With less than two weeks to go, the race for the White House has narrowed as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton now has a three-point advantage over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a new Fox News poll.
The poll, released on Wednesday, showed Clinton leading 49-44 per cent in the head-to-head matchup. That 5-point advantage is at the edge of the error margin. She was up seven a week ago (49-42 per cent).
Trump was helped by increased backing among independents and greater strength of support: 68 per cent of those backing the real-estate mogul support him “strongly”, compared to 61 per cent for Clinton.
Independents favoured Trump over Clinton by 13 points (41-28 per cent). He had a seven-point advantage last week, and two weeks ago they were tied at 35 per cent each.
Trump leads among whites (+14 points) and men (+5), although his best groups remain white evangelical Christians (+56) and whites without a college degree (+28), the poll showed.
Clinton has commanding leads among blacks (+77 points), unmarried women (+27), voters under 30 (+18), and women (+10). First-time voters are also more likely to back her (+16).
The candidates garner almost equal backing among the party faithful: 83 per cent of Democrats back Clinton, while 81 per cent of Republicans support Trump.
All in all, likely voters do not think Trump was up to the task of being President: less than half think he was qualified (46 per cent) and even fewer feel he has the temperament to serve effectively (36 per cent). Over half lack confidence in his judgment in a crisis (56 per cent).
Clinton trounces Trump on each of those measures: 64 per cent believe she was qualified, 62 per cent has said she has the temperament, and 56 per cent are confident in her judgment.
However, there were a couple of areas where the two are about evenly matched. First, 52 per cent feel Clinton “stands up” for people like them, and 49 per cent feel that way about Trump, the poll revealed.
Also on their honesty — or lack thereof: a record-low 30 per cent of likely voters think Clinton is honest and trustworthy, while 34 per cent said Trump is.
The Fox News Poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,309 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted from October 22-25.
The survey includes results among 1,221 likely voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for results among both registered and likely voters.