Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked ahead of first debate

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. AP file.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. AP file.

Hempstead, N.Y. – A flurry of polls were released ahead of Monday’s presidential debate, and most told the same story: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are in a virtual dead heat before their first showdown.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed likely voters split 46 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump – the latest survey that found her August advantage over the New York nominee had evaporated.

A Bloomberg Politics poll released Monday had both candidate at 46 percent in a head-to-head contest, while Trump had a 2-percent edge over Clinton when third-party candidates were included. Clinton had a one-point lead over Clinton in a Quinnipiac University national poll out Monday, with 8 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

And a CNN/ORC poll found that just one point separates Clinton and Trump in both Pennsylvania and Colorado, two states that are critical to both candidates’ election chances.

The polls are raising the stakes even higher before Monday’s debate at Hofstra University, a 90-minute event that’s expected to be one of the most watched political events in U.S. history. And a  Wall Street Journal poll found one-third of voters say the presidential debates will be very important in helping them decide their vote.

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