For the first time in nearly a month, Donald Trump finds himself ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Trump, who had trailed Clinton in every poll conducted since late July, narrowly led in the latest LA Times/USC Dornsife poll, published on Saturday.
Saturday’s poll marks a two-point improvement for Trump according to the LA Times poll, which on Friday showed Clinton leading my 1%.
This marks the continuation of a trend in Trump’s favor after Clinton pulled out significant lead over the Manhattan real estate mogul. One week ago, the poll had Clinton leading by five points.
While the LA Times poll comes as welcome news to the Trump campaign, it remains to be seen whether the results are an outlier or the beginning of yet another decisive reversal.
After leading Trump by an average of 7.9 points earlier this month, Clinton’s lead has been cut down to 5.7 points according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, which showed Clinton averaging 47.0% to Trump’s 41.3%.
The shift comes amid a series of major changes within the Trump campaign.
On Friday Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned his position, capping off a week of staffing shakeups.
Trump has also softened his tone in recent campaign events, utilizing a teleprompter at some rallies, and made appeals to minority voters.
Speaking past the predominantly white audience to address African American voters while speaking at a campaign event in Michigan on Friday, Trump decried the plight of inner-city blacks, calling their difficulties the result of decades of failed Democratic policies.
“You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
At another campaign event in Michigan Trump later predicted he would win the overwhelming majority of black voters in a reelection campaign.
“And at the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce.”
“No group in America has been more harmed by Hillary Clinton's policies than African-Americans. No group. No group.” “
If Hillary Clinton's goal was to inflict pain on the African-American community, she could not have done a better job. It's a disgrace. Tonight, I'm asking for the vote of every single African-American citizen in this country who wants to see a better future.”
Trump also reached out to Hispanic voters, meeting with members of his National Hispanic Advisory Council as he looks to rebuild relations with a key demographic group observers say has been alienated by the candidate’s fiery rhetoric and public criticism of a Hispanic judge hearing a case against Trump University.
According to the LA Times poll, Trump’s efforts at minority outreach have paid off. While the poll last week showed Trump mired in the low single-digits with blacks, on Saturday Trump had spiked to a whopping 13.6%. No Republican since Ronald Reagan has topped 12% of the black vote.
Among Hispanics, Trump also gained ground, rising to 32.0% - more than received by either Romney or McCain in their respective presidential bids.
Again, it is unclear whether this marks a substantial shift or is simply a polling outlier. Other surveys, like the Pew Research poll published earlier this week, showed Trump with only 2% of the black vote and 26% among Hispanics.