Polls show Clin­ton with nar­row edge


Tri­bune News Ser­vice

— Five days from the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, polls re­leased Thurs­day showed the race nar­row­ing, with Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton hold­ing on to a slim lead over Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump.

A New York Times/CBS poll found Clin­ton ahead 45 per­cent to 42 per­cent among likely vot­ers, tighter than her nine-point lead in the same poll in mid-Oc­to­ber. The poll’s mar­gin of er­ror is plus or mi­nus three per­cent­age points.

A Wash­ing­ton Post/ABC News track­ing poll found Clin­ton ahead within the mar­gin of er­ror, 47 per­cent to 45 per­cent, hav­ing lost ground to Trump since last week.

The two sur­veys show­ing Clin­ton still hold­ing a lead halted a seven­day slide in the S&P 500 In­dex and prompted a re­bound for the Mex­i­can peso, a cur­rency that has weak­ened when Trump’s out­look im­proves.

Among other new polls, In­vestor’s


Busi­ness Daily/TIPP said Trump and Clin­ton were tied at 44 per­cent each, and Rasmussen found Trump ahead 45 per­cent to 42 per­cent.

In New Hamp­shire, a WBUR poll showed Trump ahead by one point, 40 per­cent to 39 per­cent. Other polls in the Gran­ite State have shown Clin­ton lead­ing con­sis­tently for months.

State-by-state polling av­er­ages con­tinue to give Clin­ton an edge in the race to 270 Elec­toral Col­lege votes. Her chal­lenge will be to max­i­mize turnout among the Demo­cratic coali­tion that pow­ered Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to two vic­to­ries: mil­len­ni­als, non­white vot­ers, and un­mar­ried women. A Trump up­set vic­tory would likely re­quire di­min­ished turnout among Demo­crat vot­ers and higher-than-ex­pected turnout among Trump’s key coali­tion, pri­mar­ily white vot­ers with­out a col­lege de­gree.

In­de­pen­dent Evan McMullin, a con­ser­va­tive protest can­di­date, has been com­pet­i­tive in the tra­di­tion­ally Repub­li­can state of Utah. A vic­tory there would make him the first can­di­date out­side a ma­jor party to win a state since 1968 and, if the elec­tion is very close, could hold both Trump and Clin­ton be­low 270 Elec­toral Col­lege votes, which would send the race to the U.S. House.

Clin­ton’s chances of vic­tory slipped to 86 per­cent in the New York Times fore­cast and 67 per­cent in the FiveThir­tyEight polls-only out­look.

A fore­cast Thurs­day by Larry Sa­bato, an elec­tion an­a­lyst at the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia’s Cen­ter for Pol­i­tics, also said Clin­ton was fa­vored to win, find­ing 293 elec­toral votes lean­ing to­ward or safely in her col­umn, com­pared to 214 for Trump.

Sa­bato con­cluded that a let­ter Fri­day by FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey re­viv­ing scru­tiny of Clin­ton’s pri­vate email server “has put a dent in Clin­ton in the fi­nal stages of the race, al­though the con­test was tight­en­ing in some ways be­fore the news.”

Sa­bato also moved its rat­ing of the U.S. Se­nate race in Penn­syl­va­nia to “leans Demo­cratic” from “toss-up,” fa­vor­ing chal­lenger Katie McGinty over in­cum­bent Pat Toomey. The an­a­lyst sees Repub­li­cans, who cur­rently hold a 54-seat ma­jor­ity in the cham­ber, with 47 safe seats and Democrats with 48. Ne­vada, home of re­tir­ing Se­nate Demo­cratic Leader Harry Reid, and Repub­li­can-held Mis­souri, In­di­ana, North Carolina and New Hamp­shire re­main tossups, he said.

FiveThir­tyEight gave Democrats a 62 per­cent chance of tak­ing over the cham­ber in its polls-only fore­cast.

In the Repub­li­can-con­trolled House, Sa­bato said, “it ap­pears that the door has fi­nally and com­pletely been shut on the prospects for a Demo­cratic House ma­jor­ity. Clin­ton just does not ap­pear ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing the lift re­quired to put Democrats in range of a 30-seat net gain, and House generic polling av­er­ages don’t in­di­cate a wave is com­ing in the lower cham­ber.”

This ar­ti­cle orig­i­nally ap­peared in Bloomberg News.

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