Donald Trump is now competitive in a general election face-off against Hillary Clinton, with numbers posted in a new CNN/ORC poll
showing him just 6 points behind the former secretary of state.
Trump's numbers have climbed dramatically since July, the poll shows, when he was still 16 points behind Clinton, CNN
reported Wednesday. And while Trump is climbing, Clinton's numbers have taken a hit
in the wake of the expanding scandal concerning her use of a private email server while she was serving in the State Department.
In the new CNN poll, 56 percent of respondents said Clinton did something wrong by using her personal email account, up from 51 percent in March. Even more telling, Democrats are starting to turn against her over the email scandal, the poll showed. In March, 71 percent of voters from her party said they did not think she did anything wrong, but the newest poll shows that number has dipped to 63 percent
Further, Clinton's favorability numbers are dropping. Among all adults, the poll says only 53 percent of the respondents have a favorable view of her, marking her most negative rating since March 2001.
Clinton still tops the other leading Republican contenders, besting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by 6 points among registered voters; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 9 points; and businesswoman Carly Fiorina by 10 points.
The results show large gender gaps, with Clinton taking the most female votes:
- Against Trump: 60 percent of women chose Clinton and 37 percent chose Trump; men picked Trump 53 percent to 42 percent.
- Against Bush, Clinton leads 59 percent to 37 percent among women, while Bush holds an advantage among men, 51 percent to 44 percent.
- Against Fiorina, 60 percent of women favor Clinton and 39 percent chose Fiorina. Men were almost evenly divided, with 48 percent for Fiorina and 46 percent for Clinton.
Democrats are also starting to back away from wanting Clinton as their nominee, the poll showed, with 47 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters saying they support her bid. Those numbers are down 9 points since July, bringing Clinton down below 50 percent for the first time in a CNN/ORC poll and showing a nine-point dip from July.
She's still almost 20 points ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is in second place with 29 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not announced his campaign, is in third place in the poll, with 14 percent support; former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has 2 percent; Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has 1 percent; and less than 1 percent of the voters say they would back former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
If Biden stays out of the race, that would spell good news for Clinton, the poll revealed, as his backers would likely support her bid rather than Sanders. But most Democrats, at 45 percent, think Biden should run, and even among people who support Clinton, 50 percent said Biden should run.
But that doesn't mean Democratic voters think Biden or Sanders would make a better president than Clinton:
- 35 percent say Biden would do a worse job as president than Clinton, 27 percent a better job and 38 percent say there would be no difference between the two.
- 37 percent of Democratic voters think Sanders would do a worse job as president than Clinton, 31 percent think he would do a better job, and 29 percent that there would be no difference between the two.
Clinton, though, topped Democrats' lists on which party candidate would best handle the economy, race relations, foreign policy and the income gap between rich and poor Americans.
The telephone poll was conducted between Aug. 13–16 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including 897 registered voters, 358 of whom are registered voters who are Democrats or independents who lean Democrat. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. For results among registered voters it is 3.5 points, and among all adults, 3 points.
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