WASHINGTON (AFP) - Less than two weeks before their first debate, billionaire Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton are in a very tight race for the White House, a national poll showed on Wednesday (Sept 14).
The CBS News/New York Times survey found Mrs Clinton had just a two-point edge (46 per cent to 44 per cent) over her Republican rival in a two-way matchup among likely voters. Among registered voters, the Democratic nominee was five points ahead, at 46 per cent to 41 per cent.
When third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were included, the race was tied among likely voters - at 42 per cent each - while Mrs Clinton had a slight edge (41 per cent to 39 per cent) among registered voters.
A Quinnipiac University poll out a day earlier, on Wednesday, found that results were too close to call when third-party candidates were included, with Mrs Clinton at 41 per cent and Mr Trump at 39 per cent.
The CBS/NYT poll also found diminished voter enthusiasm, with Democrats less enthusiastic about voting now than a month ago, while Republicans have kept a steady level of enthusiasm.
A total of 64 per cent of registered Democratic voters said they felt at least somewhat enthusiastic about voting - a drop from 77 per cent in August - and just 38 per cent said they were very enthusiastic, down from 47 per cent a month ago.
Trump voters specifically were more enthusiastic than those supporting Mrs Clinton - with 45 per cent of the billionaire real-estate investor's backers saying they felt very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 36 per cent of the former top US diplomat and first lady's supporters saying they felt that way.
Among Republicans, 43 per cent said they were very enthusiastic, and a total of 68 per cent said they felt at least somewhat enthusiastic.
And a gender gap is still apparent between the two candidates, with Mr Trump securing a double-digit lead ahead of Mrs Clinton among men, while she has a similar margin over him among women.
Mr Trump faces continued struggles to gain support among African-American voters, though he has an advantage over Mrs Clinton among whites.
White voters lacking a college degree gave Mr Trump a strong show of support - 58 per cent - while Mrs Clinton led Mr Trump among white college graduate voters.
Among white college graduates, only 29 per cent backed Mr Trump, 48 per cent supported Mrs Clinton, but 21 per cent said they would vote for someone else or stay out of the polling stations come Election Day, on Nov 8.