Conducted by Monmouth University, a poll released on August 23 indicated that support for the respective Democrat and Republican presidential candidates is nearly equal in Missouri: a reliably red state that has pulled the lever for Democrats only three times since 1968. The Monmouth poll showed that Donald Trump has garnered 44% to Hillary Clinton's 43%. The poll has a 4.9% margin of error and surveyed 401 likely Missouri voters. 
 
Speaking for the polling organization, Patrick Murray said, "The race was a squeaker the last time there was a vacancy in the Oval Office." Murray, who is the director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, "In that respect, this year looks more like 2008 than 2012 when [Republican nominee Mitt] Romney won the state by ten points."
 
 In Missouri, the only Dems to win since 1968 were Presidents Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Currently, Trump trails Clinton nationally in a head-to-head matchup by 5.5%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of several polls.
 

In the battleground state of North Carolina, Clinton is leading Trump by 2 points, according to another Monmouth University poll. While Barack Obama won the Tar Heel State in the 2008 election, he lost in 2012. The influx of Yankees to the Tar Heel State is believed to have created pockets of reliably Democrat voters.

This is the fourth poll in a row for North Carolina that shows Clinton ahead of Trump, including an NBC survey that had her up by 9 points. This latest poll shows that among likely voters in North Carolina, 44 percent support Clinton and 42 percent are behind Trump. Seven percent of North Carolinians plan to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 1 percent name another candidate, and 6 percent remain undecided. "North Carolina has given us tight presidential races over the last two cycles and this year appears to be no different,” pollster Patrick Murray said in a statement. The poll has a margin of error of +4.9 percent.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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