Donald Trump held onto a 1-point, 41%-40% lead over Hillary Clinton as the IBD/TIPP presidential tracking poll showed little impact on either candidate after their third and final presidential debate Wednesday night. Libertarian Gary Johnson ticked up 1 point to 8%, while the Green Party's Jill Stein dropped a point to 4%.
But in a head-to-head matchup, Clinton continues to hold a two-point edge over Trump, at 43% to 41% for Trump. With a bit more than two weeks until the election, just under 12% of respondents said they still weren't sure which candidate they favored.
The national poll of 789 likely voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.
Wednesday's lively presidential debate featured a comment by Donald Trump to a question from Fox News moderator Chris Wallace, who asked whether Trump would respect the results of the Nov. 8 election if he feels the vote was fraudulent or "rigged."
"I'll look at it at the time," Trump said. He added, "I'll keep you in suspense."
Hillary called Trump's words "terrifying."
Yet, despite a media and political uproar over Trump's comments -- The New York Times' piece Thursday ran under the headline "Donald Trump Vs. American Democracy," while the Huffington Post's shouted "Trump's Shocking Answer On Respecting Election Results Is The Only Debate Moment That Matters" -- voters didn't appear to agree. The IBD/TIPP poll showed little if any erosion in Trump's support.
Nor did the IBD/TIPP results change much as a result of the clash of views between Trump and Clinton on a range of topics, including economic policy, immigration, guns, abortion, Syria, the Supreme Court, entitlements and even Russian hackers.
Nor were poll respondents moved by the personal barbs thrown by the two major-party candidates. At one point, Clinton called Trump a "puppet" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggested a Trump connection to the WikiLeaks release of Clinton's emails. Trump countered by labeling Clinton a "nasty woman."
What explains Trump's continued lead?
One key fact that has shown up in the three days of IBD/TIPP polling is that Trump holds a substantial 42% to 31% advantage over Clinton among Independent voters. Independents, who in general tend to be socially liberal but fiscally conservative, now make up about 34% of the electorate, IBD/TIPP data show.
Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, who in the most recent poll garners 13% of the Independent vote, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who takes 5%, seem to have siphoned off more Independent support from Hillary than from Trump.
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