Why Hillary Clinton is gaining ground in key swing states

Hillary Clinton's campaign is pulling ahead in several swing states after a handful of well-publicized gaffes by Donald Trump last week. 

Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor/File
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a town hall meeting in Manchester, NH, on Oct. 5, 2015. Early August 2016 polling shows former Secretary of State Clinton pulling ahead in key swing states.

The presidential election is heating up, with just 95 days until Election Day.

After a number of political gaffes last week, including an incident in which Donald Trump (R) insulted the family of a deceased American Muslim soldier, Hillary Clinton is pulling ahead in swing state polls as individuals who have voted Republican start to look elsewhere for their candidate.

“I will probably be voting for Hillary,” Denver accountant Jenny Howard told the New York Times. “It will be under duress and not something I will be proud of, but I feel a vote for Trump will definitely further divide our country.”

Voters in a number of other swing states feel the same, polls show. A Franklin & Marshall poll released today shows former Secretary of State Clinton 11 points ahead of Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania, with 49 percent of the vote to the Republican's 38 percent.

Just 69 percent of registered Republican voters in the state say they support Trump, and only 40 percent of those who watched the Republican convention say they are likely to vote for him. By contrast, Clinton received a boost from the Democratic convention, with 62 percent of voters saying that the convention made them more likely to vote for her.

In New Hampshire, where Trump enjoyed early popularity, a WBUR poll has Clinton 15 points ahead - up from just a 2 point advantage prior to the Democratic convention, Politico reports. In Michigan, Clinton is ahead by nine points, with 41 percent of the vote. 

In addition, a recent national poll conducted by Fox News predict a 49-to-39 Clinton victory.

Trump’s faltering performance in the polls accompanies growing GOP concern surrounding his candidacy. Several prominent figures in the Republican party outright refused to attend the convention, and others have announced that they plan to vote for Clinton.

Many feel that the Republican Party they knew is unraveling in the face of a Trump candidacy, as the Monitor's Linda Feldmann reports, particularly after he failed to endorse prominent Republicans such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as they face primary challenges.

While a Fox poll shows that 50 percent of Republican voters approve their party’s nominee, his approval rests on a razor thin margin, with fully 49 percent of Republican voters saying that they wish they could vote for somebody else.

And many are voting for somebody else. A number of wealthy Republicans have decamped to Hillary’s campaign, a move that spells good things for Clinton’s coffers. At a more local level, too, Republican voters are disillusioned with their candidate.

“There are a couple things that would make any supporter of Hillary feel confident, one is that a significant part of the Republican Party in Colorado is a family values party, and they’ve always had some difficulty accepting Donald Trump as the party’s candidate,”  said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, adding that the businessman turned politician is also suffering with military voters in Colorado after his recent comments about the Khan family. “In the last week or two some of Trump’s comments have been deeply troubling to many people who, before, would never consider not voting for the Republican candidate."

Nevertheless, the billionaire continues to approach the election with the same confidence displayed throughout his campaign.

"The campaign is doing really well. It's never been so well united. It's the best in terms of being united since we began. We are doing incredibly well," he said Tuesday.

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