New Poll Shows Candidates Tied Going Into First Debate

| by Zach Cohen
Presidential Election PollPresidential Election Poll

A poll from Bloomberg Politics shows Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump are tied at 46 percent in a head-to-head matchup. The poll released Sept. 26 indicates that Clinton's 6-point lead from Bloomberg's August poll has eroded. 

Clinton’s 26-point lead among women in June and her 29-point advantage among voters under 35 in August have both been approximately cut in half, results which Ann Selzer, the Iowa-based pollster who conducted the Bloomberg poll, says explain Trump’s gains in the latest poll. 

When third-party candidates are included, Trump gains a 2-point lead, according to Politico’s analysis of the poll. In a four-way race, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson takes 8 percent, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein takes 4 percent. Among voters under 35, Johnson takes 11 percent.

According to Bloomberg, both Trump and Clinton have a 90 percent hold on their parties’ bases, a figure that Trump has previously struggled with as establishment Republicans remained skeptical about their party’s nominee. The poll suggests this skepticism has waned. 

The poll also shows that respondents have higher expectations of the debate for Clinton than for Trump, with 49 percent reporting they believe that the former secretary of state will perform better, compared to 39 percent who think Trump will. 

Of those polled, 65 percent of Trump supporters say they are "fairly," or "very enthusiastic" about their candidate, compared to 61 percent of Clinton supporters. Only 52 percent of Clinton supporters under 35 felt this way, compared with 75 percent of those 65 and older. 

The Bloomberg poll provides a snapshot of the race going into the first presidential debate.

But Nate Silver, founder of statistics site FiveThirtyEight, which reports on the election using statistical analysis, says people can expect a big shift in the polls in the coming days.

“Whatever arguments we’ve had about the polls this week will soon be swamped by the reaction to Monday’s presidential debate," he wrote. "I’d expect us to have some initial sense of how the debate has moved the numbers by Thursday or Friday… and a clearer one by next Sunday or so.”

Sources: Bloomberg, Politico, FiveThirtyEight / Photo credit: Talking Points Memo

Will the first debate significantly affect the poll numbers?
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