Clinton Still Favored Despite Trump Erasing Poll Gap

Donald Trump has edged ahead of Hillary Clinton in one closely watched average of national polls, as the Republican Party has started to unite around the presumptive nominee, but political prediction markets still have Mrs. Clinton as the favorite to win in November.

Mr. Trump stands at 43.4% as of Monday morning, compared with 43.2% for Mrs. Clinton, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls of the likely matchup. Early last month, Mrs. Clinton had a lead of as much as 10 points in the average.

At the same time, according to PredictWise, which tracks prediction markets, the chances of the Democratic candidate being elected president stand at 67%, compared with 33% for the Republican. That’s down from about 75% at its high in April.

David Rothschild, who runs PredictWise, said Mr. Trump’s improved showing in opinion polls reflects a bounce from the exit of other GOP contenders — and that Mrs. Clinton should expect to see a similar bounce in the polls when and if she defeats party rival Bernie Sanders. Also, he said, poll averages show Mrs. Clinton performing strongly in polls of key swing states — important in winning the electoral college. Both of these serve to explain why political markets still see her as the favorite.

A new WSJ/NBC News poll out this weekend has Mrs. Clinton leading the New York businessman, 46% to 43%. That’s a much tighter margin than her 11-percentage-point lead in April. Other recent polls have Mr. Trump climbing into the lead: An ABC News/Washington Post survey has him ahead by two points, while a Rasmussen survey has him leading by five.

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