Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton overtook Republican Donald Trump in the Oct. 12 USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, falling behind by 0.4% — but Trump reclaimed a narrow 0.1% lead on Oct. 13, leading 44.3% to 44.2%.
The differences are well within the margin of error, but Oct. 12 marked the first time Clinton led Trump in that poll since Sep. 12, a day after she collapsed at the 9/11 Memorial in New York.
The Times poll has shown Trump with a large lead at times, and has persistently been more positive for the Republican nominee than other polls.
The poll remained positive throughout an otherwise rough period for Trump, including the first presidential debate, which he was widely perceived to have lost; the controversy over his feud with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado; and the release of a hot mic conversation from 2005 on the set of Access Hollywood in which he joked about groping women. But a slew of new accusations from other women — whether spontaneous or timed as an “October surprise” — had pushed him back down.
The Times poll is conducted among 400 voters daily, a subset of roughly 3,000 respondents. It is thought to be more positive for Trump than other polls because it reportedly captures “hidden” Trump voters — those who might not otherwise admit to pollsters that they are voting for a nominee who has made controversial statements and is openly maligned by the media. For Trump to be losing support in the Times poll is a significant sign of trouble for the campaign as it heads into the race’s final weeks.
There is a significant gender gap in the poll: a majority of men polled support Trump, but majorities of both sexes believe that Clinton will win.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.