With less than two weeks to go until the general election, it's once again time to play Pick Your Poll! Step right up, contestants. Would you like to see the presidential race tightening to within the margin or error? Or basically unchanged from the recent polling averages? Or spinning out of control into an historic blowout? We've got fresh options for all three preferences, via Fox News (HRC +3), ABC News (HRC +6 -- down sharply from their previous outlier), and USA Today/Suffolk (HRC +9) or the Associated Press (HRC +14), respectively:
ABC News/Washington Post national tracking poll— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 27, 2016
National Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll:— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) October 26, 2016
Clinton 47 (+9)
Or if you'd prefer a "dead heat" narrative, you can always turn to Rasmussen or IBD/TIPP, which have Clinton up by a hair. If you love either Rasmussen or the AP's findings, the bad news is that both outfits fell near the very bottom of the list on 2012 pollster accuracy (IBD/TIPP fared significantly better). Last cycle, the two most accurate nonpartisan polling came from YouGov and Reuters/Ipsos. Where do those surveys stand today? In the exact same place, as it happens: Clinton up by four points. The RCP average pegs Hillary's nationwide lead at 5.4 percentage points. At the state level, there was a lot of buzz early in the week about Texas inching dangerously close to a pure toss-up race. Since then, two polls have been released. One shows Trump up seven (fairly comfortable, although vastly underperforming other GOP nominees in the state), while the other has the race within three points -- which, strikingly, is not an outlier:
I'd still wager that the final result in Texas will more closely resemble the Trump +7 finding than a margin-of-error squeaker, but four of the last statewide surveys have the margin within four points. Meanwhile, a NYT/Sienna poll gives Clinton a seven-point lead in Pennsylvania, and fresh New Hampshire polling suggests she is ahead in the state by either four points or nine points. NBC/WSJ/Marist finds Trump and Clinton exactly tied in Nevada. All three of those states are critical pieces to cobbling together a 270 electoral vote puzzle for Donald Trump. And if you're in the "all of the media polls are rigged" camp, I'll leave you with this assessment from Donald Trump's own pollster, whom he's paying 100 grand a week to track his chances:
The article's conclusion: "He needs a miracle." The way that miracle might materialize is that low propensity white voters turnout in unexpectedly large waves, while key segments of Hillary's would-be base -- blacks and Millennials, especially -- sit at home.