Confident Clinton expanding campaign into ‘red’ states
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK >> Hillary Clinton is advancing into states the Democrats haven’t won in decades, confidently expanding her offensive against Donald Trump and aiming to help her party win back control of Congress.
There’s a new $2 million push in Arizona, aides said Monday, including a campaign stop in Phoenix by first lady Michelle Obama, one of Clinton’s most effective surrogates. An additional $1 million is going into efforts in Missouri and Indiana, both states with competitive Senate races, a small amount of TV time is being bought in Texas and media appearances are scheduled in Utah.
At the same time Clinton is showing new signs of confidence, she faced fresh revelations about her use of a private server as secretary of state and hacked emails from a top campaign official’s personal account. FBI records released Monday show that a senior State Department official unsuccessfully sought to lower the classification level of an email found on the server, a move Trump’s campaign labeled collusion.
The new questions highlight a dual reality of the presidential race: Even as Clinton has a growing advantage, she’s been unable to put the biggest controversy of her campaign behind her.
With her lead increasing, Clinton is unlikely to need any of the normally solidred states to win the White House. But her team believes that a wide presidential margin of victory would help end Trump’s political movement and undermine his intensifying claims that the election is rigged.
On the other side, Trump’s campaign dramatically expanded its ad buys in seven battleground states and announced plans to launch a $2 million advertising blitz in long-shot Virginia.
“Donald Trump is becoming more unhinged by the day, and that is increasing prospects for Democrats further down the ballot,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, who cited early voting and registration numbers to predict record voter turnout
Democrats aren’t the only targets of Trump’s rhetoric about the legitimacy of the election system.
In a Monday morning blitz of tweets, he lashed out at Republicans who have tried to tone him down, calling his own party’s leaders “so naive” and claiming without evidence that major fraud is real.
“Of course there is largescale voter fraud happening on and before election day.
Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!” he tweeted.
There is no evidence to back up Trump’s claims. A study by a Loyola Law School professor found that out of 1 billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud.
Trump’s tweets show he is continuing to play a scattershot defense rather than make his case to voters, with just three weeks left and much ground to make up in opinion polls.