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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

The Race for the White House and the Electoral Map as of Today

Good point made by former Bush advisor, Matthew Dowd, in the Wall Street Journal the other day: after two conventions, countless ads, and numerous rallies, the race for the White House is back to where it was right after the primary season. Hillary Clinton leads by 3% - 4% in the nationwide polls.

In the end, however, a U.S. presidential election is actually a state-by-state election. A candidate needs to win a plurality of votes in individual states in order to get the electoral votes of that state (winner takes it all). The candidate who wins 270 electoral votes, moves into the White House. This being said, the electoral map looks rather difficult for Donald Trump at the present time. Clinton leads in traditional swing-states such as Ohio and Florida, even though these two states are set to elect Republican senators this very November. She leads by about 8% both in Michigan and Pennsylvania, states which the Trump campaign originally had high hopes for (even if they had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988). Super PACS that support Clinton have just announced that they stop airing ads in Virginia, which goes to show how confident they feel about a state that was actually rather reliably Republican until a few election cycles ago.

Making a long story short, Trump needs a nationwide swing in order to change the dynamics of the election. The next opportunity to make that happen? Probably (only) the debates.

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