Elections

Could Hillary Clinton win the election weeks before November 8?

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

Hillary Clinton may have the presidential nomination sewed up before Election Day, but not because the election is “rigged.”

Data in Florida and North Carolina suggests Democrats are requesting absentee ballots at a higher rate than in 2012. Barack Obama narrowly won Florida over Mitt Romney while North Carolina tilted slightly Republican.

The Clinton campaign estimates nearly 40 percent of the electorate in swing states will cast their ballot before November 8, and 37 states allow some form of early voting.

Nearly 500,000 voters nationwide have already cast their ballots for president.

Donald Trump went on another social media tirade on Tuesday, as he blames Republicans like Paul Ryan for not supporting his campaign. Trump says he can now run an “unshackled” campaign.

Presidential runner-up Al Gore made his first campaign appearance for Clinton in Miami, highlighting the environmental consequences of a Trump presidency and encouraging Floridians to vote blue in the state that decided the 2000 election.

The chances of a Democratic senate are rapidly improving.

The polls open nationally in 26 days. Let’s get started.

Early voting could be decisive

Democrats in Florida are requesting absentee ballots at a 50 percent higher rate compared to 2012 in areas around Orlando and Miami, and that could tilt the crucial state blue in November.

“We are literally in the midst of the highest peak in voter registration for our campaign,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook during a conference call with reporters. “President Obama definitely saw the same thing back in 2012. So we know you will see those voter rolls change, but it will take a little time.”

Clinton is the beneficiary of a concerted effort by Democrats for years to target and register voters, but Republicans are starting to catch up in many states. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by around 275,000 in Florida, but that is down from more than half a million people four years ago.

“We’ve really moved the margins in so many of these states,” said Chris Young, national field director for the Republican National Committee. “And the reality is the Democrats are out of time when it comes to voter registration. In a majority of states, they’ve got a week, maybe two, tops.”

Another Trump tirade

Donald Trump promises to run an “unshackled” campaign, as he accused Republicans like Paul Ryan for not supporting him and suggested that he will act on his own over the campaign’s final four weeks.

Trump also said that Democrats have more party loyalty than Republicans, and made another pitch to Bernie Sanders supporters.

Al Gore hits the trail in Florida

The former vice president made his first campaign appearance in Miami to talk about his signature issue—climate change.

“Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message,” Gore said. “The world is on the cusp of either building on the progress and solving the climate crisis, or stepping back, washing our hands of America’s traditional role as the leader of the world.”

Clinton chimed in, adding “We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House.”

Links of Note

Can Democrats regain Senate control? (McClatchy)

Clinton goes up 33 points over Trump among women (McClatchy)

New WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign (McClatchy)

Trump renews warning about ‘stolen’ election (Wall Street Journal)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

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