Hillary Clinton campaign has deployed some of its most powerful surrogates in New Hampshire
Republicans say they've knocked on 1.4 million doors and made 1.3 million phone calls in the state
There’s a furious final week of campaigning unfolding in New Hampshire, where four electoral votes could be crucial to Donald Trump.
“He really has to win New Hampshire,” said Andrew Smith, a pollster with the University of New Hampshire survey center. “Trump doesn’t have much margin for error at all in this race.”
While the race is tightening here, recent FBI revelations about a review of additional emails potentially tied to Clinton’s private server don’t appear to be changing voters’ minds – at least not yet.
Smith said it usually takes three to five days before any big campaign issue is realized in polling data.
The latest UNH poll has Clinton up by 7 points in a poll taken October 26-30, capturing opinions of only some likely voters who had heard about the email issue. In a previous UNH poll from mid-October Clinton’s lead was 15 points.
Smith says such tightening is typical in most races.
Republicans, sensing an opportunity to turn the tide, are hammering away at the email issue.
“There’s a culture of corruption that she’s brought to the Democratic Party” says former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who backs Trump. “It oozes into our elections even here in New Hampshire.”
Some Democrats, perhaps hopefully, say the email disclosure may be only hardening support for Clinton. Campaign workers report an increase in volunteers over the weekend – after news of the email issue was made public.
Trump, whose campaign was revived when he decisively won the New Hampshire primary, has visited the state nine times since clinching the nomination. His running mate, Mike Pence, has been here four times.
In recent days, the Clinton campaign has deployed some of its most powerful surrogates. Bernie Sanders – who handily beat Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary – is launching his cross country tour for Clinton with two rallies in New Hampshire. And last week, Elizabeth Warren campaigned here with the Democratic nominee in a powerful bid for female voters.
New Hampshire, with more female than male voters, has for several years trended Democratic and tends to elect more women. The state’s current governor, senators and one of its two representatives are female.
Clinton is pushing her advantage over Trump directly with women but also looking to cut into his lead among men by targeting New Hampshire fathers who have daughters.
Clinton campaign workers say they are digging through voter notes and records back to July trying to identify fathers who have daughters. Campaign aides say they are looking at that “persuasion universe” of men who may be predisposed to support Clinton.
“There are an awful lot of men out there, particularly those that have daughters,” said Clinton adviser Terei Norelli and former speaker of the state House. They “understand women being able to live to their full potential.”
For Republican campaign worker Paula Tarta, Trump’s lewd behavior and disparaging remarks about women are just “men talking.”
She believes Trump is the right candidate to “drain the swamp” – short-hand for bringing widespread change to current politics. “I think it’s gonna take a tough personality to get in there” she says, “he’s a strong guy.”
Both campaigns are showing a high degree of enthusiasm and support. Republicans say they’ve knocked on 1.4 million doors and made 1.3 million phone calls.
Democrats counter their 12,500 active volunteers have knocked on nearly 600,000 individual doors and made over 2 million phone calls. New Hampshire’s entire population is only 1.3 million.
Television campaign ad spending has been heavy and will get heavier in the final few days.
Kantar Media, which tracks ad spending, shows Clinton and her super PAC collectively spent around $11.9 million so far in the general election and have reserved time for another $1.8 million in ads through Election Day.
Trump and his super PAC have spent $3.9 million and have reserved $1.7 million in ad time for a blitz in the closing days.
Smith, the pollster, said Trump has to do better with women here and increase his support even among Republicans, where he’s running with only 80% support.
“He needs to have 90% plus the Republicans voting for him” says Smith.
Sununu puts it more bluntly.
“The Electoral College map is in a mess,” says the former governor with his trademark grin. “You have Hillary going to red states. You have Trump going to blue states. Unless (Trump) gets another surprise state to fill the gap, New Hampshire may be the difference.”
CNN’s Carolyn Sung and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report