Con­fi­dent Clin­ton ex­pand­ing cam­paign into ‘red’ states

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

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.

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