There have been three consistent exceptions to which Donald Trump and his team have regularly pointed: the L.A. Times-USC poll, the Investor's Business Daily poll and a poll from Rasmussen Reports. Each is an outlier for a good reason (the Times-USC poll uses an unorthodox methodology, and Rasmussen always favors the Republican), but with two weeks to go, all three show a lead for Clinton.
National polls don't matter if Trump is seeing success in the states. But he isn't.
In 138 polls collected by Huffington Post Pollster in 10 battleground states since the first debate, Clinton leads in 108. Sixteen of the Trump leads are in Georgia and Arizona, traditionally red states that weren't generally expected to be included in the “battleground” conversation at this point in 2016.
In Florida, Clinton has led in 18 of 19 surveys. In Nevada, 12 of 13. In New Hampshire, 11 of 11. In North Carolina, 19 of 20. In Ohio, 10 of 17. In Pennsylvania, 15 of 15. In Virginia, 13 of 13.
The critical point is this: Trump's only hope is that something over the next two weeks will break the pattern that we've seen consistently for the past month. Or, really, since the general election began: Clinton with a big enough lead nationally and in the states to carry the day. Trump's response is a hard-to-contest “voters will surge to the polls at the end,” which is another way of saying “it all comes down to turnout” or “the only poll that matters is on Election Day.” The reason those are hackneyed expressions in politics is that you can keep using them as excuses until the last ballots are in, at which point you don't need to make excuses any longer.
There's just one problem. The advent of increased early voting means that we can see the extent to which Trump voters are surging to the polls. In many states, they aren't. The composition of the electorate with 20 days to go was much more Democratic in Arizona and North Carolina than in 2012, for example. There's not yet any indicator that things are breaking Trump's way.
And, worse for Trump, there's no reason to assume that they will.