Entering the final weekend of the presidential election, two recent polls have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton tied in a four-way race among likely voters. A Rasmussen Reports and a collaboration between Investor's Business Daily (IBD) and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence (TIPP) showed almost identical results: Trump and Clinton at 44 percent, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 4 percent along with Green Party nominee Jill Stein at either 2 percent or 1 percent.
But Trump received some encouraging poll numbers last week when an ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll showed Trump leading Clinton, 46 percent to 43 percent, with Johnson at 3 percent and Stein at 2 percent. A Quinnipiac University poll has Trump leading Clinton 46 percent to 41 percent in Ohio in a four-way race, with Johnson at 5 percent and Stein at 2 percent.
Trump also leads by 3 points in Iowa, according to a Friday poll by Emerson College, and according to Gravis Marketing, Trump has a 2-point lead in New Hampshire. Iowa has six electoral votes, while New Hampshire has four.
Perhaps most surprising is that a CNN/ORC poll shows Trump has a 6 percent lead in Nevada, a state with six electoral vote that President Barack Obama won twice. The billionaire businessman also has maintained leads in Georgia and Texas, two states he can't afford to lose if he hopes to reach 270 electoral votes.
Clinton, however, remains poised to win the election. Should Trump capture the aforementioned states of Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, he would only be projected to receive 225 electoral votes. Clinton is projected to receive 313 electoral votes if she holds on to her swing-state leads.
The Democratic nominee has a 64.2 percent chance to be victorious on Tuesday, based on FiveThirtyEight's election forecast. Clinton leads in most general election polls, and by as much as 7 percent in the most recent Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs poll.
But swing states matter the most, and Clinton is doing well in the important ones. Clinton has an edge over Trump in Florida, a state with 29 electoral votes, in four recent polls. President Obama won Florida twice, but by slim margins.
In North Carolina, a state that President Obama has made numerous stops on Clinton's behalf, Clinton leads Trump, 47 percent to 44 percent with Johnson at 3 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll. President Obama failed to win North Carolina in 2012 but carried the state in 2008.
Clinton also has polled well in Colorado, which has nine electoral votes. One recent poll had Clinton and Trump tied in Colorado, but most recent polls have Clinton up by a solid margin.
Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado account for a total of 53 electoral votes, while Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire have a combined 36 electoral votes. Meanwhile, states like Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New Mexico, which were once considered purple states, appear to be solid blue states.
Clinton may still be wary of third-party candidates influencing the election. While Stein has languished in the polls, she is expected to outperform her 0.36 percent showing in 2012.
But it's Johnson who may be most worrisome to the Clinton campaign. The former two-term New Mexico governor is certain to do better than 2012, when he received just 0.99 percent of the vote. He is running with William Weld, another former governor, and has been more visible in this election cycle.
However, Johnson has seen his poll numbers fade in recent weeks, as is often the case for third-party candidates when an election grows closer. His poll numbers have not reached double digits since an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll in September.
By hovering between 4 and 6 percent, Johnson's chances to play anything other than spoiler have diminished, particularly after missing out on all three presidential debates and after tripping on questions about Syria's refugee crisis and stumbling on naming an international leader he admires. Many have viewed the 2016 Election as a golden opportunity for a third-party candidate to emerge, but Johnson has struggled to inspire dissatisfied voters.
"A Libertarian candidate with a better understanding of public policy might have had a legitimate opportunity to attract a great deal of support," Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, told International Business Times in a phone interview.