A newly released poll shows Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton 40 per cent to 39. The Rasmussen poll suggests that the race is tightening but there have been mixed reactions to the latest analysis. The last two weeks have seen Trump mainly avoid the controversies that have dogged his campaign.
While Trump is leading in this poll, his lead is within the margin of error, meaning the result must be taken with considerable caution. Clinton is still leading in several crucial swing states, in some cases by wider margins than Barack Obama in 2012, but Trump is narrowing the gap in Wisconsin and Florida.
Rasmussen Reports is widely regarded as a conservative forecaster. It was established with a distinctly conservative bent and usually reports better results for Republican candidates than other polling companies. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives Rasmussen a 79 per cent rating on election predictions and a C+ grade.
Clinton and Trump are campaigning this Labor Day in an effort to win the white working class vote, which tends to favor Trump. Clinton is still leading with college educated whites – a constituency the Republicans have never lost. While Florida and New Hampshire are currently a toss up, Clinton is leading in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia by significant margins.
Trump is also struggling in traditionally red states. His lead in solid Republican states like Arizona is narrower than Mitt Romney’s was in 2012. Trump leads in Nevada, though that state is now looking competitive. More worryingly, MSNBC reported last week that Trump leads Clinton by just 1 per cent in Missouri and has only a small lead in Georgia.