The mighty Quinnipiac University has released numbers from the four biggest swing states for the first week of September. I'm focusing strictly on the four-way responses here (three-way in North Carolina). For what it's worth, among likely voters, Clinton is slightly ahead in North Carolina (!) and Pennsylvania, tied in Florida, behind in Ohio. With comfortable leads in all the smaller swing states, Clinton will not need Florida or Ohio to win.
These results were collected before Gary Johnson turned "Aleppo" into a synonym for "Oops." It will be interesting to see how the numbers change in the next poll.
On the Green front, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka will not appear on the ballot in North Carolina, but the Green ticket is approved for write-ins there, as it is in Georgia and Indiana.
CANDIDATE FL NC OH PA
Clinton (D) 43 42 37 44
Johnson (L) 8 15 14 9
Stein (G) 2 -- 4 3
Trump (R) 43 38 41 39
Quinnipiac notes that Clinton's five-point lead in Pennsylvania is down from ten points last month, mainly due to some losses among women.
In a recent online discussion of the Washington Post/SurveyMonkey poll, a friend pointed out that the combined force of Johnson and Stein is hurting Clinton: i.e., when you compare the figures for two-way versus four-way races, Clinton's lead decreases when you add the minor-party candidates. That's true of some polls, and even for some swing states, but not universally. Here are the comparisons for this latest QU poll (C means Clinton leads, T means Trump leads):
CHOICES FL NC OH PA
2-way tie C+4 T+1 C+5
4-way tie C+4 T+4 C+5
In Ohio, given the choice between Clinton and Trump, 3% of respondents voluntarily said "Someone Else." Given the four choices on the ballot, 18% indicated support for either Johnson or Stein.
Here are some figures from Ohio that I find amazing but not too surprising: In the demographic breakdown, Trump gets 52% of the white male vote, Clinton 21%, and Johnson 20%. That's remarkable mostly because Johnson has nearly caught Clinton among white guys. The 72% aggregate for Trump and Johnson is not unusual, about the same as in the other swing states; Pennsylvania's Trump-Johnson combo is only 61% because Clinton has better numbers among white men and Johnson is less popular.
Lastly, Sonali Kolhatkar of Free Speech Radio News has an excellent piece up on truthdig regarding recent poll numbers, asking how it's even possible that Clinton is not trouncing Trump. Her theory, shared by many analysts, is that she's just a terrible candidate. Mine is that she is actually an excellent candidate, regardless of what I think of her record in the Senate and the Cabinet, but the US electorate has enough twits to offset any qualities she may exhibit.
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