Fair political polling is a statistical balancing act
Clinton’s lead shrinks in new national poll
A Monmouth University survey released on Monday found Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, taking 46 percent support to Trump's 42 percent. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson takes 8 percent support, with Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 2 percent.
Clinton led by 7 points in the same poll in August.
The survey comes amid a raft of poling data released Monday that shows the race is essentially a toss-up.
Polls also show a tight race in the battleground states.
In new polls released Monday, Trump and Clinton are separated by only 1 or 2 points in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
The surveys out of Colorado and Pennsylvania are particularly noteworthy, as both states have long been assumed to be safely in Clinton's column.
But the race is likely to be reset after Monday's gargantuan showdown. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed by Monmouth said they intend to tune in to the debate, which is expected to shatter debate records and potentially draw 100 million viewers.
Clinton has the support of 91 percent of Democrats surveyed by Monmouth, while Trump is at 85 percent support among Republicans. In the previous survey, Trump was stuck at 80 percent support among the GOP.
Trump has also improved among independents, leading Clinton 39 percent to 33 percent after trailing her by 5 points in the previous survey.
Clinton leads big among millennials, 48 percent to 28 percent, over Trump, but Johnson and Stein are cutting into that lead, combining for 17 percent among young voters.
Both major-party candidates are viewed overwhelmingly negatively, pollsters found.
Only 36 percent have a positive view of Clinton, compared to 54 percent who view her negatively.
Trump is worse off, at 32 percent positive and 57 percent negative. Still, he has improved from last month, when he posted a 26-57 split.
Voters view Clinton as more presidential, with 58 percent saying she has the right temperament, compared to only 35 percent who say the same about Trump.
The Monmouth poll of 802 registered voters was conducted between Sept. 22 and Sept. 25 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.