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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore