A couple of weeks ago, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was fairly specific about when we’d see Donald Trump catch up to Hillary Clinton in the polls. “[B]y Labor Day or thereafter,” he told ABC News, “I think you’re going to be back to an even race.”
Well, Labor Day, sometimes seen as the unofficial start of the campaign’s homestretch, was yesterday. Is it an even race? That depends on which polls you’re inclined to believe.
Hillary Clinton’s national lead over Donald Trump remains steady at 6 points, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.Clinton currently enjoys 48 percent support while Trump maintains 42 percent – the same margin as last week.
And while that may seem in line with expectations, these results are at odds with a new CNN poll that shows Trump actually leading Clinton among likely voters, 49% to 48%, in a head-to-head match-up. It’s the first major national survey that shows the Republican ahead since mid-July – when a previous CNN poll also showed Trump with a narrow advantage right after his nominating convention.
In this case, the controversial GOP candidate’s standing is fueled in part by perceptions that Trump is “the more honest and trustworthy of the two major candidates.” No, seriously, that’s what the CNN report said.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, partnered with Survey Monkey on new state-based polling, unveiled this morning, which pointed to results that should probably be taken with a grain of salt. For example, the report showed Trump leading in Ohio, but trailing Clinton in Texas.
There’s a reason it’s wise to stick to averages, folks.
And with that in mind, let’s note that the Huffington Post’s polling aggregator puts Clinton’s lead at 5.4%, down from 8% in early August. The New York Times’ predictive model, meanwhile, shows Clinton with an 86% chance of winning the presidential election, which is down from 90% a few weeks ago.
FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast also shows Clinton well positioned to succeed, though Trump’s odds have improved quite a bit since the first week in August.
Election Day is exactly nine weeks from today.