Trump narrows Clinton gap to just six points

2015-08-19 19:27
(AP)

(AP)

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Washington - Real estate mogul Donald Trump is growing increasingly competitive in a general election match-up against Hillary Clinton, trailing the Democratic frontrunner by six points in a Wednesday poll that shows the race tightening.

Trump leads the broad Republican field by double digits. The political neophyte has dominated media coverage since he launched his campaign in June, steadily narrowing the gap against Clinton, according to a CNN/ORC poll which has tracked such match-ups for months.

Clinton now leads Trump by 51% to 45%, a dramatically more competitive race than July's 56-40 spread and June's 59-35, the poll results showed.

The poll also has her ahead of conservative Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by the same margin, while she leads former Florida governor Jeb Bush by nine points and Hewlett-Packard former chief executive Carly Fiorina by 10 points.

Trump registered gains among Republicans and Republican-leading independents, whose support surged from 67% in July to 79% now; men (from 46% in July to 53% now); and white voters (from 50% to 55%).

The results show the bombastic billionaire is not just resilient in the early stages of the race - he is improving his standing despite constant controversy.

He has been criticised for several brash statements, toxic criticism of his rivals and a plan for mass deportations of undocumented immigrants that a New York Times editor called "idiocy".

While Trump gains, Clinton's fortunes have slipped.

Democratic voters still have her leading in their party's nomination race, but with just 47% support, down nine points since July and the first time her backing has dropped below 50% in CNN/ORC national polling on the 2016 presidential race.

Liberal US Senator Bernie Sanders is second with 29% - a surge of 10 points since July.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is not officially a candidate but is mulling jumping into the race, is third with 14 percent.

That support would likely migrate to Clinton if he does not run, but the poll showed that 53% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters say they believe the vice president should throw his hat in the ring, while 45% say he should not.

Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley has two percent support, while the remaining two Democrats have one percent or less.

While Clinton maintains the Democratic edge, the positive impressions of her are fading, driven largely by concern over the lingering scandal about her use of a private e-mail account and private server while secretary of state.

The poll shows 44% of respondents hold a favourable view of her, compared with 53% unfavourable, her lowest rating since 2001, according to the poll.

In March, her favourability rating was 53-44.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us elections 2016

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