Election 2020

Donald Trump Leads in National Poll on Eve of First Debate

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Donald Trump has a slight edge on Hillary Clinton on the eve of the first presidential debate, according to a Bloomberg Politics poll released Monday. At the same time, two battleground states have tightened, cutting Clinton’s lead to one percent.

In the Bloomberg Politics national poll, Trump and Clinton each get 46 percent in a head-to-head contest. But other candidates will be on the ballot in November, and with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein included, the Republican takes the lead, with 43 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent. Johnson lags in third with 8 percent.

This represents a steady gain for Trump on Clinton in the past two months. In August, Clinton had a 6-point lead in the two-way race, and a 4-point lead with third-party candidates included. In June, she had a 12-point edge on Trump, even including Johnson.

Perhaps most surprisingly, this poll showed millennials swinging to support the Republican. Among likely voters under 35 years old, Clinton takes 50 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, a large decrease from the Democrat’s 29-point lead among the young in August.

Another poll released Monday, this one from CNN/ORC, shows Trump and Clinton neck-and-neck in two battleground states, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

Trump leads in Colorado, with 42 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent, with Johnson at 13 percent. This one percent lead falls well within the poll’s 3.5-point margin of error. Clinton takes Pennsylvania just as narrowly, with 45 percent to Trump’s 44 percent, and Johnson back at 6 percent.

Whites with college degrees back Clinton heavily, while those without them favor Trump. This education gap is larger than Clinton’s lead among women or minorities.

Next Page: Who do voters expect to prevail in the first debate?

In both states, about half of registered voters call the economy the most important issue, over terrorism, illegal immigration, and foreign policy. Trump leads on this issue in both states, but within the margin of error.

Clinton’s argument that Trump does not have the temperament to be president seems to have convinced Pennsylvanians and Coloradans — voters rank her better suited by a nearly two-to-one margin in each state. But Trump’s argument that Clinton lacks the stamina to be president has also made an impact, with 48 percent of Colorado voters seeing him as having better stamina (45 percent say so of Clinton). In Pennsylvania, he leads by a larger margin, 50 percent to 45 percent.

Clinton still falls short on the issue of honesty in both states.

The Bloomberg poll found voters expecting Clinton to prevail in the first debate, which airs Monday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern. Forty-nine percent said they anticipate the former secretary of state to best the real estate developer, while 39 percent expect Trump to win.

The Bloomberg poll involved 1,002 likely voters surveyed between September 21 and 25, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 points. The CNN/ORC polls in Colorado and Pennsylvania involved 1,010 adults and 1,032 adults, respectively, between September 20 and 25. Both have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.