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After the first presidential debate and heading into Round 2 on Sunday, Hillary Clinton has taken what appears to be a firm lead over Donald Trump.
According to the latest NPR Battleground Map, the Democrat once again clears 270 electoral votes, the threshold needed to be president, with just the states leaning in her direction.
She would win the presidency at this point without any of the tossups, states that could go to either Clinton or Trump. That means Clinton could win without Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona (the tossups).
It also means she would win without places that are now leaning toward Trump and were former tossups — Ohio, Iowa and two electoral votes between Nebraska and Maine which, unlike other states, split their electoral votes partially by congressional district. Those happen to all be places where the demographics favor Trump — older, whiter and with a smaller immigrant population.
Just the polls ... Clinton expands to more than 300 electoral votes
Highlighting how much wider Clinton's path to the White House is — and how much the country may be at a demographic inflection point — Clinton could win in an electoral landslide with more than 300 electoral votes even without those states now leaning toward Trump.
Just based on the polls, Clinton's lead has expanded significantly from last month. It went from 287-251 to 322-216 electoral votes.
A big caveat, though: A lot of that is because Florida moved in Clinton's direction. And based on an average of the polls, Clinton is just about a percentage point ahead of Trump there — well within the margin of error. It's equally razor-tight in North Carolina and Nevada, which have also moved slightly in Clinton's favor.
There is an argument that if this is a high-water mark for Clinton after the first debate, a better debate for Trump could move those states back.
Those three add up to 50 electoral votes. But if Trump were to win all of them, he'd still be four electoral votes short of a majority. He'd need one more — New Hampshire? Pennsylvania? Colorado? New Hampshire's demographics might favor Trump, but polling has shown Clinton with — so far — a durable lead there.
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