The US Presidential Elections: Polls point to Democrat victory in home stretch

BILL CLINTON continues to solidify his position in state-by-state polls and, barring some unforeseen event, looks assured of a comfortable victory in the US presidential election in two weeks' time.

But the Independent's third battleground map of the US election suggests that talk of a Democratic landslide may be premature. Governor Clinton has yet to break through in the South. He looks likely to lose Texas, the third-biggest state, and the adopted home of President George Bush. In a handful of states - Iowa, Tennessee, Hawaii - the Democratic momentum has slowed.

Almost everywhere else, the electoral map is beginning to take on a deathly look for the Republicans. Ohio and New Jersey, two large bell-wether states that have voted Republican in every election in the last two decades, have moved into the 'Leaning to Clinton' column - a 12-point Clinton lead or more. Two pivotal Midwestern industrial states, Illinois and Michigan, have moved up to 'Solid Clinton' - a 20-point lead or more.

The map, based on published and internal party polls compiled by the two campaigns, gives solid or substantial leads for Mr Clinton in 26 states and the district of Columbia. This would be enough to give the Governor of Arkansas 329 votes in the electoral college, 59 more than he needs to become the first Democratic presidential winner for 16 years.

The map is weighted in Mr Bush's favour, in the expectation that the polls, now showing a 15- to 19-point national lead for Governor Clinton, will narrow substantially before election day. Many of the 10 states shown as too close to call are leaning to the Democrat by 10 points or less.

The 'Leaning to Bush' and 'Solid Bush' states - 14, worth 111 electoral-college votes - are leaning to him by slim or modest margins, with the exception of Utah, the only true Bush bastion.

To date, the revived campaign of the independent candidate, Ross Perot, has failed to alter the arithmetic in any state. Republican forecasts that he would flatten the Clinton lead in New Jersey, Ohio and California have been dashed. But Mr Perot's national poll score of 12 to 14 per cent has failed to give Governor Clinton the break-throughs hoped for in Texas and the South.

A senior Democratic strategist said the map represented the most advantageous position, two weeks from polling day, of any Democratic presidential candidate since the Johnson avalanche of 1964. 'We have every reason to be confident, but the race is not over yet,' he said. 'Clinton has still to persuade many people that they want to vote for him and not against Bush.'

None the less, Governor Clinton enjoys a huge strategic advantage in the last frantic two weeks of campaigning. US elections are decided not on the popular vote nationwide but the number of electoral-college votes won in first-past-the-post victories in the 50 states and Washington DC.

This time, in a reversal of the politics of the 1980s, it is the Republicans who must talk about 'threading the needle' - assembling victories in just enough states to reach the magic total of 270 votes in the electoral college. It is the Democrats who can afford to concentrate their resources in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey and the South, where President Bush absolutely must win to have any chance or reaching an electoral-college majority.

The story of the campaign is this week's campaign schedule. President Bush, who had the South locked up in September four years ago, is taking a train through the Carolinas. Governor Clinton is invading Republican heartlands in the South - which have not seen a Democratic contender in October in years - and also visiting Wyoming, Montana and Nevada.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam