Less than a week away from Election Day, it looks like it's going to be a nail-biter. Polling showed Thursday morning that the presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump has tightened significantly over the last week or so.
While Clinton's longstanding lead in the polls has shrunk, her campaign can take some solace in the most recent national survey from CBS News/The New York Times. That poll found Clinton leads Trump by 3 percentage points, 45 percent to 42 percent, an improvement for her when compared to recent tracking surveys that have shown the race is tied or that the GOP nominee is slightly ahead. The 3-point gap is also a wider margin than the Real Clear Politics national average which showed a 1.9-point lead for Clinton Thursday. The latest poll found the third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein, were garnering 5 percent support and 4 percent support, respectively.
The CBS News/New York Times survey is in other ways a disappointment for the Democratic nominee, however. Just over two weeks ago, Clinton led by nine points in the poll, up 47 percent to 38 percent. The CBS News/New York Times poll talked with a random sample of 1,561 U.S. adults, including 1,333 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
On the state level, what once looked like a comfortable Clinton path to the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency is getting increasingly less certain. Trump has cut into the former secretary of state's lead in a number of the key swing states, most notably Florida and North Carolina.
The most recent surveys out of the Sunshine State showed ever-so-slight leads for Clinton. She was up by 2 points in a CNN/ORC poll and by 1 point in a Quinnipiac University poll, both of which were released Wednesday. Two polls released just before those both showed Trump up by four points, and the Real Clear Politics average of polls Thursday had the GOP nominee up by 0.1 percentage points in a four-way race. The polls-only election forecast from data-driven website FiveThirtyEight had the state pegged as a complete toss-up Thursday, giving Trump a 51.5 percent chance of winning Florida.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls has the race in North Carolina even closer than the practical coin-flip in Florida, showing Clinton and Trump were tied in a three-way contest that included Johnson. Wednesday's Quinnipiac poll had Clinton up 3 points in the Tar Heel State, while a WRAL survey released this week showed Trump up 7 points. FiveThirtyEight has North Carolina leaning just barely toward the GOP nominee, giving him a 50.7 percent chance of winning the state in its polls-only forecast Thursday morning.
Despite the closer races in some swing states, Clinton still likely has a better chance at winning the presidency, if only because polling shows she still probably leads in key states like New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado. Trump, meanwhile, likely must win Florida and Ohio, while also stealing a blue-leaning state or two. In its polls-only forecast Thursday morning, FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 66.6 percent chance of winning the election.