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Hillary Clinton has picked an awful time to hit one of the rough patches that has plagued her throughout the campaign. Now with just days to go until Election Day, there’s added uncertainty about the outcome. But while she may not be on the brink of an Electoral College win the size of Barack Obama’s in 2008 or even 2012, her position as the clear frontrunner in this race endures.
Now, granted, some of this is, for her, bad luck and poor timing out of her control: The “Comey Effect,” referring to FBI Director James Comey’s controversial decision to inform Congress of new emails potentially related to the bureau’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server, has put a dent in Clinton in the final stages of the race, although the contest was tightening in some ways before the news. The campaign’s actions also tell us that there must be at least a little bit of alarm in Brooklyn: It is putting some advertising money (not huge amounts but very noticeable) into some states that the campaign has largely ignored in recent months, like Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Trump has also campaigned in these states recently and has said he is advertising in those states.
The pro-Clinton interpretation of these moves is that the campaign is so flush with cash that they can afford some last-minute spending to block Trump in these states; the anti-Clinton view is that the campaign is panicking and took some of these states, all of which are basically must-wins for Clinton, for granted.