As the everlasting presidential primaries give way to the possibly even more grueling general election, polls take on a new irrelevance, and coincidentally a new furious pace. Now that pollsters don’t have to ask about two different races with a dozen different candidates in any number of primary states, they can ask about the all-but-certain general election contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump more often.
In the latest of these polls, Morning Consult finds Clinton leading Trump by just 2 points, 42 to 40.
The consensus just a month ago was that Hillary would soundly defeat Trump in November; Trump’s alienating of everyone from women to disabled people was unsustainable. But polls already show the race closing to a statistical tie, just in the last week.
It’s going to be a long five months.
As I’ve implored, third party candidates should also be included in these general election polls. There are going to be more than two options on everyone’s ballot in November, so it does little good to make people choose between only two options in polls designed to show the state of that election.
Fortunately, the Morning Consult poll does just that and includes likely Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson along with Trump and Clinton. With all three options, they still find a Clinton lead, but by 3 points instead of 2.