Clinton loses ground: White House race tightens with just seven weeks until election

Democratic nominee's challenging week appears to be making an impact on polls

Clinton loses ground: White House race tightens with just seven weeks until election

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the media | File photo: Tony Dejak/AP/Press Association Images

With just over seven weeks to go until US voters head to the polls, presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton looks set to be in for a fight to maintain her lead in the polls.

The former secretary of state has seen her support fall for a number of weeks, to the point where she is now only one or two percentage points above Donald Trump, according to FiveThirtyEight analysis.

A tally of support by Ipsos for Reuters suggests that Clinton currently has a 60% chance of winning by 18 electoral votes, compared to 83% last week.

The Republican candidate is on equal standing with his rival in Florida and ahead in two other swing states, Iowa and Ohio.

Data compiled by POLITICO shows he also leads in recent polls in Nevada, North Carolina and one electoral vote in Maine.

These votes, along with other red states from 2012, would leave him needing only more state to win, the US news outlet points out.

The findings come after a difficult for Clinton, who was forced to take time off campaigning after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

The Democratic nominee’s illness was confirmed only after she collapsed at a memorial in New York on September 11th.

Her campaign team subsequently acknowledged that it mishandled news of the diagnosis, and a YouGov poll commissioned by the Times of London showed that fewer than half of voters believe her explanation of the illness.

Clinton has also faced criticism for describing half of Trump's supporters the Friday before last as belonging in a "basket of deplorables".

Trump, by contrast, appears to have gained ground despite a string of claims about his own foundation.

(Among the findings of a recent Washington Post review is that the charity allegedly spent $20,000 on a six-foot-tall painting of the real estate tycoon.)

The Republican also attracted controversy after calling for Clinton's bodyguards to give up their guns and "see what happens to her".

Over the past seven days, his chance of winning the election has risen from roughly 30% to 40%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecast.

Clinton remains in the lead, narrowly, but whether her numbers will continue to decline remains to be seen.