A new poll from the New York Times and CBS News finds the presidential race tied nationally at 40%. The last time this poll was taken, Clinton had a six-point lead, 47-41%.
According to the Times: "Clinton has emerged from the F.B.I. investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted."
Overall, Clinton leads by 3.2% in the 270toWin Average of National Polls.
Fully 20% of respondents, one out of every five registered voters, would not choose either Clinton or Trump. We looked back at some 2012 national polls conducted around the same time, and generally found this number to be less than 10%. For example, the same NYT/CBS poll in mid-July, 2012 also showed a tied race, but only 7% didn't prefer Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
Many of those 20% may be looking for another option. As it turns out, the poll also tested a three-way race including Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. Here the race was tied at 36%, with Johnson getting 12%. It is worth noting that if Johnson can reach an average of 15% in national polls, he could qualify for the first presidential debate, scheduled for September 26th in Dayton, Ohio. The specific criteria are as follows:
"Under the 2016 criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15% of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination. The polls to be relied upon will be selected based on the quality of the methodology employed, the reputation of the polling organizations and the frequency of the polling conducted. CPD will identify the selected polling organizations well in advance of the time the criteria are applied.
The CPD's determination with respect to participation in the CPD's first-scheduled debate will be made after Labor Day 2016, but sufficiently in advance of the first-scheduled debate to allow for orderly planning."