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US election: The Disunited States of America - whoever wins. "The greatest show on earth" was PT Barnum's claim for his three ring circus.

US election: The Disunited States of America - whoever wins

I'm not sure that is the right description for the 2016 US election campaign, but some variation on that must come close - maybe instead of 'greatest' we could have weirdest, most compelling, unpredictable, disturbing, hate-filled, bizarre. Maybe all of those things - and a few more besides. I spoke to a producer in London the other day and he asked whether I could incorporate into my TV piece the standout moments of the campaign. And my mind went into Matrix mode. A thousand different, fractured memories went kaleidoscoping through my brain. US election 2016: A-Z for what to look for in the second presidential debate.

The second of three US presidential debate takes place on Sunday evening, two weeks after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred for the first time.

US election 2016: A-Z for what to look for in the second presidential debate

Plenty has happened in the meantime, including the explosive release of a video that has plunged the Republican nominee into a crisis. And there have been plenty of hints what might come up in what is likely to be another bruising encounter. US election media review - Is Donald Trump's campaign over? iWonder - Who is the real Hillary Clinton? US Election 2016: Great debate moments from US history. Trump says punish women for illegal abortions, then back-tracks.

Image copyright Getty Images Presidential candidate Donald Trump briefly called for "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions, if it became illegal.

Trump says punish women for illegal abortions, then back-tracks

His initial comments made during a town hall event with cable network MSNBC sparked a wave of criticism. However, Mr Trump quickly reversed his position, saying only the person who performed the abortion should be punished. But he maintained: "My position has not changed. " BBC Radio 4 - Archive on 4, Leaders Under the Lights - Presidential TV debates. US Election 2016. US election 2016: Who's funding Trump, Sanders and the rest? Image copyright Getty Images The role of money has become an issue all its own in this election cycle.

US election 2016: Who's funding Trump, Sanders and the rest?

Bernie Sanders has called for an end to big money in politics while billionaire Donald Trump is using his own wealth to fund part of his campaign. US federal election law requires all candidates to report each campaign donation to the Federal Election Committee (FEC). These filings offer insight into who is willing to put their money where their vote is. These reports do not include the large sums going to independent-expenditure only committees (super PACs) and other party and outside group spending. Direct campaign donors are legally allowed to interact with a candidate, but their donations cannot exceed $2,700 per presidential candidate.

So who is using their cash to possibly bend the ear of the future president? Hillary Clinton - Total raised $130,443,637 (£91,761,306) Though she has received a significant amount from bankers, she has raised even more from lawyers. Numbers that surprise. Everything you need to know about how the presidential primary works. Caucus participants place their votes in a basket at the local community center in downtown Rock Rapids, Iowa on January 3, 2012.

Everything you need to know about how the presidential primary works

(Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post) The 2016 presidential nomination process is still in the invisible primary stage. On the Republican side, the field of candidates is not set, we don’t yet know how much money candidates have raised or can raise, there are no endorsements of real significance of which to speak, and polling doesn’t really tell us much at this point. What we learnt from the Republican presidential debate. 2: Donald Trump has been chastened by his drop in the polls One of the most surprising things about Wednesday night's debate was how quiet the bombastic billionaire was.

What we learnt from the Republican presidential debate

Hillary Clinton attacks rival Bernie Sanders on gun laws - BBC News. Hillary Clinton has attacked her main rival Bernie Sanders over US gun laws at the Democratic presidential debate.

Hillary Clinton attacks rival Bernie Sanders on gun laws - BBC News

When asked if the Vermont senator was strong on gun control, she said, "No, not at all," before vowing to go after the makers of guns used in shootings. Mr Sanders also attacked Mrs Clinton, saying her support for a no-fly zone in Syria would create "serious problems". His rallies have drawn big crowds and he has challenged Mrs Clinton's frontrunner status in some key states. Donald Trump pummelled by Republican rivals in 2016 debate - BBC News. Donald Trump has come under attack from all sides in a fiery debate between the top Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 election.

Donald Trump pummelled by Republican rivals in 2016 debate - BBC News

The party's frontrunner, a billionaire businessman with no political experience, refused to apologise over comments about the wife of Jeb Bush. And he was on the receiving end when Carly Fiorina drew huge applause facing up to his recent jibe over her looks. Fifteen Republicans are vying to be the party's White House nominee in 2016. With more than a year until polling day, the second Republican debate in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California saw Mr Bush and Mr Trump trading blows several times.

Image copyright Getty Images Image copyright Reuters. A Point of View: The rude, vulgar US presidential election - BBC News. The race for the White House can appear a ridiculous spectacle to the casual observer.

A Point of View: The rude, vulgar US presidential election - BBC News

But look closer and it's far worse than that, says PJ O'Rourke. To outsiders, the US presidential election contest must look rude, vulgar, overcrowded, angry, stupid, and dangerous - a busload of football hooligans. That is not how it looks to an American. In American Football the hooligans are on the field, being paid to play. We have busloads of presidential candidates instead. US 2016: Meet the possible candidates - BBC News. The field of candidates having a White House run in 2016 is a wide one, although it's narrowing by the weeks.

US 2016: Meet the possible candidates - BBC News

Here is a rundown of who is, was and might be. Image copyright AP Jeb Bush brother to one ex-president, son of anotherwas Florida governor for eight yearshas large war chest with Wall Street backing criticised for a lacklustre campaign but more feisty in recent weeks Read full profile. The outsider: how Bernie Sanders is winning over Democratic voters. “Press 1 for revolution,” urge the hosts of a teleconference call for 17,000 union activists as they seek to sign up more volunteers for a leftwing insurgency. Pundits scoff at their naivety, but opinion polls show the leader of this revolution – a grouchy socialist with unkempt white hair and a disdain for media niceties – pulling ahead of more-polished establishment rivals in the race to lead his party.

This grizzled veteran is proving a surprise hit on university campuses and social media, blending old-fashioned rallies with an online buzz that compensates for his lack of support from the party machinery. Such a scenario might seem little more than a fantasy in an era of focus groups and political triangulation, but the remarkable fact is that this is the situation currently faced by parties on both sides of the Atlantic, in two countries with the most avowedly capitalist economies on the planet.

Marco Rubio - Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare? - BBC News. Image copyright AP Hillary Clinton has strengthened her position as the Democrat to beat in her quest to become the country's first woman president. But the biggest obstacle in her path to victory could be a young senator who few outside Florida know much about. If Republican strategists were to assemble their ideal presidential candidate in a factory, a product resembling Marco Rubio would come rolling off the conveyor belts in a perfect package.

Young. Tick. Clear communicator. Good on television. American Dream life story. Strong Hispanic appeal. Keeps gaffes to a minimum. US Republicans spar in third fiery presidential debate - BBC News. US Republicans have traded blows in a heated presidential debate in Colorado that featured several angry exchanges. Frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, with no political experience, were under attack from the start. Ohio Governor John Kasich condemned their "fantasy tax plans" and added: "We can't elect someone who doesn't know how to do the job. " Mr Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has edged past Mr Trump in national polls, had a quiet night in Boulder.

His tax proposal, which is based on biblical tithes, was decried by Mr Kasich, who also dismissed Mr Trump's plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the Mexico border. Political friendships were strained by some of the testy exchanges, notably one between former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Mr Bush urged Mr Rubio, once his protege, to resign from the Senate because of his poor voting record.