Well, folks, this is getting tight. Donald Trump is in his strongest-ever position in FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus forecast, which gives him a 46 percent chance of winning the election. Trump’s chances are about the same, 45 percent, according our polls-only forecast, his best standing since it showed him with a 50 percent chance in the midst of his convention bounce.
Our models have been on the move toward Trump for roughly six weeks. But with dozens of polls coming out over the past few days, he’s no longer much of an underdog at all. Hillary Clinton leads narrowly — by 1.5 percentage points — in our projection of the popular vote. But polling weakness in states that Clinton probably needs to win, particularly Colorado and Pennsylvania, makes the Electoral College almost even.
I’m aware that there’s a lot of consternation and/or excitement out there about our forecast. But there’s nothing particularly deep going on here — our numbers are just reflecting what the recent polls are saying. First, here’s a list of the 10 national polls that we’ve added to our database since Saturday. I’ve shown both the current result and — since this is how our model’s trend-line adjustment works — how it compares to the average of other polls conducted by that pollster throughout the year:
On average, Clinton is ahead by only 1.3 percentage points in these polls — right where our forecast shows the race. And the trend lines are mostly negative for her, with Clinton polling an average of 2.6 points below the previous editions of the same polls.
Meanwhile, here are the state polls we’ve added since Saturday. The list excludes the latest editions of …