There’s no way for liberals to paint this as good news or as an outlier. No amount of rationalization or denial can erase the fact that Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers have been sinking for nearly a month as Donald Trump’s continue to creep up.
Today’s Real Clear Politics average of polls shows the two major-party candidates essentially tied within the margin of error. Clinton’s average is at 45.9%, Trump’s at 42.9%. Trump, moreover, is up by a percentage point in the CNN/ORC poll and tied with Clinton in the LA Times/USC poll. In two other polls, IBD/TIPP and Reuters/Ipsos, Clinton is ahead by 1%.
The largest lead enjoyed by Clinton, 7%, is in the poll conducted by Monmouth University.
Since Aug. 10, when Clinton was ahead of Trump by 7.7% (48.0% to 40.3%), her numbers have been steadily declining, while Trump’s have been steadily rising:
Among the factors that most likely explain these trends have been the steady drip of damaging information regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State and revelations about the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play arrangement with donors. Reports of Clinton’s pattern of habitual lying have also begun to erode her standing with some needed demographics, such as young blacks who have expressed skepticism about supporting her.
Another factor that has impacted the polling numbers through September was Trump’s visit to Mexico, which provided the Republican nominee with a splendid photo op in which he appears quasi-presidential.