By Jessie Hellmann – – – – – –
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s campaign hopes to build an “insurmountable lead” in early voting in three battleground states that will cut off a path to the White House for Donald Trump.
Nevada, North Carolina and Florida could all be decided before Election Day because of historic spikes in early voting, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Thursday.
“We are encouraging supporters to cast their vote early because it is possible … that we could build an insurmountable lead in those key states before Election Day,” Mook said on a press call with reporters.
Wins in those three states would make it very difficult to imagine an Electoral College scenario in which Trump, the Republican nominee, would win the White House.
Victories in North Carolina, which Republican Mitt Romney won in 2012, and Florida are especially important.
Mook estimated that 40 percent of votes in those battleground states could be cast before Election Day.
“So that’s why we’re not just encouraging everyone to vote and to make sure they vote, but to take advantage of early voting,” he said.
For example, 2.7 million Floridians have already requested to vote by mail, compared to the 1.8 million who have done so at the same time of the 2012 election cycle.
The campaign also says it is seeing record turnout among key demographics, including Latino and African-American voters.
“We think that is in large part to the hatefulness and divisiveness we are seeing from Donald Trump and his campaign,” Mook said.
Overall, the Clinton campaign expects more votes to be cast in the 2016 presidential election than any other in history.
“We talk about making history on this campaign — becoming the first woman president — but this election will also be historic because it will be the biggest election in our history,” Mook said.
“We are certain that more voters are going to cast ballots in this election than any in our nation’s history.”
The 2008 election holds the record for turnout, with 131 million voters.
Polls suggest Clinton and Trump are both unpopular with voters, which could lead fewer people to come to the ballot box.