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Clinton Gets Down to Campaign Business With Rust Belt Trip

Democratic National Convention: Day FourDemocratic National Convention: Day Four
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Jessica Kourkounis — Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took her newly energized White House bid on the road on Friday for a tour of crucial “Rust Belt” states Pennsylvania and Ohio, but the campaign’s focus was clouded by a newly disclosed cyber attack.

Reuters on Friday reported that the computer network used by Clinton’s campaign, which is based in Brooklyn, had been hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, citing people familiar with the matter.

The campaign said a data program maintained by the Democratic National Committee and used by the campaign and other entities was accessed as part of a cyber attack on the DNC. The Clinton campaign said outside experts had found no evidence that its internal systems had been compromised.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the party’s fundraising committee for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives had also been breached, the second such incident after last weekend’s leak of DNC emails.

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Revelations from the DNC emails gave the Democratic convention a rocky start, threatening a bid to reunify the party after a bitter primary campaign.

Even so, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday showed Clinton leading Republican rival Donald Trump by 6 percentage points.

Nearly 41% of likely voters favor Clinton, 35% favor Trump, and 25% picked “other,” according to the new July 25-29 online poll of 1,043 likely voters, which overlapped with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

After a speech Thursday night in which she became the first woman to accept a major party’s presidential nomination, Clinton launched a three-day bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania, which like other Rust Belt states have been hit by the decline in U.S. manufacturing.

Clinton and her vice presidential running mate, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, on Friday attended a rally at Philadelphia’s Temple University, toured a factory in Hatfield and ended the day in Harrisburg. They will continue onto Ohio on Saturday and Sunday.

Clinton Promises Manufacturing Renaissance in Rust Belt Ohio

Clinton is likely to face a tough challenge in such states from Trump, a New York businessman who is trying to win white working-class voters with rhetoric blasting free trade and illegal immigration.

Clinton and Kaine are using the Rust Belt tour to highlight manufacturing successes and discuss how they plan to boost wages for the middle class. In the process they aim to contrast their vision for the country with the one offered by Trump.

“If you’re looking for a kind of pessimistic, downbeat vision of America, we’re not your folks,” Clinton said in Hatfield. “We do not buy into that dark, divisive, image that was presented at the Republican convention last week.”

Appalachia Was Once a Clinton Stronghold but Now Belongs to Trump

Opinion polls show a potentially tight race in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both of which President Barack Obama won in the 2012 election.

“The differences are stark,” Kaine said in Harrisburg.

Clinton and Trump are essentially tied in Ohio, where the Republicans held their convention last week, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics. Clinton has a lead of 4.4 percentage points in Pennsylvania, the website’s average of recent polls showed.

Ohio and to a lesser extent Pennsylvania are among a handful of competitive states traditionally viewed as decisive in presidential elections, because they do not lean heavily Democratic or Republican.