I know the new media narrative is that the race has tightened, but the actual evidence for this is inconclusive. Much of the "tightening talk" at the swing state level has been spurred by a slew of landline-only polls by Emerson that were simply dreadful for Hillary. And yet, top-rated pollster Monmouth just showed Clinton with an 8-point lead in Trump's must-win Pennsylvania and today CBS/YouGov has found the exact same result:
As the election reaches its final stages Democrat Hillary Clinton holds an eight-point lead in Pennsylvania, a state that could prove essential for Republican Donald Trump’s efforts to reach 270 electoral votes.
In Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton garners 45% while Trump has 37% support. Third-party candidates remain mired in the single digits – Libertarian Gary Johnson at 6% and the Green Party's Jill Stein at 2% – with another 6% undecided. While Trump has a narrow seven-point lead among Pennsylvania whites, Clinton is ahead among African Americans by 86-3. Clinton also wins a larger share of Democrats (83%) than Trump manages with Republicans (75%).Okay, so no tightening there apparently. But what about North Carolina, where a few recent polls have shown a closer race?
North Carolina also shows a closer race, with Hillary Clinton at 46% and Donald Trump at 42%. Johnson garners only 4% support in North Carolina, Stein 2%. YouGov last polled likely voters in North Carolina in June, when Clinton led by two points, 44% to 42%.According to CBS/YouGov, Clinton has actually gained on Trump a bit in North Carolina over the summer. She might have done even better if Jill Stein, who isn't on the ballot there, wasn't an option.
And the battlegrounds as a whole?
...a survey of 13 battleground states as a group also finds a tighter race...Their talk of "a tighter race" is simply not accurate: Clinton has the same 2-point lead she had a month ago. Only now, two very close "red states" have been added to the mix. So doesn't this actually suggest that Hillary might be doing a little better since the conclusion of the Democratic convention?
...a survey across 13 battleground states suggests the race may still be up for grabs. Among likely voters Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by only two points, 42% to 40%. 7% go for Gary Johnson and again 2% for Jill Stein. The states included in the poll are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Following the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by 43% to 41% among a smaller list of 11 states (not including Arizona and Georgia).
As always, stay tuned. But I remain in the "fairly steady race" camp for now.
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