The 2016 presidential race has tightened into a statistical tie between Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton at 42 percent and Republican Donald J. Trump at 41 percent, in the latest Breitbart News Network/Gravis Marketing poll of 1,493 likely voters. That puts the negligible one percent difference between Trump and Clinton well below the poll’s margin of error of 2.5 percent, meaning this is a tie ball game heading into the home stretch of the election.
In the four-way presidential race poll, Libertarian Gary Johnson comes in at just four percent and Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein at just one percent.
“This presidential race is a real dogfight,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll using automated phone calls Aug. 22 to Aug. 23.
“Trump picking up four points is a big move,” he said. “Clinton is stuck at 42 percent, which is where she was in the last Breitbart/Gravis presidential poll we did Aug. 9.”
In the last Breitbart/Gravis poll, Clinton led Trump 42 percent to 37 percent, he said. Johnson was at 9 percent and Stein was at three percent. In the Aug. 9 poll there were 7 percent unsure compared to 9 percent of voters unsure in the new poll.
In the 2012 presidential race, incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama beat Republican nominee Mitt Romney 51 percent to 47 percent, Kaplan said.
“Last time, both Clinton and Trump lagged 10 points behind their party’s nominee in 2012,” he said. “The question the Democrats might want to start asking is: ‘Why is Hillary still 10 points back compared to Obama?’”
Kaplan said as the campaign approaches Labor Day, the traditional start of the campaign’s final phase, he looks for the race to remain tight with Trump and Clinton working to convince the undecided voters.
Trump’s surge back into contention comes after he shook up his campaign’s inner circle, bringing in pollster KellyAnne Conway as his new campaign manager and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon as his campaign CEO. Bannon has taken a leave of absence until election day to serve as Trump’s campaign’s CEO. In the wake of the shakeup Trump has severely rattled Clinton with a series of tactical moves and addresses like his decision to visit flood-ravaged Louisiana while Barack Obama vacationed on a golf course in Martha’s Vineyard and Hillary Clinton fundraised with Cher and other Hollywood celebrities in both Beverly Hills and on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. All that happened as Trump pre-empted a Thursday speech by Clinton meant to label him a racist, undercutting her core message by labeling it “desperate” before she gave it. Even Democrats, meanwhile, view Hillary Clinton’s speech denouncing the “alt-right” as “unhinged”, says Christian Rickers, Trumpocrats executive director and lifelong Democrat but now Trump supporter, as more and more lifelong Democrats nationwide leave the Democratic Party under Clinton’s control to vote for Trump.
Although the top line poll is a virtual tie, inside the polls there are examples of how divided the American electorate is going into November.
Legendary pollster Patrick Caddell, who now appears on the Fox News channel on the show Fox News Insider, told Breitbart News the presidential race is close and within the margin of error.
The poll is overweighted toward Democrats and 40 percent of respondents were non-white. Twenty percent were black.
“Trump has gained four point and Clinton has basically held steady,” Caddell said. “But, with the weighting of this sample, if anything else, this poll is bad news for the Democrats.”
Aside from the horse race between the four candidates, Caddell said the poll shows where the election is going to be fought.
“At first glance, it appears that the voters are working along the lines of how people view the direction of the country,” he said.
“Those, who think the country is on the right track are overwhelmingly for Clinton and those, who think the country is on the wrong track are for Trump,” he said.
Caddell’s polls and unique analysis were employed by three straight Democratic nominees for president, South Dakota’s Sen. George S. McGovern in 1972, Georgia’s President James E. “Jimmy” Carter in 1976 and 1980 and then the campaign of Colorado’s Sen. Gary W. Hart in 1984, who finished second after taking his fight all the way to the roll call.
“A third of the sample, 35 percent, think the economy is great or okay and those voters are with Clinton. Those, who say the economy is not working for their families or that the economy gives them serious anxiety, are overwhelmingly for Trump,” he said.
Among voters, who believe the American economy is “Great”, Clinton is the choice of 89 percent compared to 3 percent for Trump. But, those, who think the economy is “Not working”, pick Trump over Clinton 67 percent to 14 percent. Those, who say the economy is giving them “Serious Anxiety”, chose Trump over Clinton, 77 percent to 14 percent.
In the general population sample, 57 percent of likely voters believe America is weaker than she was 10 years ago. While, 27 percent say stronger and 16 percent say the same.
Broken down by ethnicity, 46 percent of blacks think America is stronger and 32 percent believe America is about the same.
Compare that to 71 percent of whites, 62 percent of Asians and 47 percent of Hispanics, who believe America is weaker than 10 years ago.
Caddell said voters who responded that the economy was mixed or that America’s place in the world is the same as it was 10 years ago are split between Clinton and Trump.
Whenever the question is about the direction of the country, the strength of the country or its place in the world, people are trending towards supporting Trump, he said. “If he can make the election about that – Trump wins.”
In the time since the last Breitbart/Gravis poll, Trump has made a serious play for the African-American support that stood at 11 percent Aug. 9, but is now at 14 percent.
In the 2012 presidential race, Obama garnered 93 percent of the black vote to Romney’s 6 percent. That support was the president’s margin of victory in seven states for 112 electoral votes.
If Trump cuts more deeply into what has been a Democratic stronghold for more that 50 years, it would seriously disrupt the Democratic Party’s turnout model.
Clinton gets 73 percent of the black vote in the latest Breitbart/Gravis poll.
More results from this poll will be released soon.