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Every scientific poll we’ve encountered so far suggests that voters thought Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in Monday night’s debate. In fact, some of them showed her winning by a wide margin — wide enough to make it a good bet (though not a guarantee) that she’ll gain in horse-race polls against Trump over the next week or so.
But so far, we’ve seen just two polls released that tested Clinton’s standing against Trump after the debate. They have pretty good news for Clinton, but I’d recommend some caution until we get more data.
The first poll is from Morning Consult, which shows Clinton leading by 3 percentage points in a matchup that includes third-party candidates — that’s a 4-point swing toward Clinton from the 1-point Trump lead that Morning Consult showed before the debate. In a head-to-head matchup against Trump, Clinton leads by 4 points, up from a 2-point lead before the debate.
The other survey is from Echelon Insights, and it shows Clinton leading Trump by 5 percentage points. In theory, that would be consistent with a bounce for Clinton, since she led Trump by just 1 to 2 points overall before the debate, based on FiveThirtyEight’s projection. But it’s hard to know for sure because Echelon has surveyed the race only once before — just after the Republican convention, when they showed Clinton leading Trump by 1 point.