Speed Reads

By the numbers

Gary Johnson comes out of 'What is Aleppo?' gaffe unscathed in new poll

Donald Trump got some good news in the latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly presidential tracking poll released Tuesday, as an uptick in support among independents helped narrow his deficit among registered voters to 4 points; he now trails Hillary Clinton 48 percent to 44 percent, a gain of 2 points for Trump. In a four-way race including Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein, Clinton leads Trump by 2 points, 42 percent to 40 percent, with Johnson at 11 percent and Stein holding steady at 2 percent.

Johnson's numbers are "essentially unmoved even after his 'Aleppo' campaign gaffe," NBC News says, which is good news for the Libertarian ticket. On MSNBC's Morning Joe last week, Joe Scarborough said Johnson's "what is Aleppo?" bafflement made him "unqualified to be the president of the United States." He will only get into the presidential debates if his poll numbers hit 15 percent, so any loss in support would likely have proved fatal. The NBC/SurveyMonkey poll reached 16,220 voters Sept. 5-11, and has an error estimate of ± 1.1 percentage points.