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Hillary Clinton still leads a tighter race, Times/CBS news poll shows


New York Times

Heading into the final days of the presidential campaign, the race has settled back into a tight contest, with Hillary Clinton holding an edge over Donald Trump after a month of tumult. Most voters say their minds are made up and late revelations about both candidates made no significant difference to them, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday.

Five days before Election Day, the margin between the candidates is narrow, with 45 percent of likely voters supporting Clinton, the Democratic candidate, to 42 percent for Trump, the Republican nominee. The difference is within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, has the support of 5 percent of likely voters, and the Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, takes 4 percent.

More than 22 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and roughly 1 in 5 likely voters who participated in the Times/CBS poll said they had already voted.

National polling averages showed a growing lead for Clinton in mid-October after the release of the “Access Hollywood” recording from 2005 in which Trump speaks crudely about women. As women from Trump’s past came out over the next weeks to report that he had sexually harassed them, his poll numbers dipped.

Yet after a rough few weeks, enthusiasm among Trump’s supporters has rebounded, and 52 percent now say they are very enthusiastic about voting. Enthusiasm among Clinton’s supporters has remained flat since September, with 47 percent saying they are very enthusiastic to vote.

Clinton holds a 14-point advantage over her opponent among women while Trump leads among men by 11 points.

Last Friday, when the director of the FBI, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress about a new inquiry into Clinton’s emails, Trump seized on the opportunity to shift the tenor of the campaign and focus on the controversy surrounding her handling of emails when she was secretary of state.

The Times/CBS poll began hours after Comey’s letter became public, and most voters contacted said they had heard about the development. Even more voters said they were aware of charges that Trump had made unwanted sexual advances toward a number of women.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted with 1,333 registered voters from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 on cellphones and landlines. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for all voters.

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