About a dozen national and state polls were released on Sunday and early today. The data was noisy, with some surveys showing that Hillary Clinton had gained ground and others finding that Donald Trump had. But the overall race remains basically unchanged. Clinton has a 71 percent chance of winning according to our polls-only model and a 69 percent chance according to polls-plus. Both those numbers are up about 1 percentage point from Saturday.
Unchanged is good news for Clinton, whose lead had been shrinking for a couple of weeks. Over the past several days, Trump’s momentum has stalled. We don’t yet know whether Clinton has stopped Trump’s gains for good or if this is simply a brief respite. So let’s take this moment to zoom out and look at the broad trajectory of the race.
First, here’s Clinton’s chance of winning the election over the past four weeks:
Clinton’s chances peaked in early and mid-August, at 89 percent in polls-only and 80 percent in polls-plus (her polls-plus peak came on Aug. 8). From there, her odds steadily fell, bottoming out at 67 percent and 66 percent a couple of days after Labor Day. Since then, her chances have rebounded slightly.
Second, here’s Clinton’s projected margin in the national popular vote:
Clinton has seen less of a rebound by this measure. Her lead over Trump dropped throughout the second half of August in the polls-only model, falling from a high of 8.6 percentage points to below 4 points. Today, it’s 3.7 points. The polls-plus model factors in the economy — which has been average or slightly above average — and so always expected the race to tighten. It also accounts for post-convention bounces, …