This week’s polls show improvement for Trump

This week saw the release of six major surveys of a Clinton-Trump head-to-head race. Five of them have Clinton in the lead. They are IBD/TIPP (Clinton +4), Fox News (Clinton +6), PPP, a Democratic firm (Clinton +4), Quinnipiac (Clinton +2), and Reuters/Ipsos (Clinton +10).

One poll, by Rasmussen, has Trump ahead (+4).

Quinnipiac and Reuters had the largest sample sizes. The margin of error (MOE) for these two polls is 2.4 and 2.8, respectively. The MOE for the Rasmussen poll is 3.0. The largest MOE (3.5) is for the IBD/TIPP poll.

Collectively, these six polls suggest that Clinton leads by about 4 points. That’s a statistically significant lead but not a very large one. The previous week’s polling suggested that Clinton’s lead was 7 points.

Clinton doesn’t reach 50 percent in any of the six recent polls. She averages a little under 44 percent.

There were also six polls released this week of a three-way race that includes Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Five of the six were by organizations that also polled the two-way race. The sixth poll was by Economist/YouGov. It had Clinton 5 points ahead of Trump. Rasmussen didn’t do a poll that included Johnson.

Even with no Rasmussen survey to help Trump, Clinton’s average lead was under 5 points.

Yesterday, FiveThirtyEight estimated that, based on its analysis of polls, Clinton has just about an 80 percent chance of winning in November. The polls it relied on show Clinton leading Trump by 7 points. If the lead is 4 points, then Trump is less of a long-shot.

I continue to believe that, assuming no criminal indictment or FBI recommendation of one, Clinton will prevail. However, the most recent batch of polls suggests that the contest may be a tight one and that Trump has a decent shot at winning.

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