Presidential race tightens, Clinton holds marginal lead

A CBS/New York Times survey showed Clinton leading 45 percent to her Republican rival’s 42 percent, with the vast majority of supporters saying their minds are made up.

After months of vitriolic and turbulent campaigning, political tribalism appears to be returning to the fore in the deeply divided nation ahead of Election Day on November 8.  Profound Republican scepticism about Trump’s controversial candidacy appears to be ebbing.  Despite the Manhattan real estate mogul’s boasts about sexual assault and allegations of groping by about a dozen women, white women are evenly split between the two candidates, the poll showed. Similarly, Clinton’s troubles with the FBI over her use of a private email server appears to have dissuaded few Democrats, with only eight percent saying it would make them less likely to vote for the former secretary of state.

With the campaign now in its final stages, each candidate is making final arguments to voters, crisscrossing battleground states and carpet-bombing the airwaves with high-priced ads.  But neither candidate wants to make a mistake and the race has taken on a frenetic yet formulaic quality.  Even Trump is sticking to the TelePrompTer and avoiding his most explosive rhetoric as the campaign winds down.  Clinton and her phalanx of high-powered surrogates – among them presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – have argued Trump is ‘uniquely unqualified’ for the Oval Office.  On Monday, the eve of the election, Clinton, her husband and the Obamas will campaign together in Philadelphia in a show of Democratic force.  Trump has ridden the aftershocks of the Great Recession and waves of antipathy toward the political elite to the gates of the White House. Could he yet cause an upset?

“Democrats are quite right to be nervous about the outcome,” said a team of political analysts at the University of Virginia.  But, they added, there was no ‘compelling argument’ that the race favours Trump or is even a toss-up. Financial markets have lurched as the race as tightened – trying to ‘price-in’ a Trump victory that they had long thought impossible.