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Swing States: 2016 Race Tightening




Left for dead last month, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is closing the gap against embattled Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s gains are clearly visible in nationwide polling – but more critically they can be seen in polling from several swing states which will determine the outcome of the election.

According to a fresh round of swing state polls from Quinnipiac University, Trump leads Clinton by a 41-37 percent margin in Ohio – with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson drawing 14 percent and Green nominee Jill Stein getting four percent.

In Florida, Trump and Clinton are tied at 43 percent – with Johnson at eight percent and Stein at two percent.

In North Carolina, Clinton leads Trump by a 42-38 percent margin – with Johnson drawing 15 percent.  Stein is not on the ballot in the Tar Heel State, although we suspect she will receive some write-in votes.

Finally, in Pennsylvania Clinton leads Trump by a 44-39 percent margin, with Johnson at nine percent and Stein at three percent.

“Clinton’s lead in the states most likely to tip the balance of the election is somewhere around 3 percentage points,” noted Nate Silver of the website

Last month, Clinton enjoyed narrow leads in North Carolina and Florida and was trouncing Trump by double digits in Pennsylvania.

“The obvious takeaway from these numbers is that Donald Trump has staged a comeback from his post-Democratic convention lows, especially in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” Quinnipiac’s Peter A. Brown noted.  “Taking a bit longer view, however, we see a race that appears little changed from where it was as the GOP convention began in July, and at least in these four key states is very much up for grabs.”

So is this good news for “The Donald?”  No … not necessarily.

Remember, Trump needs to win all of these states in order to win the White House … and if the election were held today, it seems highly unlikely he would be able to pull that off.

Still, he’s clearly in better shape than he was a month ago – having minimized costly errors and having stayed (for the most part) on message.  Meanwhile Clinton’s many scandals finally seem to be registering with the public.

Additionally, we’ve seen previous examples of mainstream media polling failing to capture the prevailing populist zeal – so there’s a chance Trump is actually faring better than these (and other) numbers would suggest.

(Banner image via iStock)