Amidst all the controversy over whether recent polling of the presidential race has been under-representing Republican voters or over-representing other groups (such as black voters), a more important story is being lost in the noise.
There has been a significant amount of national polling released in the past week – enough to give us a clear idea of where the race currently stands. And, crazy though this may sound, the race has grown much closer than many in the media might want to admit.
The RealClearPolitics polling average from the past week shows Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton nationally by 5.4 points in a two-way race. This same gap holds when expanded to a four-way race. And in individual swing-state polling, the race is even tighter:
- Florida: 5 polls taken since 10/20 show Trump behind by just 1.6 points.
- Nevada: RCP’s average shows Trump behind by 3.6 points, with 3 polls taken since 10/20.
- New Hampshire: The most recent poll taken in New Hampshire shows Trump down by 4 points.
- North Carolina: RCP’s average shows Trump down by 2 points, with 4 polls taken since 10/20.
- Ohio: The only poll taken since 10/20 shows Trump leading by 4 points.
During the past week, the prevailing narrative in the media has been that the 2016 race is over, Trump’s campaign is imploding, and the Clinton transition team is taking shape. However, given the above results, it is clearly still too premature to be reporting a Democratic victory, and certainly not a decisive one.
With recent news of skyrocketing Obamacare insurance premiums likely to boost Trump still further, it will be interesting to see whether he can continue to close the gap to Clinton in these final days of the campaign.
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Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project.