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Conflicting Numbers but One Clear Conclusion – Clinton Is Ahead

Despite a flurry of conflicting polls in the closing days of the presidential election, Hillary Clinton is still clearly ahead.
Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton / Donald TrumpEPA; AP

In the last 24 hours, one national poll showed Hillary Clinton with a 14-point lead. Another had her ahead by just three points. And another found it right in the middle -- Clinton up nine points.

In the battleground states, meanwhile, one survey had Clinton leading in New Hampshire by nine points while another one had her up four in the Granite State. Then there was that recent Florida poll that found Donald Trump ahead by two.

How to make sense of the plethora of polls? Well, here’s an answer: Clinton is clearly ahead, though the margin is larger in some polls than others.

And when looking at the battleground states, she still has the easiest path to the 270 electoral votes.

Looking at the national polls, the Huffington Post shows Clinton with an average lead of seven points in the surveys it recognizes, while the RealClearPolitics average has it at five points.

To put those numbers into perspective, President Obama won the national vote by seven percentage points in 2008 and by four points in 2012.

What’s more, on this same day in the 2012 cycle, Obama held just a 0.6-point lead over Mitt Romney in the Huffington Post poll tracker.

Turning to the state polls, Clinton continues to enjoy healthy leads in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – which, according to NBC’s battleground map, puts her above the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

And as for Florida, Clinton holds nearly a 2-point lead from the average of polls in the state. In fact, of the polls that NBC News recognizes, Trump has led in just one Florida poll since the first presidential debate.

And a little reality check on the Sunshine State: It’s a must-win state for Trump, while Clinton can cross 270 electoral votes without it.