Donald Trump is rapidly closing the gap on Hillary Clinton in a spate of new polls released Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, nearly erasing Clinton's post-convention bump and giving Democrats heartburn as the race heads into the homestretch.
Clinton's lead over Trump is down to 1.8 points in a two-way race, according to the RealClearPolitics average. That's down from a six point lead in the RealClearPolitics average near the end of August.
In a four-way race that includes Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Clinton's lead is 1.6 points in the RealClearPolitics average. That's down from a steady four to five point lead in late August.
The tightening is thanks to new polling released Wednesday and Thursday. A Quinnipiac poll on Wednesday showed Clinton leading Trump by a five-point margin in a two-way race. Though that was one of Clinton's best polling results in recent weeks, her lead diminished to two points when third-party candidates were added.
And a CBS/New York Times poll released Thursday morning showed Clinton leading Trump by two points in a two-way race, and a tied contest when third party candidates were added.
New swing state polling in Ohio and Florida — two must-win contests in Trump's Electoral College path — also showed Trump ahead.
The tightening race raises the stakes for the upcoming debates.
It gives Clinton the chance to change the momentum in her favor in a race that, at the moment, appears to be breaking toward Trump.
For Trump, it presents a major test on a national stage to prove his abilities and qualifications to lead.
The first debate will be held Sept. 26 at Hofstra University on Long Island, in Clinton and Trump's home state of New York.