Trump is polling within striking distance of Joe Biden in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. Republicans are gaining on Democrats in the early vote in Florida. If the president can carry the Sun Belt states he won in 2016 and beat Biden in Pennsylvania, he could well hold the White House for four more years.

“For as bad as all this s—t is,” said Jeff Roe, the Republican strategist who steered Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, “you can certainly see how he could win.”…

Last week, a Democratic strategist who works with major party donors drew up a series of potential maps that included one Trump victory with 279 Electoral College votes, one tie and one scenario in which it’s “259-259 going into 3 a.m. and Pennsylvania is the last state that hasn’t been called.”

If that happens, all of Trump’s preparations for post-Election Day legal challenges will loom large. “If we don’t win on election night, they will fight this, and they will come away with a victory,” the strategist said.

Trump’s advisers and allies say they are more optimistic about his prospects than they have been in months.