Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces a striking choice in the final three weeks of the campaign: to expand her efforts to states that Democrats haven’t won in a generation, or to stay a current course that, if conditions hold, would deliver her a resounding electoral college victory.
After two tumultuous weeks focused on Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls. But some once-solidly Republican states — notably Arizona, Georgia and Utah — now also appear to be in play.
Clinton aides said they see advantages to running up the score in the electoral college, where 270 votes wins the White House. Victories in unexpected places could boost that total, handing her more of a mandate come January and decreasing the potency of Trump’s complaints of a “rigged” election.
But victories in core battleground states such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire would almost assuredly cut off Trump’s path as well. Those states are also home to key down-ballot races that will determine control of the Senate, an important factor in how much support Clinton would have while launching an agenda in January.