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There weren’t a lot of polls published over the weekend, but the ones we saw didn’t have a lot of good news for Donald Trump. Instead, Hillary Clinton maintains a national lead of about 8 percentage points, and Trump’s chances of winning the election are down to 11 percent in our polls-only model — his low point of the year — and 21 percent according to polls-plus.
Instead of focusing on the details, let’s zoom out and ask a few big-picture questions about where the election stands. When we asked these questions a month ago, before the party conventions, Clinton held a lead of 3 to 4 percentage points over Trump, but Trump seemed to have momentum. Now, the landscape is very different:
Clinton, by a lot. National polls that include third-party candidates have Clinton with an average of 44 to 45 percent of the vote, Trump at 36 to 37 percent, and Libertarian Gary Johnson at roughly 9 percent. State polls tell a broadly similar story. Trump’s low percentage of the vote is noteworthy: Every major-party nominee since 1928 has received at least 36.5 percent of the vote. (Democrat John W. Davis got just 28.8 percent in 1924.)
Moderate-to-high, although decreasing. The polls are often highly volatile around the party conventions, but they come out of the conventions considerably more accurate than they were beforehand. The question is whether we’re far enough away from the conventions — which concluded on July 28 — that we can no longer attribute Clinton’s lead to some sort …