Over the course of the Republican primary, Donald Trump was able to separate himself from the rest of the field by touting his "great wealth" and the fact that he was a political outsider. While it was successful against other Republicans, the battle in the general election has proven to be a more difficult task.

Clinton burn

As September was coming to a close, Trump was able to cut into the national lead built by Hillary Clinton, taking it down to just three points. Trump was even able to break even in Florida and Ohio, while also taking the lead in Colorado.

Then the first debate took place, and it's been downhill for the campaign ever since. Following his poor debate performance, Trump has engaged in a public feud with former Miss America Alicia Machado, while dealing with multiple scandals reported by The Washington Post and Newsweek. However, the "October Surprise" that every candidate worries about came in the form of a New York Times investigation that showed Trump might not have paid anyfederaltaxes for up to 18 years after releasing his 1995 Tax returns.

In response, Clinton was quick to take to her offical Twitter account late on October 2 to voice her opinion.

The article in The New York Times shows Trump reported a loss of $916 million in 1995, following trouble with his airline business and multiple casinos in Atlantic City. While Trump has yet to deny the claim, he did make mention of not paying taxes during the debate, describing himself as "smart" because of it.

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The former host of "The Apprentice" did comment briefly Sunday morning, attempting to smear the paper and the Clinton campaign. On her own Twitter account, Clinton took Trump to task, stating, "According to @NYTimes, Trump may contribute less to our military and college students than the undocumented immigrants he wants to deport." According to a recent study by theInstitute on Taxation & Economic Policy, illegal immigrants contribute as much as $12 billion a year on a state and local level.

State of the race

With only 35 days until voters head to the polls to decide the nation's next commander in chief, Trump and Clinton will put their foot on the gas for one last run. The next debate between the two is scheduled for next Sunday, followed by a third meeting on October 16. Clinton is currently projected to win the election, according to various pollsters and electoral college maps, though the nothing is set in stone.

Unless Trump makes a historic comeback, or Clinton crumbles down the stretch, all signs point to the former Secretary of State making history as the first female president of the United States.

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