Game On: Presidential Race Narrows as Donald Trump Closes in on Hillary Clinton in Wake of Campaign Shift

Brendan Smialowski, Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY, New York — In the wake of a series of campaign shuffles—and bold moves—by 2016 GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, the race for the White House has narrowed in a series of just-published recent polling.

What the media had declared an insurmountable lead for Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton in the dog days of summer has nearly vanished as Trump surges back into contention.

A new Economist/YouGov poll out on Wednesday has Trump back within three points of Clinton, which is essentially a tie because it’s inside the survey’s 4.1 percent margin of error. That poll, conducted with 1,300 general population respondents—from whom registered voters were culled—from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23, found Trump at 44 percent and Clinton at 47 percent in a two-way race. In the four-way race adding Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Clinton’s four-point lead over Trump is still inside the margin of error. The four-way race found Clinton at 42 percent, Trump at 38 percent, Johnson at six percent, and Stein at four percent.

It comes as a Monmouth poll of 401 likely voters in North Carolina also has Trump at 42 percent, easily within the margin of error, just two points behind Clinton’s 44 percent. Johnson gets seven percent in the poll, while one percent name another candidate and six percent are undecided. The poll, which was conducted Aug. 20 to Aug. 23, has a margin of error of 4.9 percent. In a press release, Monmouth described Clinton’s lead over Trump in this poll as “negligible.”

A new poll in Florida, conducted by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22, has Trump in the lead 43 to 41 over Clinton—with Johnson at eight percent and five percent undecided. Stein wasn’t included in this poll, for which the margin of error was 2.7 percent.

Trump is also leading Clinton by one point in a Missouri poll from Monmouth conducted Aug. 19 to Aug. 22 of 401 likely Show Me State voters. Trump’s lead—he’s at 44 percent and Clinton’s at 43 percent, while Johnson is at eight percent with five percent undecided and one percent naming another candidate they’d back—is inside the poll’s 4.9 percent margin of error. Stein also wasn’t polled in this survey.

Trump has gone through a series of campaign shake-ups in the past week, bringing on Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon—who is taking a leave of absence from this news organization until election day—as his campaign’s CEO. He also hired pollster KellyAnne Conway as his new campaign manager, and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned last week.

Trump seems to have rediscovered the groove that earned him the nickname “Teflon Don” from early in the primaries, as his trip to flood-ravaged Louisiana on Friday with vice presidential running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has sent both Clinton and President Barack Obama for a loop. Trump forced the sitting president of the United States, Obama, to—after leaving Louisiana underwater for days while vacationing and golfing on Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts—finally visit Louisiana this week. Clinton, meanwhile, has come under withering criticism for flying over the state on her way from a fundraiser with Cher in Massachusetts and birthday party with her husband former President Bill Clinton—also on Martha’s Vineyard—to Hollywood for another lavish fundraiser. Clinton says she will eventually visit the state, but hasn’t committed as to when.

Couple all that with Clinton under fire from the media for holding no press conference in more than 260 days now, along with a new email scandal and new Clinton Cash scandal revelations—including evidence that interweaves the two scandals together. Emails have surfaced between Clinton Foundation officials and Hillary Clinton’s top State Department aide Huma Abedin proving that she took a meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain as Secretary of State not because of diplomatic channels but because the prince was a Clinton Foundation donor. That, along with the revelation from the FBI that federal law enforcement officials discovered a whopping 15,000 never-before-disclosed Hillary Clinton emails—meaning she lied under oath when she claimed she turned them all over—has led Trump and his growing army of surrogates to lead the call for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department can’t be trusted, most say, since Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Barack Obama could conceivably tamper with an investigation for political purposes. Lynch and her aides have already been reported to have shut down FBI agents who sought to open a public corruption investigation. 

Even Clinton supporter Ed Rendell, the former governor of the all-important state of Pennsylvania, says that Hillary Clinton is in the wrong here—even if by accident.

“Look, the bottom line is, what they did, I wouldn’t have done, it creates a bad perception,” Rendell said in a radio interview. “But will it hurt her? It’s obviously not gonna help. I think people have decided that they’ve made their judgment.”

Government Accountability Institute’s Peter Schweizer, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and the author of the bestselling book Clinton Cash, said on Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel Wednesday morning that there are even more damning emails on the way.Schweizer said:

Look, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be representing the U.S. government, and American citizens, in foreign policy. What you see in the emails that have come out and that are going to continue to come out, by the way – I’ve seen some of the other ones that are going to be released soon – what you find is that she’s spending a lot of time taking calls, and the State Department is doing favors for foreign oligarchs, that, really, you would have no reason for the secretary of state to be doing favors for, other than the fact that they are donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, similarly told Breitbart News Daily that these emails are likely to start dripping out. he said:

We’ve been pushing for those emails for some time, and the State Department finally told us late on Friday – privately, and then publicly at the court hearing on Monday – that there are 14,900 emails that Mrs. Clinton sent, or received, and those documents might include attachments, that the FBI was able to recover in some fashion. They didn’t even want to begin talking to us about getting those records until October, but the court said no, no, no, you’re going to have to move a little bit more quickly, come back next month and tell me what your production schedule is going to be.

With the mounting evidence against Clinton building in the public domain, and pressure increasing on President Obama to appoint a special prosecutor so his legacy isn’t tarnished with Hillary Clinton’s corruption, Trump is now barnstorming America with an organized, energetic, and coherent message—aggressively expanding and solidifying his own coalition while creeping into Clinton’s territory. Late Tuesday, Breitbart News ran the first of several feature pieces on lifelong Democrats defecting from their party with plans to vote for—and campaign for, with intricate grassroots politicking—Donald Trump in November. Calling themselves the “Trumpocrats,” these Democrats for Trump present a significant challenge for Clinton, because if they harness their full potential in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, and elsewhere, Trump could dominate with a Ronald Reagan-like coalition over Clinton in November.

All of this remains to be seen, but the momentum—Hillary Clinton is literally descending into playing racial politics with plans to attack the “alt-right” on Thursday in Reno, Nevada—is all on Trump’s side. Hillary Clinton’s strategy, per Politico, is to try to just run out the clock, but with a tight race now, she might not be able to last until Nov. 8. Game on.