Latest Polling Shows Tight Race as Democrats Seek Out Third Party Candidates


U.S. Presidential Polling Numbers

Historically, each candidate in a presidential election gets a boost in their polling numbers after their party’s national convention.  The story is no different this year, but there are some intriguing twists.

During the week of July 11, prior to any party’s convention, Clinton held a substantial lead over Trump.  In eight major national polls that ran that week, conducted by agencies and news networks such as Rasmussen and CNN, Clinton clearly dominated.  Six of those eight showed a Clinton lead ranging anywhere from one to seven points.  Only one poll showed Trump in front, which was a seven-point lead, and another reported a tie.  

Throughout the week of July 18, during the Republican national convention, the tide started to swing Trump’s way.  Four polls conducted during and immediately following the RNC indicated that voters were split.  Two polls favored Clinton with the other two favoring Trump.  

Recent polling also seems to indicate that any vote not for Hillary helps Donald Trump.  Polls that show a four-way matchup, adding in Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, show stronger numbers for Trump.  Three four-way polls conducted during the Republican convention and the weekend following it, show a five point combined lead for Trump.  While Clinton has since gained back most of her momentum, two-way polls conducted during the DNC show a neck and neck race.  Three polls only including Trump and Clinton throughout last week show a combined lead for Clinton of just one point, well within the margin of error.  

It is certainly worth noting that the DNC has not yet had enough time to project its full effect.  However, something that is sure to trouble the Clinton camp is that four-way polls conducted throughout the DNC still favor Trump.  A poll conducted by Reuters from July 25 to July 29 shows a perfect tie, indicating that a four-way setting has prevented Clinton from reclaiming most of her momentum thus far.  

In summary, from July 18 to July 29, the Real Clear Politics average gives Clinton a 0.4-point lead over Trump.  That is until Johnson and Stein are thrown in the mix.  The average in those conditions gives Trump a 1.2-point lead.  Considering the fact that more people than usual are seeking out a third-party candidate in this election, the four-way election polling results will likely prove to be more accurate.  Luckily for Trump, this polling indicates that more Democrats than Republicans are seeking out someone other than their party’s nominee.  This is likely due to the mass amount of Bernie Sanders supporters who have thus far refused to vote for Clinton.  Either way, as the DNC’s full effect is reflected in the polls within the next few days, we’ll have a better idea of where voters stand in this year’s presidential race.  

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