Hillary Clinton surges in the polls: can she maintain her lead?

20 September 2016   
Hillary Clinton surges in the polls: can she maintain her lead?

Approximately two weeks ago, a CNN/ORC poll depicted a flailing Clinton campaign. Hillary’s eight-point lead over Trump had vanished entirely, and Trump was leading his Democratic rival by two percentage points. Nate Silver, the country’s leading pollster, announced that the race was tighter than he had originally assumed. Pundits speculated that the “pay to play” scandal involving shady links between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department under Hillary’s tenure was to blame for the plummeting poll numbers. Even more recently, Hillary’s bout of pneumonia – and the campaign’s subsequent attempt to cover up the illness – was also predicted to have a negative effect on the Democrat’s polling. Despite the sickness and continued reports of rampant corruption within the State Department, however, Clinton’s polling numbers are actually on the rise, according to the latest NBC News / SurveyMonkey report.

The survey finds that, in a two-way race, Clinton maintains support among 50% of likely voters, while Trump finds himself at the 45% mark. It’s crucial to note that this poll used likely voters, rather than registered voters, for its respondent pool, providing a more accurate depiction of the potential turnout of the presidential race.

In a four-way race, Clinton enjoys the same five-point lead over Trump, 45% to 40%. Additionally, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has reached 10% polling, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein is now at 4%. While the probability that Johnson or Stein could win the election is practically zero, their presence may influence Clinton and Trump by taking away votes as third-party alternatives.

With this, the survey also reported another key statistic: a majority of voters truly believe Clinton will win this election. Among respondents, 56% believe Clinton will secure the White House, while only 39% see a Trump presidency as the outcome this November. This may be partially due to the media’s coverage of both candidates’ campaigns, as every outlet sans Breitbart and Fox have all but laughed off Trump as a lunatic lacking the capacity to effectively lead this country.

With just six days until the first presidential debate, many believe that Clinton’s performance will only bolster her lead over Trump. "I am going to do my very best to communicate as clearly and fearlessly as I can in the face of the insults and the attacks and the bullying and the bigotry that we have seen coming from my opponent," said Clinton on the upcoming debate. With a plethora of debate experience and a substantial understanding of complex policy matters, Clinton will likely place the ball in her own court and force Trump to show the American people that he is severely unprepared for the undertaking for which he is campaigning.

Do you think Hillary can maintain this lead? How might the debate affect her?