politics-trailmix

Campaign Trail Mix is your Election 2016 BFF: A weekly series that cuts through the news cycle *noise* to bring you the latest key info you absolutely MUST know about the US presidential showdown.

1. Donald Trump may not have paid taxes for 20 years鈥 but what else don鈥檛 we know?

Last weekend the New York Times published a bombshell scoop, though it may not sound like it: three pages of a 1995 tax return belonging to Donald Trump. Because Trump has declined to release his returns (which is all but unheard of for presidential candidates), there鈥檚 been rampant speculation about what he鈥檚 hiding. If he鈥檚 avoiding publishing them, the thinking goes, there must be something pretty bad in there, right? Especially given the prominent role his business acumen has played in his campaign, if there鈥檚 evidence that Trump isn鈥檛 a billionaire, or that he鈥檚 a bad businessman, it could be damaging. Those three pages revealed that Trump claimed a nearly $1-billion loss on his personal taxes in 1995, large enough to avoid paying taxes for the next 20 years if he was earning as much as $50 million per year (which is unlikely). That he has since refused to release any other tax information 鈥 and vaguely threatened to sue the Times 鈥 seems to imply that whatever other information is lurking in there is either no better than what we now know, or much worse.

2.聽This video shows聽all the times Mike Pence flat-out lied during the vice-presidential debate.

If you didn鈥檛 watch the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 3, don鈥檛 worry: It was mostly very boring. One interesting thing, though, was that Democratic nominee Tim Kaine seemed intent on bringing up as many as possible of the outrageous and horrible things that Donald Trump has said during his campaign, from wanting a 鈥渄eportation force鈥 to creating legal punishments for women who get abortions. And each time he did this, his Republican counterpart Mike Pence would shake his head or say something along the lines of 鈥渘o, that鈥檚 not true.鈥 Except, Mike Pence, they all were true. This was clearly the reaction the Clinton-Kaine team was hoping for, because within a day they had rolled out the video above, which cut from Pence鈥檚 denials to video footage of Trump (and, in one case, Pence himself) saying each thing.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: A nurse uses a wireless electronic tablet to order medicines from the pharmacy at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

3.聽This Florida doctor鈥檚 sexist claims about voting for Hillary will make you super angry.

Dr. Dareld Morris runs a weight-loss clinic in Florida, but he鈥檚 also concerned with 鈥渢he guys out there who are thinking of voting for Hillary,鈥 which he says can be a sign of a testosterone deficiency. It鈥檚 a radio ad meant as a joke, although Dr. Morris is also a self-identified Trump supporter. And in an election cycle that鈥檚 included sincere references to candidates鈥 manhoods and Hillary Clinton鈥檚 鈥渟tamina,鈥 combining politics and 鈥渓ow T鈥 as an ad hook is pretty gross.

4.聽This California senate candidate鈥檚 awkward dance move got a big 鈥渘o.鈥

At the end of Wednesday鈥檚 debate between California鈥檚 senate candidates, Loretta Sanchez ended her time with, inexplicably, a dab. That鈥檚 the head-dip-into-elbow move you can see her do in the video above. Why did she do it? Hard to say, really; her rival, Kamala Harris, responds by looking confused and telling the audience, 鈥淪o there鈥檚 a clear difference between the candidates in this race鈥︹

5.聽Get ready for even more gnarly political fights if the Democrats win the Senate.

鈥淕ridlock鈥 has to be one of the most loathed words related to politics right now, but it won鈥檛 be losing relevance any time soon. Barring some sort of divine intervention, Congress will remain firmly Republican after the election, but control of the Senate could really go either way. If it were to go Republican and Donald Trump were elected, they would have significant freedom to pass the laws they want and nominate a right-leaning justice to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. On the other hand, even if Hillary Clinton wins and the Senate goes to the Democrats, they鈥檒l still have to work with a Republican House. So unless the Republican Party makes a huge sweep on November 8, there will be a lot of the same haggling and fighting we鈥檝e begrudgingly become accustomed to.

Is there an election story you can鈥檛 get enough of? Let us know @BritandCo on Twitter!

(Photos via Drew Angerer, Win McNamee, Christopher Furlong, all Getty)