Stand-ins for Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton and Lester Holt on Sunday at the site of Monday’s presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Credit: Sam Hodgson for The New York Times)

Monday, September 26, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

The first of three presidential debates between Democrat Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton Republican Nominee Donald J. Trump will take place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Monday night.

Thank God!

Based upon how the media has become so obsessed one would think these two were writing the Declaration of Independence or engaging in a televised armed duel to the death.

Here’s the latest on the race.

Trump has taken leads in the battleground states of Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Nevada.

New polling now shows Trump tied, or suggest he’s within the margin of error, with Clinton in Pennsylvania, and within three points in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Trump is now also projected to split Maine’s electoral votes. In the state’s First Congressional District, Trump is up double digits over Clinton.

The momentum is clearly with Trump at this point.

Absent an implosion at the debate, he will be the next President of the United States.

Even when factoring-in the major broadcast network polling, which is heavily-weighted in Clinton’s favor, the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator is barely holding her own against Trump.

Trump currently leading in more than half of the fourteen battleground states and has others trending in his direction.

If Trump can maintain a presidential demeanor, and sprinkle in a little bit of substance, he will carry the evening and continue to march ahead.

The mainstream press has been pushing the Trump’s a liar narrative this weekend. But the renewed negative press on Clinton’s still-evolving email scandal and rising Obamacare premiums is taking its toll on Clinton.

If the debate is going to be about who’s the biggest liar, then Clinton falls on that measurement alone.