One looks on track for the White House as the other’s campaign seems to be spiralling out of control.
While Democrat Hillary Clinton consolidates her lead in opinion polls, Donald Trump has seen his support among Republican colleagues fall away in recent days, as he faces a barrage of criticism over sexually aggressive comments that surfaced on Friday.
Trump stepped up his attacks against US House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, one day after the top Republican in Congress said he was not going to defend the party’s presidential nominee or campaign for him.
In social media posts early Tuesday, Trump lashed out against Ryan and other Republicans for failing to back him amid the controversy and as most national opinion polls show Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton increasing her lead.
“Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!” Trump, who has never held political office, said in a post on Twitter.
Trump’s campaign, marked for months by controversies over both his policies and his brash style, ran into deep crisis after the emergence on Friday of a video from 2005 showing the former reality TV star bragging crudely about groping women and making unwanted sexual advances.
He has apologised for him comments, dismissing them as “locker room talk”.
But Trump is defiant, faced with condemnation and desertions from fellow Republicans.
While she didn’t land a killer punch in Sunday’s TV debate, Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton is riding high in the opinion polls.
Our correspondent Stefan Grobe in Washington said:
“With four weeks to go until election day the race is now substantially shifted in Hilary Clinton’s favour. This comes on the heels of the second debate and of the fallout of a tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women.
“Latest national polls have Clinton with a double digit lead. In one survey, she is leading by 14 points. Never in the history of modern American politics has such a trend succesfully been reversed in October. Yet this is not an ordinary election year.
A defiant Trump is not giving up. He has basically promised a ‘scorched earth’ campaign until the bitter end, even hitting Republicans who refuse to support him. The party establishment now fears massive losses further down the ballot and the old political dictim: ‘Good gets better and bad gets worse’.”