Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are meeting Monday night on a debate stage for the first time after what has already proven to be a contentious presidential race. Judging by recent polls, if either candidate is able to make even small in-roads in garnering additional support during and after the upcoming nationally broadcast debates, it could prove to be the difference between becoming the next president and not.
Results vary from poll to poll but Clinton has maintained a slight lead over Trump for most of the race, according to an average compiled by Real Clear Politics. She was leading by 2.1 percent, a considerable drop from her post-convention standing in August when she led by as many as 8 points. Trump has only bested her once in the past year in those measurements, though, right before the Democratic National Convention in late July.
Here are the results of the most recent polls.
Bloomberg Politics Poll. This Released Monday, this poll shows the two candidates essentially tied with 46 percent of the vote each. When asked to rank things like intelligence, health and truthfulness, the candidates had their own clear advantages. Voters think Clinton is more intelligent while they think Trump is more truthful (although Trump has uttered way more falsehoods during the campaign than Clinton, according to fact checker Politifact) and healthier (Clinton was recently diagnosed with pneumonia and took a few days off of the campaign trail).
When third party candidates are included, Trump leads Clinton 43 percent to 41 percent while Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson receives 8 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein receives 4 percent.
Quinnipiac University Poll. While Clinton leads in this poll, released Monday, the pollsters say it’s still too close to call. Clinton receives 44 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 43 while Johnson receives 8 percent and Stein takes in 2 percent. The poll finds that, for undecided voters, Monday’s debate is must-watch television.
“The race for President is a virtual tie and millions of likely voters consider the first debate must-see TV. And for those inclined to place a wager on the likely winner, Hillary Clinton is the best bet,” Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll, said in a statement accompanying the results.
Washington Post/ABC News Poll. This poll, out Sunday, shows an electorate that is looking closely at the race (78 percent of respondents said they were paying attention) and one that is planning to cast a ballot (67 percent are absolutely certain to vote on Election Day). Clinton holds a slight lead, 46 percent to 44 percent for Trump.
Economist/YouGov Poll. Once again, Clinton holds the lead with 44 percent of voters saying they’d break for her compared to 41 percent for Trump, according to respondents surveyed between Sept. 22 and 24. Johnson receives 5 percent in this poll compared to 2 percent for Stein.