An unusually dark, bitter face-off

Debate takes the low road as attacks and slurs dominate
Reeling from the release of a 2005 video of him bragging about forcing himself on women, Donald Trump leveled a stream of harsh charges at Hillary Clinton and promised to send her to jail. Clinton while mostly restrained, showed flashes of ire, saying “Okay, Donald, I know you’re into big diversion tonight.”

By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

Lawyerly Clinton struggles to make case against combative rival
Clinton repeatedly tried to throw the debate back to her comfort zone. But in many cases, the throw was a miss.

By David WeigelAnalysis3 hours ago

Trump went where many begged him not to go: Diving into scandals, real or fake
A candidate in crisis, he ignored the pleas of party leaders and threw every accusation he could at his Democratic opponent.

Winners and losers from the debate
Hillary Clinton didn’t make any sort of glaring error that would allow Donald Trump back into the contest, but the GOP nominee was again his own enemy.

By Chris CillizzaThe Fix

Fact-checking the second Clinton-Trump debate
Trump again relied on dubious and false claims that have been debunked. Clinton made factual missteps, too, but they didn’t even compare.

By Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee LeeFact Checker2 hours ago

This debate is one for the record books
What occurred Sunday night is likely to be remembered as the Spectacle in St. Louis: a battle wrapped inside a sordid series of events that have left Trump isolated and defiant, the GOP at war with itself and the nation caught up in a campaign that has left issues and even moderately civil debate far behind.

By Dan BalzThe Take