While Americans in all 50 states will head to the polls on Tuesday, the focus will be on a select few who will make all the difference in handing the presidency to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In the latest swing-state polls ahead of the presidential election, Trump’s already narrow path to the White House was looking increasingly perilous.
In Florida, a Quinnipiac poll conducted on the eve of the election has Clinton up by just a single percentage point, while in North Carolina that margin is 2 percentage points in favor of the Democratic candidate. Both are well within the margin of error, and a New York Times/Siena poll conducted on the same day had the candidates locked in a dead heat in North Carolina, meaning he has gained considerable ground in the state of late.
However, the polls will nonetheless cause plenty of anxiety in the Trump camp. The Republican candidate almost certainly needs to carry both states in order to have a route to the presidency.
Indeed, given Trump’s narrow path to the magical 270 electoral college votes needed to clinch the election, he in all likelihood needs to come close to sweeping the battleground states. Florida will be a particular concern, giving the high turnout of Latino voters reported in early voting.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, a state which at one point looked in-play for Trump, Clinton has a 4 percent lead in most-recent polling. It is a similar story in Michigan, where a final poll for Fox Channel 2 in conjunction with Mitchell Research showed a 5 percentage points lead for Clinton.
In Ohio, another state that is a must-win for Trump, the polls in Ohio paint a rosier picture than was the case a few weeks ago. A Columbus Dispatch poll had Clinton up by a single point, while a CBS News/YouGov survey has Trump in front by the same narrow margin. Ohio has voted for the winning candidate in every election since 1964 and will be an essential part of a Trump win.
Trump has a bigger lead in Nevada, but there will still be ample concern for him in the state. Although the most recent CNN/ORC poll last week had the businessman up by 6 percentage points, early voting numbers look favorable for Clinton. Polls in the state also greatly underestimated the support for Barack Obama four years ago when he recorded a comfortable victory over Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Arizona, which has gone Republican in every election but one since 1948 and has done so by at least 7 percentage points in the last three elections, may also be under threat. The latest poll, conducted by CNN/ORC showed Trump improving his lead to 5 percent, although a rise in the Latino vote could yet cost Trump as it threatens to do in Nevada and Florida.