With the gruelling race for the White House entering its final week, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have significantly upped the ante against each other, trading vicious barbs in their quest to become the 45th President of the United States in one of the most talked about elections in recent history. Roughly 120 million Americans will go to the polls on November 8 to determine the successor of Barack Obama.
In recent days, former secretary of state Clinton has seen her double-digit polling lead over Trump diminish by considerable margin in the wake of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s latest investigation into emails allegedly linked to the Democrat’s use of a private server.
Here are the latest odds and polls ahead of the biggest political event of the year.
How close is the race ?
It has been a topsy-turvy affair for Trump over the last year as he closed the gap on his Democrat rival remarkably in the closing days of the US Presidential Election despite being widely predicted to lose the elections initially. However, the real estate mogul seemed to have squandered his chances of victory after the emergence of a series of controversial comments and allegations of sexual misconduct in the past few months. In yet another turnaround, FBI’s announcement of launching fresh investigation into Clinton’s email use has given Trump a renewed hope in key swing states, with one ABC/Washington Post Poll showing the Republican candidate leading Clinton by a single point, a week after showing Trump trailing 12 points behind the Democratic Presidential candidate. However, another poll projection from the New York Times/NBC gave Clinton a three-point advantage.
One thing that we can surely vouch for is the fact that the contest between the two bitter rivals has narrowed down with the former First Lady at 47 per cent overall while Trump chasing just behind on 45.6 per cent.
What are the odds on the American presidential election ?
Many political followers have apparently lost faith in pollsters after last year’s surprise General Election result in the UK and the subsequent Brexit vote and, therefore, they prefer to look at the odds to predict the potential winner. Although Clinton has been seen as the odds-on favourite since the end of February, the blond billionaire has spiritedly regained his lost grounds in recent times.
However, the odds on Trump winning the election have been slashed with Coral offering odds of 4/11 on Clinton and 2/1 on the Republican candidate becoming the next US president.
What effect have the presidential debates had on the polls ?
The first US presidential debate saw Clinton securing a significant gain over Trump nationally. The opening debate was watched by a record 84 million people on television, but only nine per cent of viewers changed their minds about their preferences post the New York showdown. The democrat’s polling also witnessed a surge around the second presidential debate, which took place just after Trump’s lewd comments about women were released to the public.
On the other hand, Trump, despite briefly threatening to overtake Clinton in September, seemed to have lost popularity among women following the release of his series of lewd remarks about women.
However, it is too early to predict the winner considering especially the FBI’s announcement of reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email usage.
When will the results be announced?
The 2016 result will not be formally counted until January 6, 2017 when vice-president Joe Biden will announce the Electoral College vote. Most likely the winner will be declared by 4 am GMT (9:30 am IST), when the polling will close in all states aside from Alaska, which has been the case in 2008 and 2012 elections.
States to watch
Swing states will play a pivotal role in the forthcoming election because of it’s tendency to switch between Democrat and Republican in different elections. States like Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia are considered to have the power to swing the election, although neither of the candidates has secured a significant lead in these crucial states.