Republican Donald Trump is now leading his rival Hillary Clinton in the largest swing state in the US, jumping an average of 1.6 percentage points in Florida over the past week.
The GOP nominee is now leading in three out of 11 swing states, and in some states is enjoying his highest average approval rating of the past 12 months, according to data from Real Clear Politics.
In the past week, Trump secured an average gain of between 1 and 1.7 points in the 11 swing states, with Clinton conceding points or having a much slower rate of growth than her rival.
In Florida, which has 29 Electoral College votes, Trump is now polling at 45.9% to Clinton's 45.1%, which will be something of a blow to the Democrat with less than a week to go until the 8 November election.
Clinton is also behind in the third largest swing state, Ohio, with 44.3% to Trump's 46.8%, with a slight bump of 0.6 points for the GOP nominee and a similar drop for Clinton of 0.9.
The swing states with the highest number of Electoral College votes are Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16) and North Carolina (15). Voters do not directly elect the president, but rather cast a vote for "electors" who has announced their voting intentions in advance. These make up the Electoral College.
The third swing state where Trump leads is Iowa, where the GOP nominee has maintained a lead over the past two months, although his numbers have dropped over the past week, by 1.8 points to 44%, while Clinton has seen a slight gain of 0.6 points.
However, a recent prediction by Moody's suggests Clinton is set to see a significant win on 8 November, and she has maintained her average lead in nine of the swing states this week.
In the second largest swing state, Pennsylvania, which carries 20 EC votes, Clinton is ahead of Trump by six points, despite a tiny drop of 0.1 points for the Democrat to put her on 47.2% to Trump's 41.2%.
In Wisconsin and Virginia, Clinton is also maintaining a significant lead, however, these are also the two states in which the GOP candidate is enjoying his best numbers of the past 12 months.
He has seen a bounce of an average of 3.7 percentage points in Virginia in the past week, to put him on 43% to Clinton's 48.3%. The Democrat has also seen a small increase of 0.8 points.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Trump made a two-point gain over the past week, while Clinton saw an increase of 1.7, leading Trump by 5.7 points.
Trump has also made gains in Nevada, Michigan, Colorado and New Hampshire over the past week, but this hasn't dented Clinton's lead in the states, which despite being swing states have been safely Democrat for the majority, if not all, of the past 12 months.
The state polling numbers that will have interested both candidates' teams this week will be those from North Carolina, where the Democrat and GOP nominees are very close.
Last week, Texas – which carries 38 electoral votes – was considered a swing state for less than 48 hours. Last Tuesday only 3 points divided Trump from Clinton, surprising for a state that has historically been a Republican stronghold. Since then, Trump has come roaring back to lead by 13 points by mid-week and 7 points today.
In the national polls, Clinton is leading with 46.4% to Trump's 45.7%, but the Democrat has seen a slight drop of 0.6 points on average over the past week, while Trump has increased by 0.9 points.
The Democrat has largely dominated the state since July, but she is now seeing the knock-on effects of the announcement by the FBI that it will be re-launching its investigation into her use of a private email server.
A further analysis of election data shows that if the race tightens any further, Clinton's electoral lead could be fragile. At this stage, the so called popular vote – the vote made by all the qualified voters independently from the vote made by elected representatives in the electoral college – assumes a significant importance in defining the chances of both candidates.
As the table shows, if Trump loses the popular vote by 3-5 points he would not hold any significant chance of winning the election.
|Electoral Votes||Margin projection||Probability for Trump to win|
However, if the popular vote is within a two-point margin, the Republican candidate has a statistically more realistic chance of conquering the White House because the level of probability would rise above 50% in many battlefield states:
|Electoral Votes||Margin projection||Probability for Trump to win||Nevada||6||+2.6||73%|
With just six days to go until the election, both candidates will be working hard to ensure support from the crucial swing state voters. And it goes without saying that it's still anyone's race.