US election: Trump edges Clinton by 2 points in new poll

DONALD Trump and Hillary Clinton start the race to November 8 on essentially even ground, with Trump edging Clinton by a scant two points among likely voters, and the contest sparking sharp divisions along demographic lines in a new CNN/ORC Poll.
Trump tops Clinton 45 per cent to 43 per cent in the new survey, with Libertarian Gary Johnson standing at seven per cent among likely voters in this poll and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at just two per cent.
The topsy-turvy campaign for the presidency has seen both Clinton and Trump holding a significant lead at some point in the last two months, though Clinton has topped Trump more often than not. Most recently, Clinton’s convention propelled her to an eight-point lead among registered voters in an early-August CNN/ORC Poll. Clinton’s lead has largely evaporated despite a challenging month for Trump, which saw an overhaul of his campaign staff, announcements of support for Clinton from several high-profile Republicans and criticism of his campaign strategy. But most voters say they still expect to see Clinton prevail in November, and 59 per cent think she will be the one to get to 270 electoral votes vs. 34 per cent who think Trump has the better shot at winning.
Neither major third party candidate appears to be making the gains necessary to reach the 15 per cent threshold set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, with just three weeks to go before the first debate on September 26.
The new poll finds the two major party candidates provoke large gaps by gender, age, race, education and partisanship. Among those likely to turn out in the fall, both candidates have secured about the same share of their own partisans (92 per cent of Democrats back Clinton, 90 per cent of Republicans are behind Trump), but independents give Trump an edge, 49 per cent say they’d vote for him while just 29per cent of independent voters back Clinton. Another 16 per cent back Johnson, 6sixper cent Stein.
Women break for Clinton (53per cent to 38 per cent) while men shift Trump’s way (54 per cent to 32 per cent) Among women, those who are unmarried make up the core of her support, 73 per cent of unmarried women back Clinton compared with just 36 per cent of married women. Among men, no such marriage gap emerges, as both unmarried and married men favour Trump.
Younger voters are in Clinton’s corner (54 per cent to 29 per cent among those under age 45) while the older ones are more apt to back Trump (54 per cent to 39 per cent among those age 45 or older). Whites mostly support Trump (55 per cent to 34 per cent) while non-whites favour Clinton by a nearly 4-to-1 margin (71per cent to 18 per cent). Most college grads back Clinton while those without degrees mostly support Trump, and that divide deepens among white voters. Whites who do not hold college degrees support Trump by an almost 3-to-1 margin (68 per cent to 24 per cent) while whites who do have college degrees split 49 per cent for Clinton to 36 per cent for Trump and 11 per cent for Johnson.
Support for Johnson seems to be concentrated among groups where Clinton could stand to benefit from consolidating voters. Although direct comparison between the poll’s two-way, head-to-head matchup and its four-way matchup doesn’t suggest that Johnson is pulling disproportionately from either candidate, his supporters come mostly among groups where a strong third-party bid could harm Clinton’s standing: Younger voters (particularly younger men), whites with college degrees, and independents, notably.