With just 16 days to go before Election Day, polls varied widely Sunday on whether Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton was leading, ranging from a 2-point lead for Trump to 12 points for Clinton.
The candidates and their surrogates racheted up the rhetoric in recent days as voters zeroed in on their choices, with a dozen women claiming Trump forced himself on them as WikiLeaks released hacked emails damaging to Clinton.
Overall, the RealClear Politics average of major polls has Clinton leading Trump 47.9 percent to 42 percent.
The daily Investor’s Business Daily tracking poll, which predicted the outcome of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 elections more closely than rival surveys, gave Trump a 2-point advantage when Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are thrown into the mix. The same poll gave Trump a 1-point edge in a head-to-head contest. For the week, the IBD poll also put Trump a point ahead.
The Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California daily tracking poll has the candidates tied a 44 percent apiece for the week. As of Sunday, the candidates were separated by just 0.3 point, with Trump retaining the edge.
ABC, however, had Clinton ahead by 12 points — whether the third-party candidates are thrown in or not.
The CBS/You Gov polls in swing states Texas and Florida give Trump a 3-point edge in the former and Clinton a 3-point edge in the latter. In Saturday’s MRG poll of Michigan, Clinton has a 5-point lead.
The RealClear Politics electoral map gives Clinton a 307-131 vote lead with 50 electoral votes still up for grabs. If Trump wins Georgia, Iowa and Ohio, and Clinton gets Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, the final score goes to 304 to 204, with Clinton the clear winner.
Trump stirred controversy in the final debate Wednesday by refusing to say whether he would accept the outcome of the election. Throughout the campaign, he has said the election is rigged.
Trump’s son, Eric, Sunday told ABC’s “This Week,” his father would “100 percent” accept the results of the election, saying his father just wants to make sure the election is fair and taking to task the media, which the Trump campaign has said has favored Clinton throughout the campaign.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s “State of the Union” plans to challenge the election results are “hypothetical,” but echoed the candidate by calling the system “rigged, especially against the little guy.”
Clinton Saturday called “troubling” Trump’s promise to sue the women who accuse him of inappropriate touching and kissing. Trump, during what was billed as a major policy speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on what his first 100 days in office would look like, ranted about the media and the women’s accusations, calling them “total fabrications.”
“All of these liars will be sued after the election is over,” Trump pledged.
The latest batch of hacked emails released by WikiLeaks indicated the Clinton camp worried over how to best capture the votes of African-Americans. The unverified emails were stolen from campaign chairman John Podesta’s account, allegedly the work of Russian hackers. The missives debated whether Clinton should give a speech on race relations, deciding such a speech because it could backfire and raise new questions.