One day ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in the national polls. How does this lead compare to Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney heading into the 2016 election? And how do the numbers in the state polls compare?
In Real Clear Politics’ national polling average, Hillary Clinton is now ahead of Donald Trump by an average of 2.6 percentage points. This is a significantly higher lead than Barack Obama had over Mitt Romney four years ago. On the morning of Election Day 2012, Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by just 0.7 percentage points on Real Clear Politics’ national polling average. Obama ended up winning by a margin of 3.9 percentage points, even higher than the polls were suggesting.
What about the state polls? Well, in Florida, Hillary Clinton currently leads Donald Trump by an average of 0.5 percentage points. In 2012, Mitt Romney actually had the lead in Florida’s polls heading into election day, ahead of Barack Obama by 1.5 percentage points. Yet in the end, Obama won Florida by a margin of 0.86 percent.
In North Carolina, Donald Trump is currently in the lead, ahead of Hillary Clinton by an average of 1.2 percentage points in that state. This is good news for the campaign, but it’s still a much tighter race than they’d like it to be. Heading into the 2012 election, Mitt Romney had a much larger lead over his opponent, ahead of the president by 3.0 percentage points. Romney did end up winning North Carolina by a margin of 2.04 percent.
Another crucial swing state this year is Nevada, and Donald Trump is leading here as well, ahead of the Democratic nominee by 1.5 percentage points. That’s quite different from 2012, when Barack Obama was leading in Nevada by 2.8 percentage points. Obama’s victory in the state was even larger than that; he won Nevada by 6.68 percentage points. Yet early voting from Nevada has suggested that the state is looking pretty good for Hillary Clinton despite what the polls are saying.
In Iowa, Trump has a strong lead over Clinton, and indeed this is one of his strongest states. Trump is now ahead of Clinton on Real Clear Politics by an average of 3.0 percentage points. Four years ago, it was Barack Obama who had the lead in Iowa, ahead of Mitt Romney by 2.4 percentage points going into the election. Obama won by 5.81 percentage points.
Ohio is also a must-win for Donald Trump, and he’s currently leading by 2.2 percentage points. That’s almost on par with Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in 2012; before Election Day, Obama was ahead in Ohio by 3.0 percentage points.
Finally, there have been questions in recent days regarding a possible Trump victory in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton still maintains a lead there, ahead by 2.8 percentage points, but she’s not doing quite as well as Barack Obama was in 2012. Four years ago, Barack Obama was leading Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania by 3.8 percentage points. He won the state by a margin of 5.4 percentage points.