By Bonnie K. Goodman
New national polls show a conflicted but tight race between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. A new Rasmussen Reports poll released on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, has Trump leading Clinton by 5 points. Just the day before, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, Clinton led Trump by 6 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
According to the Rasmussen poll, Trump has 44 percent support to Clinton’s 39 percent. Factoring third party candidates, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has 8 percent support, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein only has 2 percent. Trump’s lead is growing in this conservative-leaning poll up from only a two percent lead in last week’s edition.
In another recent national poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton led Trump 43 to 37 percent. Third party candidates, Johnson had 9 percent, while Stein had 3 percent. The poll skewed towards Clinton in every aspect; it determined that 55 percent of Clinton supporters say they are “positively” voting for her, but 44 percent say they are voting for Clinton because they “oppose” Trump.
According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, the race is just too close to call. Clinton only leads by one percent, well within the margin of error. Clinton’s lead has shrunk significantly since her major post-convention poll bounce and has all but evaporated with recent attacks on Trump supporters calling them a “basket of deplorable” and her health scare stumbling and collapsing at the 9/11 memorial, her pneumonia diagnosis and continued secrecy surrounding her health problems.
This year’s campaign has been very partisan, and the news media and their polls showing bias for and against their favored and least candidate. This bias is affecting recent polls and can account for the see-saw of the national poll numbers. The bias might also mean the race is far closer than both sides would like to admit, and the polls in battleground states more significant than any national polling number.