The latest 2016 presidential polls show Donald Trump is gaining on Hillary Clinton as the election steams toward its final days.
Two recent national polls (IBD and Rasmussen) show Trump with a lead (both partly measuring voter attitudes after the third presidential debate), and he’s doing well in some battleground states, like Ohio, but Clinton leads in a series of others. Clinton leads in a third recent poll (Reuters) but that poll shows Trump gaining on her.
Trump’s improvement in some recent polls comes after days of media coverage battering Trump over multiple women accusing Trump of unwanted physical contact, his lewd comments to former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, and the third presidential debate. It also comes after a series of WikiLeaks’ releases of documents from a hack of the email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.
Some of the polls have found voters are receptive to Trump’s claims that the election is rigged and/or that the news media are biased.
The RealClearPolitics polling average from October 10 through October 21 has Clinton with an average 6.1 percent lead, slightly down from a few days ago but still significant. When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein are included, though, Clinton’s average lead shrinks to 5.3 percent. That polling average time frame mostly includes the time frame before the October 19 presidential debate, however.
Here’s what you need to know:
Recent National Polls
Trump’s lead in the IBD/TIPP poll is within the margin of error, meaning the race is back to a virtual tie in this poll.
The poll was conducted October 16-21. The acronyms stand for Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence (TIPP), and the poll touts itself as the most accurate in recent presidential elections. Trump does best in the South, and Clinton does best in the Northeast. (Gary Johnson has his strongest performance in the Midwest).
This is one of the first national polls to capture the time frame after the third presidential debate.
The new Rasmussen poll is also good news for Trump, although his lead is in the margin for error, making the race a virtual tie in this poll.
The poll was conducted October 18-20, partly after the third presidential debate. A small lead among voters not affiliated with either political party is helping Trump.
Although the Reuters poll shows Clinton leading by 4 percentage points, just outside the poll’s credibility interval, it also represents a fairly significant improvement for Trump, who was behind by seven points in the same poll the week before. This poll surveyed people from October 17-21.
The poll also found that only half of Republicans would accept Clinton as their president with most believing the election is rigged.
Clinton does better in the Quinnipiac poll than in some other recent polls. This is a more dated than those above, however. The poll was conducted October 17-18 before the third presidential debate.
Trump’s lead with whites and men “all but vanishes” in the poll. The poll found that most voters felt the news media is biased against Trump but also believe Trump is not fit to be president.
This poll was conducted October 15-18. That means it was before the third presidential debate.
Clinton’s lead is right at the 4 percent margin of error.
Recent Battleground Polls
Florida: Fox 13/Opinion Savvy
This is the first Florida poll since the third presidential debate, which was on October 19. It was conducted the following day. However, the margin for error is 4.2 percent, meaning Clinton’s lead is within it.
The polling results were an increase in 1 percent for Clinton from the previous poll. The poll did show Trump winning early and absentee voters. People polled thought Clinton won the third debate but by a lower margin than was seen with previous debates.
Ohio – Suffolk University
The most recent poll in this key swing state shows the race is a tie. The poll was conducted October 17 to 19, outside of the third presidential debate in part.
The last four polls in Ohio before that one showed a tie, two showed a Trump lead, and one showed a Clinton lead in the margin for error.
Although Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, this poll is just outside of the margin of error and shows a slightly lower margin that she’s seen in other Pennsylvania polling.
The poll was conducted October 17-19. The same poll also showed Trump leading in Utah and Missouri, and Clinton leading in New Hampshire.
Virginia: Christopher Newport University
The most recent polling in Virginia shows that Clinton has broken into a large lead, although this poll’s margin was higher for Clinton than in other Virginia polls (she has led in the last four polls).
Georgia: Landmark Communications
This poll was conducted October 20 after the third presidential debate. Trump’s lead is exactly at the margin for error.
Slightly more people thought Clinton won the debate, although there was a gender gap with men saying they thought Trump won it. Clinton has been gaining somewhat in recent Georgia polling.
From media collusion to evidence of corruption, a guide to the most important leaked Podesta emails.
Since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange began publishing emails hacked from Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account, Americans have been deluged with damaging and embarrassing revelations about the former secretary of state.
Even if the broadcast networks have barely noticed.
“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC. Most I can probably ID but not all.”
Some of the emails confirm what Clinton’s critics suspected all along. Others depict a campaign staff driven to search for the political angle at every conceivable turn. And still others reveal just how negatively the Clintonistas describe various groups of Americans when they think the rest of the world is not listening.
So quickly have the revelations come — WikiLeaks have been releasing thousands of emails almost daily — that it can be difficult to keep up. So here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of the most important things we’ve learned since the first Podesta email drop on Oct. 7.
1) Damning evidence of Clinton Foundation corruption. Perhaps the most incriminating set of emails to be released over the past week did not even come from WikiLeaks. ABC News used emails that the Republican National Committee obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Clinton’s tenure of secretary of state to make a strong case that the State Department under her leadership favored Clinton Foundation donors with lucrative contracts to rebuild Haiti after a 2011 earthquake.
“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC [Bill Clinton],” a senior State Department official wrote to a Clinton Foundation aide.”Most I can probably ID but not all.”
Applicants deemed “WJC VIPs” or FOB (Friends of Bill) got special attention, while those who did not pass that test got referred to the general government website, according to ABC.
State Department emails obtained by Citizens United, meanwhile, show that a taxpayer-funded poll of Haitians included a question assessing Bill Clinton’s favorability.
Another email, published by WikiLeaks, shows the government of Qatar pledged in 2012 to donate $1 million to the foundation despite Hillary Clinton’s promise not to accept new donations from foreign governments after she became secretary of state.
2) Clinton dreamed of “open borders.” A paid speech that Clinton delivered in 2013 to the Brazilian bank Banco Itau included this potentially politically problematic passage: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Despite pressure from Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, Clinton resisted releasing transcripts of speeches she delivered for hundreds of thousands of dollars after leaving government service — and now we know why.
Republican opponents long have used “open borders” as a pejorative to describe Clinton’s immigration proposals. But even her harshest critics likely never imagined she would admit it so unambiguously.
In response to a question following a speech at the Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovators Summit in October 2013, Clinton complained about a “backward-looking view” of America that was skeptical of immigration and government investment.
“They have to be rejected because they are fundamentally un-American,” she said, according to the transcript provided by WikiLeaks.
3) Hillary takes public and private positions. Courtesy of WikiLeaks, the world now knows that Clinton thinks politicians cannot be transparent with the public.
“You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, ‘balance’ — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today,” she told the National Multi-Housing Council on April 23, 2013. “It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
4) The Clinton camp used journalists — sometimes with willing participation. The WikiLeaks emails show a level of collusion with the mainstream media that even critics of the news business found breathtaking. In a January 2015 memo, campaign spokesman Nick Merrill assured the staff that Politico reporter Maggie Haberman — now with The New York Times — was a friendly journalist.
“We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed,” he wrote.
The might be embarrassing for any reporter’s integrity. But at least there is nothing in the emails from her pointing to favoritism. That is not the case with her current colleague, Mark Leibovich, who gave Clinton veto power over quotes in exchange for access for a long profile that ran in the The New York Times magazine section in summer 2015. Campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri singed off one email with, “Pleasure doing business!”
“We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed.”
CNBC correspondent John Harwood — widely panned for his overly aggressive questioning of Republican Donald Trump during one of the GOP primary debates — offered advice to Podesta.
“Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general [election],” Harwood wrote, including a link to video clips of an interview he did with the retired pediatric neurosurgeon.
And then there is the behavior of Donna Brazile, who last year was a commentator for CNN but seemed to think she was still in her previous role as Democratic Party operative. The emails reveal that she tipped off the Clinton campaign to a question that Hillary would receive at an upcoming town hall event the cable network hosted during the primary season.
Brazile wrote that she was concerned that the question about the death penalty might cause Clinton problems. That revelation was a double-whammy — both raising doubts about the integrity of CNN as a news network and undermining Brazile’s supposed neutrality in the primary fight between Clinton and Sanders.
5) Clinton advisers found loophole to keep emails secret. In a March 2015 conversation with Cheryl Mills, former State Department chief of staff and Clinton campaign aide, Podesta discussed a strategy for withholding emails from the former secretary of state’s private email server.
The idea was to use “executive privilege” to refuse to give the department emails with Obama.
“Think we should hold emails to and from potus? That’s the heart of his exec privilege,” Podesta wrote. “We could get them to ask for that. They may not care, but I seems like they will.”
Indeed, according to a Politico report in September, the State Department cited the “presidential communications privilege” in indicating that it would not release emails between Clinton and Obama. That allows the president to keep those emails hidden from the public for a period of five to 12 years after Obama leaves office.
6) Hillary allies are nasty in private. And that includes even pro-Clinton pols. Even as they were courting New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s endorsement publicly, they were venting outrage behind his back that he was sending positive tweets about Sanders.
“Wow. What a terrorist,” campaign manager Robby Mook wrote.
Palmieri replied, “Told you!”
In February 2012, left-leaning Voices for Progress founder and President Sandy Newman wrote to Podesta arguing for a “Catholic Spring” to foment an “end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.”
Podesta assured Newman it was happening.
A scholar at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that Podesta founded, emailed his thoughts on conservative Catholic converts. He called it an “amazing bastardization of the faith.”
Palmieri, then-president of the think tank, agreed. “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”
Clinton supporter Mark Siegel — former executive director of the Democratic National Committee — called Sanders supporters “self-righteous ideologues” in an email to the Clinton campaign.
Pence put on a strong display of how to be prepared, pivot, and punch back
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate by a landslide, offering a polished, poignant performance some are suggesting Donald Trump could learn from ahead of his second face-off with Hillary Clinton Sunday.
As Pence and Virginia Sen. Time Kaine clashed during the debate in Farmville, Virginia, the well-prepared Pence maintained his cool in the face of Kaine’s incessant interruptions. In deftly dodging Kaine’s darts and refusing to become bogged down by his attacks, the Indiana governor winsomely presented the Trump campaign’s strong vision for implementing change in Washington and restoring greatness to the nation.
“This is exactly what Trump needed,” Ingraham said. “But what could Donald Trump learn from the way Mike Pence handled himself?”
“This is exactly what Trump needed,” LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham said Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “But what could Donald Trump learn from the way Mike Pence handled himself?”
Ingraham said despite the fact Pence and Trump are “totally different people” with vastly differing styles, the GOP nominee could nevertheless garner some practical insights.
“Donald Trump is not going to be Mike Pence. He’s not gonna be someone who doesn’t react to all attacks,” Ingraham said, noting that Trump cannot afford to “squander precious time” on trivial things that don’t matter.
“I think [Trump] can learn a lot from Mike Pence about the pivot, which is something you have to do in these debate settings. You can’t stay on whatever the moderator wants you to answer. You have to move to your points.”
Byron York, the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, told Ingraham the next debate for Trump will be his “last chance” to make up for his rough first performance.
“Remember we were saying that about the first debate, that it was so critical and Trump has this huge opportunity. It is a one-time opportunity. Well, it was kind of a one-time opportunity, but I do think he has another chance,” York said, noting that President Obama made a magnificent comeback in his second debate during his 2012 bid for re-election — after suffering a crushing defeat in the first one to then-GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
“It’s possible he could have another chance. But he has to be better, and to do that, he has to have been working this last week or so on a lot of this traditional stuff,” York said.
York and Ingraham pointed to how Pence spent weeks preparing for the vice presidential debate, participating in mock debates and reviewing Kaine’s old debate footage during his runs for the Senate and for Virginia governor. In stark contrast, Trump eschewed these “traditional” preparation methods.
“[Pence] was 12 years in the House of Representatives in the leadership and he’s been governor of Indiana for three years. He’s been studying and working with policy for years and years. Donald Trump has not, so he can’t just do that,” York said. “But, Trump is Trump, and he has the advantage on issues over Hillary Clinton. And if he performs well, then I think he really does have a chance to get back in it.”
Both Ingraham and York agreed that Trump should decrease the number of rallies he gives just before each of the two remaining events. The GOP nominee participated in a rally the day before the first debate, and he is scheduled to give another one the day before the second debate.
“I mean, I’m not giving him advice, but man — I would just have him stay put, get rested, and just focus on that debate, because I think the debate is really important,” Ingraham said.
York added, “Obviously, I think Trump thinks that it gives him a sort of push of energy, this extra boost, this wind under his wings to do that. But, a debate is not a rally, and this one truly is, I think, his last chance to come out and do well before a massive TV audience.”
If Trump can pull a solid second debate performance, the polls — which have been swinging up and down before meeting the middle in a continuous cycle for months — could stabilize and give Trump the edge he needs to win, York said.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a campaign surrogate for Trump, agreed that Trump’s poll numbers depend on his ability to churn out a solid second debate performance.
“Now I think he can begin an ascent toward Election Day because the issues, as you indicate, reflect the concerns of the American people. Nobody is protecting their interests,” Sessions said. “So I think if we can get this message and this campaign back to those fundamental issues and why Donald Trump’s policies will make America stronger, better and more prosperous, then he’ll be on track to regain the lead that he had twice moving forward.”
In the end, Sessions believes that Trump has always had the edge over Clinton in terms of his campaign message and his willingness to both listen to and champion the concerns of the American people. If Trump can make this clear in the second debate, then he can build on Pence’s boost in momentum and claim victory on Election Day — because Clinton represents “the epitome of the global Establishment special interest camp.”
“This is about the concerns of the American people. They have been ignored. Hillary Clinton calls them ‘irredeemable deplorables.’ I mean, this is the mindset of the mainstream of Establishment power groups from globalists to Washington, D.C. They’re used to running things their way, and they’ve stiffed the American people in their interests,” Sessions concluded. “This is the kind of thing that creates an opportunity for us to elect somebody who’s in tune with where the people are, and I think Donald Trump’s message is there.”