Gabriel Sherman Asks ‘Did The Alt Right Speech Backfire?’ as Polls Tighten

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New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman wondered if Hillary Clinton’s Aug. 25 speech denouncing the alt right, Breitbart News, and Donald Trump had “backfired,” citing a close poll.

Sherman linked to a New York Times/CBS News poll showing Trump and Clinton tied in a four-way race at 42 percent among likely voters, with Clinton leading Trump by two percent in a head-to-head matchup.

Among likely voters, Libertarian and Green Party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein garnered eight and four percent support. Trump led Clinton among independents, 39 to 34 percent, with 13 percent backing Johnson and nine percent supporting Stein.

Ninety-one percent of respondents said their minds are made up, while eight percent might change their minds before Election Day. Forty-three percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats polled said they were “very enthusiastic” about voting.

“The race has clearly grown tighter in recent weeks. National polling averages show that Mrs. Clinton’s margin over Mr. Trump has narrowed from eight points in early August to two points today,” The New York Times wrote of its poll results, adding:

Mrs. Clinton found herself under attack last week for suggesting that half of Mr. Trump’s supporters held views that made them “deplorables” and for her campaign’s attempts to conceal her pneumonia diagnosis. The Times/CBS News poll was conducted from September 9 to 13, so many of those interviewed were aware of the controversies. Mr. Trump hired new campaign leadership in mid-August and has been more disciplined in his public statements. His poll numbers have been steadily rising.

The Times also broke down support amongst different voter blocs for the two major candidates, noting Clinton holds no advantage over Trump with white women:

Mrs. Clinton continues to outpace Mr. Trump among women, nonwhites and younger voters, while Mr. Trump leads among whites, 57 to 33 percent.

Among white women, the candidates are virtually tied: 46 percent for Mrs. Clinton and 45 percent for Mr. Trump.

Mrs. Clinton’s support is notably strong among college graduates, particularly whites. She leads by 11 points among white likely voters with a college degree; if polling holds, she would be the first Democrat in 60 years to win among this group.

The New York Times/CBS News poll questioned 1,433 registered voters from September 9 to September 13. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus three percentage points.