There are less than two months until the day of the presidential election. The two nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are almost tied in most polls. The difference between them among likely voters is one of only a few percentages.
So the stakes are high in the upcoming weeks. Both candidates have to secure their electoral base and at the same time reach out to independents and undecideds.
At this stage, every vote counts. So, from now on, every campaign stop is going to be important. As well as the upcoming debates that the two nominees are preparing for.
A Matter of Perception
With less than eight weeks until the election, The New York Times together with CBS undertook a poll. The results were made public today and they take a snapshot of the presidential race. It looks like both the Republican and the Democratic nominee have crafted strong images for themselves. And that voters seem to have a clear picture of the two candidates.
What is interesting about the results is the perception that voters have about the contenders. Donald J. Trump, who has long had the image of a risk-taker, is seen as a risky choice for the country. By way of contrast, Hillary Clinton is perceived as a safer choice. Although that makes her somewhat uninteresting to voters.
People who were polled said that Donald Trump doesn’t have the right temperament and the right values for the job of president. But that he has the power to transform the country. Voters also think that he would be better for the economy than Clinton.
Hillary Clinton does come across as having the right temperament for the job. Voters also feel that she would be better when it came to foreign policy. But just 36% see her as able to bring about change.
These perceptions of the two candidates, of Trump being a transformative figure and Clinton not so much could impact the election results. If this election is eventually going to be about change, the Democrat side might have something to worry about. So the Clinton campaign is very much trying to make the race about Donald Trump’s character.
A Close Race
Nationwide, Hillary Clinton has a slight, 2 percent lead. But whether or not than will translate into enough electoral votes for her to win is a matter of electoral maths. So far, out of likely voters that said they were leaning towards a candidate, she is in the lead. The Democratic candidate has the support of 46 percent of likely voters. The Republican candidate has the support of 44 percent of voters. But that could all change in the coming weeks.
Looking at the numbers in more detail, we can see that Hillary Clinton has an advantage when it comes to registered voters. They are more likely to vote for her than for Donald Trump, 46 percent to 41 percent. This is where the support that she has among women and minority groups shows.
Donald J. Trump has an advantage when it comes to male voters. He also tends to do better with white voters as well as less educated voters.
When it comes to being disliked, the two candidates are equally unpopular. Even those who said they will vote for one of the candidates, see their negative side. Out of those who have already decided who they are going to vote for, only half said they strongly support their chosen candidate. The other half said that they have reservations about the candidate that they are voting for.
Image source: here.