Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are in a dead heat close to 50 days out of election, according to recent national and battleground state polling.
Four national polls were released Thursday. Two of them show Trump ahead of Clinton, one shows the two candidates tied, and other has Clinton ahead. The margins here range from Trump ahead by six to Clinton ahead by two.
Arguably more importantly than polling of the nation, is what battleground states are showing us.
The states that will likely decide this election are Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire. President Barack Obama won all of these states except North Carolina in the 2012 election.
Currently, polling shows Clinton with a solid lead in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. However, many of these polls are from more than a week ago. There has been recent polling of Virginia and it shows Clinton holding a lead here, with the most recent one having her ahead by three points.
Specific polling of bellwether counties came out Wednesday and it is a grab bag that slightly favors Trump. Washoe County, Nev. bodes well for Trump, as he is ahead of Clinton by 17 percent. Obama won Washoe County by 3 percent in 2012. Trump is also ahead in two Pennsylvania bellwether counties that Obama won in 2012.
The Republican nominee is also ahead in key counties in North Carolina and Florida. Clinton is ahead in key counties in Virginia, Ohio and Colorado.
Outside of the battleground states, Trump is performing quite well in traditionally blue states. Recent pollng showed him within three points in both Rhode Island and Maine. A poll out Thursday has Clinton ahead of Trump by three in Michigan, which is within the margin of error.
Trump has a double-digit lead in Maine’s second congressional district, which is important as the state gives electoral votes by congressional district. Trump would pick up one electoral vote by winning there.
Across the board there are consistencies when it comes to specific demographics. Throughout the election and currently in recent polls there is are significant splits between men and women and whites and non-whites. National polling and state shows double-digit gaps between these groups. Trump is ahead with whites and men, and Clinton is leading with women and non-whites.
In Florida, Trump has been fairing well with Hispanics. A recent poll has him down by only two with Latinos. Florida’s largest Hispanic constituency is Cuban and they often favor Republicans much more than other Latino populations.
It should be noted that while Trump isn’t fairing well with Hispanics, he is performing about as well as Mitt Romney did with the group. Romney got 27 percent of the Latino vote in 2012. Trump has also been attempting to reach out to black voters and the LA Times/USC national poll shows him at 19 percent with the group. The best a winning Republican has done in modern times with the black vote is Nixon’s 18 percent in 1972.
Another trend with demographic groups is Trump dominating with voters with just a high school degree and Clinton performing strongly with those who have a college degree or higher.
Clinton needs to bring the Obama coalition back together if she plans to win, and younger voters aren’t helping her out as much as she needs. In the recent NY Times/CBS national poll, 26 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 plan to vote for Johnson and ten percent back Stein.
“[Trump] has a lot of work to do if he’s to breach Fortress Obama, let alone capture it. But for the Clinton campaign, these must be nervous times,” The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics wrote in their newsletter Thursday.