2016 Election

Turmoil in Trumpland in advance of next debate

'Inside Politics' forecast: Ohio in play for Clinton?
'Inside Politics' forecast: Ohio in play for Clinton?

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    'Inside Politics' forecast: Ohio in play for Clinton?

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'Inside Politics' forecast: Ohio in play for Clinton? 04:03

Story highlights

  • If Trump attacks Bill Clinton's personal character, pro-Clinton super PACs are ready to fight back
  • There's turmoil in Trumpland, where staffers want the candidate to focus on the next debate

Washington (CNN)A pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC weighs going personal against Trump. The GOP is worried about a Senate seat in North Carolina. Democrats have fresh hopes in Ohio, and there's turmoil in Trumpland.

It's all a part of CNN's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get next week's headlines today.

    Team Clinton takes a fresh look at Ohio

    Perhaps Ohio will be a fight to the end after all.
    Ohio: Back on the map for Clinton?
    Ohio: Back on the map for Clinton?

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      Ohio: Back on the map for Clinton?

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    Ohio: Back on the map for Clinton? 00:41
    For all the odd twists in Campaign 2016, the idea that Ohio might not be a big battleground state has been among the oddest. Donald Trump has had a small but steady lead there lately, and some members of Team Clinton have talked of focusing more resources elsewhere.
    But Abby Phillip of The Washington Post reports the Clinton campaign believes the terrain shifted somewhat after the first debate, and is about to test its prospects in Ohio again.
    "She's headed back there this week and Bill Clinton is going to do two days on the ground there [taking a bus] around in eastern Ohio," Phillip said.
    "The key here, especially for Hillary Clinton, will be working-class women in the suburbs. And some of those women are going to be paying close attention to what's been going on with Donald Trump these last few days, especially with some of his meltdowns around Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, and other things."

    The campaign may get more personal

    Hillary Clinton has consistently declined to get into a back and forth with Donald Trump about his threats to raise Bill Clinton's personal character flaws as a campaign issue.
    Instead, she says he can pick what he wants to talk about, and she will focus on her ideas.
    But a leading pro-Clinton super PAC is preparing to raise Trump's personal history if he takes the campaign in a more personal direction.
    Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast shared her reporting on the conversations among Clinton's super PAC allies:
    "One of [the super PACs] has told me they are ready for anything. They aren't tipping their hands yet, but I would look to them to do her dirty work should Donald Trump decide to go after her when it comes to that issue."

    Team Trump tries to find focus

    It goes without saying that the week ahead is big one for Trump and his campaign.
    Turmoil in Trump-land
    Turmoil in Trump-land

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      Turmoil in Trump-land

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    Turmoil in Trump-land 00:48
    The polls have shifted Clinton's way, there are new questions about Trump's taxes, and he went off-prompter again Saturday to disparage Clinton, suggesting among other thing that she might "actually be crazy."
    At the Trump Tower, there are complaints about media coverage but also a promise to be more prepared for the second debate next Sunday.
    Keeping that promise will test the candidate and his operation.
    Trump, for example, was described by two campaign insiders as more than a little annoyed after his campaign manager said on national TV that she had reprimanded him for his comments about a former Miss Universe who says the businessman once called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
    Plus there's been some internal finger-pointing over who shares the most blame for Trump's preparations for the first debate and over who on the inside leaked to the media about Trump's reluctance to engage in traditional prep work.
    After a slew of negative press last week, there is a "crackdown on anyone saying anything negative about his last performance," a senior Trump campaign aide told CNN.
    There is plenty of time left for momentum swings, but some Trump allies enter this big week with two worries: They describe the candidate as angry and frustrated, and they say his organization is complicated by dysfunctional relationships.

    North Carolina's Senate race has GOP nervous

    As Republicans fight to keep their Senate majority, there are increasing worries about the GOP incumbent in North Carolina, Sen. Richard Burr.
    It is a race Republicans had hoped to move to the safe column by now, but CNN's Manu Raju tells us that GOP strategists are nervous about Burr's performance and the potential that the presidential race could impact the Senate results.
    "North Carolina has become a major presidential battleground and it is now becoming central to the fight for the Senate majority. Senator Richard Burr, the Republican incumbent, now is in a really tough fight against a little-known Democrat named Deborah Ross," Raju said.
    "Republicans, when you talk to them around town, they are very worried that this seat could slip if a lot more money doesn't start to go into this state. Donald Trump, for one, is not spending nearly as much as Hillary Clinton. That's helping the Democrats at large. And watch for Republicans to really go after Deborah Ross' record as an ACLU attorney."

    A bloody sock as campaign logo?

    Curt Schilling is forever enshrined in Boston Red Sox lore for his gritty performance in Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, pitching through an ankle injury in what became known as the "bloody sock" game.
    His political views often get him into controversy, though, and there is talk he wants a bigger platform to air them.
    Matt Viser of The Boston Globe reports that Schilling is again considering a run for the US Senate against liberal Massachusetts icon Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
    "There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about this. Curt Schilling has talked in the past about running and he didn't. He's made some controversial statements that got him fired at ESPN. And (in) recent polls -- he's serious enough he's included in polls -- he's down 19% to Elizabeth Warren," Viser said.
    "Curt Schilling is a very Trump-like candidate in Massachusetts and would help us combine politics and sports, the two loves of the state."