NEW YORK CITY, New York — Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s pathway to the White House has significantly expanded in the past 24 hours with just ten days left until the election on Nov. 8, as federal law enforcement reopens a criminal investigation into his opponent’s illicit email practices.
Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton again finds herself at the center of a criminal probe by the FBI as new devices surfaced in the federal grand jury case investigating former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) led federal authorities to discover new as-of-yet-unseen evidence in the case. The emails, connected with Weiner’s estranged wife and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, wrap together a series of Democratic scandals into one mega-scandal on the eve of the election as millions of people nationwide continue early voting and just days before the general election on Nov. 8.
The significant setback for Clinton, despite whatever her aides are spinning in the press, has halted her momentum and catapulted Trump back to the front of the pack in some polls and into contention in states that his campaign had previously considered too rough to handle. Momentum is significantly in Trump’s corner, as in just four days—before the FBI revelations—he has seen a 10-point swing in the ABC News tracking poll. Jittery Democrats are now knifing each other with blind quotes to the media as Clinton’s campaign struggles to maintain control of the race many media outlets already declared them the winner of, while Trump’s campaign moves for the prize of 270 electoral votes.
“We obviously respect the FBI’s decision to reopen the investigation,” Boris Epshteyn, a senior Trump adviser, told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125. “It means that their information was grave and serious enough for them to do so.”
Trump campaign officials believed that before this bombshell in the closing days of the campaign, they had about 266 of the 270 electoral votes locked in when looking confidently at the map. All the red states—Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana—total up to 191 electoral votes. Only three of those have presented scares to the Trump campaign—Arizona, Utah, and Georgia—but Trump officials are generally confident they will have each of them locked up despite Clinton’s bluff trip to Arizona this coming week. Add that 191 together with Florida’s 29, North Carolina’s 15, Nevada’s 6, Iowa’s 6, Ohio’s 18 and Maine’s second congressional district’s 1 electoral vote, and Trump would have 266 electoral votes—putting him just one state shy of the win.
Polls keep trending in Trump’s direction in other battleground states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Hampshire—while Trump’s team aims to expand the map into other states like Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and even Minnesota. With those 266 in the bag, assuming they hold for Trump, there are any number of pathways for the businessman to the White House. New Hampshire’s four electoral votes, Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Colorado’s nine electoral votes, New Mexico’s five electoral votes, Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes, or Michigan’s 16 electoral votes would each—independently, just one of those states by itself with the other 266 electoral votes—push Trump over the top. Even Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, which was once considered out of reach for Trump but has tightened in recent surveys, may now be back in play–and would also be enough to push Trump over the top. Trump has a shot in each of these places, and with Clinton slipping in the final push, that gives the Trump team cautious optimism everywhere.
We have about three or four different pathways. Even if you look at the mainstream media, even MSNBC assumes we will get up to a baseline of 266 by winning Florida, winning Ohio, winning North Carolina. So we’re at 266 then. Then we need four more to get to 270. Here’s the options: win New Hampshire where we’re within two or three points, win Colorado where we’re within the margin of error, you could win Pennsylvania where we’re within the margin of error… There are a lot of pathways to victory here. Virginia is tightening. Virginia is now within about 5 points. And then you’ve got these other states like Michigan, which is tightening largely because of Obamacare, Minnesota where the governor said Obamacare is no longer affordable—all within margins of error or a couple single digit points above that. There are a lot of pathways to victory here and the American people need to know that, that Donald Trump is going to win and he’s got a lot of options for doing that.