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The Race Tightens, But Trump Still Faces Hurdles In Key States


You know, not that long ago, Donald Trump was dismissing the polls that showed his campaign trailing behind Democrat Hillary Clinton.


DONALD TRUMP: I don't believe the polls anymore. I don't believe them.

GREENE: That is the Republican nominee last month at a rally in Colorado Springs. Well, a lot can change in a couple of weeks, including Trump's assessment of whether the polls are fair, as NPR's Sarah McCammon reports.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Polls can shift quickly in the final days of a campaign. But there's been some good news for Donald Trump in recent days, as his running mate Mike Pence noted during a campaign event yesterday in the Philadelphia suburbs.


MIKE PENCE: And in the latest national poll, we're actually leading in this race for the White House. And we're going to sprint to the checkered flag.

MCCAMMON: Later, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, Trump was eager to tout surveys that show him gaining ground.


TRUMP: A lot of good polls out there today. We just got one. We're 7 up in North Carolina - 7 up.

MCCAMMON: It's true that several new polls suggest some tightening in the race.


TRUMP: We're sort of way up everywhere.

MCCAMMON: But Trump is not up everywhere. And he still faces a difficult path to an electoral college victory as Clinton holds an advantage in several key battleground states. For weeks, Trump has been complaining about a rigged system and questioning the validity of polls that show him behind. He's backed off that rhetoric somewhat, instead highlighting last week's announcement that the FBI is examining newly discovered emails that may be related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server.


TRUMP: Horrible people. Untruthful people.

MCCAMMON: Last night, Trump argued that despite what he describes as the dishonest media, he's closing the gap with Clinton.


TRUMP: And yet, we're leading. With all of the dishonesty, we're leading. And I think we're leading big. And I think on Nov. 8, it'll even be bigger.

MCCAMMON: What's still unknown is the outcome on Election Day and, if he loses, whether Trump will accept it. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, traveling with the Trump campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.