WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - With the first presidential debate looming, the results of a new McClatchy-Marist poll show that Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump has narrowed significantly.
The poll showed Clinton with a 48 percent to 41 percent lead over Trump among likely voters nationwide.
The seven-point advantage for Clinton is down sharply from the 15-point gap seen in a McClatchy-Marist poll conducted in early August.
In a four-way race, Clinton leads Trump by 45 percent to 39 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 10 percent and Green candidate Jill Stein at 4 percent.
'You wouldn't bet for Clinton,' said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. 'But you certainly wouldn't bet against her at this time.'
Miringoff said the 'stakes couldn't be any higher' for both candidates headed into the first debate next Monday at Hofstra University in New York.
McClatchy noted that Clinton benefits from the fact that voters trust her more than Trump to handle immigration, fight terrorism and manage the nation's economy, and they think she has the experience to do the job.
However, the former Secretary of State's weakness seems to be the public's skepticism of her honesty and trustworthiness.
'When it comes to specific areas of public policy, she seems to dominate those,' Miringoff said. 'When it comes to the qualities of a candidate she has some convincing to do.'
The RealClearPolitics average of recent national polls, which includes the McClatchy-Marist poll, shows Clinton with a 46.2 percent to 43.2 percent lead over Trump.
The McClatchy-Marist survey of 758 likely voters was conducted September 15th through 20th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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