Trump denies vicious sexual misconduct allegations
The week before that, Trump had been neck-and-neck in national opinion polls. On the morning of the first presidential debate in Long Island on 26 September, respected statistician Nate Silver put the Republican partys chances of winning the White House at more than 45%.
But two divisive debate performances and a dozen sexual harassment allegations later, this
weighted extrapolation of polling saw his predicted chances sink as low as 13%.
popular rolling average of raw survey numbers now shows Clinton with a comfortable seven-point lead, while a poll carried out during the weekend of the tape by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal had her up by double digits the highest since springtime.
Trump continues to boast in his speeches of the occasional
outlier which shows a tighter race. The clearest indication of what his campaign thinks in private came this week, when aides confirmed reports they were pulling staff and advertising out of Virginia to preserve resources for battleground states where the campaign still thinks there is a chance of turning things around in the 24 days left.
With diverse swing states like Virginia and Colorado now firmly off any realistic target list, Trumps sole remaining path to victory relies on winning Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, states where he is currently an
average of two points, three points, eight points and three points behind, respectively.
Democrats are now increasingly focused on attacking Republican strongholds rather than defending Rust Belt swing states that once looked vulnerable to Trumps populist surge.
Clintons running mate, Tim Kaine, has spoken of his growing confidence about winning Arizona and Georgia. Other
expansion states that the Democrats have their eyes on in the hope of the landslide include Utah, where an unknown independent candidate Evan McMullin is destroying Trumps natural lead among religious conservatives. Even Trumps lead in Texas is now down within the margin of error in some polls.
Republicans still hope there is time to push back. One of Trumps few remaining loyal supporters in the party, running mate Mike Pence, has promised his boss will respond swiftly and specifically to the deluge of recent sexual abuse allegations. Others, such as a former candidate Ben Carson, say it doesnt matter whether Trump accusers are lying or not because bigger issues are at stake for America. What matters is that the train is going off the cliff, Trumps erstwhile opponent told CNN on Friday.
But the reason that many other party leaders, such as the House speaker, Paul Ryan, have
deserted their candidate in recent days is that the real battle has now shifted from the White House to Congress.
Despite a naturally favourable set of Senate races up for Democrats this cycle, Republicans had hoped there was a chance of holding on to control of the upper chamber thanks to strong candidates such as Marco Rubio in Florida and John McCain in Arizona. But the Trump effect now seems to be hurting them whether they distance themselves from the nominee or not. The
latest Florida poll shows Rubio clinging to just a two-point lead, while McCain has finally unendorsed Trump.
For Democrats, the dithering of uncertain Republicans is irresistible. I understand that Ted [Strickland]s opponent has finally withdrawn his support from
Donald Trump, after looking at the polling, now that its politically expedient, Obama said of his partys rival in Ohio. But he supported him up until last week. So I guess it was OK when Trump was attacking minorities, and suggesting that Mexicans were rapists and Muslims were unpatriotic, and insulting Gold Star moms, and making fun of disabled Americans. I guess that didnt quite tip it over the edge. Why was that OK?
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Even the uphill battle to regain control of the House of Representatives is now seen as possibly winnable. Despite gerrymandered boundary maps that entrench Republican control, the
Washington Post estimates a dozen once safe seats in places such as Virginia and California could now swing it too.
A challenge for both parties is making sure that the electorate does not tune out entirely. A
poll by the American Psychological Association found more than half of Americans say the 2016 election has become a major source of stress.
After watching MSNBC last night, I have decided to unplug I am so rattled and disturbed, says Mark Herzog, one Washington parent typical of those deciding they have heard enough. Many Republican women are particularly appalled by Trumps sexually graphic language and aggressive tone. The GOP chairman of Ohio recently
revealed his wife will no longer let him put up a Trump yard sign in front of their house.
Democrats insist this is what Republicans have brought upon themselves. This is in the swamp of crazy that has been fed over and over and over and over again, concluded President Obama in Ohio.