Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How Close Is the Race between Clinton and Trump?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How Close Is the Race between Clinton and Trump?

Article excerpt

As the campaigns of both major-party presidential candidates home in on states considered key battlegrounds, Republican candidate Donald Trump appears to be creeping closer in the polls.

A predictive model from the political data-analysis website FiveThirtyEight estimated on Wednesday that if the elections were held on that day, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stood a 55.1 percent chance of winning, compared to Mr. Trump's 44.9 percent. The model saw Clinton beating Trump in the popular vote as well as in the electoral college. But it also showed her odds of winning slipping considerably over the past several months, excluding the time period leading up to and following the conventions.

Other projections show a clearer path to the White House for Trump. A Fox News electoral scorecard rated both New Hampshire and Colorado a "toss-up" between the candidates, after earlier scoring them in favor of Clinton. The network also downgraded her lead in Minnesota from "solid" to "lean," and switched Iowa from a "toss- up" to leaning toward Trump.

The competitiveness of the race comes despite a lopsided differential in campaign spending, one that seems to underscore the differences in how Clinton and Trump brand themselves.

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party spent $78 million in August, the most expensive month to date, in a traditional campaign built partly on the legacy of President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. And they hope to hit the $1-billion benchmark in spending, mostly on TV ads, reached by the Obama and Romney campaigns in 2012.

"Battleground states carry that name for a reason: They're going to be close, from now until Election Day," wrote Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in a memo to supporters this week, according to the Associated Press. "But we are going to win them because we've spent the past year building a superior ground game to communicate our message and turn our people out to vote. …

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