Clinton the likely winner - if the US election were held today

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the heavy favourite. Photo / AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the heavy favourite. Photo / AP

If the US presidential election were held today, Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

She would have a 95 per cent chance of beating Republican Donald Trump to become America's first female president, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project.

The project, which combines opinion polls with an analysis of voting patterns under different election scenarios, shows Clinton currently beating Trump in the popular vote by six percentage points.

She is ahead in 19 states, including most of the larger-population ones that heavily influence the outcome of the election.

At the moment, Clinton would win at least 268 votes in the Electoral College, the body that ultimately chooses the next president, just two shy of what she needs to win the White House.

On average, the former Secretary of State would win by 108 electoral college votes.

Trump would win at least 21 states, many of them with smaller populations, giving him a minimum of 179 electoral votes.

The election is still 10 weeks away, and a great deal could change prior to November 8.

A majority of Americans have an unfavourable opinion of both Trump and Clinton, and nearly one out of four likely voters says they do not support either of them for president, according to a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The candidates are scheduled to square off in a series of televised debates, and a poor showing by either could quickly change the dynamic of the race.

Democratic Party operatives also fear there may be more revelations about ties between wealthy foreign donors to the Clinton family charity, the Clinton Foundation, and the State Department under her stewardship.

Clinton has denied any impropriety but Trump has seized on the disclosures as a new line of attack against his rival.

Polling suggests Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has only a narrow path to victory. Photo / AP
Polling suggests Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has only a narrow path to victory. Photo / AP

"There's always a chance of an October surprise - something definitive and striking about Clinton - that could change the race," said Tom Smith, who directs the Centre for the Study of Politics and Society at the University of Chicago.

"But, short of any scandals by the Clintons, I just don't see any way that Trump catches up."

If Trump were to rely heavily on support from white voters, he would face an extremely narrow path to victory. Even if all male and female white voters showed up at the polls, and turnout among blacks and Hispanics was half of what it was in 2012, respectively, the project shows Clinton would still be favoured to win.

It appears that Trump's best chance is to turn out Republican voters in huge numbers and hope that a lot of Democrats stay home.

Reuters, AAP

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