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Duel of polls: Clinton vs Trump

Clinton is ahead of Trump by 6 per cent, according to the latest nationwide poll by NBC News/Survey Monkey. Trump is ahead of Clinton by 2 per cent, according to the poll held by CNN/ORC among voters planning to go the polls.

Yevhen Kurmashov Yevhen Kurmashov , Director of political programmes, Gorshenin Institute

Labour Day is a good occasion for sociological stovepiping. It is a symbolic date after which, as it is believed, the final stretch of the campaign begins.

In fact, the trend does not change. Clinton has always (except for the first week after the Republican convention) been slightly ahead of Trump nationwide polls since spring. Her lead has never been confident or strong (again, except for the first week after the Democratic convention). Sociological surveys were clear about one trend only - Clinton does not have a reputation of the 100-per-cent frontrunner in this election, as it had been believed before the primaries. Trump is a strong opponent, who can cream the final stretch of the campaign off by adding new supporters. The advantage of 5-6 per cent does not bode well for Clinton at all as the percentage of undecided voters is large enough, and no-one knows how they are going to be distributed in the remaining months of the campaign.

All the same, the factor of the electoral system remains a thousand times more important than any sociological measuring on a nationwide scale. And so Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics was a thousand times right when he, speaking on MSNBC, calls into question the usefulness of analysing these numbers. The analyst rightly notes that this presidential election is, by and large, about four states - Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Some may agree, some may want to add to this list a few battleground states, but the fact remains - it is not necessary to look at the national measurements, when you have a figure of 270 electoral votes and a map, consisting of red states, blue states and battlegrounds in front of you.

In this context, large national measurements are a good PR tool for both candidates' staffs. Indeed, the factor of shaping sociology plays a very important role in the US election, according to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who said that Hillary Clinton allowed Trump to shatter the argument that he is psychologically unfit to be president, in which the key argument has always been a sociology. Now Trump is at least equal to Hillary.

Another thing is, as we see from the same broadcast, that in hesitating states Clinton is not doing fine. She is in the lead everywhere but this lead is too shaky, and even tends to decrease. In none of the seven key battleground states does she have a reserve of 10 per cent and above. We are talking about Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida. In the last three the situation is too unpleasant.

In this sense, all participants in the debate on MSNBC arrived at quite predictable conclusions - in the next two months, the price of error for each candidate is going to increase tenfold. In the near future all the attention will be paid to the debate. Trump, according to Joe Scarborough, has not even yet begun to really spend money on advertising, despite the fact that his staff has it at its disposal and reserves it for the final stretch of the campaign.

Scarborough also recalls an interesting case of confrontation between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, when Democrat Carter chose the strategy of ridiculing the radicalism and right-wing views of the former Hollywood actor. As a result, Reagan defeated Carter in the election and became president of the USA.

Yevhen Kurmashov Yevhen Kurmashov , Director of political programmes, Gorshenin Institute