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Trump had fought his way up the polls to the extent that he was within striking distance of Hillary Clinton.

I'm confused with this part's grammar structure——'fought his way up ……the extent that'.

And is it necessary to put prep. between 'fought his way' and 'the polls'?

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Second question: up is a preposition. Where did he fight his way? Up the polls.

First question: to the extent that is effectively a subordinating conjunction. How far did he fight his way up the polls? To the extent that (= far enough that, to a point where he was) in striking distance.

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