An AP-GFK poll shows Clinton leading by an astonishing 14 points, 51 percent to Trump’s 37 percent, in a four-way race. In a two-way heat, Clinton’s lead narrows to 13 points.
A new Fox News poll finds Clinton ahead by a much smaller margin ― just 3 points ahead in a four-way race, 44 percent to 41 percent. She also leads by 3 points head to head with Trump.
Other recent polls show Clinton with a lead ranging from 2 points to 12 points.
It’s best not to freak out just yet over which of Wednesday’s polls are right. Instead, consider the aggregate of recent polls for a more sober look at the race.
According to the HuffPost Pollster aggregate, Clinton is leading by about 7 points in the four-way race, 46.6 percent to 39 percent.
In the head-to-head race with Trump, Clinton leads by 6 points, 48 percent to 42 percent.
Both new polls are consistent with that aggregated result when you consider their margin of error. The Fox News poll has a 2.5-point margin of error. When applied to each candidate’s share of the vote, that means there could be as much as a 5-point fluctuation in the Fox poll margin. The AP-GFK poll has a slightly higher margin of error, also placing its results within the range of what the aggregate shows.
Another reason for variation in the new polls could be the dates the surveys were administered. The AP-GFK poll was conducted Oct 20 to Oct. 24, just after the Oct 19 presidential debate, where Clinton was praised for a strong performance.
The Fox News poll was conducted a few days later, from Oct 22 to Oct. 25. Perceptions of the debate may have been more muted in people’s minds by then.
In addition, the AP-GFK poll was conducted online. Fox used live phone interviews. Each of the pollsters uses different techniques to screen for likely voters.
Regardless, the aggregate of polls confirms that Clinton is winning. Clinton leads in a two-way race in all 36 polls conducted in October. In the four-way race, she’s ahead in 48 of 52 October polls.
The HuffPost Pollster presidential election forecast gives Clinton a 97.5 chance of winning.