A month ago, there were "Road Closed" signs up on all of Donald Trump's potential paths to the White House.
But now, less than a week before the crucial first debate of this presidential race — and as a terrorism bombing investigation continues in New York and New Jersey — a viable route has emerged for the Republican nominee, according to the latest NPR Battleground Map.
About a dozen battleground states have gotten closer with some key ones showing Trump leading for the first time. Hillary Clinton retains the advantage, but it's a far more precarious lead for the Democrat than at any time in this presidential race.
Trump's movement comes as many pollsters have switched to "likely voter" models, which try to predict the electorate based on factors like enthusiasm and past voting records. That alone may be responsible for most of the tightening, but it also follows a less-disastrous month of campaigning for Trump than the stretch immediately following the party conventions, which saw his fight with the Khan family, whose son, a Muslim American, was an Army captain killed in Iraq. Trump also began running his first major round of campaign ads in key states in recent weeks.