Monday's Debate the Most Watched of All Time
Here is the rest of the debate schedule for this year

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are not the only ones smiling - TV networks are also smiling at their ratings as well. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Early ratings returns show that Monday's presidential debate was the most watched in American history, averaging more than 80.9 million viewers. 

Network television saw a 23 percent jump in viewers compared to 2012, when the first debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney drew 67 million viewers, the returns show.

Cruz Offers to Aid Trump Campaign With Debate Prep
Onetime collegiate debater says he'll do anything to help defeat Clinton

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 20: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the press conference on military aid to Israel with on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he will do whatever he can to defeat Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, including campaigning for Donald Trump and helping with debate preparation.

The Texas senator has been criticized for refusing to endorse Trump during the Republican Party convention in July, before finally offering his support on Friday.

Black Caucus Members Slam Trump's Debate Performance
Rep. Barbara Lee calls presidential race a 'referendum on bigotry'

New York Rep. Gregory W. Meeks called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's birther remarks "racist." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday slammed Donald Trump for his debate performance Monday night, particularly his views on criminal justice and for continuing to promote untruths about President Barack Obama's place of birth.

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, the chairman of the CBC's political action committee, criticized the Republican presidential nominee's remarks about Obama's birth certificate as "racist."

Portman Utilizes Digital Skills to Draw Support
GOP senator turns to new tech strategies as lead grows in Ohio Senate race

Sen. Rob Portman's campaign is using some techniques more associated with business than politics to reach voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is utilizing digital resources more commonplace in business than in politics in building his lead over Democratic challenger Ted Strickland.

Using techniques such as data mining, YouTube ads and search promotion, Portman has created different messages for different audiences around the state, The Associated Press reported. 

Trump's Debate Sniffles Spark Speculation
Howard Dean asks if Republican presidential candidate was using cocaine

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump drinks water during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Monday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's repetitive sniffling and water-sipping during the first presidential debate Monday night caused the Twitterverse to speculate if he was on something.

"Notice Trump sniffling all the time. Coke user?" tweeted former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a doctor and a former Democratic presidential candidate.

NRA Hits Cortez Masto as Another Harry Reid
Group spends $1 million on new ad in Nevada Senate race

The NRA says in a new ad that Nevada Democratic Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto would vote like retiring Sen. Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Rifle Association dropped $1 million on a new ad hitting Nevada Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto as being a repeat of retiring Sen. Harry Reid.

The ad highlights Reid's leadership in the Senate when he was majority leader and his votes for gun control and for judges whom the ad called "anti-gun." The ad then says Reid is trying to force Nevada to elect Cortez Masto, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Giuliani Says Trump Should Skip Next Debate
Despite Trump saying he was satisfied with debate moderator Lester Holt

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani implied debate moderator Lester Holt did not act "like a journalist." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he wouldn't debate a second time if he were Donald Trump unless there were asignificant changes made.

"If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn't participate in another debate unless I was promised that a journalist would act like a journalist and not an incorrect, ignorant fact-checker," the former Republican presidential candidate told reporters after the debate.

Absences Pile Up for Some House Members Seeking Other Offices
But others manage perfect voting records in September

California Rep. Loretta Sanchez has missed the most votes so far in September among House members seeking another office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Labor Day comes and goes, it can be hard for candidates to peel away from the campaign trail to get back to their day jobs — even if that involves voting as a member of Congress.

House members running for a different office, most of whom are seeking promotions to the Senate, have missed about 10 percent more roll call votes this month through Sept. 22 than their colleagues seeking re-election, according to a Roll Call analysis. The lawmakers include a few contenders in high-profile races who have missed a substantial number of votes this month.

Clinton Has an Inherent Advantage, But It's Not as a Woman
The political party of the candidate has much more pull than gender stereotypes

Gloria Steinem applauds the first lady in 1995.  (Joe Tabacca/AP)

(First published in CQ Magazine on July 25, 2016.)

There are those who believe that women will propel Hillary Clinton to the presidency in November, seizing the opportunity to put the first of their kind in the White House. After all, that’s what black voters helped to do for Barack Obama in 2008.

Capitol Ink | First Hurdles

Clinton And Trump Have Plenty to Disagree About: Here Are Some Of The Issues
Monday's debate touched on some, plenty of ground to cover in the future

Cardboard cutouts of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a gift shop near the White House in Washington in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have found little common ground during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Here are some of the issues:

As a senator, Clinton got along with her GOP colleagues, mostly working on noncontroversial issues. Could she work with Republicans as president?

Not Your Father's GOP: The Deficit Debate Has Disappeared
Neither party is pushing to end the era of Big Government anymore

Donald Trump says eliminating burdensome regulations is the key to spurring economic growth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(First appeared in CQ Magazine on Sept. 19, 2016.)

Of all Donald Trump's heresies as a GOP presidential candidate, perhaps his biggest split with Republican orthodoxy has come on the issue of the debt.

Trump Castigates Global Trade Pacts, Lawmakers Caught In a Vice
Political Rhetoric Against Trade Deals Drowns Out Supporters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not a big fan of global trade pacts.  (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(First appeared in CQ Magazine on July 11, 2016.)

Sens. Charles E. Grassley, a cantankerous Midwestern conservative, and Tim Kaine, a paint-by-the-numbers East Coast Democrat, don’t agree on very much. But when it comes to free trade, both are very worried.

Fear and Loathing Among Latinos in the 2016 Campaign
Losing swing states with growing Hispanic populations makes electoral math tough for GOP

Groups of protesters, including Code Pink, demonstrate outside of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during a May meeting between Donald Trump and GOP leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo0

(First published in CQ Magazine on April 11, 2016.)

It’s hard to believe now that there was a time in the not-so-distant past when Republicans made a serious and successful play for the Hispanic vote.

As a Senator, Hillary Clinton Got Along With the GOP. Could She Do So as President?
Democratic presidential nominee worked across the aisle on noncontroversial issues

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., at a 2005 press conference where they launched a bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus. (CQ Roll Call/File Photo)

(First appeared in CQ Magazine on May 16, 2016.)

It looks increasingly likely that voters this November will have a clear choice. In Donald Trump, they’d have a true Washington outsider seeking to upend the way of doing business in the capital. In Hillary Clinton, a creature of Washington, they’d have a politician with a lengthy government resume and an argument that her experience would enable her to grease the wheels of government after years of gridlock.