Democratic presidential nominee Hillary R. Clinton’s lead over GOP nominee Donald J. Trump stands at three points, with the former first lady at 39 percent to the New York City billionaire’s 36 percent in a four-way contest that includes the Libertarian and Green Party candidates, according to the Morning Consult poll released Sunday.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of time left before Election Day on Nov. 8, but as the data shows, many Americans have already made up their minds, and Trump has a lot more work to do than Clinton to sway voters,” wrote Cameron Easley, the Morning Consult managing editor and Eli Yokley, the polling and political news website’s campaign reporter.
The poll had Libertarian Gary Johnson at eight percent and Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein at four percent, in the survey that was conducted with 2,001 voter in two batches, Aug. 16-17 and Aug. 18-20. Morning Consult says that the poll carries a margin of error of two percentage points, but that seems low considering that each sample population carries its own margin of error and combining sample populations compounds margins of errors.
In the poll conducted June 30 through July 4, Morning Consult found Clinton at 38 percent, Trump at 37 percent, and Johnson at 11 percent with 11 percent undecided. Stein was not part of that poll.
The poll shows strong support for Trump among Independents, who prefer the GOP nominee over Clinton, 30 percent to her 23 percent and Johnson with 15 percent, Stein six percent.
Easley and Yokley make the case that Johnson and Stein are in a position to become disruptive as they pull support from Trump and Clinton, but were that to happen it would be contrary to the patterns witnessed throughout presidential campaigns in American history, with the exception of third and fourth party candidates with regional bases of support.
The Breitbart/Gravis national presidential poll conducted Aug. 9 showed Clinton at 42 percent, Trump at 37, Johnson at nine percent and Stein at three percent. Although Morning Consult polls both for the four-way race and the two-race between Trump and Clinton, Breitbart/Gravis only polls for the four-way contest because the 2016 election is a four-way race.
Another consideration about the poll is the Morning Consult headline: “Trump’s Campaign Shakeup Is Likely Too Little, Too Late.” The announcement that Kellyanne Conway was promoted to Trump’s campaign manager and that Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon was taking a leave of absence to become’s Trump’s campaign CEO was released Aug. 17 and Paul Mannafort’s resignation as campaign chairman was announced Aug. 19.