After Clinton bounce, polls indicate tightening race in key battlegrounds

Pollster: Clinton's lead in polls not strong


Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bounce may be coming back down to earth – at least in some parts of the country – as new polls show a tightening race against Donald Trump in several battleground states, especially when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is factored in.

A Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday showed Clinton holding onto just a 2-point lead in North Carolina.

She leads Trump 44-42 percent in the state, while Johnson is pulling 7 percent. The poll also shows Trump with a double-digit lead among independents.

North Carolina is one of several battleground states considered critical to Trump’s hopes of capturing the presidency in November. He still trails in most swing state polls, but the latest from Monmouth University marks an improvement over a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey showing him down by 9 points in the state.

“North Carolina has given us tight presidential races over the last two cycles and this year appears to be no different,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, another poll released Wednesday, by Florida Atlantic University, showed Trump leading by 2 points in Florida, 43-41 percent. Just last week, Monmouth University showed Trump down by 9 points in the state.

And a separate Monmouth University Poll released Monday showed Clinton holding a 4-point lead over Trump in Ohio. The survey likewise showed Johnson, who is expected to appear on the state’s ballot, pulling a sizable amount of support, with 10 percent.

Trump still has a long way to go in the polls, considering Clinton has a far more substantial lead in swing states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.

But the slight movement in his favor comes as the Republican presidential nominee has been barnstorming the country at rallies, town halls and fundraisers – yet Clinton has mostly stuck exclusively to private fundraisings events over the past week.

She was making a swing Wednesday through Silicon Valley to raise cash, while Trump was holding rallies in Florida and Mississippi.

Trump has been hammering Clinton at these stops over a string of reports about the overlap between the Clinton Foundation and State Department under her tenure. Most recently, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that more than half of the people outside government who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money to the foundation.

"It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton Foundation ends and where the State Department begins," Trump told supporters in Austin on Tuesday night. 

The Clinton campaign countered that the AP report “relies on utterly flawed data” and “cherry-picked a limited subset of Secretary Clinton's schedule to give a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

The latest Monmouth University Poll in North Carolina was conducted Aug. 20-23. The poll of 401 likely voters in the state had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.