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Clinton holds narrow lead over Trump with two days to go, says new NBC-WSJ poll

Hillary Clinton, lifted by support from college-educated and non-white voters, holds a clear but narrow lead over Donald Trump in the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before Tuesday's election.

Clinton draws 44 percent support from likely voters to 40 percent for Trump, 6 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and 2 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Her four-percentage point advantage exceeds the survey's margin for error of 2.73 percentage points.

The Democratic nominee's lead has diminished sharply from the 11 percentage point edge she held in the previous NBC/WSJ poll, taken in mid-October after the second of three presidential debates. But the underlying patterns of support for the two contenders — by gender, race, education, and age — remains the same.

Trump leads by eight percentage points among men, but Clinton commands a larger 13 percentage point advantage among women. Trump leads by 16 percentage points among whites, but Clinton leads by 75 percentage points among African-Americans and 42 percentage points among Hispanics.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to and meets voters during a rally at Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Monday evening March 28, 2016.
Melina Mara | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to and meets voters during a rally at Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Monday evening March 28, 2016.

The billionaire developer's eight percentage point lead among voters age 65 or older is not enough to offset the former Secretary of State's edge with younger voters. The poll shows her ahead by 16 percentage points among voters aged 18-34, and by two points among those aged 35-64.

Among income groups, Clinton leads by 14 points among those earning less than $30,000, seven points among those earning $30,000-$50,000, and eight points among those earning from $50,000-$75,000. Trump holds a slim three point edge among those earning more than $75,00

By regions, Clinton holds double-digit advantages in the Northeast and the West. The two candidates break even in the Midwest, while Trump holds a seven-point edge in the South. While they split the vote in suburbs, Clinton maintains a 26-percentage point edge in urban areas that outweighs Trump's 28-point edge in the rural vote, which represents a smaller portion of the electorate.

The telephone survey of 1,282 likely voters was conducted Nov. 3-5.


—By CNBC's John Harwood. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnJHarwood