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Riding high in polls, Clinton barnstorms swing states


US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton  / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JIM BOURG

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JIM BOURG

With just over two weeks to go before Americans vote for a new president, a new poll released Sunday shows Hillary Clinton has widened her lead over Donald Trump, who is now in jeopardy in traditionally Republican states.

The Democratic former secretary of state leads the Manhattan real estate mogul among likely voters by 50 percent to 38 percent in a four-way contest with two minor party candidates, according to a national ABC News poll.

“We’re talking about what’s at stake in the election, drawing contrast, but we’re giving people something to vote for — not just against,” Clinton said late Saturday.

Conscious that winning the minority vote will help lead her to victory on November 8, the 68-year-old Clinton headed to a mainly black church Sunday in Durham, North Carolina — one of the swing states up for grabs.

President Barack Obama won the southern state by a razor-thin margin in 2008, but lost it to Mitt Romney four years later. Team Clinton is pulling out all the stops to put it back in the Democratic win column.

Before a congregation that included Sybrina Fulton — the mother of slain unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, whose death shocked America in 2012 — Clinton called for awareness of the “systemic racism” seen across the country.

“If we are honest with each other, we know we face the continuing discrimination against African-Americans and in particular young African-Americans,” she said.

“These conversations can be painful for everybody, but we have got to have them.”

She accused her Republican opponent of painting “a bleak picture of our inner cities” and ignoring the successes of black leaders “in every field and every walk of life.”

– ‘This race is not over’ –

Clinton is leading nationally in both two-way and four-way contests by an average of about six points, according to RealClearPolitics. She is also ahead in several crucial battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Florida.

But the 70-year-old Trump is clinging to a slight edge in traditionally Republican strongholds like Texas, where he has a three-point lead.

The new ABC News poll also said 69 percent of likely voters disapprove of Trump’s response to questions about his treatment of women, after a series of women alleged he either groped or forcibly kissed them in years past.

Trump has strongly denied those allegations, and on Saturday threatened to sue the “liars” who came forward with claims about his past behavior.

He held a small 47-43 percent lead among white Americans, a group that Republican Mitt Romney won by 20 points in the 2012 election.

Republican candidates must have strong support from white voters if they want to win, with non-white voters overwhelmingly favoring Democratic candidates.

Clinton leads 55-35 percent among women, and has doubled her margin to 32 points among college-educated white women — a group strongly critical of Trump’s response to the allegations of inappropriate behavior.

“We are behind,” Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway admitted Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But she told Fox News Sunday: “The fact is that this race is not over.”

“He’s not — we’re not giving up. We know we can win this.”

– Clinton, Bill, Obama on trail –

Team Clinton is gunning for a landslide win, using its momentum to push ahead in the battle for control of Congress. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are now in Republican hands.

Beyond Clinton’s appearances in Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte, she had powerful surrogates on the campaign trail Sunday — her husband, former president Bill, in Florida, and Obama in Nevada.

“We’re not taking anything for granted at all,” campaign manager Robby Mook told Fox News Sunday. “You know, this is not over yet.”

On Sunday, Trump will stage a rally in Naples, Florida — a must-win state for the Republican if he has any chance of winning the presidency.

He also received his first endorsement from a major American newspaper: The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which said he would bring a “corporate sensibility and a steadfast determination” to Washington.

“Mr Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” the paper wrote, adding he would instead shake up the US capital’s “political elites.

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