Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tied in support as Election Day draws ever closer, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll out Thursday morning.
The margin of error for the poll, that margin by which the reported numbers may differ from the actual numbers, is three percent. The survey boasts 1,433 registered voter respondents, and 1,753 total respondents.
The poll has both Clinton and Trump collecting 42 percent of the vote when in a four-way race with the Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein.
Seeing as the two named third party candidates will both be on the ballot in most states on Election Day, the four-way scenario is likely closer than a poll that only includes Trump and Clinton to what will actually happen come November.
Among only registered voters, Clinton leads by a meager 2 percent. Taking Johnson and Stein out of the race – which won’t result in a very realistic scenario but the pollsters did anyway – made Clinton’s lead among registered voters widen to 4 percent, thus becoming an actual lead since the margin surpasses the poll’s 3 percent margin of error.
There is one relevant aspect to the polling that excludes third parties; namely, Johnson and Stein are really handing the election to Trump. When they are no longer considered in poll responses, Clinton has an actual lead.
Thursday’s ominous numbers from NBC are not alone.
A Rasmussen poll released on Thursday has Trump up by 2 percent, a number which is barely within the survey’s margin of error of 3 percent.
A Reuters/ Ipsos poll released on Tuesday also has Trump and Clinton tied, and digging into the poll’s numbers gets even more worrying for Democrats.
With the levels of support for each candidate broken down by the respondent’s political party, the Reuters poll reveals Donald Trump to be leading among Independents, with a 9 percent lead among Independent “Likely Voters.”
As is fairly standard, those voters on the fringe of the two party system, such as Independents, will likely decide the winner of November’s election. Partisan politics is so dramatically polarized that those who have little to do with the partisanship often end up stepping in to make the final decision in electoral situations.
These voters are often inclined to be favorable to the “outsider,” since their disdain for “insiders” runs deep.
Donald Trump carries more favor with these voters, likely because of his passionate portrayal of himself as an outsider, and in truth, such a portrayal is partly on-point since Trump has never held elected political office.
Trump, however, simply doesn’t have any idea how to run the United States, as he has made clear through his inflammatory campaign that has gone from emphatically calling for the deportation of millions upon millions of people to toying with the idea of nuclear weapons.
As president, Trump would be controlled by whoever or whatever sits on the other end of the strings holding up his financial empire.
This is a serious contender for the highest office in the United States.
Featured Image via Jeff Swensen/ Getty Images.