Even before Sunday night’s vicious presidential debate, Republican Donald Trump was losing ground in many of the states he needs to win to capture the presidency, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation Project analysis released on Monday.
The project estimates that if the election had been held at the end of last week, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had at least a 95 percent chance of winning enough states to reach the minimum 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the next president, based on polling between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.
Those odds had steadily grown from about 60 percent on Sept. 15 to almost 90 percent on Sept 30. In the last four weeks, her estimated margin of victory has grown from about 14 votes to 118, according to the project.
The polling did not capture reaction to Trump’s performance in Sunday’s debate or the release on Friday of his 11-year-old sexually aggressive comments about women.
The results, however, mirrored other estimates of her chances of winning the campaign.
Statistical analysis outfit FiveThirtyEight, for example, put Clinton’s chance of victory in the election at about 55 percent three weeks ago. Currently, they estimate the odds of a Clinton win at 82 percent. In the same period, the New York Times’ estimates of the odds of a Clinton victory have also increased, from about 70 percent to 84 percent.
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Florida are now leaning toward the Democratic candidate, according to the Reuters/Ipsos project, an online survey of about 15,000 people every week. Arizona and Iowa are in the too-close-to-call category after being considered likely Trump states.
More broadly, the state-by-state results show how Trump’s support is sliding. In the last week, he has lost ground in at least 21 states, including in seven of the 18 states where he is leading, while improving his position in 19 states.
Meanwhile, Clinton lost ground in 12 states, including in three of the 23 states where she is leading, and improved her standing in 30 sates.
Based on these results, Trump’s best hope for a victory would require a precipitous drop in the number of Democratic voters going to the polls on Nov. 8 from expected levels, combined with a similarly large increase in Republican turnout.
Trump’s crude comments about groping women and aggressively pursuing a married woman, captured on an open microphone, have sent his campaign into turmoil. The recording, first reported by The Washington Post, was made in 2005, in advance of a cameo appearance on a soap opera.
Over the weekend, numerous Republican elected officials and candidates responded by calling for Trump to step aside.
Trump responded to his waning support among some Republicans by calling them hypocrites. During Sunday’s debate he apologized but said the comments were just “locker-room talk.”
He also attacked Bill Clinton’s treatment of women and said Hillary Clinton should be in jail for her use of a private email server while secretary of state. Trump said that, if elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her.
A nearly yearlong FBI investigation into the emails concluded earlier this year that no charges should be filed, although FBI Director James Comey said Clinton had been careless in her handling of sensitive material.
The sexually explicit comments controversy followed published reports suggesting the Republican Party leadership was having an internal debate about shifting resources away from the presidential race and into U.S. House and Senate races.
The Republicans currently control both branches of Congress. Many experts think control of the Senate could shift to the Democrats, although few are predicting the Republicans will lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Even before the weekend, the Trump campaign had struggled through two weeks of negative news coverage that began with the campaign’s first presidential debate on Sept. 26, which Reuters/Ipsos polling suggested Clinton had won.
Shortly after the first debate, the New York businessman also attacked – in tweets that began in the early hours of the morning – a former Miss Universe whom Clinton had referred to during the debate as an example of Trump degrading women.
Also during that period, a New York Times report detailed how Trump lost nearly $1 billion in 1995, a loss that could be used to avoid paying federal taxes for up to 18 years, depending on his annual income.
Clinton has had her share of woes as well, including the release of hacked emails last week of comments she appeared to have made to banks and big business. In the 2014 comments, she pushes for open trade and open borders, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street, both positions she later backed away from.
Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base
While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support
The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.
Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.
Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower
A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.
The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.
Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas
Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.
Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.
When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.