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Clinton team girds for all-out assault

The bombshell Donald Trump video that surfaced Friday has so dramatically altered expectations for Sunday’s town hall debate that one Democrat close to Bill and Hillary Clinton had a new view of what may unfold in St. Louis: “Expect Armageddon.”

Hillary Clinton will arrive at the Washington University debate stage Sunday prepped for battle against an opponent many of her allies believe has already lost the election.

Trump, in contrast, will walk onto the debate stage with nothing to lose.

Two days after a tape surfaced of the reality television star bragging in obscene terms about groping and kissing women without consent, and a day after unprecedented defections of support and calls for his withdrawal from leaders of his own party, the second debate now falls at the most precipitous moment in the election.

That puts Clinton in a more precarious position on the debate stage. “I think that Trump will figure he’s got nothing to lose, so he might as well go all out,” said the Democrat close to the Clintons.

Longtime Democratic strategist Robert Shrum, who guided the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, said that “to the extent that he has any chance left at all — and I don’t think he does — this debate is do or die for him. Her goal is to do no harm and relate to voters.”

 

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