- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2016

With early voting underway, Hillary Clinton’s camp is projecting strength, saying outcome of the race could be decided in battleground states before voters head to the polls Nov. 8 and early indicators look good for the Democrat and her superior ground game.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook predicted Thursday that the 2016 contest will see record turnout and said that there has been a spike in the number of people requesting absentee ballots in battleground states — including among slices of the electorate that tend to support the Democrat in presidential races.

“There are more opportunities to vote early - either by mail or in person - than ever before,” Mr. Mook said. “Because of that we actually think that states like Nevada, North Carolina and Florida could be decided before Election Day, and that is why we are encouraging our supporters to cast their vote early because it is possible — because there is so much access to early voting — that we could build an insurmountable lead in those key states before Election Day.”

Mr. Mook said the campaign’s ground game is better than that of Mr. Trump.

He said they are focused on turning out young voters, and said that there have been “excellent turnout numbers” among women, Hispanics and Asian Americans — suggesting that bodes well for Mrs. Clinton.

“We think that is in large part due to the hateful and divisive rhetoric that we are seeing from Donald Trump and his campaign,” Mr. Mook said.

Early voting includes absentee ballots, as well as in-person voting.

In a conference call with reporters, Mr. Mook said vote by mail requests in Florida have jumped to 2.7 million from 1.8 million at this point four years ago, and said there has been a 77 percent uptick in request from Hispanic voters. He also said he believes Mrs. Clinton will do better in the Philadelphia suburbs than any Democrat in decades.

Mr. Mook said Republicans traditionally outperform Democrats in the early mail-in ballots, so the key for Mrs. Clinton is to close that gap.

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