor. I also watched the T.V. show Sunday with Dana and Chris. I loved it just as much as the podcast. It’s like sitting with your smartest and wittiest friends for a very enjoyable hour. Keep up the good work. I wish the show would be on after November. Thanks to you both.” – Darlene Beck, Birmingham, Ala.

[Ed. note: Isn’t she just the berries? Thanks so much for reading and watching. We’d hope to do you proud.]

“Trump’s ‘support’ is multi-faceted. Personally, I will vote for him, trust his trademark promises (judges, wall, 2nd Amendment, religious freedom, etc), encourage his fidelity to those, and hope for the best. Support, in the case of true conservatives, is a stronger word, to me.  I have sent no money and I have no bumper stickers or yard signs. In a simple choice of only two options, one can never be the most corrupt, dishonest and morally challenged to ever run for President. Clinton, so transparently, is the latter.” – Michael D. Sumner, Miamisburg, Ohio

[Ed. note: Quite right, Mr. Sumner! We’re only ever really talking about votes when we are talking about polls. “Support” does carry a connotation of help beyond the ballot box, but we hope you would be indulgent of our imprecision given the fact that we have to come up with so many daggone ways to talk about voters every day. But we will keep your worthwhile distinction in mind. Thanks much.]

“How about quotes from the Anti-federalist Papers, as well?” – John Glover, The Villages, Fla.

[Ed. note: While Halftime Report doesn’t necessarily abide by “equal time” precepts for any issues resolved prior to 1792, you raise a great point, Mr. Glover. There certainly was a larger discussion going on among the Founders. Patrick Henry and his cohorts weren’t going in for some federal leviathan they thought Messers. Hamilton, Madison and Jay were serving up. But the real issue at hand for the Anti-Federalists was the inclusion of a bill of particular rights. Madison was worried that by enumerating the limitations on the government, future leaders would take for themselves any power not specifically forbidden to them. And while he was proven quite right, he was quite wrong politically about the need for getting into specific, negative rights. As Thomas Jefferson wrote his fellow Virginian, James Madison, encouraging him to support enumerated rights: "Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can." Madison was eventually convinced and the deal was done. But certainly, the writings of Henry and his fellows shaped the republic in a profound way. Our aim in presenting The Rulebook, though, is to describe what the founders envisioned for the office of the presidency and its inhabitants to help us all think better on the subject of this election. The Anti-Federalists had extensive thoughts on executive power, but the office as we have inherited it descends from the vision of the guys on the other side.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

CBS Miami: “Don’t play with the manatees, you could end up in jail. That’s what happened to a man in Islamorada when he decided to jump into the water and swim with a few of the endangered animals. According to officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, James Roy Massengale Jr. was charged with annoying, molesting, harassing, or disturbing a manatee on Friday afternoon. A witness told FWC officers that he spotted Massengale when he was in the water approaching two adult manatees and two calves…Massengale reportedly told the witness, ‘I’m riding it!’ The witness said he told him that manatees were an endangered species and it was illegal to bother them then pretended to leave the area…He was arrested by a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy and placed into an isolation cell at Plantation Key Jail after he refused to provide his information to the correction’s officers.”

“[Yogi Berra] once said ‘it gets late early here.’ It’s getting late early, especially for [Hillary Clinton]. She’s been known for 30 years. [Donald Trump has] been ubiquitous on the air for 15 months. People know who they are.  I’m not sure what her advertising advantage is going to do at this point.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up