With Americans voting for their next President in just nine weeks, the first day of the semester in UMass Boston Professor Paul Watanabe's political science class is undoubtedly on the elections.
His class comes as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in full post Labor Day mode campaigning in battleground states, both feeling confident they can win.
"He's very loose and his talk about nukes," Clinton said of Trump while campaigning Tuesday in Florida.
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"Hillary likes to play tough with Russia," Trump said while campaigning in Virginia. "Put and looks at her and he laughs."
Watanabe cautions against following the national polls saying Clinton is still running strong where it counts in battleground states and in the electoral college.
"There's no question, if you look at the polls, there seems to be some tightening," Watanabe said.
UMass junior Britney Orange, a Clinton supporter thinks either candidate could win and admits Clinton's biggest weakness is trust due to the email scandal.
UMass junior Madison Kirby has noticed that Trump has caught up to Clinton by being disciplined with his message and sticking to a script she believes was written by his campaign staff.
"He's not going off of it because of how close it is now to the election," Kirby said. "But I also think the second that Hillary and Donald get on the debate floor together, he will not be able to compete."
Trump supporters disagree. They feel the debates have the potential of being the key turning point for Trump — an opportunity to take Clinton down and shine as the political outsider and strong agent of change.
Still, Watanabe goes back to the data which he says shows Clinton widening her scope even in traditionally Republican states.
"She's running ads in Arizona, for example in Utah, where I'm from," Watanabe said. "Whoever thought Utah would be competitive."