Trump ties with Clinton in poll of likely voters

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton watch as supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump line up for a rally at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Washington on Aug 30, 2016.
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton watch as supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump line up for a rally at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Washington on Aug 30, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has pulled into an effective tie with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, erasing a substantial deficit as he consolidated support among his party's likely voters in recent weeks, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll.

The poll released on Friday showed 40 per cent of likely voters supporting Mr Trump and 39 per cent backing Mrs Clinton for the week of Aug 26 to Sept 1.

Mrs Clinton's support has dropped steadily in the weekly tracking poll since Aug 25, eliminating what had been an eight- point lead for her.

Mr Trump's gains came as Republican support for him jumped by six percentage points over the past two weeks, to about 78 per cent. That is still below the 85 per cent support that Republican nominee Mitt Romney enjoyed in the summer of 2012, but the improvement helps explain Mr Trump's rise in the poll.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is conducted online in English in all 50 states. The latest poll surveyed 1,804 likely voters over the course of the week, and had a credibility interval - a measure of accuracy - of 3 per cent.

Different polls have produced widely different results over the course of the United States presidential campaign.

That is in part because some, like Reuters/Ipsos, have attempted to measure the preferences of who is likely to vote, while others have surveyed the larger pool of all registered voters.

And even those that survey likely voters have different ways of estimating who is likely to cast a ballot. Polling aggregators, which calculate averages of major polls, have shown that Mrs Clinton's lead has been shrinking for the past few weeks.

Those averages put her advantage over Mr Trump at between three and six percentage points. Some of the more recent individual polls, however, have the race even tighter.

Voters do not elect the American president directly, but through the Electoral College, an assembly representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the number of legislators they have in Congress.

As of Aug 26, the separate Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation polling project estimated that Mrs Clinton was on track to win the Electoral College, by about 332 votes to 206.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 04, 2016, with the headline 'Trump ties with Clinton in poll of likely voters'. Print Edition | Subscribe