New national polls show that Hillary Clinton is leading, but it’s not clear by how much. An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows the Democratic presidential nominee up by 4 points ― 47-43 ― with little movement over the last few weeks. But an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton leading by 11 points, 48-37 ― a substantial increase in the Democrat’s margin since the beginning of the month.
The varying results from these high-quality polls highlight the fact that the race is in a state of flux right now.
Both polls were conducted Oct. 10-13, after the recording came out of GOP nominee Donald Trump discussing kissing and groping women without their consent, but before many of the sexual assault allegations against Trump hit the news. The latest round of accusations began in earnest Wednesday night and Thursday, the last two days of the polls. As more allegations emerge, the numbers could continue to shift.
The polls also don’t differ much in their partisan makeup. A different number of Democrats and Republicans in the polls would cause the numbers to differ, but the polls are strikingly similar on this metric. The ABC/Washington Post poll is made up of 33 percent Democrats, 33 percent independents and 25 percent Republicans. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is 35 percent Democrats, 33 percent independents and 26 percent Republicans.
The HuffPost Pollster aggregate shows Clinton leading Trump by nearly 8 points in a two-way contest, and by about 6 points in the four-way race. These two polls aren’t likely to shift that much, since they average out to a 7.5 percent Clinton edge.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has tracked the fluctuations in the race over the last 10 days. In a poll conducted last weekend, in the immediate aftermath of the tape release, Clinton led by 11 points. But another day of polling after last Sunday’s debate took that margin down to 9 points, indicating Trump had regained some ground.
Still, even if Clinton is only up by 4 points, as the ABC/Washington Post poll suggests, that would translate into a solid Electoral College win. As NBC’s Mark Murray pointed out, Barack Obama won by 4 points over Mitt Romney in 2012. Obama defeated John McCain by 7 points in 2008.
A new CBS News Battleground States poll shows Clinton leading by 6 points across the critical states that would contribute to that Electoral College win, with 46 percent support compared to Trump’s 40 percent support across 13 states.
The poll broke out results in Nevada and Utah separately. Clinton leads 46-40 in Nevada, with 4 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 5 percent for “someone else.” The state has been very close over most of the campaign, but Clinton is gaining. According to the HuffPost Pollster trend, Clinton has a lead of just over 1 percent.
In Utah, Trump has a substantial lead with 37 percent support. Clinton and conservative independent candidate Evan McMullin are tied at 20 percent support. The HuffPost Pollster trend shows McMullin gaining ground, but Trump still has a 12-point lead over Clinton and a 20-point lead over the independent candidate in the state.
Based on national and state polls, Clinton is the strong favorite to win the election on Nov. 8. The HuffPost forecast puts her chances of winning at 91.5 percent.