A day after a spokesman for Hillary Clinton said her presidential campaign team is preparing for a tight general election race with Donald Trump, a new poll shows the businessman in a statistical tie with the former secretary of state.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, which was released May 11, shows Clinton with 41 percent support among likely voters, while Trump has 40 percent support. The poll also found that 19 percent of likely voters say they're still undecided.
"We've planned for this," Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said, according to Politico. "After the contests on April 26 where we had decisive victories in many of those Mid-Atlantic states, we began undertaking general-election preparations because we need to be ready to wage what we think will be a very tight general-election contest."
The Reuters/Ipsos poll is the latest indication that the general election race, which some political analysts predicted would be a runaway for Clinton, will be a much tighter contest than anticipated. Clinton had a sizable lead as recently as late April, when a USA Today/Suffolk poll found she was up 11 points on the real estate magnate.
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Subsequent polls show the candidates running neck and neck, although Clinton still enjoys a lead in Real Clear Politics' aggregate polling data, polling more than six points higher than the Republican nominee.
Representatives for Trump, meanwhile, say they expect a bump in the polls as the controversial candidate reconciles with Republican leaders he disparaged loudly and frequently during his populist campaign, which was energized by widespread dissatisfaction with the Republican status quo.
Trump took a major step toward reconciliation May 11 when he met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, a sit-down that was brokered by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus.
In a May 12 press conference with reporters, Ryan said he left the meeting feeling good about the party's prospects, and in a joint statement with Trump, the speaker said Republicans would ultimately coalesce because the U.S. "cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents."
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"The question is, what is it we need to do to unify the Republican Party and all strains of conservatism within the party?" Ryan said after the meeting, says CNN. "We had a very good and encouraging conversation on just how to do that."
In addition to national polls showing Clinton's lead is evaporating, a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed Clinton and Trump in a statistical tie in battleground states Florida and Pennsylvania, with Trump leading Clinton in Ohio, which has been a key swing state in the last four presidential elections.