We first posted on the RealClearPolitics.com national average Presidential election poll tracker at the end of July. That was just after the Republican convention had ended and Trump had actually taken a slight lead in RCP’s poll tracker. Below is an updated look at where the RCP numbers currently stand compared to where they stood at this point in the 2012 election.
Remember, RCP’s tracker is an average of the most widely followed national Presidential election polls. As shown below, the race has slowly tightened over the last month, and as of this morning, Clinton’s reading stood at 44.9% compared to Trump’s 44%.
Below is a look at where Trump’s numbers currently stand compared to Romney’s numbers throughout the 2012 election. In 2012, the conventions came about a month later than they did this year, but in both years the candidates on both sides saw post-convention bounces. On September 19th, 2012, Romney’s RCP average stood at 45.3%. That’s 1.3 percentage points above Trump’s current level of 44%. In 2012, Romney’s numbers drifted slightly lower through the end of September, but then they began to climb from the start of October through election day. On election day 2012, Romney was behind Obama 48.1% to 48.8% in the RCP average, but as we all know, that reading was much tighter than the actual results. The final popular vote tally was 51.1% for Obama and just 47.2% for Romney.
Below is a comparison of Clinton’s RCP average to Obama’s RCP average in 2012. Clinton’s recent drop from 48%+ down to 44.9% has opened up a huge gap versus where Obama stood on September 19th. Back in 2012, Obama’s RCP average was 48.2% on 9/19, which is 3.3 percentage points higher than where Clinton is now.
Below we show the RCP candidate trackers for both the 2012 and 2016 elections. The second chart represents the spreads between both candidates in both elections. At this point in 2012, Obama had opened up a big post-convention lead on Romney, but the race began to tighten once October rolled around. We saw Clinton open up a wide lead on Trump in the weeks after the DNC convention, but the current race has tightened significantly over the last few weeks.