Swing-state polls show Trump path to White House narrowing

Story highlights

  • Recent polls conducted in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan
  • Surveys show devastating fallout from tape of Trump make lewd comments

(CNN)A trio of state polls released this week show Hillary Clinton's northern "blue wall" holding, as she carries commanding leads across a series of key states.

The polls -- taken after the release of a 2005 recording of Donald Trump talking in a sexually aggressive manner about women -- show Clinton leading in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
    Coupled with Democrats' advantage in the Electoral College, the slate of polls suggests that only an extremely narrow path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency remains for Trump, who has staked his candidacy in part on flipping some traditionally Democratic states.
    Additionally, a Republican National Committee source told CNN's Sara Murray Thursday that the Trump campaign decided to pull resources from the swing state of Virginia, essentially conceding the state to Clinton.
    According to CNN's latest battleground map, Trump would need to win one of these states -- Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania -- to get more than the 270 electoral votes needed for victory, even if he also captured Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, and every other state Mitt Romney won in 2012.
    A new North Carolina poll shows Clinton and Trump running neck-and-neck and a Utah survey shows Trump with a narrow lead over Clinton.


    A Bloomberg Politics poll released on Thursday found Clinton leading Trump by 9 points in Pennsylvania.
    According to the poll, Clinton is ahead of Trump 48% to 39% in a four-way race in the Keystone State. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson draws 6% support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein gets 3%.
    Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania is driven by a significant advantage in the Philadelphia suburbs, a crucial area where some of the state's swingiest voters live. The poll found Clinton leading Trump across four suburban Philadelphia counties, 59% to 31%, with a broad range of demographic advantages.
    The poll also surveyed Pennsylvania voters' opinions on the tape of Trump bragging about groping women during a 2005 "Access Hollywood" appearance. Sixty percent said the tape bothered them "a lot," a number that climbs to 80% in the suburban counties.
    The poll, which was also conducted after the second presidential debate, found that Trump's performance on Sunday helped stabilize his numbers. According to Bloomberg, Trump showed "more strength on Monday and Tuesday than on the two previous days of polling."
    The Bloomberg poll of Pennsylvania was conducted between October 7-11 and surveyed 806 likely voters across the state and 373 likely voters in the four suburban Philadelphia counties. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 points for the state, and plus or minus 5.1 points for the suburban counties.


    A Michigan poll released on Wednesday showed an 11-point lead for Clinton, though a large bloc of voters remains undecided.
    According to the poll from the Detroit News/WDIV, Clinton leads Trump 42% to 31%, while Johnson receives 10% and Stein trails at 4%. Twelve percent say they don't know who they'll support.
    As was the case in Pennsylvania, the Michigan poll found that likely voters were turned-off by the Trump tape. One-quarter of Republicans said Trump should drop out of the presidential race as a result of the recording, and the poll showed Clinton's lead expanded from 7 points in late September largely because of a collapse in Trump's support, rather than a surge for her.
    Clinton's lead in Michigan is powered by a major advantage among women voters -- Clinton gets 48% to Trump's 27%. She also has an edge in "vote-rich southeast Michigan," the Detroit News reported, where she leads by 18 points.
    Still, a majority of voters have unfavorable opinions of both candidates, though Clinton's favorability rating is 13 points higher than Trump.
    The Detroit News/WDIV poll was conducted between October 10-11, and surveyed 600 likely Michigan voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 points.


    A poll from the Marquette University Law School showed a large Clinton lead in Wisconsin, where Trump actually held an edge before the release of the damaging "Access Hollywood" recording.
    The poll, which was released Wednesday, had Clinton 7 points ahead of Trump, 44% to 37%. Johnson received 9% support, while Stein drew 3%.
    But while the Marquette poll was conducted amid the fallout from the tape, it was completed before the second presidential debate, which other polls found had improved Trump's numbers.
    According to the survey, Trump led Clinton 41% to 40% among likely voters polled on Thursday. On Friday -- the day the Washington Post released the lewd tape -- Trump's numbers began to fall, and Clinton led 44% to 38%.
    Trump's numbers really cratered over the weekend. Likely voters polled on Saturday and Sunday drove Clinton to a 19-point edge, 49% to 30%, a dramatic reversal from the one-point edge Trump held days earlier.
    The shift was evident across all demographic groups, even those that favor Trump. Among men, who have heavily backed Trump, Clinton turned a 16-point deficit into a 1-point advantage by the end of the poll. And Republican support for Trump fell below 80% by Sunday, while Democratic support for Clinton settled around 90%.
    Additionally, Wisconsin voters were more likely to say they were "very or somewhat comfortable" with the idea of Clinton being president than Trump (46% to 35%); more likely to say that Clinton "cares about people like me" (47% to 35%); and more likely to say Clinton "shows good judgment" (48% to 28%). However, Clinton is viewed as slightly more dishonest than Trump -- 29% say Clinton is honest, compared to 35% for Trump.
    The Marquette University Law School poll was conducted between October 6-9, and surveyed 839 likely voters. The margin of error for the entire poll is plus or minus 3.9 points; the margin of error for Thursday is plus or minus 5.9 points and plus or minus 7.8 points for Friday and the Saturday and Sunday samples.

    North Carolina

    In the Tar Heel State, a Suffolk University poll released Thursday shows Clinton is leading with 45% support, Trump with 43% and Johnson with 5%. The poll is consistent with results from surveys taken after the first presidential debate and before the released of the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape.
    The poll surveyed 500 likely voters between October 10-12 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
    And a NBC/WSJ/Marist poll out Thursday shows Clinton is leading Trump by four points in the state.
    In the poll, 45% of likely voters in North Carolina said they support Clinton, while 41% support Trump and 9% support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Green Party candidate Jill Stein didn't qualify to make the ballot in the state.
    The new NBC/WSJ poll of North Carolina was conducted Oct. 10-12 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.


    A Monmouth University poll of Utah published Thursday showed Trump with the support of 34% of likely voters, Clinton with 28%, independent Evan McMullin with 20% and Johnson with 9%.
    A Y2 Analytics poll, published Wednesday by Mormon church-owned Deseret News, found both Clinton and Trump at 26%, with McMullin at 22% and Johnson at 14%.
    The Monmouth poll surveyed 403 likely Utah voters between October 10-12 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.


    Another NBC/WSJ/Marist poll out Thursday shows Trump is leading Clinton by one point in the state of Ohio.
    In the poll, 42% of likely voters in Ohio said they support Trump, while 41% support Clinton, 9% support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 4% support Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
    The new NBC/WSJ poll of Ohio was conducted Oct. 10-12 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.