The campaign of Donald Trumphas for the first time conceded something that has been clear to political observers for some time, that he is trailing in his battle against Hillary Clinton.
Speaking over the weekend, Mr Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway admitted that her client was losing to his Democratic rival, as a new poll by NBC News put him 12 points behind.
“We are behind,” Ms Conway said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Clinton has some advantages, like $66m (£54m) in ad buys just in the month of September, thereby doubling her ad buys from August. Now, most of those ads are negative against Donald Trump, classic politics of personal destruction, cesspool kind of ads.” She added: “And she has tremendous advantages: she has a former president, who happens to be her husband, campaigning for her. The current president and first lady, vice-president, all much more popular than she can hope to be.”
With just two weeks to go until election day, both candidates are stepping up their appearances. Mr Trump is focusing on the battleground states such as Florida and Ohio, places he needs to win if he to secure the 270 electoral votes to win keys to the White House.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that with Ms Clinton’s campaign increasingly confident that it is going to win on 8 November, there are plans for the candidate to travel to places such as Arizona and Utah, states that have long been considered Republican strongholds.
With some poll predictors giving Ms Clinton a 90 per cent chance of winning, she is keen not just to win but to win handsomely, something she believes would avoid any attempt by Mr Trump or his supporters to reject the outcome of the election. Advisers to Mr Trump have been frustrated by her ability to stay on message.
Likewise, on Saturday, at a speech at Gettysburg, where he quoted Abraham Lincoln, Mr Trump was due to deliver a major policy address. But he also spent time vowing to sue the various women who have accused him of sexual assault, in some cases several decades ago. Ms Conway said that Trump was “at his best when he sticks to the issues” but that he also defended himself against false accusations.
She said Mr Trump was waiting until after the election to sue the women involved because he’s “busy winning the presidency”. She also noted that his attack on his accusers was “a small piece of a 42-minute speech”.