2016 Presidential Polls: Who Leads in Battleground States?

This combination of file photos shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton(L)on June 15, 2016 and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on June 13, 2016.  / AFP / dsk        (Photo credit should read DSK/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Getty)

In several recent national polls, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were virtually tied, erasing Clinton’s post-convention bounce.

However, what do the battleground state polls show? After all, the election will come down to the electoral college (where forecasting sites predict Clinton is still winning).

RealClearPolitics lists the “battleground” states as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. An NBC News poll showed Clinton and Trump tied in four of those states: Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire and Arizona, representing a general tightening of the race.

What do recent polling averages show?

As of September 15, 2016, Trump was ahead in one of those states; Clinton was ahead in six; and the candidates were in a virtual tie (within the margin for error) in seven. Getting a lot of attention on September 14: A new Bloomberg poll out of Ohio showing Trump with a 5 percent lead in that key swing state.

Many of the state battleground polls show that – as with the national polls – the race is narrowing into almost a dead heat. As polls started to come in encompassing the period of Clinton’s September 11 medical episode, they showed positive news for Trump in several states, including Ohio, Florida, and Nevada, which are key states to win the presidency, as the race narrowed more.

The first two national polls to come out that include September 11 as part of the period tested show Trump leading by 3 percent in the LA Times USC daily tracking poll and Clinton leading by 4. However, the latter poll, by NBC News/SurveyMonkey, contained concerning signs for Clinton as it shows a narrowing compared to previously and erosion in support for her among independents. The NBC poll is conducted online. A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted September 9 through September 13 gives Clinton a 2 point lead.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted September 7-12 showed Trump leading by 5 points in Ohio and leading by 3 among likely voters in Florida (Clinton led by 1 point with registered voters in Florida).

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves to the press as she leaves her daughter's apartment building after resting on September 11, 2016 in New York. Clinton departed from a remembrance ceremony on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks after feeling "overheated," but was later doing "much better," her campaign said. (Getty)

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves to the press as she leaves her daughter’s apartment building after resting on September 11, 2016 in New York. (Getty)

Politico’s swing state polling average, which weights polling averages based on the state’s impact on the electoral college, has Clinton leading 45.2 to 39.7 percent, although it includes polls back in July. 270toWin has a battleground state map and has Clinton leading in the electoral college.

Fivethirtyeight says Florida, Ohio and Nevada have voted for the president in every election since 1996, but makes the case that Pennsylvania could be decisive. RealClearPolitics touts the importance of Florida.

Here’s what the battleground polling shows in each state on September 15 (the polls were mostly conducted from August 19 through September 12):


Arizona: Virtual Tie

The RealClearPolitics polling average has Trump up 1.6 percent in Arizona (in the margin for error though of most polls). Trump has won three of the last five polls in Arizona.

However, the most recent poll, conducted September 6 to 8, showed Trump only ahead by 1 point, within the margin for error.


Colorado – Clinton Lead

Clinton has a comfortable lead in Colorado – 9.7 percent on average.

Clinton has won the last four polls in Colorado, with margins ranging from 5 to 14 percentage points.


Florida – Virtual Tie

Trump is up in Florida by an average .07 percent, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average.

The last six polls in Florida – from August 19 through September 9 – showed a very tight race between the two candidates. Two of those polls (JMC Analytics and Florida Atlantic University) show Trump leading; three show Clinton leading (CBS News/You Gov, PPP, and Mason-Dixon), but in almost all cases the margin is so close as to be a virtual tie when considering the margin for error. In one recent poll, the candidates tied (Quinnipiac).

In the two most recent Florida polls, Trump led by 4 percentage points (just outside the margin for error) in a JMC Analytics poll taken September 7 and 8, and he led by 4 percentage points in a CNN/ORC poll taken September 7 through September 12.

Clinton led by 2 points (within the margin for error) in a CBS News/You Gov poll taken September 7 through September 9.


Georgia – Virtual Tie

Trump is ahead an average 2.0 percent in the polling average for Georgia, which is a virtual dead heat.

He’s won three of the last four polls there (by 3 points, 4 and 1) and tied in the fourth.


Iowa – Virtual Tie

Trump is ahead in Iowa, by an average of 0.8 percentage points.

He won two of the last four polls in Iowa, tied in a third, and Clinton was ahead by 3 percentage points in the fourth. Trump won the last poll in Iowa, by Emerson, by 5 points.


Michigan – Clinton Lead

Clinton is doing well in Michigan, where she leads on average by 5.6 percent, and has won the last three polls by fairly comfortable, albeit single-digit, margins.


Missouri – Trump Lead

Trump has a solid lead in Missouri, with an average 3 percent spread, said RealClearPolitics.

Trump led by 9 points in the most recent Remington poll, which was conducted September 1 through September 2. The other two most recent polls in Missouri showed a much tighter race that was a virtual tie, though.


New Hampshire – Clinton Lead

Clinton is up an average 5 percentage points in New Hampshire, RealClearPolitics says, but the race is tightening.

Clinton won the last three polls in New Hampshire, but the most recent poll showed her with only a 1 percent lead, which is in the margin for error. That poll, by NBC, Wall Street Journal and Marist, was conducted September 6 through 8.


Nevada – Virtual Tie

In Nevada, Clinton is up 0.8 percent on average.

A Monmouth poll taken September 11 through September 13 showed Trump leading in Nevada by 2 points.

Before that, Clinton had won the last four polls in Nevada; however, she won by only 1 to 2 percentage points in each, which is in the margin for error. That means Nevada’s a virtual tie with Trump gaining recently.


North Carolina – Virtual Tie

In North Carolina, Clinton is up by 0.6 percent, a virtual dead heat.

A new Civitas poll taken September 11 and 12 shows the race in North Carolina is tied.

Before that, Trump had won two of the last four polls, and Clinton has won two.


Ohio – Virtual Tie

In Ohio, Trump is up 0.6 percent in the polling average; the Bloomberg poll, as noted, has Trump up 5. However, Clinton was leading 7 percent in the most recent poll before that one from CBS News/You Gov.

A CNN/ORC poll taken September 7 through September 12 showed Trump leading 4 points in Ohio.

The polls before those showed the race in Ohio to be a dead heat. Trump was up 1 percent in a Quinnipiac poll (which is in the margin for error) and an Emerson poll had the race a tie.


Pennsylvania – Clinton Lead

Clinton has a healthier lead in Pennsylvania than in other battleground states. The RealClearPolitics polling average has her up 6.2 percent.

Clinton has won the last five polls in Pennsylvania, with margins ranging from 3 to 8 percent. The race has tightened slightly though.


Virginia – Clinton Lead

Clinton has a comfortable lead in Virginia, leading on average 3.7 percent and winning the last three polls (although two of the most recent only showed her up by 1 and 2 percent, in the margin of error).


Wisconsin – Clinton Lead

Clinton’s ahead 5.3 percent on average in Wisconsin. The last three polls all showed Clinton ahead by 3 to 8 percentage points.


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