According to the latest polls, Hillary is snatching up swing states. That must be good news for Trump, whose new campaign manager says it “helps to be behind” in polls!

  • The latest poll from NBC News shows Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by 5 points in the general election.
  • Clinton stands ahead with 43%, and Trump has 38%.
  • With only a 5% gap, Clinton will have to claim some swing states–and it looks like she will.

Clinton’s lead

Clinton is ahead in the national polls, but how she will fare in the key battleground states of the 2016 election depends on how the public reacts to controversy over her email server, Benghazi, and skepticism about the Clinton Foundation. Donald Trump’s campaign is hitting her hard on both of these issues, and conservative media has decided to cast doubt over her health.

Trump’s slump

Donald Trump can’t hold on to campaign managers apparently. Trump’s new campaign manager, who is his third in three months, spoke about why Trump is behind in polls. Kellyanne Conway said on CNN, “I think it helps us to be a little bit behind, and we are. It lights a fire under us and reminds us what we need to do to get this done.”

If it “helps to be behind” in polls, then Conway must be the queen of spinning news.

In any case, it all comes down to the swing states.

Swing states in the polls

Long story short: Clinton can take enough swing states to get an electoral college majority. Trump has been having a hard time ever since the convention, and it’s hurt his poll numbers in states he requires to win.

For now, Clinton also has a single-digit lead in two states which are crucial for Trump: Florida and Ohio. She also has a small lead in North Carolina, an important state which has 15 electoral votes. Even if she loses Ohio and Florida, she will still be able to win the presidency in November.

  • 5.2% lead in Florida (29 electoral votes): Clinton 46.2%, Trump 41%
  • 3.2% lead in Ohio (18 electoral votes): Clinton 44%, Trump 40.8%
  • 4% lead in North Carolina (15 electoral votes): Clinton 44.4%, Trump 40.4%

If we look at the battleground states, there are six which clearly will go to Clinton.

Four of the six are pretty consistently Democratic-leaning: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  • 9% lead in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes): Clinton 48.2%, Trump 39.2%
  • 8.8% lead in Michigan (16 electoral votes): Clinton 42.6%, Trump 33.8%
  • 5.2% lead in New Hampshire (4 electoral votes): Clinton 43.2%, Trump 38%
  • 9% lead in Wisconsin (10 electoral votes): Clinton 45.6%, Trump 36.6%

But, there are two more for Clinton which are usually Republican-leaning states, with the notable exception of being pro-Obama twice: Virginia and Colorado. She, somewhat surprisingly, has double digit leads in those two states.

  • 11% lead in Virginia (13 electoral votes): Clinton 48.8%, Trump 37.8%
  • 11% lead in Colorado (9 electoral votes): Clinton 46%, Trump 35%