Hillary Clinton, pictured campaigning in North Carolina, where she now leads in a new poll following the first presidential debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan)

Hillary Clinton, pictured campaigning in North Carolina, where she now leads in a new poll following the first presidential debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan)

Hillary Clinton has taken the lead in five key battleground states that Donald Trump must carry to have a chance at winning the election, according to the latest scientific poll. The results show the focus is shifting to Trump’s ineptness following Monday’s debate.

Clinton appeared cool and competent during the 90-minute debate. In the process, she dispelled any misgivings about her health.

Trump, on the other hand, struggled to provide coherent answers to serious issues involving foreign policy and nuclear weapons. At times he appeared flustered, bullying and impatient.

He inadvertently revealed that he likely has paid no federal taxes for years, although he has yet to reveal his tax returns. Every presidential candidate has released their returns going back to Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Trump was also slammed by a new report that he violated U.S. sanctions against Communist Cuba. He was involved in a secret trip to the island by some of his business associates to curry favor with Fidel Castro.

His casino company financed the illegal trip, according to Newsweek magazine, hoping to get the inside track on a Cuban casino.

On the campaign trail since the debate, Trump has been unable to focused on issues.

Instead, he’s been obsessed with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and Bill Clinton’s infidelities during the 1990s–despite his own sordid past.

Machado revealed how Trump bullied and fat-shammed her during her reign because she gained weight after winning the crown, leading to an eating disorder.

Trump is trailing badly among women voters. But instead of apologizing and moving on, he’s been bogged down in a vicious smear campaign.

It’s focused on Machado’s life after her Miss Universe reign ended, which of course, has nothing to do with Trump’s misogyny.

Trump apparently ran his other businesses like a beauty pageant as well.

The 70-year-old GOP candidate pressured managers at his California golf course to hire young, thin women to work in the restaurant and clubhouse.

If he didn’t find them attractive enough, he would tell the managers to fire them, according to sworn statements released today.

The net result has been sharp gains for Clinton.

She’s taken the lead in Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to Public Policy Polling (PPP), which conducted the extensive scientific post-debate poll.

If Clinton can carry Florida and North Carolina, where the race is still close, she could win the Electoral College in a landslide, according to Pollster Tom Jensen.

“Clinton has solid leads in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – states seen as important to her path to 270 electoral votes – and modest leads in Florida and North Carolina, where wins would be indicative of a dominant overall victory in the Electoral College,” he said.

The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is sponsoring the debates. The next 90-minute meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Farmville, Va.

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