Clinton has 95pc chance of winning, says new poll
Even before Sunday night's vicious presidential debate, Republican Donald Trump was losing ground in many of the states he needs to win to capture the presidency, according to the opinion poll.
The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation Project estimates that if the election had been held at the end of last week, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had at least a 95pc chance of winning enough states to reach the minimum 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the next president, based on polling between September 30 and October 7.
Those odds had steadily grown from about 60pc on September 15 to almost 90pc on September 30.
In the last four weeks, her estimated margin of victory has grown from about 14 votes to 118, according to the project.
The polling did not capture reaction to Trump's performance in Sunday's debate or the release on Friday of his 11-year-old sexually aggressive comments about women.
The results, however, mirrored other estimates of her chances of winning the campaign.
Statistical analysis outfit FiveThirtyEight, for example, put Clinton's chance of victory in the election at about 55pc three weeks ago. Currently, they estimate the odds of a Clinton win at 82pc.
In the same period, the 'New York Times' estimates of the odds of a Clinton victory have also increased, from about 70pc to 84pc.
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Florida are now leaning toward the Democrat, according to the Reuters/Ipsos project, an online survey of about 15,000 people every week. Iowa is in the too-close-to-call category after being considered a likely Trump state while Arizona has moved from too-close-to-call to the Republican candidate.
More broadly, the state-by-state results show how Trump's support is sliding. In the last week, he has lost ground in at least 21 states, including in seven of the 18 states where he is leading, while improving his position in 19 states.
Meanwhile, Clinton lost ground in 12 states, including in three of the 23 states where she is leading, and improved her standing in 30 states.
Based on these results, Trump's best hope for a victory would require a precipitous drop in the number of Democratic voters going to the polls on November 8 from expected levels, combined with a similarly large increase in Republican turnout.
Trump's crude comments about groping women and aggressively pursuing a married woman, captured on an open microphone, have sent his campaign into turmoil. Over the weekend, numerous Republican elected officials and candidates responded by calling for Trump to step aside.
During Sunday's debate he apologised but said the comments were just "locker-room talk."
He also attacked Bill Clinton's treatment of women and said Hillary Clinton should be in jail for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.
A nearly year-long FBI investigation into the emails concluded earlier this year that no charges should be filed, although FBI director James Comey said Clinton had been careless in her handling of sensitive material.
Even before the weekend, the Trump campaign had struggled through two weeks of negative news coverage that began with the campaign's first presidential debate on September 26, which Reuters/Ipsos polling suggested Clinton had won.
Shortly after the first debate, the New York businessman also attacked a former Miss Universe whom Clinton had referred to during the debate as an example of Trump degrading women.
Also during that period, a 'New York Times' report detailed how Trump lost nearly $1bn in 1995, a loss that could be used to avoid paying federal taxes for up to 18 years.
Clinton has had her share of woes as well, including the release of hacked emails last week of comments she appeared to have made to banks and big business.
In the 2014 comments, she pushes for open trade and open borders, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street, both positions she later backed away from.