Looking at the four-way pairings in the RealClearPolitics listing of recent polls, and taking just those for which interviewing was conducted over the last two weeks, since Aug. 7, Hillary Clinton is averaging 41 percent of the vote and Donald Trump 37 percent, with 9 percent for Gary Johnson and 3 percent for Jill Stein. These are weak showings for both major party nominees; their counterparts in polling at this point in the last four presidential cycles were splitting more than 90 percent of the vote, yet Trump and Clinton combine for just 78 percent. That’s perhaps what might be expected with two nominees who get such high negative ratings from voters.
Are we seeing the same situation in the target states (or those which were targets in the last two or three elections)? Not exactly. A look at post-Aug. 8 target state polling shows Clinton running farther ahead of Trump than she is in post-Aug. 8 national polling. She’s carrying every one of these target states except Iowa, where three recent polls show the race dead even, and in each of them she’s running more than 4 points ahead of Trump. One other exception, if there were recent polling, might be Nevada, where Clinton led by 2 percent in a poll condicted Aug. 2-5.
The evidence is somewhat scanty, but it points to Clinton running better in target states than she is nationally.