The best polling news for Donald Trump on Thursday was that an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had him down only nine points to Hillary Clinton.

That survey was released a little while after a poll from McClatchy/Marist that showed Trump down 15 points, pulling only 33 percent of the vote. Those numbers are, to put it bluntly, shocking. Mitt Romney was never down by that much to President Obama in 2012; his worst poll was a survey in June from Bloomberg that had him down 13, with 40 percent of the vote.

In only one of the four major polls released this week is Trump over 40 percent, which is itself remarkable. Each of the four had Clinton gaining ground since the last time the same outlet released a poll, by an average of about five points. Three of the four showed Trump losing ground, by a little more than three points.

The two new polls show a pattern that's consistent with other recent surveys, including at the state level. Clinton is getting more support from Democrats than Trump is from Republicans, and his advantage among men and white voters has diminished. In both of the new polls, Clinton leads with men, which has not been the trend over the course of this election.

Among black voters, Trump is doing particularly poorly, earning only a percentage point or two. (The results in the Fox News poll were similar.) Comparing how Trump is faring in these polls to how Mitt Romney did (according to exit polls) is revelatory. Romney won men by seven points; Trump trails by one and seven points in the new polls. Romney won white voters by 20; Trump leads by two and five points. Romney won Republicans by 87 points. In the McClatchy/Marist poll, Trump is winning by only 73 points -- a big dip among more than a third of the electorate.

Because the four new polls are divergent -- showing Clinton leads of nine, nine, 10 and 15 points -- we look at the average of recent polls, compiled by RealClearPolitics. We did a version of the chart below on Wednesday, when Trump's week in polling was only terrible and not completely horrible. His average in the recent polls is now back to what it was before both conventions. Clinton gained four points and now leads in the average by seven points.

How big is that? Big. Relative to Election Day in 2004, 2008 and 2012, Clinton's lead is more than twice that of the eventual victor at this point. In 2004, George W. Bush had a six-point lead for a few weeks; in 2008, Barack Obama led by six points or more for the final month or so. Other than that, though, Clinton's lead is exceptional.

Notice that blue line, though. Donald Trump now trails Hillary Clinton in the polling average by more than Mitt Romney ever did in the final 150 days. In fact, Romney never trailed by that much for the last year of the campaign.

One consolation for Trump probably lies in that rapid spike in the polling average -- a spike that conceivably could rocket back the other direction if ... something. It spiked because the Democrats had four straight days to hammer Trump and praise Clinton, of course, which is hard to duplicate.

The other consolation for Trump is that at least only one of the two polls today had him losing by double digits.