GOP nom­i­nee, seen hav­ing a nar­row path to pres­i­dency, says he’s ‘win­ning’

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Steve Peo­ples and Jonathan Lemire

Hil­lary Clin­ton continued to fo­cus Mon­day on al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against Don­ald Trump, while the GOP con­tender de­cried what he called “phony polls” dur­ing a visit to Florida.

ST. AU­GUS­TINE, Fla. — A de­fi­ant Don­ald Trump blamed his campaign strug­gles on “phony polls” from the “dis­gust­ing” me­dia on Mon­day, fight­ing to en­er­gize his most loyal sup­port­ers as Hil­lary Clin­ton worked to slam the door on her Repub­li­can op­po­nent in New Hamp­shire while eye­ing a pos­si­ble Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate.

With two weeks un­til the elec­tion, the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee cam­paigned in bat­tle­ground Florida as his team con­ceded pub­licly as well as pri­vately that cru­cial Penn­syl­va­nia may be slip­ping away to his Demo­cratic op­po­nent. That would leave him only a ra­zor-thin path­way to the 270 elec­toral votes needed to win the White House on Nov. 8.

De­spite continued dif­fi­cul­ties with women and mi­nori­ties, Trump re­fuses to soften his mes­sage in the campaign’s fi­nal days to broaden his coali­tion. Yet, he of­fered an op­ti­mistic front in the midst of a three- day tour through Florida as thou­sands be­gan vot­ing there in per­son.

“I be­lieve we’re ac­tu­ally win­ning,” Trump de­clared dur­ing a round-ta­ble discussion with farm­ers.

Aday after sug­gest­ing the First Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion may give jour­nal­ists too much free­dom, he in­sisted that the me­dia are pro­mot­ing bi­ased polls to dis­cour­age his sup­port- ers from vot­ing.

“The me­dia isn’t just against me. They’re against all of you,” Trump told cheer­ing sup­port­ers later in St. Au­gus­tine. “They’re against what we rep­re­sent.”

In more bad news for Trump, a new poll shows young vot­ers turn­ing to Clin­ton now that the race has set­tled down to two main can­di­dates. Clin­ton now leads among likely vot­ers 18 to 30 years in age by 60 per­cent to 19 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a new GenFor­ward sur­vey.

Young black vot­ers al­ready were solidly in her cor­ner, and now young whites are mov­ing her way, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey by the Black Youth Project at the Univer­sity of Chicago with The As­so­ci­ated PressNORC Cen­ter for Pub­lic Af­fairs Re­search.

Clin­ton cam­paigned along­side New Hamp­shire Gov. Mag­gie Has­san, who is run­ning for the Se­nate, and Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, who was mer­ci­less as she seized on re­cent rev­e­la­tions of Trump’s preda­tory sex­ual lan­guage and sev­eral al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

“He thinks that be­cause he has a mouth full of Tic Tacs, he can force him­self on any woman within grop­ing dis­tance,” War­ren charged. “I’ve got news for you Don­ald: Women have had it with guys like you.”

War­ren, riff­ing off Trump’s in­sult to Clin­ton in the fi­nal de­bate, warned the busi­ness­man that “nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote.”

Clin­ton pounded Trump for what she said was his den­i­grat­ing of U.S. troops as­sist­ing Iraqis in their push to re­take the city of Mo­sul.

“He’s ba­si­cally declar­ing de­feat be­fore the bat­tle has even started,” Clin­ton said, re­fer­ring to Trump’s tweet on Sun­day call­ing the new fight against the Is­lamic State “a to­tal dis­as­ter.”

Clin­ton said her Repub­li­can ri­val is “prov­ing to the world what it means to have an un­qual­i­fied com­man­der in chief.”

Trump has de­nied all of the re­cent al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct, and he ad­dressed a new one Mon­day in an in­ter­view with WGIR ra­dio in New Hamp­shire.

He called the ac­cu­sa­tions “to­tal fic­tion” and lashed out at for­mer adult film per­former Jes­sica Drake, who said Satur­day that he had grabbed and kissed her with­out per­mis­sion and of­fered her money to visit his ho­tel room a decade ago.

“One said, ‘ He grabbed me on the arm.’ And she’s a porn star,” Trump said. He added, “Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed be­fore.”

With Elec­tion Day two weeks away, Trump’s elec­toral map looks bleak.

The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee ig­nored him al­to­gether in mail­ers to New Hamp­shire vot­ers set to be dis­trib­uted later this week, ac­cord­ing to ma­te­rial ob- tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press. The mail fo­cuses in­stead on Clin­ton’s cred­i­bil­ity, fea­tur­ing a pic­ture of her and for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and the words, “No More of The Ly­ing Clin­tons.”

Trump campaign man­ager Kellyanne Con­way out­lined a path to 270 elec­toral votes on Sun­day that banks on vic­to­ries in Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina along with New Hamp­shire and Maine’s 2nd Con­gres­sional Dis­trict.

No­tice­ably ab­sent from the list was Penn­syl­va­nia, a state that a top ad­viser pri­vately con­ceded was slip­ping away de­spite Trump’s ag­gres­sive courtship of the state’s white work­ing-class vot­ers.

The ad­viser spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity to share in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions.


Hil­lary Clin­ton, joined by Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, left, speaks Mon­day at a New Hamp­shire campaign event.


Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump meets with a group of farm­ers Mon­day in Boyn­ton Beach, Fla.

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