The past few weeks have been good to Donald Trump. Following the Democratic National Convention in July, his opponent Hillary Clinton seemed to have a resilient double-digit lead over the businessman. But recently he’s caught back up.
What that means is that, while pundits were saying just weeks ago that Clinton had all but won the race, it’s now anyone’s race for the taking. Here are some reasons why.
There’s Plenty Of Time
There are still 54 days until voting day this November, which means that a lot can still happen. Polls have fluctuated pretty rapidly already in the race. While Trump hasn’t been ahead of Clinton very often in the past year (an average of polls by Real Clear Politics shows a Clinton lead in national polls except for two brief moments), there have been quick dives that have put him in line with or ahead of the former New York senator. Clinton currently only enjoys a 1.8 percent lead in those national averages in a four-way race.
Votes began to surge for Trump in the Republican primaries following debates, and there will be three debates with Clinton in the coming weeks. A strong performance by Trump could swing some voters or perhaps strengthen Republican turnout.
Battleground State Polling Is Tightening
Trump passed Clinton in two battleground states Wednesday and if that trend continues it could be very worrisome for the candidate. The businessman holds a five-point lead in Ohio, according to a Bloomberg poll released Wednesday. In Nevada, he is up by two points, a Monmouth University survey indicated Wednesday.
Does that mean he’s within striking distance? No, not yet. Trump has a remarkably slim path to victory given current standings.
Trump still needs to make some major progress in several swing states including North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire. Even if Trump managed to take Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Nevada, he would still lose (he would need New Hampshire in this scenario) if current predictions are correct. Projections from FiveThirtyEight indicate that Clinton has a pretty strong set of states behind her that would make it exceedingly difficult for Trump to break through in other ways.
That means if Trump loses Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada or New Hampshire, he's out of luck and Clinton will almost surely take the oath of office this January.
Clinton Is A Controversy Magnet
If this wasn’t obvious, you probably haven’t been paying attention to the 2016 race (if so: welcome to the coverage! You have a lot to catch up on and you may want a drink). Just in the past week, she has validated some questions about her health while adding to her reputation for secrecy by not initially disclosing her pneumonia diagnosis.
Her other controversies have included using a private email server while secretary of state, an issue that has dogged her for over a year. Clinton has also been criticized for her family’s charitable foundation’s acceptance of foreign money during her time at the State Department.
Trump controversies, including his sexist remarks toward women, two divorces, many financial woes and discrimination against Muslims and Mexicans, just haven't seemed to stick quite as often with his voters.