Once the media fixates on a certain storyline, it takes a major event to alter the course of the news cycle. For the past few weeks, the story has been about the resurgence of the Trump campaign as the polls have tightened and Trump has cut into Clinton’s lead.
Clinton has had a bad September but still leads
But the fact remains that even with her bad September, Mrs. Clinton is still the one with the lead.
Of course, polls aren’t infallible—we relearned that lesson in the recent Brexit referendum. But in the past eight U.S. elections, the candidate who was leading on Labor Day went on to become President. — The New Yorker
The poll averages from Real Clear Politics have Clinton still ahead in the basket of national polls. A poll released by NBC News/Wall Street Journal on September 21 had Mrs. Clinton ahead by 6 points (43% to 37% for Trump) in a four-way race with Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%).
Country is pretty evenly divided
Clinton got a good bounce from the Convention, thanks in part to Mr. Trump’s self-defeating attack on a Gold Star family, but now the polls have returned to the levels seen in early July.
The key fact about modern American politics is that the country is divided pretty evenly, with this year being no exception. We should always have expected a close race. — The New Yorker
Both candidates are unpopular
What has made this year’s race unusual is that both candidates are universally unpopular. According to data from the Wall Street Journal, only 32% of likely voters think Mrs. Clinton is honest compared to 40% who believe Donald Trump is. A Washington Post poll showed that 59% of registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton while 60% feel the same way about Mr. Trump.
Voters value Mrs. Clinton’s experience
However, in certain areas that are likely to carry weight with the electorate Mrs. Clinton has some advantages. 68% of voters in a Wall Street Journal survey said Clinton has the right kind of experience to serve as President, while only 34% said Mr. Trump did. At the same time, 62% of voters feel Hillary Clinton is qualified to serve as President while only 38% feel Mr. Trump is.
Hillary Clinton remains the candidate with the lead in the polls and in the electoral college vote. That could change with events, but for now, Hillary Clinton remains in the lead and the race is hers to lose.