Presidential election tracker: Clinton 47.8, Trump 43.7

After all but closing the gap in the lead-up to last week’s debate, national poll aggregation now finds Donald Trump on more familiar ground.

I’ll be making updates of my presidential election poll tracker a regular Tuesday thing from now until the big day on November 8, five weeks from today. The last week of movement captures Hillary Clinton’s bounce from the debate and the residue of Donald Trump’s erratic form in its wake, with Clinton up from 46.0% to 47.8% and Trump down from 45.0% to 43.7%.


Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

128 comments on “Presidential election tracker: Clinton 47.8, Trump 43.7”

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  1. I’d like to see Clinton settle in around 52%. Though as it stands, with Johnson pulling around 8% anything north of 46% is pretty safe. With Hillary at 48% Johnson’s support would have to completely disappear and break to Trump at 3:1 or better for him to win.

    Would be a worry with preferential voting, but thankfully the U.S. doesn’t have that.

  2. If you reduce the stakes of this election to a Clinton presidency versus a Trump presidency, the choice is akin to death by poison versus death by drowning. That’s why it is important to raise the stakes by looking at the big picture of American political trends. A Trump presidency would assist the Democratic Party to accelerate its transition away from the zombie economics and the violent foreign policy and the corrupt “pay to play” approach to governing and the contemptible lack of imagination and critical thinking of the Clintonite wing of the party.

  3. the choice is akin to death by poison versus death by drowning

    I don’t agree that they’re so equally bad. However I’ve always had an irrational fear of drowning (just seems like a really terrible way to go), so of those options definitely poison, thanks. Poison is Clinton, right?

  4. Although it certainly seems now that Hillary is settling in with a solid lead there are still a few states that are very uncertain

    Florida in particular is on a knife edge as is North Carolina.

    Biggest issue will be how solid the black vote is and how big the turnout will be. I was not especially encouraged by photos of Hillary in Charlotte. Half empty hall and no smiles on faces. They will not vote Trump but they may not bother to vote.

  5. Hillary is home.

    Has been in front of the game all the way through.

    Played Bernie like a guitar and overwhelmed Trump through her positive personality and agenda.

    Result has never been in doubt since February.

  6. Briefly (just briefly dropping by) – congratulations on your work in recent Federal election and success.

    I have just been watching the “Wikileaks” 10th anniversary announcement, and various Trump backers had been carrying on that there was going to be some huge leak that would destroy Hillary and end her campaign. So it was extra funny to watch a live feed via Alex Jones “Infowars” site. He is always unhinged, but tonight (well very early morning in USA) he totally blew a gasket! He was just so frustrated and angry that Assange didn’t destroy Hillary.

  7. Rocket Rocket…cheers! Good to see you posting.

    The result in Cowan was really magnificent. Now we are applying ourselves to winning in March. So far, all is well. Voters are interested in Labor and expect change. So we have fair winds -:)

  8. Nicholas
    If you reduce the stakes of this election to a Clinton presidency versus a Trump presidency, the choice is akin to death by poison versus death by drowning. That’s why it is important to raise the stakes by looking at the big picture of American political trends. A Trump presidency would assist the Democratic Party to accelerate its transition away from the zombie economics and the violent foreign policy and the corrupt “pay to play” approach to governing and the contemptible lack of imagination and critical thinking of the Clintonite wing of the party.

    Sheer lunacy. The damage Trump would do as President would far in excess outweigh any theoretical effect it would have on the Democratic Party. This is blinkered thinking – any rational person should be able to recognise that.

  9. for what it is worth the new VT breaks down results on state basis and comes up with very different figure for what it calls probability of clinton win – based on outcomes on states basis – today it is 78% – i cant remember it below 70%

  10. @Geoffrey
    The amount of the electorate won (which polls usually predict) and the chance of winning are often a long way off (it’s rare for any party in an actual democracy to get over 70% of the vote but it’s not rare at all for them to win 70%+ of the time). In majoritarian systems the difference between winning big and losing big is usually a swing of ~3% (or 6% absolute difference). In Australian we’ve never had a losing party below ~43% in the entire history of our current voting system, yet the Liberals won almost every election in the first 3 quarters of the 1900s , and Labor won from 1983 to 1996.

    A party that was getting 70% of the vote has a chance to win so close to 100% as to be statistically indistinguishable (hell a party getting 53% of the vote on polling, 5 weeks out, will win over 90% of the time, unless there’s some serious gerrymandering going on).

    US Elections are only as uncertain as they are because turnout is highly unreliable (particularly for Democrats, who are more reliant on turnout for groups who are less likely to do so for various reasons) .

  11. Geoffrey was talking about probability, not percentage of the vote. As you say, a national lead of 5% will generally give a high percentage of winning. I prefer probability presented as a percentage rather than the return on the dollar that bookmakers give and is usually used in Australia. The bookmakers odds include their take 🙂

    I followed Nate Silver in 2012, which made it rather hard for me to watch ABC (Australia) coverage, as their reporting always gave Romney a far better chance than an objective assessment of the polls. Perhaps Silver just got lucky, but he wasn’t alone, the aggregators generally did quite well.

    538 now has Trump’s odds below 20% (Clinton 47.9% Trump 43%) in their “now cast” model of recent polls.

  12. Hillary Clinton is highly skilled at implementing bad policy. She has the networks and power base to perpetuate America’s economic and social decline. Donald Trump lacks the skills, networks, and power base to do much of anything. People who do not see that have a naive and immature understanding of how power is exercised.

  13. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would both do real damage to the United States. It is lazy and sensationalist to believe that Trump’s inept and unskilled attempt at bad leadership would be more damaging than Hillary Clinton’s skilled and networked and well-resources attempt to lead the United States in a bad direction. The likely implications of the electoral outcome on the Democratic Party’s development – positive if Clinton loses, negative if she wins- are very real and amply supported by what has been happening to the party in the last few years. The party has been abandoning Clinton’s damaging policy positions. She had to backflip and modulate her positions like crazy to scrape through the nomination contest against someone long dismissed as a fringe candidate with no real prospect of leading the party. The objective truth is that Sanders and Warren represent where the party is, whereas Clinton struggled and scraped and eked out a win despite being out of step with the party. For her to win the presidency would retard the Democratic party’s development. She eked out a win in the nomination contest because of identity politics, false notions of electability, and a sense of Buggins’ turn. She won despite her policy record, not because of it.

    There are much bigger things on the line than this election result. It’s a shame that many “progressives” fail to see that.

  14. Nicholas,

    So Hillary has moved closer to your position, but is still as bad as Trump. She will only be better than Trump if she agree’s with you entirely. Also, until she agree’s with you entirely, any votes she gets for nomination aren’t valid… or something.

    As Jimmy said… blinkered. I’m not sure how you can see the “bigger things” with such a narrow view.

  15. Hillary Clinton’s gestures towards the agenda that most Democrats want are insincere and insufficient. Her political demise would do more good for the Democrats and the American people than anything she has ever done in her self-centred career.

  16. Donald Trump lacks the skills, networks, and power base to do much of anything.

    Ni Nicolas he does not. If he was to be elected POTUS he will have ALL the powers of that office to exercise on a day to day basis. Put Trump, with that power, in a world that includes Putin, Xi Jinping, Duarte, Erdogan…a distracted and divided Europe…….. There are real dangers here.

    In the circumstances Clinton is clearly the least worst choice by an extremely large margin. Right now i care a lot more about the near term future of the world, and Australia than i do about the long term future of the Democrats in the US.

    There are much bigger things on the line than this election result.

    Agreed very much. Its a shame some people are so intent on harvesting their navel fluff rather the dont realize that.

  17. Are you American Nicholas? You seem to have quite a bit invested in hating Hillary.

    What about the reverse? Don’t you think the GOP has been getting more and more rabid in recent elections? Trump makes the Tea Party look like a pleasant cuppa, and they seemed quite mad themselves. Isn’t it time the GOP realigned to the centre right and stopped being the loony obstructionist party?

    A Trump victory would be a massive swing to the right in US politics. He would have dazzled the electorate with his celebrity, darn-tootn’, hip shooting, anti-PC bigotry, a “take the oil” foreign policy, and a neoliberal double-down on tax policy.

    In a 2-party system, if your opposition wins by shifting to the right, then the centre gets shifted to the right, and you have to shift to the right to capture more of the centre. That is what you are wishing on the Democrats.

  18. Not that it matters much, but Pence is getting his arse handed to him by Kaine in the VP debate, if for no other reason than he has to try to defend the indefensible, ie. Trump.

  19. Thanks William, a useful tracker, and delightful headline numbers as The Donald sinks under the weight of his own stupidity.

    If Wikileaks dump a load of documents about Clinton, I think it will start to raise serious questions about Wikileaks’ motives. Why now? Why no other contenders for POTUS? Why not Donald? Clinton has been investigated to death throughout her career, from Whitewater to Benghazi. No offenses ever found. Trump has had past bankruptcies, ripping off contractors, dubious real estate accounting, tax avoidance, and now abuse of charity funds and no public inquiries. The double standard would be incredible.

  20. Nicholas – I agree that Clinton has problematic views, especially when it comes to foreign policy and Wall Street. But the fact alone that she takes climate change seriously and that Trump doesn’t means she should be President.

    Furthermore, it is highly likely that the Republicans will maintain control of the House while they have an even chance of holding onto the Senate. Do you really think having the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency won’t result in massive damage?

  21. Do you really think having the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency won’t result in massive damage?

    It might not be quite that bad, as the Dems would still have at least the numbers needed to block the Senate with a filibuster. So they could obstruct Trump the same way Republicans have obstructed Obama and will obstruct Clinton when she wins.

    A bigger problem with a Trump presidency is that there are no comparable checks and balances when it comes to commanding the armed forces.

  22. AR – the filibuster was reformed in 2013 to quite dramatically limit its impact. Now a simple majority is quite often enough to win passage in the Senate. Furthermore, the Democrats have historically been a lot more reluctant to use the filibuster than Republicans.

  23. The presidency of the United States is a very constrained office. Even in the area of foreign policy, the area in which the US President has the most latitude, much depends on the cooperation of the defense forced and other nations. In Trump’s case, his thought bubbles about giving illegal orders to the military won’t be enacted because the cooperation won’t be forthcoming. People who get their understanding of the US presidency from dramatic films and TV shows see it as a very powerful office. In reality it is is a weak office compared with the powers of Heads of Government in most political systems.

  24. I see Nicholas is persisting with his previous lines that Clinton would be worse than Trump and then that the US President has limited powers and so it would make no difference anyway if Trump were POTUS. Apart from the contradictions in these views (Clinton does matter/Trump doesn’t) I have pointed out before where they are false, as have others. For example, the US constitution gives the POTUS sweeping powers to run the government, the military, and economic as well as foreign policy.
    Yet Nicholas persists with the same spin. I do not post this to argue with him, or try to get him to admit the falsity of his chosen/assigned talking points. It is simply a warning to others to ignore him. There is no point debating someone who has no interest in genuine debate. As to who directs him on this mission to propel the orange clown who cannot be bothered preparing for a debate into the single most powerful office on earth, your guess is as good as mine.

    Returning to psephological matters, this is interesting. Add in the latino vote, and no “ground game” and Trump is cruising towards heavy defeat.

  25. Good advice Socrates.

    L G H,
    I find Pilger, in his dotage, is a doyen of “humans suck and you’re all f*cked”. Full of complaint and thin on solution.

    That I should feel compelled to agree with him is about as silly as expecting everyone on the right should agree with all the assorted right wing nutters.

  26. I don’t care about Socrates’ complacency and his indifference to structural developments in American politics. He’s interested in the horse race aspect of politics, the superficial features, the drama, and the sensationalism. Just like the dopey mainstream journalists whom he often derides.

    When people claim that Trump could provoke World War Three, they exhibit extreme naivety about the current geopolitical situation and what Trump could actually enact were he to become president. The people who invoke cataclysmic scenarios involving a Trump presidency are indulging in though experiments that are extremely unlikely to happen. Those scenarios appeal to people because they involve drama and sensationalism. The structural changes in the Democratic party, on the other hand, are real. They’ve been happening for years now. A Clinton presidency would slow those changes down, to the detriment of the United States and the world. A Clinton defeat would discredit Clinton’s philosophy and approach to governing, and would accelerate the healthy development of Democratic leaders in the Warren / Sanders mould. That is a far more realistic and concrete and evidence-based scenario than hyperventilating about World War Three.

  27. More Playboy videos featuring Trump have been unearthed.

    Meanwhile a major hurricane is likely to strike Florida shortly before the next presidential debate. Hopefully Clinton understands she needs to not just prepare for the debate, but also beat Trump to the punch in terms of expressing sympathy and support for the hurricane’s (soon-to-be) victims. Probably she could do one or the other and still be fine. Fail at both and she’s in trouble. Succeed at both and Trump’s history.

  28. A R
    “More Playboy videos featuring Trump have been unearthed.”
    Correct me if I’m wrong… but hilariously this came about because Trump encouraged people to search for Alicia Machado in old porn tapes, in an effort to discredit her.

  29. Pilger is in the same category for me as Assange. A total narcissistic ego trip. Pilger got it right once with exposing Pol Pot as a mass murderer of frightening proportions. He has never been right since. If Pilger thinks that Hillary Clinton is more dangerous than Trump for world peace, that simply confirms my belief that Trump is frighteningly dangerous anywhere near the codes.

  30. You need to think people…. Trump has said some provocative things, but he’s also spoken a lot of truth to power. For example his claim that Obama & Clinton founded ISIS?
    Q: ISIS invaded Iraq in 2014 from which country??? (capturing Mosul, Tikrit, attacking the Yazidis etc)
    A: From safe havens in Eastern Syria’s Deir Eizzor and Raqqa Provinces.

    Q: How were they able to establish those safe havens that allowed them to build up the strength to take on the Iraqi Army?
    A: The Syrian army was pushed out of / withdrew from these provinces as it has been facing a US ARMED AND FUNDED insurgency since 2011. Many of these areas (including the city of Raqaa itself!! and towns on the Iraq /Syria border), were first captured from the Syrian army by the US supported so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels who then defected (with their US supplied weapons) to ISIS or abandoned the battlefield when ISIS came as they preferred to fight the Syrian army.

    The surest way to defeat ISIS now would be to deny them sanctuaries. Cutting off aid to the Syrian rebels would allow the Syrian government to defeat them, ending the Syrian war and allowing Syria to restore government control over eastern Syria. Then when ISIS is attacked in Iraq it will have no sanctuary areas to fall back on. Instead the US government is pursuing the exact opposite strategy…ratcheting up support for the Syrian rebels, just as it appears the government (with Russian support) is winning – therefore ensuring ISIS will remain unmolested in its Syrian safe havens. They must really love Obama!
    Here’s what Putin had to say about it:

  31. Peterk

    John F Kennedy was responsible for getting the USA embroiled in militarily supporting the South Vietnamese regime. He and his brother have been far too idealised because of the way they died.

    Mr Walinsky is entitled to his view and it is well argued. But it is also fantasy stuff. There is a fundamental inconsistency between the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ and a policy, pushed by Mr Walinsky (but not by Trump) of letting the USA be humiliated by blatantly provocative actions by large countries such as China or Russia and small players like Al Qaeda.

    I’m definitely not in favour of the USA using its military power to respond to provocations – but it is clear that the large proportion of American supporters of Trump will not accept the humiliation of the USA by any of the large or small interests who seek aggrandisement by giving a bloody nose or worse to the USA. And Trump, whose only consistent policy seems to be his own self-aggrandisement, is the last person you would want to rely on to exercise finesse and judgement when under huge political pressure to respond.

  32. [The surest way to defeat ISIS now would be to deny them sanctuaries. ]

    The surest way to defeat ISIS now is for the USA and the West to join Russia in backing the Syrian government. Once Assad and the bases he cedes to the Russians are safe and no longer under threat, the Russians will join in killing all the enemies of Assad, not just those other than ISIS. As long as ISIS exists, there remains the case for supporting Assad. Which is why Assad has had relatively little interest in fighting off ISIS. Ditto the Turks, who have been more worried by Kurdish nationalism.

    Of course, if we all start to back Assad again, then one of the great war criminals of this century will be let off the hook. And there is absolutely no doubt that Assad is a war criminal – what with deliberate and persistent use of gas warfare and bombing of civilians, legitimate UN aid convoys and hospitals.

  33. Some other Trump links:

    Explains his foreign policy to Washington Post:

    His proposed wealth tax in 1999 (of course he’s running as a republican now so cant say this: now)

    More on foreign policy:

    Contrast that to Ex-CIA DActing Director and Clinton Surrogate, Michael Morell:

    A good pro-Trump Ad:,AAAAAETmrZQ~,EVFEM4AKJdRI6UgfPhFgV0s-3wZ2v95n&bctid=5114669964001

    The real psycopath Clinton… cackling about the murder of the former Libyan President:

  34. “cackling”
    Neat piece of misogyny there Peterk. I wonder how much cackling your boy Putin does when there are no cameras on him. Or, being a real he-man, he bursts out in loud guffaws every time an aid convoy gets targeted by his planes and blown to smithereens – just because it makes it easier for another laugh out loud Class A war criminal, Assad, to commit more crimes against humanity targeting women and children deliberately and repeatedly.

  35. Thank you Peterk for the pro-Trump links. Like you, I really believe that Trump will Make America Great Again. He has a secret plan to end the war in Syria and defeat ISIS. But he can’t tell us because the enemy might find out.

    I was a bit concerned when Trump said (again and again) that Obama was born in Africa. But Trump has assured me it was all Crooked Hillary’s fault – she started this vicious ‘birther’ lie, not Trump. Trump stopped the birther lie! As long as I don’t think too much (preferably if I don’t think at all!), it all makes perfect sense.

  36. How can Trump be a misogynist? His wife and daughters like him. So does that wonderful lady Ann Coulter.
    Stop saying bad things about Trump. He Will Make America Great Again. Crooked Hillary is crooked.

  37. Heres the correct wealth tax link again:

    TPOF, we have to remember that Trump is running as a REPUBLICAN and the party is full of loonies…but he has to say certain things to get them on side, as he has done brilliantly. But you can see by what hes said already (foreign policy, trade, infrastructure, social security) where his priorities lie and his positions in the past on taxation.
    As for Syria..who said it Assad is a “brutal dictator”?? These same people insisted Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that Milosovic was a war criminal (he’s just been posthumously exonerated by the court in The Hague). Yet they are completely silent about Saudi Arabia and its ongoing brutal blockade and bombardment of Yemen! Syria is the last secular state in the middle east (since the destruction of Iraq & Libya) and had full freedom of religion for everyone. Assad has been targeted, simply because of his independent foreign policy and closeness to Russia and Iran. The US orchestrated the war in Syria, which would have ended years ago if they and their allies (Saudi Arabia, Turkey & Qatar) didn’t keep arming the opposition. This is no different to the Nicaraguan Contra war of the 1980’s.

  38. “But you can see by what hes said already (foreign policy, trade, infrastructure, social security) where his priorities lie and his positions in the past on taxation.”

    I think he’d have a lot more street cred if he actually paid tax.

  39. “As for Syria..who said it Assad is a “brutal dictator”??”

    The Syrian people said this. Hence the popular uprising that began this entire civil war, because Assad refused to yield to democratic reforms.
    Assad and Putin own this horrendous civil war.

  40. TPOF / Kakuru …so you defend what Clinton did to Libya? And I’m a misogynist because I said she “cackled”. How would you describe it then? Don’t you remember how brutally he was murdered? Clinton destroyed that country and infested it with ISIS and assorted nutjobs and your only concern is misogyny. What a pathetic caricature the modern “left” has become.

  41. Correct me if I’m wrong… but hilariously this came about because Trump encouraged people to search for Alicia Machado in old porn tapes, in an effort to discredit her.

    You’re 100% correct on that. Or at least, that’s what the timing appears to suggest. I suppose it’s also possible that the Playboy tapes were always going to surface and the fact that they started showing up shortly after Trump tried to demean a woman for having been in a “sex tape” is pure coincidence.

  42. “What a pathetic caricature the modern “left” has become.”

    One RWNJ pot calling many kettles black.
    Go check out Trump’s porno flicks. At least you’ll have a reason to be a wanker.

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