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Reuters/Ipsos States Poll: Clinton Heavily Favored To Win Electoral College

By Maurice Tamman

NEW YORK (Reuters) – After a brutal week for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton maintained a substantial projected advantage in the race to win the Electoral College and claim the U.S. presidency, according to the latest results from the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project released on Saturday.

If the election were held this week, the project estimates that Clinton’s odds of securing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency at more than 95 percent, and by a margin of 118 Electoral College votes. It is the second week in a row that the project has estimated her odds so high.

The results mirror other Electoral College projections, some of which estimate Clinton’s chance of winning at around 90 percent.

For the Trump campaign there are a handful of states the Republican candidate must win if he is to cobble together enough states to win the White House.

Among them is Florida, but numerous recent visits to the Sunshine State by Trump and his vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence did little to dent Clinton’s advantage in the contest for the state’s 29 Electoral College votes. She leads by 6 percentage points, about the same lead she enjoyed last week.

Still, the race tightened in Ohio, another important state for Trump. Both Ohio and Nevada were leaning toward Clinton last week but are now toss-ups.

However, Clinton’s support grew in North Carolina and Colorado, both of which moved from toss-ups to leaning Clinton.

In the last week, the Trump campaign struggled to respond to allegations from several women that Trump had groped them or made unwanted sexual advances over several decades. Trump said the reports were lies and part of a media conspiracy to defeat him.

All of the allegations came after The Washington Post disclosed a video from 2005 of Trump describing how he tried to seduce a married woman and bragging in vulgar terms how his celebrity allowed him to kiss and grope women without permission.

The accusations overshadowed what might otherwise have been a difficult week for Clinton. Her campaign manager’s email account was apparently hacked and thousands of his emails were released by Wikileaks. U.S. officials say the Russian government sanctioned the electronic break-in.

The emails have been trickling out for two weeks. Included in the hacked emails were undisputed comments that Clinton made to banks and big business in a 2014 speech. In those comments, Clinton said she supports open trade and open borders, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street, both positions she later backed away from.

Since that release, waves of other emails have been released, among which were some that suggested Clinton had inappropriately received questions in advance of a debate with Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries.

Without Trump’s own woes, the Clinton emails may well have become the central issue in the campaign. Yet with just over three weeks to go until the Nov. 8 election, Trump does not have much time to turn the race around.

According to the project, Trump trails by double-digits among women and all minority groups. Among black voters he trails by nearly 70 points. To a large extent his support is almost entirely dependent on white voters. And while Trump’s support among white men is strong, among white women his lead is negligible.

(Reporting by Maurice Tamman; Editing by Reg Chua and Leslie Adler)

IMAGE: Supporters wave as Hillary Clinton arrives at a campaign office in Seattle, Washington, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Endorse This: Elite New York GOPers Ignore Ted Cruz

The New York State Republican Party held a fancy gala last night (featuring chocolate elephants) and three presidential contenders showed up to make their case to the Big Apple’s big timers. With Tuesday’s primary rapidly approaching, it was an opportunity for John Kasich and Ted Cruz to try to make up ground with a state establishment that, for the most part, is loyal to Donald Trump.

Reporters at the event, however, were more amused that the crowd shunned Ted Cruz:

As NBC News embed Vaughn Hillyard showed, the crowd just didn’t care about Ted Cruz; he doesn’t embody “New York values” nearly as much as Donald Trump, who spent his speech detailing his list of deals in the city to a far more attentive audience.

Screengrab via Rosie Gray/Twitter

Can Bernie Sanders Win The African-American Vote?

Bill Clinton, so the saying goes, was America’s first black president.

Novelist Toni Morrison dubbed him so, noting that he displayed “almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.”

The analogy stuck because people saw Clinton’s rapport of kinship and familiarity that crossed racial lines.

His wife is not blessed with the same attributes. This became starkly apparent in 2008 when she faced a formable political challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination and lost as African-American voters flocked to him.

This go-around, it’s not an upstart biracial senator from Illinois who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the coveted prize in this election cycle. It’s a 74-year-old white guy with a Mister Rogers appeal.

Bernie Sanders is the exclamation point on bad news for Clinton. In the Iowa caucuses, Sanders’ virtual tie in votes showed that Clinton can’t rest on her substantial resume.

Clinton cannot take black voters for granted. Sanders may not win enough African-American support to snag the Democratic nomination away, but he’ll give her a considerable run for it, even in Southern states like South Carolina, whose Democratic primary will take place at the end of the month.

Sanders’ appeal is that he acknowledges something that African-Americans know viscerally: There is no post-racial America. He has also offered a forthright critique of wealth and income equality in America, along with measures to rectify it. All he has to do is package his message right.

The election of Barack Obama did not substantially alter the lives of most black Americans. True, it was a collective emotional achievement for much of America, and especially for black America. Yet it’s ludicrous to believe that one man in the highest office of the land, even serving two terms, was going to undo the entrenched realities of race in America.

African-Americans, segregated and humiliated first by slavery and then by segregation, and further still by subtler forms of bias and discrimination that are still with us, are lagging behind other people of other races and ethnicities in employment and economic and educational attainment.

By the time the recovery began from the most recent recession, African-Americans had lost the most ground and now have to make harder strides to catch up.

Those without wealth invested in stocks and those whose work skills are less in demand — especially people whose families are less firmly entrenched in middle class — are struggling. And Sanders speaks well to these voters, especially to a new generation that is worried that they won’t be able to achieve, not due to personal failings but because systems of government such as taxation and justice are rigged against them.

In Iowa, Sanders swept Clinton with voters under 30, winning by a 70-point margin. He also won resoundingly with voters aged 30 to 44.

Iowa, some shrug, is overwhelmingly white. True.

But what if younger African-American voters aren’t as beholden to the idea that they must stick with the Clinton team, even if Hillary is a surrogate of Obama? Some evidence of this is appearing.

In recent weeks former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner has become a vocal advocate, along with the attorney who represented the Walter Scott family. Some rappers have begun advocating for him, plying their networks on social media. And the revered scholar Cornel West has been actively campaigning and took to Facebook with a post that begins, “Why I endorse Brother Bernie….”

It reads, in part: “I do so because he is a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years. Now is the time for his prophetic voice to be heard across our crisis-ridden country, even as we push him with integrity toward a more comprehensive vision of freedom for all.”

All Sanders has to do is speak ferociously for the underdogs of society, for the masses of people who have been left behind. And he is very adept at connecting these dots.

A good example is Sanders’ platform on racial justice. It seeks to address what he defines as “the five central types of violence waged against black, brown and indigenous Americans: physical, political, legal, economic and environmental.”

And he fully defines each, with grim examples of the harm they have caused. Then he offers his solutions.

Black Americans know these realities in ways that are starkly personal.

The question is: What must Sanders do to convince black voters that he can and will address them?

(Mary Sanchez is an opinion-page columnist for The Kansas City Star. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or via e-mail at msanchez@kcstar.com.)

(c) 2016, THE KANSAS CITY STAR. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candiate Bernie Sanders arrives to watch U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts