With less than six weeks to go before the US presidential election, major party nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are looking to gain a lead over each other in a tight race.

Following the crucial first presidential debate on Monday (26 September), Clinton is working to regain her comfortable summer lead over Trump but she may be thwarted by several key states.

A look at general election polls reveal Clinton clearly in the lead, with the most recent surveys by Rasmussen Reports and Public Policy Polling showing the Democratic nominee up by 1% and 4% respectively.

In the last week, Trump has only come ahead of Clinton in one poll by Bloomberg, by 2%.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton's win in the first debate should be a sign that poll numbers will once again move in her favour.

The site's electoral college prediction also gives Clinton a 63.3% chance of winning the November election over Trump's 36.7%. As the election draws nearer, all eyes will focus on a number of swing states that will ultimately decide who will become the next President of the United States.


Florida has always been considered a crucial battleground state that has typically voted in favour of Republican nominees. FiveThirtyEight's electoral college map reveals Clinton has a narrow advantage over Trump in the Sunshine state, with a 51.55% chance of winning its 29 electoral votes. Similarly, poll averages conducted by RealClearPolitics show Clinton by a mere 0.5%.

North Carolina

North Carolina may also prove to be a thorn in the former Secretary of State's side. FiveThirtyEight places Trump ahead of Clinton in the Tarheel State, with a decent 52.4% chance of winning the state's 15 electoral votes. Likewise, RealClearPolitics notes that Trump leads Clinton by 0.8% in poll averages. It should be noted, however, that the last two polls by Gravis and High Point show Clinton in the lead by 1%.


Ohio and its 18 electoral votes appear to be squarely in Trump territory. According to FiveThirtyEight's calculations, Trump has a 57.1% chance of winning the Buckeye State. Unlike North Carolina, Trump has a solid 2% lead in Ohio, RealClearPolitics shows. Recent polls by Gravis and Fox News show the real estate mogul ahead by 1% and 5% respectively.


FiveThirtyEight's electoral college map gives Clinton a 71.5% chance of winning the state of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. A CNN/ORC poll in the Keystone State, however, only places Clinton ahead of Trump by one percentage point, 45% to 44%. They're followed not-so-closely behind by Libertarian Gary Johnson with 6% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein with 3%.

Nominees need 270 electoral votes to win the November elections, and while Clinton is certainly in the lead, she will need to continue to work these and other swing states to claim a solid victory over Trump.