Trump and Clinton at the first presidential debate.
(photo credit: screenshot)
WASHINGTON – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is gaining ground in the battleground states he must win in order to secure victory next week, according to polls and official ballot figures released on Wednesday, showing depressed early voting among key demographics long reliable for Democrats.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appears to be struggling to excite her supporters, according to one Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, which showed a ten-point margin in enthusiasm between their supporters.
That poll found Trump ahead of Clinton for the first time in weeks by one point.
Other polls show Clinton remaining on top, but one by CNN found Trump leading in Nevada and Arizona – critical, must-win states for him in his path to the White House. In more good news for the GOP nominee, early voting figures suggest that African-American voter turnout has declined from the past two election cycles, in which turnout was high for the sitting president, in key states such as Florida and North Carolina.
In order to reach 270 electoral college votes, Trump effectively has to win every remaining swing state – in addition to one state that is trending toward his opponent.
Those remaining states include North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida. Polls in Florida are also especially tight, and Trump appears to be holding on to leads in Iowa and Ohio, for now.
Clinton, however, maintains healthy poll leads in other swing states – even after the head of the FBI last week announced that his bureau would be investigating a new tranche of emails possibly tied to an old query into her private email server.
The Clinton camp believes that FBI director James Comey crossed a line by announcing this new investigation publicly, just 11 days before Election Day. And US President Barack Obama appears in agreement, commenting for the first time on the controversy Tuesday.
“I do think that there is a norm that when there are investigations we don’t operate on innuendo and we don’t operate on incomplete information and we don’t operate on leaks.
We operate based on concrete decisions that are made,” he told NowThis News in an interview, which aired on Wednesday.
“When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn’t anything there that was prosecutable,” Obama added.
Top officials in the Clinton campaign are now pushing for the FBI to release details into its alleged investigations of Trump’s ties to the Russian government, after 17 different US intelligence agencies acknowledged over the past two months that Moscow has been behind hacks and leaks interfering with the US electoral process.
Clinton went off script at a rally on Tuesday in an attempt to enthuse her base. “I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior from people who support Donald Trump,” Clinton said as a protester was removed from her rally in Florida.
A victory for Clinton in Florida, with its 29 electoral college votes, would shut down all of Trump’s paths to the White House.