Colorado presidential polling shows Clinton, Trump running tighter

An online poll shows Hillary Clinton still with an advantage over Donald Trump but a smaller lead in Colorado than in polls from a few weeks ago.

An online poll by the Washington Post and Survey Monkey shows Hillary Clinton still with an advantage over Donald Trump but a smaller lead in Colorado and nationally than in polls from a few weeks ago.

If you lean skeptical of online polling, you can read more about the methodology here. They asked 74,000 registered voters their opinions of the candidates between Aug. 9 and Sept. 1 and adjusted the results to reflect demographics.

The survey also asked voters whether they thought the country was changing in ways that aligned with their values (Most said no.) and whether they thought this election would reduce political polarization (Hahahaha. I mean. No. Probably not.) It turns out Americans are feeling pretty pessimistic right now.

The poll puts Clinton ahead of Trump in Colorado by 2 points in a two-way race, 46 percent to 44 percent. In a four-way race with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the poll, Clinton and Trump are tied at 37 percent and Johnson gets 16 percent.

That puts Colorado back in the “toss-up” category when many analysts have it leaning blue.

The good news for Clinton is that the 10 toss-up states include not only traditional swing states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida but traditional Republican strongholds like Texas, Georgia and Arizona. Clinton has been pushing resources into those states even as she drew back in Colorado. Trump, by the way, included Colorado in his first round of ad buys this week.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver helps put the new polling that shows the race tightening in context. The gist is that yes, the race is tightening and the short-term trends are toward Trump. Clinton still has a distinct advantage and a 67.8 percent chance of winning the election. At the same time, there is more uncertainty in the race than many people realize.

High numbers of undecided and third-party voters are associated with higher volatility and larger polling errors. Put another way, elections are harder to predict when fewer people have made up their minds. Because FiveThirtyEight’s models account for this property, we show a relatively wide range of possible outcomes, giving Trump better odds of winning than most other statistically based models, but also a significant chance of a Clinton landslide if those undecideds break in her favor.

FiveThirtyEight still has Colorado leaning blue with a margin of victory for Clinton of 4.8 percent.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, or @meltzere.