Back to News Election 2016 – Race Tightens Before the Final Drive to Election Day

Election 2016 – Race Tightens Before the Final Drive to Election Day


While Hillary Clinton continues to have a significant advantage over her Republican rival, Donald Trump, the race has tightened slightly, according to the latest national poll from the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Interviewing was conducted after the F.B.I. director, James Comey’s disclosure on October 28 that his agency was looking into a potential new batch of messages from Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.  The survey was completed before the announcement on Sunday that there was no evidence in the new emails to warrant any charges over her handling of classified information.

Graphic titled: "If the election were held today, who would you vote for?"

Political partisans are sticking by their parties’ nominees. Mrs. Clinton is supported by a large majority of Democrats and Mr. Trump is the choice of most Republicans.  It is the shifting preferences of independents that has been driving change.

Graphic titled: "Who is the first choice of independents?"

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, took a hit among independents after his two foreign policy stumbles.  Mrs. Clinton benefited among independents after Mr. Trump faltered after the presidential debates and the release of the video-tape in which he makes lewd comments about groping women.

Graphic titled: "Turnout of Eligible Voters"Much of what will happen on Tuesday depends on turnout.  The Fishlinger Center used a proprietary prediction model with inputs based on historical data, perceptions of the candidates and certainty measures from the survey to project expected turnout for the election.


“Ceretis paribus,” or barring unforeseen events, the Center predicts a turnout of 56 percent of eligible voters down from 58 percent in the last presidential election.

Graphic titled: "How certain are you that you are going to vote?"

Anecdotal evidence collected in the poll but based on small samples suggests that the supporters of third party candidates appear to be much less certain about voting and their vote choice than those voters who prefer one of the major party nominees.  Historically, third party candidates tend to get more support in pre-election polls than on Election Day.  In a close election, this could be the deciding factor with both Johnson and Stein each polling at 7 percent.

Survey Methodology
The Fishlinger Center is conducting online national surveys focusing on political issues in the United States ahead of the Presidential election in November.  The fieldwork for the polls is conducted using a blended national Survey Sampling Inc. panel.

Graphic titled: "Survey Sampling Inc. Panel"

In addition to credibility interval, the polls are subject to other potential sources of error including, but not limited to coverage and measurement error. Data were rim weighted to match the national population on age, sex, Hispanic origin and race. Question wording and topline results are available at

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The Center, a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), conducts deep and broad studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research conducted by students, faculty, and other members of the academic community.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.