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Trump Gains On Clinton In A Key Demographic

New polling indicates that Republican nominee Donald Trump continues to close the gap between him and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton both nationally and among a key voting bloc: independents.

On Sept. 13, the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll found that Clinton’s sizeable August lead over Trump had slimmed to just four percentage points. Currently, Clinton leads with 48 percent while Trump is behind with 44 percent, according to NBC News.

That lead narrows when the poll is expanded into the likely four-way presidential race. In that scenario, Clinton leads with just 42 percent while Trump comes in second with 40 percent.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson comes in third with 11 percent support while Green Party nominee Jill Stein remains in last with four percent support.

That is a dramatic tightening from the survey’s previous results. In early August, Clinton lead Trump by 10 percentage points. The data indicate that the Democratic nominee had enjoyed a bump from the party conventions and that that bump has now expired.

The poll's key finding is that Trump has recovered from his devastating deficit in support from independent voters. The survey found that Clinton leads the crucial voting bloc with only 38 percent support while Trump is a close second with 36 percent support.

Clinton had previously enjoyed a double-digit lead over Trump among independents.

The poll also found that both Clinton and Trump are almost equally unpopular. Only 39 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Clinton while 59 percent have an unfavorable view of her.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Trump while 60 percent have an unfavorable view of him. The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be a contest between too widely disliked major candidates.

The survey results echo the consensus of other data. Aggregating the last 10 polls released since Aug. 30, Real Clear Politics found that Clinton leads Trump by an average of only two percentage points in a four-way race: 41.9 percent to 39.9 percent.

On Sept. 11, NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls found that both Clinton and Trump are highly competitive in four battleground states, Politico reports.

In those state polls, Trump currently leads Arizona by one percentage point and Georgia by three percentage points, while Clinton currently leads Nevada by one percentage point and New Hampshire by one point. All of those leads fall within the surveys' margins of error.

FiveThirtyEight, the polling website headed by statistician Nate Silver, currently gives Clinton a 69.6 percent chance of winning the November election. Meanwhile, the group gives Trump a 30.4 percent chance.

The group gives Clinton the edge based on her projected wins in the key swings states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Sources: FiveThirtyEight, PoliticoReal Clear PoliticsNBC News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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