KRWG

Mara Liasson

The election of Donald Trump was a surprise to pollsters, pundits and, perhaps most of all, the Democratic Party. With Republicans in power in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats will now have to figure out their role as the minority party.

Here are four questions the Democrats will have to grapple with as they think about the future.

Finally. Election Day. It's almost here.

The campaign that many thought would never end is ending tomorrow. Here's our handy guide to some things that the results will tell us — and why they matter for the future.

1. What message do American voters want to send with their choice for president?

Yes, the presidential race is very close, and some public polls show it getting closer as we go into the final hours, but in one sense it's actually been stable for months.

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The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

It's hard to be any more gobsmacked about the state of the presidential race right now, after a video of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women surfaced Friday, prompting more than 30 prominent Republicans to call for him to step aside as the nominee.

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We're exactly one month away from the election, and the big story out of politics today is about something that happened 11 years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

This evening's face-off between the 2016 vice presidential hopefuls certainly won't have the pizzazz — or inevitable enmity — that last week's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had.

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We're joined now by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson who's going to help us figure out what all this means for the campaign and look ahead to the vice presidential debate coming up this week. Good morning, Mara.

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The first presidential debate tonight is shaping up to be one of the most-watched political events ever, with a potentially Super Bowl-size audience.

Here are four things to watch for as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump take the stage at Hofstra University on Long Island.

1. Which Trump shows up

Donald Trump "won" the primary debates by dominating his opponents, often by name-calling and bluster. This one will be different.

On Monday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in their first debate at Hofstra University in New York. In a race this close and with as many as 100 million people watching, the debates present both candidates with chances to seize momentum but potential pitfalls as well.

Here are four things to think about as Donald Trump prepares for the debates. We also looked at four things to watch for Clinton.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be together on stage for the first time on Monday. Both candidates have a lot at stake when they meet at Hofstra University in New York for the first of three presidential debates, this one with moderator Lester Holt of NBC News.

Each has different opportunities and challenges in the debates. Here are four things Clinton will have to think about. We also looked at four things to watch for Trump.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is giving his adopted party a lot to think about. He has offered radically different approaches to trade, immigration, the size of government and national defense.

Now Republicans are debating whether, win or lose, Donald Trump has permanently altered their party's DNA.

Here are 4 questions that Republicans are grappling with:

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The Democratic National Convention is over. Here are some of the big takeaways from a week in Philadelphia that had more suspense and drama than expected.

The Democrats Are Really, Really Good At This

Just like Barack Obama's two conventions, this one was flawlessly choreographed. Even the revolt of the Bernie Bros had a more-or-less happy ending.

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Tonight President Obama will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention with one goal: convincing voters to elect Hillary Clinton as his successor.

The stakes are high for the newly minted nominee, but they are arguably even higher for the incumbent president. A Clinton win would mean his policy legacy is kept intact and there's validation of his tenure in the White House.

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If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November, she would be the first female president of the United States.

There would be a few other firsts in the family that night as well: Bill Clinton would be the first man married to a U.S. president. He would also become the first former president to become the first spouse.

Tuesday night, Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to make the case for his wife. It will be his 10th time addressing Democratic national conventions.

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Hillary Clinton will break the penultimate glass ceiling this week — becoming the first female nominee of a major American political party.

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And I'm back now with Mara Liasson here at the Quicken Loans Arena, looking ahead to tonight and what we're likely to see. What should we expect, Mara?

Conventions give candidates a second chance to make a first impression, even candidates who have been covered by the media as obsessively as Donald Trump.

The Republican convention in Cleveland gives Trump that chance. Here are six things to watch this week:

1. Will the Cleveland convention stick to a script?

Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump, may be quiet but she's not invisible.

She spends most of her time at home, raising the couple's 10-year-old son, Barron, and sometimes makes appearances with her husband at rallies. On occasion, she introduces him.

Now, she will address the Republican National Convention, reportedly on Monday night.

At a Milwaukee rally in April, she sounded a bit like her husband, the presumptive GOP nominee.

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And Mara Liasson is in the studio with me now. Hi, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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