With one week left until Americans go to the polls, Hillary Clinton’s once commanding national lead has slipped to just 3 points. Though Donald Trump is still far behind in the electoral count, his chances have vastly improved over the last week. After suffering a bloody October, where all of the business mogul’s positive momentum from September was undone, he has begun to climb again in the national polls, while Clinton falters following a series of damaging headlines — most notably the reopening of the FBI’s investigation into her private email server. Though Trump still trails in most of the battleground states — including North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado — he has regained the edge in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Florida, though only narrowly.
If the election were held today, Real Clear Politics‘ average of state polls, without any “toss-up” states included, gives Clinton 263 electoral votes and Trump 164 — which puts the Democrat only 7 votes below the 270 required to win the election. Less than a week ago, Clinton held 272 electoral votes to Trump’s 126. Clinton’s current vote count is an over 60-vote improvement for her since late September but a 9-point slip over the last week. Meanwhile, Trump has regained the 40 or so votes he lost in mid-October. Below is RCP’s Electoral College Map based on current state poll averages as of Oct. 31:
And here is the No Toss Ups Map, which shows Clinton easily besting Trump 304 to 234 as of Oct. 31 (less than a week ago the count was 333 to 205):
As of Oct. 30, RCP’s general election average for the four-candidate race — which includes the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein — shows Clinton with a 3.2% advantage (45.6 – 42.4), an almost 2-point slip from a week ago and a 4-point slide from mid-October. All eight of the featured polls have Clinton ahead, though the most recent (ABC/Wash Post and IBD/TIPP) show an only 1-point gap. Her largest lead is 6 points (NBC News/SM).
As of Oct. 30, RCP’s head-to-head survey average finds Clinton holding a slightly narrower lead: 3.1-points (48 to 44.9), down 3 points since three weeks ago. Clinton currently leads in six of RCP’s seven featured polls, her largest lead 7 points (NBC News/SM and Pew). Trump leads by 4 points in the LA Times/USC tracking poll, which has consistently shown more favorable numbers for the Republican than other polls, a result the pollsters attribute to the survey including a “bloc of disaffected [Trump] voters” ignored by other polls.
FAVORABILITY & BETTING ODDS
Both candidates have been polling at higher negatives than any previous two presidential frontrunners, even during times when one candidate has experienced positive movement. Clinton’s favorability by average currently sits at -9.3 points, while Trump’s favorability is 11.7 points worse at -21.
The betting odds for the two candidates tightened about 10 points in the last week, though Clinton is still heavily favored, 74% to 24%.
While national polls and favorability ratings are important indicators of the overall popularity of candidates, the state-by-state polls are, of course, what really matters. Below are the most recent polling numbers for 16 battleground states, including the three traditional key swing states.
In Florida, as of Oct. 30, RCP’s poll average finds Trump back in the lead, though by a miniscule margin. In a four-way contest, Trump holds a razor-thin 0.5% lead (44.8 – 44.3). The results of the two-way polls show the same gap: 0.5% (45.7 – 45.2). The two candidates were tied in late September. Clinton led the state by over 4% in mid-August and over 2% in mid-October.
In Ohio, as of Oct. 30, Trump maintains a narrow lead over Clinton. In a four-way race, Trump leads by 1.3% (45.8 – 44.5) and by a 1.5-point margin in the head-to-head surveys (46.5 – 45). Trump held an over 3-point lead in the first week of October, while Clinton led by 5 points in late August.
In Pennsylvania, as of Oct. 30, Clinton holds a 5.2-point lead in a four-way contest (46.5 – 41.3), a 3-point slip from a month ago. Head-to-head surveys show her with a similar advantage: 5% (46.7 – 41.7). In mid-October, Clinton held an over 9-point lead.
OTHER BATTLEGROUND STATES
Below are thirteen other battleground states ranked from narrowest to widest margins (numbers based on RCP’s averages as of Oct. 31 of the most current surveys). In general, most of the races have tightened over the last week. Trump currently leads in only three of the thirteen states (at the end of September, he lead in seven), holding a solid advantage in Missouri and narrow leads in Iowa and Georgia, both of which he controlled comfortably in mid-October.
In October, Clinton regained the leads she lost the previous month in Nevada, North Carolina, and Colorado — though she’s only ahead in both Nevada and North Carolina by 3 points or less. Clinton currently maintains a razor-thin edge in Arizona, where the two candidates have been trading leads for the last two months. In the seven other battleground states listed below, Clinton has a 4-point advantage or better, though most of the gaps have shrunk in the last week.
ARIZONA: Clinton +0.6 (43.3 – 42.7)
IOWA: Trump +1.4 (41.7 – 40.3)
NEVADA: Clinton +1.5 (45.2 – 43.7)
NORTH CAROLINA: Clinton +3 (47.1 – 44.1)
GEORGIA: Trump +3.6 (46.8 – 43.2)
COLORADO: Clinton +4 (44 – 40)
MINNESOTA: Clinton +5 (45.3 – 40.3)
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Clinton +5.6 (45.2 – 39.6)
WISCONSIN: Clinton +5.7 (47 – 41.3)
MICHIGAN: Clinton +6.3 (44.8 – 38.5)
MAINE: Clinton +6.7 (44 – 37.3)
VIRGINIA: Clinton +7.7 (47.7 – 40)
MISSOURI: Trump +8 (48 – 40)
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Clinton, who once held an 11-point lead by average in late March, saw her commanding lead evaporate over the next four months. After dramatic movement for Trump in late May, including a brief national lead following the Republican National Convention and the FBI’s damaging report on Clinton’s private email server, the two candidates were deadlocked at 44.3% on July 29, the day after the Democratic National Convention. Over the next three weeks, however, Clinton built an 8-point lead nationally. In late August, Clinton’s lead began to slip as Trump made a series of smart political moves—including visiting Louisiana in the aftermath of the flooding, meeting with the president of Mexico, and giving a number of strong policy speeches—while Clinton appeared to be bunkering down amid more bad headlines about the Clinton Foundation, her private email server, and her continued health problems. In October, Clinton’s lead, which hovered at around 2 points, began to climb after Trump’s sub-par debate performance, ugly public feud with a former Miss Universe, the release of a decade-old recording of him making lewd comments about women, and a series of accusations of sexual harassment. Though the damning revelations about the Clinton campaign and the investigation into her emails had largely been ignored by the media and the wider public through most of October, the FBI’s bombshell announcement on Oct. 28 that it had reopened the investigation into her private server has begun to impact polling.
Below is RCP’s interactive graph of the head-to-head surveys:
Source: Daily Wire