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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Final Western Showdown for Trump, Clinton

LAS VEGAS (CN) — The final presidential debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night may long be remembered as the coda to what has been one of the most bizarre presidential elections among two of the least popular candidates ever nominated.

Polling data suggests the result of election is almost a foregone conclusion, with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holding leads in five of seven battleground states, as well as Nevada.

She also leads in Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

GOP nominee Donald Trump, meanwhile, only leads in Ohio and Iowa, but needs all seven toss-up states to have any chance of securing enough electoral votes to win.

A look at the daily poll averages posted on Real Clear Politics indicates Clinton is pulling away from Trump nationally, with an average 6.9-point lead. Only the Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll shows Trump with a lead among likely voters with a 2-point edge over Clinton.

With about three weeks remaining before the Nov. 8 general election, the Nevada debate might be Trump's last chance to chip away at Clinton's growing lead.

Whether or not he performs well during the third and final debate, Trump is sure to raise eyebrows with his special debate guests.

Those guests are President Barack Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama, who was born in Kenya, and Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 2012 Islamic militant raid on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

The raid also killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Smith blames Clinton for the deaths and has said publicly that she believes Clinton should be imprisoned.

Trump likely is banking on the appearance of Malik Obama and Smith to sway undecided voters who might be unhappy with the past eight years under Obama and Clinton's work as the former secretary of state.

It's also possible Trump is bringing Malik Obama in response to overt attacks from the President, including accusing Trump of "whining" about negative media coverage

Clinton, meanwhile, announced she will be accompanied by Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, and billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and a dot-com entrepreneur.

Whitman is a former California GOP gubernatorial candidate who has endorsed Clinton, contributed to her campaign and made numerous appearances in support of Clinton's candidacy.

Cuban is an ardent critic of Trump's, endorsed Clinton in July and was seated in the first row during the first presidential debate this year.

Trump, meanwhile, has continued his criticism of mainstream media coverage of the election, which he has called "rigged" due to constant negative coverage of his campaign. Trump on Tuesday told his supporters to ignore media and polls and called for term limits on members of Congress.

Clinton responds by accusing Trump of making rigged election claims to make excuses for a likely losing campaign and put the blame on someone else.

The Wednesday debate is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and last up to 90 minutes.

Photo caption:

Television crews set up outside of the presidential debate site Monday Oct. 17, 2016 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas as preparation continue for the final debate between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

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